Date: 2/7/17 7:38 pm
From: 'Norm Lewis' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: [cobirds] Adams County South Platte
Having had an appointment on the north end of town, and finding myself with an extra hour on my hands, I decided to take a quick walk from 78th Ave. north to the water tank along the Platte. My intention was to see if the Barrow's goldeneye might still be about, and to check out whatever else might be present. First, the Barrow's report: there were three, one male and two females. That is the same count I had at this time last winter, and I have to wonder if it might be the same three birds. Interestingly, the two females were associating with a group of female commons, and the male with another group of female commons. Perhaps they have had a falling-out?
Anyway, beyond the Barrow's there was nothing out of the ordinary to report. What I found most interesting was the assemblages. Most of the usual suspects were present: hundreds of gadwall, shovelers and green-winged teal, dozens of pintail and a smattering of mallards. Not a single wigeon in that entire stretch of river. Among divers, there were lots of common goldeneye, quite a few lesser scaup, and one bufflehead. Not a single merganser of any flavor. One pied-billed grebe. The only passerines were two yellow-rumped warblers- no juncos, no song sparrows.
All in all, one of the odder collections of common birds I have encountered in a while.
On a related note, there is now a road across the river at the railroad overpass, with many culverts in a rock dam providing flow for the river. Does anyone know the purpose of this? I wasn't sure if it were a permanent crossing, or just a temporary structure to accommodate some construction project.

Norm Lewis
Lakewood, CO

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