Date   

Inland Shorebird Event, 3 May ?

George Chaniot
 

Fri, 4 May 2012 -- I wasn't going to report this, but in light of the 65
Whimbrels and 1000+ Red-necked Phalaropes at UWTP yesterday, I've decided to
do so.
Yesterday (3 May) about noon, as I was walking to the mailbox at my
home in Potter Valley, I was surprised by a very noisy flock of large
shorebirds flying low over the trees. I got a binoculars view of one flying
away, and later I saw the flock going away through the mist at about 300
yards. From the sound and the giss, I thought they were Whimbrels,
unprecedented in Potter Valley, but I didn't get a satisfying view. There
were about 30, and they were accompanied by about 6 smaller plover-sized
shorebirds. They headed off to the NE. It rained lightly all day yesterday.
My sister and I drove around Potter Valley hoping to find them down
somewhere again, but we didn't. We did find a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW on a fence
wire on Burris Lane. On 2 May we had seen a distant, probably Grasshopper
Sparrow on Pine Avenue on the fence running south from the Pine Ave. Assn.
sign. We also found a small group of about 30 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at
10700 Eastside Road with nest-building going on. The blackberry hedge there
has been seriously abated, and I didn't think they were going to nest there
this year.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Red-necked Phalaropes and Forter's Terns at Ukiah Water Treatment Plant (UWTP)

Dave <algott@...>
 

This morning, one of the workers (Steve Stumpf) reported about 15 terns at the UWTP and 1000+ RN Phalaropes, so I went down to see. By the time I got there, 4 of the Forster's Terns were still there and well over 1000 RN Phalaropes. I saw over 200 of them leave. By noon, the Terns were gone but the Phaloropes remained.

Other birds of interest included: a Peregrine Falcon that came thru terrorizing the Phalaropes, 3 Spotted Sandpipers, a half dozen Vaux's Swifts, 65 Whimbrels and a Green Heron.

The WTP is at the end of Plant Rd off of So State St.

Dave Bengston
Ukiah


Red Knot at Virgin Creek

carolynkinet
 

Thur., May 3, 2012 - Toby Tobkin called yesterday to report a male RED KNOT in full breeding plumage at Virgin Creek Beach. She also confirmed the 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKs I had seen Tuesday were still in residence.
Sorry for the late post.

For Toby Tobkin

Carolyn Kinet
Inglenook


Herons on the Noyo

Richard Hubacek
 

Wed May 2, 2012--This afternoon at 1:15PM I found myself at the Dolphin RV Park & Marina not far from Liquid Fusion Kayaking where the Noyo takes a 90 degree turn. Right at that turn I first noticed the ever present GREAT BLUE HERON. Then a SNOWY EGRET flew into the very far corner (I suspect a tidal entrapment area back in the corner). I moved a little and discovered a hidden "adult" BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON actively foraging (I chuckle at that description) not roosting in the same area.

"The Birds of North America Online", states that Black-crowned Night Herons, "feeds mainly from evening to early morning but feeds during the day in times of high food demand such as during breeding season". It also states, "Generally sleep during the day except when demands of young keep them foraging in daylight hours." According to the same source it appears that they could be an early nester.

Mendocino county does not have a record of Black-crowned Night-Herons nesting here but some of us suspect that they do. We only have to find out where!!

Richard Hubacek
Little River


Snow goose joins flock in Potter Valley

cdlcruz <cdlcruz@...>
 

The White Fronted Goose is still with the Canada flock at White Dog Ranch in PV and they have recently been joined by a Snow Goose. It was far enough away that the photo Angie took isn't too clear. Usually best seen in the morning.


Harlequin Ducks at Virgin Creek

carolynkinet
 

Tues., May 1, 2012 - This morning while birding at Virgin Creek I saw two male and two female HARLEQUIN DUCKS. They were located on the north side of the main beach where the rocks protrude into the ocean. A pair of BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS were nearby. Further north were two more Oystercatchers, as well as some mixed flocks of DUNLIN, SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. During the time I was birding, several small groups (6 - 8 birds) of WHIMBRELS flew by, heading north.

Carolyn Kinet
Inglenook


Sooty Grouse at Cooley Ranch, southern Mendocino County

emilyeheaton
 

While backpacking with LandPaths last weekend at Cooley Ranch, I heard a Sooty Grouse booming; this was on the morning of April 28. I had to hike up a ridiculously steep ranch road to get near the bird, but I was very grateful for that road as it led me straight to the grouse. It did take some effort to find it, but I was eventually able to see a male grouse about 30 feet up in a Douglas-fir. I could see the beautiful yellow comb over its eye and a yellow air sac, and I could see its chest pump as it boomed (a soft "whoof, whoof, whoof, whoof, whoof, whoof"); the tail was partially fanned. It was so cool!! I wasn't able to get a good picture because I wasn't willing to lug my spotting scope up the hill, but I did get a video that captured the booming. It's available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NLb_PrL5cI.

Interestingly, the habitat in the surrounding landscape was primarily oak woodland/hardwood forest with some Douglas-fir mixed in; as well as some patches of grassland. In the immediate area, the habitat was composed of black oak, madrone, and Douglas-fir. Other birds heard in the area were Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, European Starling, Mountain Quail, California Quail, and American Kestrel - not the species I'd expect to see a Sooty Grouse hanging out with. The grouse was booming on a northwest-facing slope, approximately 400 feet above the canyon below. It was in the Elk Range in the Dry Creek watershed, 2 drainages north of Morris Peak and about 1-2 miles from the Sonoma County border. Our trip leader called the drainage Soda Creek, but I don't know if that shows up on any maps.

Cooley Ranch is a large, privately-owned ranch on the border of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. It can sometimes be accessed through events/hikes led by LandPaths.

Emily Heaton
Healdsburg, CA


Wandering Tattler at Glass Beach

Becky
 

April 30, 2012

This morning 9:15 a.m. at the main Glass Beach beach, Fort Bragg, CA (on the rock frequently visited by turnstones) one WATA. The bird flew north to a seastack just south of Pudding Creek beach (where Canada Geese often roost). We got a good look at it on a Save Our Shorebirds survey. Migrating shorebirds are passing through--especially Dunlin. Great time to be out at Glass Beach for botany and birds.

Becky Bowen
Caspar, CA


Re: OspreyWatch

ylleknitsua
 

Sat. Apr. 28, 2012 Ospreys, new nest, Crossroads of Hwy 20 and Hwy 101, Calpella, at the north end of the parking lot on a tall lamp post, can be viewed from North State Street just south of the overpass. We've been watching it through my scope at the Waldorf school. The children are amazed.

Kelly Austin
Redwood Valley

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard <richhubie@yahoo.com>
To: Mendobirds <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sat, Apr 28, 2012 3:25 pm
Subject: [Mendobirds] OspreyWatch




Sat Apr 28, 2012--I know that there are many citizen science projects going on in our area but would like to mention one more. I just found out about OspreyWatch sponsored by, The Center for Conservation Biology. They have set up a Website at www.osprey-watch.org.

"The mission of OspreyWatch is to collect information on a large enough spatial scale to be useful in addressing three of the most pressing issues facing aquatic ecosystems including global climate change, depletion of fish stocks, and environmental contaminants."

When I looked at their map of recorded nest sites it lacked anything in our area. I've added two sites, one on the Noyo River at the boat-ramp parking lot and the one at Caspar Cemetery. They only ask you to monitor the nest 1-4 times a month. Please add more nests if you are interested. Apparently you can also add information for already listed nests so feel free to help me monitor the two that I've posted.

Richard Hubacek
Little River







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


OspreyWatch

Richard Hubacek
 

Sat Apr 28, 2012--I know that there are many citizen science projects going on in our area but would like to mention one more. I just found out about OspreyWatch sponsored by, The Center for Conservation Biology. They have set up a Website at www.osprey-watch.org.

"The mission of OspreyWatch is to collect information on a large enough spatial scale to be useful in addressing three of the most pressing issues facing aquatic ecosystems including global climate change, depletion of fish stocks, and environmental contaminants."

When I looked at their map of recorded nest sites it lacked anything in our area. I've added two sites, one on the Noyo River at the boat-ramp parking lot and the one at Caspar Cemetery. They only ask you to monitor the nest 1-4 times a month. Please add more nests if you are interested. Apparently you can also add information for already listed nests so feel free to help me monitor the two that I've posted.

Richard Hubacek
Little River


MCAS April Meeting in Gualala

hutchins.adam@ymail.com <hutchins.adam@...>
 

Monday, April 30th, at 7:00 pm, members of the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society invite residents of Mendonoma to join them for their annual meeting in South County at the Gualala Arts Center. Following a short business meeting, Richard Kuehn, a retired Obstetrician/Gynecologist living at The Sea Ranch with a penchant for travel and a love of birds, will present a program on an adventurous trip he undertook this past January to Ethiopia in the 'Horn of Africa'.

In this land of dramatic natural contrasts and ever-changing scenery dominated by the isolated mountain massif of central Ethiopia/Eritrea - the most extensive highland plateau in Africa, which is bisected by the Rift Valley and its series of important lakes, Rich joined a small group of like-minded individuals. They traveled to this rarely visited part of Africa probably best known for its periodic famines in search of many of the more than 800 species of birds - 16 of which are endemic and only found in this country. They also hoped to glimpse some of the intriguing mammals, like the endemic Gelada Baboon, Beisa Oryx, and the critically endangered Abyssinian Wolf, now the rarest member of the Canid family with slightly more than 500 animals surviving today, before they disappear.

Luckily, his group of 8 was nowhere near the Afar region on the morning of January 16th when 5 European tourists were killed and 2 kidnapped by a group of 40 armed gunmen reported to have been done to embarrass the Ethiopian government just prior to it hosting the annual African Union Summit. Rich felt safe throughout his trip and will share many images of the local tribal people who were quite friendly and welcoming. He also will share cultural images of the peoples living and worshipping at the monolithic, rock-hewn churches of Lalibela that were carved below ground level more than 800 years ago, connected to one another by a tangled maze of tunnels and passages, and still used regularly for worship.


Heron Rookery in Santa Rosa

Dave <algott@...>
 

I know that this is out of our area, but it is so cool, that I wanted to share it, since I don't know how many of you subscribe to NBB. On Wednesday, I visited the Heron Rookery on W Ninth Street in Santa Rosa. There were easily over 100 birds: Great, Snowy, and Cattle Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons. If you are going that way, it only takes about 5 minutes off the freeway. It takes less time than many places in our own county.

It is on W 9th, between Dutton and Stony Point. Go past the school heading west and it is primarily on two Eucalyptus trees in the center divider, and the surrounding trees, right in the middle of a surburban area. They have some orange plastic netting around the trees. You cannot miss it.

Dave Bengston
Ukiah


Bald Eagle again

Ron LeValley
 

Today just before 10:00 a.m. an adult Bald Eagle flew past the Little River
Headlands going north.



Good birding!



Ron LeValley


Brewer's Sparrow (another negative)

carolynkinet
 

Thurs., Apr. 26, 2012. -- I went up to Juan Creek bridge to look for the BREWER'S SPARROW, but was unable to find it. I was there from approx. 11 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. I did see the two WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and the ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. I walked a few hundred yards down the dirt road leading from the south side of the bridge and saw a group of sparrows that turned out to be 3 WHITE-CROWNED and 1 GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. My disappointment was mitigated a bit by the sight of a male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT in full breeding plumage and a glimpse of a paler yellow bird that was probably his mate.

Several flocks of BROWN PELICANS flew by on their way north while I was at the bridge, in groups of approx. 20, 11 and 8.

On the home front, yesterday I saw my first BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK of the season, a handsome male, at my feeder. He was soon joined by a male PURPLE FINCH and a male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, both in breeding plumage. Colorful times at the feeder now!

Carolyn Kinet
Inglenook


Common Loon - Breeding Plumage

birdmanofthewoods3 <birdmanofthewoods3@...>
 

Saw a COMMON LOON today at the Laguna in MacKerricker State Park. The bird was in partial molt to breeding plumage. I realize that seeing Common Loons in breeding plumage is not big deal to birders north of here, but gosh darn it, I have to see them in drab non-breeding plumage most of the year, so I get excited seeing one in full dress garb.

I also timed how often Common Loons breathe between dives. It is approximately 2.5 seconds. I also timed how long it takes for a photographer to take a photograph of a Common Loon and it is 2.6 seconds. After a lot of shots of empty ocean, I did manage to get a fair to middling picture of the bird. Picture link below:

The Loon Ranger

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mendobirds/photos/album/169685695/pic/1660781497/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc


Brewer's Sparrow (negative)

Robert Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>
 

24 April 2012 - Ryan Keiffer & I looked for the Brewer's Sparrow at Juan Creek along Highway 1 this morning from 7:50AM until about 9:10 AM with no luck. We could only find two White-crowned Sparrows in the vicinity. However, there were 7 Purple Martins nearby and a Orange-crowned Warbler building a nest. Cheryl Watson & Geoff Heinecken showed up about 9:00 Am and were there when we left ... but I don't think they found it either as they would have called me.

Good Birding. Bob Keiffer.


Re: Potter Valley Dipper status?

George Chaniot
 

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 -- This morning two dippers were feeding young at the nest
under the old bridge on Potter Valley. At least three young were visible at
the entrance to the nest. They appear unscathed after the public onslaught
at the beach on the first warm Sunday of the year.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Brewer's Sparrow

birdmanofthewoods3 <birdmanofthewoods3@...>
 

Good job on the Brewer's Sparrow Karen. It makes me wonder how many LBJ's I've seen that were actually Brewer's Sparrows. Pretty darn few I suspect. Makes me want to study my Emberzine sparrows a little closer. Good spotting!

All I can report is that I finally got a confirmation of a Swainson's thrush today. I've been hearing them for a week or more here on the immediate coast at Littleriver, but no confirmative sighting. Finally one came out onto the birdbath for a bath and good look. Spring is here!


Potter Valley Dipper status?

irishcream7 <satintex@...>
 

I stopped yesterday on my way home from Godwit Days to check out the nesting Dippers. Time was 6 pm. To my surprise at least 50 cars were parked in the pullout area near the old bridge. Children were running everywhere. The river shoreline to the left of the bridge was covered with people. There was no way to walk along it. Even the rocks under the bridge were covered with people having picnics. The area is obviously a hot spot for families and partying on warm days. It wasn't a holiday so I suspect it may be like this every weekend and maybe even some weeknights. Makes me worried about the nesting success of the Dippers. I hope someone who lives closer can check it out this week and please report. Thanks.

Maureen O'Reilly
Hidden Valley Lake


Re: Brewer's Sparrow - Hwy 1, north of Westport

George Chaniot
 

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 -- Chuck Vaughn and I went this morning to the Juan Creek
bridge north of Westport and refound the BREWER'S SPARROW found yesterday by
Karen Havlena. We arrived at 08:48 and had the bird in view off and on from
about 09:10 to 09:40. Most of the time it was on the SE side of the bridge.
When Chuck first found it, it was foraging about 20 feet away in the middle
of the dirt road that leads down from the SE corner of the bridge. Then it
moved downhill into the coyotebush and other brush and weeds on the slope,
seeming to move with several White-crowned Sparrows. It went onto the sand
at the bottom of the gulch and then to the north side of the creek where it
spent some time foraging on the gravel of a road in the bottom of the gulch.
From there it flew west toward the bridge and perhaps underneath it. It
reappeared later from the west and spent some more time on the brushy slope
where I got telescope views of it.
A nice find, Karen.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

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