Date: 4/24/18 9:39 pm
From: Josh Bruening <87211jjb...>
Subject: [cobirds] Rigden Reservoir-Fort Collins-Larimer County

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.

Bird is the word!

Josh Bruening
Fort Collins

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