Date: 3/10/17 8:59 pm
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57...>
Subject: [cobirds] Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Weld County, etc.
If I were the most interesting man in the world, I would say:

"I don't go birding in Weld County very often...

...but when I do, I usually see a Colorado lifer."

Thus did I venture this sunny Friday morning, March 10, to an innominate
pond off Colorado Hwy 119 just east of Longmont. And what, pray tell, was I
doing there? Well, on a lark, and, more to the point, on a tip from Elena
Klaver, I went to see a *black swan* she'd discovered a few days earlier.
It was immediately clear to me that I wasn't in Boulder County anymore, for
the businesses in the general vicinity of the stakeout included the
following: Phoenix Weaponry, Longmont Electromagnetic Interference, Smart
Start Ignition Interlock, the City of Longmont Police Department Firing
Range, and Mountain View Fire Rescue. I am not making this up. I was close
enough to Boulder County that I could smell the lattes brewing and incense
burning over in Longmont, but, still.

Anyhow, the bird was there, just where Elena had found it. The best
viewing--and probably the only legal viewing--is from the terminus of Weld
County Road 5, just south of Hwy 119. Park by the gate, have a scope (the
pond is large and somewhat distant), and keep an eye on the black
helicopters...

The record has already been promptly deleted from eBird's public database.
That's messed up. No diss on eBird's hardworking and brilliant Colorado
reviewers, they're just doing their job. But this is one where eBird policy
is out to lunch. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of--and tireless
advocate for--eBird. But on the matter of known or presumed exotics,
they're just wrong--at least from any credible biological, statistical, or
logical perspective. The swan was there. It was in the environment, cycling
nutrients, transferring energy, and interacting with other organisms, as
real as any Purple Sandpiper or Rufous-collared Sparrow or other wild bird
in Colorado.

Delighted with my find--I mean, Elena's find--I celebrated at a convenience
store in Longmont with a 44-oz. Big Gulp (Mountain Dew - Cherry Coke
cocktail), which, sometime later this year will have a $4.40 tax added to
the cost. Can you say Referendum 2H? Expect me to indulge even more of my
vices in Weld County, once the sugar tax kicks in.

I digress.

Okay, I birded a few spots in Boulder County on the way back down to
Lafayette, with the following results:

1. Boulder Creek crossing at Sandstone Ranch, County Line Road. An early *Say
phoebe* on the Boulder County side of the line.

2. Panama Rez. A distant *swan sp.*, tundra or trumpeter, ecologically
equivalent to the Weld County swan, but judged by eBird to be somehow
different. Sorry. Also 2 early-ish *blue-winged teals,* 4 *mountain
bluebirds,* 7 *northern pintails,* 2 *American white pelicans,* and a
passel of grebes, at least 62 *horned,* 1 *eared,* a couple *pied-billeds,*
and 1 distant bird that I think might have been a red-necked; not sure on
that one, though.

3. Kenosha Road. *Swan geese, graylag geese, mallard x muscovy, Indian
runners,* and more; *Canada geese* and *"northern" mallards* mixed in with
them. Got pix and audio. Will eBird explode?

4. Prince Lake No. 2. Still a lot of *cackling geese* hanging on, plus at
least 10 *pink ring-billed gulls* on the far (west) shore. Two *bald eagles*
in high, soaring courtship flight were impressive.

5. Greenlee Preserve. Another *pink ring-billed gull* and *American
bushtits* gratuitously adding to their Brobdingnagian nest.

Ted Floyd
Lafayette, Boulder County






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