Monday, May 11, 2009

Chip Clouse-American Birding Association

CO birders,
Apologies for the late post.
The 3rd annual Mountain Plover Festival took place in Karval, Lincoln County, CO this past weekend. Beginning with dinner and an evening bird tour on Friday and ending with breakfast, another tour and then lunch on Sunday, the festival was a big hit. The folks of Karval really rolled out the red carpet for their out-of-town visitors. Saturday featured three meals, two bird tours, and fabulous entertainment on Saturday night. There were vendors selling their wares, a photography contest with wonderful prizes, and a silent auction that left me with a much lighter wallet! The weather was a bit nippy in the mornings but the wildlife was well worth it. Bird guides included Seth Gallagher from RMBO, Katy Fitzgerald from USFWS, Ken Morgan and John Koshak from CDOW, and yours truly. Local guides included Dan Merewether, Carl Stogsdill, Russell Davis, Jeff Thornton, Mark Carling and Steve Bailey. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out! Check out the Karval Community Alliance website at and science teacher Mark Carling’s Karval Birding Blog, at Both sites feature some photos from the fantastic weekend. The Fri & Sat bird list is on Mark’s blog and the complete list including Sunday is posted below.

Wood Duck – Sun only (female only)
Gadwall – Sun
Blue-winged Teal – Sun
Northern Shoveler – Sun
Hooded Merganser - Sun
Ruddy Duck
Eared Grebe - Sun
Western Grebe – some displaying was observed
Double-crested Cormorant – Sun
White-faced Ibis
Northern Harrier – check out Mark’s post on the displaying male on Saturday
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk – Sun
Golden Eagle - Sun
American Kestrel
American Coot
Sandhill Crane – Sun (a one-legged bird with an obvious stump. It was hopping, feeding, and flying OK though)
Killdeer – broken wing display and nest found at Karval Lake
Mountain Plover – nice displays from one bird in particular on Sat morning
Spotted Sandpiper
Dowitcher spp. – Sun (too far for definite ID to species)
Wilson’s Phalarope – Sun
Black Tern – Sun (probable but not confirmed - 2 seen only by me as they were flying away)
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Great-Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Long-eared Owl – Sun (very cooperative and the second best bird of the festival)
Northern Flicker
Say's Phoebe
Cassin’s Kingbird - Sun
Western Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
American Crow - Sun
Horned Lark
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Rock Wren
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler-both Myrtle & Audubon
Summer Tanager – Sun (nice male and probably the best festival bird, except for Mtn Plovers, of course)
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Cassin’s Sparrow - Sun
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-Headed Cowbird
House Finch
House Sparrow

67 species – I made a stop back at Karval Lake after lunch on Sunday and added Great Egret, then down at Jeff Thornton’s family property, where I saw a male Lark Bunting and a Black-crowned Night Heron. My goal was 70 and I hit the nail on the head.

Tell your friends about this great little festival and come check it out next April. You won’t be sorry!

Chip Clouse
Outreach Coordinator
Birders’ Exchange Coordinator

American Birding Association
4945 N 30th Street, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80919-3151

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