Hooded Warbler along Cottonwood Alley (White Slough Wildlife Area)


Jim Rowoth
 

I decided to make a late spring visit to White Slough Wildlife Area this morning, since the weather forecast was for low winds and reasonable temperatures (as opposed to the afternoon forecast). If you haven’t been out there in a while, it’s a l-o-n-g walk in from the end of the paved frontage road.

Anyway, I heard singing Blue Grosbeak first thing this morning along the entry road. Everything was just as expected; no American Bitterns on pond 9 (first pond), but lots and lots of singing Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, and Song Sparrows. Cottonwood Alley had the expected crowd as well—House Wrens, Bullock’s Orioles, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbirds, Downy Woodpeckers, Spotted Towhees. About halfway down, however, I heard a warbler that I figured must be a Yellow or a Wilson’s, but the song wasn’t quite right. I figured it was just a regional variation, but then an apparent Wilson’s Warbler popped up. Imagine my surprise when I noticed, in addition to a black cap, it had a full black hood completely surrounding a bright yellow face—Hooded Warbler! I checked Sibley’s for song, and it was an exact match to the one recorded in Arkansas. Yippee! It moved so fast, however, I was unable to get a photo until it made its third appearance (around 1020).

I immediately texted a small group of local birders, a few of whom eventually showed up. I had intended to walk all the way around Pond 10 (my usual route), but I remained in the area of Cotttonwood Alley to help them get on the bird.

The bird was generally observed about eye-level in the dense cottonwoods/willows on both sides of the road. Looking north, the light was absolutely perfect, and it was observed there, just on the other side of the ditch. Each time, it announced its presence with its bright, unmistakable song.

Here’s a link to my eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S111968298

I know of only two other records of this species in this county. This was my 300th non-introduced species for San Joaquin County, so I was pretty jazzed.

Jim Rowoth
Stockton

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Jim Rowoth
Stockton, CA


Kurt Mize
 

Thanks for the heads up and for helping me get on the bird. What a beauty!


Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

On Thursday, June 2, 2022, 2:52 PM, Jim Rowoth <rowoth@...> wrote:

I decided to make a late spring visit to White Slough Wildlife Area this morning, since the weather forecast was for low winds and reasonable temperatures (as opposed to the afternoon forecast).  If you haven’t been out there in a while, it’s a  l-o-n-g  walk in from the end of the paved frontage road. 

Anyway, I heard singing Blue Grosbeak first thing this morning along the entry road.  Everything was just as expected; no American Bitterns on pond 9 (first pond), but lots and lots of singing Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, and Song Sparrows.  Cottonwood Alley had the expected crowd as well—House Wrens, Bullock’s Orioles, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbirds, Downy Woodpeckers, Spotted Towhees.  About halfway down, however, I heard a warbler that I figured must be a Yellow or a Wilson’s, but the song wasn’t quite right.  I figured it was just a regional variation, but then an apparent Wilson’s Warbler popped up.  Imagine my surprise when I noticed, in addition to a black cap, it had a full black hood completely surrounding a bright yellow face—Hooded Warbler!  I checked Sibley’s for song, and it was an exact match to the one recorded in Arkansas.  Yippee!  It moved so fast, however, I was unable to get a photo until it made its third appearance (around 1020). 

I immediately texted a small group of local birders, a few of whom eventually showed up.  I had intended to walk all the way around Pond 10 (my usual route), but I remained in the area of Cotttonwood Alley to help them get on the bird. 

The bird was generally observed about eye-level in the dense cottonwoods/willows on both sides of the road.  Looking north, the light was absolutely perfect, and it was observed there, just on the other side of the ditch.  Each time, it announced its presence with its bright, unmistakable song.

Here’s a link to my eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S111968298

I know of only two other records of this species in this county.  This was my 300th non-introduced species for San Joaquin County, so I was pretty jazzed.

Jim Rowoth
Stockton

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Jim Rowoth
Stockton, CA






Ralph
 

Thanks for posting, Jim. Hopefully it sticks around. One of the perils of working full time is that I won't be able to get out there until late tomorrow afternoon, or maybe not even until Saturday afternoon.
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Happy birding, and, as always, may the light be with you,
Ralph Baker, Riverbank, CA


Ralph
 

I finally made it out to look for the Hooded Warbler. AS I expected, I did not find it. I did see my first Green Heron and Blue Grosbeak of the year, though. There were actually two Blue Grosbeaks at the far end of the entrance road, a young male that had just a little blue on the face and a full adult male, both singing quite enthusiastically. After I left White Slough I went out and drove down Waverly Road in the hopes of finding a Grasshopper Sparrow, but that was not to be, either. On the way home I drove a couple of dirt raods in NE Stanislaus County where I also did not find any Grasshopper Sparrows.
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Happy birding, and, as always, may the light be with you,
Ralph Baker, Riverbank, CA