Sunday, May 18, 2008

Too much sleep

I had ambitious plans to embark on a Big Green Big Day on Saturday, May 17th. But when I woke up and saw that it was light outside, I knew I had blown it. I had slept through my 3:30 am alarm and woke up at 6 instead. I decided that an all out epic bike ride would probably kill me anyway, so I just rode up to the OSMP Lindsey property where I work every day to track down some neat things I've been seeing up there. I made a stop by the Mesa Trailhead first to see if there was anything good around. Here I picked up YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (#180) and LAZULI BUNTING (#181). I hiked around the Lindsey property for a few hours, searching for an Ovenbird I had heard on the 15th and also looking for a Rock Wren up on one of the hogbacks. Didn't have any luck with those two, but did find singing VIRGINIA'S WARBLERS (#182), a SWAINSON'S THRUSH (#183), a LESSER GOLDFINCH (#184) and a COMMON POORWILL (#185) on a nest!

Chasing Migrants

Cassin's Vireo
American Robin
Wilson's Warbler

On the morning of May 14, word of a Swainson's Warbler at Sale Lake came from Walter Szeliga. I had just arrived at my office, but decided that it was worth leaving work for a few hours to chase such an incredible bird. I rode up to Sale Lake to join throngs of searchers. No one found the Swainson's again :-( However, it was a happening place and I picked up a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (#173) and a CASSIN'S VIREO (#174). A Summer Tanager had also been reported that morning along Boulder Creek. When I went to look for that, I again could not find the bird, but did have two fly-over EVENING GROSBEAKS (#175).

On May 15, I birded along Boulder Creek in hopes of finding that Tanager. No luck, again. There were few birds in the area around Folsom and the Buff's Stadium. I did find a HERMIT THRUSH (#176) feeding in the path. I found a great pocked of migrants near the Confluence Ponds, including one LEAST FLYCATCHER (#177). There were two singing Wilson's Warblers, Western Wood-Pewee, Orange-crowned Warblers and many Yellow-rumps. Along the Centential Path on the north side of the Burke I property, there was a calling SORA (#178) and singing BOBOLINKS (#179).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

East meets West

You never really know what will turn up where. Walter Szeliga called me this morning to report a continuing Black-throated Gray Warbler and an American Redstart. The BT Gray is a western warbler, breeding in Pinyon/Juniper woodlands. Redstarts are an eastern species. They both managed to find the small patches of cottonwoods around Sale Lake in north Boulder. This tiny little pond and the riparian habitat that surrounds it have already produced several good vagrant warblers this spring including Northern Waterthrush and Black-and-white Warbler. I rode out after work this afternoon. The first thing I heard when I stopped to get off my bike was a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (#170). With Walter's help, I tracked down the AMERICAN REDSTART (#171) and the BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (#172). I visited Walden Ponds after Sale Lake, but didn't turn up anything of note there except stunning views of the continuing American Bittern.

On May 9, I birded along Boulder Creek before work. I picked up a singing WARBLING VIREO (#168) and an adult BROAD-WINGED HAWK (#169)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


There's only one downside to birding. If done correctly, there aught to be very little time left over for other worldly needs, such as blogging. Such is the case as of late. I have really been going at it gung-ho. Since Jan 6th, when I bought my bike computer, I've ridden 539 miles.
The best bird of the year, so far, was a Ruff (see field sketch above) that was present at Boulder Reservoir on May 1. Ted Floyd discovered it in the morning, and it stuck around all day giving me the opportunity to ride out to see it after work. The rarest bird that I have discovered was a White-eyed Vireo on May 6 at the Greenlee Preserve. Standing at 168.

Here's a list of the birds I have seen since my last blog post, in order of oldest to newest:

Big Blue Stem Trail, April 8, 2008

Bushtit (# 109)
Cooper's Hawk (# 110)
White-throated Swift
Peregrine Falcon

Westview Drive, April 12, 2008

White-crowned Sparrow

Pella Crossing, April 13, 2008

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler

Lagerman Reservoir, April 13, 2008

Baird's Sandpiper

Boulder Reservoir, April 17, 2008

White-faced Ibis
Marbled Godwit
Wilson's Phalarope
Sandhill Crane
Least Sandpiper (# 120)

Gregory Canyon, April 20, 2008

Canyon Wren
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Clark's Nutcracker

Walden Ponds, April 20, 2008

Bank Swallow

Boulder Reservoir, April 20, 2008

Eared Grebe

Cherryvale Office, April 22, 2008

Brown-headed Cowbird
Vesper Sparrow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Baseline Reservoir, April 22, 2008

Spotted Sandpiper (#130)

Bobolink Trail, April 22, 2008

House Wren

Greenlee Preserve, April 25, 2008

Solitary Sandpiper
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Violet-green Swallow
Chimney Swift
White-throated Sparrow
North Teller Lake, April 25, 2008

Black-necked Stilt
Semipalmated Plover

Walden Ponds, April 25, 2008

Western Sandpiper
American Bittern (# 140)
Orange-crowned Warbler

Sale Lake, April 27, 2008

Black-and-white Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

Soccar fields near Diagonal Highway, April 27, 2008

Chipping Sparrow
Boulder Reservoir, April 27, 2008

Savanna Sparrow

Walden Ponds, April 27, 2008

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Brewer's Sparrow
Virginia Rail
Lincoln's Sparrow

Bike Path east of Foothills Parkway, April 27, 2008

Lark Sparrow (# 150)
Swainson's Hawk

Walden Ponds, April 29, 2008

Long-billed Dowitcher
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Kingbird

Boulder Reservoir, May 1, 2008


House .3 mi south of Boulder Res, fixing flat tire, May 1, 2008

Plumbeous Vireo

Cottonwood Trail, May 1, 2008

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Walden Ponds, May 4, 2008

Bullock's Oriole

Valmont Reservoir, May 4, 2008

Common Loon

Walden Ponds, May 5, 2008

Yellow Warbler (# 160)

Lookout Road, May 5, 2008

Western Kingbird
Burrowing Owl

Back at Walden Ponds, May 5, 2008
Great Egret

Greenlee Preserve, May 6, 2008

White-eyed Vireo

Mt. Sanitas Trail, May 7, 2008

Dusky Flycatcher

Gregory Canyon Trail Head, May 7, 2008

Black-headed Grosbeak
Western Tanager (# 167)