Date: 11/17/20 5:07 pm
From: Tom Wilberding <twilberding...>
Subject: [cobirds] Wild Turkeys, Adams County

Hello birders,
No rarities to report, just a rather unusual Wild Turkey sighting.

Barb and I took advantage of the warm, sunny weather today and rode our
bikes from the Bluff Lake Nature Center northwest along Sand Creek on the
Sand Creek bike path to the confluence of Sand Creek and the South. Platte
River. An industrial corridor. Barb: “When’s it going to get pretty?”

The most birds we saw was at the Denver sewage plant, the effluence at the
confluence, the sudsy, sulfurous cascades below the plant. Here there were
hundreds of American Wigeon and Northern Shovelers frantically gobbling up
whatever was flowing from Denver’s Cloaca Maxima.

We biked south on the South Platte River bike path to the spooky necropolis
of Riverside Cemetery, home of Augusta Tabor since 1895 and Governor John
Evans since 1897. We stopped for a break before heading back. Barb heard
some rustling in the leaves below us on the bank. “Turkeys!”

There were four adults crouching on the bank next to a King Sooper grocery
cart and broken concrete. A passing local bicyclists said he photographed
them here in the spring when they were poults and later watched them become
jakes and jennies, now Toms and hens. Location here:

It was a strange Thanksgiving tableau, far from Currier & Ives. These
turkeys were at home with the sounds, sights, and smells of the Denver
sewage plant, the Cherokee coal plant, rumbling coal trains, roaring semis,
a homeless encampment, an oil refinery, and a concrete crushing mill.

Nature persists, even in difficult conditions, and so may we all this
Thanksgiving and in the coming months 'til spring, when the pandemic may
finally end.

Tom Wilberding
Littleton, CO

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