Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warm Weekend Wrap-up

I enjoyed two mornings outdoors this weekend, before spending the afternoons watching college basketball and the NFL Championships.
Yesterday morning I took a walk over to my local open space, Tom Frost Reservoir. It was a great day to bask in warm sunshine. I checked the pond and found the usual waterfowl, the common mergansers were gone, leaving the Coots, Mallards, and a few Canadian Geese. I found some Mourning Doves in a grove that were patient and willing to perch while I took some photos.

On my return leg of the loop I spotted some Western Meadowlarks on a fence, they were my first of the year, and first seen in Colorado since I started keeping my lists.

I had left the pond and was heading back to my neighborhood when I turned around to take a less muddy trail, there just off the trail and a dozen feet behind me a Kestrel male was landing. He watched me for a few moments, and eventually retreated to a nearby tree. It was a great closing to a good morning.

This morning I wanted to capitalise on the weather and get a good few hours of birding in. I decided to head to Jefferson County, (southwest of Broomfield), a county I had not yet birded. I decided to head for Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge. I knew of it from my work at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, but had not yet been there.
Despite having a partial seasonal closure the refuge was still a nice place for a walk. I listed 12 species, including a White Crowned Sparrow which was an additional pickup for the season.

Finding that the area was smaller than I had expected I came back to Broomfield and dropped by Plaster Reservoir to see if the warmer temps had cleared the ice much. It was somewhat more open, and in addition to 2 Common Mergansers, a group of Ring Necked Ducks, and some Shovelers there were a group of Lesser Scaup.

I dropped into a grove of Russian Olives in the area to let the resident Robins acclimate to me, and found to my surprise another group of White Crowned Sparrows.

Nothing too spectacular, and no new lifelist ticks, but a pair of spectacular days outside in January.

2009 Count: 49

Lifetime: 84

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