Date   

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


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

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