Purple Martins - Ten Mile R. Bridge

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Sun, 10 April 2011 -- A pair of PURPLE MARTIN flew and perched at the
Ten Mile River bridge on Hwy 1 north of Fort Bragg this morning.  Five
CASPIAN TERNS were on the sand west of the bridge.  Also present

Ten Mile River is ten miles north of Noyo River, Fort Bragg.

Karen Havlena
Ocean Meadows / Ten Mile Area,
MEN, California

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Audubon Program with Alvaro Jaramillo

Charlene McAllister

Birds and Nature of the Southern Cone

The Southern Cone? Is that an Ice Cream place in Georgia? Nope, it is the
triangle-shaped southern section of South America. The cone includes Chile,
Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and the southern bits of Bolivia and Brazil.

What makes it special is that there are so many habitats and neat areas
here, the Pampas, Patagonia, the Matorral, the Humboldt Current, Iguazu
Falls, the Yungas, the Chaco - so many spots that are truly and uniquely
South American. It is the land of Rheas, penguins, horneros, seriemas, as
well as Southern Right Whales, Marine Otters, Viscachas and Vicuñas. A part
of the world blessed with some enigmatic, unusual, beautiful and often
rather unique creatures. But what absolutely is the icing on the cake is
that the southern cone includes some of the most memorable and scenic parts
of the Americas. This includes snow-capped volcanoes, huge granitic spikes,
the big sky country of the Pampas and Patagonia and coastlines that are
perhaps only rivaled by California for their beauty. Come enjoy an evening
exploring a gorgeous part of the world and its equally fantastic bird and
wildlife through the eyes of Alvaro Jaramillo, a birder-biologist who has an
unbridled passion for this part of the world. This April 11, 2011 7 PM
meeting will be held at the Gualala Arts Center. Carpooling is encouraged.

Audubon meetings are open to everyone at no charge, however, donations to
offset the cost of presenting programs is encouraged. For further
information, go to or write to <>

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Brandt's Cormorants Displaying

Rick Harris <birdmanofthewoods@...>

Saw my first group of Brandt's Cormorants doing full displays on Bird Island off Mendocino Headlands State Park. Doing the full arching neck display and tail spread display. No grass gathering or nest building activity yet.

Also of possible interest, large migrating flocks of White-winged scoters seen going by with what looks like some distressed birds dropping out and taking shelter in almost every cove and river I looked in. I think this steady high N-NE wind gusting to near gale force is taking its toll on the White-winged. I watched a small group of six birds in Laguna Cove at MacKerricher State Park that were oviously nearing the end of their tether. There was at least one dead WWS washed up on the beach and the survivers looked like they were just trying to hang on. A grim scene actually. The Surf Scoters on the other hand seemed to be taking it all into stride and were actually actively feeding.

Rick Harris

Confirmed: Two mature Bald Eagles in Albion, CA

HowardG <hbg@...>

Observed two mature Bald Eagles scoping out the Salmon Creek / Whitesboro Cove just south of Albion, CA around 4:15 p.m. PDT Thursday, April 7, 2011. Headed east just after photos taken.


Howard Guyer
Albion, CA

Re: Aleutians, possibly

Lisa Walker \(Feather\) <feather7023@...>

Aleutians, possibly

Lisa Walker \(Feather\) <feather7023@...>

I spotted a flock of what looked to be more like Aleutian Canada Geese than Cackling as the white stripe at the base of the neck was extremely well-pronounced, whiter and thicker than the Cacklers I've seen.

I will post a photo to the site soon, so others can tell me better and of course, if I am wrong, I will correct it.


Laysan Albatross "AL" history

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

7 April 2011 - First of all, thanks to everyone who keeps track of "Al" (or
Alene?), the Laysan Albatross that habitually uses Point Arena Cove for
loafing during the winter months. Even though the bird becomes "expected"
there will be a day when it does not return, which will be a sad day for us
in Mendocino County. Anyway, thanks also to those who post the bird's
happenings as there are many folks, even out of the country, that pay
particular attention to this individual bird.

To any of you visiting the cove with hopes of seeing "Al" I think you will
have to hope for next winter. "AL" appears to have left us once again to
who-knows-where least we know that the bird was not killed by the
Tsunami like many of Laysan Albatross that were nesting on the Midway Atoll.

Here, again, is the summary of "Al's" comings and goings from Point Arena
Cove, Mendocino County, California USA.

Also, thanks to the local business folks and surfers and birders who keep an
eye on Al to insure the birds safety.

????? to 28 February 1994 when first discovered by

Todd Easterla and Jim Booker

30 Nov 1994 to 27 Mar 1995 report of two birds in

synchronized flight beyond the "cove"

5 Dec 1995 to 14 Mar 1996

3 Dec 1996 to 26 Mar 1997

27 Nov 1997 to 8 Mar 1998

12 Dec 1998 to 21 Mar 1999

4 Dec 1999 to 12 Feb 2000 with a fly-by-the-cove (same bird?)

on 2 Apr 2000 (G.Chaniot)

26 Nov 2000 to 26 Feb 2001

28 Nov 2001 to 24 Mar 2002

21 Nov 2002 to 12 Mar 2003

25 Nov 2003 to 28 Feb 2004

28 Nov 2004 to 21 Feb 2005

26-30 Nov 2005 to 19 Mar 2006

25 Nov 2006 to 16 Mar 2007

7 Dec 2007 to 5 Mar 2008

22 Nov 2008 to 23 Mar 2009 5:26 PM

18 Nov 2009 to 23 Mar 2010

22 Nov 2010 to 28 Mar 2011

Since Laysan Albatross are so long-lived (60+ years) it is absolutely
unknown as to how many years prior to 1994 that this bird may have been
using Point Arena Cove un-noticed.

Again, this is probably the only place on the west coast (WA/OR/CA) where
one can reliably see this species with the observer standing on solid ground
(not on a boat).. But you will have to hope and wait until next winter.

Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Pudding Creek Mouth - Fort Bragg - S-B Dowitchers

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Wed, 6 April 2011 -- A flock of 12 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS were on an
exposed sandbar just east of the Pudding Creek bridge at the north end of Fort
Bragg on Hwy 1.  I could tell they were 'dowitchers' with my binoculars, but
luckily they took flight calling, "Tu, tu, tu."  That made it easy.  Also, there
a WILSON'S SNIPE on the shore.  Four CASPIAN TERNS flew north over the
trestle bridge.  Other birds noted were 2 Belted Kingfishers and a Western

There is a small pullout at the north end of the Hwy 1 bridge and a large,
paved turnout on the west side of the highway.

Karen Havlena
Fort Bragg, MEN, California

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More Odd Raptor Behavior

Rick Harris <birdmanofthewoods@...>

Took a day trip down to Point Arena from Littleriver to see if Al was still around. When I got to the end of the pier I saw a rather large Osprey stoop from way up right in front of me and grab what I thought was a fish. A very large black fish from what I could see. The fish was so big that it appeared the Osprey couldn't lift off. Then to my astonishment, it wasn't a fish at all but a Cormorant (Brandt's as it turned out). After a furious battle the Osprey released the Cormormant and flew off. After a few seconds the Cormorant surfaced and appeared a little worse for the wear but still alive.

At first I thought that the Osprey was actually trying to kill and eat the Cormorant, then I thought maybe it was trying to steal the Cormorants fish. Finally I came to the conclusion that the Osprey was warning the Cormorant not to fish in its territory and was trying to chase it off with a severe thrashing or even trying to kill it. Of the three ideas, I think the last is most likely, but the first two can't be ruled out. Never seen anything like it.

As for Al the Albatross, the following conversation took place between me and a young man fishing at the end of the pier:

Me: Have you seen Al today?
Him: No not today, but I saw him yesterday.
Me: (Excited) Where did you see him?
Him: Oh, right over there were he usually is. He is probably out today but won't be back till later. He fishes over there around the corner (pointing south). That is where he gets his urchins.
Me: Al eats sea urchins?
Him: (Pause)... Um..., no, he sells them. Al is an urchin diver.
Me: Oh

So no Al the Albatross today but if you want to see Al the Urchin Diver, he is usually down there.

Rick Harris

Goshawk in Albion

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>

6 April 2011 - Our rooster alerted us to the presence of a large Accipiter in a nearby redwood tree. Assuming it was a Cooper's Hawk we paid little heed, until it emitted a loud, rather nasal-sounding call; not a Red-Shouldered scream. It repeated this a few times, then flew off; as it did so, I noticed that it seemed too large, and too pale gray, for a Cooper's. Just now I went through the Stokes Guide bird calls and confirmed that it was a Northern Goshawk.

It headed north... as many raptors seem to be doing these days.

Tim Bray
Middle Ridge, Albion

White-throated Sparrows

Richard Hubacek

Tue Apr 5, 2011---Back on November 23, 2010, I posted that I had at least 4 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS at my feeders here in Little River. Today there are still at least 2 present. I have been able to look over the birds at my feeders and find anywhere from 4 to 2 White-throated Sparrows present during that period of time. In the past they have shown-up for no more then a week and then leave. Will be listening for their song.

Richard Hubacek
Little River

Re: Eurasian Collared Doves

Tim Liguori

FYI - we've had well over 20 show up the last two summers and now thru the winter. But this winter, red-shouldered hawks are showing up for a hardy meal.
And I'm seeing more around town this year.

Perhaps the RS hawks are increasing to help with the balance?


Tim Liguori
Fairfield, CA
Blackberry'd from Tim Liguori

-----Original Message-----
From: "jarlyus" <>
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 17:15:39
To: <>
Subject: [Mendobirds] Eurasian Collared Doves

I guess these ever-more-common doves don't know that they are non-native and thus unprotected.
I have at least two pairs nearby that coo-COO-coo loudly and incessantly starting at about 5 AM every morning.
At least starlings and House Sparrows are smart enough to stay quiet that time of day.
I seem to not hear the more pleasant calls of Mourning Doves so much any more. I wonder if there is a connection.

Jim Armstrong
SE Potter Valley

4/5 Solitary Sandpiper at UWTP

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- This morning there was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER on
the eastern-most of the vernal pools in the old pear orchard just north of
the UWTP oxidation ponds. This pool is best observed by walking about 100
yards east on the north dike. The bird did not fly when I walked past.


Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Eurasian Collared Doves

jarlyus <jimarm@...>

I guess these ever-more-common doves don't know that they are non-native and thus unprotected.
I have at least two pairs nearby that coo-COO-coo loudly and incessantly starting at about 5 AM every morning.
At least starlings and House Sparrows are smart enough to stay quiet that time of day.
I seem to not hear the more pleasant calls of Mourning Doves so much any more. I wonder if there is a connection.

Jim Armstrong
SE Potter Valley

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Rick Harris <birdmanofthewoods@...>

Noted today that one of the best known Great Blue Heron rookeries in the area is filling up fast. Spotted two of three nests with resident herons on them. Reminds me of an apartment complex: Space is limited, filling up fast, gettem while they last! I noted one bird on a nest last week.

The rookery is quite easy to get to but is not always easy to see. Even though I know where the nests are, I continually loose them in the background. Surprisingly well camoflaged for such a big bird on such a big nest. From the eastern-most parking lot (by the kiosk) in Big River, look across the river due southeast. About a quarter mile upstream in the tops of the the Doug firs on the south side of Big River will be the nesting platforms. There are more nests upstream around the "corner". Keep looking if you don't see them at first.

Also seen: A number of breeding pelagic cormorants going far upstream on Big River. Four miles and still headed upstream. Never saw them feed. What are they doing up there?

Rick Harris

Harliquin Ducks

Susan Tubbesing

Justsaw a pair of Harliquin ducks on the rocks a bit north of Virgin creek. 12:45 pm Monday April 4th.
Susan Tubbesing

heron rookery locations in MEN

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

4 April 2011 - Apparently PRBO and USFWS are interested in gathering heron
rookery locations and data during spring of 2011. John Sterling is
responsible for many Northern California counties. so he has asked for local
assistance. Right now it looks like I and Ron LeValley will help to
coordinate the efforts in Mendocino County. Ron will work on the coastal
sites and I work on the inland sites. We each have very limited time and
will need assistance from volunteers to help with locations of each rookery
and also for the field survey (about 1.5 hours per rookery). Of course,
landowner permission will be necessary if on private land.

Please contact me if you know of current or historical heron rookeries
(nesting colonies not winter roosting sites) within Mendocino County.

Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Caspian Terns & Lesser G'finches

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>

Saturday April 2, 2011 - Seven Caspian Terns flew past our house, about one mile inland on Middle Ridge in Albion. We often see them here at this time of year when the wind is blowing strongly, always headed north.

Friday April 1, 2011 - Two Lesser Goldfinches (a male and a female) appeared on the thistle sock. They stayed around and the male has been singing.

Tim Bray

UWTP Whimbrel

Cheryl Watson

Saturday April 2, 2011

Geoff and I were surprised to see a WHIMBREL flying over the north pond of the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning. The bird landed on the dike between the north and middle ponds, rested for about ten minutes then flew off to the south, calling several times. It appeared to land in the fields or ditch near the pear sheds to the west.

Cheryl Watson
Ukiah, CA

Winged Mirgration

Rick Harris <birdmanofthewoods@...>

Apr. 1 2011. Had a lot of fun hanging out on the Mendocino Headlands watching a big Spring migration go by. Migration definitely in full swing. I can't say that it has mpy been going on for the past several days of rain as I couldn't see much through my windshield, but I think many of these birds are taking advantage of a break in the weather to head north. Birds seen:

Loons: Lotsa loons loosely bunched in clots or singles low over the water in a constant parade. Probably mostly Pacific but suspicious looking red-throated maybe.

Brant: One really big flock of Brant went by low and digging hard. Tight and about 700. More or less.

Surf Scoters: Nice tight vees low. Beyond counting.

Gulls: A constant steady stream of singles and small groups following the bluff lines. Reminds me of hikers going by. Slow, steady and in for the long haul. To this laridae challenged birder it seemed like an even split between glaucaous winged, herring and California gulls with lots of interesting unidentifiables mixed in. Glaucous winged predominating.

Common Murre: First time for seeing a group setting up for breeding on the offshore Bird Islands. They were forming the first "scrum" of the season. I call them a scrum because they always remind me of rugby players fighting over the ball. Tightly packed murres. Not sure what the proper term is.

Rick Harris

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