Date: 5/14/18 7:40 am
From: 'Dan Stringer' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: [cobirds] SE Colo 5-11, 12, 13
I tried to wait until all the good birders and birds had passed through SE
Colo before I visited, but I ran into a few of both this weekend anyway.
Highlights in the Carrizo and Cottonwood Canyon area (Baca County) were
Long-billed Curlew, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, skylarking Cassin's sparrow,
Black-throated Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Olive-sided Flycatcher,
Ash-throated Flycatcher, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Canyon Wren, Bewick's
Wren, Blue Grosbeak, Black-chinned Hummingbird, a Golden Eagle being
harassed by a Chihuahuan Raven (amazing size difference), Juniper Titmouse,
Cassin's Kingbird.

At Hasty Campground (Bent County) highlights were Lazuli Bunting, Indigo
Bunting, Ovenbird, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat. Melody Tempel
Grove (Bent) had Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, Orange-crowned
Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Ovenbird, Red-headed Woodpecker.

At Lamar Community College Woods (Prowers County) on Friday evening a
beautiful Hooded Warbler made a brief but prominent eye-level appearance,
and near the sign at the north end was a Field Sparrow. Back in there early
Sunday was light rain, mist and cool, from 6 a.m. to 9 really slow and
quiet, Northern Cardinal, Mississippi Kites, and three thousand mourning
Doves. Then it cleared up and got a bit more active, a Black & White
Warbler (female I think), Warbling and Red-eyed Vireo, still pretty slow.
As I was leaving, standing between the woods and parking area with trees on
both sides, a large flock of about 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers came through
and with them were a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Mourning Warbler, and a
stunner Northern Parula. Warblers 30 feet up hopping around between the
edge of the woods and trees in the grassy area, acting like they were
famished, it seemed more overwhelming due to the high count of YRWA, but it
was exciting and dizzying to pick out these three fast-moving special
warblers...two minutes like that has never quite happened before for me.

On the south side of Thurston Reservoir (Prowers) I heard a Yellow-billed
Cuckoo, just southeast of there photographed a single Sandhill Crane,
strolling along in a field of corn stubble? At Neenoshe Reservoir (Kiowa
County) I saw Snowy Plovers, a Common Tern sitting right next to a
Bonaparte's Gull, and a flying Forster's Tern. At the Kiowa County side of
Adobe Creek Reservoir, numerous Yellow Warblers and a Wilson's Warbler were
in the Tamarisk, assumedly just passing through. At the Bent County side I
drove all the way around to the end of the public road and took the
two-track down to the water. While scoping sandpipers I heard a Tern hit
the water and come up, in my binoculars I strongly thought it may have had
a yellow bill, but it went quickly up and away, not able to identify. That
will bring me back.

All in all I saw only a moderate amount of shorebirds on all of the area
reservoirs, eleven expected species, there was a lot of lonesome shoreline.
Some nice warblers in the above-mentioned places but it took three
dawn-to-dark days to find them. More Burrowing Owls than I've ever seen
along the routes, and more brilliant Bullock's Orioles than I thought
existed. And really, the highlight of the weekend was not so much birds,
but rather the amazing Carrizo Canyon which I hiked in both directions from
the parking area till I was ready to drop. A very wild and beautiful place.

Dan Stringer
Larkspur, CO

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