Donner Canyon on 4/9

Noah Arthur

On Tuesday, Albert Linkowski and I birded Donner Canyon, searching for flycatchers which we never found (sorry for the late posting -- I've been having trouble finding exactly where in Donner Canyon we were). There were few birds along most of our walk, until we got to the Cardinet Oaks picnic ground (does anybody know exactly where on a map this picnic area is? I can't find it on Google Maps). On a hilltop above the picnic ground we heard and then saw a male MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (calling, not singing). When Albert played the song on his ipod, the warbler disappeared instead of coming closer! Down the hill at Cardinet Oaks there was a NASHVILLE WARBLER and an apparent 'CASSIAR' JUNCO: a male junco with very dull gray-brown replacing the warm brown areas of Oregon Junco, but still with a distinct black hood, unlike Slate-colored. On our walk back, we saw several mixed flocks of finches and bluebirds in the oak savannah, one of which contained a CASSIN'S
Butterflies were even better than birds. PALE SWALLOWTAILS were common, as well as a few WESTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAILS and one that might be a PALE/TWO-TAILED SWALLOWTAIL HYBRID (but no pure Two-tailed...) Many smaller butterfly species included my first THICKET HAIRSTREAK.
Altogether a great day in a beautiful place I never knew about before!
Noah Arthur, Oakland

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