On this warm, sunny morning at South Platte Park, the number and diversity of winter ducks was beginning to increase. In particular, northern shovelers and ring-necked ducks were more abundant than on previous visits.
By contrast, songbirds were remarkably quiet and inconspicuous. Of those encountered (black-capped chickadees, song sparrows, downy woodpeckers, northern flickers, white-crowned sparrows, house finches, a spotted towhee and an American tree sparrow), none totaled more than a half dozen individuals. No doubt, the exceptionally warm air and bright sun kept them in their shady retreats.
Novice birders often assume that warm, sunny days will be most productive when it comes to finding a large number and diversity of species. In reality, cool, cloudy days are often best, triggering activity and feeding behavior. This morning's adventure seemed to prove the point.