Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Migration Rarity

Boulder County is a fantastic place for any type of outdoor activity. It features a range of ecosystems from semi-arid prairies to high alpine peaks reaching 14,000 ft. During migration that diversity can lead to a number of unusual visitors, who knows if it is more or less attractive than other locales along the migration route. What is certain, is that Boulder County and the surrounding area have a great combination of prime locations and dedicated expert birders to go sniff out those rarities. It makes it easy for a newbie like myself to get to experience some really great birds that I would otherwise not get a chance to see.

In this case Bill Schmoker, who introduced me to the fun of Christmas Bird Counts, shared his sighting details of a Lesser Tern at Six Mile Reservoir in Boulder. Fortunately for me the bird remained in the area and was relocated around midday yesterday. I decided to give the location a shot after work yesterday. From my pics it wouldn't have been clear that the bird on the far shore was a Least Tern, fortunately a fellow birder was there with a scope at the ready, and we were able to reconfirm the id.

Here is a bit tighter crop, again, not enough to go on from here to confirm a rarity, but with the scope we were able to see more detail on the bill and legs and confirm that we were seeing the same individual.

Thanks to Bill for sharing the sighting details, and Art, (I believe), for the view through his scope.

2009 Count: 186
Lifetime: 194

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