Sibley Regional Park - Cassin's Vireos, Black Throated Gray Warbys, and more

Max Laubstein

Today, 4/7/20, I headed to Sibley Volcanic Regional Park to bird, notably in a patch of forest I assumed would be good birding that I found using google maps. I looped around round top, and then birded through the open pastures and oak forests along the trails in the direction of Wilcox Station.

In the monterey/bishop pine forest section behind round top were several singing orange-crowned warblers, wilson's warblers, a pac-slope flycatcher, and the golden eagles made a flyover together. My only selasphorus of the day: a male rufous hummingbird, was seen floating above some coyotebush shrub in the forest. In the open area past the forest, 3 tree swallows were flying high above, and a pair of bluebirds was setting up shop in one of the nest boxes.

3 White throated swifts zoomed around, pretty close to the ground. One even made a pass about two feet above my head, with a big "whooosh" noise. Loosely associating with these feathered torpedos were a violet green swallow and a barn swallow. Red-tails were incredibly abundant, courting in paired, talon-holding dives, and diving making insanely loud noises like the Blue Angels. Several kettles of hawks were seen only through binoculars far away on the horizon, presumably migrants.

I heard/briefly saw two rufous crowned sparrows having a blast with some golden-crowns in some sagebrush. Upon reaching my target oak patch, I was greeted by a plethora of warblers, singing away with their annoying songs, a disgusting reminder of spring (just kidding). In this flock were many townsends, yellow rumps (both myrtle and audubons) in gorgeous alternate, 1 (possibly 2) cassin's vireo(s), a black-throated gray warbler, and more pacific slope flycatchers. I also heard the female calls of a great-horned owl, and several shrieks (possibly owlets) coming from some eucalyptus, but was not able to get a glimpse of any cozy owl snuggle time in a nest to confirm.

Non bird sightings included poppies, silver and arroyo lupine, blue dicks, blue-eyed grass, exserted and coast paintbrush, fringed redmaid, and fiddleneck.
Several western fence lizards, a juvenile and adult western skink!, and a ringneck snake were awesome too!

Happy birding!