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Sacramento CBC results, posting for Mark Cudney

naturestoc
 

Hi folks, I'm posting this for Mark Cudney, the Sacramento CBC compiler.


All areas have finally reported in (yes some of my area leaders are procrastinators). 66 individuals tallied 165 species on a gorgeous sunny day. This total was one shy of the all time Sacramento Christmas count record, and we have been doing this since the fifties. Great finds were 18 Blue-Winged Teal, 5 Redhead, 3 Greater Scaup, 1 Barrow's Goldeneye, 1 Osprey, 1 Golden Eagle, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 1 Semipalmated Plover, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 5 Western Sandpipers, 1 Glaucous Gull, 1 Western Gull, 1 Cliff Swallow (has not been seen for years), 16 Band-tailed Pigeon, 1 Short-eared Owl, 4 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 8 Brown Creepers, 3 Pacific Wren, 15 Golden-Crowned Kinglets, an unprecedented 363 Varied Thrush, 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 4 Townsend's Warblers, 2 Western Tanagers, 1 Chipping Sparrow (great find), 6 Vesper Sparrows, 10 White-throated Sparrows, 230 Tricolored Blackbirds, 25 Purple Finch, and 106 Pine Siskins. The bad misses that stopped us from beating the record include Eurasian Wigeon, Western Grebe, and Western Screech- Owl.


Dan Brown,

Sacramento,

www.naturestoc.smugmug.com



Red-naped Sapsucker at Lake Solano Park, Solano County

Chris Dunford
 

Yesterday, Jan 27, around 12 noon, a group of Yolo County birders found a Red-naped Sapsucker in the day use area of Lake Solano Park just east of Pleasants Valley Road just south of the bridge just south of the intersection with CA 128 about five miles west of Winters. First spotted by Sami LaRocca with a Red-breasted Sapsucker. Large red throat patch incompletely framed by black border, complete black breast band, no red below on the chest, large red crown patch and nape patch incompletely separated, no red on the face, only black-and-white stripes, like Yellow-bellied. Seen by three of us very well but not close enough or still enough for a decent photo. The bird was chased by an Acorn Woodpecker several times until we could no longer locate the bird. At first, the chased sapsucker returned immediately to the trees in which originally seen – near the first parking spaces in the upper parking lot of the day-use area near the entry gate.  Good possibility it can be found again.

 

Also saw five other species of woodpecker including at least 10 Lewis’s, as well as about 8 Steller’s Jays, 8 Varied Thrushes, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Slate-colored Fox Sparrow, and a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneyes.  The usual Phainopepla has been conspicuously absent this winter.  Maybe too many winter visitors this year!  Remarkable variety of birds in a small area, and great looks at most of them as well.

 

Chris Dunford

Davis




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Re: Requesting thoughts about White-tailed Kites & Golden Eagles- seeing less of them

Nina Jones
 

I do monthly Raptor Surveys in Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties on a regular basis. There were fewer raptors in general this last year which in my opinion is due to less prey due to drought, over grazing and habitat loss for both prey and predator. We have especially noticed a lack of kites and harriers in areas where we would see them on a regular basis in prior years. This last year we noticed a drastic drop in raptor numbers as the summer approached and on through the fall. Many of the fields were over-grazed plus many of the grassland areas on our routes had a change in use to agriculture.
I am a volunteer survey participant so this is just an opinion from being involved for the last 5 years. We have noted that as the grasslands were revived by the rains and the rodents and insects returned that the numbers are slowly improving ( winter surveys in general usually produce higher counts though), However the numbers have not increased to the previous years totals.
As far as eagles we have noticed a change in numbers but we still get about the same ratio of Bald vs Golden overall.
There is my 2 cents for what it is worth.
Nina Jones
Oakhurst

--
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Rachel Carson


Requesting thoughts about White-tailed Kites & Golden Eagles- seeing less of them

Denise and David Hamilton
 

Hi all,
 
I am wondering if any of you have any thoughts, statistics, or opinions as to why when I’m out birding, I now see so few White-tailed Kites and Golden Eagles.  Not that the eagles were ever abundant, but in the past years I’ve always seen them a time or 2 circling over my home in Napa, or seeing them out birding.  Last year at home- none, out birding, rarely.  We see a lot more Bald Eagles these days than Goldens.  The same with White-tailed Kites.  We could almost always depend on a day outing and seeing the kites.  Last year and possibly sooner, more often than not, we don’t see any or maybe 1 or a pair. 
 
We do most of our ‘local’ birding in Napa, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, and Yolo counties; and other times going out into other counties.  Is this a trend that others have noticed?  Not sure what else to say, other than it makes me sad to see not to see these birds.
 
I’d appreciate any comments.
 
Thank you,
Denise & David Hamilton
Napa


Hairy woodpecker at Lake Natoma

Craig Swolgaard
 

Birders-
I just found a hairy woodpecker in oaks between the bike trail and the lake on the Folsom side. This is between the Young Wo Circle access and the Parkshore access for those with Google maps. On the lake it would be about 200 yards north of the small island where geese like to hang out. Also a horned grebe here.
Craig Swolgaard
Georgetown, CA


Merced County

kent Van Vuren
 

Reported from “Top Of The Hill, Prunedale.”

I birded around Gustine today and had the following birds of some interest:

Harry Schmidt (in Gustine)
1 Cackling Goose
3 Acorn Woodpeckers
1 Varied Thrush
1 Black-throated Gray Warbler (male)
3 Pine Siskins

Gustine WTP
1 Bald Eagle (adult)
1 Willet

George Hatfield SRA
12 Lewis’s Woodpeckers

Kent Van Vuren
Prunedale, CA


Common Goldeneye on Desmond Rd

Paddlegal
 

This may not be a big sighting in general but it was for me today.  I've never seen the Common Goldeneye anywhere around the CRP area until today.  An adult male and what appeared a little later to be a mate were in the pond nearest the RR tracks on the north side of Desmond Rd around 2 pm.  I tried to digi scope it but I just couldn't get high enough over the weeds to get a clear shot.  Plus it was diving constantly while hanging with hundreds of Coots.  What I think was a mate was even less visible.


Meanwhile an impressive number of Snow Geese and Greater White-Fronted Geese came in and covered the north ponds.  I was only there for a short time but in my poor estimation (very poor) I would say 5000 of each species?  Possibly far more.  I'm just not confident at huge numbers like that.


Farley Cross

Sacramento CA


RFI: Accessible owls near Davis for Duck Days tours

maryolo1
 

As we have had for so many years before, the Yolo Basin Foundation's Duck Days field trip roster includes an "afternoon into evening" Owling Trip.  We are hoping to have two separate trips launched at the start which can merge toward the end as people drop out because of hunger or tired kids.

I'm looking for pointers on known locations for:
Barn Owls, either in town or close by (any owl boxes active?)
Great Horned Owls (visual if possible)
Short-eared Owls
Long-eared Owl if we're REALLY lucky, as we were two years in a row....

We have two separate Burrowing Owl locations, and our last stop is at the Putah Creek Picnic Area on campus for Western Screech Owls.

We'll have a lot of vehicles, and can't go too far from town because of time and the complexity of caravanning, since some participants are not local folks. Your ideas and sightings will help us plan.

Thanks!

Mary Schiedt


Black Merlin

George Folsom <gjfolsom@...>
 

This morning there was a Black Merlin perched in a tree at the River Center.  It stayed there for over 2 hours then returned in the afternoon.  The picture on eBird is in early morning fog.


Birds of Local Interest - Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin Countries - 24 January 2015

Terry Colborn <tlcbirding@...>
 

Greetings Birders,

While leading a field trip for the Yolo Basin Foundation, we found several birds of interest. In addition to the previously reported SWAMP SPARROW at the Yolo Bypass WA, there was a drake Eurasian Wigeon among the hoards of waterfowl seen from Parking C.

In West Sacramento at the Bridgeway Is. Pond, located off Pender Island St, which is assessed via Southport Parkway, there were 67 Blue-wing Teal! This is the highest concentration I've ever seen there, or perhaps anywhere.

At Cosumnes River Preserve in Sacramento Co., I found a tan-striped White-throated Sparrow in a small flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows. They were feeding directly across from the road leading into the Visitor's Center, near the wooden viewing platform. The bird was very cooperative, and afforded everyone good looks. 

Along Staten Is. Road in San Joaquin Co., we counted an estimated 2,500+ Aleutian Cackling Geese. This flock has been present since last fall, and seems to be an annual gathering here for the past several years. Always a good bird to see. As the day ended, we watched as some 1,200 to 1,500 Sandhill Cranes glided in, and dropped into the nearby wetlands for the night. A Prairie Falcon streaked through overhead to punctuate the scene.

Despite the cold,  mostly foggy conditions throughout most of the day, we tallied 91 species.

Terry Colborn 
Davis, CA


Re: [CVBirds] Re: Male Red-breasted Merganser at Gristmill, American River Parkway

Dan Airola
 

Red-breasted merganser male seen again at Gristmill this morning at 10:45 with Jerry Langham.

Dan Airola
Sacramento


At Jan 24, 2015, 10:14:59 AM, Clifford Hawley yellowhammerCA@... [central_valley_birds]<'central_valley_birds-noreply@...'> wrote:

I'm looking at the male Red-breasted Merganser right now with Jeri Langham et al. The bird is displaying to a female Common Merganser just downstream of the big gravel bar that extends from the parking lot. Good birding.

Cliff Hawley
Sacramento, CA

On Jan 24, 2015 9:42 AM, "Chris Conard conardc@... [central_valley_birds]" <central_valley_birds-noreply@...> wrote:

Hi folks,

I finally got a chance to upload my photos and video of the Red-breasted Merganser, which was dramatically displaying to a seemingly unimpressed female Common Merganser. The bird was seen yesterday (Jan 23) too.

eBird list with embedded photos and video link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21499120

Chris Conard
Sacramento


On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM, Chris Conard <conardc@...> wrote:
Hi folks,

Jeri Langham reported a male Red-breasted Merganser yesterday in eBird. It was at a spot he calls Killdeer Island, which is just downstream of where the entrance road comes in from Mira Del Rio Drive. One could park along Mira Del Rio and walk straight north toward the river as a place to start looking.

Directions: From downtown Sacramento, take Highway 50 east for 9.5 miles from Interstate 5. Exit at Bradshaw Road and go north (left) to Folsom Boulevard. Turn left on Folsom Boulevard, and then right onto Butterfield Way. Turn right on Linda Rio Drive and right again on Mira Del Rio Drive. In about 50 yards, turn left into Gristmill Recreation Area. The entrance fee is currently $5 per vehicle. You can also park along Mira Del Rio Drive and walk into the park.

Chris Conard
Sacramento


Re: Trumpeter Swans in Sutter Co.

Bruce Mast
 

I have posted a photo album with swan images from both Chico WTP and Pennington Rd., accessible at https://picasaweb.google.com/115664736039227190081/TrumpeterSwans20150124?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLiS9cGqirmZxgE&feat=directlink.

I have also updated my eBird documentation. See http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21527861 (Pennington Rd.) and http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21516479 (Chico WTP).

One correction to my earlier post: the Chico birds initially took off to the south but then they banked and headed north, consistent with Larry Jordan's report. My posted flight photos show them heading south (right to left) but I also have more distant unpublished views of them flying in the opposite direction.

Bruce Mast
Oakland

On Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 9:28 PM, Bruce Mast <cathrasher4@...> wrote:
The story actually begins in Butte County, where I traveled to Chico WTP this morning (Saturday, Jan. 24) to admire the continuing adult + juvenile pair of Trumpeters that Ken Schneider first found back on Jan. 10. I arrived at the WTP around 7:15 and the Trumpeters flew into the SE pond just as I was walking up. I got good long looks and a number of mediocre photographs. Then around 8:05 they took to the air heading south and I didn't see them again.

Fast forward to this evening, when I found myself birding Pennington Road in Sutter County just north of Sutter Buttes. There is a flooded field on the south side of the road at (39.2755, -121.7478) and I noticed 2 swans on the water with the ducks. On closer inspection, one was an adult and the second one was a juvenile with gray head and some gray on the back. Looking even closer, I concluded they were Trumpeters--long sloping foreheads, all-black bills on both birds, evenly rounded backs, what appeared to be widows peaks on their foreheads--the same field marks I saw this morning. I got a number of distant photos in fading light. My first thought was that I had stumbled on the Chico birds but the photos of the Sutter juvenile shows less gray in the body.

Before you go chase these birds, you should know that they took off while I watched and flew straight south on a direct course, passing to the east of the buttes. Who knows where they will turn up. It will also be interesting to see if the Chico Trumps reappear in the coming days.

I'll provide a link to photos tomorrow.

Bruce Mast
Oakland


Trumpeter Swans in Sutter Co.

Bruce Mast
 

The story actually begins in Butte County, where I traveled to Chico WTP this morning (Saturday, Jan. 24) to admire the continuing adult + juvenile pair of Trumpeters that Ken Schneider first found back on Jan. 10. I arrived at the WTP around 7:15 and the Trumpeters flew into the SE pond just as I was walking up. I got good long looks and a number of mediocre photographs. Then around 8:05 they took to the air heading south and I didn't see them again.

Fast forward to this evening, when I found myself birding Pennington Road in Sutter County just north of Sutter Buttes. There is a flooded field on the south side of the road at (39.2755, -121.7478) and I noticed 2 swans on the water with the ducks. On closer inspection, one was an adult and the second one was a juvenile with gray head and some gray on the back. Looking even closer, I concluded they were Trumpeters--long sloping foreheads, all-black bills on both birds, evenly rounded backs, what appeared to be widows peaks on their foreheads--the same field marks I saw this morning. I got a number of distant photos in fading light. My first thought was that I had stumbled on the Chico birds but the photos of the Sutter juvenile shows less gray in the body.

Before you go chase these birds, you should know that they took off while I watched and flew straight south on a direct course, passing to the east of the buttes. Who knows where they will turn up. It will also be interesting to see if the Chico Trumps reappear in the coming days.

I'll provide a link to photos tomorrow.

Bruce Mast
Oakland


Falcated Duck seen 1/24

SARAH MACLEAN <maclean@...>
 

Spotted the Falcated Duck in the Colusa refuge from the green gate on route 20 at about 2:30 this afternoon. It was still visible when I left around 3 and a group of birders was continuing to get good looks. The duck was quite active swimming back and forth across a channel and preening, all a few hundred yards out. It was possible to see the duck with binoculars but a scope is highly recommended.

Happy birding.

Sarah MacLean
Berkeley


No more Trumpeter Swans at Chico ??

Bob & Carol
 

Hello all,

FYI - Looks like the Trumpeter Swans at the Chico Oxidation Ponds may have flown - per Larry Jordan at Shasta Birders.

Bob Yutzy
Shasta, CA

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Unfortunately something spooked the swans shortly after 9am this morning at the oxidation ponds. They circled the ponds once and headed North.

Larry Jordan

--
Bob & Carol Yutzy
Shasta, CA


Lost Lake Sapsuckers

Larry Parmeter
 

    This morning(Sat, Jan 24), several of us were at Lost Lake Park looking for the two Sapsuckers reported on Weds and yesterday-We saw the juvenile in a tree by the river about 100 years north of the entrance kiosk-then we went looking for the adult near the bathroom about a quarter mile south of the kiosk-We ended up seeing in that area not one, but two adult Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers-So, there's at least three of the birds at the park-
      Also, at least ten Hooded Merganzers were in the river near the bathroom. 
      One more thing-in the trees where we saw the two adult Sapsuckers near the bathroom, we also found the feathers of what was clearly a Yellow-shafted Flicker-Very distinguishable from Red-shafted feathers, which we also found-
    Larry Parmeter
    Fresno Audubon Society


Re: [CVBirds] Re: Male Red-breasted Merganser at Gristmill, American River Parkway

Clifford Hawley
 

I'm looking at the male Red-breasted Merganser right now with Jeri Langham et al. The bird is displaying to a female Common Merganser just downstream of the big gravel bar that extends from the parking lot. Good birding.

Cliff Hawley
Sacramento, CA

On Jan 24, 2015 9:42 AM, "Chris Conard conardc@... [central_valley_birds]" <central_valley_birds-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Hi folks,

I finally got a chance to upload my photos and video of the Red-breasted Merganser, which was dramatically displaying to a seemingly unimpressed female Common Merganser. The bird was seen yesterday (Jan 23) too.

eBird list with embedded photos and video link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21499120

Chris Conard
Sacramento


On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM, Chris Conard <conardc@...> wrote:
Hi folks,

Jeri Langham reported a male Red-breasted Merganser yesterday in eBird. It was at a spot he calls Killdeer Island, which is just downstream of where the entrance road comes in from Mira Del Rio Drive. One could park along Mira Del Rio and walk straight north toward the river as a place to start looking.

Directions: From downtown Sacramento, take Highway 50 east for 9.5 miles from Interstate 5. Exit at Bradshaw Road and go north (left) to Folsom Boulevard. Turn left on Folsom Boulevard, and then right onto Butterfield Way. Turn right on Linda Rio Drive and right again on Mira Del Rio Drive. In about 50 yards, turn left into Gristmill Recreation Area. The entrance fee is currently $5 per vehicle. You can also park along Mira Del Rio Drive and walk into the park. 

Chris Conard
Sacramento


Re: Male Red-breasted Merganser at Gristmill, American River Parkway

Chris Conard
 

Hi folks,

I finally got a chance to upload my photos and video of the Red-breasted Merganser, which was dramatically displaying to a seemingly unimpressed female Common Merganser. The bird was seen yesterday (Jan 23) too.

eBird list with embedded photos and video link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21499120

Chris Conard
Sacramento


On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM, Chris Conard <conardc@...> wrote:
Hi folks,

Jeri Langham reported a male Red-breasted Merganser yesterday in eBird. It was at a spot he calls Killdeer Island, which is just downstream of where the entrance road comes in from Mira Del Rio Drive. One could park along Mira Del Rio and walk straight north toward the river as a place to start looking.

Directions: From downtown Sacramento, take Highway 50 east for 9.5 miles from Interstate 5. Exit at Bradshaw Road and go north (left) to Folsom Boulevard. Turn left on Folsom Boulevard, and then right onto Butterfield Way. Turn right on Linda Rio Drive and right again on Mira Del Rio Drive. In about 50 yards, turn left into Gristmill Recreation Area. The entrance fee is currently $5 per vehicle. You can also park along Mira Del Rio Drive and walk into the park. 

Chris Conard
Sacramento


Re: [CVBirds] Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Swamp Sparrow

Terry Colborn <tlcbirding@...>
 

While leading a field trip for the Yolo Basin Foundation, I was able to relocate the Swamp Sparrow this morning at 8am. Everyone in the group had satisfying views of the bird, including good scope views. It turned out to be life bird for all 10 participants. Great find, Leo.

Terry Colborn
Davis, CA

On Jan 23, 2015, at 6:51 PM, Dan Airola d.airola@... [central_valley_birds] <central_valley_birds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

At 5:00 pm today (Fri 1/23), the Swamp Sparrow was in the exact place Leo described, associating loosely with 2 Song Sparrows, 1 Lincoln Sparrow, and a Marsh Wren. It took me an hour to finally locate it, skulking in the flooded weeds and bulrushes. Thanks, Leo!

Dan Airola
Sacramento






At Jan 23, 2015, 2:47:04 PM, Leo Edson leoedson@... [central_valley_birds]central_valley_birds-noreply@...'> wrote:

This morning, shortly after 10:00 am, I located a Swamp Sparrow along the Yolo Bypass WA auto loop. I forgot to take mileage but those of you familiar with the auto loop shouldn't have much trouble finding the location.

Proceed south from the main parking lot until you come to the first sharp left turn - "one way only" sign prohibit you from going straight. Park here look behind you for the stairs leading up to a platform used to service an electrical utility box. The bird was in the east-west ditch between the signs and the platform...sometimes on the floating pond weed in the ditch right under the platform. It seem to be content staying in that general vicinity for the 30 or so minutes I was there.

When not on the pond weed, it could be found in the small patch of tules in middle of the ditch or along the edge of the ditch but always within stone's throw of the west side of the auto loop road. It was usually in close proximity to Song Sparrows, Lincoln Sparrows, and Marsh Wrens. In general, I would say the bird was relatively cooperative for a Swamp Sparrow.

I've embedded 3 photo of the bird and one of the location in my eBird report. Here's the link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21507453

Leo Edson
Sacramento


Re: [CVBirds] Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Swamp Sparrow

Dan Airola
 

At 5:00 pm today (Fri 1/23), the Swamp Sparrow was in the exact place Leo described, associating loosely with 2 Song Sparrows, 1 Lincoln Sparrow, and a Marsh Wren. It took me an hour to finally locate it, skulking in the flooded weeds and bulrushes. Thanks, Leo!

Dan Airola
Sacramento






At Jan 23, 2015, 2:47:04 PM, Leo Edson leoedson@... [central_valley_birds]<'central_valley_birds-noreply@...'> wrote:

This morning, shortly after 10:00 am, I located a Swamp Sparrow along the Yolo Bypass WA auto loop. I forgot to take mileage but those of you familiar with the auto loop shouldn't have much trouble finding the location.

Proceed south from the main parking lot until you come to the first sharp left turn - "one way only" sign prohibit you from going straight. Park here look behind you for the stairs leading up to a platform used to service an electrical utility box. The bird was in the east-west ditch between the signs and the platform...sometimes on the floating pond weed in the ditch right under the platform. It seem to be content staying in that general vicinity for the 30 or so minutes I was there.

When not on the pond weed, it could be found in the small patch of tules in middle of the ditch or along the edge of the ditch but always within stone's throw of the west side of the auto loop road. It was usually in close proximity to Song Sparrows, Lincoln Sparrows, and Marsh Wrens. In general, I would say the bird was relatively cooperative for a Swamp Sparrow.

I've embedded 3 photo of the bird and one of the location in my eBird report. Here's the link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21507453

Leo Edson
Sacramento

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