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2016 Field Trip Reports

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: December 11, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 12

Highlights: The group attending this month’s survey observed large numbers of Bushtits and Red Crossbills, plus a handful of late Spotted Towhees. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32980625.

Riverbend Ponds Natural Area

Date: November 20, 2016

Leader: John Shenot

Other attendees: 6

Highlights: Seven people enjoyed a cold field trip this morning. They had distant looks at roosting Wild Turkeys, great looks at pairs of Northern Shrikes and Great Horned Owls, and two Virginia Rails were heard (but not seen). A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32636164.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: November 13, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 19

Highlights: This was one of our quieter surveys at this location, but a White-winged Junco was observed. This is probably the least common subspecies/race of Dark-eyed Junco in our area. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32527814.

Arapaho Bend Natural Area

Date: October 15, 2016

Leader: John Shenot

Other attendees: 15

Highlights: The folks on this field trip enjoyed spectacular weather, peak fall colors, and mountain views. Bird highlights included a Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, and a hunting Cooper's Hawk. A complete checklist of observations is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32048072.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: October 9, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 12

Highlights: The group was surprised to find a late, and somewhat out of place in this habitat, Common Yellowthroat. Two species of bluebirds (Western and Mountain) were also observed. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31971070.

Pineridge Natural Area/Dixon Reservoir

Date: October 8, 2016

Leader: Sirena Brownlee

Other attendees: 7

Highlights: The birds were quiet on this unseasonably warm morning, but attendees still enjoyed seeing Green-winged Teal, a Spotted Towhee, and three kinds of gulls – including a Franklin’s Gull. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32049021.

Wyoming Hereford Ranch

Date: October 2, 2016

Leader: Irene Fortune

Other attendees: 13

Highlights: Once again, a trip to the Ranch proved worth the drive. The group observed an Eastern Screech-Owl, a Gray Catbird, two Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a couple of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31891590.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: September 11, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 13

Highlights: Nearly 50 species were seen on this excellent day of birding, including five species of woodpeckers (including Lewis’ Woodpecker), a Peregrine Falcon, a Clark’s Nutcracker, two Sage Thrashers, and a Savannah Sparrow. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31543930.

McMurry Natural Area

Date: September 5, 2016

Leader: John Shenot

Other attendees: 3

Highlights: Lovely morning for a field trip! No rarities to report, but the group tallied over 30 species, with highlights including Wilson's Warblers, a too-brief glimpse of a Green Heron, and side-by-side comparisons of Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31432215.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: August 14, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 9

Highlights: What a day! One shy of 50 species, and some very unusual birds for this location. The group saw two Rufous Hummingbirds to complement more than two dozen Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, six Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, eight Sage Thrashers, two Virginia’s Warblers, and probably best of all, a Lark Bunting. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31094770.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: July 10, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 7

Highlights: Active nests of Western Kingbirds and Bullock’s Orioles were located today. The group also found about 70 Cliff Swallows, possibly recent fledglings, in a single dead tree. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30634024.

Sunrise Ranch (private property)

Date: June 25, 2016

Leader: Michael Costello

Other attendees: 11

Highlights: Considering the late June date, this field trip ended up being more productive than many attendees expected. More than 50 species were seen in one morning. The biggest surprises of the day, according to trip leader Michael Costello who lives on the ranch property, were a low-flying (head level) White-throated Swift, a Willow Flycatcher, and a Virginia’s Warbler that appeared to be carrying food to a nest. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30389201.

Pawnee National Grasslands

Date: June 19, 2016

Leader: Bill Miller

Other attendees: 7

Highlights: Despite the heat, attendees located 30 species on this field trip. This included Burrowing Owls, Loggerhead Shrikes feeding young, a Blue-winged Teal, and too many Lark Buntings to count! Unfortunately, a complete checklist of observations is not currently available online.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: June 12, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 16

Highlights: More than 50 species were observed on this well-attended field trip. Some of the highlights included an adult with two young Great Horned Owls, White-throated Swifts, Cordilleran Flycatchers, and Blue Grosbeaks. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30215966.

Pineridge Natural Area/Dixon Reservoir

Date: June 2, 2016

Leader: Irene Fortune

Other attendees: 3

Highlights: An evening walk on the Timber Trail was thwarted because the trail was closed. Nevertheless, birding on the Viewpoint Trail and at the Reservoir was rewarding. Highlights included a Bushtit, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Yellow-breasted Chats, and a Green-tailed Towhee. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S30052916.

CSU Environmental Learning Center

Date: May 25, 2016

Leader: Scott Cobble

Other attendees: 12

Highlights: Things started slowly when the intended trip leader didn’t arrive due to car trouble. Scott filled in and everything went well. The highlight for most was seeing a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. One birder also reported seeing an Ash-throated Flycatcher, which is highly unusual for Larimer County. Unfortunately, a complete checklist of observations is not currently available online.

Pineridge Natural Area/Dixon Reservoir

Date: May 14, 2016

Leader: Sirena Brownlee

Other attendees: 9

Highlights: Turnout was good despite cold, wet weather. The hardy souls that attended this field trip were rewarded with views of a Least Flycatcher, Gray Catbirds, three species of warblers, and a Clay-colored Sparrow. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29661922.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: May 7, 2016

Leader: David Wade

Other attendees: 7

Highlights: The group encountered huge numbers of Pine Siskins, perhaps 80 or more, along with Evening Grosbeaks, Black-headed Grosbeaks, many Chipping Sparrows, and a Plumbeous Vireo. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29467634.

North Shields Pond Natural Area

Date: April 30, 2016

Leader: John Shenot

Other attendees: 8

Highlights: We were lucky to sneak this field trip in during a brief gap in several days of cold, rainy/snowy weather. The group saw a Broad-winged Hawk, several Blue-winged Teal, a Solitary Sandpiper, and Lincoln’s Sparrows. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29301455.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: April 10, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 16

Highlights: This was a day for the “usual suspects.” Nothing out of the ordinary was seen, but the ordinary is pretty special. Who doesn’t love Pygmy Nuthatches? Seriously? Who? A trip checklist can be found here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28886053.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: March 13, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting
Other attendees: 13
Highlights: Most of the usual residents were observed today, along with a few less-expected species such as Bushtits, Mountain Bluebirds, and a very early Sage Thrasher. More than two dozen species were recorded in all: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28142989.

Watson Lake

Date: March 12, 2016

Leader: Sirena Brownlee
Other attendees: 10
Highlights: The group enjoyed watching a pair of Golden Eagles soar, sit on a nest, and feed on an animal that couldn’t quite be seen. An immature Bald Eagle chased Mallards across the lake, and a cheerful Ruby-crowned Kinglet paid a visit. A complete checklist of observations is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28124802.

River’s Edge Natural Area (Loveland)

Date: February 13, 2016

Leader: Irene Fortune
Other attendees: 14
Highlights: FCAS helped promote this field trip sponsored by the City of Loveland Natural Areas Program. Despite heavy fog and nearby hunting activity, the group observed a variety of waterfowl, including Canvasbacks and a Hooded Merganser. An early Mountain Bluebird was also observed. A checklist is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27489093.

Cache la Poudre Urban River Corridor

Date: January 23, 2016>br/> Leader: John Shenot

Other attendees: 8

Highlights: The purpose of this field trip was to highlight FCAS' efforts to get a 20-mile stretch of the Poudre River (from Watson Lake to I-25) designated by National Audubon as an "Important Bird Area (IBA)." John talked about the ecological importance of the Poudre River corridor and the process for getting an IBA designation. Along the way, we observed 20 fairly common species of birds. Some attendees enjoyed a glass of beer afterwards to continue the discussion. A checklist is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27081750.

Bobcat Ridge Monthly Survey

Date: January 10, 2016

Leader: Denise Bretting

Other attendees: 5

Highlights: Our first trip of the year witnessed the return to Bobcat Ridge of a rare Larimer County visitor, the American Woodcock. Although there are only a few documented historical records of this species in the county, it has now been seen at Bobcat Ridge two Januarys in a row! And reports from earlier in the week suggested that there are two woodcocks in the vicinity, not just one. A checklist of all birds observed is available here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26865243

See Ptarmigan for more information.