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2053an early bird, a very late bird and an uncommon one

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  • Andrea Robinsong
    Nov 2, 2007
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      What a beautiful day on our tiny part of the planet!
      Larry Arnold and I met at Cheney at dawn, then toured some other Mesa
      County waterholes.
      At Cheney we found a good variety of ducks [with lots of canvasbacks...I
      sure am partial to these elegant birds and so pleased to see their
      numbers coming back in W. Co.] There were also pie-billed and eared
      grebes...maybe a dozen EAGR.
      Next we visited Corn Lake and the Clifton Ponds. Corn Lake had a
      cormorant and the suspiciously tame snow goose that we've seen before.
      We found both the early and the late at Clifton Sewer Ponds. The early
      [not by much] is a juvenile Barrows Goldeneye. We based the ID on Sibley's.
      On the back pond, not visible from the road, I refound the Black-necked
      Stilt that we found in October. Larry tells me that there are no
      previous Co. records for this species in November.
      To access the back pond, you can turn E. on the first rd. N. of the
      sewage pond along the highway. This will take you past construction to a
      little parking area from which you can see a path along a ditch with
      water heading S. towards the Co. River. This lovely path turns W. and
      follows the river until you can see the pond where the stilt was hanging
      out on the W. shore this morning. We also had a Lincoln's Sparrow mixed
      in with the many Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Marsh Wrens
      that were singing and chittering along the ditch.
      D Rd was a dud. We didn't find anything exciting at Shiprock, either.
      I stopped at Confluence Park in Delta on the way home.
      I put up my scope on the shore at the main parking area and immediately
      had by far best ever looks at a Red-breasted Merganser which was
      swimming very close by with adult breeding female Common Mergansers and
      adult non-breeding drake common mergs. I also saw 4 Western Grebes.
      I tried for the vireo, Jason!
      Last stop was S. Payne Siding which had the most ducks of all.
      I was too tired to scope it but did look carefully with the binocs.
      Nothing jumped out at me but I was far away. This would probably be a
      good place for someone to scope. There has been no hunting there so far
      which I believe may contribute to the big numbers of ducks..
      Hope you can get out and do some birding this weekend,
      andrea robinsong
      hotchkiss