Date: 10/21/18 7:34 pm
From: David T√łnnessen <davidtonnessenx...>
Subject: [cobirds] Kiowa County 10/20
Evening folks,

Apologies for a late posting, but yesterday David Dowell and I birded Kiowa
county's larger reservoirs and discovered much activity. The entire day was
cloudless and temperatures started in the 30s but rose swiftly into the low
70s Fahrenheit. Starting pre-dawn at Neenoshe Reservoir, we amassed large
numbers of waterfowl of good diversity from the south peninsula. Most
notable waterbirds here proved to be 2 *Common Loons* and 11 *White-winged
Scoters* that Dowell spotted amongst a raft of Aythya ducks, the largest
single group of this species that either of us had encountered in Colorado.
Shorebirds were present in small numbers at the main reservoir, and we
found much larger numbers at the disjunct southeast pond. An apparent *Short-billed
Dowitcher* called its high 3-note "tu-tu-tu" around dawn at the south
peninsula of the main reservoir, and other shorebirds present included
*Greater* and *Lesser Yellowlegs*, *Long-billed Dowitchers* in the
hundreds, over a hundred *Stilt Sandpipers*, 2 very late *Wilson's
Phalaropes*, *Least Sandpipers*, *Pectoral Sandpipers* and a *Baird's
Sandpiper*. However, the highlight of our visit to this reservoir was
surely the sheer numbers of sparrows present; highly vocal *White-crowned
Sparrows* had invaded almost every patch of brush between the peninsula and
the southwest parking lot, and it would not surprise me if a few thousand
were present around this body of water total. Mixed in we found multitudes
of *Lincon's* and *Song Sparrows*, plus 3 *Swamp Sparrows*, 9 *White-throated
Sparrows*, 6 *Harris's Sparrows*, and 2 *Field Sparrows,* the most of any
of these species I have personally ever encountered at once in the state.
Non-sparrows of note while in the woods and brush included fly-by *Eastern*
and *Mountain Bluebirds*, a *Winter Wren*, a *Rock Wren*, *Orange-crowned*
, *Myrtle* and *Audubon's Warblers*, and a beautiful iridescent *Rusty
Blackbird*. Small groups of *Snow Geese* including a single *Ross's* were
flying over calling throughout, as were longspurs composed mainly of
*Chestnut-collared* but also a few *McCown's* and a *Lapland *or two. They
forage in the post-agricultural fields to the south heavily.

We birded Neegronda and the two Queens Reservoirs briefly, and found
nothing quite as extraordinary. A *Lesser Black-backed Gull* was on Upper
Queens, but to be fair, there is always a Lesser Black-backed Gull at Upper
Queens no matter the season (or so it seems).

Because time was allowing, Dave Dowell and I also drove out to Adobe Creek
Reservoir and found some interesting presence there. An extremely late *Piping
Plover* (eBird says latest by a month) and *Snowy Plover *stood together
indolently on the east side of the res, just barely in Kiowa County. A *Red-throated
Loon* and 4 *Red-breasted Mergansers *were also notable birds on the Kiowa
County side. South of here, in the Bent County portion of the reservoir, 3 *Black-bellied
Plovers* and a *Sanderling* among Baird's Sandpipers added to the list of
slight peculiars.


Good Fork-tailed Flycatcher-chasing,
David Tonnessen
Colorado Springs, CO

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