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descriptions and directions
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View all of Weld County
Greeley (except north end)
Bittersweet Park, Sanborn Park, Glenmere Park, Linn Grove Cemetery, Brower State Wildlife Area, Evans Sewage Ponds
A rapidly expanding town, Greeley has quite a few places to bird, especially if you are interested in sorting rarities out of large flocks of winter geese.
Two of Greeley's parks, Bittersweet Park and Sanborn Park, are noteworthy primarily because they contain ponds. Bittersweet Park has a larger pond anyway, and a better guest list, one that features Brant and American Black Duck.
Two more of Greeley's parks have some decent landbird habitat. These are Glenmere Park and Greeley West Park.
Glenmere has a tiny pond occupied by a variety of "park ducks" but also hosting occasional oddities, such as a Mexican (Mallard) Duck. The trees on the pond's island formerly hosted a rookery, consisting mainly of Black-crowned Night-Herons, but also Snowy and Cattle Egrets. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron built a nest here in the summer of 2011. Unfortunately, the rookery is no longer used due to storm damage to the island's trees. However, there is still much to attract here. For at least the last several years (first sightings in early 2000s), Mississippi Kites have made late summer/ early fall appearances here and likely breed nearby.
The small "nature trail" extending west along a creek from the western edge of the park has attracted a few vagrants such as Magnolia Warbler and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and with more coverage, much more would likely be found. Spring is probably best. Glenmere Park, and the neighborhoods around it, have a tremendous concentration of conifers. Red-breasted Nuthatches breed here, one of but a few places such has been demonstrated on the Colorado Plains. Additionally, this is a good place to look for conifer-loving birds in winter, with such rarities as Red Crossbill and Purple Finch having been found during Decmeber 2014. Again, coverage here has been light for passerines, and the potential is enormous.
Greeley West Park has lots of underbrush with a few wet ditches and larger cottonwoods and one very small pond. It looks like a good spot for sparrows and skulking warblers in migration.
Linn Grove Cemetery can function as a decent migrant trap, but is more interesting for attracting montane strays such as Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers, and Mountain Chickadees. It is a very large cemetery with numerous trees in the medium-to-large size range. A duck pond on the north end of the cemetery can be scanned from 16th Street; beware the resident, non-countable Mute Swan.
The southeast corner of Greeley and the east end of the town of Evans have a cluster of places to check. Two medium-sized private lakes which flank US 34 just east of town can only be scanned from the shoulder of this busy divided four-lane highway. South of US 34 on 1st Avenue, a triangular pond can just barely be glimpsed to the east through vegetation. A quarter mile further south lie the Evans Sewage Ponds on the west side of the road; they are nearly invisible due to their high embankment, but tall people and those willing to stand on their cars will have a great view of the water. Just east of these ponds is Brower State Wildlife Area, which is probably the nicest of the sites in this part of town. It provides access to a sizeable stretch of the bottomland riparian forest along the South Platte River, and should be checked at all seasons for landbirds and such waterbirds as frequent the South Platte sandbars.
The small Lake in Ashcroft Draw is a deep gravel pit that often does not contain much water, but can attract waterfowl in the colder months.
Urban/Suburban, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Park/Cemetery, Lowland Riparian, Stream
To Bittersweet Park: from US 34 west of US 85, turn north on 35th Avenue and proceed 1.5 miles to the park, which is on the left (west). To Sanborn Park: from US 34 west of US 85, turn north on 35th Avenue and proceed one mile to 20th Street. Turn right (east) on 20th. The park is a quarter mile ahead on the right (south). To get to Glenmere Park from US 34, take 23rd Avenue north half a mile to Reservoir Road and turn right (east). Reservoir curves around the northwest corner of the UNC campus and merges with 20th Street. Follow 20th east for one block and turn left (north) onto 14th Avenue. At Glenmere Boulevard (not Glenmere Road, which dead-ends at the park), turn left (west). To Greeley West Park: from US 34 west of US 85, turn north on 35th Avenue and proceed one mile to 20th Street. Turn left (west) on 20th and drive half a mile to 40th Street. Turn left (south) on 40th, which leads to the park. To Linn Grove Cemetery: from US 85 in east Greeley, turn right onto 18th Street (US 34 Business Route) and follow it one mile east to Cedar Avenue. The main entrance to the cemetery is a short distance north on Cedar. To the Evans Sewage Pond: from the junction of US 34 and US 85 in southeast Greeley, head east on US 34. Exit at the first opportunity (an unmarked frontage road—no official exit or stoplight). Take the frontage road back west to a T intersection with 1st Avenue, and turn left (south) on 1st. The Triangular pond is on the left (east) in half a mile; it is difficult to view. The Evans Sewage Ponds are about a half mile farther south on the right (west) side of the road. To get to Brower SWA, continue south past the Evans Sewage Ponds to 37th street (CR 54) and turn left (east). The SWA parking lot is just past the bridge on the north side of the road. To get to the lake in Ashcroft Draw, from US 34, head south on 47th Avenue (CR 33) a little over a mile; the lake is on the southwest corner of 47th (CR 33) and 37th Street (CR 54).
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Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
Rio Grande County
Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Wet Meadow