the warblers are coming! the warblers are coming!

John and Glennah Trochet <trochetj@...>

Dear Birders,
This morning on a private ranch in the blue oak belt on the east side of Sacramento County I had my FOS Wilson's warbler and my FOS black-throated gray warbler, both singing males. I also saw two red-breasted sapsuckers and a common raven. In grassland just west of the trees I found one ferruginous hawk perched on the ground and a vesper sparrow.
John Trochet

locations of bird sightings

Gene R. Trapp

I'm new to the list and note that some of you assume everyone is acquainted with street names and places of interest in towns we don't live in. Please at least say what area, town, etc. you are talking about. Thanks!

Gene R. Trapp
2313 Isle Royale Lane
Davis, CA 95616-6619
(530) 756-6291

Rossmoor Bar Park / American River Parkway

davedlj1246 <Davedlj1246@...>

Fellow birders,

On Sunday, 3/21/04, I birded Rossmoor Bar Park. Though the
temperature was coolish when I began, it definitely warmed up when I
left 4 1/2 hours later to the tally of 56 species. The highlights
were: a female Northern Harrier was new for me for Rossmoor Bar Park
having missed it in 2003 (it was sallying back and forth between the
El Manto Access parking lot and the residential area when I began but
midway through as I walked downriver toward the San Juan Rapids the
harrier (I'm assuming it's the same one) flew right over me); at
least 1 (or maybe 2) Western Kingbirds were my first of the season
and my earliest record of one on the American River Parkway as the
previous record was April 5, 1974 at Sailor Bar (I saw the first one
as I approached the San Juan Rapids just after I saw the Northern
Harrier and about 1 1/2 hours later I observed another one which was
about 1/2 mile southwest of the first location); and a male and a
female Phainopepla were in separate deadish trees with mistletoe
about 100 yards apart about 1/4 mile below the San Juan Rapids.

I also noticed several dogs persuing about 7 Black-tailed Deer in a
field off of Rossmoor Drive. No owners around which is too bad
because they would have definitely received some uncomplimentary
comments from me.

Good birding,

Dave Johnson

Sailor Bar / American River Parkway

davedlj1246 <Davedlj1246@...>

Fellow birders,

Saturday, 3/20/04, (yes, I know! This message is posted late but
I've had computer issues that needed to be resolved) I birded Sailor
Bar. I spent 5 1/2 hours birding and tallied 60 species of which the
only highlight that I can mention is that there was still a young
male Barrow's Goldeneye on the American River.

Good birding,

Dave Johnson

Fremont Weir SWA

mkatchambers <mkatchambers@...>

Today, Brent Campos and I checked out Fremont Weir State Wildlife
Area at the northeast end of Yolo County near road 16. This area has
some beautiful riparian habitat, but you have to watch out for the
dogs on the private property surrounding it. We drove in from the
western side, but there might be better access from the east.
Highlights included a WESTERN KINGBIRD (my first for the season) seen
on the way there (road 102 and 16), 11 WOOD DUCKS, 2 pairs of WESTERN

Mary Chambers

grackles in Davis

Michael Perrone

Sunday, March 21 at 11 AM three male great-tailed grackles were calling
(loudly, as usual) from a pine on Manzanita Drive just south of Covell
Drive in Davis, Yolo County. Perhaps these include some of the birds
reported recently from about a half-mile away to the northeast. On my
return an hour later, I could not find them.

Michael Perrone

Department of Water Resources

Division of Environmental Services

1725 23d Street, Suite 220

Sacramento CA 95816

(916) 445-6452


Fw: Swainson's hawks back in south Stockton


Swainson's hawks have been nesting atop the larger of two evergreens at the SE corner of Charter Way (now Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) and B. St. (across from the Caltrans building) for at least three years (since I've been there), though I understand they have been nesting there much longer than that. Tuesday I saw only one bird, but then on Wednesday I saw them both (circling over the CT front parking lot and alighting in the nesting tree). It's good to have them back. I look forward to their return each spring.

Claudia Gambaro

of Swainson's Hawk..and many blackbirds

Alan M. Birnbaum, MD

Seeing the report from Claudia Gambaro in Stockton regarding the return of
Swainson's Hawk to that area, I should mention that on Saturday's Fresno Audubon
fieldtrip, just as we were reviewing the blackbird buffet at a local dairy
site (Brewers, Redwinged, Tricolored, Yellowheaded - and Brownheaded Cowbird),
we had a raptor encounter of the third kind, as not one, not two, but THREE
SWAINSON'S HAWK flew directly overhead, giving us the impression they were still
migrating northward...maybe to Stockton.

Of the four species mentioned above, curiously, I had previously only seen
the Brewers and the Redwinged. After that, at the same site, we moved a few feet
to check an adjacent field, which had some Cattle Egrets, a Greater
Yellowlegs or two, plus what looked like another thousand or so "blackbirds," but when
scoped, the latter were all White-faced Ibis!

Alan Birnbaum

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Snow Bunting ???

Evan Jones <jonesbirds@...>

Hi All

Has anyone seen the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Davis at Mark Hall or
anywhere in the area lately and also has anyone seen the Snow Bunting at
Clifton Ct. Forbay? My wife and I have seen both of these beautiful birds
but I'm asking because we have family coming down from Oregon this coming
week and they would sure like to see both of these birds. We haven't seen
any postings in a few days and we were wondering if they are still in these
areas. If anyone has any information on sightings in the last few days on
either one of these birds could they please e-mail us back. Thank You.

Good Birding

Evan & Nancy Jones
Dixon, CA.

Horned Grebe at Davis Wetlands

tertial <shampton@...>

A Meghan reported on the kiosk note pad a HORNED GREBE at the Davis
Wetlands today, Mar 21, in Stormwater Lagoon. Sure enough, there was
one swimming around. I also saw a WESTERN KINGBIRD on Rd 29 north of
Davis today, the earliest I have ever seen this species in Yolo

good birding,

Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Cosumnes birds

John and Glennah Trochet <trochetj@...>

Dear Birders,
The fields recently flooded near the Tall Forest at the Cosumnes River Preserve are drying fast. A check of these this morning failed to produce anything of note. The best shorebirds were two lesser yellowlegs just off the north side of Desmond Road first thing today.
Yesterday was the Tall Forest bird survey for this month. We had some birds of modest interest: two Townsend's warblers, a blue-gray gnatcatcher that vocalized and moved around a lot but which evaded visual observation, a brown creeper, and a sining male purple finch. I swear there was a lot more leaf surface exposed in the early afternoon than when we started at dawn!
John Trochet

brown=juv Nuttalls WDPKR

John Fulton

Check Pyle's Bird Banding manual on passerine ID for brown feathers in woodpeckers. The brown color is a common phenomenon according to Peter Pyle. Juvenile woodpecker feathers, including Nuttalls' fade to brown quickly. The molt of woodpeckers is not complete each year; thus the number and position of retained brown juvenal feathers is used to determine age. My guess is that the bird was a female in second (or third?) year plumage. As Gary N. suggested, genetic mutation could also account for the brown or leucistic appearance. Two year old and three year Nuttals retain some of their old faded brown juvenal plumage.

John Fulton

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 20:54:29 -0800
From: <jgnielsen@...>
Subject: Re: Brown Nuttall's Woodpecker

I sent nearly this same message to people that inquired about the brown
Nuttall's Woodpecker and suggested some possible ID's. I thought I would see if
anyone else had thoughts on this bird. I wish that I could see the brown
woodpecker again. I heard drumming the next morning but was unable to find the
bird. It has not returned to the feeder. This bird was carrying seeds to a tree
and pounding
them open and then returning for another. I have never seen a Nuttall's at my
feeder before but they are common in my neighborhood. It made four trips to the
feeder in all. In answer to your list of possibles, I have seen Ladder-backed
Woodpecker only once and the individuals were not brown. Unfortunately I'm not
familiar enough with Ladder-backed to have noticed head pattern. I know the
sapsuckers well and this was not a sapsucker. I noted no white wing patch in
flight or while perched. The hybrid I can't speak to except that my location is
a long way from any range overlap where
one might expect hybrids This bird had a strongly barred back and no red patch
on the back of the head which made me think of female Nuttall's. The barred back
eliminated all but Nuttall's and Ladder-back in my thinking. I'm
very familiar with Nuttall's but not with Ladder-backed. The bird looked
familiar except for the brown color. Everywhere a Nuttall's would have been
black this bird was differing shades of brown. The white areas on this bird
were clear white not brownish.To give some comparison for the color the brown on
the head was much lighter than the brown on the Arizona Woodpecker in Sibley
Guide to Birds and the brown farther down the back was about the
brown color of that Arizona Woodpecker illustration. My thought was some kind
of genetic oddity of a Nuttall's Woodpecker? Any other Ideas? It's a bird that
makes even backyard birding a treasure hunt.
Gary Nielsen
Oroville, California

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Re: [CVBirds] Sac and Placer

Chris Conard <chris.conard@...>

3/19/04 Placer

In the previous message I forgot to mention at least a half-dozen singing
Orange-crowned Warblers.

3/20/04 Sacramento

This afternoon after joining John Trochet for the Tall Forest survey at
Cosumnes (I'll let him give the details) I stopped by the SRCSD Bufferlands
and saw an apparent male black Merlin (F. c. suckleyi --very dark on the
breast, dark gray approaching black on the back, nearly indesernable tail
bands) just north of Sims Road and west of Franklin Blvd. It was perched
only 50 feet north of Sims on a planted oak. I stopped the car and watched
it for about a minute. It then flew powerfully east two to three feet off
of the ground, barely zipped up and over a barbed wire fence, and continued
just above ground level until it was out of view.

Chris Conard

Cassin's Kingbird

Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...>

This afternoon about 3:30P I located one of Cassin's Kingbird reported
by Matt Brady. This bird was fly catching from the fence on the north
side of Corral Hollow Rd. about 200 yards from the entrance to the
off-road park. Excellent views from the road just yards away. It was a
great chance to really study the Cassin's field marks. Further to the
east we scanned two Western Kingbirds fly catching from a fence on the
hillside. At the big rock out-crop we spotted two Rock Wrens foraging
along the rock rim. Good birding.

Steve Huckabone
Alameda County
Livermore California

New anthology of bird literature

ed pandolfino

This anthology of bird literature might be of interest to some. I can't vouch
for the overall contents (don't have a copy yet), except for the poem my wife
(Kathleen Lynch) has in it.

Ed Pandolfino Books: Birds in the Hand : Fiction and Poetry about Birds

Product Details

Hardcover: 392 pages
Publisher: North Point Press; (April 15, 2004)
ISBN: 086547673X

Book Description
A unique anthology of avian literature

From the myths of ancient Greece to the fables of Aesop, from Chaucer to
contemporary poetry and fiction, birds are central to literature because they
connect us intimately to the natural world. Whether we watch birds at our feeders,
travel vast distances to identify rare species, or simply pause in a busy day
to listen to the coo of a dove or the trill of a warbler, birds sustain us.

Birds in the Hand is a collection of contemporary fiction and poetry that
explores the complex, often startling ways in which birds shed light upon our
lives. In work from a diverse and celebrated group of contemporary authors such
as Charles Baxter, T.C. Boyle, Jim Harrison, Flannery O'Connor, Pattiann
Rogers, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Ethan Canin, and Jorie Graham, birds are
sources of inspiration, confrontation, and revelation.

These stories and poems take us from New York and Hoboken to the Salton Sea
and the wilds of Montana, from a hardware store to the westernmost Aleutian
island, from a prison to marshes, forests, and seacoasts.

Field guides and natural history books cannot capture the essence of why
birds thrill us. Birds in the Hand uses the vitality and nuance of fiction and
poetry to get at the heart of our mysterious sense of birds and the way they can
reflect the brightest and darkest aspects of our own natures.

Sac and Placer

Chris Conard <chris.conard@...>

3/18/04 Sacramento

Yesterday I found two Chipping Sparrows in Larchmont Park in and under the tree that hosted the Cape May Warbler last year. Since I live only a few minutes walk from the park, I've made several attempts hoping that the bird has returned. Wishful thinking. Harlin Perryman was riding by on his bike and got to see the sparrows.

Along the adjacent American River Parkway there were many pipevine swallowtails--the first I've seen this season.

3/19/04 Placer

This afternoon, Kimya and I headed up to Folsom Lake near Granite Bay. We saw and heard several Rufous-crowned and Lark Sparrows, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Hutton's Vireos. A little warm, but a great "spring" day. Many, many pipevine swallowtails and a monarch so large that at first we thought it was a tiger swallowtail.

An area that I often visit can be reached by taking Auburn-Folsom Rd north of Douglas and turning right on Twin Rocks Rd. After about a mile is a 90 degree left turn and an wide area to park. From here, you can walk the dirt road to the right toward the lake, or follow the many trails in the area. One is the Western States Trail that goes all the way to Squaw Valley or to Sacramento where it hooks up with the bike trail at Beal's Point (I've only walked as far as Auburn from there). This isn't a quick access to the lake, but has a lot of good hiking and birds. Incidentally, I used to live (' 89 to ' 92) on the east side of the road just past the turn. The property is now owned by State Parks and the house, such as it was, has been removed. The pond, which you pass along the Western States Trail, often had Wood Ducks, as it did today. We once watched from the house as a bobcat drank from the pond.

Chris Conard

Cassin's, Western Kingbirds, San Joaquin Co.

Matt Brady

Hell oeveryone. After searching (unsuccessfully) for
the Snow Bunting at Clifton Court Forebay in Contra
Costa County, Ryan Terrill and I headed to Corral
Hollow Road in San Joaquin County. About 100 yards
east of the Alameda County line we had two CASSIN'S
KINGBIRDS and one WESTERN KINGBIRD. I wish I had had
a camera, because at one point all three birds were
perched together in the same bare tree! We also had a
few other more typical grassland/oak woodland species
out here, including a pair of Rock Wrens.

Good birding,
Matt Brady
Santa Cruz, CA

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Yahoo! Finance Tax Center - File online. File on time.

Rufous arrives in Davis


I had my first-of-the-year adult male Rufous Hummer at about 6:30 this morning. He checked some flowers and then had a bath in my fountain. Neither he nor an adult male Anna's (about 6:45) paid any attention to the feeder this morning.

Difficult Mnemonics


Are there any commonly used bird call or song mnemonics for the Yellow-billed
Magpie, Spotted Towhee or Mountain Quail? If so would you please let me know
or direct me to a source.

Thanks in advance,
Heath Wakelee
Granite Bay, California (near Sacramento)

Blackbird with White Patch not Red Patch in Placer County

Ruth E Partridge <repartridge@...>

Today, Wednesday March 17 at 15:15, I was on Highway 65 going North and
between Chamberlain Road and Wise Road (Placer County) along side the
highway, I saw a blackbird with a totally white patch not a red patch.
Could this have been a Tricolored Blackbird or a Red-winged Blackbird or
some variant?

Many thanks on helping me with identifying the Starling.

Ruth, Wheatland, Yuba County, CA (near Camp Far West Lake and Spenceville
Wildlife Area)