Re: Black-crowned Night Heron

George Chaniot

On May 24 at about 2 p.m. I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron in Ukiah flying
south near the Starbucks near Perkins and Route 101. It was an adult and
did not appear to be carrying food, but it made me wonder if there might be
nesting in the vicinity. That's pretty close to the Oak Manor winter roost.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

From: Robert Keiffer <>

27 May 2011 - I just saw an adult Black-crowned Night Heron on the pond
across from Fern Canyon Road on Old River Road. This is about two miles south
of Talmage. It is of interest because we have the traditional winter roost
of 30+ birds near Oak Manor at Ukiah, yet we have no documented records of the
species nesting in the county.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

27 May 2011 - I just saw an adult Black-crowned Night Heron on the pond across from Fern Canyon Road on Old River Road. This is about two miles south of Talmage. It is of interest because we have the traditional winter roost of 30+ birds near Oak Manor at Ukiah, yet we have no documented records of the species nesting in the county. There are records of summer-time juveniles ...but ones that can already fly ... but no actual nests have been found. This adult bird today tells me that we have a nesting colony somewhere near, maybe along the Russian River in the willows?? They will also nest in expanses tules/cattails (maybe Hunters' lagoon at Manchester State Beach for example). Anyway, please keep an eye out for Black-crowned Night Herons going to and from and area during crepuscular (dawn and dusk) time periods. Hopefully someone will locate a nest colony this season so we can include it in our county-wide effort of "heronry" surveys. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Two White Pelicans


While in the town of Mendocino today, right about noon, two White Pelicans flew in from the south directly over our heads as we stood outside the Mendocino Hotel. Wish my camera hadn't been sitting in the car. We hopped in the car and tried to locate them again but to no avail.

All Birds & Mammals from 5/15 Pelagic Trip - Fort Bragg

K A Havlena

Sun, 15 May 2011 - Below is the wonderful eBird list that was
prepared by Rob Fowler, co-leader of the Spring MCAS Pelagic
trip.  We motored south towards Navarro Canyon.  Rob's lists
are in TWO sections with locations and notes.  Enjoy!  A big
thanks to Rob.   -- Karen Havlena

[1] Location:  Mendocino Pelagic--nearshore  Observation date:     5/15/11
Notes:     Nearshore portion of the pelagic trip organized by the Mendocino
Coast Audubon Society. All birds seen from Noyo harbor to about 4 miles
offshore. Three California Sea Lions and a 4 Harbor Seals were in the harbor.
Number of species:     17
Mallard     2
Surf Scoter     80
Red-throated Loon     8
Pacific Loon     120
Common Loon     1
Brandt's Cormorant     4
Pelagic Cormorant     14     A couple of nests seen right outside of Noyo Harbor
were seen to have chicks.
Brown Pelican     11
Turkey Vulture     1
Osprey     1
Western Gull     50
California Gull     1
Pigeon Guillemot     15
Rhinoceros Auklet     2
Common Raven     1
European Starling     6
Song Sparrow     1

[2] Location:  Offshore pelagic (MEN Co.)
Observation date:     5/15/11
Notes:     Mendocino Coast Audubon-organized pelagic trip. We headed to the
south towards Navarro Canyon but only got within about 5 miles of it due to us
constantly running into flocks of birds. We made it about 12-13 miles offshore
at the farthest point. It was a very busy day with seabirds being seen
throughout the day. Weather in the morning was overcast with regular showers and
wind from the south at about Beaufort 1-2. By the afternoon the wind had picked
up a bit turning from Beaufort 2-3. Highlights was the first-ever SHORT-TAILED
ALBATROSS to be found on a pelagic boat trip in Northwestern California (MEN 2nd
and Rob Fowler were the trip leaders. Mammals seen on the trip include: Humpback
Whale 6<br>Pacific White-sided Dolphin  5<br>Dall's Porpoise  12 California Sea
Lion 1.
Number of species:     19
Pacific Loon     60
Black-footed Albatross     320
Northern Fulmar     10
Pink-footed Shearwater     170
Sooty Shearwater     400
Manx Shearwater     1     One spotted by Rob Fowler off of the back of the boat
on the way back in about 9 offshore south of Albion. Seen well by some of the
trip participants. Small black-and-white shearwater that flew with quick and
stiff wingbeats with blackish upperparts that sharply contrasted with the white
underparts. The undertail coverts were obviously white and the white crescent
that curves up behind the auriculars was well seen at close range.
Leach's Storm-Petrel     1     One spotted flying away from the boat by Ron
LeValley and seen by a few trip participants.
Red-necked Phalarope     900     Rough estimates for both phalarope species.
Red-necked seemed to be slightly less numerous than Reds today.
Red Phalarope     1100
Sabine's Gull     360     At most times of the day this species was being seen.
Good day for migration for this species. Most birds were adults.
Bonaparte's Gull     9
Western Gull     140
California Gull     30
Black Tern     1     1 alternate-plumaged bird seen with about 8 Common Terns.
Only about the 3rd record for Mendocino.
Common Tern     8     Fowler thought these birds were probably Arctic but photos
from LeValley proved otherwise and clinched the id. as Commons.
Common/Arctic Tern     1     One bird too far to id.
Pomarine/Parasitic Jaeger     1     One bird was spotted by Fowler was probably
a Parasitic but views too brief.
Common Murre     40
Pigeon Guillemot     1     One seen about 5 miles offshore.
Cassin's Auklet     18
Rhinoceros Auklet     120

-- Rob Fowler
    McKinleyville, CA

evening grosbeaks

jonipony42 <jonipony42@...>

"my" evening grosbeaks have been at the sunflower feeders since early March. This is their first year here in my yard. I have counted four males and four females, for sure, possibly nesting? They are now being crowded out by the Bullocks Orioles and maybe Blackheaded Grosbeaks. I'm at the southeast corner of East Valley street and South Lenore in Willits. They are usually there from 7 a.m. to noon and then intermittent til about 5 p.m. You can view them from across East Valley Street...if you come to the driveway gate, the dogs will scare everything away. Happy sightings!

Evening Grosbeak(s) continue in Willits

sizewiremike20 <sizewiremike20@...>


Fellow Birders:

Made another short trip to the previous location of the Evening Grosbeaks in Willits. Quickly picked up a calling male in a large oak on the north side of the intersection of East Valley Road and South Lenore. The lady in whose yard (southeast corner house) the Grosbeaks seem to be inhabiting sent me an email recounting how she has seen at least 4 males and 4 females visiting her feeder regularly.

East Valley road runs eastward from highway 101 and the intersection is about 1/4 mile east from the highway.

Good birding!
Mike Curry

5/18 UWTP American Avocets

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- This morning at 1115 there were 2 AMERICAN
AVOCETS on the N edge of the S pond at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment
Plant. They were in nice, bright alternate plumage.


Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Glass Beach Albatrosses

Charlene McAllister

Ron LeValley just reported that there is a drag boat offshore from Glass
Beach. There are 100's of Albatrosses around the boat and they can be seen
from shore. He speculates that with a scope one might find a Short-tailed
in the mix.

Charlene McAllister

P.O. Box 332

Little River, CA 95456-0332


cell: 707-832-2135

PAS Thurs 5/19: Matthew Matthiessen on Alaska

Cheryl Watson

Alaska: abundant life in barren landscapes

The incomparable Matthew Matthiessen will return to Ukiah from Mammoth Lakes to present his unique impressions of Alaska. Join Peregrine Audubon on Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. at the Ukiah Civic Center for his beautiful photography of Alaska, the Pribilof Islands and its wildlife. It wasn't the majestic, glacier-covered mountains or the forest clad inlets that left an impact on Mattiessen, but rather the abundant birds and mammals set against the desolate and barren landscape.

Matthiessen describes it, "This was my first trip to Alaska and I was absolutely amazed at how fantastic it was. I went in May/June of 2010 and visited Homer, Nome, and St Paul Island. The reason to go to St Paul was to see Red-legged Kittiwake, but the thing that made it so special were the huge seabird colonies nesting on the cliffs. It was truly one of the most incredible birding experiences of my life. Nome was great for the handful of Asian species that just make it across the Bering Strait and breed on the western edge of AK. The mammals were a revelation as well."

This Peregrine Audubon sponsored presentation is free to the public, though donations will be welcome. The Ukiah Civic Center is located at 300 Seminary Avenue. To support Peregrine Audubon Society and receive a newsletter with regular announcements about programs and field trips, please send $20 to PAS, P.O. Box 311, Ukiah, CA 95482. For more information on a wide variety of topics related to birding and conservation in Mendocino County please go to

Short-tailed Albatross video

Rob Fowler

Hi all,
At the request of Bob Keiffer I'm posting the video that I took of the
immature Short-tailed Albatross that was found on the Mendocino Coast
Audubon-sponsored pelagic trip yesterday, 15 May 2011. The link to the video
is here <>. Enjoy!

For Calbirders that aren't subscribed to
Mendobirds<>or don't check
the California
Birding List Digest <> regularly see Karen
Havlena's posting below that she put on Mendobirds yesterday regarding the

Sun, 15 May 2011 -- A young, banded SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS
was spotted by Jerry White 6 miles off Mendocino. The bird flew in with
over 100 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, and sat behind the stern of the
Telstar, while many took numerous photos.� Later, Rob Fowler called
out MANX SHEARWATER 9 miles out.��Ron LeValley found a LEACH'S
STORM-PETREL.� Ron and Rob�simutaneously�called a BLACK TERN.
It was a great trip for Mendocino Coast Audubon's annual May pelagic

For Jerry White, Ron LeValley and Rob Fowler,

Karen Havlena
MCAS pelagic trip organizer
Fort Bragg, MEN, California

Rob Fowler
McKinleyville, CA

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

Short-tailed Albatross & Other Birds - Mendocino

K A Havlena

Sun, 15 May 2011 -- A young, banded SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS
was spotted by Jerry White 6 miles off Mendocino. The bird flew in with
over 100 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, and sat behind the stern of the
Telstar, while many took numerous photos.  Later, Rob Fowler called
out MANX SHEARWATER 9 miles out.  Ron LeValley found a LEACH'S
STORM-PETREL.  Ron and Rob simutaneously called a BLACK TERN.
It was a great trip for Mendocino Coast Audubon's annual May pelagic

For Jerry White, Ron LeValley and Rob Fowler,

Karen Havlena
MCAS pelagic trip organizer
Fort Bragg, MEN, California

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

Yellow-headed Blackbird - Ocean Meadows

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Fri, 13 May 2011 --  An adult female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was
feeding at the edge of our driveway this morning in Ocean Meadows / Ten
Mile Area.  We had another YHBL in the yard 12 Oct, 2009. 

We are out of birdseed.  Ususally, YHBls have not stayed around this area
for more than a few hours, at most.  So, it is not too promising for this bird
to linger.

Karen Havlena
Ocean Meadows / Ten Mile Area
North of Fort Bragg, MEN, California

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

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

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

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