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Black-headed gull continues at Stockton Sewage Treatment Ponds

William Hemstrom
 

Hey folks,

The Black-headed Gull was still at the Stockton Sewage Treatment Ponds at about 1pm today, visible from the gate on John Turk road. It was mostly hanging out on the wooden perches just to the left of the dike with a bunch of Bonaparte's Gulls.

Best,
Will Hemstrom
Davis, Yolo, CA


Wrong Year Given on Caswell Park Post

Sal
 

I meant to write, "due to the COVID-19 shutdown of state parks."  That happened, of course, in 2020.

Sal Salerno, Modesto



The Robins at Caswell Memorial State Park, Etc.

Sal
 

There is a bumper crop of wild grapes at the park this winter.  During a short walk along the trails, I counted around 300 AMERICAN ROBINS flying about, calling, and consuming the grapes. I have never seen so many robins there before--quite a spectacle!  Cedar Waxwings and Hermit Thrushes were also at the grapevines.  I looked for Varied Thrushes in vain.  Whoever can find them there can get a gold starEmoji

P.S. Certain annual passes, like my Golden Poppy, have been given three-month extensions due to the 2019 shutdown of state parks.  If you want to be certain, check out the California State Parks website.

Sal Salerno, Modesto


Fw: ID Help for reddish mystery bird on Sousa Marsh Loop, Merced NWR

Carol
 



Hello there, I am a Monterey-area birder who was at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge on Jan 1. We were on the Sousa Marsh Loop. Noticed this reddish bird in a tree with the Brewers Blackbirds. Unfortunately, spousal unit disappeared with scope so just have lousy photos from 420mm lens.
Caveat: 4:58 PM so setting sun may be affecting perceived and photo'd color. Cropped photos and +0.3 exposure but no other adjustments.
Description:Bill looks thinner and longer than the nearby Brewers Blackbirds. Outer tail feathers appear white (like Western Meadowlark); wingtips appear lighter too(second photo). Bill much thinner than Brewers Blackbird and Meadowlark.. Appears to be a similar size to nearby blackbirds.
I am baffled as to what this could be. A leucistic Brewers Blackbird would have the same size bill as the others, so I didn't feel that was correct.
Apologies for lousy photos; hopefully they are sufficient.

Thank you, 
Carol Greenstreet, Pacific Grove, Monterey County, CA 

Inline imageInline image




--
Carol Greenstreet


Re: White winged Scoters (2), Lesser black backed Gull-Beals Pt

Zeke VanZante
 

Birders,

The two messages above were sent with haste in the hope someone would be able to see these birds before dark. To clarify Eddie Tache found two White-winged Scoters hanging around Folsom Pt. and when the wind picked up they moved further north into the lake. Once the wind died down they were back by Folsom Pt. Additionally I found a Lesser Black-backed Gull in the massive gull flock at Beals Point. It’s was almost an adult but still was showing 3rd cycle characteristics such as black on the bill.
Also the Red-breasted Merganser was still present crossing back and forth into both counties. Additionally there now appears to be 3 Pacific Loons.

eBird Checklists:

Except for the Lesser Black-backed Gull everything was seen in both counties.

If someone could forward this to Countybirders that would be helpful.

Great Birding,
-Zeke VanZante 
Roseville, CA

On Jan 2, 2021, at 4:23 PM, Zeke VanZante via groups.io <zekevan03@...> wrote:

Scoters are currently in Sacramento County office Folsom point. Base of boat ramp.

Zeke VanZante
Roseville


On Jan 2, 2021, at 4:16 PM, Zeke VanZante via groups.io <zekevan03@...> wrote:

Here now, also pacific loon, white winged scoter, red breasted merganser.


Zeke VanZante
Roseville


Re: White winged Scoters (2), Lesser black backed Gull-Beals Pt

Zeke VanZante
 

Scoters are currently in Sacramento County office Folsom point. Base of boat ramp.

Zeke VanZante
Roseville


On Jan 2, 2021, at 4:16 PM, Zeke VanZante via groups.io <zekevan03@...> wrote:

Here now, also pacific loon, white winged scoter, red breasted merganser.


Zeke VanZante
Roseville


White winged Scoters (2), Lesser black backed Gull-Beals Pt

Zeke VanZante
 

Here now, also pacific loon, white winged scoter, red breasted merganser.


Zeke VanZante
Roseville


Woodbridge Ecological Reserve trip report

Sidd R
 

Happy New Year birders!

We visited the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve south unit on New Year's day to try to see the SANDHILL CRANEs fly-in at sunset.
On the approach along Woodbridge Road around 3:30 PM  there were plenty of Sandhill Cranes foraging in the fields to the right (north).
We parked at the south unit and watched the birds from 4 PM to 5 PM from the observation deck.

We were treated to a spectacular sunset over Mt Diablo.
The partly cloudy skies were tailor-made to add great color to the sunset.

Around 4:30 PM, the cranes started flying in.
They all landed on the far side of pond and our spotting scope came in handy to get good looks.
They came in a slow trickle and gathered momentum as the sun set.
By 5:15 PM when we departed, there must have been hundreds of birds on the far side and more were still coming.
Only a few landed closer to the viewing deck in the water providing good photo opportunities.
Overall the cacophony was memorable.


As soon as the first cranes landed, two COYOTEs popped up from nowhere and were stalking the cranes the entire evening.
These were the puffiest coyotes I've ever seen. They were either very well fed or had very long fur.

In the meanwhile, there were the usual assortment of ducks and shorebirds in and around the pond.
Among the numerous American Wigeons, I also spotted a male EURASIAN WIGEON with its characteristic reddish head.
A NORTHERN HARRIER was actively hunting the area.
One PERGRINE FALCON flew over without stopping nor stooping.

As a grand finale, a SHORT-EARED OWL flew in front of the viewing deck but only gave us a fleeting glimpse before it dove into a ditch and disappeared in the dusk.

--Sidd Ramachandramurthi
Sunnyvale, CA


Southeast Solano County and Staten Island Road Jan. 1

rosita94598
 

Rosita and I did not leave our house in Walnut Creek until maybe 1 pm, but we had a beautiful Merlin on Branscombe south of Travis AFB.  It appeared to be a richardsonii subspecies, very pale and possibly a female.  Around the corner on Creed Road and before Denverton angles off, we had a Prairie Falcon perched on one of the metal electric towers to the south.

We did not spend that much time looking on Robinson and Flannery Roads, but east of Canright and north of McCormack Road, we had a Rough-legged Hawk perched on the ground.  Within a few minutes, it flew north and out of sight.

We turned north to Walnut Grove after passing through Rio Vista and crossing the river.  Shortly after Isleton, Rosita found us a Great Horned Owl sitting in a tree overhanging the river. 

The sun was already gone by the time we arrived at Staten Island Road, but the colors in the sky were gorgeous.  There were many others enjoying the evening spectacle of Greater White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes and Cackling Geese.  We stayed out there until after 6 PM, enjoying the sounds of the 1000s of birds.  Occasionally they would fly up and re-settle in another spot, even after it was very dark.  At least one Barn Owl hunted over the fields, caught in our headlights.  We viewed from several spots along the unpaved southern end of the road.

Jupiter and Saturn were to the right of Mt. Diablo, easily visible and even better through our spotting scope.  Mars was more directly overhead, and Orion was lying on his side to the east, while the Pleiades was higher and slightly north of him.  Rosita asked about the white streak of cloud which angled across the night sky--it was the cloud known as the Milky Way.  What a way to usher in the New Year.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Merlin vs white-throated swift

Sally M. Walters
 

I thought folks might enjoy a likely common event of a merlin chasing white-throated swift near the pedestrian/bike bridge just north of William B Pond.

Sally M Walters
bajaowl@gmail.com


Least vs Dusky Flycatchers

Steve Hampton
 

All, 

There's been a lot of debate in various forums about the March empid in north Davis, which was originally thought to be a Dusky Flycatcher. A growing list of people now believe it to be a Least Flycatcher. At the time, I did not even consider this option (and have limited familiarity with Least). I am now in the "Least camp" on this bird, after considerable review. 

The best pics are by Kirk Swenson at https://ebird.org/checklist/S65498196

Here are some of the characteristics under discussion-- and my personal conclusion: 
1) dark wing panel favors Least -- in Kirk's pics, yes, but in others, not so much. I think this is a function of lighting and reflection and not that conclusive to me.
2) "whit" call to the ear and sonogram favors Least -- to some; personally, I find this inconclusive and subject to the vagaries of recording equipment, humidity, proximity, etc. It's a very close call. 
3) primary extension and tail length-- I tried to evaluate this looking at photos of this bird and lots of photos of Dusky and Least on line and found the exercise difficult due to differences in posture and angle; no conclusion. 
4) pale lores are fine for Least-- I've always liked this for Dusky, but did not realize that Least often shows it too. 
5) bill color, with darkness on the lower mandible, is okay for Least (and of course fine for Dusky); I did not realize this and probably used this initially to exclude Least from consideration. Apparently, it's fine and there are plenty of pics online with similar bill coloration.
6) bill shape-- this was the clincher for me; it's clearly short and wide, not long and narrow. 

For bill shape comparison, here's a Dusky currently being seen in New Mexico: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77970990
This bird is also very yellow, though I'm not sure what to make of that. 

There are also Least Flycatchers (or Least/Dusky debates?) regarding the current SF and Solano birds. To me, these both seem like Least as well, and very similar to the Davis bird. 


--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Black-headed Gull at Stockton WTP

Steve Hampton
 

Appeared at 11:30am this morning in gorgeous conditions. 





--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Lake Natoma Common Loon

Craig Swolgaard
 

Birders-

While birding along the lake today I spotted a common loon from the cliff on the south side of the lake, parallel to the intersection of Folsom Blvd. and Iron Point Road. Some kayakers passed on either side of the loon as it dove for crayfish.

Good birding,

Craig Swolgaard
Georgetown, CA


Black-headed Gull continues today at Stockton WTP 12/28/20

Tony Kurz
 

My wife and I relocated the continuing Black-headed Gull around 1500 today roosting out in the middle of the water with the hundreds of BOGU’s.  It flew off around 1515 and left with a large group of Bonaparte’s heading NNW.  Terrible photos included in the eBird list below.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S78178025

 

Good Birding!
Tony Kurz


Tulare Neotropic Cormorant continues

Steve Summers
 

Dane Fagundes reports that the NEOTROPIC CORMORANT he found yesterday (12/25) at Visalia's Plaza Park pond is still there as of 7:30 this morning (12/26).

Steve Summers
serving as the messenger
Porterville


Re: Glaucous Gull

Steve Hampton
 

The viewing and photography conditions are so nice there that I managed a little photo essay of each gull species/hybrid.  

Pics at 



On Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 1:33 PM Dan Murphy via groups.io <murpete09=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
The gull was present today with the large flock in the middle of the channel downstream from Sailor Bar.  Thereafter, it flew upstream to the mouth of the side channel along the north shore that makes an island upstream from the Sailor Bar outlet and downstream from the last (new) viewing platform at the hatchery.

Dan Murphy
Sacramento  



--
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA


Birds at Lake Camanche

Aidan Brubaker
 

Hi All,

I thought this might be of interest to some. Yesterday while I was out fishing at lake Camanche, I saw several good birds that I think are worth mentioning. These birds were: one Pacific Loon and maybe a second, at least nine Red-breasted Mergansers, a Canyon Wren, a Golden Eagle, and two Red-necked Grebes. Most of these birds were in the narrows in Amador county as that is where I was fishing. As such, I did not get to visiting San Joaquin or most of Calaveras County. 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S77903309

Aidan Brubaker
Fair Oaks, Sacramento County, California


Glaucous Gull

Dan Murphy
 

The gull was present today with the large flock in the middle of the channel downstream from Sailor Bar.  Thereafter, it flew upstream to the mouth of the side channel along the north shore that makes an island upstream from the Sailor Bar outlet and downstream from the last (new) viewing platform at the hatchery.

Dan Murphy
Sacramento  


Sacramento Lesser Black-backed Gull

Emmett Iverson
 

All,


A second cycle Lesser Black-backed gull was present at the upper sunrise gull flock just downstream of the Nimbus fish hatchery. The continuing Glaucous Gull was also present. 

(38.6318383, -121.2363031)




Good birding,

Emmett Iverson

Sacramento, Ca




Glaucous Gull

Rich Howard
 

Here: 38°37′55″ N 121°14′15″ W

Now
Feeding on salmon In raft of gulls about 500 yards downstream from Nimbus hatchery and Sailor Bar Boat launch. Closer to Sailor Bar overlook but great light from hatchery side.

Rich Howard

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