Christmas Bird Count


Hi All. I would appreciate feedback on whether certain radio stations are running the PSA's I send out. If you hear PSA's on KUKI, KOZT, or KMFB please let me know. katem@... or 463-0839.

Hope to see you at the CBC. Don't forget to plan your schedule to include our fun post-CBC dinner!


Kate Marianchild

Christmas Bird Count. Each year more than 50,000 people across the country participate in an all-day census of early-winter bird populations. This year's count will be on December 13 in Ukiah, beginning early in the morning. If you would like to join the count, please come to a team-building meeting hosted by our local Audubon Chapter on December 9 at the Ukiah Methodist Church, 270 N. Pine St, Ukiah, 7 p.m. We will see slides of local birds and will organize into teams. If you absolutely can't come to the meeting, call Alan Falleri to sign up: 459-7124 days and 456-9525 home.

South Coast, 23 Nov

George Chaniot

Sun, 23 Nov 2003 -- Dorothy Tobkin birded the south Mendocino coast today.
She found an AMERICAN AVOCET at Hunters' Lagoon, visable from near Barngat
Drive, and a male REDHEAD, visable from near the Perkins'. She also saw an
immature ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at milepost 25.96 north of Irish Beach.

11/22 trip to Round Valley

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders: Eleven folks from Peregrine Audubon visited Round Valley on 11/22 and it was definitely a big day for raptors up there. We got to Dobie Lane, the N to S road running the length of the E side of the valley, a little after 9. We birded our way N along this road until noon, and were well rewarded. The best bird of the trip was a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK which we spotted immediately we got out of the cars. We watched as it hunted, as it soared chasing a NORTHERN HARRIER, and as it sunned itself on the frosty morning. We also had a PRAIRIE FALCON perching and preening in a Valley Oak right in front of us. We watched it hunting and actually picking off some unknown small bird. The valley was full of WHITE-TAILED KITES, 7 in one tree! We had scope-filling views of FERRUGINOUS HAWK, and counted 3 of them just on the east side of Round Valley. By the time the morning was over, we had seen 11 raptors, also including COOPER'S HAWK, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK in a variety of color morphs, adult GOLDEN EAGLE, AMERICAN KESTREL, and a couple of MERLIN. We proceeded leisurely E to the Black Butte NFS camp ground for lunch. Here we watched a soaring adult BALD EAGLE for dessert. A 12-raptor day- that is about as good as it gets in Mendocino County!



Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
1550 Deerwood Drive
Ukiah, CA 95482

Lewis's Woodpeckers

George Chaniot

In early October there was a series of posts to Calbirds about Lewis's
Woodpeckers, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Pinyon Jays showing up in widespread
places in central California where they usually do not occur. I was
thinking of following up with a post about the absence of Lewis's
Woodpeckers in places where they usually do occur. Where I live in Potter
Valley, Mendocino Co., there is usually a small population of several dozen
every winter from about mid September through late April, easy to find. So
far this fall I have seen exactly one (on September 24). In this region
there has been a massive failure of the acorn crop of Interior Live Oak,
Blue Oak, and Valley Oak this year. I wonder if this could be due to the
very rainy April this year which was about 325% normal here.
Today, Sep 22, on an annual Peregrine Audubon field trip to Round
Valley, MEN, we visited a stand of large Valley Oaks where we usually see
several dozen Lewis's at this time of year. They were conspicuous in their
absence. Chuck Vaughn and I decided to return to Ukiah via the high country
of the Mendocino National Forest, and, to our surprise, we found a group of
Lewis's Woodpeckers on Etsel Ridge in the Brewer's Oak zone at about 5200
feet elevation between Grizzly Flat and Coffee Mill Flat. We saw at least
14 easily from road M1. We do not remember ever seeing them here before,
although, admitedly, we do not venture up here often in November. We also
saw some Band-tailed Pigeons which have also been sparse at lower
elevations. Acorns were abundant under every Brewer's Oak I checked, and
quite a few were still on the twigs. On a trip on May 31 we noted that the
phenology of the Brewer's Oaks seemed several weeks behind. Could they have
produced a good mast crop this year by blooming later than the other
So it seems that some Lewis's Woodpeckers have found a food source at
a higher elevation than they usually frequent at this time of year. Will
they be moving downslope as the winter progresses?

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Rock Sandpipers et al.

George Chaniot

Fri, 21 Nov 2003 -- Today Dorothy Tobkin saw three ROCK SANDPIPERS at
Laguna Point at high tide. At Ward Avenue in Cleone she saw seven BLACK

Longspurs and Larks at Mendocino Headlands

Charlene McAllister

Sunday afternoon, Ron LeValley and I found the two LAPLAND LONGSPURS,
the CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR and two HORNED LARKS in the area near the
monument marker.

This morning (Monday) Elias Elias heard and saw a LAPLAND LONGSPUR
flying over the Little River Headlands on the north side of Van Damme
State Park.

Charlene McAllister
P.O. Box 332
Little River, CA 95456
email: charmac@...

Chestnut-collared Longspur

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

Greetings Mendobirders,
Yesterday (Sat 11/15) at 1330 I found an immature female
CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR at the Mendocino Headlands. The bird was
skulking along one of the paths about 100 ft east of the sister city
monument. Also in the same area were two HORNED LARKS.

Late yesterday afternoon I informed Toby of the CCLO and this morning I
received a phone call from her indicating she was able to refind the
bird today (Sun 11/16). She also found two LAPLAND LONGSPURS and one
HORNED LARK nearby. Given the number of longspurs that have shown up
here over the past four years it appears as though the sister city
monument is THE spot in Mendo County for longspurs.

Good Birding
Matthew Matthiessen

Red-throated Loon at Lake Mendocino

George Chaniot

Thu, 13 Nov 2003 -- Rather unusual for Lake Mendocino this afternoon was a
single RED-THROATED LOON. It was hanging out just off the swimming area
near the Pomo A parking area. It was fairly close to shore - at times
inside the buoys. Then it dove and I never saw it come up again. How do
loons do that?
Among the several hundred scaup was a pair of drake CANVASBACKS,
the first of the season.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Horned Larks

Janet Stein <jstein@...>

Thurs., 13 Nov 2003 --- The HORNED LARKS reported by Toby yesterday were still at the Mendocino Headlands this morning. I saw a flock of at least eight near the sister monument this morning at around 8:30 a.m.

Janet Stein

Lake County

grebeman2 <grwhite@...>

Of local interest is a white phase immature Snow Goose associating
with the motley crew of geese and ducks at Library Park in
Lakeport.The bird was first found yesterday and is still present
today. Jerry White

Horned Larks

George Chaniot

Wed, 12 Nov 2003 -- Dorothy Tobkin went back to the Mendocino Headlands
today and was unable to find the Lapland Longspur today. However, there
were three HORNED LARKS in the grassy area near the sister city monument.
At Caspar Pond there was a white goose that is possibly a SNOW/ROSS'S

Lapland Longspur at Mendocino Headlands

Charlene McAllister

Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reported seeing a LAPLAND LONGSPUR this morning
near the monument at Mendocino Headlands.
She noted that it was in with a small flock of PIPITS.

Charlene McAllister
P.O. Box 332
Little River, CA 95456
email: charmac@...

White Pelicans Again

George Chaniot

Thu, 6 Nov 2003 -- Today at 11:00 there were 7 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS at
Lake Mendocino sitting on a small island very near Coyote Dam. No
binoculars needed. At 11:40 they took off and flew east across the lake to
Perry Creek Cove where the began cooperative feeding. Visible from the
marina area. Scope required.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Lake County

grebeman2 <grwhite@...>

At about 12:20 PM I saw the Brown Pelican on the water with a flock
of American White Pelicans.The birds were near the Rodman Slough
Bridge and in fact were seen as I drove across the bridge.However,
shortly after as I was on the phone with Jim Matzinger the Brown
Pelican flew across the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff road back towards the
lake.Additional searching did not turn up the bird.

Jerry White

Albino Black Oystercatcher

Dave&Ruth Wiebe

A guest staying at the Pacific Union College Biological Field Station in
Albion reported to me that she had observed this strange oystercatcher at
the Mendocino headland yesterday. This would be Wednesday Nov 5, 2003.
Apparently he is still being seen around the area.

David and Ruth Wiebe
707 937-5440

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Clearlake and Covelo Field Trips


Nov 15: Field trip to Clear Lake State Park with the Peregrine Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Inexperienced birdwatchers welcome. Bring binoculars (loaners will be available), rain gear, water, lunch, and your favorite bird ID book. Meet at Long's parking lot (Perkins and Orchard) at 7:15 a.m. Leave time is 7:30 sharp. Please come with your gear packed and ready for carpooling. We hope to see Black-crowned Night Herons, Pied-billed Grebes, White Pelicans, Buffleheads, Nuttall's Woodpeckers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and many more.

Nov 22: Field trip to Covelo with the Peregrine Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Inexperienced birdwatchers welcome. Bring binoculars (loaners will be available), a jacket in case of cool weather, water, lunch, and your favorite bird ID book. Meet at Long's parking lot (Perkins and Orchard) at 7:15 a.m. Leave time is 7:30 sharp. Please come with your gear packed and ready for carpooling. We hope to see a wide variety of birds of prey, including Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks, Prairie and Peregrine Falcons, Northern Harriers, and Merlins. We also expect to see Lewis' and Downy Woodpeckers, Green-winged Teal, Dunlin, Western Meadowlarks, and possibly a Canyon Wren.

Submitted by Kate Marianchild Peregrine Audubon 463-0839 katem@...

Lake Co. 10/2


Hi all,
Went up to Lake Co. today since I am still well on the wrong side of 200 for
the county. I also saw the Brown Pelican today at the small vacant lot near
the west end of Lakeshore Blvd in Nice. It is tough to follow Lakeshore Blvd but
look for the small lot with a tiny little building and a dilapidated old
pier. At 11/27 the Brown Pelican was suddenly present very close to shore and
eventually swam under the pier. I don't know if it was hiding to close to see or
if it flew in. A Glaucous-winged Gull fly-by was also a county tick.
At mile 22.30 on Hwy 20 there was a single male Tricolored Blackbird (not a
tick) and a cowbird (tick), amongst Brewers and Red-wings.
On the way back south I decided to check Detert Res. east of Middletown. Lots
of birds, nothing rare, but an Osprey, 15 Hooded Mergansers in the shallow
end, 750 Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall, N. Pintail and Green-winged Teal.
A nice Ferruginous Hawk was a nice tick on Butts Canyon Rd. just east of Hwy
Good birding,
Steve Glover

White Oystercatcher

Ron LeValley

Hi all,

Charlene and I saw the albinistic oystercatcher at Mendocino Headlands
today. I've posted a picture of it to the Photos section of Mendobirds. It
was pretty far off for photos, so the picture is not high resolution, but it
is pretty neat!

For Yahoo members, the link to the photos is

Then just click on the photo labeld White Oystercatcher.

The bird was on rocks on the south side of the Headlands, about 100 meters
south of the monument, which is south of the southernmost Headland parking


Ron LeValley, Senior Biologist
Fax 839-0867
Mad River Biologists
1497 Central Avenue
McKinleyville, CA 95519

Albino Black Oystercatcher

George Chaniot

Fri, 31 Oct 2003 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports that she saw an albino BLACK
OYSTERCATCHER at the Mendocino headlands. Quite an impressive looking bird!

Lake County

Jerry White <grwhite@...>

The Brown Pelican was seen again yesterday from a small graveled lakefront parcel (county owned) at the west end of Lakeshore Blvd,Nice.This is in the same area reported earlier.The bird was seen by Jim Lomax his wife, and John Luther.They and I later saw a Black-throated Gray Warbler along the Rodman Slough Levee.After that group departed to bird Highway 20 and the north end of the lake I found a Common Moorhen on Clear Lake at the Rodman Slough (Middle Creek) outlet.

Several tries by various birders did not turn up the White-winged Dove which was seen on Thursday. Jerry White

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