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.