SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Waterfowl gather at shrinking open water areas

After 3-4 inches of snow yesterday, the big arctic front that was predicted is descending on Colorado and bringing several more inches of snow. There are only 2 ponds with open water in the Canon City area and the waterfowl were gathering at them today.

One private pond had about 8 Common Mergansers, a bird that I have seen more on the Arkansas River this winter than at local ponds. Of course there will be more ice on the river with the temps down to 3 degrees F tonight. There were 3 scaup species, one of which I could id as a Greater Scaup but one slept and the third was diving repeatedly so I couldn't confirm the id.

The other open pond had a very large congregation of waterfowl with about 25 Common Goldeneye, several Redheads and Northern Shovelers, some Coots and at least 30 dark geese. However, as I drove away at least another 30 dark geese were flying in to spend the night. I hope that the density of waterfowl helps keep water open.

Then I was surprised to find a Wilson's Snipe, busily feeding in a ditch tailwater (the water being returned to the river by irrigators or a ditch company, often mistaken as a stream).


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