Date: 2/6/19 1:40 pm
From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...>
Subject: [cobirds] Elbert and eastern Arapahoe counties Feb 5
I owled some across the north central tier of Elbert County early yesterday
morning, encountering *Nor. Saw-whet Owl* in the pine forest block at
Elizabeth (a cool but short visual of a bird perched on a roadside fence
post), *Eastern Screech-Owl *at East Bijou Creek and Big Sandy Creek, *Barn
owl *at East Bijou Creek and, of course, a number of *Great Horned
Owls *holding
forth. It was near calm and the dark starry skies were amazing, until the
fog toward sunrise.

I was impressed to encounter 3 winter *Loggerhead Shrikes*. One in
northeastern Elbert at CR 178 east of CR 133 had no winter season precedent
in eBird for the county. Two in Arapahoe County included one at CR 241
continuing from when I saw it on Jan 2, and another at CR 42. That's Three
Loggerheads on Feb 5, but I did not find any Northern Shrikes all day!
A *White-throated
Sparrow* with juncos was a treat at the CR 241 shrike spot. There were
several flocks of 30-250* Lapland Longspurs* eastern Arapahoe, all in grain
stubble fields. Elbert had few raptors but a single *Rough-legged
Hawk*, *Ferruginous
Hawk *and *Golden Eagle*, but the wide expanses of Arapahoe seemed nearly
raptor free, yielding only 3 *Red-tailed Hawks* and 2 *Am. Kestrels *up to
me.

Richmil Ranch Open Space in Arapahoe is a lovely spot, but don't go there
now to practice counting birds. I made the 1.5 mile loop walk in good
conditions, but had only four individual birds to count actually in the
open space preserve: 3 *Eastern Bluebirds* (a treat) and one *Hairy
Woodpecker.*

David Suddjian
Ken Caryl Valley
Littleton, CO

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