Lake Mendocino 2/10

George Chaniot

Sat, 10 Feb 2001 -- Today I dodged between storms to go out to Lake
Mendocino and peer into most every corner. The lake is still very low,
standing at 723.1' above sea level, up only slightly from 720.5' on 22 Jan,
at a time of year when it would normally be more than 20 feet higher.
The waterfowl are in a late winter pattern of high numbers and low
diversity. I saw no dabbling ducks at all, not even Mallards! No herons.
There are probably about 3-4000 scaups with Greater predominating, but with
zero boat activity and little wave action, they are scattered widely over
the lake and hard to see. The biggest concentrations were in the coves on
the east shore and south of Grapevine Point on the west shore where they
are very hard to see. I walked as far as Little Bear Campground where I
found a TUFTED DUCK among the scaups. Later off Ky-en Campground on the
north shore I found another TUFTED DUCK. The first had a dark gray back and
a short tuft, while the second had a black back and a long pony tail. This
confirms that there are at least two birds on the lake this winter.
South of the mesa there was an immature BALD EAGLE eating a coot on
a stump. It had white on the top of the head, white on the back, white on
the wing coverts, a white belly, and nearly white tail. It resembled White
Belly II in Clark and Wheeler, but more extreme. At the Pomo Day-use area
there was another immature flying by, similar, but with a different tail.
Later the first eagle was sitting in the last tree on Miti spit. There is
often a raptor of some kind in that tree.
Back in Potter Valley the MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD bonanza continues.
Today there were seven birds on seven consecutive fence posts right along
Pine Avenue by the emus. (Would you believe 7 bluebirds and a rainbow?!
Something out of Disney.) There was also a FERRUGINOUS HAWK along lower
Pine Avenue. -- George Chaniot

Lake Mendocino
Pied-billed Grebe 20
Western Grebe 100
Clark's Grebe 2
Canada Goose 2
Ring-necked Duck 5
Greater Scaup ] 3000-4000
Lesser Scaup ]
Tufted Duck 2 m
Common Goldeneye 20
Bufflehead 50
Hooded Merganser 1
Common Merganser 120
Ruddy Duck 300
Turkey Vulture 5
Bald Eagle 2 imm
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
California Quail 1
American Coot 800
Ring-billed Gull 20
California Gull 80
Thayer's Gull 1 imm
Herring Gull 1 ad
Band-tailed Pigeon singing
Great Horned Owl calling repeatedly at midday!
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker including a hybrid flicker
Pileated Woodpecker pair excavating a cavity at Deer Camp
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
W. Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Oak Titmouse singing
White-breasted Nuthatch
Rock Wren Coyote Dam, near marker 025
Ruby-crowned Kinglet singing
Hermit Thrush
N. Mockingbird
California Thrasher singing, along Marina Drive mm 0.5
European Starling singing
Hutton's Vireo
Audubon's Y-r Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Oregon D-e Junco
Brewer's Blackbird
House Finch