Date: 7/10/19 7:18 pm From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...> Subject: [cobirds] Chatfield upstream of Kingfisher Bridge July 9
I made my first visit to the newly opened areas of Chatfield SP yesterday, and my first to explore the rich area of the Platte upstream of Kingfisher Bridge, to see a little bit of what happened with vegetation management and the birds. Flooding on both the Douglas and Jefferson sides limits access, but there is a nice section on both sides. It was more time consuming to access the areas on the JeffCo side, as there are no maintained access trails, and there are some wet areas and lots of poison ivy to negotiate, I went in from near the western side gravel ponds. Normal shoes were fine.
I had 2-3 *Red-eyed Vireos* on the Jefferson side. One was singing in the vicinity of where the former riverside trail had a turn-around loop at the end of its paved section. The bird was in the same tree singing both in the morning and near sunset. Easy to hear, but hard to spot the singer. Another sang on my morning visit about 200 m upstream from there, and in the evening we had great looks at one near the western edge of the cottonwoods. I heard 8* Least Flycatchers *vocalizing from the Douglas side and 7 Leasts on the JeffCo side. Great looks at some, and one nest with young. A female *American Redstart *was on the JeffCo side where the riverside trail is flooded at the upstream end (less than a mile up from Kingfisher). But it was sad to see that the habitat at this species' flavored local patch along the trail no longer exists.
I don't have enough info to say much on numbers of common bird, except I thought *Western Wood-Pewee* (esp), *House Wren*, *Yellow Warbler* and *Gray Catbird* were low. *Chats* were continually audible and seemed numerous. I thought there were more *Song Sparrows* and *Lesser Goldfinches* than avg.
A bittersweet highlight came with the fall of a very large cottonwood along the Douglas side of the Platte. We heard some cracks and whacks and then saw the tree keel over into the river, some distance upstream. I couldn't get close enough to confirm, but I guess the river undercut the bank and down it went.