Putah Creek migrants


The number of warblers along my stretch of Putah Creek, half a mile downstream from Stevenson Bridge, is declining steadily, as is to be expected for this time of their migration. Yellow, Wilson's. Black-throated Gray, and Orange-crowned can still be found every day but the great wave of two or three weeks ago has passed. Yellow-rumped Warblers are still only intermittent and have not yet settled in for the winter. No Townsend's or Hermit warblers have shown so far this season around my place. A few Western Tanagers still hang on and today I found a Willow Flycatcher and a rather handsome Red-breasted Nuthatch, a fairly rare visitor in these parts. I was surprised that some people are reporting FOS Northern Flickers since Northern Flickers are yearly breeders near my house and never really leave. Perhaps being only 8 or 9 miles east of the Berryessa hills makes this habitat a little less "central valley." Of course, during late fall and winter the number of local flickers is augmented, often substantially, by migrants from the mountains. A small flock of White-crowned Sparrows arrived in my garden on September 18 and decided to stay in the vicinity of my bird feeder, as they have for many years now. A Song Sparrow showed up briefly, and I think I spotted the first Golden-crowned today.
Last Thursday's hummingbird banding session with Holly Ernest yielded a surprise hatch year male Allen's Hummingbird in addition to a female hatch year Rufous and a hatch year male Black-chinned. One of the trappers also spotted a very late adult male Black-chinned that, however, refused to be caught. The rest of the captured hummers were all Anna's. One more session and then the program will take a break for the winter until Anna's nesting season starts in February/March.

Manfred Kusch

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