Date: 11/2/17 8:34 am From: 'Migrant' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...> Subject: [cobirds] Eastern plains yesterday
I decided to launch November with a jaunt out to Prewitt/Jackson to see what might be about. For the most part the birding was pretty good though it was mostly the usual suspects. I had one spot that I thought would be worth passing along, for those who still have an unslaked thirst for shorebirds.
Prewitt had hundreds of waterfowl, but aside from the pelicans, cormorants and western grebes, most were snugged up against the far (south) shore, and light conditions and heat waves made ID pretty much impossible. A walk along the full length of the dam and then along the south shore would probably yield a host of ducks/grebes/geese for someone who wanted to make a several mile trek with a scope.
Meanwhile, at the southwest end near the Inlet Canal (Inlet Delta?), from the road I noticed a number of shorebirds working the mudflat. Assuming that they were all killdeer, I nevertheless grabbed the scope and walked out for a look. To my surprise, there were numerous non-killdeer present. I then spent a pleasant hour arguing with eBird over my killdeer count (very conservatively at 140), a dunlin (with enough alternate plumage remaining to show the black belly), two least sandpipers, a lesser yellowlegs and three Pluvialis plovers. One of these I was able to positively ID as a golden-plover, while the other two fled while I was checking out the dunlin. I didn’t see them in flight, so no look at the wingpits, but I suspect all three were goldens, which have been regular here this fall.
I haven’t aggravated eBird that much in a while; it didn’t like any of those birds one bit, which is not too much of a surprise on the first of November.
Looking across the mosaic of trickles coming from the Inlet Canal, I could see hundreds of shorebirds on the south shore. 95% were no doubt killdeer, but through the heat shimmer I could discern a variety of sizes, so some hardy soul with irrigation boots willing to slog across the mud could probably do well over there.
Also, I spent quite a bit of time picking through white-crown flocks looking for other Zono’s, without success. Then this morning a tan-striped white-throated showed up in my back yard. Go figure.