Date: 2/7/18 2:20 pm
From: Tim Johnson <johnsthotrnstn...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Out of season Long-billed Dowitcher continues at York St & S Platte River
The Long-billed Dowitcher remains exactly where Joe Roller reported him;
and we saw him the minute we parked our car and crossed the canal to the
sandbar in the river. Also, if you park 1/2 mile north at the Sand Creek
mouth you can see 5 or 6 Black-crowned Night Herons which perch in the
cottonwoods at the bridge next to the outflow from the water treatment
plant. They have been there for several years. Candice Johnson, Denver

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 2:16:15 PM UTC-7, Joe Roller wrote:
> A basic plumage Long-billed Dowitcher, first reported to eBird by Gabriel
> Wiltse on Sunday, Jan 28, was seen today at 12:30 PM
> at the York St bridge across the South Platte River. See directions below.
> *
> Tom Whitten had found the bird on Jan 25 and after he and I tried again
> with no luck, he saw it again yesterday, Feb 6, when he captured splendid
> image seen below. Previous photos by Gabriel and Tom had been taken in poor
> light, so it's nice to have this one.
> The bird is usually feeds within 50 meters of that bridge, upstream or
> down, although Tom's first sighting was farther downstream at the mouth
> of Sand Creek.
> Today I saw the bird in excellent light, with a 25-60 zoom scope, about 40
> meters away. It was probing in it's Singer sewing machine/Dowitcher
> feeding style in shallow water, and I also saw it sleeping, with its long
> bill tucked under a wing, and preening.
> Description _ This was a rotund, gray shorebird, medium sized and it had
> that "swallowed a grapefruit" or rounded back appearance, that
> is not diagnostic, but often seen, compared to the flat back of the
> Short-billed Dowitcher. The bill was quite perfectly straight, long, dark,
> a bit paler near the base. Legs were yellowish-green.
> It had a narrow, white supercilum, gray head, neck and upper back. Wings
> and back were nearly gray, but with some brownish feather edgings.
> The flanks were white, spotted not barred, suggesting Long-billed over its
> less endowed cousin.
> Belly and lower chest were white, breast and throat light gray.
> Tail was banded above, with dark bands wider than white.
> Bird was silent and not seen in flight.
> Similar species:
> Short-billed Dowitcher has barred flanks, and white tail bands are wider
> than black ones. Bill size is not reliable, but this one looks long.
> When I heard in January that this dowitcher had been found, I checked
> eBird and found no CO records for Jan through mid Feb, so this bird
> is quite out of season. It may have spent the winter in this suitable
> ice-free S Platte habitat. Who knows?
> * Driving NW on Interstate 270, exit at York Street and drive south and
> eventually cross the S Platte River. I chose to park just past the bridge
> on the right shoulder, where some gravel trucks were resting. I would not
> leave a vehicle here all day, but it is not signed. I suggest sticking to
> the South Platte trail and staying off the bridge, as it is not totally
> safe with a crumbly sidewalk and big trucks rumbling past.
> OR reach that site by driving east on 58th Ave from I-25 to the junction
> with York, then continue across the bridge and park.
> By the way, my eyes and nose told me that this area is the foul underbelly
> of the Denver industrial zone. It would qualify for the
> axilla of the metro area, but that honor has been garnered by the oil
> refinery complex nestled nearby along Brighton Blvd.
> Joe Roller, Denver
> [image: Inline image 1]

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