May 13, 2001 Ft. Bragg pelagic

Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>

This is a late report of the pelagic trip from Fort Bragg on May 13. Matthew
Matthiessen already reported a bird list, but the following list is a
compilation from the leaders of the trip who were: Jim Danzenbaker, Tristan
McKee, Peter Pyle, Debra Shearwater, Linda Terrill, and Scott Terrill.
There were 25 participant aboard the "Trek II," skippered by Rick Thornton.
The trip ran from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Weather was mostly sunny, Beaufort
1-2.5. It was a very pleasant day. Fewer birds were found offshore. We
visited a new area for us‹the Vizcaino Canyon, along with Vizcaino Knoll,
and Noyo Canyon. We spent a considerable amount of time over the 1,000
fathom line. Highlights of the trip included the 322 Black-footed and 3
Laysan Albatrosses, 15 Long-tailed Jaegers, and the offshore Bottlenose
Dolphin. Everyone was hoping, of course, for a Pterodroma, especially as a
Mruphy's Petrel had just been found on the May 11th Bodega Bay trip only 27
miles offshore. The trip was organized by Debra Shearwater/Shearwater
Journeys. Our next trips are scheduled for Aug. 18, Sept. 5 and 18. Local
discounts are available.
Common Loon-3
Pacific Loon-8
Red-throated Loon-1
Western Grebe-1
Black-footed Albatross-322
Laysan Albatross-3 or 4
Sooty Shearwater-150
Pink-footed Shearwater-27
Northern Fulmar-190
Pomarine Jaeger-6
Parasitic Jaeger-1
Long-tailed Jaeger-15
Herring Gull-5
Glaucous-winged Gull-2
California Gull-300
Western Gull-200
Sabine's Gull-78
Black-legged Kittiwake-2
Arctic Tern-1
Common Tern-7
Common Murre-34
Pigeon Guillemot-9
Rhinoceros Auklet-34
Cassin's Auklet-25
Ancient Murrelet-2
Red Phalarope-300
Red-necked Phalarope-115
Surf Scoter-5
Baird's Beaked Whale-7-11
Pacific White-sided Dolphin-350
Northern Right Whale Dolphin-50
Bottlenose Dolphin (offshore type)-1
Risso's Dolphin-7-9
Northern Fur Seal-1
Steller's Sea Lion-1
California Sea Lion -x

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

Yesterday, May 21 at 7:15 pm, I observed a male and female LAWRENCE'S
GOLDFINCH at the Hopland Research Center. The birds were at the Vasser
East corner. I initially saw the male sitting on the small wooden box
beside the metal gate. After a couple minutes he dropped down into the
dirt below the box and began to forage. I couldn't determine if there
were seeds or salt in the dirt or whether he was ingesting grit. He
stayed there for a few minutes and then flew up to the fenceline where
he was joined by the female.

Good Birding
Matthew Matthiessen

MacKerricher State Park, 5/20

David Armstrong

A tour around Lake Cleone turned up a Pileated Woodpecker and 2
Purple Martins this past Sunday. Both species were seen on the north
side of the lake in the area w/ the dead trees.
David Armstrong

Ten Mile Estuary, May 20

George Chaniot

Sun, 20 May 2001 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports a WHITE-FACED IBIS and an
AMERICAN AVOCET in the marsh on the north side of the Ten Mile River
estuary. They could be seen from near the bridge or from above the marsh
along the Camp#1 Road. While she was watching, 50 WHITE-FACED IBISES flew
south along the coast. Yesterday she had a report of 5 BLACK-NECKED STILTS
in the same location.

Black Terns

Jerry White <grwhite@...>

In Lake County I found 2 Black Terns (the first record for Lake) on Clear Lake off of Rodman Slough. From highway 29 north of Lakeport take the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff road to the parking area just prior to the bridge (south side). Walk towards the Lake until you can get a view of the numerous buoys out on the lake (two are near a tule island). Amongst the many Forster's Terns look for the Black Terns on a buoy or in flight in the area. The birds were still present at about 3:00 PM when I left.

About .5 mile past the bridge going towards hiway 20 look for the pond on the west side of the road (many sightings from this location have been reported). There were 6 Wilson's Phalaropes there today. Recently there have been White-faced Ibis, Black-necked Stilts, Dunlin, and a Solitary Sandpiper seen here.

Earlier in the day at the northeast end of Lake Pillsbury (in northern Lake County) there were 2 White-faced Ibis (a first for this location) and 4 Wilson's Phalaropes.
On Hull Mountain there was 1 Dusky Flycatcher and several Fox Sparrows. Gathering together before they make there break across the border into Mendocino County were 4 Green-tailed Towhees.

Etsel Ridge, May 19

George Chaniot

Sat, 19 May 2001 -- Today, after completing a Breeding Bird Census on
Covelo Road, Chuck Vaughn and I continued up Mexico Ridge and Etsel Ridge
to the high country of Mendocino Co. This is the first time that we have
birded this region this early in the spring. (Has anyone out there ever
birded this area before May 19?) The roads M1 and M61 were in good shape
and recently graded.(Low-clearance vehicles OK) On M1 south of Bald
Mountain we encountered increasing snow.(High clearance 4WD advised).
Probably we could have continued as far as Windy Gap, but we turned back at
Spruce Grove and exited via M61 by Calamese Rock and the State Game Refuge
in Glenn and Lake Counties.
We found about 8 DUSKY FLYCATCHERS at 8 locations from Grizzly Flat
to the Glenn Co. line. We saw at least one HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER at Spruce
Grove. FOX SPARROWS were singing in many locations, and all seemed to be
the type we tenatively call _brevicauda_ (gray head and back, large bill,
horn-colored upper and lower mandibles, dark lores, sparse breast spotting
with central spot). Most of the high montane species seemed to be in place
at this date except Green-tailed Towhee, Hermit Warbler, and Lincoln's
Sparrow. We were unable to find these birds in areas where we know they can
be found in June and July. Green-tailed Towhee seems to arrive very late,
and from what staging areas? They are almost never seen at lower
elevations. Lincoln's Sparrows are a bit of a puzzle, since they are
already several weeks departed from lower elevations where they are fairly
common in winter.
Exiting the high country via Lake Pilsbury and the logging road ,
we found the logging road on the south side of the Eel River to be recently
graded and very fast. MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER was easy to find west of
Bucknell Creek, but there were no Purple Martins at the Pioneer Bridge.
In Potter Valley we stopped on Eel River Road at the site where
White-faced Ibises have been seen recently and were unable to find them. We
talked to the owner, who is now aware of them (and our interest), and he
says they were around on May 17 and May 18, but not today. The pastures
were flooded on May 17 and 18, but not today. After we left that area, we
found a flock of 23 WHITE-_FACED_ IBISES in the air near the intersection
of East Road and Mid Mountain Road (5:15 PM). They circled up in a thermal,
then glided out to the WNW and then to the north. When we lost sight of
them, they had spread out into a line and were heading north at high
So, this is Day 3 of the "Ibis Event" in Potter Valley. They seem
to be attracted to flooded hay fields, but 80 birds can disappear into
two-foot high grass very easily. They are most easily spotted when they are
in the air: So, Eyes Up! All observations so far are between 10:30 AM and
7:00 PM. (Speculation: more WFIB have been seen in Potter Valley in the
last three days than all previous history in Mendocino County. 45+10+80+23
= 158 [unknown repeats]) -- George Chaniot

19 May 2001 M1 from Grizzly Flat to Spruce Grove, and M61 to Glenn Co. Line
=========== ===============================================================
Mostly over 5000 feet

Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Mountain Quail s
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
hummingbird sp
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher s
Western Wood-Pewee s
Steller's Jay
W. Scrub-Jay
Common Raven
Mountain Chickadee many, many locations
Brown Creeper s Coffee Mill Flats
House Wren s
Golden-crowned Kinglet s Grizzly Flats, Spruce Grove
Western Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire s ( note to MM: Look at Forest Service map: Blue
Banks, Haydon Rock, Spruce Grove, Hell's Half Acre, Tar Flats)
American Robin s
Cassin's Vireo s
Hutton's Vireo s
Nashville Warbler s many, many locations
Audubon's Y-r Warbler s
Western Tanager s
Black-headed Grosbeak s
Lazuli Bunting s
Chipping Sparrow s
Fox Sparrow s Grizzly Flats to Millsap Cabin Site
Oregon D-e Junco s
Purple Finch s
Cassin's Finch s
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch

More Ibises

George Chaniot

Fri, 18 May 2001 -- 15:50 I just saw a flock of about 80 WHITE-FRONTED
IBISES land in the pasture where Matthew and I saw 10 yesterday: on Eel
River Road in Potter Valley about 1/2 mi N of Hopper's Corner, the pasture
with horses on the west side of the road before the "English Lessons",
English riding, that is. The flock landed behind the second fence at some
distance. They were not found there around 8 this morning. So far all the
sightings are after 10:30 am. Maybe they commute from somewhere. -- George

Fort Bragg Pelagic - May 13

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

This is a rather belated report from the pelagic trip out of Fort Bragg
on Sunday, May 13. There were four Mendocino County birders on the trip
- Toby Tobkin, Chuck Vaugh, Jerry White (he's sort of a Mendo birder),
and myself. We spent twelve hours on the ocean and had accomodating
weather and seas.

Following is the list of pelagic species seen with the number of
individuals in parenthases. Highlights of the day were having 144 Black
footed Albatross and one Laysan Albatross sitting on the water around
the boat at the same time and a dark-phase Pomarine Jaeger that circled
the boat for several minutes. It was also nice to see phalaropes in
breeding plumage for the first time.

NORTHERN FULMAR (~50) - all color phases
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (~25) - most in breeding plumage
RED PHALAROPE (~150) - most in breeding plumage
POMARINE JAEGER (5) - both dark and light phases
LONG-TAILED JAEGER (3) - first Mendo county spring records?

The next pelagic out of Fort Bragg is on Saturday, August 18 (there is
a local birder discount). If the Aug trip this year is half as good as
the Aug trip last year it'll be exceptional!

Good Birding
Matthew Matthiessen

Ibis Update

George Chaniot

Thu, 17 May 2001 -- This evening Matthew Matthiessen came out to Potter
Valley, and we drove around the valley looking for ibises. We found a group
of ten in a pasture along Eel River Road about 1/2 mi north of Hopper's
Corner. The pasture is on the west side of Eel River Road near the "English
Lessons" sign (the house that the Steiners used to live in), and it is
being flood-irrigated. Warning: there is no shoulder and no easy place to
park. By the time that we had found a place to pull off, the birds took
off, circled, and headed south, but this wet field may remain inviting to
ibises for several days. This evening we hit the right two-minute interval.
We checked Mid Mountain Road, Pine Avenue, East Road, West Road, and Burris
Lane with no luck. -- George Chaniot

White-faced Ibises in Lake Co.


At 9:00am May 17 there were 67 White-faced Ibises and 4 Wilson's
Phalaropes on the pond 0.5 mi. east of the Rodman Slough bridge on
the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff in Lake Co. By 3:30pm the number of ibises on
the pond had increased to at least 84. Dave Woodward

White-faced Ibises in Potter Valley

George Chaniot

Thu, 17 May 2001 -- At about 10:30 I spotted a flock of 45 WHITE-FACED
IBISES flying over Pine Avenue in Potter Valley. They circled up in a
thermal, glided out to the north, and appeared to go down toward some
vineyard ponds on private property. I checked every field and pond visable
from East Road (and trespassed a little too), but I was unable to relocate
them in the air or on the ground. They may be along the irrigation ditch or
ponds east of East Road and between Pine Avenue and Mid Mountain Road.
Is this the month for ibises, or what?! MEN#326, Bob.

Earlier I had spent about two hours birding along the Eel River
around the Pioneer Crossing Bridge and the first mile of the logging road.
It was a very pleasant morning, and should be the same for the Peregrine
Audubon Chapter field trip on Sunday morning. MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS were
pretty easy to find - even for the high-frequency impaired. I must have
seen six. Pileated Woodpeckers were rather noisy, but I never saw one but
fleetingly. Purple Martins do not appear to be using the drain holes of the
bridge this year as they have every year since the bridge was rebuilt in
1992. I have received several reports of BALD EAGLES seen in the vicinity
of the bridge in the last week, and on May 14 I saw an adult around my home
in Potter Valley. Near the bridge was a singing Olive-sided Flycatcher, the
first reported in interior Mendocino Co. this spring. With its arrival, all
of the more-or-less-regular migrants which we track have been seen this
year. Check the database at the Mendobirds homepage.

Anyone coming to the field trip on Sunday should check the American
Dipper nest beneath the old Potter Valley Road bridge enroute. With a five
minute wait you can almost always see two adults, a fledgling from the
first nesting (yellow bill), and the new nest on the south side of the
middle pier. -- George Chaniot

17 May 2001 Eel River at Pioneer Crossing Bridge and 1 mi upstream
=========== ======================================================

Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
California Quail s
Mountain Quail s
Mourning Dove s
Anna's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-shafted N. Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher s
Pacific-slope Flycatcher s
Ash-throated Flycatcher s
Black Phoebe
Tree Swallow
N .Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Steller's Jay
W. Scrub-jay
Common Raven
Red-breasted Nuthatch
American Robin s
Cassin's Vireo s
Hutton's Vireo s
Nashville Warbler s
Yellow Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler s
Yellow-breasted Chat s
Western Tanager s
Black-headed Greosbeak s
Spotted Towhee s
Song Sparrow s
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird s
Bullock's Oriole s

: White-faced Ibises And Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Richard Kuehn, MD & / or Dean Schuler <windnsea@...>

Yesterday, we saw 2 breeding plumaged White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chichi,
flying north just above the bluff-top trail from our hot tub at The Sea

Today, we saw an adult, male, breeding plumaged Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,
Tyrannus forficatus,
sitting on a trail marker post at the corner of Buckeye Court and Rock Cod
on The Sea Ranch.

While we didn't film the WF ibis, we have videotaped the ST flycatcher.

Both sightings were approximately 1 mile south of the Gualala River.

FWIW-Rich and Dean

Richard Kuehn, M.D., & / or Dean Schuler
At The Sea Ranch, CA

"Life cannot wait until the sciences explain the Universe. We cannot put
off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of life is
its coerciveness, it is always urgent, 'here and now' without any possible
postponement. Life is fired at us point blank."
Jose Ortega y Gasset

White-faced ibises on the Mendocino Coast

Greg Grantham/Sarah Quentin <squentin@...>

A large flock (20-22 individuals) of white-faced ibises flew south over
Todd's Point in Fort Bragg at about 6:30AM today

White-faced Ibis & Black-necked Stilts in Lake County

Darlene Hecomovich <heco@...>

I just had a report from Jeannette Knight that both the white-faced ibis and black-necked stilts were in the Rodman Slough pond at 8:15 this morning, Thursday, May 10.

Darlene Hecomovich

White-faced ibises in Lake County

Darlene Hecomovich <heco@...>

At 3 pm today, Wednesday, May 9, there were four white-faced ibises at the shallow pond 0.5 mi. east of the Rodman Slough bridge on the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate either the black-necked stilts or the Wilson's phalaropes. The pair of cinnamon teal were still there, however.

Darlene Hecomovich

Black-necked Stilts and Wilson's Phalaropes in Lake County


At 7:25pm Monday May 7 there were 6 BLACK-NECKED STILTS at the
shallow pond 0.5 mi. east of the Rodman Slough bridge on the Nice-
Lucerne Cutoff in Lake County. Jerry White visited the site after
8:00 pm and found the stilts as well as 2 WILSON'S PHALAROPES. The
White-faced Ibises seen at the pond on May 6 were not observed today.
To reach the site exit Hwy. 29 on the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff between
Upper Lake and Lakeport and travel east past the bridge.
Dave Woodward

Coastal Mendo - May 6

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

Spent a very slow day on the coast yesterday (Sunday May 6). Birds of
note were a first summer BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON on the Garcia River
at the end of Miner Hole Rd. Nine BRANT were at the mouth of the Garcia
River. One BONAPARTE'S GULL was at Van Damme. Four HARLEQUIN DUCKS
were at Virgin Creek Beach. I searched for but did not find the Moorhen
at Lake Cleone.

Good Birding
Matthew Matthiessen

Cinquo de Mayo Birding Highlights

Matthew Matthiessen <matthima@...>

They may be late but here are my birding highlights from Saturday May 5.
I began the day at the old bridge over the Eel River in Potter Valley.
I was rather dismayed to discover the dipper nest had disappeared. It
looked as though someone had swept the nest off its perch with a broom.
After a few minutes I noticed an adult AMERICAN DIPPER flying under the
bridge with what looked like nesting material in its bill. From under
the bridge it took just a couple minutes to discover where the birds
were building a new nest. The new one is under the bridge just inside
of where the old one was. Let's hope this one makes it.

From the old bridge I drove over the hill to Pioneer Bridge. Within a
few minutes a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER popped out of the brush on the
northwest side of the bridge. From the bridge I scanned the kettle of
TURKEY VULTURES circling downstream and noticed one of them was
significantly larger and had a totally white head and tail. The adult
BALD EAGLE was carrying something in it's talons but at that distance I
couldn't determine if it was plant or animal. I watched the eagle for a
while but ultimately lost the bird low against the hillside to the

Next stop was Low Gap Rd. There were no grouse booming at the cattle
guard so I continued up the road. I finally heard a BLUE GROUSE booming
approximately .9 miles past the cattle guard where the road makes a 90
degree lefthand turn. The bird was on the downhill side of the road.
There was also a GOLDEN EAGLE at the cattle guard.

My final destination was the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. Of the
large ponds, only the north one has water in it and it was here that I

Good Birding Everyone
Matthew Matthiessen

Fun stuff

Feather Forestwalker <feather@...>

A Pileated Woodpecker was sighted yesterday at MacKerricher State Park,
just north of the campgrounds, close to the Purple Rose Restaurant.

At SEASIDE BEACH, a single Dunlin was spotted along with some Whimbrels.

In the Rose Memorial Gardens, there's a Killdeer nest. The female
feigned a broken wing at my approach and upon very careful, close
inspection, a single egg was noted. After leaving a note on the door of
the office and walking back towards the nest area (in order to leave),
it was noted that while gone, the female had lain a second egg in the
nest and was even more protective of it, rushing us, then feigning a
broken wing. . .I sure hope they don't mow the area and that people with
dogs will keep them on leashes!

Feather Forestwalker
"Rapture....the only way to fly!"

Forestwalker Productions

Bird Cards, Bird T-shirts, Bird Drawings, Bird Stories

Proceeds help in the rehabilitation and return to the wild, of our
feathered friends on the northern Calfornia coast.

Dunlin at Ten Mile

Charlene McAllister

At 1l:45 a.m. today, there were 6 DUNLIN in breeding plumage on the beach at Ten Mile, about 0.5 mile south of the river. They were in with a group of Whimbrels and Long-billed Curlews.

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