Lake County

Floyd Hayes

Yesterday (Tuesday the 12th) Doug Weidemann and I did our monthly gull survey around Clear Lake. The numbers of most waterbirds (RUDDY DUCK is an exception) are disappointingly low this winter. Our best bird was an immature SNOW GOOSE alone on the beach at Austin Park in Clearlake, which was found by Nick Shepherd on Saturday the 10th. We also saw a lone female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in a flock of scaup from the large turnout on the east side of the lake opposite Clear Lake State Park, between Lucerne and Paradise Cove. We spent 15-20 minutes searching unsuccessfully for the Hammond's Flycatcher at Lucerne, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Kelseyville and the Williamson's Sapsucker at Lower Lake. The weather wasn't very cooperative.

Floyd Hayes
Hidden Valley Lake, CA

Re: Icelantic Photos Found

Floyd Hayes

Gunn, thanks for posting the photos. Unfortunately it's just a pale 1st-cycle Glaucous-winged Gull, which is much more common, is larger and has a heavier bill. Many (if not all) of us have made the same mistake--repeatedly! A 1st-cycle Iceland Gull is smaller with a more rounded, dove-like head, a dainty bill, and usually has spotting on the tertials and tail feathers. Because of its variability and apparent hybridization with Thayer's Gull, it is very difficult to be certain of the identity of most gulls resembling Iceland Gull. But don't stop looking: it is quite possible to find one there, and if you find a good candidate, try to get photos of its head and bill compared with other species of gulls, plus photos of the outstretched wings and tail.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about Iceland Gull in California, I have a website dedicated to Iceland Gulls in California which you might find useful. Unfortunately it needs some updating (some links are broken; more recent records not included; some subsequently accepted and rejected by CBRC) which I don't have the time to do at the moment. The website is here:
Floyd Hayes
Hidden Valley Lake, CA

Clear Lake CBC FINAL Results

dhecomovich <heco@...>

Now that I have all the final tallies in hand, the CBC results for the Clear Lake have improved considerably. We ended up with a dozen more species than tallied on our preliminary count ~ 143 in all ~ down some from last year's count of 146 and below the high total of 153 in 2007 but still respectable. The number of participants also increased to 57, up from last year's 40 and the previous 10-years' average of 30.

The species that racked up the highest number of individuals was Ruddy Duck with 13,183 counted, former high count was 5,686 in 1991 and a previous 10-year average of 1,776. Sadly to say, although Ruddys are doing fine, the count for water birds in general is considerably down i. e. Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants and American White Pelicans.

The runner-up in highest number of individuals and the only other species to break the 1,000 barrier was the American Robin with a total of 4,633 individuals. They are abundant in our vineyards. The former high count for this species was 7,443 in 1975 and a previous 10-year average of 1,307.

A big thanks to all our hard-workiing participants.

~ Darlene Hecomovich

Icelantic Photos Found



Couldn't get the photo's to travel through this group as even an
attachment, so I posted an album on Mendobirds Photos as...

1st cycle Kumleins Iceland Gull 11/12/10

Sorry did intend to SPAM you all with my attachment attempts


Re: Eurasian Wigeon in Potter Valley

George Chaniot

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- Both the EURASIAN WIGEON and the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER
continue today at the same locations in Potter Valley described by Jerry
yesterday. At the intersection of Burris Lane and East(side) Road look for
a utility pole on the west side of the intersection. The Lewis's
Woodpecker favors the top of this pole and the large trees to the NE of the

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Eurasian Wigeon in Potter Valley

jerry white

There was a EURASIAN WIGEON at the pond that is just north of the cemetary on West Road yesterday.
There is no convenient place to park to view this pond. George Chaniot suggests parking at the cemetary and then walking to the pond.
Also the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER was seen again near the intersection of East Road and Burris Lane. George also saw both of these birds about an hour or so after the initial sightings.
At least one Dipper was on the river at the bridge.

Scoping the north end of Lake Mendocino I found a Mew Gull, 4 Hooded Mergansers, and another male EURASIAN WIGEON.

Later in the afternoon the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES were found at the Hopland Field Station, thanks to Bob Keiffer. Jerry White

North Coast - MEN

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- I drove up Hwy 1 for a while, where 11 GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were along side the road at the Westport
wastewater treatment plant.  The FERRUGINOUS HAWK was flying
over the pasture across Hwy 1 from Ocean Meadows.  I scoped for
alcids without luck from the usual creek mouth turnouts.

Karen Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, CA

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continuing Lawrence's Goldfinch

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

11 January 2010 - Monday - I was able to relocate 7 of the Lawrence's
Goldfinches this morning at 2700' elevation on the UC Hopland Research &
Extension Center.

Good Birding. Bob Keiffer

Peregrines, Robins, and Starlings

jack booth

Previous message should have said just north of Ukiah. Jack Booth

Peregrines, Robins, and Starlings

jack booth

I should have sent this out a week ago but it is still happening.Over the past four plus weeks large numbers (25,000+) of robins have been roosting in the trees north of Lake Mendocino Drive along the West Fork Russian River. During the last 17 days or so large numbers of starlings have joined them. They start to show up from the south around 4:30 PM. The robin numbers have dwindled to maybe 1,000 to 2,000. During the same period I have seen a peregrine falcon numerous times and two at the same time occasionally. The peregrine numbers have gone up to a minimum of five in view at one time last night 1/11, seen by Dave Bengston, myself, and three others. I saw at least three peregrines tonight. Tonight it lasted about 25-30 minutes. We have seen peregrine pairs are doing aerial food (starling) exchanges several times during the last several days. A merlin or two came by one evening a week ago.

Best place to watch is from the bridge on Lake Mendocino Drive over the river. Good parking on west side of bridge. It's a great show (maybe an understatement, first row seat at National Geographic Special). Jack Booth

Random observationas from today's events at Point Arena

David Jensen

Sunday, 10 January 2010.
Just a couple of observations from today's 10th anniversary celebration at the Point Arena Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument:
Many Brown Pelicans - adults and immatures - all along the coast; few Heermann's Gulls staying with them; first year Glaucous Gull at the mouth of the Garcia River; three Pacific Golden-plovers still present and very visible at Arena Point - in front of the three motel units at the lighthouse, less than 15 feet south of the road to the visitors' station; a true albino Rock Pigeon in the BLM public access area between the LORAN station and Lighthouse Road; a light morph Rough-legged Hawk in that same area; a realization of what a treasure the Point Arena/Stornetta BLM property is for anyone who takes the time to wander there.
Dave Jensen

Lake County - Sooty Grouse

dhecomovich <heco@...>

I apologize for the late posting, but I just returned from NYC to a phone message that 3 Sooty Grouse were sighted on Hoberg Loop Trail in Boggs State Forest by Duane Harper of Cobb on December 27. I am aware this is old news but thought birders should know that there is now a possibility of sighting Grouse should they be birding the Forest.

Hoberg Loop Trail is in the northwest corner of the forest and is accessed from Entrance Road off Hwy 175 1/2 mile mile north of the main entrance to the Forest if your heading North and 500 yards south of Emerford Road intresection with Hwy 175 at the end of Adams Springs Golf Course if you're heading South on 175. The Entrance Road sign is not visible if you are heading North but it takes off East right across from the old Hoberg's Resort which is now the Maharishi Vedic School.

The Hoberg Loop trailhead is about 500 yards up Entrance Road where it deadends at (appropriately) Grouse Road. 100 yards up the trail it forks to make the Loop and you take the right fork. Another short distance and the trail takes a sharp switchback where Mac's Trail takes off to the right. Make the sharp switchback to the left and continue until the next sharp switchback which is to the right. At the turn you will see a leafless Dogwood tree. It is just beyond this where Duane saw the Grouse about 30 feet up in a Douglas Fir. He has been in the area a couple of times since and I birded the trail yesterday with no Grouse sightings. It is approximately 1/4 mile from the trailhead to the sighting locale.

Duane said towards the end of last summer he thought he heard Grouse calling on the Creek Trail but was skeptical since there has been no recent history of Grouse in the area. Hopefully, we will have more encounters in the future.

Bountiful Birding to you in 2010!

Darlene Hecomovich

Ward Ave - BLK SCOTER - Yes

K A Havlena

Fri, 8 January 2010 -- After Lk Cleone, Rich, Jim and I continued to
Ward Ave, Cleone.  Even in the low tide and rough waves, we were
able to see one male BLACK SCOTER in the surf.

Karen Havlena
Fort Bragg, CA

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Ft Bragg Coast Birds - BUOW - Yes

K A Havlena

Fri, 8 Jan 2010 -- Rich Trissel, Jim and I tested a few Fort Bragg areas.
The BURROWING OWL is still at the NE side of the Haul Rd bridge over
Virgin Creek.  A spotting scope is useful here.

We saw a CACKLING GOOSE flying with a few Canada Geese over Bald Hill
Rd.  Take Pudding Creek Rd east a couple of miles, then turn north after
the big S-curve.

We tried our luck at Lk Cleone. MacKerricher Sp,  but could not find the
COMO. Later, we drove out to Laguna Point.  Rich and Jim also marched
out to Laguna Point, but it was low tide, so no Rock Sandpiper could be
found .......

Karen Havlena
Ten Mile Area
North of Fort Bragg, CA

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continuing Lawrence's Goldfinches

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

8 January 2010, Today Dave Woodward confirmed the continuing Lawrence's
Goldfinches on the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center. There was also
a probable Phainopepla observed in early afternoon. I tried to confirm
this sighting but was about 3 hours later and could not refind the bird.
However, based upon the description; black bird with obvious white wing
patches in flight, in chaparral where there are now lots and lots of toyon
berries and mistletoe berries, I think that it probably was one. I will try
to keep an eye on the area next week. Good birding! Bob Keiffer

Re: Sapsuckers, a screw-legged gull, etc.

Floyd Hayes

A few corrections from my previous post:

Don Roberson informed me that the CACKLING GOOSE at Detert Reservoir was a "Ridgway's" (ssp. minima) rather than a "Richardson's" (ssp. richardsoni) Cackling Goose. Also, his wife's name is Rita Carratello.

Floyd Hayes
Hidden Valley Lake, CA

Black Scoters--Ward Ave.

Richard Hubacek

Wed Jan 6, 2010--As far as I can remember, there have been no postings concerning BLACK SCOTERS this winter. I found 2 males at Ward Ave. this morning.

Richard Hubacek
Little River

Bat Ma'am comes to Fort Bragg

Charlene McAllister

Bat Ma'am Comes to Fort Bragg

Monday, January 18, 2010- 7 PM -Fort Bragg Town Hall

Bats, far from being winged rats, are much maligned and misunderstood
creatures, often accused of leech-like behavior. More closely related to
primates, and with almost 1,000 species worldwide, bats account for a large
percentage of all mammals. Their order, Chiroptera, means "winged hand"
and when viewed in silhouette, their skeleton bears an uncanny resemblance
to humans.

Instead of falling victim to the negative stereotypes and misconceptions
that abound, Patricia Winters, aka "Bat Ma'am", chose to live with and learn
about bats. With losses of bats occurring at an alarming rate worldwide,
Winters sees them as "the canary in the coalmine". Bats are enormously
beneficial bug-busters, primary pollinators and seed distributors, therefore
killing bats amounts to serious planetary damage. For example, as vital
top predators 70% of bats eat insects, each catching an impressive 600
mosquitoes in an hour.

Want to learn more? Want to see bats up close? (Touching the bats will
not be allowed as only Bat Ma'am is licensed to handle these delicate
creatures). Don't miss the Audubon meeting and the chance to hear stories
and meet the rehabilitated bats that live with Ms. Winters. For more
information call 937-4463 or got to

Audubon programs are open and free to the public, though a small donation to
offset costs is always appreciated. Membership in your local Audubon
Society helps present programs like this and conduct educational activities
with our schools.

Jan 6 Potter Valley Sightings

Matt Brady <podoces@...>

Hi Birders. Today I was joined by Lauren Harter, on her way up to Washington, for some birding around Potter Valley and a bit in the Ukiah Valley.

Highlights were mostly things of local interest. Along Burris Lane, we had one LEWIS'S WOODPECKER near the barn, just after the road goes up a small hill. It kept flying back and forth between a lone oak in the vineyard to the north of the road and the oaks right along the road. We had some ducks at the pond at the end of Burris Lane, but nothing of much note.

At Van Arsedale Dam we did not find the long-staying Greater White-fronted Goose, but we did find two COMMON GOLDENEYES (both males), three HOODED MERGANSERS (all females), an adult BALD EAGLE, and two AMERICAN DIPPERS. The dippers were in the rocks just below the dam, while the ducks were in the lake behind the dam and the Eagle was in a large snag above the dam.

We then followed the county road to the Lake County line, but it was pretty quiet, so we decided to head back down into the valley. Two RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS were at different locations along Gibson Lane. At the Potter Valley Rodeo Grounds in the northwestern part of the valley we had about 25 AMERICAN PIPITS and large numbers of corvids (75+ Crows, 15 Ravens, some Scrub-Jays). At the pond along west road, just north of the Potter Valley Cemetery, was perhaps the most unusual bird of the day, a SNOWY EGRET. As I understand it, winter records for this species are sparse in Mendocino County. The cemetery itself was rather quiet.

We checked the Potter Valley Road bridge for Dippers, but we couldn't find any and the north end of Lake Mendocino was pretty quiet, so we moved on to check some of the ponds south of Talmage. The Beckstoffer Pond had a good diversity of ducks, including 8 HOODED MERGANSERS and our first GADWALS and NORTHERN SHOVELERS of the day. The pond at Gielow Lane was comparatively unducky, but it did have four continuing CANVASBACKS. That's it for now,

Matt Brady
Potter Valley, MEN

Hwy 1 south. of Mendocino

abenzing1 <ospreybirdroseate@...>

This past weekend I saw several hawks along Hwy l that I could not identify. They were large, a bit smaller than an Osprey. Definitely not Redtails. I hesitate to say they looked a lot like the Northern Goshawk, but I understand that would be unlikely.
Any ideas? Thanks!

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