Chico Blue Jay

Linda and Scott Terrill

The Chico Blue Jay came to the aforementioned feeders for approximately two minutes at 10:30 yesterday morning before taking it's snack to go,

Scott and Linda Terrill
Los Gatos

Falcated duck ?

David Barry


Have there been any sightings of the Falcated duck today ?

Dave Barry- Santa Rosa, Ca

Re: [CVBirds] Curlews and Gulls?

Cathie LaZier

There have been a couple of dozen Long-billed Curlews at Hiram Johnson on multiple occasions, as well as 3 dozen plus at Sacramento High School football field. I thought it was unusual for such an urban area.

Cathie LaZier

----- Original Message -----
From: Lisa Moraga
Sent: 1/5/2012 8:03:14 PM
Subject: [CVBirds] Curlews and Gulls?

This morning, while commuting to work, I noticed two curlews- Long-billed or
Whimbrel among a flock of gulls in the football field at Hiram Johnson High
School on the corner of 14th Ave and 65th St Expressway. I was driving , so
definitive identification was not possible. Is this a usual occurrence?

Lisa Moraga
East Sacramento , CA

Curlews and Gulls?

Lisa Moraga

This morning, while commuting to work, I noticed two curlews- Long-billed or Whimbrel among a flock of gulls in the football field at Hiram Johnson High School on the corner of 14th Ave and 65th St Expressway. I was driving , so definitive identification was not possible. Is this a usual occurrence?

Lisa Moraga
East Sacramento , CA

Lincoln CBC report

ed pandolfino

For only the second time in its 10-year history, the Lincoln CBC on Dec 28
was NOT rained on!
83 birders (about normal for this count) enjoyed the good weather and we
tallied 136 species (just over our 134 average). The highlight was finding
Black Rail for the first time. Comprehensive surveys for this species have
shown them to be widespread in foothill areas of Yuba and Nevada counties
and recent surveys in Placer alerted us to their presence in the circle. The
good news is that both sites are covered by conservation easements. The bad
news (for birders) is that neither location is open to public access. One
site may be made available on a limited docent-led basis and I will let
subscribers to this list serve know if and when that occurs.
We set new high totals for several species, no doubt because the weather
encouraged folks to beat the bushes a little harder than normal. We set new
highs for California Quail, Cooper's Hawk, Black-necked Stilt, Northern
Flicker, Black Phoebe, Western Scrub-Jay, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped
Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Tricolored Blackbird, and
Brown-headed Cowbird. There is no question that our new high total of 28
White-throated Swifts was due to the weather. A new high for Eurasian
Collared-Dove was expected given the continuing population increase of this bird
in the Valley.
Our total number of individuals dipped below 100,000 for only the third
time, mainly attributable to below average numbers of geese and all dabbling
ducks. We set new lows for Wood Duck, Cinnamon Teal, and Northern Pintail.
Oddly, most diving ducks were present in higher than normal numbers (103
Common Mergansers was another new species high).
We missed Golden-crowned Kinglet for only the third time, but numbers
wintering in the Valley this year seem to be down everywhere (maybe because of
the mild mountain weather so far?) and Cackling Goose was also missed for
the third time. Gull numbers set a new low with both the local landfill and
wastewater treatment plants seemingly unattractive this year. I guess we
just can't compete with the dead salmon on the American River and the higher
class of garbage found at the Davis dump...
Good news came in the form of 3 Burrowing Owls in two new locations. We
also found one Short-eared Owl on Waltz Road right near the Placer-Sutter
County line. Bad news continued for Loggerhead Shrikes. We averaged nearly 40
prior to the 2005 West Nile Virus outbreak and have averaged less than 10
since. Only 7 could be found this year.
Good finds included Osprey for only the second time, Pacific Wren (which
we miss more often than we get), one White-throated Sparrow, a
Black-throated Gray Warbler, 3 Common Yellowthroats (surprisingly hard to find in winter
in this area), and 3 Vesper Sparrows in their usual Philip Road haunts.
My thanks to all who participated and especially to our great crew of Area
leaders: Mark Aring, Chris Conard, Rudy Darling, Frances Oliver, John
Ranlett, and Deren Ross.
Ed Pandolfino
Carmichael, CA

Colusa NWR Falcated Duck continues 1/5/2012

Marcel Holyoak

The alternate plumage male FALCATED DUCK continued this morning 5th January 2012. I watched it from dawn to 10am. Viewing platform at start of auto tour loop at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

At least three (2ads 1 imm), TRUMPETER SWANS continued along Esquon Rd off Midway Road in Butte County. Drive east from Midway Rd along Esquon Rd approx .25 miles and scan fields on south side of Esquon.

Marcel Holyoak, San Jose and Davis California

Harris's Sparrow continues in North Davis

Chris <cdunford@...>

I saw the bird twice this morning with the usual large, mixed flock of Zonotrichia sparrows at 243 Cortez Avenue. However, several birders, including myself, have failed to find the bird during the first three days of 2012 (last previous sighting on 12/31). So the Harris's Sparrow seems to be following a less predictable, more elusive daily pattern during the past one or two weeks. Mornings between 7 and 9 in my front yard (243) seem to be the best bet. Please post any sightings you make. Thanks.

Chris Dunford
Davis, CA

Progress Rd Mountain Plovers - No

L Pittman

After the Sacramento Audubon field trip to Colusa NWR for the Falcated Duck and Sacramento NWR, Karen Z and I went to Progress Road to look for the Mountain Plovers. We found fellow birders, who had seen the Falcated Duck earlier, also looking for the plovers. We checked several fields and could not locate them.

Linda Pittman
Wilton, CA

Tall Forest area birds today

Glennah Trochet

Dear Birders,

On today's Rio Cosumnes CBC I covered part of the area around the Tall
Forest at the Cosumnes River Preserve. I saw a couple of things of note. I
found a ruff/reeve near the Equipment Pad early and two long-eared owls
along the river late in the day. Birding was otherwise quite slow.

Compiler Andy Engilis will give a summary of the count as a whole when all
areas have reported to him.


John Trochet


Hammond's Flycatcher, SJ Co.

Frances Oliver <hummer52ffo@...>

On Saturday, while doing the Wallace Bellota CBC, Lorna & Mark Elness found a
empid West of the Sheldon Rd bridge. Liz West & my area is officially East side
of the bridge but that didn’t stop us from looking at their empid. Since I just
had a quick look at it I first thought it was Pac Slope which isn’t found in SJ
Co during the winter, and according to David Yee no empids have been recorded in
SJ during the winter. So, with neighboring counties reporting Hammond’s &
Least'/Hammond’s Flycatchers I decided to go have a closer look.

Around Noon I found the empid in the same area and studied it over the course of
45 minutes. I was able to ID it as a HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER. David also saw it
this afternoon and agreed.

Description: A small empid with a a fairly large greyish head with a slight
crest to the back of the head. The eye ring is white, and is wider at the back.
The bill is small, thin, with a narrow base and dark in color. Overall color of
the bird is bright olive green with buffy looking wing bars and dark brown edges
to the wings. Long primary projections making the tail look short. The tail was
notched. The throat was light gray, with a darker wash on the breast which
finally blended down to a very light yellow on the belly.

It’s probably wintering there. The empid generally stays in the willows and oaks
next to the bridge. If you go look for it check on the W side of the bridge.
Occasionally I found it on the E side and once in the tree overhanging the
bridge. Also in the area is Townsend’s and OC Warblers. And while I studied this
empid, my dad enjoyed his nap in the chair by the bridge!

If you decide to go look for this empid you can find the area by driving E on
Hwy 26 (toward Valley Springs) and either take Sheldon Rd South till you reach
the river. Or turn S on Escalon-Bellota Rd and then immediately E on Shelton Rd.
Sheldon will follow the River and eventually will swing back North and cross
over the river.

Good Birding!
Lodi, CA

Mountain Plovers


John Dunn, Lucy Lee and myself at 4 pm today saw 12 Mountain Plovers at the previously reported side in the field on the east side of Progress Road, .9 miles north of Oswald Road. An adult Peregrine Falcon was also seen in the line of trees at the east end of the field.

Good Birding!

Darlene Hecomovich
Cobb, CA

1/2 Mountain Plovers & Mt. Bluebirds

Denise and David Hamilton

Hi All,

After fine viewing of the Falcated Duck at Colusa NWR, we went in search of the Mountain Plovers as previously reported on Progress Road. (Progress Road -plowed field 0.9 miles north of Oswald Road, on the east side of the road) Yes, they were still there and easy to see.

Next to look for the Mt. Bluebirds as previously reported on Pass Rd. (To locate go north from Hwy 20 at Sutter on Acacia Ave. north, this turns west and becomes Pass Road. After passing the intersection with Kellogg Road go 1.8 miles. On the south side of the road there are many boulders. The Mountain Bluebirds were flying around this area perching on either the fences post along the road or the rocks.) Yes, they are still there, with MANY American Pipits.

The Trumpeter Swans were next on the list, and yes, still there as reported, but found 2 out on Midway Rd, ( thank you, to Cathryn Lawrence and others for showing them to us...saved a lot of time scoping the large flock of Tundra Swans!) and 2 out on Esquon. While driving on Midway to make our way over to Sacramento NWR, we discovered 5 Cattle Egrets on Midway, just south of the town of Richvale in a field on the east side of the road (just beyond a large stand of eucalyptus trees.)

Made it to Sacramento NWR just as the sun was setting- the fly-in (and over) the refuge of geese and HUNDREDS of White-faced Ibis was amazing!

Thank you John Harris, Francis Oliver & Sami LaRocca for posting such GOOD, CONSISE directions to find these birds!

Denise & David Hamilton

interesting small owl report from south Davis

Steve Hampton <shampton@...>

A non-birding friend of mine reported that a small owl dove into a bush-- and then flew off-- last night as he was walking on a sidewalk just north of Pole Line/Lillard and Cowell. This is not far from where there was once a wintering Saw-Whet Owl (at the Tanglewood apartments). Birders should check nearby trees for mobbing kinglets, etc.

Steve Hampton
Resource Economist
Office of Spill Prevention and Response
California Dept of Fish and Game
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
(916) 323-4724 phone
(916) 324-8829 fax

Re: [CVBirds] Yolo Bypass on 12/31

Dennis Pleau

I had a four Bittern day today including one with a crawfish in his mouth.

Dennis Pleau

Woodland, CA

[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 11:57 AM
Subject: [CVBirds] Yolo Bypass on 12/31

Forgive the late posting, but I haven't been able to get to email over the
long weekend. I was out birding on Saturday morning with a friend of mine
at Yolo Bypass and the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was a
beautiful day and the light was great. At the bypass, we had the great
fortune of seeing five American Bitterns on the final stretch of the auto
tour loop -- I'm sure that's a record I'm not likely to see again!

Happy New Year,

Yolo Bypass on 12/31


Forgive the late posting, but I haven't been able to get to email over the
long weekend. I was out birding on Saturday morning with a friend of mine
at Yolo Bypass and the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was a
beautiful day and the light was great. At the bypass, we had the great
fortune of seeing five American Bitterns on the final stretch of the auto
tour loop -- I'm sure that's a record I'm not likely to see again!

Happy New Year,

"Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to
rather than what we are separate from." -- Terry Tempest Williams

Ellen R. McBride, M.S.
Senior Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Conservation Planning Branch
2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 414-6561 (w)

Trumpeter Swans, Butte Co.


The trumpeter swans in the Esquon area were seen again today (2 Jan 12) by me and a few others from Napa and the Bay Area. There were two in the pond on the west side of Midway at Esquon Rd. The pond is easy to scope from Esquon Rd. near the RR tracks.

I'll post pictures shortly.

The birding on Esquon Rd. was also a delight with ~300 sandhill cranes and ~500 tundra swans close to the road in the south-side fields among the carpet of greater white-fronted geese.

Good birding!

Cathryn Lawrence
Woodland, CA

white Harlan's Hawk at Colusa NWR

John Sterling

After photographing and watching the Falcated Duck today, I went searching for the Swamp and White-thr. Sparrows at the adjacent field. Didn't find them, but did see and photographed a pale morph Harlan's Hawk flying over the pond and observation stand. Photos are on my "Recent Photos" gallery on my photo webpage.



John Sterling

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
530 908-3836 (photos, classes, tours, county birding)

"Prairie Merlin" in Placer County


I found an adult male "Prairie Merlin" (richardsoni) on Nader Rd. north of Lincoln today at about 11:30am. It landed on a fence post next to the road and allowed close approach as I slowly rolled my car forward and got to within about 15 feet before it flushed.

Scott Hoppe
Citrus Heights, CA

Merced NWR CBC

Larry Parmeter

Today, Monday, January 2-the annual Merced National Wildlife Refuge bird count was held-we had ten intrepid birders who racked up 118 species and over 60,000 birds total. highlights were 35,000+ Snow/Ross's Geese; 3,000 Sandhill Cranes; over 5,000 Blackbirds; a Rough-legged Hawk; a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle; three Merlins; and four Hooded Merganzers, seven Common Merganzers, a Common Goldeneye, three Wood Ducks, and a Hairy Woodpecker-all first time birds for the count. Perhaps the rarest bird of the day was a Lark Bunting, seen near the Merced Refuge- Many thanks to all who participated-for a very successful count! Larry ParmeterFresno Audubon Society

Re: [CVBirds] Odd looking kinglet?

Sally M. Walters

The 7th of the 7 photos looks to me like there is a small bulbous round growth on either side of the base of the bill.

SallyWalters & DonSchmoldt
Sacramento County, Ca

On Jan 2, 2012, at 6:58 PM, Joseph Morlan wrote:

On Mon, 2 Jan 2012 18:36:15 -0800, John Harris <> wrote:

There was an article in the PRBO newsletter about this, written by Rich Stallcup. I don't remember when it was published but will look for it in my files. I once found a dead Yellow-rumped warbler with a deposit of gummy stuff completely covering its nostrils.
The January 2002 issue of Audubon Magazine's "Incite" section deals
with eucalyptus in the U.S., the environmental damage it causes, and
how warblers and other birds die when their nares get clogged by
eucalyptus sap. The full article is online at:

This phenomenon has been reported previously, but without data, in an
article written by Stallcup for the PRBO Newsletter online at:

There Stallcup describes a dead Ruby-crowned Kinglet which has
suffocated because its nostrils have been sealed by eucalyptus gum.

I have a couple of questions about Stallcup's hypothesis.

Are birds with closed nostrils unable to breathe? Some birds like
boobies have nostrils naturally fused shut but seem to be able to
function well. Can't they breathe through their mouths?

What other animals besides birds suffocate when their nostrils are

Have other people found dead birds which died because their nostrils
get clogged and how was the cause of death determined?

Just wondering about this.
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at)
Birding Classes start Feb 7

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