Brambling - yes, Redpolls - no

Will Richardson

I had hoped to do a raptor survey in Sierra Valley today, but when I got there the fog was so thick, I knew it was going to be one of those mornings where it never burns off. In fact, it was pretty much thick fog from Truckee clear to Quincy until past noon.

Anyhow, I decided to push north to Quincy to try for the Brambling and got there right about 10 am, joined by Jenny Scott and Jeff Miller. Within a minute or two Jenny spotted it in the top of the tallest tree in back of the neighbors’ yard. This is where we saw it most. Occasionally the bird came into the apple tree right adjacent to the driveway, for near point-blank views (though typically with a few branches and twigs preventing clean photos). We were joined by Collin Dillingham, George from Chico, Gretchen Jehle, and a USFS frog biologist whose name escapes me (sorry!). Anyhow, great looks and enjoyable conversation as the bird would cycle by about every 20 min., showing for a while, and then disappearing again.

After that, Jenny, Jeff, and myself pushed to Chester to try for the redpolls, eventually joined by George. I think I was there for a little over two hours, surely sifting through the same 15-20 siskins and 10 American Goldfinches, over and over again, with no luck. Doesn’t mean they’re not still around, but I didn’t see them today.

Locations for these birds are easy to find on eBird.

Good luck!
Will Richardson
Truckee, CA

PS - I believe we can post photos to this .io group, so I may post some shots later…

T. Will Richardson, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Tahoe Institute for Natural Science