SPRING 2011

Alum Rock Park 04-09-11 POSTED
Gilroy Hot Springs / Jamieson Road 04-16-11 POSTED
SCVAS Birdathon with Team DeDUCKtions 04-23-11 POSTED
Mitchell Canyon 04-30-11 POSTED
Sunol Regional Wilderness 05-07-11 POSTED
Del Puerto Canyon / Mines Road (Team 1) 05-14-11 POSTED
Del Puerto Canyon / Mines Road (Team 2) 05-21-11 POSTED
Cosumnes River Preserve / White Slough 05-28-11 POSTED
Año Nuevo State Park 06-02-11 POSTED

Note
: Trip reports for each of the above outings will be posted on this site before the next class meeting.



Año Nuevo State Park 06-02-11

Our super-dedicated group braved bone-drenching horizontal rain this morning at Año Nuevo. It was so stormy that it felt more like January and June... maybe it's Junuary, as Eric said. Our targets for this final trip of the term were Black Swift and Bank Swallow. Everything else would simply be gravy, especially in weather like this.

We found Bank Swallows galore at the pond and at the cliff-side colony on the beach below, but our glasses and binoculars were quickly rendered unusable in the constant rain. Other birds located in the storm included fighting Allen's Hummmingbird, very vocal Wilson's and Orange-crowned, and a stone's-throw-away male Purple Finch, and an eye-level Olive-sided Flycatcher. A few Band-tailed Pigeon after that and it was time for a very early lunch at Duarte's for some famous green chile soup while we dried off.



Photo: Eric Goodill


Photo: Eric Goodill


Sketch: Matthew Dodder


Gadwall
Mallard
Surf Scoter
California Quail
Brown Pelican
Pelagic Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
California Gull
Western Gull
Band-tailed Pigeon
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bewick's Wren
Wrentit
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow







Cosumnes River Preserve / White Slough 05-28-11

The central valley in spring is always a favorite destination for our class, not only for the opportunity to see Swainson's Hawk, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher and Blue Grosbeak, but also because of our traditional potluck lunch at the Hayashi's home in Lodi. The weather was slightly cool, and more windy that we like, but it was a great day with three of our targets being well seen by the entire group.



Photo: Pati Rouzer

As mentioned, cool temperatures and breeze translated into fewere sightings that we often have, but we managed to located some surprises. A small flock of White-faced Ibis landed in the marsh across from the visitors center, and at least three familes of Wood Duck were seen along the creek. Green Herons were easier to see than ever before, and we lost track of how many individuals after about 6 birds. Swainson's Hawks were seen repeatedly, and in a variety of plumages. In fact, they outnumbered Red-tails by several several times. It also was noted that dark phase were more common here.



Photo: Sonny Mencher


Photo: Sonny Mencher


Photo: Patty McGann


Photo: Patty McGann


Photo: Sonny Mencher


Photo: Sonny Mencher



Nesting Tree Swallows were easy to find as nest boxes were positioned in several spots along the trail. With additional effort, we located 3-4 Blue Grosbeaks, each of the males intense saturated blue, while females were more cinnamon-colored. A highlight of the trip, and one of my favorite spring migrants. A species that always takes us by surprise here is Wrentit, which we usually think of as being a chaparral bird...



Photo: Pati Rouzer


Photo: Pati Rouzer



Photo: Patty McGann

Black-chinned Hummingbird were far more difficult to find than in previous years, perhaps because of the cooler temperature and heavier wind. Still, it got on the final list, and as usual, we saw one at Kaz and Aiko's back yard feeders.

Speaking of Kaz and Aiko, once again, they made the luncheon completely wonderful by setting out much of the food while the group birded. When we arrived at their home we had a fantastic meal and celebrated the end of spring term. Thanks once again to everyone for the wonderful food and the fun day.

After lunch, a few of us visited the strawberry stand to pick up some of their famous berries, and then staged a quick campaign to White Slough. Wind had increased in the afternoon, and the skies were an ominous drark gray. We stayed long enough to find another Blue Grosbeak, and then it seemed prudent to return to the cars. It began to rain quite hard the moment we shut the doors and made our way home.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Gadwall
Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
California Quail
American Coot
Killdeer
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
White-throated Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Western Scrub Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
American Crow
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit
European Starling
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Orange-crowned Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


On Sunday, Cricket and I visited Mokelumne River Preserve where we added two more species... and we stopped in at Lockeford Meat Service to buy some of their incredible smoked sausage:

Bald Eagle
Willow Flycatcher




Sketch: Matthew Dodder






Del Puerto Canyon / Mines Road (Team 2) 05-21-11

The Reverend Harold Camping's widely publicized prediction that the world would be destroyed on May 21, 2011 by the wrath of God and his infinite displeasure with mankind were greatly exaggerated. In fact, today was quite pleasant, with clear skies, mild temperatures, and many birds acting as if nothing was wrong at all. The worst thing that happened, at least to me, was a mild sunburn on the back of my legs. Otherwise, it was a perfectly wonderful day to celebrate life and the outdoors, so that is exactly what we did.



Sketch: Matthew Dodder


We toured Del Puerto Canyon beginning in Patterson, which everyone seems to prefer over beginning Livermore. We stopped at all of the same places we did last week (Go here for previous trip report), although some modification were made based on my Friday trip with a visiting friend from New Zealand.

Some birds from Friday, such as Prairie Falcon, Greater Roadrunner and Lazuli Bunting were not relocated on the class trip. We also missed Blue Grosbeak which was seen both yesterday and the week before, but we knew it was probably unrealistic to expect it three trips in a row.

New for today were a Willow Flycatcher in the first grove of cottonwoods. We studied its different structure and field marks for several minutes, and had the added confirmation of hearing its call several times. We also had three "Bell's" Sage Sparrows in the large chaparral section just this side of the Stanislaus-Santa Clara county line.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Wild Turkey
California Quail
Pied-billed Grebe
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Swainson's Hawk (Hwy 132)
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Killdeer
Mourning Dove
Barn Owl
White-throated Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Lewis's Woodpecker
Aocrn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Western Scrub Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Oak Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthtach
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
European Starling
Phainopepla
Yellow Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Western Tanager
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Chipping Sparow
Lark Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
Lawrence's Goldfinch
House Sparrow




Go to previous trip reports for this term


Sketch: Matthew Dodder


Sketch: Matthew Dodder