Thursday birding

Jim Rowoth

I had a good morning in the Ripon area this morning. Nothing out of the ordinary, but a MacGillivray’s Warbler was a real treat. Otherwise, there were just good numbers of the expected birds. The number of Black-bellied Plovers at the eastern sewage ponds was way down from my last visit, but the number of breeding-plumaged Dunlins and other peeps (both Least and Westerns) remains high. There was a good number of (silent) Long-billed Dowitchers in the third pond from the east end, if you follow the pavement all the around the east and south side. The lower, muddy ponds back there were devoid of birds. I did not around to check the westernmost ponds. Mavis Stouffer was very quiet, but then it was midday when I arrived. After lunch in Manteca, I thought, what the heck, let’s check out the Tracy WTP while I’m in the south county. There was heavy equipment moving dirt, chunks of pavement in the SE corner. Despite this, I located several easy-to-overlook Least & Western Sandpipers in the exposed black dirt in the SW corner and a Common Gallinule lurking at the edge of the cattails. There were also 3 Bonaparte’s Gulls flying back and forth over a distant pond.

My neighbor to the west removed a massive incense cedar from just across out common fence yesterday, as well as trimming his gorgeous Chinese pistache next to the street. It remains to be seen how this will affect birds in my yard, but I don’t expect to hear, let alone see, Red-breasted Nuthatch anymore. My momma Mourning Dove continues to sit on its nest in the privet by my back patio.

I hope you are all maintaining your sanity during this pandemic!

Jim Rowoth
Stockton, CA