Up to Lower Latham

This morning, I made my annual August trek to Lower Latham Reservoir, NNE of Denver and just southeast of Greeley.  The wetlands along the south edge of the reservoir attract an excellent diversity of migrants in late summer, joining a mix of avian residents that summer in the South Platte Valley.

Highlights today included 18 black-necked stilts, a large flock of Franklin's gulls, a few white-faced ibis and several flocks of American white pelicans.  Other migrants included lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitchers and a flock of small sandpipers too distant to identify.  Summer residents were represented by great blue herons, snowy egrets, double-crested cormorants, Canada geese, blue-winged teal, killdeer, American kestrels, Swainson's hawks, barn and tree swallows, western meadowlarks, western kingbirds and those ubiquitous red-winged blackbirds.

While this pastoral scene is usually backed by the majestic peaks of the Front Range, morning fog and mid day cloud cover obscured the mountains.  I also missed seeing cattle egrets and long-billed curlews that generally are found near Lower Latham Reservoir in August.  Then again, nature is not in the business of meeting our expectations.