Date   

Yolo Sage Thrasher

Bradley Holtz
 

Found a Sage Thrasher at the end of Central Ave in Yolo County today.  On private property but will be able to guide people in for attempts at viewing on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Please contact me at bholtz26@... or 530 966 1870 with your availability and I’ll do my best to get as many people in as possible.


Brad Holtz
Chico, Ca


Putah Creek CBC preliminary results

Steve Hampton
 

The 50th Putah Cr CBC was conducted yesterday with beautiful weather and strict COVID protocol. It was closed to general registration; most of the usual routes were run by 1-2 local experienced birders, so party hours were probably fairly normal, but number of participants was way down. We hope to have everyone back next year!  

Highlights:
Our preliminary total is 143 species, which is generally a pretty good number. The LNU mega-fire, which burned 60% of the count circle, impacted a lot of species, moving them from the hills to the valley. We had wrentits, thrashers, pygmy-owls, etc. in areas never before recorded, while the canyons and especially the ridges were devoid of many birds. We also had a dearth of toyon-eaters. Area 8 (Mix and Gates Cyns off Pleasants Valley Rd) usually reports 200 to 800 robins; this year they saw 1. We missed Varied Thrush for only the 2nd time in 50 years. The only low record, however, was Brewer's Blackbird, which is probably related to habitat changes on the valley floor (orchardification and housing developments). 

Yellow-billed Magpies had their highest count since 2011, but were still below the historical average. 
Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers have now declined to less than half their 2014 peak, which is probably part of a region-wide population dynamic. 

We had high counts in several species for which we've already seen high counts in recent years:
Virginia Rail
Great-horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Common Raven
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-crowned Sparrow
 -- and generally high numbers in the usual species suspected of increasing with warmer winters (e.g. just missed high count in Turkey Vultures). In keeping with that, we had one Townsend's Warbler and one Western Tanager, which is now expected. No Vermillion Flys or trogons yet, but perhaps that day will come! 

We had one new species for the count: Black-throated Sparrow. 
This is the same individual described in Yolo Audubon's Burrowing Owl newsletter last month. A fourth county record, it is on private land along a private road and not accessible to the public at this time. Fortunately, the homeowner located and reported it yesterday for the count. 

all for now, 
good birding, 


--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Glaucous winged, mew

Sally M. Walters
 

2Glaucous winged - juv &adult ; 1mew at fish hatchery .

Sally Walters Schmoldt
Sacramento CA


Yolo gulls and ducks and others

Steve Hampton
 

Just an update from Yolo County. 

Yesterday at the landfill pond on Rd 28H the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (found by Cameron Tescher last week) was sleeping near an adult Western Gull, providing a nice comparison. Kirk Swenson found a 2nd cycle Glaucous Gull a few hours later. 

The other day at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area there was a Eurasian Green-winged Teal. Water levels are rising and there are now many birds.

Today at Babel Slough Michael Perrone and I had a Swainson's Hawk, a Varied Thrush, and two gray-backed Slate-colored Fox Sparrows. 

The American Golden-Plover remains at Woodland/Davis Clean Water Facility (the north pond) at least thru yesterday. 

good birding, 

--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Re: Glaucous Gull

Jim Holmes
 

still here.  Best viewed from south side of river.  park at 
38.631626,-121.235288 and walk downriver (west) searching the gull flocks (mostly Herring).

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
office (916) 734-1533


From: James Holmes
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2020 2:46 PM
To: Central Valley BIrd <centralvalleybirds@groups.io>
Subject: Glaucous Gull
 
currently at 38.632474,-121.239451 across and downriver from Sailor Bar

Thanks Aidan.

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
office (916) 734-1533
**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.


Glaucous Gull

Jim Holmes
 

currently at 38.632474,-121.239451 across and downriver from Sailor Bar

Thanks Aidan.

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
office (916) 734-1533
**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.


Re: Sandhill Cranes at Staten Island - RFI

Bruce Webb
 

I agree with Konshau that there are lots of cranes and Aleutian Geese just past the grain dryers. But Staten Island Road is a long road with plenty of close encounters with Sandhills Cranes on both west and east sides of the road. Depending if you want dramatic backlit photos or well-lit images, you can aim either side of the road.   

I suggest you arrive early and drive to find your best location.  After about 1 mile (near the house), the paved road gives way to gravel/dirt which can be a problem with cameras when a truck passes and dust flies.  

Bruce Webb
Granite Bay, CA

On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 12:59 PM Konshau Duman <konshaud@...> wrote:
The best publicly viewable roost is going to be in the first flooded corn fields on your left as you are driving south. Right past the big grain bin structure. Those roosts are east of the road so people have mostly been going to them at sunrise. There are other fields with less visible roosting cranes farther south along the road that you can try as well. Just don't go past the no trespassing sign by the shop and water tower. 

You can park by turning off wherever the shoulder is wide enough since there is no parking area. This is easier at the farther south fields where it is a wide dirt road. 

Good luck!

Konshau Duman
Galt, CA

On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 11:34 AM Ron Melcer <corvid88@...> wrote:
Hello Birders,

Looking for any advice on where to park on Staten Island this week for Sandhill Crane viewing at sunset.

Does anyone have any intel on how far down the island the birds are roosting this year?

Thanks!

Ron Melcer
Sacramento, CA

--
Bruce Webb
Granite Bay, California


hooded mergansers

PETER
 

Of possible interest, two female hooded mergansers were in the pond at McKinley Park in Sacramento Tuesday afternoon about 4:00 PM.  Also, for the second year in a row, what I believe is a Muscovy/mallard hybrid has been hanging out, a rather striking iridescent black individual.

 

Peter Perrine

Sacramento


Re: Sandhill Cranes at Staten Island - RFI

Konshau Duman
 

The best publicly viewable roost is going to be in the first flooded corn fields on your left as you are driving south. Right past the big grain bin structure. Those roosts are east of the road so people have mostly been going to them at sunrise. There are other fields with less visible roosting cranes farther south along the road that you can try as well. Just don't go past the no trespassing sign by the shop and water tower. 

You can park by turning off wherever the shoulder is wide enough since there is no parking area. This is easier at the farther south fields where it is a wide dirt road. 

Good luck!

Konshau Duman
Galt, CA

On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 11:34 AM Ron Melcer <corvid88@...> wrote:
Hello Birders,

Looking for any advice on where to park on Staten Island this week for Sandhill Crane viewing at sunset.

Does anyone have any intel on how far down the island the birds are roosting this year?

Thanks!

Ron Melcer
Sacramento, CA


Water Fowl

Ray Sides
 

Quick story,

 

Last weekend I was on a run at Maidu Park, in the rain, and I noticed a large group of geese orbiting around the park. I though they were going to land

in the wetland area of the park but they never did, they just kept going around and around. Then two mallards flew through from west to east under the geese

at a high rate of speed as if on a mission. The geese immediately broke formation, reorganized and followed the ducks!

 

I guess the geese were confused and figured the ducks knew were they were going, Folsom lake. LOL

 

 

Ray Sides

Roseville, CA


Cosumnes birds the last few days; a comment on wrentit mobility

Glennah Trochet
 

Dear Birders,

On Saturday the 12th I visited behind the Farm Center gate, doing a tour very like my monthly survey.  The highlight was getting "lost" in the forest in the fog.  Without a sun compass, one can get disoriented if one leaves the trails, and I did.  It took awhile to find a landmark, and it was actually kind of fun.  Avian highlights were these:
snow goose blue morph-  3
acorn woodpecker-  2
red-breasted nuthatch-  1
varied thrush-  2
white-throated sparrow-  1

On Monday the 14th I again visited behind the Farm Center gate.  I arrived about 03:45 for the Geminid meteor shower.  It was worth the effort.  I counted 31 meteors in 28 minutes, including a really spectacular one that ran over Draco's spine.  The avian highlight was a calling fly-over evening grosbeak near the Accidental Forest, heading across the river to Orr Ranch.  Lesser lights were these:
snow goose blue morph-  3
cattle egret-  4
golden-crowned kinglet-  1 (seemingly a poor year for these in my patch)
varied thrush-  3-4

I received permission from the landowner to visit Howard ranch yesterday.  This is a 11,000+ acre parcel in far southeastern Sacramento County.  Though I missed several things that I won't see around the Tall Forest and that I look forward to seeing at Howard, I had a pretty decent day.  Avian highlights include:
double-crested cormorant-  1 (off the top of my head I can't recall another out there)
bald eagle-  1-4 (an adult seen by itself at four widely spaced spots)
ferruginous hawk-  7 (one dark morph)
rough-legged hawk-  1
Lewis's woodpecker-  43 (all after 14:30)
Steller's jay-  1 (perhaps the best find of the day)
yellow-billed magpie-  3
common raven-  14
phainopepla-  3
purple finch-  7
pine siskin-  2
male cismontanus slate-colored junco
vesper sparrow-  7 (six in one flocklet; easily my best SAC total)
rufous-crowned sparrow-  2

I also got in a hike of 17+ miles, and I'm feeling it today.

This morning I visited the Denier parcel north of Twin Cities Road.  Shaw Forest looks like it should have Pacific wrens in numbers.  But I've had only one this season, and in an unpromising spot on the edge of a rice field.  The only notables today were two fly-over pine siskins.

As part of a response to Steve Hampton's query, I note that wrentits consolidated their presence along Putah Creek during the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology's long-term survey program while I was working for MWFB.  In the earliest days (late 1990s) they were restricted to Putah Creek Canyon. below Monticello Dam.  Then they seemed to colonize the Putah Creek Sinks (mid-2000s? I'm unclear on the date.  Maybe Andy Engilis can weigh in with better dates.)  Then more or less slowly and steadily, they turned up at most of our 12 survey sites in between over the next decade.

My other experience with moving wrentits is at the Cosumnes River Preserve.  This species is resident in appropriate dense vegetation within the forest blocks of the lower preserve.  But at least the Tall Forest and Orr Forest flood regularly, and Shaw Forest shows similar signs.  For the Tall Forest, wrentits have been the last understory species to depart and the first one back.  In most flood events nowadays the nearby high levees may provide temporary refuge, since the roads that formerly topped them have been replaced by vegetative tangles.  But in my early days (mid-1990s), these were naked levees, and it was still true that these birds were the first to return.  I don't know where they went.  But it was some distance, no doubt.

Best,
John Trochet
Sacramento


Sandhill Cranes at Staten Island - RFI

Ron Melcer
 

Hello Birders,

Looking for any advice on where to park on Staten Island this week for Sandhill Crane viewing at sunset.

Does anyone have any intel on how far down the island the birds are roosting this year?

Thanks!

Ron Melcer
Sacramento, CA


Re: Are Wrentits increasing on the valley floor?

Steve Hampton
 

Thanks Bobby-- and thanks for compiling all these sources together. Yes, I grew up hearing that Wrentits never travel more than an acre in their whole lives. I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but by how much?  We do regularly get Wrentits in winter at Putah Creek Riparian Reserve at UC Davis, but not in summer. 

I've received several private emails describing downslope movements of Wrentits after the fires, but these are short movements (often less than a mile) to nearby refugia such as canyon bottoms, edge of burnt area, etc. 

With regard to the valley floor, yes, I imagine it's largely incremental range expansion. My question is, is that happening on a widespread scale?  The first detection near Davis Wetlands was 2019, before the LNU Fire (but after the County Fire). 

In Oregon, Wrentits are moving inland east of Portland along the Columbia River. 

thanks, 

On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 3:05 PM Bobby Walsh <rwalsh84@...> wrote:
I know your question is whether Wrentits are increasing on the valley floor, but I want to address the fire-refugees hypothesis. I don't think Wrentits are great fire escapees. 

A lot of the "wrentits barely fly!" anecdotes are just that (in LA, it was a big deal when one flew across a freeway to colonize a new park), but Cornell's Birds of the World account seems to agree for the most part:
* "Most flights < 30 m; often hesitates or even avoids flights > 10 m"
*Extraordinarily-isolated occurrences mentioned in the species account are either qualified (for north of the Columbia river), represent upslope movements through habitat that's at least moderately suitable (e.g., between scrub and forest), or are un-cited (there's no reference for documented occurrences in "isolated agricultural patches in the Central Valley"--I'm guessing the Davis Wetlands occurrence would fall in that category, but there are still margins of riparian and road-ditch vegetation that could have helped it there.)
*Baker  et al.(1995) reported 720 meters as the farthest distance for natal dispersal of a wrentit through suitable habitat. They said movement to another site was possible/expected, but overall, birds didn't move very far from home.
*After the 1995 Vision fire, Rich Stallcup wrote, "While it appears that most birds escaped with their lives from the forested ridges, a great many probably died in the coastal scrub of the southwest of the crest. Here wrentits, Bewick's wrens, California quail, and Nuttall's white-crowned sparrows hold year-round territories to which some would cling until time ran out. Some of these sparrows and wrentits are so sessile-by-nature that they have never strayed more than 200 yards from the spot where they were born. (Fairly poetic/anecdotal, sure, but also: Rich Stallcup)
*Finally, it wouldn't be too radical to imagine they simply can't fly very far, even if their life depends on it. There's experimental evidence showing that at least some birds from dense habitats are easily exhausted by/incapable of flights of well under 100 meters (Moore et al. 2008; they took rainforest birds onto boats and saw if they could fly over water and back to land, but many simply fell to exhaustion in the river on their flight back. Of 16 individual checker-throated antwrens/stipplethroats released from a boat 100 meters from land, none could successfully fly back; the mean distance they flew was 24 meters. Reassuringly, the birds were purportedly saved when they fell in the water). Again, not wrentits, but the phenomenon of extreme flight-limitation is certainly possible for birds of closed habitats.

So my money would be on short-distance movements or improved local recruitment, not escaping fires.


On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 10:47 AM Steve Hampton <stevechampton@...> wrote:
This is my question. 

Recently I've seen/heard Wrentits in places on the valley floor where they have not occurred before (e.g. Davis Wetlands). These may be fire refugees or simply expansions from other locations on the valley floor. 

Looking on eBird, I do see what seems to be a peak in 2019-20, as well as in 2013. 

Thoughts? 


--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA



--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Glaucous Gull at Nimbus Fish hatchery Yesterday

Aidan Brubaker
 

Yesterday at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery I had a very large gull with pale primaries fly over me from down river and I managed one photo before it flew out of sight. I just though it was a weird Glaucous-winged Gull but as I was reviewing the photos at home, I noticed it looked quiet different than the other Glaucous-winged Gulls I photographed. I posted it, as well as several other gulls to a bird forum I frequent, were the consensus among the other birders arrived at it being a probable Glaucous Gull. Also of interest there was a very probable Glaucous-winged Gull x Glaucous Gull Hybrid that I photographed extensively as I could not tell what it was. 

Discussion on this gull https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/topic/15430-aidans-miscellaneous-gulls-3/

The probable Glaucous Gull


Aidan Brubaker
Fair Oaks, Sacramento, California


Are Wrentits increasing on the valley floor?

Steve Hampton
 

This is my question. 

Recently I've seen/heard Wrentits in places on the valley floor where they have not occurred before (e.g. Davis Wetlands). These may be fire refugees or simply expansions from other locations on the valley floor. 

Looking on eBird, I do see what seems to be a peak in 2019-20, as well as in 2013. 

Thoughts? 


--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


2020 Central Valley Rarities

Frances Oliver
 

Hi all!

It’s that time of the year when we (the CVBC; Central Valley Bird Club) solicit photos for our rarity report in our journal, CV BIRDS. I went thru all the CV lists for the most popular rarities. I would appreciate it if you would share the best photos you have with us to be published in the next bulletin. And if you have any others not on the list, please share as well.

Please send them to me at: hummer52@sbcglobal.net

COLUSA
Garganey
Curlew Sandpiper
Ruff
YB Sapsucker

FRES
Neotropical Cormorant
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

GLENN
Chestnut-sided Warbler

MER
Red-throated Loon
Vermilion Flycatcher
Lark Bunting

SAC
Tundra Bean Goose
Surf Scoter
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Blackpoll Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Glossy Ibis
LE Owl

SJ
Surf Scoter
Black-headed Gull
Franklins Gull
Blackpoll Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
American Redstart

SOL
Black-and-white Warbler
LE Owl

STA
Broad-winged Hawk STA/SJ Co.
Ruddy Turnstone
Sagebrush Sparrow
Neotropical Cormorant
Tropical Kingbird

SUT
BLack-and-white Warbler (?)

TUL
Cave Swallow
Solitary Sandpiper
Ruff

YOLO
Blackburnian Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Lark Bunting
Barred Owl

YUBA
Trumpeter Swan
Pectoral Sandpiper

Thanks! In advance. Looking forward to them.
Frances
CV Birds Layout Editor
Lodi, CA


UC Davis Arboretum today

Michael Perrone
 

This morning in the Australian section at the east end of the UC Davis Arboretum were five (or possibly more) western tanagers--four females and a male--and a male black-throated gray warbler.  Remarkably, the tanagers were fly-catching.

Michael Perrone
Davis


Re: [CALBIRDS] [centralvalleybirds] Kern Birds Yahoo Group Ending; io Replacement Available

tgmiko@gmail.com
 

Thanks for the information!

Thomas Geza Miko
Claremont, LA County
909.241.3300
"Bad times tend to produce good art."--Aaron Sorkin

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 12:05 PM Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@...> wrote:
That was true when many lists moved. Yahoo/Verizon disabled that ability a few months ago.



---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California
On Dec 11, 2020, 12:02 PM -0800, tgmiko@... <tgmiko@...>, wrote:

 If I recall correctly, when the other.io groups were created the moderators of the yahoo groups simply grabbed all of the members of the yahoo groups and transfered their membership over to the new .io groups. I assume that there was probably some sort of a easy “select all” type of process when they did this, and that they did not have to manually enter each member’s name.


Re: Kern Birds Yahoo Group Ending; io Replacement Available

tgmiko@gmail.com
 

Bob and Alison
 If I recall correctly, when the other.io groups were created the moderators of the yahoo groups simply grabbed all of the members of the yahoo groups and transfered their membership over to the new .io groups. I assume that there was probably some sort of a easy “select all” type of process when they did this, and that they did not have to manually enter each member’s name.
Tom Miko
Claremont 

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 8:16 AM Bob Barnes <bbarnes@...> wrote:
Hi,

Alison "Ali" Sheehey has informed me that the kerncobirding yahoo groups listserv will disappear December 15th. The replacement is - kerncobirding@groups.io. For easy sign up to receive and share posts about Kern County birds go to: https://groups.io/g/kerncobirding

I, "Mr. Techno Zero," was able to sign up.  So, if I can, you can, too, as likely  NONE OF YOU are as technically challenged as I am! Alison and others can vouch for that! :)

Serving as a Messenger,

Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Mojave Desert portion of Kern County, California





--
Thomas Geza Miko
Claremont, Los Angeles County, California
909.241.3300


Kern Birds Yahoo Group Ending; io Replacement Available

Bob Barnes
 

Hi,

Alison "Ali" Sheehey has informed me that the kerncobirding yahoo groups listserv will disappear December 15th. The replacement is - kerncobirding@groups.io. For easy sign up to receive and share posts about Kern County birds go to: https://groups.io/g/kerncobirding

I, "Mr. Techno Zero," was able to sign up. So, if I can, you can, too, as likely NONE OF YOU are as technically challenged as I am! Alison and others can vouch for that! :)

Serving as a Messenger,

Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Mojave Desert portion of Kern County, California

201 - 220 of 24238