Noyo Headlands and Virgin Creek area

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

Yesterday I went in search of the reported Rock Wren at Noyo Headlands; it
is a species I need to add to my life list :) This has been a year of life
birds for me... anyway, a Peregrine Falcon was rather accommodating on a
rock close to where the Rock Wren was reported, (I never did get to see
it), and this morning in the cove to the immediate west of the 'Snow
Bunting Cove' from last year at Virgin Creek area was a Common Loon
working the shore in the water...

Lots of Cackling Geese were on the headlands with Canada Geese yesterday,
providing an excellent opportunity at capturing the size differences in
photos :)

I haven't seen the Aleutian Cacklers; only Cacklers, for about a week now.
Seems the Aleutians moved through first in late October?

Feather / Lisa, Fort Bragg-Cleone, CA

Lucy's Warbler and Harris's Sparrow at Willits Skateboard park


Tuesday 29 Nov. 2016

Dear fellow birders,

This afternoon, I had a Lucy's Warbler and an immature Harris's Sparrow at the area north of the skateboard park in Willits.  The warbler was at the north end of the north pond, while the sparrow was about 100 yards north of the gravel parking lot in a blackberry patch.  I got pictures of the Warbler, so I will post them on ebird.  There are no trespassing signs all over the place now, so enter at your own risk.  The area is owned by the city of Willits and people have been camping in there illegally, so up went the signs.  I have permission to go in, so if you wish to go in with me, please give me a call at 916 214 8623 on my cell.

Good birding!

Mike Curry

Willits, CA

Cackling Geese, Noyo Headlands

Tim Bray

27 November 2016 (Sunday) - About 100 Cackling Geese took flight just
after we started on the South Trail; the flock split, and about 60 of them
landed in front of us while the rest flew off to the south. Most were
Aleutians, but several were Minima. There were also small groups of
Canadas scattered around the headlands.

Three large flocks (ca. 100) of Canada Geese also flew south, high
overhead. The Canadas and the Cacklers didn't even talk to each other.

And in my previous message, I forgot to mention the Wilson's Snipe that
flew up in the grass as we headed back along the runway.

Tim Bray

Re: Rock Wren Noyo Headlands Park

Tim Bray

27 November 2016 (Sunday) - We refound the continuing Rock Wren on the
rock outcrop at Soldier Point, on the Noyo Headlands south trail. It was
very obliging and allowed photos.

There are several Bewick's Wrens along this trail as well.

At the nearby wastewater treatment plant, in the mixed flock of Starlings
and various Blackbirds, there was what I took to be a partial-leucistic
Brewer's Blackbird with pure white outer wing primaries.

Tim Bray

Nov 24, 2016
While walking the headlands our friend Joan Humphrey pointed out to me a
Rock Wren at Soldiers Point. A new bird for me along the coast and I think
a new bird for the list at Noyo Headlands.
Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg Northern Pygmy Owl

Roger Adamson

Nov 25, 2016
Got a new Yard Bird at our house on McKinley last night. I went out back
at dusk to throw out some coffee grounds and saw a strange silhouette up
in one of our fir trees. We got to watch the Northern Pygmy Owl working on
a prey - thought it was a Golden Crowned Sparrow. Photos at

Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

Rock Wren Noyo Headlands Park

Roger Adamson

Nov 24, 2016
While walking the headlands our friend Joan Humphrey pointed out to me a Rock Wren at Soldiers Point. A new bird for me along the coast and I think a new bird for the list at Noyo Headlands.
Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

Ward Ave Red Phalaropes

Roger Adamson

I checked for the Red Phalaropes reported by Lisa; two were still present
using the outflow near the south end of Ward Ave. I also found the
Burrowing Owl same place. Other birds as previously reported:
Black-bellied Plovers, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, many gulls.
The Surf Scoters were living up to their name and working the increasingly
high surf. Gorgeous sunset tonight with distant clouds.

Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

2 Red Phalaropes off Ward Avenue

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

At Ward Avenue, not far from the current Burrowing Owl in the driftwood
pile, there was a Red Phalarope swimming in circles and hunting, while
north of there, in another standing pool of water, was another.

Out near Inglenook Creek there was a flock of probably 50 or more Snowy
Plovers, as well. Five Bonaparte's Gulls flew overhead at different
intervals... all heading south. Black-bellied Plovers are staying close to
where the Burrowing Owl is and there were the standard BLOYs and BLTUs.

Lisa Walker, Fort Bragg-Cleone, CA

Red Phalarope in Little River

Charlene McAllister

Perhaps not unusual since we live by the ocean but I just had a Red Phalarope sitting in the middle of our driveway here in Little River (on the headlands).   As I approached to try and get a photo, it flew off into the bushes. 


Charlene McAllister

Wood Duck, Virgin Creek East

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

Since the sighting of the Burrowing Owl there has not continued, I decided
to walk over to the driftwood pile on the east side of the bridge at
Virgin Creek to see if perhaps it had been hanging out there. Finding no
signs (pellets, poop, etc), I decided to look over at the creek and see
what ducks were hiding there, especially since the Mallards were quacking
up a storm and I knew they would fly off.... in with one part of the flock
were at least five Northern Pintail Ducks, most female, one male, and on
the other side of the flock was a single male Wood Duck. It was a Lifer
for me, having never seen a wild one, ever.

Lisa Walker, Fort Bragg-Cleone

Noyo Headlands Park Wilson Snipe

Roger Adamson

22 Nov 2016
We id'd a new bird for Noyo Headlands Park today. There was a single
Wilson's Snipe in the grass between the runway and the bluff trail. The
loon migration spectacle continues. I was able to see well over a hundred
flying south in less than 5 minutes of watching the water.
Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

Bonaparte's Gull - Virgin Creek

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

A single Bonaparte's Gull was flying around Virgin Creek east of the
bridge this morning, then settled on the beach itself, near the mouth of
the creek.... I got photos

Lisa Walker, Fort Bragg

Golden Eagle, Albion

Tim Bray

14 November 2016 (Monday) - We just watched a juvenile Golden Eagle climbing a thermal near some Turkey Vultures, near the western end of Middle Ridge, Albion.  I have heard reports of such a bird from others over the past few weeks, so maybe this bird is hanging around for a while.  The other reports have come from Navarro Ridge and also from Albion itself.

Our attention was initially drawn by a Ferruginous Hawk soaring high up right over our house - two new "yard birds" for us!

Tim Bray
Lower Middle Ridge, Albion

Burrowing Owls in Potter Valley

George Chaniot

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 -- This afternoon there were two BURROWING OWLS sunning themselves in view from the top of the hill at the end of Burris Lane, Potter Valley. A scope was required for both. One was at the mouth of a burrow in front of the rock group about 400 m. to the SE. The other was on top of the rock group on the side of the hill about 400 m. to the NE. This one was interacting with the several California Ground-squirrels also present.
On Pine Avenue I did not see any owl on cursory examination of the locations where one has been seen recently.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Bald Hill Road Palm Warbler

Richard Trissel

November 8, 2016

Hello.  A PALM WARBLER was foraging along Bald Hill Road (about 2/3 of the way to the end of the road) at around 2p on November 8.  It was seen on both sides of the road.

Also, there were 2 FERRUGINOUS HAWKS seen along the road.

Good Birding,

Rich Trissel

Red Phalarope, Virgin Creek Beach

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

Another or the same Red Phalarope was in Virgin Creek this morning around
9 AM, swimming in circles and walking along the shore. The beach was
practically inundated with water and sneaker waves had pretty much scared
the Burrowing Owl out of its favorite roost on the little dunes and
driftwood there; no sign of her today.

Lisa Walker, Fort Bragg

Aleutians and Cacklers

Lisa D. Walker, (Feather Forestwalker)

By now all of us have seen them winging their ways south..... this morning
at Virgin Creek, on the headlands immediately to the south (I guess those
are the Pudding Creek Headlands, technically), there were about 30 in a
mixed flock, resting there... Cackling Canada and Aleutian Canada geese. I
have a lot of photos of them. As I was walking back to my car, several
flocks were flying over; the flock on the headlands joined them.

Lisa Walker, Fort Bragg

Short-eared Owl -Monday 11/7

Sarah Grimes

Pretty sure the owl I saw this afternoon 12-3 flying over the grasslands along the Noyo Headlands coastal trail- (south trail) is a Short-eared Owl.
If you walk north along the runway for 5-10 minutes. Look for the menacing Ravens or for the owl circling the the grassland there. I watched until I had to leave both at around noon and again around 3 today.
Also. Last year there was a Burrowing Owl hanging out around the North end of the runway. I haven't seen it yet this year. Just a heads up.

Sarah Grimes

Laguna point Phalaropes


Nov 4 2016
The extensive rafts of phalaropes (only Red could be identified) are still present just off Laguna Pt. Best bird for me was a White-winged Scoter which flew right over me in company with a few Surf Scoters; new County Bird! Southward migration continues with 70 Heerman's Gulls, nearly 260 Surf Scoters, 90 Brown Pelicans, 83 Cackling Geese (Aleutians), 50+ loons (Pacific and Common) and a variety of other gulls passing during about 2 hrs of observation. There was 1 Sooty Shearwater seen well just beyond the (very impressive) breaking waves. 
Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg

FOS White-throated Sp


Thursday, Nov 3, 2016
We had our first of season White-throated Sparrow in our yard today. It was here with about a dozen White and Golden Crowned Sparrows. 
Roger Adamson
Fort Bragg


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