Date   

Common Teal - Sacramento NWR

Robert Doster
 

The male COMMON TEAL (or Eurasian Green-winged Teal) was still present at 09:00 this morning at the location mentioned below on the Sacramento NWR tour road.

Good birding,

Rob Doster
Chico, CA



=================================================

To: central_valley_birds@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 22:17:52 -0500
Subject: [CVBirds] Common Teal and Glaucous Gull

All,


This morning there was a male Common Teal in a small group of Green-wings

at Sacramento NWR. It was on the auto tour not quite 3/4 of the way around

the loop on a short section were the road turns north for a brief stretch.

It was a classic Common Teal with no signs of hybridization with

Green-winged Teal. Distant but clearly identifiable photos were taken.



Cheers,


Cameron Cox

Statesboro, GA


Brown Pelican continues in West Sacramento

Dan Airola
 

I don't remember hearing any reports on the juvenile Brown Pelican here since
December, and there are no Jan. reports in ebird for Yolo County. I saw it
today diving at the north end of Lake Washington near the rowing club facility.
What is presumably this same bird has remained in this area since early
September.
Dan Airola
Sacramento


Common Teal and Glaucous Gull

Cameron Cox
 

All,

This morning there was a male Common Teal in a small group of Green-wings
at Sacramento NWR. It was on the auto tour not quite 3/4 of the way around
the loop on a short section were the road turns north for a brief stretch.
It was a classic Common Teal with no signs of hybridization with
Green-winged Teal. Distant but clearly identifiable photos were taken.

The Falcated Duck was still present, but distant. There were 5 Eurasian
Wigeon in the same pond, 3 males and 2 females paired with two of the male
Eurasians.

There was a 1st-cycle Glaucous Gull on one of the dikes at Davis Wastewater
Treatment Plant in the late morning.

Cheers,

Cameron Cox
Statesboro, GA


Recent Yolo Co. birds of local interest

Brent Campos
 

Birds of local interest in the last couple weeks in Woodland and along the Blue Ridge Trail from Hwy 16:

In Woodland last week, I heard a Western Tanager calling in the neighborhood just north of Everman Park. This is likely the same bird I saw the week prior in the valley oaks in our yard which borders Everman Park. I've been seeing a Slate-colored Junco for the last couple months in our backyard, too. The junco flock it associates with is often feeding on the edges of Everman Park. And, birds of note from a quick hike up Blue Ridge from the Rayhouse Road/Hwy 16 intersection on January 15 include two California Thrashers, one Sage Sparrow, and three Bald Eagles. The Sage Sparrow was foraging in the trail right along the ridge itself.

Good birding,
Brent Campos
Woodland


Cosumnes birds- 14- 17 January., 2012

Glennah Trochet
 

Dear Birders,



At the Cosumnes River Preserve in southern Sacramento County, Saturday last
was the first River Walk bird survey under the new leadership of Jim Rowoth.
Chris Conard and I attempted to show Jim the route traditionally run, at
least since repeated levee collapses forced abandonment of two legs of the
original trail. We found 92 species. Some of the better finds were at
least 10 blue morph snows among some 2000 white birds, a peregrine falcon,
two soras, a Hutton's vireo (becoming regular now, formerly an occasional
autumn find here), four northern rough-winged swallows, two golden-crowned
kinglets, and three purple finches. Some of the folks joined me in a search
for the ruff near the equipment pad. No luck on that.



On Sunday I did a transect survey at Shaw Forest. This was the first decent
local woodland birding I've had this winter. The transect was mostly a tale
of two halves. The first half was incredibly birdy, with two very nice
flocks. Highlights among the birds were two golden-crowned kinglets, a
brown creeper and, best of all, a Cassin's vireo. Though the second half
was much, much slower, I picked up a couple of fun things. I found a varied
thrush (and two more after the transect was completed) and a Pacific-slope
flycatcher. Just after I wrote down "western flycatcher" and turned to walk
away, the thing called twice, the classic PSFL male position note. This is,
I think, the fourth winter observation of Pacific-slope/western flycatcher
at the preserve. Warbler numbers and variety that morning, and subsequent
mornings, too, were poor. I tried again for the ruff near the equipment
pad. I didn't see it.



Yesterday, I did a transect survey at Orr Forest, like Shaw Forest, a closed
portion of the preserve. This was another slow birding outing in the woods.
But for the second day in a row, I found a Cassin's vireo. This was
definitely a different bird, with a contrasting light ashy gray head. The
Shaw Forest bird had a greenish head. I also heard a varied thrush
yesterday. Both small potatoes compared to what I found coming back to the
ranch headquarters. In a large flock of juncoes, crowned sparrows and a
couple of towhees was a classic male pink-sided junco. I have seen only one
other such beast in the Central Valley, several years ago at Castello
Forest. I made another bootless attempt to find the ruff, too.



This morning I did the shred transect across the equipment pad. This was
more spectacle than birding. In the last week to ten days, the wetlands
managers at the preserve have flooded many more fields north of the Tall
Forest. The response by cranes and larger waterfowl has been prompt and
dramatic. Thousands of snow geese, thousands of greater white-fronted geese
and about 1500 sandhill cranes spend much of the day there. Good numbers of
ducks are there, too, mostly northern pintails, northern shovelers and
green-winged teals. But the duck numbers have not changed that much. They
make a wonderful noise together. But they were not the most impressive
(perhaps depressing in a better term) of flocks today. European starlings
streamed over me for almost 15 minutes, passing on a very broad front. They
were a stupefyingly large assemblage of birds, seemingly moving toward the
vineyards to the south-southeast. Near the tail end of the flock a very
goodly chunk veered southwest, toward I know not what. My guess is the
flock numbered about 2.2 million birds. A much more countable flock of
12,000 came over about half an hour later, much less than the error factor
in the previous guesstimate. I have to go back almost 35 years for a
personal encounter with a bigger flock.



The low this morning at the Accidental Forest was 12 degrees F. This has to
be at or near the lowest temperature I've ever experienced at Cosumnes,
because I've never been there in single digit temperatures. The flooded
fields where the ruff formerly was were solidly frozen.



Best,

John Trochet

Sacramento


Re: Yolo Co. Birds of Interest 01.16.12 SHOVELERS at DWTP

tertial <shampton@...>
 

Terry,

I don't know what it looked like yesterday, but in recent weeks there have been many more thousands of shovelers at the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant. Ed Harper estimated 14,000 present on the Sac CBC.

I did some other math the other day, focusing just on the middle pond. Based on Google Earth, I estimate the pond at 1,497,600 square feet. When it's really packed in with shovelers, it looks like you can walk across the pond on them. Assuming very conservatively there is one duck every six feet (one duck every 36 ft2), and they are only covering 50% of the pond, that's still 20,800 ducks!

good birding,

Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

--- In central_valley_birds@yahoogroups.com, "Terry Colborn" <terryc@...> wrote:

My wife, Diane, and I spent the day in Yolo Co. adding birds to our year list. The HARRIS'S SPARROW showed itself around noon at it's Cortez Avenue haunt. A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was soaring above CR 102 about 1 mile north of CR 28. Six CANVASBACK DUCK and a single LESSER YELLOWLEGS were present at the Woodland Waste Water Treatment Facilitiy. Searching among the 1,000+ gulls on the pond at the SE corner of the Yolo Co. Landfill property, I found a first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL, and several GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Noteworthy were an estimated 1,400-1,500 NORTHERN SHOVELER resting on the middle lagoon at the Davis Waste Water Treatment Facility! Our efforts yielded 76 species on a sunny, but chilly winter afternoon.

Best of birding,
Terry Colborn
Davis, CA


Merced County Ruff news

Cameron Cox
 

Greetings,

I'm visiting from out of town and thought I'd try to go see the Ruff in
Merced County near Los Banos this morning. I arrived at the spot along
Santa Fe Grade Rd mentioned by Kent Van Vuren, about 1/2 a mile west of the
Gilroy Land and Cattle building, 2 miles or so after the road becomes a
gravel road, and immediately found the Ruff. I spent 20 minutes watching
and photographing it as it fed just south of the road. I paused to look at
some of the other birds in the area and the first thing I saw was a Reeve
feed about 30 feet directly behind the Ruff! Eventually the two moved close
enough to one another that I was able to digiscope both in the same frame.
It was great to see the size comparison and to get extended up-close views.
I know Ruffs show up often enough in California that they are not a big
deal, but for someone not from the area with notorious bad luck with this
species it was pretty awesome.

A few photos here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150467742036836.365410.688981835&type=1&l=d98c6a76e9

This afternoon I stopped by Colusa and can report that the place is
madhouse but the duck is stunning. I really wasn't expecting that many
people since the bird has been around for a while, but the place was
packed. There were 3 adult male Eurasian Wigeon on the pond with the
Falcated Duck and a female on Norman Road south of Sacramento NWR.

Cheers,
Cameron Cox
Statesboro, GA


Chico: A Tale of Two Birds - Blue Jay and Costa's Hummingbird

Jane Tatchell
 

Peter and I spent part of a fine weekend's birding trip enjoying the hospitality of generous Chico residents who offer to share their gardens and the birds that visit them.

Our first stop was at 1244 Stanley Ave. We arrived at 1pm and met a very cold bearded gentleman who had been there for three hours already without seeing the Blue Jay. Undeterred, we sat on the garden chairs kindly provided by the householder and watched the constant parade of sparrows, finches, robins, and many scrub jays. After another half-hour, we were on our own as the other watcher had to leave. At 2:10 pm, our luck was in - the Blue Jay appeared above the feeders and was poised to fly in, but Scrub Jays flew at it with vigor, chasing it from bush to tree and beyond. It was gone within at most 15 seconds. Our guess is that the Scrub Jays' territorial behavior is keeping the Blue Jay from visiting unless it chances on a time when the Scrub Jays aren't there.

Secondly, we visited 59 Herlax Circle where we were kindly led round to the feeder and there was the Costa's Hummingbird in all his glory, showing in the sun, first one profile then the other so we could see his shiny purple gorget at its best. We delighted in the view for a solid five minutes, thanked our host, and set off our journey back to the Bay Area.

--
Jane Tatchell, Redwood City


Leucistic White-crowned Sparrow at Yolo Bypass WA

Craig Swolgaard
 

Birders-

I put a photo of the sparrow next to it's naturally pigmented brethren in the Leucistic and Melanistic folder. I'm pretty sure this is the same bird that was photographed a couple months ago (can't remember who). It is hanging out near parking lot B (next to the observation deck). The only other interesting find I had today was watching a herring gull eat a female ruddy duck. Rather grisly, bloody bill & all, but the gull was enjoying it. I put a shot of that in the Gulls folder.

Craig Swolgaard
Georgetown, CA


Merced Birding on MLK Day

Larry Parmeter
 

Today, Nathan and I went out to Merced county-first to the Merced NWR-Along the way, on Sandy Mush Road west of Hwy 99, we saw a Ferruginous Hawk, three Harriers, and several Kestrels and Red-tailed Hawks-at the refuge we had a Peregrine Falcon and a Merlin, 50 Long-billed Curlews, at least 1,500 Sandhill Cranes, and at least 8,000 Snow/Ross's Geese. We did not see the Bald Eagle that was reported earlier in the day. Also, as reported earlier, we saw almost no shorebirds, only a few Black-necked Stilts and Avocets- Afterwards, we went over to O'Neill Forebay at San Luis Reservoir-to the picnic and camping areas in and around Cottonwood Creek on the north side-There we saw several more Kestrels and Red-tails, one Great Horned Owl, three Barn Owls, and a W. Screech Owl-in the water off the campground, we had several hundred Lesser Scaup, at least ten Clark's Grebes, a number of Bufflehead, and six Goldeneyes. And, oh yes, a Roadrunner at the entrance to the north area just off Hwy 152- Larry ParmeterFresno Audubon Society


Yolo Co. Birds of Interest 01.16.12

Terry Colborn <terryc@...>
 

My wife, Diane, and I spent the day in Yolo Co. adding birds to our year list. The HARRIS'S SPARROW showed itself around noon at it's Cortez Avenue haunt. A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was soaring above CR 102 about 1 mile north of CR 28. Six CANVASBACK DUCK and a single LESSER YELLOWLEGS were present at the Woodland Waste Water Treatment Facilitiy. Searching among the 1,000+ gulls on the pond at the SE corner of the Yolo Co. Landfill property, I found a first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL, and several GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Noteworthy were an estimated 1,400-1,500 NORTHERN SHOVELER resting on the middle lagoon at the Davis Waste Water Treatment Facility! Our efforts yielded 76 species on a sunny, but chilly winter afternoon.

Best of birding,
Terry Colborn
Davis, CA


sapsucker hunt in Capay Valley

tertial <shampton@...>
 

Today Michael Perrone and I continued our epic quest to find Yolo's first Red-naped Sapsucker. We got halfway there, twice, finding 17 sapsuckers on the day (all in Capay Valley), including two RED-NAPED x RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER hybrids. A pic of one is at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7202050@N04/6711921153/in/photostream

This was along Rd 78A, where the last orchard had 9 sapsuckers.

Other highlights:
WHITE-THR SPARROW at Capay Cemetary
(we looked for the Black-thr Sparrow, but there was little activity there)
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL at Cache Creek Campground
2 BALD EAGLES (one adult, one immm.) in Cache Cr Canyon

good birding,

Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Merced County - 1/16/12

Dominik Mosur
 

Took my family out to Merced NWR for their first ever experience of this awesome place.

Thousands of Snow, Ross's and Greater White-fronted Geese were a spectacle when an adult Bald Eagle flew over flushing them all up. Number of Sandhill Cranes lower than I'm used to seeing, only about 40. Almost no shorebirds anywhere, a few Long-billed Dowitchers, Least Sandpipers, Dunlin and Wilson's Snipe plus avocets, stilts, killdeer and a single Long-billed Curlew.

Among the handful of gulls seen were fly-by singles of Bonaparte's and a 1st cycle Glaucous-winged. Hundreds of Savannah Sparrows were all over the auto tour near the corn fields, past Bittern Marsh, but couldn't pull out anything unusual.

Around noon I finally found the spot along South Healy Road, east of HWY 59, and managed to relocate one of the continuing LARK BUNTING, first reported by Brian Sullivan a couple of months ago. It provided good but brief looks, perching on a green water through, about .35-.4 miles south of the junction with Sandy Mush Rd.

Heading back home, we had a Prairie Falcon flying over HWY 152 near Santa Fe, just east of Los Banos, and (5) Cattle Egrets were north of 152 just west of the airport.

A delightful, albeit chilly, day birding the Central Valley.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Falcated Duck present Mon 1/16

Dan Airola
 

Also seen by many observers this morning between 8-8:30, within 75 yd of the viewing platform

Dan Airola

916/454-3073

d.airola@sbcglobal.net


Falcated Duck still present at Colusa NWR (Sunday Jan 15)

davekutilek
 

All,

Just a short post to inform everyone that the FALCATED DUCK was still gloriously present as of today (Sunday January 15) at the Colusa NWR, just to the left of the first observation platform. I finally made the 400-mile round-trip drive from Morgan Hill and it was well worth it!

More info posted on my Birding Blog Page: http://birdingpix.blogspot.com/

Dave Kutilek
Morgan Hill, CA


Possible Whistling Duck at Yolo Bypass WA?

maryolo1
 

A hunter at Yolo Bypass WA reported to the Fish and Game staff at the Hunter Checkstation that they thought they had seen a Whistling Duck near Parking Lot C on the Auto Loop. The hunter indicated a Fulvous WD, not a Black-bellied WD.

I went out with a spotting scope as soon as I could and didn't find one, but the wind and the angle of the light were presenting difficulties. Be on the lookout if you are out there in the next few days. Tomorrow the YBWA office will be closed but the Wildlife Area will be open sunrise to sunset as usual.

Mary Schiedt
Woodland / Yolo County


Butte Co. Costa's Hummingbird

Bruce Deuel
 

Hi all,
Kathy and I saw the subject bird at 59 Herlax Circle in Chico twice this
morning between 0900 and 0930. Very nice. If you come and try to follow
Google's directions to take East Avenue to Holly, be aware that the sign at
East Avenue says Cussick Avenue, which turns into Holly when you make the
turn off of East.

Cheers,
Bruce Deuel
Red Bluff


Davis, CA Harris's Sparrow & Varied Thrush

RacineB
 

The Harris's Sparrow was visible this morning in a flock of White-crowned Sparrows in its usual Cortez Street location at 8:30 am Sunday morning.

While looking for the Harris's Sparrow on Saturday evening we saw a Varied Thrush in a large tree across the street from 243 Cortez at around 4 pm. I'm not sure if he's hanging around the area but we were excited at the find!

Good birding!
Racine Barton
Davis, CA


Re: Red Shoulder Hawk, was Coopers Hawk Immature?

Franco
 

These are three of the best out of 20 pictures. I was standing in my supervisors office snapping pics through the window and trying not to spook the bird. I've changed title of pic to Red Shoulder Hawk.Thanks for the clues!

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento

--- In central_valley_birds@yahoogroups.com, "Franco Rios" <francorios2000@...> wrote:

I uploaded a combined photo to Birds of Prey Album titled Coopers Hawk Immature?

Which is my best guess.

Pictures taken 3600 block of Seaport Blvd, West Sac, Jan 13 2012


Bird Identification: Thanks!

Lou Ann
 

Hi, everyone,

Heard back from lots of you and the consensus is that these birds must be long-billed curlews. The beak was curved downward, so probably not a marbled godwit. Apparently there have been several in the city around Sac High, so probably part of that group.

Thanks so much for your help. Look forward to hearing more about your birding (and seeing more of the long-billed curlew). I wrote about my experience at http://lazulilou.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/watching-the-people-pass-by/. Glad to be part of this group.

Best,
Lou Ann Barnett
Sacramento

8901 - 8920 of 24369