Harlan's RTH, first year

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

I got several photos of this bird at Pudding Creek today. If anyone would like to see, I will have them posted in a jiffy on site (Yahoo).


Hooded Mergansers at Caspar Pond

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>

Friday December 23, 2011 - One male and two female Hooded Mergansers were at the northwest corner of the Caspar pond (Fern Creek Rd at Hwy 1). Also present were one Ring-Necked Duck, some Common Mergansers, several Ruddy Ducks, many Coots. In the bushes among the Brewer's Blackbirds, one male Tricolored Blackbird flashed his white wing-patches at us.


American Dipper

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

Thursday - 22 December 2011 - Ryan Keiffer spotted an American Dipper flying up the Russian River towards the confluence with Pieta Creek. This is right along Highway 101, a few miles south of Hopland ...and was near the large swimming hole/jumping rocks that are so popular in the summertime. I have seen dippers here one time before many years ago. I suspect that there are dippers up Pieta Creek ...and that when the river is clear and "huntable" they use that resource ...but go back up the creek during muddy/high water periods. Good Birding. Reported by Bob Keiffer

Horned Grebes MacKerricher Cove

birdmanofthewoods3 <birdmanofthewoods3@...>

I've been watching HORNED GREBES doing similtaneous dives out in the cove at MacKerricher cove in Mackerricher park for some years now, but today saw the biggest flock(?)ever do a synchonous dive. I would estimate the tightly packed perfect circle at 30 feet wide and containing eighty to a hundred birds. On some unseen signal, all the birds dive in a giant gulp.

I'm guessing that these birds are cooperatively hunting under the waves using some sort of netting behavior. However, my research does not show any data or underwater observations on this behavior. Therefore, I propose that we outfit Ron LeValley with a wetsuit, scuba tanks and cameras and send him out there to find out just what these grebes are doing down there.

Happy Solstice!

Rick Harris

Virginia Rail

jarlyus <jimarm@...>

This morning one of my independent minded cats ran by the window several times carrying some type of prey. He/she (that is how independent) was doing the teasing routine and I thhought the prey was a Flicker. The next time by I didn't think that fit and I got my pool leaf scoop out and rescued a Virginia Rail.
Mike, Halle and Quentin Brady came by and confirmed the ID.
The bird seemed spry enough after his travails to risk releasing it out by a sunny blackberry/marsh interface and I hope things go well for it.

Mike and I exchanged Virginia Rail stories, his about finding a deceased one in his house when he moved in 30 years ago.
My oft-told tale was of bird that came into my front room through an open door 40 years ago, perused the crowd therein and exited. I identified it as a Virginia Rail.
My currenty memory of that visitor is of a creature twice the size of this morning's robin-size one.
George has an "R" on his Potter Valley list for March.

Jim Armstrong
SE Potter Valley

Ukiah CBC preliminary results

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

Tuesday - 20 December 2011 - Here are some preliminary results and highlights from last Saturday's Ukiah CBC. First of all, thanks to all of the participants and Area Leaders for a great job done by all! We have not tallied everything up yet, but based upon our quick compilation dinner results we had 133 species. This is the SECOND highest on record, a few down from the 2010 high-count results of 138 species. A few highlights include: At least one Greater White-fronted Goose; probably over 100 Hooded Mergansers, very few Lesser Scaup, Mountain Quail (heard), ALL of the grebe species possible, a couple of Green Herons (normally gone for the winter), a surprise disappearance of the Black-crowned Night-Heron roost on Yosemite/Washo near Oak Manor, a probable high number of American Coots, Least Sandpipers, Thayer's Gull at Lake Mendocino, all of the expected normal owl species, a high count of Belted Kingfishers due to the new "Kayak Crew" that floated 15 miles on the Russian River, Tree Swallows (normally gone for the winter), and good luck with our more difficult sparrows such as Rufous-crowned, Lark, and White-throated. A Black-headed Grosbeak was found ...that is four birds in the last five years (they are normally gone,gone for the winter). Two ring-necked Pheasants were found ... one deemed "wild" upon review of the facts, and one deemed "captive recently released".

We had cool but clear weather the entire day and a great turnout of participants. I sincerely hope that all had a great time and learned a few identification tricks along the way. Also, thanks to all of the landowners that provided access onto their properties.

Good Birding. Bob Keiffer & Cheryl Watson.

CBC by kayak

Cate Hawthorne

Cheers MendoBirders!!!

It was fun to join in the Ukiah Christmas Bird Count. We enjoyed
meeting many of the inland birders at the compilation dinner.

Our GPS track showed that we traveled 15.4 miles on our kayaking survey
of the Russian River. Here's a link
to a blog post about our trip.
Happy Holidays,
Cate and Jeff
Liquid Fusion Kayaking <>

Eurasian Wigeon Continues at Christmas Star Vineyard Pond in Potter Valley

Dave <algott@...>

The Eurasian Wigeon as first reported by George Chaniot one week ago was still there today at 2:30 pm. I parked at the cemetery on West Rd and walked north up to the pond.

The pond just to south of the cemetery did not have the Goldeneye and in fact had no ducks.

Dave Bengston

Hooded Mergansers in AV

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>

18 December 2012 - Following a tip from Chris Bing, I stopped at the Navarro Vineyards tasting room and wandered over to their pond. As hoped, among the numerous Coots, Ring-necked Ducks, and Common Mergansers, there was indeed a pair of Hooded Mergansers.

I also stopped at the Navarro Grade and glassed the mouth of the Navarro River, which appears to have backed up behind the bar again. In addition to the usual Coots and Buffleheads and Western Grebes, there were several Common Goldeneye.

Tim Bray

Red-naped Sapsucker in Willits


Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Have a Red-naped Sapsucker in my neighbor's apple trees. It was poking at an apple as well as the usual tree bark. Give me a call if you wish to look for it.

A Red-breasted Sapsucker has been a regular forager in the same trees this winter.

Good Birding!
Mike Curry
707 465 1032

Re: Fort Bragg Christmas Bird Count

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>

We now have a map of the Fort Bragg circle, showing the Area boundaries, available on the MCAS Website:

This is an embedded Google Map, meaning you can zoom in and out, move around, change to satellite or street map view, etc.

If you'd like to join in the count for a specific Area, just click on the marker for that Area to see who the Leader is, and get in touch with them. Or contact me and I'll hook you up.

Tim Bray
CAFB Compiler

Al is back at the cove

Jeff Petit

Just a heads up.  He was there this morning.  We've seen him everyday except yesterday and the day before.  
Good birding!
 Beth and Jeff

Says Phoebe at Coyote Dam

Dave <algott@...>

This afternoon (1:00 - 1:30) there was a Says Phoebe on Coyote Dam at Lake Mendocino. Also present was a Rock Wren. The Phoebe was on the west face of the dam about 1/2 way across, where the spillway goes out. Much of the time it was hovering in the air. By 1:30 it had worked its way north about 1/2 way between the middle and the parking lot.

I hope it stays there 3 more days.

Dave Bengston, Ukiah

Re: Eurasian Wigeon in Potter Valley

George Chaniot

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 -- At about 09:15 this morning Chuck Vaughn and I saw the
EURASIAN WIGEON again in Potter Valley. It was still very foggy at that
hour making it hard to see the opposite shore of the pond. The fog was not
gone until about 10:30. At about noon I drove by again and could spot the
red-headed wigeon on the drive-by.
In the afternoon I saw a FERRUGINOUS HAWK flying north over Burris

George Chaniot
PotterValley, MEN, CA

Rock Sandpiper continues(?) at Virgin Creek

Richard Hubacek

Wed Dec 14, 2011--There was a ROCK SANDPIPER at Virgin Creek this morning. "Toby" Tobkin had reported one there on the 3rd of December. This bird was south of the creek's mouth with a large flock of SURFBIRDs, BLACK TURNSTONES and SANDERLINGS. It was not a hightide sighting. There were 62 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and 4 WHIMBRELS further north.

Hull Mt

jerry white

Additional remarks on our trip yesterday. On our way north we stopped at Brushy Pt and heard the woodpecker. Then on the way back we again heard it calling. But just to "confirm" Chuck suggested I play a recording. The bird responded immediately and flew into a snag right near us. Felt somewhat strange to be expending that much effort to get a visual on an Acorn Woodpecker in Mendocino County.

The Northern Goshawk was Chuck's first for his Lake list and was only the 4th winter record for the county.
Jerry White

12/13: Montane birding Hull to Bald Mountains

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- Yesterday Jerry White and I were able to get up
into the montane areas of southern Mendocino NF on road M1. The road is
in good shape, although 4 WD is necessary to navigate the icy snow on the
road. If you do go, you might want to consider cutting a Xmas tree
because the birding was slowwwww. It is winter up there! We were driving
in several inches of snow most of the trip on top. In nearly 4 hours of
birding between Hull Mt and 2 miles E of Bald Mt, we saw 13 bird species
and about 50 individuals. "Highlights" were an adult male Acorn
Woodpecker at Brushy Point, 5600' and not a sound acorn for miles, and
great looks at a soaring juvenile Northern Goshawk just S of Hull Mt in
Lake County. Other birds seen on top: Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker,
Pileated Woodpecker, Steller's Jay, Common Raven, Mountain Chickadee,
Red-breasted Nuthatch, Townsend's Solitaire (LAK), Spotted Towhee, Fox
Sparrow (all "sooty"), and Dark-eyed Junco.

Chuck Vaughn and Jerry White

Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
Ukiah, CA

Eurasian Wigeon in Potter Valley

George Chaniot

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 -- At 1 P.M. today there was a male EURASIAN WIGEON on the
Christmas Star Vineyard pond in Potter Valley. There has been an increase in
American Wigeon here in the last week. One very rufous female turned out to
be an American Wigeon with pure white underwing linings.
This pond is on West(side) Road about 1/4 mi. N. of the cemetery.
There is no good place to park nearby; beware of soft shoulders. It's best
to park at the cemetery and walk the 400 y to the pond. There is a
step-through in the fence, and if you approach slowly, the waterfowl will
move away and not fly. Of all the ponds in Potter Valley that can be viewed
from roads, this pond seems to be the most attractive to waterfowl.
There was also a female COMMON GOLDENEYE on the McMenomey Vineyard pond
- best viewed by walking through the cemetery to the south end.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Mallard 2
American Wigeon 54
Eurasian Wigeon 1
Ring-necked Duck 2
Bufflehead 12
Pied-billed Grebe 1
American Coot 101

Red Fox sparrow in Fort Bragg


Hi All,
For those who keep track of sub-species, I had a Red Fox Sparrow (probable P. i. zaboria I am told by experts) on Saturday and Sunday in company of White-crowned Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows and three Sooty Fox Sparrows. They were feeding between 163 McKinley and 211 McKinley, visible from the street. I put a few photos on the smugmug site (near top in featured galleries):
Sorry for the late notice. Photos not as good as I would like because they were taken through a window. However, these are really pretty little birds.

Roger Adamson

TUVU # 68

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

Tuesday - 13 December 2011 - This morning I observed an adult Turkey Vulture with a white Patagial tag # 68 near my home one mile east of Hopland. This is one of the birds tagged at the UC-Hopland Research & Extension Center during the fall of 2008 and 2009. This effort was part of a study that documented and compared lead exposure in avian scavengers in areas with varying hunting activity. The results of the state-wide study did link lead exposure in turkey vultures to big game hunting activities and also suggested that consumption of domestic livestock food sources may serve as a route for acquisition of antimicrobial resistance in vultures.
As a hunter I am a firm believer that all big game hunters should convert over to copper-only ammunition.
Good birding. Bob Keiffer.

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