Shorebirds and warblers in San Miguel and Dolores counties.
Brenda and I checked out the reservoirs and pines in San Miguel and Dolores counties. We camped last night at Glade Lake in Dolores County.
Best bird at Miramonte Reservoir was a single Greater Yellowlegs. A falcon was present which spells no shorebirds. On the way we did find a Cassin's Kingbird in Dry Creek Basin.
On to Groundhog Reservoir to find a flock of ibis and a few Lewis Wooodpeckers on the way. We check out some farm ponds but not luck there either.
Glade Lake has a lot of water but not a good place for shore birds. There were lots of ducks, one Sandhill Crane and one Lesser Yellowlegs.
This morning we decided to spend some time birding the ponderosa pines. Most nesting species are still present and some are still singing including Grace's Warblers. A pool near the road provided us with the best birding and the biggest surprise. Several birds were bathing and then flying into a small aspen to preen. First, I noticed a Nashville Warbler. Then in came a yellowish, slightly orange warbler with a large yellow complete eyebrow. The warbler bathed then preened and repeated the process over again three times while just a few feet away. The warbler was a Blackburning Warbler. I am still trying to work out if it was a hatch year male or a fall plumage adult. It looked very similar to the one in our yard on 9 September 2006. A car sped by and frightened the birds off before we could get pictures.
The exact location is 10.5 miles from the Bradfield Bridge on Forest Road 504 headed to The Glade. A culvert at this point drains a dry creek under the road. The pool is on the west side of the road.
I was just reading in "Peterson's Field Guide to Warblers" that most vagrant records for Blackburning Warblers are fall records west of the Great Plains. In California, which had 475 records by 1995, 90% were fall records.
We should look over our Townsend's Warblers a little more closely in western Colorado. Maybe a Blackburning Warbler could be lurking.
Just north of Cahone a Solitary Sandpiper was feeding at a farm pond on the west side of the highway to Dove Creek. All other birds were expected.