December 27, 2011

Longmont Christmas Bird Count

To kick off the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season, we participated in the Longmont count circle with Bryan Guarente on Dec. 17th.  Our plan for the day was to hike a bit of Hall Ranch and spend the rest of the day trekking through the partially frozen Saint Vrain River in waders.
At Hall Ranch, we hiked one and a half miles through the juniper scrubland picking up many Western Scrub-Jays (12) and Townsend's Solitaires (22), plus a Spotted Towhee meowing in the shrubs and a male Cassin's Finch amongst the numerous House Finches.

Hall Ranch

We covered four miles of river from the intersection of Highways 36 and 66 (just east of Lyons, CO) to half way up Apple Valley Road (northwest of town).

One of 18 American Dippers seen up the river.

Left to right: Marcel Such, Joel Such, and Bryan Guarente 

This video will give you a good idea of what it was like to walk through some parts of the river.

After our excursion on the river, we drove around the remaining area including the Lyons Cemetery (1 Merlin), and up Red Gulch Road (19 Wild Turkeys).


Bird Count:
Mallard – 10 in the river.
Wild Turkey – 19 in the tops of trees at the bottom of Red Gulch Road.
Sharp-shinned Hawk – fly-by.
Cooper’s Hawk – along the river.
Bald Eagle – immature on the foothills highway, and adult flying low over the river.
Golden Eagle – perched on the sandstone cliffs of Steamboat Mountain.
Red-tailed Hawk – seen here and there.
Harlan’s Hawk – perched on a power pole along the Foothills Highway.
American Kestrel – 11 mostly along the Foothills Highway.
Merlin – perched in the top of a backyard tree near the Lyons Cemetery.
Rock Pigeon – 47 along the Foothills Highway.
Eurasian Collared-Dove – 27 around the Lyons Cemetery.
Belted Kingfisher – along the river.
Downy Woodpecker – 7
“Red-shafted” Flicker – 21
Steller’s Jay – on Twilight Road and Hall Ranch.
Blue Jay – along the river.
Western Scrub-Jay – 13 at Hall Ranch.
Black-billed Magpie – 32 along the Foothills Highway and Hall Ranch
American Crow – or so heard only.
Common Raven – 13 along the river.
Black-capped Chickadee – 24 mostly along the river.
White-breasted Nuthatch – at Hall Ranch.
Brown Creeper – along Apple Valley Road.
Canyon Wren – on the sandstone cliffs of Meadow Park.
Winter Wren – at the very south end of Apple Valley Road along the river.
American Dipper – 18 along the river (last year’s dipper count was over 40).
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – along Apple Valley Road.
Townsend’s Solitaire – 44 mostly at Hall Ranch with a few along the river.
American Robin – 163
European Starling – 54 in the town of Lyons.
Spotted Towhee – at Hall Ranch.
American Tree Sparrow – mixed in with flocks of juncos.
Song Sparrow – along the river.
White-crowned Sparrow – in with the mixed sparrow flocks along the river.
Dark-eyed Junco – 127
   Unidentified – 28
   Pink-sided – 60
   Slate-colored – 22
   Oregon – 16
   Gray-headed – 1
Red-winged Blackbird – along the Foothills Highway.
Cassin’s Finch – at Hall Ranch.
House Finch – 96
American Goldfinch – along the river.
House Sparrow – 18 in Lyons.

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