Date: 4/4/17 12:59 pm
From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Park County Apr 3
My mention of FOS Red-breasted Sapsuckers was intended to be of *Red-naped
Sapsuckers*...

David Suddjian
Ken Caryl Valley
Littleton

On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 10:56 AM, David Suddjian <dsuddjian...> wrote:

> The scenery in Park County is spectacular. There are places in the
> northern part of South Park where the array of peaks around two thirds of
> the compass is simply sublime: Twin Cones, Rosalie, Evans, Bierstadt,
> Squaretop, Landslide, Red Cone, Whale, Glacier, Guyot, Boreas, Bald,
> Silverheels, Democrat, Sheridan, Peerless, Horseshoe, Weston, Buffalo,
> Yale, Princeton, and so on. After a while, with the sun shifting through
> clouds to highlight snow-blanketed peaks in a blaze of glory, it almost
> becomes too much to take in any more. Enough. I'm full up.
>
> And the birds were good, too.
>
> Starting down at the southeast corner of the county along CRs 102, 100, 71
> and Doe Valley Road (a really fun birding road) there were chugging *Wilson's
> Snipes* (my imitation still works to draw them into view), *Pinyon Jays*, *Northern
> Goshawk*, a few *Evening Grosbeaks*, my 2 first of season *Red-breasted
> Sapsuckers*, 6 flying *Sandhill Cranes*, *Loggerhead Shrike*, a migrating
> *Osprey*, an early *Vesper Sparrow*, and a tide of drumming and squawking *Williamson's
> Sapsucker*-- eBird still has these as filtered for the date, but I had
> over 36 Williamson's this day. Of interest were *Spotted Towhees* and *Woodhouse's
> Scrub-Jays* on a slope along a road off Doe Valley Road with Gambel oak.
> Both species are pretty local in Park, and this is a "new" area, which will
> likely yield another county spot for Virginia's Warbler if I go back in the
> late spring.
>
> Lake George had an early *Lincoln's Sparrow* along the South Platte near
> Hwy 24, and a pair of *Am. Dippers* there was adding to a nest under the
> highway bridge. The lake itself had a nice pile of several hundred ducks of
> 13 species, but Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Great-tailed Grackles were
> missing, perhaps not yet arriven.
>
> Eleven Mile Reservoir was great, if windy and cold. Among the rarer
> highlights were 1 *Snow Goose*, 1 male *Red-breasted Merganser*, 1 female *Hooded
> Merganser*, 1 alternate *Common Loon*, 1 alternate *Red-necked Grebe*, 1 *Peregrine
> Falcon*, 1 *Osprey*, 2 *Bald Eagles*, and 2 early *Sage Thrashers*. The
> rookery island in the southeast part of the lake had lots of activity.
> Estimates and counts of three breeding species were: 1400 *California
> Gulls* (100% adults, lots pairs hanging out, and a few carrying nest
> material), 180 *Double-crested Cormorants* (quite a few on nests), and 23 *Great
> Blue Herons* (some loafing on nests). *American White Pelican*, which
> nested there last year (first time?) was not at the island, but 7 pelicans
> were elsewhere at the reservoir. Among returning grebes were 3 *Westerns
> Grebes *and 1 *Pied-billed Grebe*.
>
> Other waterbird counts from Eleven Mile: *Canada Goose *(88), *Gadwall*
> (3985), *Am. Wigeon* (44), *Mallard* (48), *Cinnamon Teal* (6), *Nor.
> Shoveler *(153), *Green-winged Teal *(8), *Nor. Pintail* (11),
> *Canvasback* (16), *Redhead* (775), *Ring-necked Duck* (330), *Greater
> Scaup* (22), *Lesser Scaup *(1665), *Scaup sp.* (420), *Bufflehead*
> (790), *Common Goldeneye *(900), *Common Merganser* (57), *Ruddy Duck*
> (750), *Am. Coot* (3300), 1 *American Avocet*, *Franklin's Gull* (2), and *Ring-billed
> Gull* (4).
>
> The two *Bald Eagles* were both molting, motley-looking young birds
> working more or less together to harry flocks of coots that pulled into
> tight knots on the water to avoid the eagles. Eventually, one eagle caught
> one coot and took it over to the shore to dine, while a hopeful *Turkey
> Vulture* swung in to see if it could share.
>
> Spinney Mountain Reservoir had fewer waterbirds (still several 1000s) and
> harder viewing, with a similar species mix to Eleven Mile, but nothing
> unusual that I saw.
>
> The saline pond along CR 59 near Mineral Road (north of Spinney) had 2 *Tundra
> Swans* (adult and imm.). The pond along the Middle Fork of the South
> Platte near CR 59 had 14 *Am. White Pelicans*, 1 *Greater Yellowlegs*,
> and a lot of ducks. An early (for Park) *Say's Phoebe* had returned to a
> nest site in an abandoned house along CR 59. Other ponds I looked at
> between Hartsel and Jefferson all had good numbers of ducks, with 2 *Sandhill
> Cranes* at CR 34 Pond giving a highlight.
>
> *American Dippers* were working on a nest at he Highway 9 bridge over the
> Middle Fork of the South Platte, southeast of Fairplay, and way out in the
> middle of South Park, away from the mountains.
>
> Misc notes: lingering *Rough-legged Hawk* near Jefferson; *Am. Three-toed
> Woodpecker* near Kenosha Pass Pond; eager *Wilson's Snipe* at the 10,000
> foot elevation Kenosha Pass Pond even though it was 95% ice still; early *Savannah
> Sparrow* near Eleven Mile Res.; just three *Western Meadowlarks* for the
> day... still mostly yet to come.
>
> David Suddjian
> Ken Caryl Valley
> Littleton, CO
> Tundra Swans along CR 59
>
> Greater Yellowlegs along CR 59
>
> Snow Goose at Eleven Mile
>
> Poor image, but two Bald Eagles harassing a tight flock of coots
>
> Sandgill Cranes at CR 34
> ‚Äč
>

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