Date: 10/21/17 6:44 am
From: 'Dan Stringer' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: [cobirds] Melody Tempel Grove (Bent County) and Kiowa County Reservoirs
Yesterday Tom Whitten and I made a quick stop at Melody Tempel Grove (Bent
Co) which was quiet except for 22 Wild Turkeys, Great-horned Owl, Ruby
Crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Red-bellied Woodpecker. We
then checked out Nee Noshe, Upper Queens, and Lower Queens Reservoirs
(Kiowa Co). At Nee Noshe we saw a Tan-striped White-throated Sparrow in a
small stand of Locust trees, a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, 13 Long-billed
Dowitchers, a Black-bellied Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, and a few American
Pipits. Not much on the water or shoreline at Upper Queens, amongst the
Tamarisk and Cottonwoods there were Mountain Bluebirds, a Red-headed
Woodpecker, and a Loggerhead Shrike.

I didn't expect much at Lower Queens but it turned out to be
interesting. At first glance it was littered with shorebirds, turned out
most of them were Long-billed Dowitchers. We counted just under 400 in
several stops around the water's edge, flocks of them everywhere we went.
About 10 Marbled Godwits were mixed in, 30 ish Least Sandpipers, 7 Pectoral
Sandpipers, one each Baird's, Western, and Semipalmated were sorted out in
difficult light. One Greater and 4 Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 more Black-bellied
Plovers, 6 American Avocets, some Clark's Grebe's among the Westerns, and
about 450 American White Pelicans in a tight-row formation along a sandy
bank. There was an Osprey standing in the water between the Pelicans and
Dowitchers, first time I've seen that. The Double-crested Cormorants, 200
or so, were all on the east end, many of them standing on limbs of large
bushes coming out of the water, like one would see in a spring rookery
setting...but apparently they just like to hang out on branches. We saw
four Bald Eagles, three immature and one adult. Several hundred Sandhill
Cranes were overhead during the day and as we were departing, Tom noticed
that about 30 had come down on the other side of the reservoir to complete
the picture. Lower Queens, smallest of the reservoirs in the area, was
pretty lively on this day.

Dan Stringer
Larkspur, CO

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