Jim Armstrong <jimarm@...>

It seems that by early December we usually have the huge clouds of
European Starlings.
I don't miss them, but I mark their absence.
Are they just not in Southern PV or is it too early?

Covelo & Round Valley - Rough-legged Hawk

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Thu, 4 December 2008 - Today, I spent hours in the Covelo &
Round Valley area looking for Lewis's Woodpecker and Rough-
legged Hawk.  I covered almost every accessible road in the
valley.  Finally, I found a 1st year ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on
East Ln.  This is in the NE corner of the valley.
On Dobie Land, I could not find any clue of Lewis's Woodpecker
being there.  Of course, I searched all over the valley, but there
were no Lewis"s in sight.

Prior to my arrival in the Round Valley, I came over from the
coast on Branscomb Rd and Dos Rios Rd from Laytonville.
When I reach Dos Rios bridge, I stopped and looked over the
sides with my binoculars.
There were at leat 55+ King Salmon resting just north of the
confluence of the Eel River and the N Fork of the Eel River.
Later on, I checked two other places, where I saw about 10+
salmon each time.  My unofficial total was 55- to 75 salmon.

Karen A Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, CA

Slate-colored Junco

George Chaniot

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 -- I just had a SLATE-COLORED D-e JUNCO in my yard in
Potter Valley. Second time in 30 years.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Snow Goose at Lake Mendocino

George Chaniot

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 -- This morning there was an adult SNOW GOOSE at the south
boat ramp at Lake Mendocino feeding on dry bread among the domestic geese
and "soup ducks." It was a nice view at close range if you want to study
the details of the black "gums." Across the lake were a few CACKLING GEESE
among the many honkers.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

12/3 MEN So Coast Area - Unusual Hawk Incident

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

3 December 2008 -- I drove south along Hwy 1 to check on a report
of a Rough-legged Hawk between Manchester, Irish Beach and Elk.

I saw 3 Ferruginous Hawks and numerous Red-tailed Hawks in the
area.  Since Jim and I were in the same place on Nov 29 & 30, I was
interested in finding the Rough-leg (which we did not see on the
dates mentioned above).  I concentrated on the fields north of Irish
Beach, as well as north of Manchester.  Unfortunately, I could NOT
find a Rough-legged Hawk.

I witnessed an unusual scrape between a Ferruginous and a Red-
tailed Hawk.  The Ferruginous was easy to spot, because of its
light colors.  While I looked at it, a Red-tailed Hawk landed within
2 feet of the FEHA.  The FEHA spread its wings, while the RTHA
challenged it.  The FEHA must have had a mouse in its talons.
This fight accelerated with the FEHA "winning" the food prize.
ALSO --- Further south, I drove Stonboro to the end of Bristol
(just north of the Garcia River).  Five SNOW GEESE still had
one ROSS'S GOOSE with them on Brush Creek.  No Tundra
Swans have arrived.

Karen Havlena
Fort Bragg, CA

the possible gyrfalcon


This came today from Don Sanderson:

Thanks Kate and all. It flew over Marlene yesterday morning, so it's
still around, but it is extremely unlikely I'm going to be able to do
the bushwhacking necessary to film it, even if I had an adequate camera.
Sorry. Whatever it is, it is surely not a peregrine, several of which
we've seen in the valley over the past few years. It is much larger and
its call is much deeper. It flies straight, hasn't been seen to soar,
and has dark underwings.


Geese at Lake Cleone 12/2/08

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Tue, 2 December '08 -- Toby Tobkin called to report an apparent
hybrid Snow X Ross's Goose at Lk Cleone, MacKerricher SP.  I
drove down to see it.  It was alone when Toby saw it, but it was
with an imm Gtr White-fronted Goose and a Cackling Goose (or
quite small) Canada Goose when I arrived.
The white goose looked mostly like a Ross's, but it was the same
size as the other two geese, and it had a narrow black mark on
the gape of its bill.

For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin
(Karen Havlena)
Fort Bragg, CA

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

Mendocino Coast Christmas Bird Count on 1/3/09

David Jensen

3 December 2008.

Mendocino Coast Audubon Society is proud to host its 34th annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, January 3, 2009. The count area runs approximately from Cuffey's Cove north of Elk, south to the Point Arena lighthouse. This long expanse of coast includes many different types of habitat and is divided into seven count areas. The count usually begins at first light, which is about 7:30 in late December, and concludes before darkness falls. Participants do not have to stay for the entire day, but those who can are welcome to attend the free post-count dinner at the Seniors Center in Point Arena, where the different teams report their sightings.
You do not need to be an expert birder to participate. The team leaders must make the tough identifications. The rest of the team has to search hard, bring a hearty lunch, and have a good time. Please call David Jensen at 964-8163 if you are interested in participating in this year's count.

David Jensen

Fall reports due

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

1 December 2008 - The fall report period for bird observations has
come to a close.

The fall report period is the longest seasonal period - comprised
of August, September, October, and November. It is also one of the
most complex due to
the mass fall migrations from the north ...shorebirds, raptors,
passerines, etc. I will soon be summarizing the significant
Mendocino County bird
observations for these months and then submitting them to the
Northern California sub-regional editors for North American Birds.
If you wish to submit any previously UNREPORTED sightings, or submit
personal summaries, then send them directly to
or mail them to the address near my signature, before December 10th.

If the sighting was already posted on Mendobirds then I have it
already, but I gladly accept summaries from observers. If you saw a
rare or unusual
bird that was discovered by someone else, then please note who the
original "finder" was.

Again, a kind reminder for those posting messages on Mendobirds
....if you begin the message with the full date (like 1 December
2008) and end the message
your full name and maybe contact info (phone and/or email) ....then
it makes it MUCH easier for me to conserve on ink, printed space and
time when I print them for the hard-copy files.

Thanks. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

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

11/30 Ross's Goose, Hooded Merganser & Others

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 -- Jim and I stayed in Point Arena last night to
bird the south MEN county, concentrating on several areas, such
as Mountain View Rd, Garcia River flats, Brush and Alder Creeks,
and Lk Davis near Alder Creek.

Two ROSS'S GEESE were with a small group of SNOW GEESE
on Brush Creek.  We saw no swans in the area, as yet.  We also
missed "Al" at Point Arena cove.  We looked for Burrowing Owl
at Lk Davis, but had now luck.  Most of our time was spent driving
and walking up and down Mountain View Rd, between mm 6.00
and 10.00, then 15 miles of Fish Rock Rd in another fruitless attempt
at seeing a Sooty Grouse - boo hoo.
Checking for raptors along Hwy 1, there were 3 FERRUGINOUS
HAWKS south of Elk.

Wed, 26 November '08 -- A pair of HOODED MERGANSERS
were on the large, manmade pond on Old River Rd, about a mile
south of Talmage. 

Karen Havlena
North of Fort Bragg, CA

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

Lewis's Woodpecker

George Chaniot

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 -- Sorry for the delayed report, but on the 26th I saw a
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. It was in
the top of the oaks to the north. A resident of the area also told me she
had seen one in the same area recently. I was back on the 29th and did not
see one. We did not see any on the Peregrine field trip to Round Valley on
the 23rd. It seems to be a low year for Lewis's although the acorn crop
appears moderate.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Canyon Wren

Jim Armstrong <jimarm@...>

A few weeks ago Karen posted a recommendation to make regular visits
to the Gallery on the Peregrine Web Page and it is worth doing.
Today I found the Round Valley trip report and I have to say that
Matthew's photo of the Canyon Wren is one of the best bird pictures I
have seen.

Hawk identification?


I'm not well schooled in identifying the various hawks so I'm hoping
someone can help.

For the past couple of weeks a hawk has been trying to get into my
aviary here in Pine Mountain. He/she finally gave up trying and sat on
the back of a patio chair for a few minutes so I got a good look and
studied my bird book. It's definitely a juvenile but the Coopers,
Sharp Shinned, and Goshawk all look so similar at the juvenile stage.
This one had very delicate streaking on the breast - almost as if the
brown marks were on the edges of the feathers. Also had very
pronounced spots on his/her back. My bird book shows that only on the
Goshawk. I'm sorry I did not get any more identifying marks than that.
I was so enthralled watching it just sit there, I didn't run to get
the camera! What do you think?

"AL" Laysan Albatross

Robert J. Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

25 November 2008 - Several observers reported the arrival of "AL" the
assumed same Laysan Albatross that has been returning to the Point
Arena Cove for the last 16 consecutive winter periods (or more). The
bird returned at approximately 10:00 AM on November 22nd (thanks Tom
for the sharp lookout). Ironically, I just returned from Kauai
where the re-arrival of Laysan Albatross for the nesting season
occurred during the week of November 10 - 15th November... about the
same time that the Humpback Whales return to Kauai waters. I don't
even try to guess if there is any correlation. To update your
curiosity, below is a chronological list of arrival and departure dates.

For those of you for whom this information is new, the bird uses the
Point Arena Cove as a resting/loafing area during normal
seas. During very rough, intense storms the bird tends to
disappear. I always tell folks that they have about a 50% chance of
seeing the bird from the Point Arena dock on any one day during the
winter period ....but one might have to keep checking every couple
hours as you never know when the bird might arrive or depart. If you
are travelling from out of the area specifically for this bird
might plan on being in the area for at least a couple days to
increase your chances. And ...if the bird is sleeping with his head
tucked under the wing it can be missed if it is not near any other
birds or objects for size reference ( I have seen people mistake is
for a Western Gull). Ask the surfers ....they usually know and look
after the bird's welfare.

Here is a revised list of first reported arrival dates and last reported
>season's dates (assumed near departure) for the subsequent years:
> ???? to? 28 Feb 1994 (T.Easterla & J.Booker)
>30 Nov 1994 to 27 March 1995 (report of two birds in synchronized
>courtship? flight during the end of this period)
>5 Dec 1995 to 14 March 1996
>3 Dec 1996 to 26 March 1997
>27 Nov 1997 to 8 Mar 1998
>12 Dec 1998 to 21 Mar 1999
>4 Dec 1999 to 12 Feb 2000 with a "fly by the cove" on 2 April
>2000 as observed by George Chaniot (possible same bird?)
>26 Nov 2000 to 26 Feb 2001
>28 Nov 2001 to 24 Mar 2002
>21 Nov 2002 to 12 Mar 2003
>25 Nov 2003 to 28 Feb 2004
>28 Nov 2004 to 21 Feb 2005
26-30 Nov 2005 to 19 Mar 2006
25 Nov 2006 to 16 Mar 2007
7 Dec 2007 to 5 Mar 2008
22 Nov 2008 to "time will tell"

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

PAS Covelo Trip

George Chaniot

Sun, 23 Nov 2008 -- The Peregrine Audubon Society had its annual field trip
to Covelo and Round Valley today. The day started out with heavy ground fog
in Ukiah and Willits, but along the Covelo Road we managed to find an
AMERICAN DIPPER and a BALD EAGLE near Dos Rios, and an adult PEREGRINE
FALCON at the sandstone cliffs. Round Valley was fogged in also when we got
there and didn't begin clearing up until about 10:30. After that we began
seeing things: multiple FERRUGINOUS HAWKS along Fairbanks Road and Dobie
Lane, a PRAIRIE FALCON, and quite a few more raptors. A coyote in a field
on Dobie Lane flushed up several birds which turned out to be two ravens and
a SHORT-EARED OWL. The owl climbed above the ravens and circled in view for
a full 15 minutes. At the lunch site at the Eel River Ranger Station we
turned up a CANYON WREN just below the picnic tables.
For a full trip report check the Peregrine Audubon website in a day or

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA

Re: Al the Laysan Albatross Photo Attachments - Not

Doug Shaw <>

Hi all,

FYI, photo attachments are blocked on most birding listservs for our online safety. Thus, photos should be posted to the photos section of the groups website.

Good Birding,

Doug Shaw
Santa Rosa, CA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick & Jeanne Jackson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2008 7:42 AM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Al the Laysan Albatross returned yesterday!

Hi All,
Barbara Pratt reported to me that Al was seen yesterday morning, Saturday Nov. 23rd, off the Point Arena Pier. I've attached the picture she sent me. Good news, yes?!
Jeanne Jackson


For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to these addresses:
Turn off email delivery:
Resume email delivery:

Yahoo! Groups Links

Al the Laysan Albatross returned yesterday!


Hi All,
Barbara Pratt reported to me that Al was seen yesterday morning, Saturday Nov. 23rd, off the Point Arena Pier. I've attached the picture she sent me. Good news, yes?!
Jeanne Jackson

Al's back


At approx. 10AM this morning, Saturday, November 22, Al the Albatross
glided into the Point Arena cove...

Take a look at the attached pic... proof! He's yawning, perhaps tired from
his long journey?

Tom Reid,
Point A

Gyrfalcon update

Bob Keiffer <rjkeiffer@...>

22 November 2008 - I generally do not use Mendobirds as a "chat forum" but I think I should provide some educational information concerning yesterday's report of a possible Gyrfalcon in the McNab Ranch area (between Ukiah & Hopland). First, I see no problem with the observers submitting the report to Mendobirds my ornithology professor always used to say, "birds have wings and sometimes they use them" ... meaning that individual birds can sometimes do the unexpected and "out-of-range" appearance. Such quick posting gives a "heads-up" to other local birders which sometimes leads to the refinding and comfirmation of a sighting.

To provide further information, Gyrfalcons are extremely rare in California with only 10 accepted records by the California Bird Records Committee. All ten of those birds were gray morph first-year birds seen in the top (northern) third of the state. The time of the year of those sightings are mid-fall through winter.

Mendocino County has had, in the past, a couple possible observations ...but this also happened to be concurrent with the escape of a local falconer's gyrfalcon (which we later found out about). Falconers commonly keep gyrfalcons or hybrid birds (legally by permit)... so any birds observed in the wild should be scrutinzed for leg bands and characteristic details. Also, gyrfalcons, and also all the other N.A. falcons except for American Kestrels, usually take their prey out of the air ... that's what they are built for with huge feet and aerodynamic design for superfast speed.

Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Lake County

jerry white

The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen Friday morning (around 8:00 am) by Nick Shepherd from Redbud Park on a dock south of the park. Also there was a Ross's Goose at the park.

Jerry White for Nick Shepherd

5861 - 5880 of 8717