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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Some lower Arkansas Valley lakes

Yesterday I had a meeting in Rocky Ford so took the opportunity to check out some of the lakes down that way. Though Lake Cheraw was just about 2/3 full, the rest were full to very full. This is due to being filled for irrigation storage as the water use rights belong mostly due farmers and ranchers in the area. The water levels are higher than in the past few years when most of Colorado was in the grip of a drought and water storage was reduced a lot. Following are the highlights:

Lake Holbrook (just nw of La Junta)--Horned Grebes in gorgeous alternate (breeding) plumage like those in the photos posted below at Brush Hollow. I saw several W. Grebes in addition to hundreds of common waterfowl.

Lake Cheraw (just ne of La Junta-there were waterfowl but all distant.

Blue Lake--(north of Las Animas) about 20 Am White Pelicans, some white-headed gulls, several hundred white geese (mostly Snow but usually would have some Ross'Geese)that haven't migrated north yet, some W. Grebes and Clark's Grebes in addition to common waterfowl. I also found a few N. Shovelers including the two in this photo at a drainage pond just south of the lake.

Lake Meredith--(north of Rocky Ford-I spotted 3 female Greater Scaup, a few Pintails, a number of Aechmorphorus grebes (including at least 2 Clark's Grebes), many N. Shovelers, many Ruddy Ducks, many distant gulls and hundreds of other common waterfowl.

Ponds across from the Ordway feedlot (which is right near Lake Meredith)-4 male Cinnamon Teal in beatiful alternate (breeding) plumage.

There were the usual Horned Larks and lots of singing Western Meadowlarks in the fields. I also saw several Red-tailed Hawks and one Harlan's Hawk. It was overcast all afternoon so difficult to get photos.


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