Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wellington 5/12 and Bobcat Ridge 5/13

On 5/13 I met up with Cade Cropper early in the morning to head to Wellington to check out some migrant traps. Our first stop was at Cobb Lake. We started off strong with a lot of common birds, but didn't get anything unexpected. We then went to the Prairie Dog Colony on County Line Road and saw 3 Burrowing Owls. A stop at a house on County Road 62 seemed to be disappointing until we got in the car and started driving off. I then heard a Least Flycatcher sing and we got out and immediately found an adult male AMERICAN REDSTART (240). We then saw a Swainson's Thrush, Bullock's Oriole, heard a Warbling Vireo, and a Clay-colored Sparrow (241).
A stop at some ponds in Wellington SWA on CR 3 produced a few shorebirds, which included some Killdeer, 12 Long-billed Dowitchers, 3 Stilt Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Sandpipers, 2 American Avocets, 1 Wilson's Phalarope, and 2 White-faced Ibis.
At a small marsh with willows and trees beneath Indian Creek Reservoir was also productive. We got out of the car and immediately found an adult male ORCHARD ORIOLE (242). While trying to get Cade on the bird I found a Gray Catbird (243) and we eventually had a second one at this location. When we walked into the trees we saw yet another adult male AMERICAN REDSTART and a Lincoln's Sparrow.
At North Poudre Reservoir #3 we saw a Bonaparte's Gull standing next to a Franklin's Gull. The most interesting birds was a pair of Mute Swans of unknown origin. Although I am not sure where they could have come from.
Steve and Kathy Martin's House was very productive. There was a lot of Swainson's Thrushes and quite a few Lincoln's Sparrows. We then found a Clay-colored Sparrow with a number of Chipping Sparrows. In the same area we found a Wilson's Warbler with a Yellow Warbler. Also in the same area we heard a Grasshopper Sparrow (244) singing. On the west side of their house while I was trying to identify what turned out to be a Lincoln's Sparrow, Cade found a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (245), which we got great looks at and heard it sing a couple of times.
We then made a stop at Kechter Pit. There was nothing of interest on the water, but I was able to find a Green-tailed Towhee in the Rabbitbrush close by.
On my way to work I made 2 quick stops. The first was along the Big Thompson Bike Trail. Here I saw several Swainson's Thrushes. I also found a singing BLACKPOLL WARBLER (246).
Duck Lake was again productive, but I didn't see anything new. Still lots of Sanderling, Stilt Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, 2 Willets, 1 Black-necked Stilt, and 1 Marbled Godwit.

On 5/13 I decided to go on the Bobcat Ridge Bird Survey. I showed up at 7:00, which is when it said on the webpage the time it started. When I arrived there was nobody there, only their cars, so I assumed they decided to start earlier. When I was just about to start on my walk Sklyer Bol and his mom Cree showed up and they had also heard it started at 7:00. We decided to do our own survey with doing a majority of the same route. On the route we ended up with 51 species for the morning. Our first good bird was a singing Least Flycatcher, which we ended up getting two more on the walk. We found a lot of Lazuli Buntings (147), but we also found 1 male INDIGO BUNTING (149). Before finding the Indigo Bunting we heard and saw a couple of Yellow-breasted Chats (148) which we ended with double digits. We then met up with the group and had a 5 minute talk about what we had seen up to that point. A short while later I heard my first of many Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (150). We got to an overlook and heard what sounded like a Virginia's Warbler. We made a 5 minute walk and got to the area where the warbler was singing. We then eventually saw it and it was indeed a Virginia's Warbler (151). On our hike back up to the trail we heard and then saw a Western Tanager (152) and ended with 2 for the day. When we got fairly close to the cars we found a kingbird in the field. I immediately called it a Western, but it still looked a little strange, so I kept an eye on it. It then flew by us and the reason it looked strange was because it was actually a CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (153). In the same area we then heard a Grasshopper Sparrow. When we got back to the cars I heard a flycatcher call and Skyler got a brief view of it. It then began to sing and I realized it was a GRAY FLYCATCHER (154). Other interesting birds included 2 Golden Eagles, several Bullock's Orioles, 2 Brewer's Blackbirds, 1 Say's Phoebe, 1 singing Gray Catbird, 3 Green-tailed Towhees, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Brewer's Sparrow, and 1 White-throated Swift.
I then went with my family to Estes. I made a quick walk to the bird sanctuary to look for a reported Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Hooded Warbler, but failed on both of those. My best 2 birds were a Western Tanager and Common Yellowthroat. We then drove into the park and found a group of 3 male Wild Turkeys. On the way up towards Trail Ridge I found a Band-tailed Pigeon (155) doing its display flight. We didn't have any other birds of interest in the area.

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