Gates Canyon Lawrence's Goldfinches, 4.26.21

Denise and David Hamilton

Hi all,  After reading some Ebird reports of Lawrence's Goldfinches up Gate's Canyon Rd  (off Pleasants Valley Rd in Solano Co.) we decided to go look for them this morning.  We haven't seen them since 2003(!) so we were hoping to see them.  We pulled off the road just past/at the 3.1 MM sign and walked across the road to look down in the creek.  Amazing!  Birds were constantly coming in for a drink or to bathe.  We were first there about 9:30 am for well over and hour and then returned in the late afternoon, after 3.  Highlights:  3 male Lawrence's Goldfinches - seen multiple times AM & PM, nesting Anna's hummer (right above pull-off spot) and nest building Hutton's Vireo (right above the road); 2 Western Tanagers, a Nashville Warbler, plus Orange-crowned and Wilson's; Cassin's Vireos; Black-headed Grosbeaks, Hermit Thrush, Robins, flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows with one White-crowned; a Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Lesser Goldfinches & Oak Titmice were around all the time, and more.  All just standing in one spot!  It appears to be a great spot to watch for migrants,

A little further up the canyon (right edge of road with a lot of the horsetail plant) were some Lazuli Buntings.  Ash-throated Flycatchers could be heard everywhere. 

Drove to the top (so depressing!)  We haven't been up there since the fires, so needed to see how it was.  The chaparral is ALL burned up, but with signs of regrowth at the bottom of some plants. We did hear Mountain Quail in the distance.   Also went over to Mix Canyon - OK down below - Bullock's Orioles and Western Kingbirds + a few others.  But then past the first mile, more and more is burned.  Heard a few birds singing here and there, but won't be going back anytime soon.

On the home front, still have a Golden-crowned Sparrow or 2.  Our last White-crowned left last week.

Happy spring birding!
Denise and David Hamilton

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