Date   

White-winged Scoters continue at Folsom Pt (Jan 16)

Chris Conard
 

Hi folks,

The two female-type White-winged Scoters first found on January 2nd continued this morning at Folsom Point (Folsom Lake SRA) in Sacramento County. They were northwest of the boat ramp in the cove near the dam. To my knowledge, these account for just the third occurrence of this species in Sacramento County (the first being two similarly plumaged birds off Sherman Island in Jan/Feb 2017, and the stunning male near the Nimbus Hatchery Dec 2018 to Mar 2019). Despite carefully scanning the visible lake surface, I saw no loons today, though at least two Pacific Loons have been reported fairly frequently.

I've been asked privately how to cover this site, so figured I'd post a few suggestions. From the large parking area near the boat launch, it's often productive to walk northwest toward the dam, scanning the lake periodically. A scope if very helpful. Occasionally, loons will forage near the shoreline, but it helps to have a scope to cover more area and pick out Clark's from Western and Horned from Eared grebes.

If you don't mind a little bit of up and down and somewhat rocky terrain, I've found (ever since Andrew Lee found a Palm Warbler here Oct 2018) what has turned out to be one of my favorite local walks. Starting from the parking area by the boat ramp, head out nearer the shoreline (which has hosted Mountain Bluebird, Brewer's Sparrow, and Clay-colored Sparrow in the past year), going about 2/3s of the way to the dam, and then returning along the forest to the west, giving a nice diversity of possible species. You'll likely get Rock Wren in the rocks nearer the lake, and can get Phainopepla and other woodland species on the return loop. If the idea of walking the rocky areas seems daunting, you can take a trail from the western edge of the large parking area that meets a gravel road and then follow that as it winds north.

In these COVID times, I've appreciated this open area to escape people along single-track trails in the Parkway and other public spaces. Even on weekends, at least the first half of the day, the crowding has not been bad and I can mostly escape what I've begun to think of as the tyranny of dogs--while there are a fair number of dog walkers and running dogs, with the water as low as it is, there's enough space to get away unscathed.

For completeness sake, it pays to also scan from near the picnic area at the point itself, which gives a different perspective and view into some of the coves that aren't visible from the boat ramp vicinity.

Take care,

Chris Conard
Sacramento


Re: [northbaybirds] Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

Fred Werner
 


Though not in the Central Valley, WildCare in San Rafael (Marin Co.) has a page on info, resources and advice on the current salmonella outbreak:



From: Thomas <thomasp48ca@...>
Date: January 15, 2021 at 6:38:28 AM PST
To: GGAS-Chat@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GGAS-Chat] Pine Siskins, other finches, salmonella outbreaks
Reply-To: GGAS-Chat@groups.io

Wildcare in San Rafael provides information about the salmonella outbreak and how to prev
https://www.discoverwildcare.org/advocacy/protect-songbirds-from-salmonella-poisoning/

- Fred

On Jan 15, 2021, at 11:09 AM, Sally M. Walters <bajaowl@...> wrote:

 California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not have a more current weblink post. However, Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife have recent posts. There are non government websites posting current information.  I have requested the California DFW to up date their post to 20/21.  We shall see if they do.
The message is the same: remove feeders and baths that concentrate birds and spread disease.  Clean them and wait some period of time - mid February - before putting them up. This promotes social distancing in birds as they feed naturally.   

The word is out!

Sally M Walters



On Jan 15, 2021, at 8:42 AM, <rscimino@...> <rscimino@...> wrote:

Hi Good Morning to All,

Yesterday Bird Watching magazine hosted a zoom presentation hosted by Laura
Erickson.
Laura address's the past and current finch (siskins) family of diseases.
It is an enjoyable presentation, slow at times but she gets to the point.
I think the zoom is available - Here is the link:

https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/birdwatching-membership-free-trial

Rich Cimino
Marin County
www.yellowbilledtours.com

-----Original Message-----
From: northbaybirds@groups.io <northbaybirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Diane
Hichwa
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2021 12:11 AM
To: Sally M. Walters <bajaowl@...>; cvbirds
<centralvalleybirds@groups.io>; northbaybirds@groups.io;
SNMountainBirds@groups.io
Subject: Re: [northbaybirds] Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

This particular article seems to be from 2016.  Is there more recent info in
CA?
Portland reported deaths in late 2020.
Diane Hichwa

Email:  dhichwa@...

Telephone:  707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)
           707-483-3130 (cell)
More Tail Wagging!!!    Less Barking!!
Millie 2007




On 1/14/21, 7:01 PM, "Sally M. Walters" <northbaybirds@groups.io on behalf
of bajaowl@...> wrote:

In summary, due to salmonella reported in Pine Siskins and other 
finches, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and 
National Audubon recommend removing your feeders and bird baths for 
some time period.  I would add scatter your seed about the yard in leaf 
piles and other natural feeding locations - social distancing in birds.  
FACT CHECK what you hear with scientific sources like eBird, or 
California Department of Fish and Games information under salmonella 
and Pine Siskin.  Both Oregon and Washington have similar posts 
regarding dying Pine Siskins.  I heard it was on the North Coast, now 
to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today I read that Redding and now Sacramento
have
reported deaths.   Please check this website for more details.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak
-pr 
ompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/



Sally M Walters
RETIRED Wildlife Biologist
bajaowl@...





Sally M Walters
bajaowl@...














Re: [northbaybirds] Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

Sally M. Walters
 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not have a more current weblink post. However, Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife have recent posts. There are non government websites posting current information.  I have requested the California DFW to up date their post to 20/21.  We shall see if they do.
The message is the same: remove feeders and baths that concentrate birds and spread disease.  Clean them and wait some period of time - mid February - before putting them up. This promotes social distancing in birds as they feed naturally.   

The word is out!

Sally M Walters



On Jan 15, 2021, at 8:42 AM, <rscimino@...> <rscimino@...> wrote:

Hi Good Morning to All,

Yesterday Bird Watching magazine hosted a zoom presentation hosted by Laura
Erickson.
Laura address's the past and current finch (siskins) family of diseases.
It is an enjoyable presentation, slow at times but she gets to the point.
I think the zoom is available - Here is the link:

https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/birdwatching-membership-free-trial

Rich Cimino
Marin County
www.yellowbilledtours.com

-----Original Message-----
From: northbaybirds@groups.io <northbaybirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Diane
Hichwa
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2021 12:11 AM
To: Sally M. Walters <bajaowl@...>; cvbirds
<centralvalleybirds@groups.io>; northbaybirds@groups.io;
SNMountainBirds@groups.io
Subject: Re: [northbaybirds] Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

This particular article seems to be from 2016.  Is there more recent info in
CA?
Portland reported deaths in late 2020.
Diane Hichwa

Email:  dhichwa@...

Telephone:  707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)
           707-483-3130 (cell)
More Tail Wagging!!!    Less Barking!!
Millie 2007




On 1/14/21, 7:01 PM, "Sally M. Walters" <northbaybirds@groups.io on behalf
of bajaowl@...> wrote:

In summary, due to salmonella reported in Pine Siskins and other 
finches, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and 
National Audubon recommend removing your feeders and bird baths for 
some time period.  I would add scatter your seed about the yard in leaf 
piles and other natural feeding locations - social distancing in birds.  
FACT CHECK what you hear with scientific sources like eBird, or 
California Department of Fish and Games information under salmonella 
and Pine Siskin.  Both Oregon and Washington have similar posts 
regarding dying Pine Siskins.  I heard it was on the North Coast, now 
to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today I read that Redding and now Sacramento
have
reported deaths.   Please check this website for more details.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak
-pr 
ompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/



Sally M Walters
RETIRED Wildlife Biologist
bajaowl@...





Sally M Walters
bajaowl@...














Tulare Co Neotropic Cormorant

Steve Summers
 

Dane Fagundes found (refound?) a Neotropic Cormorant at the Visalia WTP and is currently (10:00, 1/15) viewing it. This may be the same bird he found on Christmas Day at Visalia's Plaza Park. Look for the bird from outside the plant along Ave 288.

Serving as the messenger,
Steve Summers
Porterville


Re: [northbaybirds] Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

Sally M. Walters
 

Oh darn! Good catch. I will check. However same story. It’s happening now.

Sally Walters Schmoldt
Sacramento CA

On Jan 15, 2021, at 12:11 AM, Diane Hichwa <dhichwa@earthlink.net> wrote:

This particular article seems to be from 2016. Is there more recent info
in CA?
Portland reported deaths in late 2020.
Diane Hichwa

Email: dhichwa@earthlink.net

Telephone: 707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)
707-483-3130 (cell)
More Tail Wagging!!! Less Barking!!
Millie 2007




On 1/14/21, 7:01 PM, "Sally M. Walters" <northbaybirds@groups.io on behalf
of bajaowl@gmail.com> wrote:

In summary, due to salmonella reported in Pine Siskins and other finches,
the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National
Audubon recommend removing your feeders and bird baths for some time
period. I would add scatter your seed about the yard in leaf piles and
other natural feeding locations - social distancing in birds. FACT CHECK
what you hear with scientific sources like eBird, or California
Department of Fish and Games information under salmonella and Pine
Siskin. Both Oregon and Washington have similar posts regarding dying
Pine Siskins. I heard it was on the North Coast, now to the San
Francisco Bay Area. Today I read that Redding and now Sacramento have
reported deaths. Please check this website for more details.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak-pr
ompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/



Sally M Walters
RETIRED Wildlife Biologist
bajaowl@gmail.com





Sally M Walters
bajaowl@gmail.com








Robinson Road, Solano Co. Mountain Plovers

Denise and David Hamilton
 

Hi all,

Was headed out to Robinson Road today and noticed the Ebird report from Mark & Lucas Stephenson yesterday that they saw Mountain Plovers.  We saw them today.  They were near the ranch that is on the curve of Robinson Road, shortly after the intersection with Flannery Rd. Out in the field you can see a galvanized /metal tank with a bunch of pipes.  In front of that runs a fence - on the ground you can see some hay that has been spread out.  The flock of about 30 plovers were back in that corner.  Somewhat visible with binocs, but a scope is best! 

Saw Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks nearby.

Denise & David Hamilton
Napa 




Salmonella-Pine Siskin deaths

Sally M. Walters
 

In summary, due to salmonella reported in Pine Siskins and other finches, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National Audubon recommend removing your feeders and bird baths for some time period. I would add scatter your seed about the yard in leaf piles and other natural feeding locations - social distancing in birds. FACT CHECK what you hear with scientific sources like eBird, or California Department of Fish and Games information under salmonella and Pine Siskin. Both Oregon and Washington have similar posts regarding dying Pine Siskins. I heard it was on the North Coast, now to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today I read that Redding and now Sacramento have reported deaths. Please check this website for more details.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak-prompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/



Sally M Walters
RETIRED Wildlife Biologist
bajaowl@gmail.com





Sally M Walters
bajaowl@gmail.com


Townsend's Warblers, Caswell Memorial State Park

Sal
 

It was another beautiful, solitary walk through the trails of this state park.  The best birds were two TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS among the very birdy activity on River Bend Trail.

Sal Salerno Modesto


Thermalito Afterbay Western Gulls

Bruce Deuel
 

To all who went to see the first Butte County Western Gull at the Afterbay, there are, or were, 2 birds there. If you saw the one with the bright yellow bill with nice red spot on the mandible and the nearly clean white head, you're safe. If, like I did, you saw the one with the black ring near the tip of the pale yellow bill and the dusky markings on the head, experts have concluded it's a hybrid. I will be marking any eBird reports of that bird as unconfirmed as a Western Gull.

Bruce Deuel
Red Bluff, CA


Longspur at Meiss Rd, Sloughouse, California

Aidan Brubaker
 

Birders,

Earlier today at Meiss Rd, I flushed a Longspur from within a group of Horned larks. It was at (38.455163, -121.100198)

Here is my description of the longspur from off of ebird. 
I flushed a group of larks, and this bird was very noticable. Here is my first impression. It whizzed by my head at around 30 feet away, and the very first thing I noticed was the white outer tail feathers. There was a lot of white on the outer tail feathers, more than a pipit would have. The bird was overall brown excluding the white outer tail feathers. The size of this bird was in between that of a Horned Lark and a Savannah Sparrow, and the structure was more like that of a Horned Lark with a longer tail, as it was much stockier than a American Pipit would be and appeared to have a shorter tail than one. I do not think I heard it call, although all the Horned Larks around it may have drowned it out. It flew over the road and down into a field around 70 yards away, where I failed to relocate it or any of the Horned Larks in the thick grass despite extensive searching. I am still kicking myself that I did not scan through the flock of Larks before I started taking photos of the Horned Larks, as any of the longspurs would be a lifer for me.

In addition to this I had an amazing showing of Raptors there today.

Aidan Brubaker
Fair Oaks, Sacramento, California


Possible Red Crossbills, Citrus Heights - 1/8/21

L Markoff
 

Hello All.  I live near Fair Oaks Blvd. and Oak Ave. in Citrus Heights.  Yesterday morning I was in my yard and heard “pip pip pip pip pip pip” which is what I remember Crossbills sounding like when I heard them previously in places like Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.  I couldn’t see them, so ran inside to get my camera so that I could record them.  By the time I got back outside, they were at a distance and hard to hear above the background noise, so I gave up trying to record. 

 

I checked xeno-canto and what I heard matched fairly well with the type 2 recordings.  Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that Red Crossbills might be in this area.

Lori Markoff
Citrus Heights


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

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