South Platte Park, January 5 – Jennifer O’Keefe

One way I remember what birds are common in different times of the year is related to weather.  For instance, I associate seeing some types of birds with not being able to feel my fingers.  Many of the birds we saw on Saturday are ones I would expect to see while shivering, but the recent warm spell had us shedding layers by the end of the walk.  

We were fortunate to see both the Trumpeter Swans and the Tundra Swan that had been reported recently, as well as the Black Scoter that’s been hanging around for awhile.  We had great looks at so many different types of birds, and were able to spend some time discussing field marks and behavior.  It can be tedious to sort out a big lake full of birds, but our group was patient while we went through them. I hope everyone came away with at least one new nugget of information.

Once we moved on from the reservoir, we saw smaller numbers of birds but were able to put more attention to those not on the water.   We didn’t see many, but we did have good views of an American Kestrel and a Bald Eagle. 

We ventured under C-470 just for a few minutes to see if we could pick up any other species.  There were quite a few birders out that day, and we were lucky to happen upon a group that had just spotted a couple of American Dippers.  We relocated one of them, and were able to watch it for several minutes. 

Thanks to our group for a wonderful morning of birding!!   

Canada Goose                         200

Cackling Goose                        10

Trumpeter Swan                     6

Tundra Swan                           1

Mallard                                   55

Gadwall                                   35

Northern Pintail                      1

American Wigeon                   7

Northern Shoveler                  30

Green-winged Teal                 12

Redhead                                  7

Ring-necked Duck                   260

Black Scoter                            1

Common Goldeneye               45

Bufflehead                              60

Common merganser               5

Red-breasted merganser        2

Hooded merganser                 15

Ruddy Duck                             2

Pied-billed Grebe                    13

Great Blue Heron                    1

Red-tailed Hawk                      1

Bald Eagle                               1

Killdeer                                    3

Ring-billed Gull                       7

Rock Pigeon                            3

Belted Kingfisher                    1

Northern Flicker                     2

Prairie Falcon                          1

American Kestrel                    1

American Dipper                     1

Black-capped Chickadee         7

Sparrow spp.                           2

Red-winged Blackbird             1

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