Well, it seems as though a major part of fall migration has been completed for many species. Twelve of us covered a lot of ground at the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt this past Saturday, but we were only able to come up with 27 species (see list below). Absent from the area were Double-crested Cormorant, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Cinnamon Teal, Spotted Sandpiper, Hummingbirds, Flycatchers, Swallows….. Well, you get the idea. These are species that have largely moved on south.
Of course, another aspect of fall migration is those birds that bred farther north, and that will retreat south to spend the winter here in Colorado. Many of these species just haven’t arrived yet in any numbers, but we can still be on the lookout for them, e.g. Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Rough-legged Hawk, Merlin, American Tree Sparrow, and the winter Juncos.
In the meantime we’ve got a bit of a hiatus, and this mild fall weather is keeping things a bit quieter for a while.
So what were Saturday’s highlights? We had a few Gadwall – these are early arrivals that will spend the winter here (photo courtesy of Bill Schmoker).
We had only one Robin, the majority seem to have moved on out. Perhaps the most interesting observation was of a begging Lesser Goldfinch, meaning that a pair are raising fledglings pretty late in the year.
So, 27 species isn’t like we got skunked, but we will hope for a bit better action on our upcoming walks.
Good birding! Chuck Aid
Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, Oct 1, 2016
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 48
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 11
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 31
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) 6
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) 3
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 2
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 37
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 3
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 10
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 3
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 11
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) 5
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 3
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 17
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 16
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 12
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 17
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 3