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NW Colorado, 3/31 and 4/1

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  • Andrew Spencer
    Hi all, This past weekend Nathan Pieplow, John Trimarco (a non-birding friend of mine), and I headed to the Browns Park area of Moffat County. The main goal of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2007
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      Hi all,
      This past weekend Nathan Pieplow, John Trimarco (a non-birding
      friend of mine), and I headed to the Browns Park area of Moffat County.
      The main goal of the trip was to see if we could find and document
      California Quail, which I saw in the area last summer, but has yet to be
      documented in the state. Alas, we did not find any quail, and in
      general the birding was slow. We checked out just about all of the
      appropriate habitat for the quail in the area, and in our opinion by far
      the best is at the Beaver Creek SWA just across from the Browns Park NWR
      HQ, and at the HQ itself.

      We did see a large number of Sage Sparrows, including at least two
      flocks, which appeared to be migrating birds (one flock had at least 15
      birds in it). Only two individuals were found singing. Two Northern
      Shrikes were seen near the Browns Park NWR, and a Loggerhead Shrike was
      seen along C-14 southwest of Walden. Many Juniper Titmice were singing
      at the Gates of Lodore. We heard a few Chukar calling early in the
      morning at the Irish Canyon campground, and a very vocal Northern
      Saw-whet Owl kept us company there at night.

      The Tundra Swans have apparently left the Perch Ponds south of
      Craig, but we did see (thanks to Forrest Luke) a male Barrow's Goldeneye
      at the gravel ponds on the west side of C-13 just south of Craig. A few
      Tree Swallows had returned to various spots in Moffat County, but
      Burrowing Owls, Rails, summer teal species, and most sparrow species
      have not.

      On a side note, the Browns Park NWR has a decent amount of water in
      it for the first time in a number of years, and assuming the water stays
      through the spring should provide for some good birding. I encourage
      anyone who wants to explore somewhere that very few birders go to head
      to this area; the birding is good, the scenery is outrageously gorgeous,
      and the remoteness makes for a great experience. Good birding to all,

      Andrew Spencer
      Centennial, CO
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