A 1st-winter male Brambling was found by Mike Henwood yesterday (19 Nov) at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, Colorado. Word got out late last night, and scores of chasers observed the bird coming to scattered seed today, associating with a loose flock of mostly American Tree Sparrows and House Finches. The code-3 rarity stands to be the state's 3rd accepted record, with the prior two both occurring in the fall/winter of 1983 (an irruption year for the species across much of the US.)
The Sixth Edition of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America describes the bird as, "… fairly common but irregular migrant on Aleutians, rare on Pribilofs and St. Lawrence Island, AK; casual in fall and winter in Canada and northern U.S.; recorded south to central CA. Has nested on Attu Island (1996)." The Complete Guide to the Birds of Europe says Brambling, "…winters in C and S Europe, but in mild winters many remain in S Scandinavia."
Mike's directions: Bear Creek Lake Park is just SE of C470 and Morrison Road. After entering BCLP ($5 entrance fee), stay to the left (North Road) and drive about a mile to the Boat Launch area, where there is a large parking lot to the south. Please park here and do not park on the sides of the road. Just before reaching the Boat Launch area, there is a wooden sign on the north side of the road that reads COYOTE CROSSING PICNIC AREA. If you stand here and look about 30 yards to the northeast, you will see a small wooden footbridge spanning the draw with willows on both sides.
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