South Coast Mendo Report - 2/8/04

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

Yesterday (Sun Feb 28) I spent a little time birding the south Mendo
coast. At 0900 "Al" the LAYSAN ALBATROSS in the harbor at Arena Cove.
Scoping from the Point Arena lighthouse produced only two NORTHERN
FULMARS. At Brushy Creek were a couple hundred TUNDRA SWANS as well as
on Hwy 1 was ready and waiting when I drove by. Finally, one
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was among the large group of gulls roosting at
Navarro Beach.

Good Birding
Matthew Matthiessen
Ukiah, CA

RFI Mountain Quail

pct2001pct <jk@...>


We are flying out from Washington DC to look for the "AL" the Laysan
Albatross in Point Arena Cove from Feb 12-15. After hopefully
seeing the Albatross, we would like to devote our attention to
trying to find Mountain Quail. Does anyone have any suggestions on
how and were to look? We have tried for Mountain Quail 4-5 times so
far and always seem to come up empty handed. Any thoughts would be
appreciated. You can email me directly at jk@...

Thanks in advance for any help.


Upcoming Pelagic Trip

Charlene McAllister

Mendocino Coast Audubon has scheduled a spring Pelagic Trip for Sunday,
May 16, 2004. To register now, send your check for $70.00 ($60.00 for
MCAS members) to MCAS 18214 N. Highway1 Fort Bragg, CA 95437.
Confirmations with instructions will be sent out two weeks before the
trip. For further information call Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin at
(707)964-6216 or email charmac@....

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

Mendocino Coast Audubon Meeting

Charlene McAllister


Record-breaking arctic explorer Pam Flowers will share slides and
stories from her solo 2,500-mile dog mushing expedition across the
arctic from Barrow, Alaska to Repulse Bay, Canada. Flowers is a
registered respiratory therapist who currently earns her living by
public speaking and writing. In 1996 Pam became the 14th recipient of
the "Gold Medal from the Society of Woman Geographers," following in the
footsteps of Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, and Jane Goodall. In 1991,
Pam was named an "Outsider of the Year" by Outside magazine. She has
participated in nine Arctic expeditions, seven by dog team, two by
snowmachine. Pam has completed the 1049 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race,
reached the Magnetic North Pole three times, traveled north over the
frozen Arctic Ocean farther north than any other solo woman and
completed the longest solo dog sled journey on record by a woman.

Audiences will hear about intense blizzards that kept her stranded for
days, melting pack ice literally breaking up beneath her and the team, a
terrifying run-in with polar bears and more. Learn about dog mushing and
the arctic, how she prepared for this amazing expedition and met the
generous people who helped her when all hope was lost. The presentation
is open to the public and will be held Monday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m.
at the Caspar Community Center. For further information call 937-1742
or 962-9413.

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

Tree Swallows at HREC

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders- There were 6 Tree Swallows over the permanent pasture at HREC earlier today. Those were the first I've seen this year. It was nice to hear their excited bubbling. Time to dust off your optics!!


Chuck and Barbara Vaughn
1550 Deerwood Drive
Ukiah, CA 95482


Arcata red gull


At Clam Beach just north of Arcata I saw a red gull yesterday. The
gull was brown and looked just like the other gulls it was hanging
out with, except it had large patches of red on it. There was a
patch on the back of its head and along its wings and tail. All the
coloring was symmetrical, so it wasn't blood or paint. Has anyone
seen a gull like this or know why it was colored that way?
Also, at Clam Beach last weekend I saw a burrowing owl near the
mouth of the Little River.

Re: Burrowing Owl on Burris Lane

George Chaniot

Wed, 28 Jan 2004 -- This afternoon at 2:45 at the end of Burris Lane,
Potter Valley, I saw the BURROWING OWL sitting on the same rock as I
reported on Jan 20. The rock in question is in an isolated clump of
rocks half-way up the distant grassy slope to the NE. You are not
going to get a satisfying look at this fellow without a scope since
it is maybe 400 m off.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Robert Hewitt <lbjent@...>

Rick Hiser~Festival Coordinator


Spring 2004 ~ March 26-28

Join us for great birding on the extreme Northcoast of California and
celebrate Spring with the return of the once endangered Aleutian Canada
Goose. Back from the brink of extinction, this little goose now numbers
over 50,000. Delisted in 2001, this bird is an Endangered Species Act
success story.

Our three day festival offers 65 workshops and field trips highlighting
the birds, animals and awesome natural beauty found here in the home of
Redwood National & State Parks.

We ask for your assistance in sharing this information with your friends
and associates. Please forward this notice to those that you know who
would find this of particular personal interest.

HIGHLIGHTS from this year's festival.
Keynote Speaker, Peter Pyle formerly with the Point Reyes Bird
Observatory," Trans-Pacific Migrations".
A look at the Klamath River, A Yurok Way of Life from the Yurok
American Indian cultural perspective, where the salmon is regarded
as a sacred gift.
Examine the "Biscuit Fire" for an on the ground look at what two
years of natural recovery has done.
Pelagic Trip during Spring offshore migration, Albatross.
Shearwaters, etc.
River Drift Boat Trips on the Wild & Scenic Smith River for
birding, redwood ecology, geology.
Del Norte "Big Day" ~ Gulls ~ Spotted Owls ~ Wood Ducks
Klamath Basin 2 day post -festival trip for inland birds.

Visit our web site for complete info and online registration

Call to receive our program booklet or for more information:
800-343-8300 ~ 707-465-0888


GODWIT DAYS - APRIL 16-18, 2004
Godwit Days, Spring Migration Bird Festival ~ April 16-18, Arcata, CA.
Keynote by Donald Janssen,"Captive Breeding Programs and
100+ Fieldtrips & Workshops
Bird Fair/Art Show
Live Birds of Prey

Also WFO/WBBA meetings Ashland OR, 9-12 September 2004
TWS Western Section, inc SNPL (25th) 26-29 February 2004, Rohnert Park
Field Trip to Marin Sunday 29th Feb

Robert W. Hewitt
Director, LBJ Enterprises
1707 E Street #5, Eureka, CA 95501

(707) 442-0339, fax (707) 260-0632, cell (707) 845-3189

Godwit Days Steering Committee
April 16-19, 2004 9th Annual, 232 species cumulative.

Coastal Mendocino 1/25/04

Jennifer Rycenga

Dear Mendobirders - Peggy and I had a fine, fun day along the Mendocino
coast on Sunday January 25. Thanks to all who gave fine directions to the
GRAY JAYS - we had three right at the Visitor's Center of Van Damme park,
albeit they scorned the bread we offered from our subs. Otherwise a solid
day of 65 species. We had the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Point Arena (3rd year
I've visited Al), plus a PEREGRINE FALCON at the Point, who flew leisurely
for a while, then made a fast pass at the ocean, coming up empty (we think
maybe he was just washing his feet!). At the Mendocino Botanical Gardens,
we had a two VARIED THRUSH. We were surprised, generally, at how little
activity there was on the ocean, and how few shorebirds were around in the
Ft. Bragg area. On previous trips, I had seen a good mix of rocky
shorebirds at McKerricher, but this time, except for a very large flock of
BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS (circa 40) and a few BLACK TURNSTONES, high tide did
not yield anything more unusual - is this a weekend problem?

We came for shorebirds and seabirds, we got raptors! RED-TAILED HAWK,
HAWK along SR1 about 8 miles north of Point Arena. It seems it is quite a
good year for FERRUGINOUS HAWKS throughout northern California - my county
lists are all looking the finer for it!

Thanks also to the staff at the Audubon center, who were very helpful -

Jennifer Rycenga and Peggy Macres
Half Moon Bay

Snow Goose at USTP

Chuck & Barbara Vaughn

Greetings Mendobirders: There was a Snow Goose on the south pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. It flew over to the middle pond while I was walking along the S levee. Despite all the water out there, there is a miserable assortment of waterfowl present (MALL, BUFF, NOSH, GWTE). Neither those ponds nor Lake Mendocino have attracted any assortment of ducks this winter. Maybe they just didn't get here?


RFI: Gray Jays?

Jennifer Rycenga

Hoping to be in Mendecino this weekend or next, to search for the Barred Owls, Rock Sandpiper and other rocky shorebirds, and to pay a visit to the Laysan Albatross. While we are there, are there any locations for Gray Jay locally? Thanks -

Jennifer Rycenga
Half Moon Bay

Raptor Week on Burris Lane

Jim Armstrong <jimarm@...>

Add three Black-shouldered Kites (with white tails) to the growing
list of recent raptor sightings (9?) on Burris Lane. They were about
a mile west of the pond (my house) and were soaring quite high for
their normal hunting routine.

Burrowing Owl

Jerry White <grwhite@...>

The Lake County Burrowing Owl was seen today by at least 3 people (at different times during the day) at its location near the Hidden Valley Treatment Plant. Jerry White

Burrowing Owl on Burris Lane

George Chaniot

Tue, 20 Jan 2004 -- At about 11:15 today I had a BURROWING OWL visible from
the knoll above the pond on Burris Lane, Potter Valley. In 25+ years of
visiting this spot this is only the second time I've seen one here. Other
people have reported them occasionally in the Burris Lane/Pine Avenue area
through the years. This bird was sunning itself atop a clump of rocks on a
hillside to the NE. As I was watching it through the scope, it stretched up
tall looking at something and then hopped down quickly behind the rocks.
Immediately a PRAIRIE FALCON flew through the field of view low over the
rocks. The owl did not reappear during the next 45 min. Maybe there is a
secure burrow back there. To the list of raptors seen recently from this
spot add Red-shouldered Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Burrowing Owl.
At 11:00 the AMERICAN DIPPER was singing again under the old bridge
on Potter Valley Road. To the list of birds which have begun singing in the
last week add White-breasted Nuthatch and Oak Titmouse.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Barred Owls

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

Saturday, January 17, 2004, Heard two Barred Owls calling back and forth
just at dusk at Montgomery Woods State Park. They began at about 6:00 PM
on their own. The assumed female was responding from the se direction (we
were at the first main "Grubb Grove"grove of big trees) .. calling
somewhere near the Kellie Owen grove. The assumed male was calling from
the eastern segment of the loop trail and worked his way down the hill in
the direction of the parking lot. They called for about 15 minutes or
so. No other owls were heard.

Robert J. Keiffer
Principal Supt. of Agriculture
UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
(707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
HREC website:

"It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how the
strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have done
better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena."
Theodore Roosevelt

Lake County

Jerry White <grwhite@...>

Today at Clear Lake State Park there was a Pacific-slope(?) Flycatcher that was 1st reported in December. The bird was seen from the boat launch parking lot and was in the riparian along Kelsey Creek. Also there were 15 Tree Swallow's.

The Burrowing Owl reported on Friday near the Hidden Valley Treatment Ponds was seen on Sunday by Susanne Scholtz. She spoke to a local man who said it had been present for several months. Jerry White

Prairie Falcon - 1/17

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

Sat Jan 17 - Gary and Judy Maddox and I were able to refind the PRARIE
FALCON in Potter Valley originally reported by George Chaniot several
weeks ago. We observed the bird from the pond overlook at the east end
of Burris Lane at about 1600. The bird was perched in the top of a tree
on a ridge line east of the pond.

Also visible from this location were two GOLDEN EAGLES, one BALD EAGLE,
AMERICAN KESTRELS, and a COOPER'S HAWK making it a fairly decent raptor

- Matthew Matthiessen

Lake County

Jerry White <grwhite@...>

Today near Hidden Valley Lake subdivision (north of Middletown) I found a Burrowing Owl. Take Grange Road (east) off of Highway 29. This turn is just to the north of mile marker 9.21. Continue on Grange Road till you see a paved road that goes south with two signs at the intersection ; one for Crazy Creek Glider and the other for the Hidden Valley Lake Water Reclamation Plant. Go about 3/10ths of a mile. The owl was standing right next to the road (on the west side) at the high point of a large bump beside what appeared to be a burrow. I did not get out to investigate as it would have disturbed the bird. I was able to stop using the car as a blind and watch the bird from about 12 feet. It was aware of the vehicle but it did not flush.

I have only seen Burrowing Owl at three locations in the county and this is by far the most accessible and convenient. Hopefully the bird will stay (and not get run over). This was at about 12:55 PM. When I drove back by at 1:10 the bird was still there.
There were also 2 Say's Phoebe's and a Northern Harrier along this road.

Also today there was an immature Bald Eagle at Detert Reservoir . And further on towards highway 29 on Butts Canyon Rd. there were two Ferruginous Hawks.
In Clearlake at Austin Park there were a Glaucous-winged, Thayer's, and an adult Western Gull along with the ever present Phainopepla.
At Borax Lake the hybrid (Tufted type) duck continues. Jerry White

Lake County Big Day, Jan 11 2004

Dave Quady <davequady@...>

Hello all:

Kris Olson, Bob Lewis and I thought it would be fun to tackle a county
big day again . . . . but where, and when? The 'where' was settled when
I suggested we take on the nearest county where none of us had recorded
any birds previously. January 11 was the first time after the idea
arose that we all had a free day, so that set the 'when.'

Oh, and we agreed we wouldn't do any scouting beforehand . . . .

Happily, there were many posts on these and other mailing lists that
helped us plot a tentative route. And, thankfully, John Luther, Dave
Woodward and Jerry White were kind enough to offer helpful comments on
our plan, suggestions of other locations to check, and notes on birds we
might expect.

Our route began at 4 am with owling between Cobb and Kelseyville,
continued after dawn with an hour at Clear Lake State Park, then
comprised a slow counter-clockwise circle around Clear Lake and
environs, including a detour up High Valley Road. We ended at Library
Park in Lakeport shortly before sunset, then high-tailed it back to
Berkeley, trying in vain to spot some geese at Hidden Valley Country
Club along the way.

We lucked out with the weather, being hampered only by dense fog during
our time at Clear Lake SP and some late afternoon glare as we scoped the
lake from SR 20. Despite our unfamiliarity with the county we lost only
about 15 minutes to driving miscues. We did adjust our itinerary during
the day by dropping a few hoped-for stops in order to stick to our
overall schedule, but overall our plan worked pretty well.

We ended up recording 92 species, listed below, and saw all of these but
the non-Tyto owls. We called in a Barn Owl before dawn, and, fittingly,
ended the day by enjoying a pair of Barn Owls cuddling together in
Library Park.

We have no way to calibrate this result, but do feel very good about
it. We had dreamed of 100 species -- and can see how that could have
been reached -- but in our hearts were quite ready to settle for 75,
considering our nearly complete ignorance about the county. (We figured
out during our drive up that none of us had even BEEN in Lake County
before.) Beyond the species count, we had a lot of fun, and learned a
bit about Lake County.

We'll be back.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

PS: I will send our itinerary (a Word document) and/or our schedule (an
Excel document) to anyone who requests them.

Here's our list:

Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Snow Goose
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
California Quail
American Coot
Bonaparte's Gull
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barn Owl
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow

1-10-04 report

John E Hunter


Early on 1-10-04 I drove to Potter Valley to look for Prairie Falcon.
After the fog finally lifted I saw the Prairie Falcon that had been
reported at the end of Burris Lane (thanks George!). There was also a
Say's Phoebe along Pine Ave.

Then I drove to the house in Fort Bragg to look for the White-winged Dove.
It showed up about 3:00 p.m. There were also 2 White-throated Sparrows in
the yard. I also saw an oriole flying about the neighborhood. I was
unable to get a good look, but it looked like a male Northern-type (can't
rule out Bullock's).

John E. Hunter
Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
1655 Heindon Road
Arcata, CA 95521
707-822-7201 (phone)
707-822-8136 (fax)

8181 - 8200 of 8939