This morning I visited the Tall Forest and environs at the Cosumnes River
Preserve in Sacramento County. In hip boots I was still unable to wade out
to the Accidental Forest. There were lots of Wilson's snipe out that way.
If current water conditions persist for a while, perhaps they will breed
there again as they did in 2005. Water is still draining shallowly across
the road alongside Wood Duck Slough from the woodland into the slough. The
understory birds seem to have reclaimed those portions of the woods I could
reach- water racing over and around the berm at the pump station kept me on
the west side of the slough. There were still about 8- 10 golden-crowned
kinglets and 16-18 varied thrushes, the latter overdispersed and mostly
singing. One Audubon's warbler was giving this nasal, sneezy call that
reminded me more of magnolia warbler than anything else I could think of.
Waterfowl numbers on the county property were pretty good. Most were
American wigeon. There were some diving ducks out there, too. Best among
these were two redhead. Two scaup looked like greaters when the heads were
viewed from the side, but from the front the heads and bills looked too
narrow. When I retrieved my scope for a better look they were gone. There
were still two snow goose among the white-fronts this morning. I saw only
about 35 sandhill cranes.
I flushed a bald eagle from the trees west of the Equipment Pad on the way
out. It flew to the snag southeast of the TNC Barn. I think this is the
same bird, probably in its third cycle, that has been seen off and on for
more than a month now.
Sometimes sex is more important than safety. I should know this from human
behavior. Anyway, I came upon two raccoons in copulo along Wood Duck
Slough. Stopping briefly but not uncoupling, they watched me walk only part
way by before resuming. It's that time of year, I guess.