Date: 11/8/17 12:59 am
From: Richard <birdertoo...> [cobirders] <cobirders-noreply...>
Subject: [cobirders] Low Visibility at Cherry Creek Reservoir, Arapahoe County
Hello cobirders;

After taking my Mom to lunch, we passed through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). Temperatures today only reached 34 degrees. Anemometer readings were 5-6 mph with a few gusts to 11 mph. Visibility at Cherry Creek Reservoir was a little more than 100 yards.

I would make two trips to Cherry Creek Reservoir. The unplanned first trip was ill equipped. I had only a windbreaker and a cheap 10x20 binoculars.

Off the northeast marina parking area, I observed a peculiar Gull for about a minute and a half. It appeared to be the size of a Ring-billed Gull with the upper wing pattern of either a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake or Sabine's Gull. Even a Sabine's Gull would be smaller. The Gull was definitely bigger than the nearby Bonaparte's Gulls.

The upper wing pattern being dark primaries no white primaries of a Bonaparte's Gull and dark back forming the look of a "w".

When returning an hour later with better binoculars, visibility had greatly decreased and there was a rain/snow mix. My search lasted to the last minutes of daylight without relocating the mystery Gull.

A Common Loon was found south of Pelican Point. Twenty two Bonaparte's Gulls were in the bay southeast of the Lake Loop. Many Western, Horned and Eared Grebes were quite close to shore. Perhaps their reduce visibility masked my presence as dozens were less than 10 yards off shore.

Eventually I had to leave in the failing light. Maybe conditions will improve tomorrow. By then the waterfowl may return to the middle of this large lake.

Missed: any scoters, the Red-necked Grebe or other uncommon waterfowl. I did not relocate the Swamp Sparrow at Pelican Point, although sixteen American Tree Sparrows and three Song Sparrows fluttered about the willows on the east end of the Point.

Continued Good Birding!

Directions to birding spots and maps on CoBus website:

Richard Stevens; Director, Colorado Birding Society
Denver, Colorado
Contact CoBus/Report Interesting Birds: 303-324-7994
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