Date: 2/3/18 5:53 am
From: 'Dan Stringer' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: [cobirds] Bent County, Prowers County, Kiowa County, Crowley County
Yesterday Tom Whitten and I did an ambitious southeast circle, a 60 species
winter day but we covered a lot of ground to find the birds, starting early
in Bent County at Ft Lyon Wildlife Easement, then to Van's Grove, John
Martin Reservoir, Hasty Campground, then Prowers county to Lamar Community
College Woods, Thurston Reservoir, then Kiowa County to visit Upper Queens
and Lower Queens Reservoirs, Neenoshe Reservoir, then up through Eads and
west to Lakes Meredith and Henry in Crowley County.

Highlights in Bent County were a huge number of Snow Geese with Ross's
mixed in at John Martin Reservoir, many thousands on the water with Bald
Eagles standing on all sides of the surrounding ice, with wave after wave
of white geese coming in above us for over an hour. At Hasty campground
below the dam we saw three Greater Roadrunners in less than ten minutes, it
was a bit of a stunner. They were walking in the short grass, bug-catching.
In Prowers County, Lamar Community College woods had a large concentration
of American Robins and a few Townsend's Solitaires focusing on the
junipers, along with a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and
two Northern Cardinals. At Thurston Reservoir we saw something interesting,
eight Red-tailed Hawks and one Rough-legged Hawk lined up on the shoreline,
with ducks swimming near and sometimes right in front of them...the hawks
ignored the ducks, it appeared that the high water had receded, leaving
fish in small pooled areas, with the hawks standing in a row dining
together. In Kiowa County at Upper Queens Reservoir were massive numbers of
Snow Geese, I'd estimate over ten thousand. Neenoshe Locust Grove with a
Merlin on guard was quiet.

Other than John Martin which was mostly iced over, the reservoirs were all
open water, the large numbers of Western Meadowlarks and Great Blue Herons
seemed indicative of the mild winter we've had, eight raptor species with
very high counts were seen at all locations, including a couple Harlan's
Red-tailed Hawks, two Prairie Falcons, a Merlin, over 40 Northern Harriers,
many Ferruginous Hawks including more dark-morphs than I'd previously seen,
and lots of Rough-legged Hawks. Perched American Kestrals and Northern
Shrikes were plentiful and it occurred to me that they had a lot to choose
from with all open ground, no snow cover. Notable misses were no Loons, no
Longspurs.

Dan Stringer
Larkspur, CO

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