Date: 10/21/18 7:34 pm From: David Tønnessen <davidtonnessenx...> Subject: [cobirds] Kiowa County 10/20
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