November 22, 2008

Recent Birding Adventures

Now that the leaves have fallen and fall migration has passed, we have turned our attention from the migrants and recently departed summer residents of Colorado, to our bird feeders and local lakes and reservoirs. 

As expected, the juncos returned in the first week of October and the winter flocks of nuthatches and chickadees are coming through. An unexpected bird was a Northern Shrike that showed up on November 5th. It may be staying for the winter, as we saw it again on November 20th.  

Northern Shrike - by Marcel Such, 11-5-08

Around noon today we went down to Baseline Reservoir in Boulder to look for a Long-tailed Duck that had been reported earlier today. The lighting was good, and we searched for over a half-hour with no success. We also searched for a Barrow's Goldeneye among the hordes of Commons, but with no success. 

Bird Count for Baseline Reservoir:
Canada Goose - 15
Mallard - 2 males, 2 females
Bufflehead - 2 males, 5 females
Common Goldeneye - 30, half males, half females
Hooded Merganser - 1 male
Red-breasted Merganser - 4 females
Unidentified Raptor - 1
Ring-billed Gull - 20
American Goldfinch - 2

After Baseline we went to an overlook of Hillcrest Reservoir, part of the Valmont Power Plant cooling lakes. 

Bird Count for Hillcrest Reservoir: 
Gadwall - 1
Canvasback - 4
Red-breasted Merganser - 4 females
Pied-billed Grebe - 4
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Coot - 10
Rock Pigeon - 20

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