This past week

Jim Rowoth

I see that I am remiss in posting to sjbirds this week, so I’ll try to summarize here now.

I visited a variety of under-birded parks in north Stockton (most of which were devoid of people) this week as follows:

Loch Lomond Park—Best birds were the small flock of very vocal Pine Siskins and less vocal Chipping Sparrows. Also vocal pair of Swainson’s Hawks. I avoided the NW corner of the park due to the presence of a homeless encampment under the bridge.

Cortez Park—The expected cast of characters; a quick, surgical visit just to get the park on the eBird map--I only spent 10 minutes here.

Stuart Gibbons Park—Highlights were Cooper’s and Swainson’s Hawks, as well as singing lutescens Orange-crowned Warbler.

Anderson Park/Emil Seifert Center—Highlights were Red-breasted Nuthatch and flock of 74 American Pipits.

I had a Wilson’s Warbler spend the afternoon in my yard, along with the usual cast of characters. I thought I might have heard a Rufous Hummer, but could not confirm it. I had had both a male and female of this species in my privets on Apr 2.

The Wilson’s continued in my yard in the morning.

Angel Cruz Park—No binoculars, late in the afternoon. Best birds were heard-only Ruby-crowned Kinglet and resident Acorn Woodpeckers. No trace of the RB Nuthatches and Townsend’s Warbler that I had had on Mar 29—but what do you expect since I bins-less!

In need of some real exercise, so I headed to White Slough (walked close to 5 miles along heavily overgrown trails). I carefully drove my rental car out—the road remains a disaster, and I noticed that new junk has been delivered. Best birds were one female Common Goldeneye (first pond, “Pond 9”), Common Gallinule (Pond 10), spontaneously calling (i.e., no playback) Black Rail at its usual location; heard from trails on both north and south edge of Pond 11, Forster’s Tern (Pond 10), very active GB Heron and Gt Egret rookery on W edge of Pond 11, multiple Swainson’ Hawks, at least 8 Western Kingbirds (my first of the year), and 3 Bullock’s Orioles. The Great Horned Owl remains on its nest.

I remained in my yard. Same old same old.

I visited the Stockton Rural Cemetery. I figured everyone was dead there already, so OK to visit during coronavirus emergency. I found one old owl pellet under their usual tree, but no owls. I have failed to find them on my last several visits, so I suppose they are no longer there. Anyway, I came across a coyote, who quickly skeedaddled once he saw me. Avian highlights: pair of courting Swainson’s Hawks, a trio of squeeky Western Kingbirds, SIX Red-breasted Nuthatches—at one point, I had 4 in the same binocular view, 13 noisily zipping Pine Siskins, one snappy-looking Chipping Sparrow, and one male Black-throated Gray Warbler. Lots of the usual stuff as well.

My back yard continues the same. No new characters have arrived, but I was entertained by a trio of birds in my birdbath earlier this afternoon, all laughing and vigorously splashing around together—Golden-crowned Sparrow, Lesser Goldfinch, and lutescens Orange-crowned Warbler.

Jim Rowoth

Jim Rowoth
Stockton, CA