Date   

Al's back

point_of_fact
 

At approx. 10AM this morning, Saturday, November 22, Al the Albatross
glided into the Point Arena cove...

Take a look at the attached pic... proof! He's yawning, perhaps tired from
his long journey?

Tom Reid,
Point A


Gyrfalcon update

Bob Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>
 

22 November 2008 - I generally do not use Mendobirds as a "chat forum" but I think I should provide some educational information concerning yesterday's report of a possible Gyrfalcon in the McNab Ranch area (between Ukiah & Hopland). First, I see no problem with the observers submitting the report to Mendobirds ...as my ornithology professor always used to say, "birds have wings and sometimes they use them" ... meaning that individual birds can sometimes do the unexpected and "out-of-range" appearance. Such quick posting gives a "heads-up" to other local birders which sometimes leads to the refinding and comfirmation of a sighting.

To provide further information, Gyrfalcons are extremely rare in California with only 10 accepted records by the California Bird Records Committee. All ten of those birds were gray morph first-year birds seen in the top (northern) third of the state. The time of the year of those sightings are mid-fall through winter.

Mendocino County has had, in the past, a couple possible observations ...but this also happened to be concurrent with the escape of a local falconer's gyrfalcon (which we later found out about). Falconers commonly keep gyrfalcons or hybrid birds (legally by permit)... so any birds observed in the wild should be scrutinzed for leg bands and characteristic details. Also, gyrfalcons, and also all the other N.A. falcons except for American Kestrels, usually take their prey out of the air ... that's what they are built for with huge feet and aerodynamic design for superfast speed.

Good birding. Bob Keiffer


Lake County

jerry white
 

The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen Friday morning (around 8:00 am) by Nick Shepherd from Redbud Park on a dock south of the park. Also there was a Ross's Goose at the park.

Jerry White for Nick Shepherd


Ross's, Snow, and Cackling Geese in Lakeport

jjscott101
 

Today there were 7 CACKLING GEESE, 1 SNOW GOOSE, and 1 ROSS'S GOOSE in
Lakeport just south of Willow Point/ north of the Vector Control
District Pier. Dave Woodward saw the snow goose and cackling geese,
but the Ross's goose flew off before he arrived. We took a few
marginal photos of the Ross's, and several good photos of the snow goose.

Other birds I've been seeing regularly off Esplanade in Lakeport
include SCAUP (usually too far off for me to confidently distinguish
Greater or Lesser), COMMON MERGANSERS (usually in flocks of 30-100),
BUFFLEHEADS, and RUDDY DUCKS. There have been some extremely large
feeding flocks of WHITE PELICANS visible from here over the last few
weeks (some over 600 individuals).


Re: Gyrfalcon?

feather7023@...
 

Hi Kate,
 
Are Gyrfalcons considered irruptive in their movements, like the Snowy Owls can be? I think I've read something like that somewhere. . .but would love to read what others say about this.
 
Sure would be fascinating, wouldn't it?
 
Feather

--- On Fri, 11/21/08, katemarianchild <katem@mcn.org> wrote:

From: katemarianchild <katem@mcn.org>
Subject: [Mendobirds] Gyrfalcon?
To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, November 21, 2008, 8:38 AM






I received this report from Don Sanderson of McNab Ranch:

A couple of weeks ago, my chickens raised a big fuss. They were twenty
yards away or so behind a redwood fence. I yelled and ran over to the
gate, which they were all trying to get through. Though there were
feathers scattered about, the chicken had escaped and I couldn't see
the cause. As I walked around the chicken house, I heard a deep almost
mammalian call from the nearby bluff. Then, this large raptor flew to
into a nearby tree and continued to talk to me. It seemed reluctant to
leave without its chicken. I clapped my hands a couple of times and it
flew off, but continued to circle the area for several minutes. A few
days later, it flew over us while we were walking through a vineyard
close by.

We have a resident pair of redtails close by and were visited by a
golden for a few days this past summer. This was neither, somewhere
between the two in size. From our search through Sibley's, this could
only have been a dark adult gyrfalcon. We informed a neighbor of our
experience and were told that a friend had recently lost a chicken to
a gyrfalcon. According to Sibley's, we are far on the outer ranges,
maybe beyond them. What a magnificent bird.

Thought someone should be informed.

Don Sanderson, McNab Valley















[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Gyrfalcon?

kmarianchild
 

I received this report from Don Sanderson of McNab Ranch:

A couple of weeks ago, my chickens raised a big fuss. They were twenty
yards away or so behind a redwood fence. I yelled and ran over to the
gate, which they were all trying to get through. Though there were
feathers scattered about, the chicken had escaped and I couldn't see
the cause. As I walked around the chicken house, I heard a deep almost
mammalian call from the nearby bluff. Then, this large raptor flew to
into a nearby tree and continued to talk to me. It seemed reluctant to
leave without its chicken. I clapped my hands a couple of times and it
flew off, but continued to circle the area for several minutes. A few
days later, it flew over us while we were walking through a vineyard
close by.

We have a resident pair of redtails close by and were visited by a
golden for a few days this past summer. This was neither, somewhere
between the two in size. From our search through Sibley's, this could
only have been a dark adult gyrfalcon. We informed a neighbor of our
experience and were told that a friend had recently lost a chicken to
a gyrfalcon. According to Sibley's, we are far on the outer ranges,
maybe beyond them. What a magnificent bird.

Thought someone should be informed.

Don Sanderson, McNab Valley


Slideshow TONIGHT: Farallon Islands – a conservation success story

kmarianchild
 

7 p.m, Ukiah Civic Center:

Slideshow: "THE FARALLON ISLANDS 40 YEARS LATER – A Conservation
Success Story"



Article by Kate Marianchild

"Ten thousand years ago, Mother Earth was shivering through the last
major ice age. The world's oceans were as much as 330 feet lower and
the polar ice masses extended much closer to the equator. The west
coast of California extended 35 miles west of its present day
location. At the edge of this coastline were foothills similar to Mt.
Tamalpais. The ice began to melt, the water began to rise, and those
little foothills became the isolated orphans that we now call the
Farallon Islands."*

Comprised of seven major islands jutting from the Pacific Ocean, the
Farallon Islands add up to 211 barren and largely uninhabitable acres
– uninhabitable to humans, that is! Birds and marine mammals see
things differently. The islands, which are set in the midst of one of
the world's most biologically diverse environments, have been home to
as many as 400,000 seabirds during a single breeding season – the
largest colony of breeding seabirds in the contiguous United States.
Six species of marine mammals also haul out on the islands to breed,
and 36 species of marine mammals feed in the surrounding waters,
including the largest population of whales found anywhere on earth.
Great White Sharks are common in the nearby waters, probably due to
the large populations of seals and sea lions.

What makes these islands and the waters that bathe them so rich in
animal life? Ron LeValley, biologist and photographer extraordinaire,
will answer that question and more during a slide lecture on Thursday,
November 20 at 7 p.m. at the Ukiah Civic Center. LeValley was one of
the first biologists to study wildlife on the islands after a research
station was established there in 1968. He has visited and worked on
the islands several times since, including for two weeks this past
summer, and will discuss and illustrate the changes he has seen over
40 years.

The wildlife of the Farrallones was subjected to heavy predation by
humans between 1810 and 1889 – originally for Northern Fur Seals and
later, during the Gold Rush, for seabird eggs. The islands are now a
shining example of successful conservation policies – efforts that
began with Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 and culminated with the protection
of waters surrounding the islands in 1981. Conservationists and the
general public alike were ecstatic when, in 1996, the first Northern
Fur Seal pup was born on the islands after an absence of 150 years.

Ron LeValley is founder and Senior Biologist of Mad River Biologists,
a biological consulting firm in Arcata California. Best known for his
work on the identification and distribution of Pacific Coast birds and
for his CD's of bird songs, Ron also has a broad understanding plants
and animals in general. One of his outstanding attributes is his
enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge with others. As a professional
photographer, Ron has compiled over 70,000 wildlife photographs for
use in presentations and publications. He is also a founding member of
the Mendocino Coast Photographer Guild and Gallery in Fort Bragg,
where his photographic art can be seen.

This Peregrine Audubon presentation is free to the public, though
donations will be happily accepted. To join Peregrine Audubon Society
and receive a newsletter with regular announcements about programs and
field trips, please send $15 to PAS, P.O. Box 311, Ukiah, CA 95482.
For more information and directions go to www.peregrineaudubon.org.

*From article by Danny Sedevic at
http://www.farallones.org/farallonislands.php. Permission to quote
granted by Bob Wilson, interim director of Farallones Marine Sanctuary
Association.


Prothonotary Warbler Notes

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>
 

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -  I took a brisk walk around the hospital and medical
clinics off Cypress St in Fort Bragg sans binoculars.  Hearing many
yellow-rumps and robins, I walked to the edge of a property and gave
a soft pish, just to make the yellow-rumps jump.  Out of an old fruit
tree popped a round, very short-tailed warbler with a fairly good amount
of yellow from lower breast/belly up to the top of the crown.  She was
only 10-12 ft away in a tiny, sparse bush.  "This is a good bird!"  My
first impression was PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, but I had only
previously seen males, and she was too low in the bush for me to see
the undertail coverts.  After about 20 seconds, she flew into another
tree in the yard.
Unable to get David Jensen or Toby Tobkin on the phone, I called Jim
and persuaded him to drive down with my Warblers guide, which took
almost 1/2 hour.  In the meantime, I refound the Prothonotary twice.

She took a bath in an old apple tree by rubbing through the wet leaves
for about 3 minutes, a neat maneuver to observe.  During this bath,
I was able to see good field marks:  long, white spots in the short tail;
white undertail coverts; smooth, slate gray wings - no wing bars; green
mantle almost as green as imm Chestnut-sided; round, black eye on
a plain yellow face. The yellow wash on belly, breast, face and up onto
the crown gave way to greenish tips of the feathers on the back crown
and nape.
After this, she flew to a Douglas-fir and sat near the trunk by some ivy.
I lost her when some clinic workers came out for break, and sat right
under the fir.  Then, Jim arrived.  Later Richard, Toby and finally Matthew
came.  No luck.  I am so disappointed that, so far nobody else saw her.
I am leaving for Fort Bragg now and will write again, if she shows up.

Location:  South side of Cypress & west of River Rd.  Large, open
shrubs in the lot between the 4 large cypress trees and Ft Bragg Police
Station.  This is east of Hwy 1.

Karen A Havlena
Fort Bragg, CA 





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Thayer's Gull continues

George Chaniot
 

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- The first winter THAYER'S GULL is still at the south
boat ramp area at Lake Mendocino. Today I walked out onto the lakebed and
got scope-filling views in good light at 50 feet. It was the best
opportunity I've ever had to study this plumage well. At times I had it
side-by-side with 1st winter Ring-billed, California, Herring, and
Glaucous-winged Gulls. It also hung out in the parking lot among other
gulls, but was run off by cars from time to time. There were about 75
California Gulls, and they were returning over the dam from the direction of
Ukiah. In Ukiah the only concentration of gulls I could find was in the
parking lot of Carl's Jr. and on the roof of Dorsey's Body Shop next door -
all adult Californias -- George Chaniot


Southwest Clear Lake

Dave Woodward <dlwoodward@...>
 

Approximately 700 American White Pelicans are roosting near the
outlet of Manning Creek in the southwest corner of Clear Lake. In the
mornings, they swim and fly northward along the west shore of the lake
and feed in the shallows. The Threadfin Shad population in the lake is
low this year, but the shallows along the west shore are loaded up
with Inland Silversides and young-of-the year Sacramento Suckers.
Those species could be providing food for the pelicans. The best
places to see the pelicans would be by boat or at the south end of the
Esplanade off of S. Main St. in Lakeport where there is a beach area.
The beach is private property, but the lake is visible from the public
road. Several Cackling Geese have been hanging around the beach on the
Esplanade the past few days. In the past week there has been a
Peregrine Falcon working the southwest shore of Clear Lake, seen by
Jamie Scott, Terry Sanderson and by me on Nov. 16.
Dave Woodward


Correction

jerry white
 

Milepost 20.35 is east of Lucerne. Jerry White


Lake County Red-necked Grebe

jerry white
 

There was a Red-necked Grebe west of Lucerne on Highway 20 near
milepost 20.35 today. Jerry White


Prothonotary Warbler in Fort Bragg

Ron LeValley
 

Karen Havlena just called to report a Prothonotary Warbler at the corner of
River Road and Cypress Avenue in Fort Bragg. This is essentially in front of
the Mendocino Coast Hospital. It was in the yard on the southwest corner of
River Road and Cypress and spent some of its time bathing in the leaves of
the apple tree in the yard. She thinks it is an immature female.



Cypress is the third street north of the Noyo Bridge and River Road is two
long blocks west of Highway 101.



Good luck!



Ron


Horned Larks

Richard Hubacek
 

Mon. 17 Nov. 2008. I found 2 Horned Larks today, walking the bluffs
just north of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse at 3:17PM.

Richard Hubacek


migrating empid ?

J Rosen <mendojanet@...>
 

A few minutes ago, while my binocs were focused on a red breasted sapsucker in my apple tree, something darted in/out of the field of vision at an angle I couldn't follow. The gestalt impression was empid (pale drab grey/olive with a pronounced pale yellow chin or bib area, definite eyering but couldn't tell if full or broken, wing bars); I know they are supposed to be away for the winter so wondered if it was an empid is there a particular species more likely to still be here before heading south?
Many thanks!
Janet Rosen
Zanshin Art
"When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry they call me a communist" - Helder Camara


3 Ferruginous Hawks

kmarianchild
 

I spent about 3 hours walking very slowly along Bald Hill Road north
of Fort Bragg Saturday morning and saw at least 3 Ferruginous Hawks.
At one point there were two on the west side of the road, with one
calling in flight, the other in a tree, while a third bird was
cruising the sky on the east side of the road. Other raptors included
one male and one female Northern Harrier, several Kestrels, and a
Red-tailed Hawk. I found one Cackling Goose among hordes of Canada
Geese, and had a brief look at a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker. Also
saw Meadow Larks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Savannah Sparrows (I think -
couldn't figure out anything else), lots of White-crowned Sparrows,
and one Marsh Wren. And one coyote. I watched it trying to catch
rodents (I think) and then it lay down next to a stump under a bush.

Then I went to Glass Beach just in time to see two Harlequin Ducks
before they dropped into the water and disappeared from view around
the rock. The rock they were on also hosted one Black Oystercatcher,
lots of Black Turnstones, a Brandt's Cormorant, and a Western Gull.

Very nice morning, except that I was sweltering in the wrong type of
clothing for what seemed like 80-degree weather on Bald Hill Road.

Kate


Ferruginous Hawk

George Chaniot
 

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 -- This afternoon there was an adult FERRUGINOUS HAWK
along the Hearst-Willits Road east of Willits.
This morning at the south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino there were
six species of gulls continuing: Bonaparte's, Ring-billed,
California, Thayer's, Herring, and Glaucous-winged.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Re: Lesser Black-backed Gull at Clearlake

Floyd Hayes
 

Yesterday I briefly saw the gull on the roof of WalMart from 9:48-9:50 am, when about 200 gulls were present. I was unable to find it earlier in the morning when about 1000 gulls were present.

Floyd Hayes
Hidden Valley Lake, CA


Horned Larks - Laguna Point, MacKerricher SP

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>
 

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 - Mid to late afternoon, I saw two HORNED LARKS
just south of the tip of Laguna Point.  Both birds were fairly plain, but
one of them had yellow lores, superciliums and throat.  They were
scared over to a large, short grass-covered "island" about 40 meters
south of the point.
Above the exposed rocks, about 20 MEW GULLS were hawking
insects like nighthawks, and offshore many Pacific Loons and Western
Grebes flew south.
It was a fabulous afternoon, warm, still and crystal clear!  A great day
to finally get the Horned Larks for my MEN list.

In the morning at high tide, the two Rock Sandpipers could not be
found, according to Toby Tobkin.  They still could be there, or maybe
a couple more will arrive soon.

Karen A Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, CA 




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Lake Mendocino birds 11/15

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn
 

Greetings Mendobirders- Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken, Barbara and I went to the dam parking lot at the south end of Lake Mendocino early this morning for some casual birding. We saw a good variety of gulls...well, good for Lake Mendocino, but not so good for Lake County. In the immediate area of the parking lot, among dozens of CALIFORNIA GULLS, we found single adult and first-winter HERRING GULLS, a first-winter THAYER'S GULL (seen several days ago by George Chaniot), and a first-winter GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Out over the lake there was an adult BONAPARTE'S GULL. An adult BALD EAGLE was unsuccessfully strafing a large group of Coots. A flock of 36 SNOW GEESE, including a dark morph bird, circled the lake briefly before leaving directly east towards Clear Lake.

Chuck




*********************************
Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA 95482

cevaughn@pacific.net

5941 - 5960 of 8780