Rhinoceros Auklets & Brant - Mendocino Headlands

K A Havlena

Thu, 12 May 2011 -- While scoping the waters of the cove just north of the
rocks at the NW side of Mendocino Headlands SP, I spotted 2 RHINOCEROS
AUKLETS and a lone BRANT.  I was hoping to see a Tufted Puffin, but no
luck as yet with that species. 

From the north end of Lansing St, take Heeser Dr west to the small parking
area where the road curves south.

Karen Havlena
Fort Bragg, MEN California

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Bird Rock Update

rbharris11 <rbharris11@...>

In case you have not been able to get by Bird Rock off the Mendocino Headlands*, an update:

Brandt's cormorants are setting up a bit different than last year. The primo spots (expensive real estate areas) were taken early with only about 8 nests. Very little competition for these spots unlike like last year. The bulk seem to be nesting on the rockier, more marginal areas this year. Much competition for the spiney, off shore rocks. Why? Who knows. Hundreds of common murres with some big "scrums" in the usual good spots. Still not nesting quite yet.

Closer to home two miles up from the coast: Steller's jays are all laying right now. Much angst and nervousness on the Steller's jay's part as they try to be inconspicuous. Right. Female in my back-yeard nest started laying three days ago. Spring in full swing.

Rick Harris

* One half mile directly west of Mendocino village.

Lake County Whimbrel

jerry white

Bryan McIntosh this morning found a WHIMBREL which I saw about an hour or so after his discovery.
The bird was seen from the Nice Lucerne Cutoff Road in the nearly dry pond/field (on the west side of the road) that is about 1/2 mile north of Rodman Slough Park or about 8/10ths of a mile south of Highway 20.There is a large pullout on the eastside of the road at this point for parking.
WHIMBREL is a very difficult bird to find in Lake County. This is the first Spring record and only the 4th record overall. Jerry White

5/5 Ukiah Black-chinned Hummingbird

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I had a male Black-chinned
Hummingbird make several visits to our feeders this evening between about
6:25 and 7:45. If it continues, I will post it here. I left for a
meeting a little before 7:00 and was able to let a few Ukiah-area birders
know about its presence. Cheryl Watson and Jerry White were also able to
see it.


Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Common Loon

rbharris11 <rbharris11@...>

A lot happening today at the Laguna cove in MacKerricher State Park. I noticed a bunch of sea lions and harbor seals working a huge ball of fish not far off shore. This attracted all the usual diving birds the highlight of which was a single common loon in mating plumage. A big deal for me. The schools of fish were so large you could see them as dark masses under the waves. This is good.

Also seen: Lots of shorebirds working the sand along the cove which was a little unusual given the habitat. Wimbrel, black turnstones, 3 semi-palmated plovers and a flock of small unidentified peeps, oyster catchers, et. al. All working the upper tide wrack for...something. I got the feeling that a large number of hungry shorebirds are passing through at the moment. Might be a good time for you shorebird watchers to venture out.

Rick Harris

Solitary Sandpiper at Big River Quarry Pond

stewardscoord <mcoleman@...>

Big River Spring Survey Leader Richard Hubacek spotted a lone Solitary Sandpiper in the small pond in the quarry about 0.6 miles up the Big River Haul during the first survey of the West Haul route this morning.

It's the first time this species has been seen at Big River since the spring surveys began in 2003. It's also a "life bird" for Richard.

Although the bird flew off upriver (and was spotted again from station 5) by the time we finished the 11 station survey route around 10:30am, the Solitary Sandpiper had returned to the quarry.

Other notable observations included ~13 Whimbrel, 2 Least Sandpipers and a Greater Yellowlegs on Big River Beach and, near station five, Double-crested Cormorants apparently gathering nesting material.

Overall, 45 bird species, along with Harbor Seals and River Otters, were observed during the survey.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

1 May 2011 - Sunday - Scott Harris reported (with photos) a male Black-chinned Hummingbird from his feeder at Brooktrails/Willits. The bird showed up briefly at the feeder at around 5:45 PM and was there for only a short while. Scott kept a vigilant eye throughout Monday, and I and Ollie Kolkmann visited for about an hour yesterday evening at the same time period in hopes of a return, but the bird did not show. If the bird reappears, I will work with Scott to see if viewings can be arranged. However, for now it looks like Sunday was a one-time short stopover for the bird.

Pay close attention to your hummingbird feeders now as many migrants such as Rufous, Allen's, and a few Calliope are moving through. It is a very short window of time that this spring migration of hummers occurs in Lake and Mendocino Counties. If one is extremely lucky a rarity like Black-chinned or Costa's may show up. Please report any Calliope, Costa's, or Black-chinned Hummingbirds ASAP.

Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Western Kingbird - Ocean Meadows /Ten Mile Area

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Tue, 3 May 2011 -- A WESTERN KINGBIRD has shown up in our yard again
this year.  Last year, several WEKI were found along the MEN coast.  It will
take time to see if this species becomes regular on the immediate coast and
how long individuals may stay in one area, but it is something to think about
and watch for. 
Yesterday and this morning, 4 VAUX'S SWIFTS have been flying around the

Karen Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, MEN, California

Male Rufous Hummingbird and male Hooded Oriole

Dave <algott@...>

This morning I have seen a male Rufous Hummingbird several times and a female Selasphorus Sp. in my yard. I observed saw the male doing a display dive.

I observed the resident male Hooded Oriole singing from the top of a redwood tree this am also.

From Rogina Heights in Ukiah.

Dave Bengston

Chadbourne Gulch - Hwy 1

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

May 1, 2011 -- This morning, I was able to leave Jim and his back
injury for a while.  I drove north along Hwy 1 to Chadbourne Gulch.
It appears that someone had put up a barrier to the east section,
but it was not intentional.  A willow has fallen at the entrance, but
one can easily get by it to the trail.

the resident GREAT HORNED OWL along the trail.  One critter I have
never encountered there was a tick ----- this time I came home with at
least 6 to 8 ticks!  Yucky.  So, be careful if going there.

Chadbourne Gulch is south of Westport at mm 75.47.

Karen Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, MEN, California 

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2011 Black Oystercatcher Survey

Joleen <j_ossello@...>

Greetings fellow bird enthusiasts,

California Audubon is embarking on a major population survey of the coastal Black Oystercatcher. This is the first of its kind and Mendocino Coast Audubon Society is excited to coordinate our coastline.

We are looking for volunteers to survey during the weekends of June 2-5 and June 9-12. The second weekend is optional; however, the protocol suggests a particular site be visited twice within a seven day period. The survey can also begin the weekend of May 20-23 if necessary. Perhaps you are already envisioning your favorite birding area, and that is what makes this opportunity so exciting.

If you are interested, please send me your contact information and I will forward pertinent information.

Audubon CA has set up a website…..maps, additional information, boat protocols etc etc etc


Joleen J Ossello
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Conservation Chair

5/1 UWTP White-faced Ibis

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- Steve Stump found 2 WHITE-FACED IBIS at the Ukiah
Wastewater Treatment Plant early this morning. They were on the levee
between the middle and north oxidation ponds, and still there at 8 am.

Chuck for Steve

Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Lake County Solitary Sandpiper

jerry white

This afternoon Nikki White and I saw a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the (Noble) Meadow Pointe Mobilehome Park in Upper Lake. The park is located right off of Hiway 20. Drive to the backside (south side) of the park and look for the obvious fenced in pond. The bird was just to the east of the pond in the low wetlands. There were also 3 male Great-tailed Grackles in the vicinity. Jerry White

Lake County Calliope

jerry white

Yesterday mid-afternoon a male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD showed up at our feeder in Kelseyville. It fed briefly two times and has not been seen since. Jerry White

Anyone have Dawson's "Birds of California"


I would like to look at this 3-volume set of books to help with my research, if anyone has it.



Kate Marianchild, nature writer
Currently researching and writing
Secrets of the Oak Woodlands, a book
of fascinating and little-known
facts about plants and animals
that live among the oaks;
to be published by Heyday in 2013.

Pair of Harlequin Ducks and 10 Black Oystercatchers


Today, April 19, 2011 10:15 a.m. ten Black Oystercatchers roosting with a pair of Harlequin Ducks on the near offshore rocks of Virgin Creek--some 250 meters from the north end of the beach. The roosting rock was just at the wateredge. Virgin Creek Beach is just north of Fort Bragg, CA.

Becky Bowen
Caspar, CA

Winged Mirgration: Follow-up

rbharris11 <rbharris11@...>

Checked the Mendocino Headlands today for mirgrating seabirds. The loon migration continues unabated. Heavier than last reported with a rate estimated at 25-30 Pacific Loons per minute average(LPM). Interestingly, there were more mixed flocks with Common Loons mixed in with the Pacific loons as part of the formations. The size difference was marked and easy to pick out. Also, other seabirds "hitch-hiking" and drafting the big loons. Most of these birds were bringing up the rear in small groups of 2 to 8 birds. Identification difficult. Probably Scoters and Alcids (not common murres) and ???. Quite an interesting mix.

(It sure would be nice if an expert birder would go out on the headlands with a good scope and make some postive identifications as it seems some interesting migrants are going by right now. Puffins?)

Also heard yesterday 2 miles inland from the coast in Little River: drip...drip... No, not the rain, but a Swainson's thrush call. First of the year. It took me a couple of seconds to register the call note as a Swainson's but it finally sunk in. I know that call... It will be so common here this summer I don't even hear it after a while. Welcome back Mr. Swainson.

Rick Harris

HREC birds 4/28

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- This morning there were 3 PURPLE MARTINS (2m, 1f)
on the utility lines that parallel University Road adjacent to the
permanent pasture at the bottom of the UC Hopland Research Center. The
birds were between the large ag pond and the cattleguard. Near the office
area, along Parson's Creek, there was a continuing SOLITARY SANDPIPER, a
bird which I first saw yesterday morning.


Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Northern Lake County

jerry white

On Tuesday April 26th I birded the Lake Pillsbury/Hull Mt area. There were good numbers of singing Nashville, Hermit and Yellow Warblers. Cassin's and Warbling Vireos were also easily found.
On the way up on Elk Mt. Road there was a Townsend's Solitaire. On Hull Mt. there were 4-5 more Townsend's Solitaires, Mt. Chickadees, at least 3 singing "Thick-billed" Fox Sparrows (this is somewhat early for Lake County) and at least 4 Red-breasted Sapsuckers.
Missing on the day were Western Wood-Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Dusky Flycatcher.

The two best birds of the day (both difficult to find in Lake County anywhere except in the Snow Mt. area) were a Hammond's Flycatcher seen along the Eel River at Benmore Creek and a Cassin's Finch found on Hull.
However, easily the best discovery of the day was a FISHER seen on Hull Mt. mid-morning. A new life mammal for me. Jerry White

A few Coast Sightings

Dave <algott@...>

I went to Ft. Bragg for Easter. A few of the birds I saw included:
a Red Crossbill on Airport Rd in Ft. Bragg at 9:05 am in the 31500 block area on Monday morning 4/25; a Pacific Wren in Van Damn SP up the Fern Canyon Trail where the fallen tree is completely across the trail on Tuesday morning about 10 am on 4/26; a Wandering Tattler at the Botanical Gardens off the bluffs at 2:15 on 4/26; two Spotted Sandpipers at the mouth of the Navarro about 4:15 on 4/26; and one Golden Eagle perched on a snag at the top of Hwy 253 about 9 miles from Hwy 128 at 5:30 on 4/26.

Please note that it is Airport Rd in Ft. Bragg, and not Little River where a lot of the Crossbill sightings have been in the past. I think there were several Crossbills, but all of them flew except one which I got in the scope to positively ID.

Dave Bengston

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