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fab fall birding at the old hotchkiss sewage plant

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  • Andrea Robinsong
    I had a parallel experience to coen and brenda s yesterday right here where I live [hotchkiss, not the old sewage plant]. There were hundreds of butter butts
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2011
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      I had a parallel experience to coen and brenda's yesterday right here
      where I live [hotchkiss, not the old sewage plant].

      There were hundreds of butter butts in the area around the old sewage
      plant...all plumages and stages of molt seen. I heard their squeeky
      chips in all the cottonwoods that line the drive to the plant and I
      pished up a storm of warblers as I walked around the russian olive,
      willow and cat-tail lined settling pond.

      If I had experienced my migrating flock earlier in the day than C & B
      enjoyed theirs I would suspect they were the same flock heading south as
      there were several surprises in common: House Wren, Chipping Sparrow,
      Orange-Crowned Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow.

      I wish someone else could have seen that White-throated Sparrow.
      Instead of having a brilliant yellow spot by the eye, this bird had a
      brilliant yellow eyebrow lined with black feathers above and below it
      and also encircling the brilliant white throat. Spectacular birdie.

      I had a good look at a very bright first Fall female Nashville Warbler.
      I saw one Myrtle BB and oh yes, I forgot until I checked my notes
      today...there was that Prairie Warbler...

      I have just returned from a fantastic Fall birding experience in the
      Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. In Key West where I stayed for two weeks
      I saw gorgeous tropical trees full of gorgeous Prairie Warblers all day
      every day everywhere. They love pishing and I was able to get snapshots
      of a dozen of them.

      I'm not trying to rub it in but just want to make the point that I have
      become so familiar with their facial markings just in the past two weeks
      that when a face popped up close to me I recognized it as a Prairie. It
      was in a darkish thicket and I could see the bill was pink. I also rule
      out Townsend's because of the jizz [sp?]of the face and the pattern. I
      see Townsend's [and Blackburian] as having angular lines and Prairie as
      having soft round lines in their facial patterns. I studied pictures
      today and I do think I stared at a Prairie Warbler's face on Saturday.
      I only saw the face from the side and no more of the bird.

      I heard a Common Yellowthroat in the reeds but did not get a look.

      In addition to that spectacular White-throated Sparrow I saw several
      Song Sparrows, afore-mentioned Chipping Sparrow, many White-crowned
      Sparrows and the afore-mentioned Lincoln's Sparrow.

      When I first arrived there were swallows flying around but they were
      gone before I could look at them. An hour later, circa 1:00pm I saw
      approx a dozen White-throated Swifts hawking above me. There may have
      been many more higher up.

      I was interested to see that flickers will not be on the endangered list
      in nucla. Assumedly because of the giant siberian elm die-off and gross
      bug fest that's been going on here for five years I have been referring
      to Hotchkiss as the flicker capital of colorado. I have looked out my
      window and seen twenty of them out grazing in my lawn.

      I am sooo happy to return to a corvid-filled landscape. We suffered a
      dismal corvidless five years after West Nile first struck our valley.
      This Fall magpies and Pinyon Jays have returned to my yard to pig out on
      sunflower seeds. Happy day. Great to hear them all yakking.

      A Western Meadowlark has moved in to the edge of the yard and sings a
      lovely [but unknown to me] song each morning. A Says Pheobe [perhaps
      one of the family that nests on the barn?] spent the afternoon hunting
      about the yard today.

      andrea robinsong
      hotchkiss
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