Saturday, April 28, 2018

Just Down River

Just downstream from South Platte Park, where the river has not been "restored" (channelized for fish), the South Platte flows through braided channels, broken by sandbars and marshes.  This morning, I wandered along 1.5 miles of that attractive ecosystem and was rewarded with a fine diversity of wildlife.

Among the birds were three seasonal firsts: a black-crowned night heron, three snowy egrets and a dozen or more cliff swallows.  Other avian highlights included a large number of blue-winged and cinnamon teal, two American avocets, a couple Say's phoebes, several great blue herons and the usual mix of raptors.  A coyote hunted along the opposite bank and a muskrat plied a calm stretch of the river.

This morning's walk was both a pleasant change from my usual birding route (within the Park) and a nostalgic return to the "old South Platte." The wildlife seemed to share my preference for a more natural ecosystem, however hemmed in it might be by human development.  See Restoring the South Platte