As regular readers know I don’t rush to post the same day. I usually take my time and write the story. Then add a few photos. But after two uncommon and one early species I’ll make an exception. So on with Sunday’s morning Eagle Creek Laughing Gull, American Avocets, Horned Eared Grebe.
Update – Don Gorney and Aidan Rominger refound the Horned Grebe this afternoon and identified as a Eared Grebe. A closer look at my photos and I have to agree. Thanks for taking the time to double check.
The plan for Mike and I was to bird the Marina area of Eagle Creek Sunday morning. As usual we stopped by Rick’s Cafe Boatyard for a quick scan of the southern part of the reservoir. We saw the expected Osprey and Double-crested Cormorants and were about ready to leave when I noticed an odd gull not very far out. The bird’s bill seemed to dark and droopy for a Ring-billed. Spike S. was also present and thought the tail seemed long for a Ring-billed. Upon pulling out the scope it was definitely a young Laughing Gull.
With warblers hopefully waiting we moved on to the Marina. The leaders of the Sunday morning walk were there early and we were looking for warblers when Becky, I think, first called out American Avocets flying over. A straightforward ID being black and white with long bills and legs.
We watched them go north looking for a place to land. Not finding anything they came back by us heading south. They did the same south to north pattern three times and never put down but allowing us great looks. The last view had them flying south.
A little later while scanning the water I found an early Horned Grebe. Now maybe the first two we can associate with Hurricane Harvey, but the Horned Grebe I don’t think so.
On first look I thought it was a Pied-billed Grebe but the throat was white. A run back to the car for the spotting scope and one look confirmed it as a Horned Grebe.
So, all in all a good morning finding an uncommon gull and early grebe, plus seeing avocets. I even picked up a few new warblers for the year.
And hopefully I didn’t make too many errors in writing this quickly.
The plan for the week wasn’t unique – bird the main habitats of the area. But before I headed to Grand Junction I had a day to spend east of Denver.
I had taken a 5:30 AM flight out of Indianapolis that had me birding by 7:30 AM Mounain Time Saturday. The plan for the day was to bird the perimeter road of the airport looking for owls and hawks, then drive east of out into the country for hawks, and then back to a state park reservoir. Wrap it up by 1 PM and then the 4-5 hour drive to Grand Junction.