Date: 10/28/17 10:34 am
From: DAVID A LEATHERMAN <daleatherman...>
Subject: [cobirds] mountain birds on the plains
Yesterday at Lakeside Cemetery in Loveland (section east of 287), Norm Lewis, Nina Routh, Ted Cooper and I had a white-winged junco and three late Chipping Sparrows, plus at least 5 Mountain Chickadees, at least 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, a few Brown Creepers, a few solitaires.

[cid:bb715849-5d92-4ace-9878-62f22e8ee926] [cid:21e57f4c-825e-4fd2-b770-47afb3792bc5]

In conifers near the Swim Beach at Lake Loveland we had Brown Creeper and Black-capped Chickadee.

At Boyd Lake, in scattered pines near the Swim Beach, we had 1, maybe 2, Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Mountain Chickadee, a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Check out Mark Amershek's post from Flagler SWA recently: 6 Red Crossbills wonderfully photographed feeding on sunflowers along the entry road, which to my eye look like medium-billed birds, probably Type 4s. The aforementioned group of birders in this post's first sentence heard crossbills over Bonny Res on October 20th, too distant to assess well to type, but if I had to guess, I'd say 2s. We also had two Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadee and latish Orange-crowned Warbler at Wagon Wheel CG (or what is left of it). Regarding the res and facilities at Bonny, as somebody we know would say, "Sad!!!!"

I checked back thru my journal today and between mid-September and now, a total of 8 Golden-crowned Kinglets have crossed my paths at low elevation in Lamar, Bonny, Crow Valley, Fort Collins and Loveland. My travels take me to eastern CO every year and this kind of total in not normal.

Pygmy Nuthatches appear they will winter at Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins, new to my experience there since 1974. I have had them twice of late in my neighborhood east of CSU, which is also new to my experience.

Red-breasted Nuthatches are almost background noise anywhere on the eastern plains the last few months. So common, it would be easy to miss registering in one's brain.

I hope everyone's observations regarding this phenomenon can be rounded up and boiled down to fancy grade syrup in the various "Colorado Birds" and "North American Birds" summaries by those like David Dowell, Steve Mlodinow and Tony Leukering who have those thankless jobs. THANK YOU, observers and summary writers.

Before closing and unrelated to the mountain bird theme, a couple observations. There was a Lesser Black-backed Gull and immature White-fronted Goose near the Lake Loveland Swim Beach yesterday morning. We checked Boyd Lake and Windsor Lake and saw very little in the way of waterbird influx. An assortment of dabbler decoys off the Swim Beach at Boyd was impressive and afforded a good opportunity to compare the bobbing pattern of plastic vs. real ducks. Not very many real ducks to blast but the man and woman (aka "couple observation") in the nearby blind kept disappearing and hopefully found a way to keep warm.

Dave Leatherman

Fort Collins

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