Green-tailed Towhees, Mix Canyon/Blue Ridge Road, Solano & Napa Co.

Denise and David Hamilton

Hi all,

Thanks to Ebird reports from Roger Muskat, Zane Pickus, and Jim Holmes, that gave directions on where to find Green-tailed Towhees, David and I went up there this morning to finally 'tick' them for our Napa Co. list.  Ebird list:  eBird Checklist - 9 Sep 2021 - Mix Canyon - 32 species (+1 other taxa)

We arrived up there at 6:30 am and it was already 81° (!!). Thankfully the clouds blocked the sun for a good part of the morning.  The Towhees were right where they described them, mainly around MM 5.1 across from the vineyard.  Either there were more than 5 of them, or they were flying around a lot!  WESTERN TANAGERS were abundant!  They were everywhere - up in the pines, in the vineyard, on the ground, or in shrubs.  Other highlights:  a beautiful CASSIN'S VIREO, adult CHIPPING SPARROW with young birds, 3 LAZULI BUNTINGS, a HAMMOND'S/DUSKY FLYCATCHER - way too brief a look at the silent bird - just saw greenish empid, large eye ring, and major tail flip and it was gone.  Also WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, WW PEWEE, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, BG GNATCATCHERS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, and a few WILSON'S, ORANGE-CROWNED, YELLOW & BT GRAY WARBLERS.

Like Jim reported, the migrants seemed to be coming up Mix Canyon.  We stood and just slowly walked back and forth around the 5.0 mile marker (large blue tank of some sort is in the area.)  We could look down and see the birds moving through and constantly changing (including the Green-tailed Towhees.) 

On the home-front in Napa:  WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, YELLOW WARBLERS (the most in years!) and many WARBLING VIREOS (all coming to our pond!)

Happy fall birding (hoping we do not get any dry lightning strikes the over the next few days)
Denise and David Hamilton

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