On this bright, crisp October morning, I returned to South Platte Park in southwest Metro Denver. Though the weather was glorious, the birding was fair at best; no doubt, the recent warm weather in the West has, once again, slowed the autumn migration.
A modest number of American wigeon, American coot and pied-billed grebes were observed on the lakes and ponds, joining`the resident mallards. No raptors were encountered on my two mile walk, though I did see a small flock of white-crowned sparrows, two belted kingfishers and the usual mix of woodland residents. Only a few double-crested cormorants were present, contrasting with dozens in late summer and no herons, snowy egrets or American white pelicans were seen.
Despite the lackluster birding, it was a pleasant visit (as always) and an invigorating walk before another summer-like day along the Colorado Front Range. The autumn colors are near peak and the summer songbirds have fled to the south but the winter waterfowl will be underrepresented until cold north winds rake the Piedmont.