Had a hunch that the weather would knock some birds out of the sky today so I headed to Rigden Reservoir after work. There was good shorebird turnover from yesterday and the beautiful weather we experienced was drastically different today. This spot is quickly becoming one of my favorites in Fort Collins for waterfowl and shorebirds. I ended up with 68 species in two hours worth of walking and scoping. I witnessed something today I wanted to share. I was observing 2 Least Sandpipers on the northern shore when they suddenly dipped parallel to the water with their bills in the water. I thought perhaps they had become aware of my presence because they were doing their best "I'm a rock" impression by not moving a muscle. One of them quickly looked up toward the sky and away from me. That reaction caused me to do the same. Lo and behold, or should I say High and behold, above me was a Peregrine cruising by. Most are familiar with Blue Jays or Magpies tipping off the location of a Hawk or an Owl but I'm always amazed at how taking the time to watch a bird's behavior can lead to another observation I may not have made had I not been paying attention. I always wonder how many other opportunities I miss. Certainly, prey that are birds can help us locate those birds of prey. They know what to look for far better than I. Other highlights:
26-Marbled Godwits-SW corner (not here yesterday) 1-Willet-looked to be of the western ilk (not here yesterday) 1-Long-billed Dowitcher (not here yesterday) 4-Wilson's Phalaropes (FOS) (not here yesterday) Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs 11-American Avocets 2-Least Sandpipers 3-peeps that I suspect were Westerns but never got adequate looks. All 6 species of expected Colorado Swallows. I reported the individuals I counted on Ebird but also guestimated 800 swallow sp. which was probably very low. 2-Virginia Rails sounding off with their grunt displays 1-Clark's Grebe which was also present yesterday Raptors!-Bald Eagle, Osprey, Red-Tailed, Cooper's, Northern Harrier, Peregrine, and American Kestrel, Swainson's Hawk.
No previously reported Stilt or Pectoral Sandpipers yesterday or today.
The wind returns on Thursday and hopefully brings down some new birds but might keep some others in town for a day or two.