Mon, 14 Mar 2011 -- Reporting a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH here in Littleriver. Not so much because it is super rare, but because it my favorite bird. Seen on a neighbors birdfeeder. I'm hoping to lure it (them) over to my feeder so I can tame them. If there are black oil sunflower seeds (maybe) they will come. -- Rick Harris

Mon, 14 Mar 2011, 12:20 pm. -- Mel Smith just called to report that AL [the LAYSAN ALBATROSS] is back in his usual spot on the north side of Arena Cove. I hadn't had any sightings of Al since Friday's tsunamis so I was glad to hear he was still here. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 -- I finally got a look at the elusive Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant SWAMP SPARROW this morning. The bird was foraging near the sludge pond dredge, then flew west and perched for a moment before dropping into the reeds. -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 -- Sunday morning brought a visitor or returning OSPREY to the Noyo River. We saw it from Dolphin Isle and while paddling up near the A and W Haul Rd. bridge. Good day, -- Jeff Laxier

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 -- Birded from Navarro River to Point Arena with out-of-town friends. Several COMMON GOLDENEYE were the most interesting birds in the Navarro River just north of the bridge; one male did a partial display (turned his head back, but did not get up and dance). Two PEREGRINE FALCON circled high overhead, above Navarro Ridge; they were significantly different in size, possibly a male-female pair. Down the coast we were unable to find any Ferruginous Hawks, Tundra Swans, Red Crossbills, or Laysan Albatross. (Our friends had fun anyway.) We did hear a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. Cheers, -- Tim on Middle Ridge, Albion

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 -- This morning at Tule Lake (take Tule Lake Rd off Hiway 29) there was a NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, 3 HOODED MERGANSERS and a first cycle THAYER'S GULL. A little later I found a calling male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE at the Noble Mobile Home Park in Upper Lake off of Highway 20 . The bird was next to the pond, which is at the south end of the park. -- Jerry White

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 -- Heard my season's first ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER singing today at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 -- Just now I saw an OSPREY fly by the bluff at Ocean Meadows. Earlier this morning, 4 VIOLET-GREEN and 1 TREE SWALLOW were over the descent to Seaside Beach, Hwy 1, at the north end of Ocean Meadows. PINE SISKINS are still calling in the yard adjacent to ours. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 -- Greetings Mendobirders- The wintering SWAMP SPARROW continues at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. I saw it twice early this morning in the area of the sludge dredge, both going to and returning from the oxidation ponds. Otherwise, the usual birds continue out there. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to say that a basic-plumaged LONG-TAILED DUCK and 2 female WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were in the cove by the Laguna Point parking lot in MacKerricher SP this afternoon. This area is accessed from Hwy 1 (north of Fort Bragg) by turning west on Mill Creek Drive and driving past Lake Cleone to the end of the road. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 -- Near west end of Middle Ridge, Albion - A PEREGRINE FALCON (possibly same bird as yesterday) hunted some Passerines off to the west. -- Tim

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 -- Near west end of Middle Ridge, Albion - A PEREGRINE FALCON flew over us, headed east. -- Tim

Wed, 09 Mar 2011, 10:30 am -- Rick and I stopped by Arena Cove to pay our respects to Al [the LAYSAN ALBATROSS] and there he was in his usual spot. A young fellow on a birding odyssey from Ohio was thrilled to add this bird to his life list. He had already spotted a GLAUCOUS GULL. While we were talking a noisy flock of 3 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS flew by, further making his morning. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 -- near west end of Middle Ridge, Albion - Two OSPREYS circled each other for a while, calling almost continuously. A very dark Buteo, undoubtedly a Red-Tailed hawk, flew past them heading north; and eventually the Ospreys also headed north. -- Tim

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 -- Today I checked on the COMMON MOORHENS at the College Pond. I saw three and a SORA. At the lower pond there were two pair of WOOD DUCKS. This was at 3:30 pm. -- Dave Bengsten

Sat, 05 Mar 2011 -- I came over the Boonville Rd today at 4:30. There were three LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS at the telephone poles 119 and 120 and one on the north side of the road in the trees, just west of MM 9.60. I had looked for them just before 1 pm and they were not there on the way over. -- Dave Bengsten

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 -- Grace Steurer advised me that she stopped at Arena Cove and saw AL (or Alice) present there [4 Mar] ~2 PM. I stopped at 5 PM and the [LAYSAN ALBATROSS] was in its usual location just beyond the pier in the water near the submerged rocks. Good Birding, -- Richard Kuehn

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 -- Toby called this afternoon to report a coastally rare CALIFORNIA TOWHEE at Van Damme State Park that she found this morning. The location was around the first restrooms that are on the left after you enter the park and go pass the front of the visitor center. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 -- A fiery, adult male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and three male ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS were at Rose Memorial Park this afternoon in Fort Bragg. I could only stay for 30 minutes, but in that time the Banksia trees drew quite a bit of activity. Four TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS came in, the first I've seen there in several visits. PINE SISKINS zinnnng'd in the pines near the RR tracks. Alas, no orioles visited during my brief stay. The last time I saw the RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was Feb 23rd. Has anyone seen any orioles or sapsuckers recently at this cemetery -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 - UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center - 1 LEWIS'S WOODPECKER showed up again, assumed the same bird, after an absence since January 25th. A mature BALD EAGLE was scavenging on a sheep carcass last Sunday 2/27. A SAY'S PHOEBE appeared in the tree (calling) above my office at dusk last evening. WOOD DUCKS are commonly seen the small willow/tule edged pond along University Road. Keep in mind that "winter period" ended on 2/28 and we are now into the 2011 Spring Period. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 02 Mar 2010 -- Just confirmed the first female ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD at one of the feeders. Yesterday there were four orange males at different places around the yard (presumably all Allen's, but I only saw the green backs on two of them). Also noted one GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS with black and gold head. Forgot to report a few days ago, I saw two RED-TAILED HAWKS copulating on a power pole. Spring is definitely in the air! Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 -- As I was the individual who?d posted that I?d not seen ?AL? on either March 2/3 after reading an inquiry on CALBIRDS, I do want everyone to know that the 3 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS continue near the Point Arena Lighthouse cabins. They were walking about feeding on insects with a Killdeer on the eastern side of the buildings when I stopped there Wednesday, March 2nd. Good Birding, -- Richard Kuehn

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 -- On Burris Lane today I was surprised to find three BALD EAGLES scavanging what appeared to be a lamb carcass. Two of the eagles were subadults and the third was a full adult. Ravens and vultures were also hanging around another carcass which appeared to be a coyote! -- George Chaniot

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 -- Today I confirmed what I have been suspecting for some time : there are at least _four_ WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS coming to my feeders here in Potter Valley. Today I had three tan-stripes in view at once, and I got to compare fine points of their plumage. There is also a white-stripe, and I suspect that there may be more than one of them. I used to think of White-throated Sparrows as being irregular and rare here; now I think of them as regular and fairly common. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 -- I walked a good part of Ten Mile beach from Ward Ave, Cleone, today. I could NOT find any SNOWY PLOVERS, even though Becky Bowen saw 32 SNPLs just two weeks ago (13 Feb). With the hail storms, freezing temps and the Coast Guard riding ATVs on the beach to investigate a grounded boat, the Snowies must have gone into hiding.

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 -- Reports of a RED CROSSBILL erratic irruption for the second year here in inland Little River. I have yet to see any but must take it on faith. Report from Richard Hubacek who I saw heading out with his camera. -- Rick Harris

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 -- I saw 10 GREEN-WINGED TEALS on the north shore, west of the bridge, on Ten Mile River at 2:00 Tuesday afternoon. -- Erica Fielder

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 -- I would rate my gull identification skills as mediocre at best, but if you want to see a sub-adult GLAUCOUS GULL, it is pretty obvious at McKerricker parking lot. Good spotting by Toby. I completely mis-identificed the bird when I first saw it a couple of days back as a weird glaucous-winged gull as it seems to be mixed in with all the glaucous-winged gulls out there at the moment.
Anyway, if you feel a need to stare at gulls for a minute or two, the glaucous gull is hanging along the shore at the Laguna Point parking lot. Look for the really BIG gull. Even I could pick it out. Thanks Toby.
Also seen: single juvinile male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER that is also hard to miss and has been hanging around McKerricker. -- Rick

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 -- Today at Virgin Creek Beach I found a seemingly distressed BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE resting on the rocks about halfway between the creek and the north end of the beach. It allowed me to get within 10 feet of it. A picture has been uploaded [to Mendobirds]. When I got back to my truck there was a note from Toby saying that she had just seen a Black-legged Kittiwake resting in the gull flock at the Laguna Point parking lot. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 -- A single WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was just downstream of the public boat launch ramp on the south-side of the Noyo yesterday at ~2:30pm. Also seen: Western Grebe, Great Egret, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron and Pied-billed Grebe. -- Matt Coleman

Mon, 21 Feb 2010 -- This morning saw the arrival of the first ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD of the year to our front yard, which he immediately claimed and began driving away all the other hummingbirds. Cheers, -- Tim on Middle Ridge, Albion

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 -- BLACK-LEGGED KITIWAKE : South of Laguna point boardwalk at McKerricher SP around 1 pm - resting amongst a group of Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants - my husband, David Flaim, spotted this bird. We digiscoped some photos through the iPhone and watched for about 15 minutes before the bird flew west. Beautiful bird :) -- Sarah Wagner - Fort Bragg

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 -- On Sunday the 20th, Doug Weidemann and I conducted our monthly gull survey around the lake. The gulls were boring (not a good year). At Lakeside County Park we saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER but could not find the SWAMP SPARROW and gave up after a half-hour search. Near Lower Lake we failed to find the RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER during a half-hour search in the morning but in the afternoon we saw it after a 15-minute search, and after hearing it call four times. It worked its way along trees along the bank of the little stream, including the tree with the "No Trespassing" sign. The juvenile SNOW GOOSE is still hanging out in the field along Butts Canyon Road about 2 miles south of Highway 29, in the field just south of the church-like barn. I see it most mornings when I drive by. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 -- A 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL flew above the houses across the street as I watched from my living room window. I could clearly see the bill was quite pink, but I couldn't quite see a black tip. This bird's plumage matched what Erica Fielder described to me about the GLGU she found north of Pudding Creek on the 18th.
          (We decided that her bird was a classic, 1st year bird, as is the one now resting with a large gull flock west of Ten Mile River bridge). I just arrived home from going to the bridge with my scope to get a better look. The plumage is all white with just a very, light dusting of dark cream (or, very light brown). The bill is a very clean pink and has a crisp, black tip. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 19 Feb 2011 -- Fellow birders, I observed a lone adult BALD EAGLE soaring over Highway 101 and Walker Road intersection this afternoon at about 2:15 PM. It was being harassed by a couple of Ravens that looked small compared to the eagle. Best regards, -- Mike Curry

Sat, 19 Feb 2011 -- I saw a GLAUCOUS GULL, perhaps the same one Toby saw, that appears to be a second year gull, on the Haul Road along the MacKerricker State Park Headlands, in the shelter of the peachy-colored motel just north of Pudding Creek Parking Lot. It was with a small flock of mixed gulls. -- Erica Fielder

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 -- Was watching the resident western gull couple today at the Mendocino Headlands when a PEREGRINE FALCON war broke out. All the gulls dived for cover and became invisible. I then watched as two peregrines proceeded to go at each other right in front of me. Things happened fast and furious as they dived at each other stooping and dodging at incredible speeds. The one getting stooped on would invert at the last moment and try to grab the antagonist's talons. At one point they actually grappled for a second or two. Much vocalization which was quite loud and "harsh". Sibley's "rehk rehk rehk..." doesn't really do it justice.
One of the two was definitely the dark morph juvenile I've been watching for a couple of months. A.k.a "Gull Killer" who has claimed Bird Rock as home. I'm wondering though if this wasn't more than just a territorial thing but might have be the way peregrines flirt in the Spring. Wouldn't it be nice if it was a mating dance and there might be some nesting near Bird Rock? I don't know enough about peregrines to say, but if this is the way they court, I wouldn't want to go on that date. -- Rick Harris

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 -- Toby Tobkin reported a GLAUCOUS GULL in the gull flock near the parking area for Laguna Point at MacKerricher State Park. She noted that it is likely a second winter bird, but may be first winter. -- for Toby Tobkin, Charlene McAllister

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 -- We seem to be having a lot of VARIED THRUSHES right now over here on the coast (irruption?). At least in my neck of the woods. Along with these varied thrushes is an increase in SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS that seem to be preying on them heavily. Report from up the road reports the sharpies chase nothing else. Makes me think where were the sharpies when all the American robins were here? I think maybe the varied thrushes are easier to catch. -- Rick Harris

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I was able to get out to the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant late this morning, after the rain, for some birding. Of local interest were the continuing SWAMP SPARROW and a ROSS'S GOOSE. The sparrow was on the north edge of the sludge pond in the area where the sludge dredge, the SS Noyd, is usually moored between water ski runs. The goose was with about 25 Canada Geese on the north pond. Later I watched them all fly south along the river. Both Steve and Ken told me that they had first seen the goose early this morning. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 -- I rolled in on Sunday, mid-day, and several people were staked out watching the [LAYSAN ALBATROSS]. After savoring the scope views, and some quick attempts at telephoto photography, I decided to put my kayak in the water and see about a closer look. He was mostly napping, so I stopped short about 30 meters away, but in a direction where he might see me. He perked right up and swam over, occasionally nibbling on my fingers or the knots on my kayak rigging. I had asked what folks' thoughts were on feeding the bird, and all agreed it was no different than chumming out on the open water. So, once we were comfy with each other, I offered him up some sardines packed in soybean oil. He dove in like he knew the routine, but instantly spat out the unpalatable fish, and spent a few seconds rinsing his tongue with vigorous swishing through the water. A good lesson to any that would feed him sardines - steer clear of the soybean oil!!! -- Will Richardson, Tahoe

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 -- This afternoon Angie Meroshnekoff watched a GOLDEN EAGLE resting in the redwood tree in her backyard at White Dog Ranch. After the crows harassed him for a while, he flew off. -- C. De La Cruz

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 -- The Peregrine Audubon field trip to the south Mendocino coast found a few of the continuing rarities : 3 LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on and near power poles 119 and 120 on the Ukiah-Boonville Road, 3 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS on the lawns near the Point Arena lighthouse, 2 SANDHILL CRANES seen from the bluff at the mouth of the Garcia River, at least 32 TUNDRA SWANS at Brushy Creek seen from Bristol Lane. The famous albatross did not appear during our two visits to Arena Cove, but it was reported yesterday, Feb 11. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 -- This morning there was a BALD EAGLE, the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and a COMMON MOORHEN which was in the slough on the west side of Lakeside County Park. On the drive out on Park Drive, Brad and Kathy Barnwell were parked on the side of the road and had found 2 GOLDEN EAGLES flying over. -- Jerry White

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 -- On this wonderful sunny winter day I walked from Ward Ave to Fen Creek. I counted 31 SNOWY PLOVERS along the way. Most (27) were near the "Snowy Plover Protection Area". 3 were near Fen Creek. They out-numbered the Sanderlings 2 to 1. There were at least two banded Snowys, the new "Pink Lady" and a "RED Lady". While at Fen Creek a TREE SWALLOW flew over going North. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 08 Feb 2011 -- This afternoon there was a male TUFTED DUCK at Borax Lake. Other birds of general interest earlier today were a PACIFIC WREN and a HOUSE WREN found near Reclamation Road, an adult WESTERN GULL and a COMMON LOON at Nice, and an adult GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL at Lucerne. -- Jerry White

Mon, 07 Feb 2011 -- A SNOW GOOSE appears to shuttling back and forth between Napa and Lake Counties with a flock of CANADA GEESE. I saw it at Pope Valley (Napa Co.) on 27, 28 and 31 January. Myron Widmer saw it at Detert Reservoir (Lake Co.) on 29 January and I saw it this morning along Butts Canyon Rd. about 2 miles south of Hwy 29 at Middletown (Lake Co.).
On 31 January, Doug Weidemann found a male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER at Detert Reservoir, along Butts Canyon Road south of Middletown. It was my first at the reservoir. I haven't stopped to search for it since.
On 29 January, Doug and I searched in vain for the RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER near Lower Lake for 45 minutes. On the roof of Wal Mart we saw a 1st-basic GLAUCOUS X HERRING GULL, probably the same bird present since November. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 -- Yesterday, there was a male STELLER'S JAY in my bird feeder. I've seen all kinds of scrub jays around here, but never a stellar jay until yesterday. It was in my backyard on Ford Street at 8:30 am Saturday 2/5. Before I could get the camera out, it flew away. -- Lois O'Rourke

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 -- I saw a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on pole 119 as I was on my way to Boonville today -- George Chaniot

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 -- Today's boat trip [at Lake Sonoma]: Common Mergansers. American Pipit, Acorn Woodpeckers, Double-crested Cormorants, Black Phoebe, Bald Eagles (a pair - and a first time opportunity to photograph them, will post soon!) -- Lisa Walker

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 -- We saw about 20 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS here at the beach where the fresh water enters the ocean. They were bathing and feeding along side the gulls. This was at about 3 yesterday. We will look for the Dipper today. -- Tiffany Erickson, Windsor

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 -- Was out watching the resident PEREGRINE FALCON (aka Gull Killer) at Bird Rock on the Mendocino Headlands yesterday. The best show however were the RAVENS playing in the windy updrafts. Always entertaining, but saw a new trick I have never seen before. One raven would hold a fairly large stick in its feet and do a perfect flight stall in the air. It was an aeronatical thing only a raven could understand. Then another one would come in and fly upside down and take the stick in one perfectly timed motion. It is that time of year when the ravens seem to get especially frisky around here and I recommend stopping by if you like to watch birds fly.
Also saw a big raft of COMMON MURRES of over two hundred northest of the rock when I stopped counting. Then there was the small raft of brownish/white diving sea birds that I couldn't identify. About 12 of them in tight to the rocks and just off the murre raft. I tried to get a good look and was driven back by ferocious winds and tearing eyes. Not scoters. Tantalzing. -- Rick Harris

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 -- Yesterday in Ft Bragg there were at least 3 orioles; all BULLOCK'S ORIOLES. My best guess is there were 2 females and 1 immature male. Also I had a brief one time look at a juvenile YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. -- Jerry White

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 -- I found an AMERICAN DIPPER today at Van Damme State Park a little after noon. It was behind the first restrooms to the left as you enter the park. Just to the right of the restrooms there is a path to the river. I saw it from the bridge looking west. It was interesting to have the whole park to myself. No campers, no hikers, no park employees, and no park host. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 -- We went to Clear Lake SP today and the there were some early VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS. I saw them two weeks ago in the Sacramento Valley, so I was not too surprised to see them here.
There was a CALIFORNIA THRASHER on Finley East Rd (east side) just north of the intersection with Big Valley Rd. It was singing on top of a white trailer in the Lake County Corporation Yard (Kelseyville Dist). The trailer was near the fence and had a tanker trailer and a boat next to it. It was there at 10:40 am and still there at 1:45 pm singing away. Occasionally it popped down into the vegetation along the fence. I am just used to seeing CA Thrashers at higher elevations in chaparral, so I was surprised. Can anyone tell me if CA Thrashers are commonly found down that low around Kelseyville? -- Dave Bengston

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 -- I also checked the LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS today and found one sitting on each of the poles. I located a third Lewis's along with an Acorn Woodpecker on a power pole way up the hill above mm 9.00 about a half mile to the west.-- George Chaniot

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 -- The 2 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS were flying between telephone poles 119 and 120 on Boonville Rd (Hwy 253) around 10:30-am. I came from the west, where the mile markers ascend from 0.00 at Hwy 128. The poles are just west of mm 9.60. Turnouts are on both sides of the road at various intervals. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 -- At 5:10 p.m. we found one of the LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS described by Jack Booth and Dave Bengston on telephone pole #120 on the Boonville Road (253). It flew from the top of the pole to a live oak just east of the pole then across the road to the NE on to the trunk of a larger oak. See Dave's directions for the particular location. -- Roger Foote

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 -- I went up to see the LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS on Hwy 253 (Boonville Rd) that Jack Booth reported. I found two of them. They were on telephone poles #s 119 and 120 on the south side of the road. There is a pullout on the north side of the road between the two poles. If you were coming from the west, there is a pullout on the south side of the road, but you can only see one pole from there. They were up there at 10:30 and again at 12:00 pm when I checked, one on each pole. At the east end of the top, MM 10.0 there were 2 juvenile GOLDEN EAGLES flying over the hill to the south. -- Dave Bengston

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 -- Jack Booth just called me to say he saw a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on the the Boonville Road (Hwy 253). The bird was about 400 yards past the McGrath place on the road bank. This is going east to west, after you get up on top, you will see a house with a gate off to the right, go about 400 yards past the gate. -- Dave Bengston for Jack Booth

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 -- This morning the EVENING GROSBEAKSs showed up at 8:50. The Sharpie showed up at 9! It's a desert out there. Yesterday the E Grosbeaks showed up at 9:20, 12:57, 1:10 and 2:45, 10 mins, 1 min, 5 mins and 10 mins. -- Dave Bengston

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 -- Millie and I decided to try our luck today for Al the LAYSAN ALBATROSS. When we arrived around 11:15am, Al was sitting (as if waiting for us) about 100 yards from the end of the fishing pier. He posed for a few minutes of photos and tucked his bill for some shuteye.
Millie and I slipped into the coffee shop for a break and to examine photos. When we came back out, Al was still nodding off, but five Black Oystercatchers were making so much noise that he couldn't get back to sleep. I snapped a few more pics of Al. Just before noon, we left him trying to get back into restful solace.
Before we left the cove, a PEREGRINE FALCON zipped overhead from the north rim of the cove and quickly disappeared over the south rim; a PACIFIC LOON popped up not far from the end of pier; and a BELTED KINGFISHER called from the creek. Leaving Point Arena, we had a flyby by a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE just before crossing Garcia River. Good birding, -- Craig Cummings, Napa, CA

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 -- Hello all, Charlene and I joined Karen Havlena and later Rich Hubacek in searching for the orioles at Rose Memorial Park in Fort Bragg this afternoon. I photographed three individuals, one an imm. Male, one a female, and one that could be the mystery bird. I have uploaded the three photos to the folder marked Orioles at Fort Bragg (look on the third age of albums in the Photos folder). The first picture is the imm. Male. The second picture shows the female from the back, but if you look at the right side of the image, there is a bright orange bird behind the branches. The best shot I have of that bright orange bird is the third photo. In another image (not posted) one can see that the wing bars on this bird are both white. I'm sure this will generate more discussion! -- Ron LeValley

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 -- This morning at 9:20 - 9:30, two Evening Grosbeaks came to feed at my platform feeder. I think that they are immature males. They are all yellow, including the head, which is just starting to turn darker. There is no yellow supercillium. There is not as much white on the secondaries as in any of the pictures in Sibley (juv, female or male). They do not look exactly like any of the pictures in National Geographic either.
Yesterday I saw one Grosbeak in my neighbor's forest two yards away. Because of the lighting and distance, I think, it looked like a 1st year Blue Grosbeak. The lighting made it look rufous all over. I got a scope and a camera, but never got a shot, so I was planning on sitting out there all day today to see if I could see it. I'm really glad that they showed up at the feeder and made it easy. Christy got a couple of nice photos if anyone wants me to send them one.
We will continue to monitor and post if they continue at the feeders. I have friends in WA that have Evening Grosbeaks at their feeders all winter long, so I'm hoping they stick around. -- Dave Bengsten

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 -- This morning on Save Our Shorebirds survey at 8:35 a.m., David Wolf spotted a pair of Peregrine Falcons at Glass Beach on the sea stack covered with vegetation just west of the main beach. It's fairly common to see a PEFA on the beach bluffs in winter just after first light. We've never seen two together out there before. I have a very distant shot that we'll put up as soon as I can figure out how to do it. -- Becky

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 -- A month or so ago I reported a NORTHERN HARIER attacking American Coots at Lake Cleone. At first I thought that the juvinile female hawk was possibly considering the coots as prey animals with persistent stoops, grasping motions with talons etc. Further observations show that this hawk just likes chasing coots around for the fun of it. Call it Harrier harassment for entertainment. Yesterday I saw an espeically sneaky attack that came from nowhere and even had me wanting to dive for cover. The coot's surprise was total and very satisfying in its explosiveness. Obviously this hawk has energy to expend in playful (malicious?) behavior which goes against the rule that birds don't expend precious energy on play. -- Rick Harris

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 -- For two weeks I have been trying to be sure of a NASHVILLE WARBLER that has briefly come into the few shrubs in our yard several times. Finally, I heard a soft, bright chip and was able to see the entire bird. I had suspected her to be a Nashville, given the relatively "high" number of this species in Mendocino County this winter. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 -- This morning saw the following birds in our Ft. Bragg backyard (4 feeders/3 birdbaths) in 1-1/2 hours. 2 Mourning doves, Eurasian Collared dove, 1 Ruby crowned kinglet, 1 Black phoebe, 2 Chestnut shouldered Chickadees, 6 Robins, 1 Scrub Jay, 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 Starlings, Brewer's blackbirds, 3 House Finches, 2 Evening Grosbeaks, 15 Pine siskins (first time seen in 2011), 15 Amer Goldfinches, 3 White Crowned Sparrows -- Henri Bensussen

Sat, 23 Jan 2011 -- Hi All, a pair of EVENING GROSBEAKS in our backyard this afternoon, for about 15 minutes, up in the poplar and then down in the apple tree. Male bright yellow on belly, sides, and supercilium, pale bill, white secondaries making a big white chevron against a black back seen from the rear. The female with more wing pattern and duller overall. -- Henri Bensussen

Wed, 19 Jan 2011 -- Tue, 18 Jan 2011 -- Chuck Vaughn, Jerry White and myself birded Rose Memorial Park in Fort Bragg, and we found three BULLOCK'S ORIOLES frequenting the Banksia trees, tall cypress and smaller pines in the cemetery. (cemetery is at N Franklin and the Skunk RR tracks, in Fort Bragg) Our looks were generally of the birds flying from tree to tree, and quick looks of the birds in the interior of the trees. One was a female and two were immature males (one was a 2nd year bird). There is the possibility of a 2nd female, but we only saw three birds together at one time.
The low angle of the early morning, bright sun gave a more orange glow to one male's plumage in particular. But, as the sun moved higher in the sky, the males looked just plain yellow, where yellow should be. Also, it took time but we finally saw that both males had black markings on the chin and throat, with the older male having a longer, narrow black mark and an obvious black eyeline. The younger male had a hint of an eyeline and a small black mark on the chin only. Chuck questioned why the birds hid in the foliage of all the trees, rather than want to be out on the sunny ends of the branches. Two of these birds are most likely the same imm. male and female seen by David Jensen on 26 December, 2010, but they were so difficult to get good, solid looks at, could the third bird have been there, as well?
Later on, Chuck spotted two adult THAYER'S GULLS on the beach at the mouth of the Navarro River, south of Little River. -- Karen Havlena, Chuck Vaughn and Jerry White

Mon, 1 Nov 2010 -- This morning, an ad. male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD flew south with a small group of blackbirds west of our house. I could not find them in the neighborhood, so they must have continued south over MacKerricher SP. An ad. male HARLEQUIN DUCK was at the usual long, low rock at the north end of Virgin Creek beach this afternoon. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 -- Lots of larids again today. Yesterday I saw many groups of Heermann's fly past the Botanical Gardens in For Bragg. Many Surf Scoters and Common Loons also. This afternoon I saw BONAPARTE'S GULLS fly over downtown Fort Bragg. Lots of California Gulls hanging out on the athletic fields of the Middle School (North Harold Street) during the end of a soccer tournament ala Hitchcock in Bodega. The times they are a'changin, but not really. This has happened this time every year for the past 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000 (?) years. I'm getting nostalgic. -- Dave Jensen

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 -- We had our "first" WHITE-THROATED SPARROW arrive this afternoon in the front yard at Ocean Meadows/Ten Mile. This is the 3rd Fall arrival for Mendocino County this season, I think. The "parade of gulls" from yesterday was over and done with today. Rich Trissel reported over 1,000 gulls at the Garcia R. flats, etc. I had over 2,000+ yesterday - maybe more. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 -- Between Pt. Arena and Manchester This morning at 11a and again at 1p there was a WHITE-FACED IBIS in the fields north of the Garcia River and East of Highway 1. It was more closely observed from the north section of Windy Hollow Road. Also, I think I found where all the previously mentioned gulls were heading. Between Point Arena and Manchester there were well over 1,000 gulls on just about every field or wet spot. Near Stoneboro Road there are also HUGE flocks of blackbirds. I searched for a Yellow-headed with no luck. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 -- Chuck Vaughn, Geoff Heinecken, and I found a wayward SURF SCOTER on the middle pond of the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant today. Geoff and I spotted a female REDHEAD with the RING-NECKED DUCKS on the pond at Gielow Lane and Old River Road. She looked suspiciously like the one that's at the UWTP for the last few weeks, where she wasn't seen this morning. -- Cheryl Watson

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 -- Glimpsed a gull cruising fast over central Ukiah Saturday as I drove Gobbi between Safeway and the food coop; my gull i.d. skills aren't good but any gull is unusual for me here. -- Janet Rosen

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 -- We also observed large numbers of gulls moving SE in the Albion area in the afternoon. Small groups went over us, about a mile inland on Middle Ridge, and joined others farther east to form a large wheeling flock (I guessed around 200) over Salmon Creek, then moved off to the SE over Navarro Ridge. By that time they must have been several miles from the beach. -- Tim Bray

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 -- Gulls flew south all day long in singles and small groups. We had to leave before I could post about this earlier (as Richard did, too). I just kept watching them fly and couldn't stop. Not only did they fly along the shoreline, but they flew east along the the wooded hillsides, anywhere from very high to literally two feet above the road. The highest flyers were above Wages Creek and Westport. I drove to the north coast, to see if there were any (other) good birds about. Along Hwy 1, the extremely low-flying gulls were young WESTERNS. I did see a few GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS and HEERMANN'S, but the vast majority were CALIFORNIA GULLS.
Not much was happening with other birds. Several PINE SISKINS were at Wages Creek. A PEREGRINE FALCON and a MERLIN flew south near Branscomb Rd and Hwy 1. A SAY'S PHOEBE was in my neighborhood. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 -- There must have been some breakdown in the air currents today. I've been birding the Little River Airport for over three years and have lived at the Woods for five years and have never seen a gull at either location. Today, I first saw a single CALIFORNIA GULL fly over the airport and then another. Towards the end of my birding I saw 30 to 40 fly over the east end of the runway. While walking the dog at the Woods a few more came over. And later another large flock flew over. All were heading in a south south/east direction. Three DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, rare at the airport also were moving in the same direction. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This morning I watched a juvenile male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER feeding in the ornamental trees around the office area at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. The bird was very active, moving from tree to tree, and I eventually lost it on the west side of the new office building. I thought that this storm may have blown in some new birds, but except for more of the same ducks, there wasn't anything new at all. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 -- I saw another CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, this time on Bald Hill Rd, off Pudding Creek Rd, north of Fort Bragg. The bird was just north of what I believe is the headwaters of Virgin Creek. If driving from Pudding Creek Rd on Bald Hill Rd, there have been some small alders cut down, then one crosses the creek (very smal at this point), and comes out into the open pasture area. The sparrow was alone, not with the small flocks of crowned sparrows or American Goldfinches. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 28 Oct 2010 -- I had an out-of-place ROCK WREN on our property 1 mile west of Hopland. In accordance with the species' name, it was pleasantly perched and "bobbing" atop a 4-foot tall rock fairly near Feliz Creek. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 -- Two other birds of interest on Saturday were a Canvasback at 10 Mile River and a Bonaparte's Gull at Lake Cleone. -- Jerry White

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 -- Jerry White called to report a HORNED LARK near the monument at the Mendocino Headlands (that would be the south-west section). The time was around 2:00 PM today. He said he saw it several times. -- Richard Hubacek for Jerry White

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 -- This morning at 9 am, there were 7 HOODED MERGANSERS at Beckstoffer's Pond and a MERLIN sitting across the street in a conifer. There was also one Ring-necked Duck. In the Gielow Ln pond there were 40 Ring-necked Ducks at 8:45.-- Dave Bengston

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 -- Mid-afternoon, I did an SOS survey of Virgin Creek beach. MEW GULLS were first of season birds for me today. A handsome, male HARLEQUIN DUCK was on the long, low rock at the north end of the main beach. A MERLIN zoomed about. Probably the same PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER seen by Charlene and Becky was still around. Other shorebirds included DUNLIN, WILLET, Long and Short-billed DOWITCHERS, SANDERLINGS, BLACK TURNSTONES, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, SURFBIRDS and KILLDEER were spread out along the beach. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW and a WHITE-TAILED KITE were on the bluffs. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 -- This morning I heard a GREATER ROADRUNNER calling on Burris Lane in Potter Valley. The sound was coming from the vineyard to the north of the knoll at the end of the lane. On September 26 I also thought that I heard one at the same location. I have been back six times since that date, spent some time listening, and played a recording, but today is the first time I have heard it again. The first time was at 08:15 and today it was at 11:00. I have yet to see the bird. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 -- [This] morning there was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW near the west end of the road to Navarro Beach. At Mendocino Bay there was an adult nonbreeding plumaged PIGEON GUILLEMOT. -- Jerry White

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 -- [Today] I saw a WESTERN TANAGER eating figs out of my fig tree. This is the 3rd time I have seen one in the fig tree in about the last 2 weeks. I think it may be the same bird hanging around. It is kind of shy and elusive. Other things of note: I had 55 PINE SISKINS (record for my yard) at my feeders yesterday and a flock of about 20 Wild Turkeys that has been here for about three days. -- Dave Bengston

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 -- "Toby" Tobkin called to report that she scoped 11 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES heading south today. She was at the Laguna Point parking lot at MacKerricher State Park. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

15-16 Oct 2010 -- [This] weekend two tagged TURKEY VULTURES were reported to me. Helen Menasian reported TUVU # 68 from Redwood Valley near the RVOEP (10/15) and Monte LaDelle reported (10/16) that TUVU #79 has been hanging around their home just east of "Old Hopland" along Hwy 175. It has also been reported to me that another is in the Robinson Creek drainage but the number is unknown at this time. These are all TUVU's with large round white patagial (on the wing) tags with large black numbers on them. The numbers are fairly easy to read with binoculars either in flight or perched. These are all birds that were tagged at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center in the late summer of 2008 as part of a state-wide study on heavy metals in avian scavengers (TUVUs, ravens, and golden eagles). Keep in mind that recent TUVU patagial tagging has taken place on the Yurok Tribe lands near Orick, but these tags are yellow in color. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 16 Oct 2010 -- Miner Hole Road. This morning at about 11:30a there were 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS in the same general area that Jerry reported from 2 days ago. There was also a PALM WARBLER on the north side of the Garcia River. 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS were seen upriver from the Pectorals. An uncommon (for the coast) BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was also seen in the willows near the end of Miner Hole Road. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 16 Oct 2010 -- I visited the Mendocino College Pond today from 10:45 to 11:10. There were four COMMON MOORHENS. One of them is an adult still in very bright breeding plumage. A second one is a juvenile. A third one is an adult in non-breeding plumage. The fourth I did not get a good look at the head, but I did see the tail and white on the flanks. They were very vocal and did not notice me for about 15 minutes at which time they went into the reeds. I returned an hour later and only saw the breeding-plumage adult still being very vocal. Yes, there were a total of 4! Other birds included a GREEN HERON, seen both times and a GREAT EGRET. -- Dave Bengsten

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 -- Today I saw a number of migrant geese around the Ten Mile R. bridge. There were 2 (ALEUTIAN) CACKLING GEESE, 12(MINIMA) CACKLING GEESE, and 14 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Also present were several ducks, but the light was very bright on the water, so the specie remainded a mystery. A few DOWITCHERs fed on the south shore. -- Karen Havlena

Wed-Fri, 13-15 Oct 2010 -- There is a vagrant, hybrid N. FLICKER in the Ocean Meadows/Ten Mile Area. This female Flicker has mostly Yellow-shafted characteristics, but she has a small, red diamond-shaped spot on the nape and dijon mustard under-shafts and feathers. These vagrant hybrids hail from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana or N Dakota, etc. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 -- Hi all, I saw and photographed a WESTERN TANAGER along the "Enchanted Trail" that goes to Virgin Creek Beach on Friday around noon. This trail is usually worth checking. It is north of the Three Rivers school north of Fort Bragg and is identified by a pullout on the west side of the road with a pile of gravel and a small State Park Sign. If you are walking to Virgin Creek, this is a good trail to take. Cheers, -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 -- While birding on the coast today I had at least 4 large groups of geese flying south. Blow-ups of pictures I took showed that at least two of the groups were CACKLING GEESE with many showing the white neck-rings of the "Aleutian" type. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 -- [This] morning there were 2 PALM WARBLERS on the north side of the Garcia River (access by a trail at the end of Miner Hole Road). There was also a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Pectoral Sandpiper downstream from there. Then later while on Stoneboro Road about 4/10ths of a mile from Highway 1 (at the pond on the south side of the road) another Palm Warbler flew in and landed on a fence post. Right after seeing the warbler I refound the CLAY-COLORED SPARROW reported earlier from this location. At the end of the day I met Karen Havlena and we birded the boardwalk at Lake Cleone. We had another Palm Warbler, this one was a very yellowish "eastern" bird. Today at Chadbourne Gulch there was a White-throated Sparrow. -- Jerry White

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 -- I received an email from Matt Coleman (Mendocino Land Trust) that included a picture of a SORA taken at a flooded marsh area along Navarro Beach Rd yesterday evening at 5:30 PM. I decided to check it out this afternoon. While playing the Sora call I could hear Virginia Rails (at least 8) calling. I could see them coming up almost to the road peeking out at me and swimming across a small section of water. It was the best look at Virginia Rails I've ever had. After some time I saw the Sora actually fly across the road and land in some heavy bushes. It flew back some ten minutes later. It was a good rail experience for me. The location was between the nice looking house and the Navarro Inn mostly on the north side of the road. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 -- This morning Karen called to report a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW in the lone pine by the brick pillar in her front yard on Ocean Meadows Circle which is on the east (inner) side of the circle across from some construction project. This is a new yardbird for her. -- Richard Hubacek for Karen

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 -- Late this afternoon (about 5:00) a flock of 60-75 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE arrived in Fort Bragg and appeared to land at the former mill site. These birds had abandoned the typical V formation and were flying in a loosely disorganized mass. Earlier in the afternoon I saw three immature members feeding and resting on the athletic field at the Fort Bragg Middle School on north Harold Street. -- Dave Jensen

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 -- Late this afternoon a southward bound flock of 120 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over the west side of Hopland in typical "V" formation. I am not sure if it always holds true or not, but I always sense that the fall "storm window" opens soon after the arrival of these migrating White-fronts. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 09 Oct 2010 -- "Toby" Tobkin called to report that she scoped at least 50 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS from the Laguna Point parking lot this morning. She said that that many from land was a first for her. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Sat, 09 Oct 2010 -- There was a Cackling Goose, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, and 3 Short-billed Dowitchers at the Ukiah Treatment Ponds. I spoke with Chuck Vaughn yesterday and he too saw most of these same birds plus he said the REDHEAD is still there. Also there were 2 Hooded Mergansers on the Beckstoffer Pond. -- Jerry White

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 -- [This] morning I saw 2 of the EVENING GROSBEAKS along the boardwalk just to the west of where Richard and Karen saw theirs. They were mixed in with a large flock of Cedar Waxwings. At Virgin Creek Beach I saw my first Dunlin of the Fall. At the Botanical Gardens there was a very late OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. -- Jerry White

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 -- "Toby" Tobkin called this morning to report a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER seen when walking her dog. The location was the open field next to the College of the Redwoods. The bird was in some bushes in that field. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are rare on the coast. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 -- This morning at about 11:30a, Rich Kuehn, Pat Kirkpatrick, and I observed a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW on Stoneboro Road about a half-mile west of Highway 1. On Hunter's Lagoon at the end of Barnegat (off Stoneboro) there were 4 BLUE-WINGED TEAL and one WOOD DUCK. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 -- At around noon today I found a flock of 5 to 7 EVENING GROSBEAKS. They were located in a dead tree along the broadwalk where it turns south. There is a sign on a tree with a big "6" on it. It is a tree ID information sign.I had walked pass the area and then heard them call. The flock seemed to move off to the east, possibly across. Highway One. Karen Havlena called at around 4:30PM to let me know that she had just found a female Evening Grosbeak west of the original location near the trail down from the visitor center. I had a talk with Jerry White a few days ago and he said to watch out for them because they were being reported both North and South of Mendocino County. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 06 Oct 2010 -- Good Evening Birders: Today I visited Burris Lane in Potter Valley. Near the east end of the road at the pond overlook, there was a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER. It was on a fence post directly across from the wide out where you park. It was the fence post just west of the bush. When I finally got out of the truck, it flew across the road to the south side and went into an oak tree just south of the closest power pole. It stayed there for awhile and then flew down to the large oak (still on the south side of the road) closest to the end of the road. It flew back and forth between those two trees. This was from about 1:15 to 1:40 pm on Wednesday. The bird appeared to be about half way in between an adult and a juvenile. Either that or it was molting. Some of the other birds included: Say's Phoebe, Lark Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Western bluebirds, Amer Wigeon, etc. -- Dave Bengsten

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 -- Gualala River. This morning at about 8a, Rich Kuehn and I observed a juvenile WHITE-THROATED SPARROW with a mixed sparrow flock in the field northwest of of the Gualala River bridge over Highway 1. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel and Rich Kuehn

Mon, 04 Oct 2010 -- While it didn't help his totals for his big year, Jerry White called to say that he found a flock of RED CROSSBILLS at the Casper Cemetery and a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER at Russian Gulch State Park Beach area today. On another note "Toby" and I looked for the BOBOLINK this morning and failed to find it. A very clear night sky last night may have allowed it to move on. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 04 Oct 2010 -- Greetings Fellow Birders, I just spotted a YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKER off Shafer Ranch Road (off Walker Road) south of Willits. Please let me know if you need more detail as to exact location. Best regards, Mike Curry, 916-214-8623, Willits

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 -- At 6 pm this Sunday I was distracted from my chores by the song of a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. The bird sounded off for 2 or three minutes and I was not able to locate and observe it by eye. Being a former east coast birder I am confident of the identification. Good Birding -- Michael Guinan, Caspar

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 -- This morning at 10:14AM I refound the BOBOLINK at the same location as yesterday. When it flew off to the east with it's "binking" flight call I thought that was the end of it. But Jerry White just called at 12:45PM and said it was back at the original location. The bird seems to like the tall grassy area just west of the taxiway. When disturbed it flies to some bushes bordering the grassy area generally in the southwest direction. I have seen it fly out of the area 2 times but it has come back. The best way of getting to the area would be to park to the right of the "terminal" and walk thru the gaps in the fence or the gate if opened. Walk out to the taxiway and head west. When the taxiway ends you will find the grassy area. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 -- In talking to "Toby" Tobkin this afternoon, she reported finding 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Virgin Creek late this morning. This is the 6th straight day that a Pectoral Sandpiper has been found at Virgin Creek. Pectoral Sandpiper had been hard to find this year until now. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 -- This afternoon at around 2:00PM I found a BOBOLINK at the Little River Airport. The location wasn't to far from where the Sage Thrasher was. I flushed the bird from the grassy area just above above the depression which is west of the taxiway. The bird landed in a bush where it stayed for awhile then was seeming chased off by a Savannah Sparrow. It flew to the north over a drainage/marsh area where I losted it. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 -- "Toby" Tobkin left a message saying that the PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at Virgin Creek for the 4th day. She also had a POMARINE JAEGER that flew in close to shore at Ward Ave. She said that she could see all the markings. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby Tobkin

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 -- At about 11:00 AM this morning, Steve Stump, Nikki White, and I saw the female REDHEAD found earlier by Chuck at the Ukiah Treatment Ponds(on the middle pond with a small flock of Ring-necked Ducks). That bird represents #300 for me for the year in Mendocino County. Also of interest for the Treatment Ponds was an adult GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL that flew in while we were watching the duck. -- Jerry White

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I had an adult male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD visiting our feeders this evening between 5:15 and 6:45. It gets later sooner now, so I don't know if he is still around. It is pretty hot. Except for an irruption of PINE SISKINS (also noted by Virginia and Andy not far south of us on the Russian River), not much else is new with yard birds. -- Chuck and Barbara Vaughn

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 -- Two AMERICAN AVOCETS were on the sandy shore, just west of Ten Mile R. bridge about 4:15 this afternoon. There certainly have been quite a few AMAV this fall, both on the coast and inland in Mendocino County. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 -- This morning at about 10:30a, Rich Kuehn and I found a BLACKPOLL WARBLER on Miner Hole road (between Pt. Arena and Manchester) about 0.5 mile in from Highway 1. Other interesting birds were 4 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and at least 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Hunter's Lagoon at the end of Barnegat Road (which is off Stoneboro Road just south of Manchester). A NASHVILLE WARBLER and a CASSIN'S VIREO in the willows along the north shore of the Gualala River just west of Highway 1 were nice to see here in the south coast. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel and Rich Kuehn

Tue 28 Sep 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin just now called that a PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Virgin Creek beach in MacKerricher SP. The bird was on the main beach, although apparently much of the sand has been washed out by the rough surf. The bird was also seen Monday [27 Sep] by Jerry White, said Toby. -- Karen Havlena, For Jerry White and Dorothy Tobkin

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 -- [Today] Doug and Erika Weidemann and I censused waterbirds around the perimeter of Clear Lake from a motorboat. Unfortunately we didn't see anything unusual, but we were pleased to find that more than 30 nests of Aechmophorus grebes were still active, many nearly a mile from shore. Our best birds were at Borax Lake, where we saw two BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, a BLACK-NECKED STILT and a LESSER YELLOWLEGS. Surprisingly we didn't see any peeps. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 -- There was a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and a BLACKPOLL WARBLER on Monday morning at Usal. -- Jerry White

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 -- Walked around Lake Cleone this morning. As I was on the dirt path on the southeast of the lake I came upon an explosion of birds; several Marsh Wrens, 30+ Cedar Waxwings, 7 Winter Wrens, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Steller's Jays, Mourning Doves, 4 Spotted Towhees, 3 Wrentits, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, and Song Sparrows all within 5 minutes! other birds id'd this morning, Acorn and Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Western Scrub-Jay, Common Ravens, Mallards, 3 Pied-billed Grebes, 3 Double-crested Cormorants, 3 American Coots, 1 Killdeer, 1 Black Phoebe and of course Brewer's Blackbirds. -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 25 Sep 2010 -- The male HARLEQUIN DUCK that has been at Dolphin Isle on the Noyo River returned on Saturday. We noticed his absence around the 15th of August. His colorful breeding plummage is just starting to come in. If you stop by Dolphin Isle to see him, keep an eye out for our BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS. The colony is very active around dusk but a couple of birds including a juvenile are often visible during the day in the fir trees across from the old launch ramp. We had a lot of green heron activity on the Noyo River this summer. We were seeing several birds up the river regularly as well as one in the "magic corner" across from the old launch ramp. Best of days birding, -- Cate Hawthorn

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 -- At Usal Camp, five AMERICAN AVOCETS were watched by Chuck Vaughn, George Chaniot and myself, floating/swimming just beyond the small, breaking waves at Usal Camp beach. None of us could remember seeing Am Avocets actually out on the water. They maintained this behavior for about 30 minutes, before flying from side to side of Usal cove.
We stopped at Wages Creek, just north of Westport on Hwy 1, where we saw two AMERICAN DIPPERS, one adult and one immature. George commented that the adult was chasing the young bird over the creek, perhaps hoping that the immature would venture out on its own.
Later on Wednesday, I spotted a pale PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER on a large, flat rock near the north end of Ward Ave, Cleone. Also, in the adjacent surf, Chuck located a HARLEQUIN DUCK.
At Laguna Point, MacKerricher SP, there was a enduring feeding frenzy of gulls that included: POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS, SOOTY SHEARWATERS, and SABINE'S GULLS. It was definitely a high point of the day's birding. -- Karen Havlena, Chuck Vaughn and George Chaniot

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 -- Here at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center, yesterday two staff employees independently observed a Golden Eagle (common residents at HREC) on the ground adjacent to a large Bald-faced Hornet's paper nest that had been dislodged from 20 feet above in a madrone tree. The independent sightings meant that the eagle was flushed from the site once and returned shortly after to the dislodged nest thus showing active interest in the nest. I checked the nest out this morning intending to look it over closely to see if there was evidence that the eagle may have dislodged it from the tree. However, the nest still had active hornets exiting the nest, and I was not about to stick around very close (I have never been stung by one but I here that Bald-faced Hornets pack quite a "wallops" with their stings and are fairly aggressive when their nest is disturbed). The approx. 14 inch diameter nest was pretty much intact on the ground and did not appear to be torn apart. It looks like about a 4" by 12" long portion of it is still hanging in the tree. At this point I am assuming that the eagle dislodged it from the tree, as I have never before seen a nest dislodged by any sort of animal . the nests are usually adhered quite well to a cluster of small branches. However, that is only an assumption. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 - It was just reported to me by one of UC-HREC's staff that a GREATER ROADRUNNER was observed in chaparral habitat at the top elevation of the UC- Hopland Research and Extension Center. I am going to check the area right now. For those that know the Center and might be interested in pursuing this bird it was at the top of the Orchard Pasture, east of the Orchard Rain gage, on the upper 4WD road just ENE of the "cow palace" structure. You can make arrangements through me (or possibly Chuck Vaughn). Good Birding! -- Bob Keiffer 707-744-1424 ext 112.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 -- [Today] I drove around Clear Lake with Doug Weidemann. At Borax Lake we saw two early male EURASIAN WIGEONS, a juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER. Near the north end of Clear Lake we saw an early pair of REDHEADS far from shore, perhaps a kilometer southeast of the bridge at Rodman Slough, while out in a canoe checking up on some late-nesting grebes that are still incubating eggs.
Back on September 3 I saw two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 -- Hi all, Below is the ebird report for yesterdays pelagic sponsored by Mendocino Coast Audubon aboard the "Telstar." Leaders were Bob Keiffer, John Sterling, and myself, Rob Fowler. Thanks to all the participants for a great time! Location: Offshore pelagic (MEN Co.) Observation date: 9/19/10 Notes: Mendocino Coast Audubon fall pelagic trip. Seas were calm so we headed southwest towards Navarro Canyon. We went to 21 miles offshore to where the water temperature shot up to 59 degrees and many albacore were present here but few birds. Heavy drizzle to rain in the morning to partly cloudy sunny skies in the afternoon. Overall a nice trip, especially for the jaegers.
Other animals: Northern Fur Seal-3, Dall's Porpoise-16 (1 melanistic individual seen), Pacific White-sided Dolphin- 10, Northern Right-whale Dolphin-5, Ocean Sunfish-10, Blue Shark-5. Number of species: 22
Brant (Black) 55 2 flocks seen migrating over open ocean, Black-footed Albatross 15, Northern Fulmar 10, Pink-footed Shearwater 55, Flesh-footed Shearwater 1, Buller's Shearwater 12, Sooty Shearwater 20, Ashy Storm-Petrel 1 Seen by few observers, Pelagic Cormorant 1, Red-necked Phalarope 12, Red Phalarope 63 Most seen on the return trip, Sabine's Gull 94 Many were flying south on the return trip., Western Gull 60, California Gull 30, Common Tern 7, Arctic Tern 3, Common/Arctic Tern 4, South Polar Skua 9 Good number for the day!, Pomarine Jaeger 8, Parasitic Jaeger 20, Long-tailed Jaeger 70 By far the most common jaeger today with most ages seen and some groups sitting on the water, jaeger sp. 25, Common Murre 8, Rhinoceros Auklet 110. Thanks, -- Rob Fowler

Sat, 18 Sep 2010 -- Chuck Vaughn and Jerry White also saw an AMERICAN DIPPER west of the Wages Creek bridge (N Westport) this morning. They said that the Dipper was eating a large larva. This location is a mile north of Westport on Hwy 1. -- Karen Havlena for CE Vaughn and JR White

Sat, 18 Sep 2010 -- Jerry White and Chuck Vaughn ask me to post a NORTHERN WATERTHUSH when I post the Sage Thrasher. I forgot!! They found the bird at Usal in the creek south of the coastal campground. -- Richard Hubacek for Chuck and Jerry

Sat, 18 Sep 2010 -- This morning I found a SAGE THRASHER at the Little River Airport at the west end. A large group of birders failed to refind the bird this afternoon. If you want to try, locate the airport. Park to the right of the terminal. Walk out to the taxiway and head west. Once the taxiway ends there is a grassy area and then a large depression. The bird was last seen in the west end of the depression. Sage Thrashers like to hide on the ground but do come up to see what's happening from time to time. Will post a picture later. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 -- Caspar- Jerry White found a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD at the Caspar pond this afternoon at 4:45p. He added that the bird flew off with the blackbird flock. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel for Jerry White

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 -- A little after noon today there was a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER at the north entrance to Virgin Creek. It was with a small Chickadee flock. There were two AMERICAN WIGEON (first of season for me) in the creek east of the bridge. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 -- This morning at 10:30 AM I was surprised to see a large swift banking in front of my vehicle at eye level here at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. My knee-jerk reaction of slamming on the brakes and fumbling for my binoculars revealed two WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS flying 30 to 100 feet high over chaparral habitat with a western aspect. The elevation was 1770'. Strangely, the one bird seemed to be heading north, however, as they dropped in elevation they were back-dropped by hills and vegetation and I lost track of them after about 30 seconds. I have seen fall-migrating Black Swifts here in years past at similar elevation, but there was no mistaking the white flanks and light underparts on these birds despite the brief view. I believe this the first record of White-throated Swift for the UC-HREC. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 15 Sep 2010 -- Just before dawn on Wednesday morning at Usal a SPOTTED OWL called several times, and then just before sunrise there was a calling Northern Pygmy-Owl. -- Jerry White

Wed, 15 Sept 2010 -- Jim Havlena and I also birded Usal this AM, where we talked with Jerry White and Chuck Vaughn. I spotted a LONG-BILLED CURLEW flying over the beach, that Jerry said was a 1st for Usal. We also saw SAY'S PHOEBE, (2) BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, and 4 WARBLING VIREOS. There were many other Western migrants: Townsend's, Yellow, Wilson's, and Orange-crowned Warblers, plus Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and Hutton's Vireos. We could not find the particular flock inwhich the others saw the rare warblers. However, I will be there again tomorrow at the appointed time to look again. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 15 Sep 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Jerry White and I birded the Usal Beach campground this morning. It was very quiet early, but at 930 we found a large mixed flock in the area of the pay station which we followed for about 45 minutes. Among these birds we found a TENNESSEE WARBLER, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, and a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER. The road into the campground from Hwy 1 has been recently graded and access is much better than it has been for the past several years. -- Chuck Vaughn and Jerry White

Tue, 14 Sept 2010 -- A RED-NECKED GREBE was with the Scoter flock off the north end of the Haul Rd at Ward Ave, Cleone, this morning. Along the still backed-up Ten Mile River, I saw 7 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and heard several others! There are also some in my neighborhood. A MERLIN swooped past the front yard today.
After my Ten Mile beach hike, I walked the Skunk RR tracks above Pudding Creek, near Rose Mem'l Cemetery. There was not much action there, but I did have a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, 3 WESTERN TANAGERS, YELLOW WARBLERS and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, many VIRGINIA RAILS, PYGMY NUTHATCHES, and CEDAR WAXWINGS. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 -- A Black-headed Grosbeak was in our bird feeder this afternoon, also flocks of American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, chickadees, plus a (probably) Downy Woodpecker on the trunk of the apple tree. -- Henri Bensussen, Fort Bragg

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Jerry White saw a female INDIGO BUNTING at about 10 am today. The bird was off of Rd 500B/Brewery Gulch Dr just south of Mendocino, and about 50 yards west of Hwy 1. It was in a large mixed flock, composed largely of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Yellow Warblers. -- Jerry White

Mon, 13 Sept 2010 -- Today, I saw an adult female MacGILLIVRAY's WARBLER at Chadbourne Gulch, on the east side of Hwy 1, between Ten Mile R. and Westport. It was overcast all day, so I didn't go out until after 1-pm. Other birds present at Chadbourne were several YELLOW and WILSON'S WARBLERS, 2 HUTTON'S VIREOS, a BROWN CREEPER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and other common resident birds. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 11 Sep 2010 -- A friend who lives on the Ukiah end of the Boonville Rd asked me today: right near dusk all of a sudden a flock of birds will appear winging directly west at high speed. He says they are cowbird-sized, make no vocalizations, but he hears wingbeats. He does not think they are blackbirds or robins. This occurs only in the fall and has just started anew. Any ideas?-- Janet Rosen

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 -- There was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Usal on Tuesday September 7th. On that same day at Virgin Creek Beach Chuck Vaughn and I had a Long-billed Curlew. On Wednesday September 8th there was a Willow Flycatcher at Howard Creek. Chuck and I also had a flycatcher on September 7th at the Westport Headlands which was probably this species. On the 8th at Glass Beach there was a female Bullock's Oriole and 2 singing Fox Sparrow's. Later that same day there was a very bright Cassin's Vireo at the Botanical Gardens. -- Jerry White

Wed, 08 Sep 2010 -- A female/immature ORCHARD ORIOLE was seen briefly yesterday in bright sunlight by Jerry White and Chuck Vaughn, but they did not get really satisfactory looks at the bright yellow and lime green bird with a short tail, short, slightly decurved bill, and two wide, white wing bars.
This morning the coast was blanketed in dense fog. As I was driving north on Hwy 1, I saw Jerry's car at the Vista Point at mm 74.09. He was close by and had just encountered a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. The important news was that he saw the ORCHARD ORIOLE again in the drippy fog. The bird was wet, so the colors did not show as well. I'm sure glad he told me that fact! When I arrived at the Westport park, I saw the bedraggled oriole just at the top of a stand of berry bushes. The short, lime green tail and the wing bars were correct. I could also see the bill shape and the fact that it was not long and more narrow, like a Hooded Oriole. The face and body feathers were indeed wet, so I did not get good color on the bird. Both Jerry and I agreed that this bird was not a Hooded Oriole since it wasn't elongated enough, the tail was definitely short, the two, well-marked white wing bars, and the bill all point to Orchard. Jerry was much happier with this second look at the bird and is comfortable with the call. Also, even though for several years there has been a few Hooded's that summered in Westport, I have not noticed them for a couple of years.
The Westport Headlands Park is on the west side of Hwy 1, across from the Westport Hotel. The bird has now been seen almost everywhere in the small park in the tall shrubs. -- For Jerry White, Karen Havlena

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 -- A DUSKY FLYCATCHER was in a neighbor's garage in Ocean Meadows. The neighbor did not know a bird was temporarily "trapped" when I saw it as I went to take something into Fort Bragg for her. I had a broom to try to get it to leave and was able to get under the bird and got good looks at the lower mandible, narrow with a diffused, darkish tip (not like Gray). The head was nicely rounded and the eyes had narrow, whitish eye rings. I had to leave, but the bird got out of the garage on its own a little later. Dusky Flycatchers are not often seen on the immediate coast, except occasionally during early fall migration. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 -- An unplanned bird outing came into being today when Jerry White, Rich and Nancy Trissel and myself all found ourselves at Miner Hole Rd this morning. The best bird of the day was a coastally rare BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER first spotted by Nancy Trissel. YELLOW and TOWNSEND WARBLERS were found but the consensus of the group was that it's still early for Fall migration. Jerry and I explored the Alder Creek area and the best bird was a BLUE-WINGED TEAL that flew in. Jerry reported that the AMERICAN AVOCET was still at the Ukiah Waste Treatment Plant as of this morning. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Jerry White reports that the AMERICAN AVOCET continued at the UWTP oxidation ponds this morning. It was there yesterday morning as well, and there was also a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER on the edge of the north pond then. Jerry could not refind it today. An adult COMMON MOORHEN was seen by Dan Maxwell and myself at HREC on Sept 3. It is not a stretch to believe that this is the bird which first wintered there in 2006-07, which would make this its fifth consecutive winter there. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to say that a juv. COMMON MOORHEN is at the east side of Ten Mile River bridge as of 9:15-am. She saw the bird about a 1/4 mile east of the bridge along the Haul Rd remnants. If one walks on the old Haul Rd, there is a spring that causes a marshy, wet area on the road surface. Just west of this area, one can look out over the marshy area. This is where the juv. COMO was seen. No Amer Coots have been around here recently. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 -- The AMERICAN AVOCET was still at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. It was seen on the sludge lagoon, flying around the percolation ponds, and swimming on the south pond. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 -- Not sure how common these are around the Ukiah Valley, but I've been watching a pair of RINGED TURTLE-DOVES that come to my sunflower seed feeder. They're also watering at the bird bath. This is out by Lake Mendocino Dam near the end of Redemeyer Road. -- konagregg

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 -- About noon today a PECTORAL SANDPIPER along with a single WESTERN SANDPIPER flew past the Red Post Vineyard Pond in Potter Valley - the Pectoral making it's characteristic call note. They made a low pass but didn't land. I guess I was just there at the right moment. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 -- On my Ten Mile beach survey this am, a MERLIN flew past me at about 12-ft above the beach. I believe this is a FOS, at least it is for me. Earlier in the morning, Jim Havlena saw a SNOWY PLOVER on Seaside beach. I'm sure it was forced to move to another spot a short while later, because of the dogs people bring to this beach. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 I made a trip to Usal. Did not turn up any hoped for early vagrants but there were some other birds(and weather) of interest. There was a Northern Mockingbird in very worn plumage. For the last several years I have been keeping a list of all of the birds recorded at Usal; and on this day I found 4 new birds for that list including a Northern Pintail, a Snowy Egret, a juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron, and a female Lazuli Bunting. As for the weather, at around 10:30 AM a very strong warm easterly wind kicked up and the temperature soared to 79 degrees (the warmest I have ever recorded out there) and then within about 50 minutes or so it dropped back down to 67 degrees. -- Jerry White

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 -- This afternoon at Ward Avenue, I spotted at least 6 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS flying north at an altitude of about 50 feet. There were at least three birds behind the lead 6. The noise was a racket. I figure I spent at least three minutes cursing and carrying on because I couldn't get my camera up and focused, plus another two minutes to fumble with my phone. According to the phone read-out, I called Karen Havlena at 3:08 p.m. and told her the birds were headed her way (Ten Mile River--approximatley 5 miles north). Karen later confirmed 7 LBCU and 4 MAGO at Ten Mile River (they flew north again shortly after that). After several calls back and forth, Karen and I decided to trust George Chaniot's superior mathematical abilities. Taking into account distance, speed, wind, and whatever else intelligence requires, he figured the birds were traveling at approximately 7.5 mph--thus satisfying our never-ending mission to find out how and how fast shorebirds get from point A to point B. -- Becky Bowen
[I would like to add my comments to Becky Bowen's account of the Long-billed Curlews and Marbled Godwits that flew north from Ward Ave to Ten Mile River for a short rest. I stood for 30+ minutes on the bluff above the mouth of Ten Mile River. As I was about to give up, while walking up to Ocean Meadows Circle, I heard, "Cur - lew? Cur - lew?" At first, I could not see the birds, but I looked up and there were the curlews and godwits, flying in small circles like swallows. They were at least 50+ feet up. I called Becky that it had been about 1/2 hour since she called me. Hurrying home, I took the scope and drove south to the Ten Mile R. bridge. There were 7 L-B CURLEWS and 4 MARBLED GODWITS. They only rested on the shore for approx. 35-40 minutes. Then, one or two of the curlews started calling loudly and repeatedly. The group took off and flew NORTH, once again. George thought they were searching, unsuccessfully, for a suitable feeding area. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 -- Steve Stump reports an AMERICAN AVOCET on the south pond of the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning. -- Cheryl Watson

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 -- On the morning of Tuesday August 31st while driving on Mountain View Road there were 2 SOOTY GROUSE; 1 about 1/4 mile or so east of milemarker 9.25 and another about 1/4 mile west of that same milemarker. A total of 16 MOUNTAIN QUAIL were seen on the trip over. Later that day there was a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER on Virgin Creek Beach. -- Jerry White

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called that she saw an adult LARK SPARROW in the field adjacent to Caspar Pond (east of Hwy 1 along Fern Creek Rd). Unfortunately, the bird flew away at the time. Also, Toby saw approx. 5-7 LESSER GOLDFINCH in the same area. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 -- Last mid-July it came to the attention of some local birders that a GRAY CATBIRD had been observed and photographed for about a week from June 26 - July 8, 2010. The observation and photos were by the landowners who are located in the Robinson Creek/Boonville Road area. An unsuccessful attempt was made, with permission by the landowners, by several local birders to relocate the bird on July 15th. Apparently the bird was not seen after July 8th. -- Bob Keifer

Sat, 28 Aug 2010 -- 6:15 p.m. Adult male CHUKAR was on the vineyard road north of the creek, between Sanford Ranch Rd and the private vineyard irrigation pond, on the south side of Sanford Ranch Road, just east of junction with Knob Hill Road. This is private land complete with no trespassing signs, but the nearby neighbors walk here frequently and I am unaware of any confrontations with the land owner so long as the grapes and pears are undisturbed. -- Cherie Foster

Sat, 28 Aug 2010 -- On the trail around Lake Cleone, August 28, 2010, 1;35 P.M. to 3:30, Cloudy skies, slight breeze. : Mallards, Brewer's blackbirds, 1 Osprey, 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Pied-billed grebe, Barn and Violet-green swallows, 3 Turkey vultures, 3 Common ravens, 1 marsh wren (heard), Western gulls, 1 Heerman's gull among the Western gulls on the lake (1st winter, brown, pale bill), 1 song sparrow, 1 male downy woodpecker, 40+ Cedar waxwings perched at top of dead pines near pumphouse, Chestnut-backed chickadees, 1 Western scrub jay, 1 male Wilson's warbler, 1 mourning dove, possibly 4 Band-tailed pigeons, Steller's Jays, 2 Vaux's swifts, 1 male Anna's hummingbird (heard others), and 1 Double-crested cormorant flying overhead. -- Fred Andrews

Tue, 24 Aug 2010 -- On Monday the 23rd there were 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS amongst a large flock of Surf Scoters at Ward Avenue. On Tuesday the 24th at the Garcia River estuary there were 2 Black-crowned Night-Herons and 4 ELEGANT TERNS. A Peregrine Falcon (I saw a total of 4 during the 2 days) kept chasing off the shorebirds, but 2 MARBLED GODWITS did land briefly. There was some evidence of land bird migration with a Townsend's Warbler on Miner Hole Road and Warbling Vireos, a Cassin's Vireo, and a Yellow Warbler at Windy Hollow. -- Jerry White

Wed, 25 Aug 2010 -- I was awakened at 03:30 this morning by what sounded like a group of geese calling in the moonlight. I went out on the deck to listen and instead I heard a LONG-EARED OWL calling about 150 yards away. It called four times in 15 minutes, or about once every five minutes. This was my third encounter here in 31 years. I never did figure out the goose thing - maybe a very distant group of coyotes yapping. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 -- Garcia River and Manchester Beach : This morning, Rich Kuehn and I birded the beach from the end of Stonboro to the mouth of the Garcia River. There were good numbers of WESTERN SANDPIPERS, SANDERLINGS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, along with a few LEAST SANDPIPERS, a WHIMBREL, and 4 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS. In the lagoon at the mouth of the river there were 15 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS, 2 MARBLED GODWITS, 3 WILLETS, KILLDEER, about a dozen BLACK TURNSTONES flew over, and 2 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. Feels like migration has finally started in earnest ... Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 -- Clear skies, no wind. 13 AMERICAN AVOCETS flying over the lake and out to the ocean. Chestnut-backed Chickadees, House Finches, Steller's Jays, Anna's Hummingbirds (male and female), Song Sparrows, Wrentit, Mallards, Osprey, 4 Pied-billed Grebes, male Belted Kingfisher, Black Phoebe, Western Gulls, Brewer's Blackbirds, male and female American Goldfinch, Marsh Wrens, Great Blue Heron, immature Double-crested Cormorant, Mourning Doves, Common Ravens, Bushtits, Acorn Woodpeckers (males and females). -- Fred Andrews

Mon,23 Aug 2010 -- Last week while driving to Ukiah my wife spotted a tagged TURKEY VULTURE along Hwy 101 near the "Strawberry Stand" on the south side of Burke Hill. Unfortunately we did not have time to turn around to read the number on the patagial wing tag. This is one of the TUVU's banded by UC Davis researchers a couple years back, many of which were tagged at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. If anyway happens to see one of these birds, please try to read the number on the tag and either post the sighting or contact me directly. Thanks . and good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 -- Angela Liebenberg just saw 8 AMERICAN AVOCETS on Ten Mile beach, north of the Ward Ave ramp and the SNOWY PLOVERs fence. The birds were together north of the SNPL hangout, but south of Fen Creek mouth, which is the wide, dry opening south of Inglenook Creek. Just guessing, but it may be 1 1/2 miles walk north of the Ward Ave ramp. Angela said that 3 of the Amer Avocets were still in partial breeding plumage. -- For Angela Liebenberg, Karen Havlena

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 -- Garcia River mouth, Point Arena. This morning at 11:30 there were 2 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS with a large flock of WESTERN SANDPIPERS and SANDERLINGS at the mouth of the Garcia River. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Fri-Sat, 20-21 Aug 2010 -- Toby Tobkin has noticed early ducks arriving with the N Shoveler at Caspar Pond (Sat) and a N Pintail at Hare Creek on Friday. Also, the Greater White-fronted Goose at the UWTP last week (CEV) seemed to be early. Maybe it summered in a somewhat local spot and is just now getting the urge to move on. Jim just arrived home from Minnesota, where he noted a lack of ducks for mid-August. He did see a pair of Eastern Kingbirds in West Minnesota three days ago (and they are supposed to be regular, early migrants). It is a different type of year.
I talked with Becky about her 82 Caspian Terns flying south along Ten Mile beach. I saw at least half of them from my living room window. In just a few minutes Friday afternoon, I saw about 45 CATEs flying by heading south towards Becky. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 21 Aug 2010 -- This morning there was a SEMPALMATED SANDPIPER on the sludge lagoon at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. It was with three juvenile Western Sandpipers and tended to keep out of sight in the vegetation. On the north percolation pond there was a fly-by SEMIPALMATED PLOVER seen and heard well. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 21 Aug 2010 -- Today at Caspar Creek, Toby Tobkin observed a LESSER YELLOWLEGS. At Caspar Pond off Highway 1, she spotted a NORTHERN SHOVELLER. -- Becky Bowen for Toby Tobkin

Fri, 20 Aug 2010 -- Toady I birded along (actually _in_) the Eel River at Benmore Creek below Scott Dam in Lake County. I had a flock of 11 PURPLE MARTINS circling above the site, an AMERICAN DIPPER flying downstream, and an adult BALD EAGLE overhead. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 20 Aug 2010 -- On an SOS survey [today] at Ten Mile Beach (between 1-3 p.m.), I saw 82 CASPIAN TERNS flying in small groups, hunting in surf, and gathering in a large group near Ward Avenue. Conditions were sunny to foggy and stiff wind. There were more that I didn't count. They were all flying south and I could hear them flying by when I was shooting pictures. -- Becky Bowen

Thu, 19 Aug 2010 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called to say that a LESSER YELLOWLEGS was at Hare Creek mouth, just south of the intersection of Hwy 1 and Hwy 20, at the south edge of Fort Bragg. There were also other Western and Least Sandpipers and a Semipalmated Plover or two around. The current access is from the south side of the Hare Ck bridge. Turn west on Cypress and veer right again. Look for a fence with a break. The trail is narrow and wet, due to a seep or spring. Use extreme caution navigating this trail. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Wed, 18 Aug 2010 -- Meandering along the Caspar Frontage Road (turn left at the end of the main street - you can't miss it!) Wednesday early afternoon, found a WESTERN KINGBIRD perched on a power line above the grassy field along the north side of the road. Sharing the wire were apparent juvenal Western Bluebirds in various stages of disheveled molts. They were having great luck getting grubs and larvae from the field below them. -- Jessica Morton

Tue, 17 Aug 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I birded the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning. I could not refind the 3 White-faced Ibis that Steve Stump reported yesterday. However, I did find a juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the S edge of the N pond. It was with about 15 Least Sandpipers, foraging along the thin exposure of mud there. That is presently the only mud out there! There were also 5 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 1 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, all first of fall birds for me. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 -- Kelly Austin reports a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW singing in Redwood Valley. This is a very early arrival date!

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Steve Stump reports that there were 3 WHITE-FACED IBIS at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant oxidation ponds at 1 pm today (5 minutes ago). The birds were on the dike bordering the south edge of the middle oxidation pond. They were with the Mallards and Double-crested Cormorants beyond the sprinklers. -- Chuck Vaughn for Steve Stump

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 -- Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken report three WILSON'S PHALAROPES at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant.

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 -- On Sunday the 15th, Doug and I canoed to the large grebe colony at Anderson Marsh. We saw an AMERICAN BITTERN and two COMMON MOORHENS at the south end of the island at the south end of Clear Lake. At the grebe colony we saw four adult (two male, two female) with four downy young RUDDY DUCKS, providing one of the few breeding records for the county. In the afternoon we canoed to the large colony of nesting grebes on floating mats of algae at the north end of the lake, near the mouth of Rodman Slough. A juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was standing alone on a thick mat of algae a few hundred yards from shore, allowing us to approach amazingly close. We also scoped Borax Lake from the road, spotting a single DOWITCHER (species unidentified) and a bunch of peeps, but nothing else unusual.
If you're wondering why we're spending so much time out on the lake, it's because we're contracted by the Redbud Audubon Society to study nesting Aechmophorus grebes. While studying the grebe colonies we encountered a few oddities that may interest some of you. A PIED-BILLED GREBE chick was alone and appeared to be abandoned in a nest within the midst of the Aechmorphorus grebe colony at Rodman's Slough on Friday the 13th, and on Sunday the 15th we noticed two smaller eggs among three much larger eggs in a nest in the Anderson Marsh colony. We suspect the eggs were dumped by PIED-BILLED GREBES and the chick was abandoned after it had hatched.
Finally, we have a bizarre ornithological mystery to contemplate: on Sunday the 15th, we found a dead juvenile CALIFORNIA GULL beside an Aechmophorus grebe nest with 11 entire, unbroken eggs at the edge of the colony on floating algal mats at the north end of the lake. We wondered how the 11 eggs got to the nest, whether a gull could carry them without breaking them, and whether the gull had been fatally speared from beneath by grebes defending their nests. Any thoughts? -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 -- Hi all, Some of you have heard, but I thought I would let others know. [On the 15ty] we had a possible RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD at our feeder in Little River. Some of the pictures look pretty interesting, but I was not able to see or photograph the primaries of the suspect bird. Peter Pyle reviewed the photos last night and is not entirely convinced. I am attempting to see the bird and photograph it again today, but have not been successful in seeing the bird. It is not helping that our deck is being power washed at the moment. They'll be done in a couple of hours and then I will spend some time trying to get another look. If it shows up again, I'll let you all know. -- Ron LeValley

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 -- While crossing the Ten Mile R. bridge today, I spotted a large group of gulls and terns on the sandy, south shore west of the bridge. With my scope I counted (3 times) a total of 44 CASPIAN TERNS, and over 60 CALIFORNIA GULLS. That is the largest group of Caspian Terns I have seen in Mendocino County. That is probably not a record number of CATEs for MEN, but it's more than I usually see on Ten Mile (river and beach). I checked carefully, but there were only the two species present in the group. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 13 Aug 2010 -- On Friday the 13th, Doug Weidemann and I joined Brad and Kathy Barnwell at Lakeport and we canoed (Doug and I) or kayaked (Brad and Kathy) on Clear Lake south to Corinthian Bay. At Manning Creek we found a juvenile WILSON'S PHALAROPE swimming out on the lake. At Rumsey Slough we found two LEAST BITTERNS and a female NORTHERN SHOVELER. We also encountered 19 scattered nests of WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES, mostly at Rumsey Slough. In the afternoon Doug and I saw another LEAST BITTERN--our third for the day--at Rodman Slough.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 -- On Tuesday the 10th, Doug Weidemann and I explored Long Tule Point along the west shore of Clear Lake by canoe. Although we didn't find any grebe nests, we saw a LEAST BITTERN, a juvenile WILLET (found by Doug) in an unusual habitat--standing at the edge of the reeds--and a MARBLED GODWIT (found by Doug) flying overhead.
At Borax Lake we were joined by Nick Shepherd and saw six WILSON'S PHALAROPES, two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and two LESSER YELLOWLEGS. We couldn't relocate the SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER but didn't have much time to look at the peeps, because a gentleman who owned the land politely asked us to leave so we couldn't sue him if we got injured. It was the first time in dozens of visits that I had ever been asked to leave, so be aware that it might happen to you if you hike out to the shore of the lake. Luckily Nick found a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER in the morning and showed me some excellent photos that he had taken. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 09 Aug 2010 -- Virgin Creek Beach north of Fort Bragg has good birding right now--in spite of a large sea lion carcass that has been on the beach for about a week. Today after 1 p.m. (at the north end of the beach), we spotted another PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER, and a large number of Black-bellied Plovers, Black Turnstones, a Spotted Sandpiper, Marbled Godwits, Surfbirds and 21 Least Sandpipers as well as other shorebirds. Don't be discouraged by fog or the carcass. -- Becky Bowen

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 -- New weekend hours for the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant are 7AM to 10AM.
Chuck and Barbara Vaughn, Matt Brady, Geoff Heinecken, and I saw a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE resting with a flock of CANADA GEESE on the bank of the north pond this morning. -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 -- Purple Martins have been seen consistently along University Road east of Hopland throughout this summer period (June, July) and into early August. PUMA have been at this location in late summers/fall in prior years, but this year we have confirmed at least two active nests. I saw one another power pole has a probable nest confirmed by the female dive-bombing me. We actually suspect possible second-nesting (this season) in the one cavity. There have been as many as 10 birds confirmed at one time. It is great to have this species nesting in the inland part of the county with the only other past inland nestings that I know of were at 1) a power pole on the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, and 2) near the Eel River Bridge near Van Arsdale Dam. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 -- Dear Birders, Today I counted 15, and possibly 17, PURPLE MARTINS on the telephone wire and on a lowland fir snag next to my house. They obviously had success raising young in the cavities built into the new Ten Mile Bridge for martins and bats. This is great news since I counted only 6 birds last year. -- Erica Fielder

Fri, 06 Aug 2010 -- On Friday the [6th], Doug Weidemann and I joined the Barnwells to check up on two large nesting colonies of WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES at Rodman Slough--one a few hundred yards north of the bridge in the slough, the other on floating mats of algae on the lake several hundred yards south of the mouth of Rodman Slough. Karen Barnwell pointed out to us a LEAST BITTERN about 100 yards north of the bridge at Rodman Slough.
Later in the day Doug and I birded Borax Lake where we saw 17 CINNAMON TEAL (one with a slightly shorter bill and more contrasting face may have been a BLUE-WINGED, but we weren't convinced), one SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, seven WILSON'S PHALAROPES and 11 hungry AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS.
Doug and I found another large colony of nesting grebes in Anderson Marsh. Between Redbud Park and Anderson Marsh we saw two BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS in a novel habitat--standing on floating mats of algae in the middle of the lake! Four CASPIAN TERNS were flying around the area. -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 05 Aug 2010 -- There was a single BAIRD'S SANDPIPER with a few WESTERN SANDPIPERs south of Fen Ck mouth and north of the (9) SNOWY PLOVERS fenced area. Today was surely different from Tuesday, having less species diversity. Tuesday's birds included RUDDY TURNSTONES and BLACK TURNSTONES, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER and WILLET, but none of them were around here this morning.
A WANDERING TATTLER and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER were on the rocky (north) side of Ten Mile river mouth. SANDERLINGs are looking quite beautiful in half-molt between breeding and basic plumage, showing silver, black and white on their backs and wings. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 --[This] evening Doug Weidemann and I saw one SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, two juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, nine WILSON'S PHALAROPES and an adult BALD EAGLE at Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 -- A molting PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER has been at Virgin Creek beach for a week (since 28 Jul), but somehow it never got reported to this listserv. The bird was found by Sal Salerno of Stanislaus County. The bird has been seen and photographed by several local birders. Toby Tobkin called to tell me that it is still here. Now, it will probably leave tonight..... For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Sun, 01 Aug 2010 -- Sad to say I found a dead Rhinoceros Auklet on Caspar beach. Aug 1 Is any one, or a group, taking records of coastal moralities? -- Gunn --[As I recall there used to be a group recording coastal moralities, but they were able to discover so few that they abandoned the endeavor within a few weeks. It was found that moralities tend to be a bit higher here on the north coast than in southern California, but this was finally and reluctantly attributed simply to climatic variations. Skinny-dipping here in our tidal pools, for example, tends to be both quite cold and uncomfortably abrasive, and thus is seldom practiced. It is certainly something that many birders will want to be on the look-out for - coastal morality, that is. -- Vishnu]

Sat, 31 Jul 2010 -- 31 July 2010 - Greg Giusti reports getting a very close and good look at a LEAST BITTERN on Quercus Point while bass fishing. He said that he was able to get very close to it before it descended back into the tules. Good Birding. -- Posted for Greg by Bob Keiffer.

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 -- 29 July 2010 - While collecting native grass seeds for a researcher in one of the ungrazed units of the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center I happened across a RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW nest with about 1-week old nestlings. I discovered the nest by seeing one of the adults leave the nest. Even though nesting has been confirmed in the past by several observers watching adults feed fledged young, this is only the second actual nest ever documented in Mendocino County. The first was also at UC-HREC last year, but at a much lower elevation.
The nest is in an area dominated by blue oaks with broken canopy and mainly a grass understory of native bunch grasses and exotic annual grasses. Within 10 feet in any direction the understory is 100% coverage mainly dominated by annual grasses, but where the nest actually occurs is within a small area of maybe 20% ground cover, and that is comprised of spsarse native bunch grass clumps. The nest is tucked under the edge of one of those clumps. Aspect is WSW (hot exposure) and slope is about 35% and elevation 2100'. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue 27 Jul 2010 -- Hello all. I, too, visited the USTP today, though between 11:10 and 12:20. I did NOT see the Ibis, which is unfortunate, as it would still be a Mendocino County bird for me. However, I did note seven (7) Least Sandpipers, one (1) Western Sandpiper, one (1) Spotted Sandpiper, one (1) Long-billed Dowitcher, one (1) Lesser Yellowlegs and one (1) BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. All were along the edge of the north pond, and all were, as far as I could tell, adults still mostly in alternate plumage. Also of note were three (3) Green Herons, one (1) Yellow-breasted Chat (still singing) and one (1) Pacific-slope Flycatcher calling along the Russian River. -- Matt Brady, Potter Valley

Tue, 27 Jul 2010 -- A WHITE-FACED IBIS was found this morning at the Ukiah Treatment Ponds by Paul Hawks. The bird was still there this afternoon at the "entrance pond ". There was also a Golden Eagle seen flying high over the ponds. This morning there were 4 Least Sandpipers, a Long-billed Dowitcher and the continuing Lesser Yellowlegs. -- Jerry and Nikki White

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 -- Birded at Borax Lake today in Lake Co. The lake is a short distance north of the town of Clearlake. During two visits to Borax Lake today I saw 4 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, KILLDEER and about 50 LEAST SANDPIPERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. These birds were all at the south end of the lake on the peninsula that goes north into the lake. -- John Luther, Oakland

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 -- Sal Salerno, Stanislaus Audubon, and wife Barbara joined the Save Our Shorebirds survey late this morning at Virgin Creek Beach just north of Fort Bragg. We saw six RUDDY TURNSTONES and large numbers of SURFBIRDS and BLACK TURNSTONES as well as WESTERN SANDPIPERS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, SANFERLINGS, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS and a few HEERMANN's GULLS. It's a good time to be out there. -- Becky Bowen

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 -- Gualala River to Alder Creek : Rich Kuehn and I did an informal shorebird survey starting at the Gualala River and working our way as far north as Alder Creek. We had a single GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Cook's Beach which is accessed off road 526 across from St. Orre's restaurant. At several pulloffs along Highway 1 we saw WANDERING TATTLERS (a surprising total of at least 10 for the day), BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and BLACK TURNSTONES. At Hearn Gulch Beach we had a single RUDDY TURNSTONE. At Alder Creek beach there were many KILLDEERS, a few SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, a small flock of WESTERN SANDPIPERS and what must have been a small group of SANDERLINGS in alternate plumage that, due to their relative apparent size and bright red coloration, had us initially thinking Red Knot (not). Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 -- Today, on the way back from Santa Rosa, I stopped at Comminsky Station Road to check for the INDIGO BUNTING. Being Sunday, there were a lot of people along the river, but the bunting was there just to the south of the cable across the river. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I met Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning for some birding around the oxidation ponds. There were some birds of local interest. An adult m NORTHERN PINTAIL, already in mostly basic plumage, was on the north pond. The 4 GREATER SCAUP (2 m, 2 f), which have spent the summer out there, were still present. An adult f RUDDY DUCK was leading 6 downy young around the middle pond. Cheryl and I have seen them previously on July 18. This is the only place they are known to breed in Mendocino County, and this is the fifth consecutive year they have bred successfully there. There were 16 SNOWY EGRETS around the edges of the middle and north ponds. This is the largest number we remember seeing inland. They were accompanied by a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, another locally rare bird in the summer. Finally, there was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS on the edge of the north pond with the usual assortment of peeps. The only shorebird habitat out there presently is along the edge of the north pond. I think that they have given up on their efforts to drain the south pond, so mud is at a premium. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 23 Jul 2010 -- [Today] there were two BLACK-NECKED STILTS at Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 -- Today at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there was a female RUDDY DUCK with six very small downies in the middle pond. This is one of the few breeding records of this species in Mendocino County. On the north pond there was a handful of LEAST SANDPIPERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 4 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, and 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS -- George Chaniot

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 -- On Tuesday the 20th, Doug Weidemann and I found an adult male WILSON'S PHALAROPE, a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and a PHAINOPEPLA at Borax Lake. On Friday the 16th, two female-type CINNAMON TEAL were at Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 -- Two ELEGANT TERNS were on the beach north of Inglenook Creek mouth with a small flock of gulls. They were agitated by the incoming tide and flew in low circles, landing and circling. After a few minutes, the terns flew north into the light fog. Perhaps they will be in Humboldt Co tomorrow.
Six unbanded SNOWY PLOVERS were just north of the symbolic fenced area. This is about 200 yards north of the Ward Ave ramp, Cleone. One RUDDY TURNSTONE was nearby. Three CASPIAN TERNS flew south near this spot. About 2-miles north at Inglenook Crk mouth, I saw two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS. They were so tame, I had a difficult time getting them to call. (Actually, one was definitely a Long-billed, while the other could have been a Short-billed -- it never called and was molting)..
Interestingly, this morning had only 11 WHIMBREL during my entire 4+ mile walk on Ten Mile beach. On Tuesday, I saw 47 Whimbrels!! Chuck and Barbara Vaughn came over from Ukiah to look for some of the above-mentioned shorebirds. I told them I thought Tuesday's WHIM count was in the high '20's, but it really was 47. What a difference in only 2 days. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 -- If you're looking for Ruddy Turnstones, now is the time to see them in MacKerricher State Park. For the last week, our surveyors have seen from 3-5 at Virgin Creek Beach (north end of beach) and 3-4 on the beach and on off-shore rocks near the Ward Avenue ramp at Ten Mile Beach. Very colorful. Very beautiful. Also good numbers of Black Turnstones and Surfbirds. -- Becky Bowen

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 -- I was told by Becky Bowen that Monday (7/19), she saw my 3 RUDDY TURNSTONES near Ward Ave, and just a few minutes later, she saw 5 at Virgin Creek beach. That is only two, well-covered beaches in a short period of time, to have eight RUTUs. Wonder how many RUTUs are actually at other coves and small beaches along the coast? -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 -- Three RUDDY TURNSTONES and the continuing three SNOWY PLOVERS were on Ten Mile beach this morning. The RUTU's ranged up and down the beach, getting pushed around by joggers and walkers. The birds were generally with Black Turnstones, Sanderlings, Whimbrels and Western Sandpipers, and they were seen from close to Ward Ave up about a 1.5 miles north. I added Willet, Spotted Sandpiper and both species of Turnstone to my list for this summer survey season. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 16 Jul 2010 -- Hello all. The COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD that has been frequenting Cherie Foster's house in Talmage (Mendocino County, for the county birders) showed well today, despite the heat of the afternoon. To get directions or updates to Cherie's house, give her a call at (707) 462-3339. She's very friendly, and completely accommodating. She also said that she's been having some HOODED ORIOLES coming around the feeders, though I did not see them. -- Matt Brady

Wed, 15 Jul 2010 -- This morning I had two VESPER SPARROWS along the north fence of the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. They were first on the ground along the road, flew to the fence, and then disappeared into the weeds beyond the fence. George Chaniot

Wed, 15 Jul 2010 -- Shorebirds are sporadically visiting Borax Lake in Lake County, which has excellent habitat--unlike Clear Lake, which has high water levels. On Thursday the 8th I photographed a partially-molted adult BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER as it circled the lake a couple of times. Unfortunately I did not see it land. I also flushed a CINNAMON or BLUE-WINGED TEAL. On Friday the 9th, Doug Weidemann and I tallied 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 110 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and 15 LEAST SANDPIPERS. However, yesterday the 13th we saw only about a dozen distant peeps. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 13 Jul 2010 -- This morning, I saw my first SNOWY PLOVER of the season standing right by a pole holding the symbolic fence north of Ward Ave on Ten Mile beach. Shorebird numbers have increased quite a bit since last week. (Last Thursday, 7/8, Jim saw a MARBLED GODWIT at Inglenook Ck, but it has moved on). Other birds that I had: 2 Peregrine Falcons, 27 Whimbrels, 12 Sanderlings, 79 Western Sandpipers, 7 Least Sandpipers, 1 Caspian Tern, 5 Killdeer (3 were chicks), 3 Ospreys, 53 Heermann's Gulls, 24 Western Gulls, and 18 California Gulls.
The Snowy Plovers should build well into the teens and twenties in August and September. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 11 Jul 2010 -- "Toby" Tobkin and I went to Russian Gulch to try for the BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (a Mendocino first record) seen on the 2 previous days. We got there fairly early but still found Chuck Vaughn coming down the trail from his brief but successful viewing as we were going up. I heard the warbler even before we got to the correct spot (see previous postings). We caught up with Ruth Rudesill a Sonoma County birder who also heard it. The bird then went silent for sometime. Jim and Karen Havlena joined the group and with the sun coming out the warbler started singing again and all the group finally got fair looks at the bird. We all left a little after 11:00 AM. The warbler was always high in the trees so take a neck pillow with you if you're going to try it. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 10 Jul 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Ruth Rudesill of Sonoma County reports that the male INDIGO BUNTING continued along Comminsky Station Road [today] (July 10). Ruth also saw a female INDIGO BUNTING in the same area. -- Chuck Vaughn for Ruth Rudesill

Sat, 10 Jul 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Jerry and Nikki White refound the adult male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER in Russian Gulch SP between 3:30 and 3:45 this afternoon. This is the same bird found yesterday at 1:30 pm by Matt Victoria as reported on Mendobirds earlier today. Jerry and Nikki suggest that the total walk in is closer to 1.5 to 1.75 miles and takes about 45 minutes leisurely walking. The bird was found at the first bridge above the fork in the trail, and is much easier heard than seen. -- Chuck Vaughn for Jerry and Nikki White

Sat, 10 Jul 2010 -- Win Bowen took a photo of a RIG-NECKED PHEASANT that wandered into a Caspar neighborhood on the coast about 1 p.m. this afternoon. -- Becky Bowen

Fri, 09 Jul 2010 -- Covelo, M1, Spruce Grove : Jim and Karen Havlena and I headed up to the mountains via Covelo and had a very successful outing. We met at Willits at 7a and drove to Covelo stopping along the way at the favorite bridge of the WHITE-THROATED SWIFT near Dos Rios on 162. The first swift was seen within a couple minutes and at least 2 birds were present. We then headed up towards the mountains stopping along the way to check for CANYON WREN along the middle fork of the EEL River near the Eel River Campground. And, just as Jerry reported, we heard a single bird calling to the north across the river from the end of the trail. It took about 15 minutes to finally hear the bird.
Our first stop on the way up M1 was prompted by a small bird flitting across the road. It ended up being unidentifiable but we did find a DUSKY FLYCATCHER right next to the road. We continued on up and again stopped for a flying bird that ended up being the first of several WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS. Also, on our way up we saw and heard at least 2 GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES.
At Spruce Grove Campground we finally saw and heard MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES which were unusually scarce on the way up. Around the campground area we saw 2 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES, a CASSIN'S FINCH, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, and 2 HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS. WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS were common and active at the campground.
On our way down we were stoked to have a young (first or second year probably) Black Bear directly in front of us in the middle of the road. Evidently Jerry doesn't have exclusivity on bear adventures and, unlike Jerry, we were not intimidated as we neared the bear. OK, we were in a car. Whatever. -- Good Birding, Rich Trissel

Fri, 09 Jul 2010 -- South of Hopland : The INDIGO BUNTING was still at his favorite spot at 6:45p.m. Good Birding, Rich Trissel

Fri, 09 Jul 2010 -- Talmage : I saw the COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD yesterday evening at the Foster's at 5:45p.m. Good Birding, Rich Trissel

Thu, 08 Jul 2010 -- This evening I heard a RING-NECKED PHEASANT crowing in a field along West Road in Potter Valley. Later, Pat and Jack Brown, who were working in the same field, told me they had seen it. They said it was the first one they had seen there in "a hundred years." -- George Chaniot

Tue, 06 Kul 2010 -- A visiting birder from Santa Barbara, Matt Victoria, called me to report he had a singing BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER at Russian Gorge State Park (between Ft Bragg and Mendocino) [today] at 1:30. Directions: Park at the Fern Canyon trail head. Walk towards the waterfall till you come to a fork after 1.3 miles. At the fork, take the short loop trail (left). The bird was singing at the very next bridge. -- Hugh Ranson, Santa Barbara

Tue, 06 Jul 2010 -- I saw the COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD this morning at the Foster's home in the Talmage area. There was also an adult male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and one of their resident HOODED ORIOLES. -- Jerry White

Mon, 05 Jul 2010 -- Today,at about 8 a.m. I found an adult male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD sitting on our clothesline. He has spent the day here. I am hoping this is the same bird that spent 2 months here last summer and that he will stay around this year. Anyone wishing to see a Costa's in Mendocino county may call to see if he has stayed around. -- Cherie Foster 462-3339 / / Talmage area.

Sat/Sun, 3 and 4 July 2010 -- Yesterday and today, an adult BALD EAGLE is east of the bridge at Ten Mile River. It is perching low on snags in the river. I saw it both yesterday (sorry) and today. Dorothy Tobkin came up and saw it today, as well. She said she could see it clutching "arrows in its talons" and I said it was wearing a red, white and blue scarf ......... Happy 4th !!
Also, there are two CEDAR WAXWINGS west of the bridge near the large sign about the dunes and Inglenook Fen. They were first seen Monday, 28 JUNE and Tues, 29 June by both Becky Bowen and myself. Odd spot. -- Karen Havlena, Dorothy Tobkin, and Becky Bowen

Sun, 04 Jul 2010 -- Hi All, Just returned from a wonderful 9 days in Canadian Rockies with grandson and family so today (July 4) was my first chance to look for blue (I know today I should have been looking for red, white and blue) in Mendo. The bird did not disappoint me. It took me about 15 minutes, but at 8:35 AM I finally found the male INDIGO BUNTING near the end of Comminsky Station Road off highway 101 as reported by others. It was on the west side of the dirt road in the large willow just north of the cable that crosses the river. This is the closest point in Mendocino Co from my home - nice find by Dan Nelson! -- John Luther, Oakland

Sat, 03 Jul 2010 -- I went up to The Shoals (off the large vista point south of Westport on Highway One) and noticed, for the first time (for me) Cliff Swallows actually nesting on the cliffs above the water and behind and below the sandstone 'sentry' rock. The nests face south and are sheltered from the winds by the sheer overhang above. They seemed to be thriving. I wonder if this is part of the colony that was displaced at the Ten Mile Bridge to the south? Anyone know? -- Lisa Walker

Sat, 03 Jul 2101 -- Finally got up to Mendocino Co. today to see the INDIGO BUNTING at the end of Comminsky Station Rd. just north of the Sonoma-Mendocino Co. border. He did not fail me. I saw him in the large live oak on the east side of the road. Also there were 4 BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS.
andnbsp Then, following the excellent directions on birding the Mendocino National Forest put up by the Peregrine Audubon Society of Ukiah, I birded along Etsel Ridge and M1. Even though it got fairly warm, and I didn't get up there until 10:00, I had a great time. At Grizzly Flat, new for me were the RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. FOX SPARROWs were singing the entire day, and WESTERN TANAGERS were everywhere. At Mp 17.2, there was the first of many MOUNTAIN CHICKADEEs and a NASHVILLE WARBLER. I found the first GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE at Mp 18.4 and a calling DUSKY FLYCATCHER at Mp 24.5. 2 LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were at Mp 25.9 and Spruce Grove had a pair of WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS and 1 calling and 2 silent, but probable, HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS. A male PILEATED WOODPECKER flew down the road into Spruce Grove in front of my car.
andnbsp I had to turn back after Spruce Grove as I had a long drive home. On the way back out, I stopped to try and find a bird I had seen fly across the road. A Red-breasted Nuthatch set up quite a racket and a male GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET came in to see what all the fuss was about. The last bird was a male MOUNTAIN QUAIL that darted from the road as I drove by. [Forgot to mention the 5 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS that were flying over Round Valley as I was coming down the hill toward the Eel River.] -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Fri, 02 Jul 2010 -- I was at Spruce Grove from before dusk till after 11:00 PM Thursday but had no luck there. Then while owling on M1 between Spruce Grove and M61 I had a calling FLAMMULATED OWL at 12:15 AM this morning. -- Jerry White

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 -- This morning I met up with Jerry White to do some mountain birding. We met at the intersection of M1 and M61 and immediately found a TOWNSEND SOLITAIRE. We found at least 4 of these birds with the others being near Hull Mtn. At Spruce Grove (my first visit there)at least 3 HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS were briefly seen but well heard. There were numerous WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS at this location as well as other places along our route. GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES (we saw or heard 8-10)were numerous with the first being around the wet meadow at the entrance to Spruce Grove. DUSKY FLYCATCHERS (we had at least 3) were first found at Windy Gap. CASSIN'S FINCH were the hardest to locate. We finally heard one or two near Hull Mtn. Other birds of interest was a OSPREY flying over "Brushy Point" and at least one but likely two MACGILLVAY'S WARBLERS at "Windy Gap". Jerry said that he had never seen these birds at these locations. He also said to mention that we saw 2 RED-BRESTED SAPSUCKERS because he knew someone who didn't have them on their Mendo List. For how to get to these places see the Peregrine Audubon Society Website under "Birding Hot Spots" Mendocino National Forest.
M1 from it's intersection with M61 to Hull Mtn is open but rough going in spots. You can get to the top of Hull Mtn with 4 wheel drive. Thanks to Chuck and George (they cleared some down trees) you can get to Spruce Grove.
As a side note--the light in the radio in my truck has not worked for years. I could never see which channel the radio was on. After a day on M1 and other local roads up there, when I went to turn it on, the light worked. I do have a few more rattles.
Jerry said numerous times that the birds weren't singing like they were just 6 days ago. I left him still searching for a Black-chinned Sparrow. He was going to do an over nighter at Spruce Grove to listen for a Flammulated Owl. He will have to report on that effort. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 1 Jul 2010 -- This morning I seized a window of opportunity and went to look for the INDIGO BUNTING on Comminsky Station Road. I found it at 07:35 after about a half-hour of searching. Today it was in the fennel next to the cable across the river. There was also a family of four BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS in the area, and an adult BALD EAGLE flew up the Russian River while I was there -- George Chaniot

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 -- Chuck Vaughn, Karen Havlena, and myself found the previously posted INDIGO BUNTING this morning at approx. 10:00AM. It's location was on the road about 60 to 70 yards from the parking lot. There was a small turnout and a river transfer bucket just next to the area. The Bunting was mostly above the road in the Oaks and Poison Oak. I've posted one picture. It looks to be still molting. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 -- Geoff and Cheryl Heineken, Roger Foote and I went down to see the INDIGO BUNTING as posted by Jerry White and first seen by Dan Nelson. We looked for about an hour before finally finding it just where it was supposed to be. WOW! Beautiful male! It was on the south facing slope between the end of the road parking lot and the Russian River. It was flying back and forth over the trail by the large slideout. We first saw it at 8:35 pm and watched it for about 10 minutes as we were slowly losing light.
Other birds included: 3 Double-crested Cormorants, 6 W Scrub Jays, 7 Common Ravens, 8 N Rough Winged Swallows, 200 Cliff Swallows, 3 Turkey Vultures, 1 Black Phoebe, 5 Goldfinch Spp., 2 Song Sparrows, 3 Common Mergansers, 3 Mallards, 1 Oak Titmouse, and 1 CA Quail. -- Dave Bengston

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 -- Last night Dan Nelson posted to the N.Calif.Birdbox a report of an INDIGO BUNTING in Mendocino County. He first heard it on June 15 and saw it on a later date. This morning Jerry White found the bird again, and it is apparently on territory and likely to stick around.
The location is just off Route 101 in southern Mendocino County about 2-3 miles north of the Sonoma border. Take the Comminsky Station Road exit, turn west and head south parallel to the freeway and the Russian River. The road ends shortly at a circular parking lot near a current monitoring station. The Indigo Bunting has been frequenting the dry south-facing hillside between the parking lot and the river. -- George Chaniot for Jerry White

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 -- This probably displays my ignorance, but what I just discovered on Caspar Beach goes a long way toward explaining the success of CANADA GEESE. All spring, I have been checking on the progress of two pairs of Canada geese, who have been co-habiting a quiet stretch of Caspar Creek, just below Pt.Cabrillo Drive. One pair produced 4 goslings, the other pair two. Some weeks ago the 4 were reduced to 3, but now all 5 are looking very much like adult geese. So 9 adult "looking" Canada geese continue to share the creek, nearly always in two family groups and can be found on the creek just west of Highway 1. The last couple of days none of them was in evidence, possibly for the first time all spring. Today I noticed they were back, but with two brand new fluffy yellow goslings. They seem to be the offspring of the pair that successfully raised 3 others this spring. I must say, I didn't know they could do that! Is this common? -- Susan Tubbesing

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 -- A birder from Pennsylvania reported a colony of 25 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the Covelo waste water plant

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 -- At 11:30AM today there were two first year BONAPARTE'S GULLS on Virgin Creek Beach. They are listed as rare during the summer. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 15 Jun 2010 -- A male HARLEQUIN DUCK has been hanging around the south side of the Noyo Bridge since last Thursday. He is often with a surf scoter. Here is a link to a photo. This is a different bird from the harlequin drake that lives back up the Noyo River near Dolphin Isle Marina. Happy Birding, -- Cate Hawthorn

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 -- Today I travelled up to the high mountains of Mendocino County entering from Lake County on roads M6 and M61. I was stopped by snow drifts on M61 about 1 mile or so from Bald Mt and road M1. From there I walked to M1 and then south to Spruce Grove. M1, besides a number of snow drifts, also had several trees down across the road. There were also trees down on the Spruce Grove entrance road.
Birds of interest seen and or heard on the trip were; Dusky Flycatchers, Green-tailed Towhees, White-headed Woodpeckers, and heard only on the walk in and the walk out was Northern Goshawk. Some other birds were Hermit Warblers, Fox Sparrows, Mt. Chickadees and Townsend's Solitaires.
Just after arriving at Spruce Grove (hoping to find Hammond's Flycatcher) I heard some loud noises from the forest on the far side of the meadow. Not long after a bear walked out onto the meadow heading in my general direction. I decided the flycatcher hunt would have to wait for another day. -- Jerry White

Sat, 12 Jun 2010 --This morning at around 10:39AM while birding the West end of the Little River Airport, I heard a bird singing that I knew wasn't local. It took me awhile to find it, but when I did, it turned out to be a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER doing it's nuthatch thing. It's location was on the outer south side of the first pond west of the airport. I followed it by sound towards the East end of the pond and then lost it. A summer first for Mendocino County?? -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 -- I heard COMMON NIGHTHAWK calling starting at about 8:40 PM from Road K, Albion Ridge. The abandoned trailer and any possible occupants must have been removed that day. Thanks to a call from Chuck Vaughn I saw the FORSTER'S TERN sitting on a levee at the Ukiah Treatment Ponds on Wednesday. On Thursday while watching the ocean from the Mendocino Headlands (very strong NW winds) at least 8 Heerman's Gulls flew by. Also there were 2 late migrating Brant. Other birds were a Northern Mockingbird at the Botanical Gardens on Tuesday and a Red-breasted Sapsucker at Chadbourne Gulch on Wednesday. -- Jerry White

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This has been the week for terns...there was an adult FORSTER'S TERN at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning. It was on the levee that goes directly east as you approach the oxidation ponds from the office area. It flew over the ponds several times and always returned to that spot. Other birds of local interest were 3 continuing GREATER SCAUP and single WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 07 Jun 2010 -- Heard a COMMON NIGHTHAWK calling from 8:41 to 8:54PM tonight while on K Road in Albion. K Road is 3.2 miles up Albion Ridge Road. It's on the right and marked by a "K" on a telephone pole. I parked just a short distance after turning on to K Road. Just far enough away from the abandoned trailer where a known "crazy" man lives. Just kidding!!! -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 06 Jun 2010 -- Floyd Hayes just called to report an adult male BLUE-WINGED TEAL (second summer record for Lake County) in the pond at the corner of Stokes Avenue and Lakeshore Blvd. This location is behind (south of) the Sentry Market on Highway 20. Access to Stokes Ave is from the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff. I also had another report (unconfirmed), of 2 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES at this same location about 2 weeks ago. -- Jerry White

The male BLUE-WINGED TEAL was with a male CINNAMON TEAL. Shortly afterward I saw an AMERICAN AVOCET in a wet field on the north side of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT in the patch of trees near the south end of Reclamation Road (east of the abandoned machinery). There are now thousands of Aechmophorus grebes on the lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 06 Jun 2010 -- Late this morning, Jim noticed an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER at the back of our yard in Ocean Meadows, north of Ten Mile R. I followed it around a couple of adjacent yards, getting very good looks at it.
KHv spoke with Richard Hubacek about his ATFL from Big River, Mendocino, two days ago. Apparently, most spring migrants look about the same, somewhat dull all over, including blaw wing bars. She tried to call "Prruuttt" to it, and it perked up, but never returned a call.
So, I agree with Richard that coastal MEN has had quite a few WEKI and now 3 ATFL. Perhaps this is due to the rains and more insects than the last 3 years here on the coast. (Not to mention more active birders on the MEN coast). -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 -- Finally got my Mendocino HOODED ORIOLE today. It was on Washo Dr., between Mohawk Dr. and Yaqui Dr. I saw one male but it was calling to another in the same area. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 -- Steve Stump found five BONAPARTE'S GULLS in the middle pond of the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant this morning. Three were in breeding plumage and two were on their way. By the time I arrived around 10AM only one gull remained. -- Cheryl Watson

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 -- A huge flock of BRANT Geese were at Virgin Creek today, both at the mouth of the creek as well as on some of the shoal rocks, grazing on the sea moss (among other things). Present with them were Black Oystercatchers, Surfbirds, and turning-to-breeding plumage Black Turnstones. -- Lisa Walker

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 -- Our feeders are currently graced by an aggressive group of Rufous hummers. Anyone who wishes a really good look at some stunning gold/orange gorgets is welcome to call and come by to enjoy them with us. There are at least 3 outstanding adult males with almost no green coloration anywhere. Call Cherie at 462-3339. -- Cherie Foster

Sat, 10 Apr 2010 -- I searched Virgin Creek Beach [this] morning with no luck. Somewhat later at 10 Mile Beach north of Ward Avenue I found the LONG-BILLED CURLEW with a flock of Whimbrels. This is very likely the same bird found the day before by Richard Hubacek. -- Jerry White

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 -- Early this afternoon I found a LONG-BILLED CURLEW at Virgin Creek. It was with about 13 WHIMBRELS and 1 MARBLED GODWIT. There was also a flock of SANDERLINGS and 2 WESTERN SANDPIPERS. There were lots of LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS at both Lake Cleone and Pudding Creek. I will post a couple of pictures of the CURLEW later. One will answer the question of how A CURLEW takes a drink of water. It's not easy. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 05 Apr 2010 -- Observed one individual by eye only Monday 5:30 on wire north of 10 Mile Bridge 1/4 mile or less down Camp 2 Rd. Can't say Northern Shrike or Loggerhead Shrike. Remembered a bird of interest was previously posted near that location. -- Gunn

Sun, 04 Apr 2010 -- First confirmation of a male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, with a solid orange back, at one of my feeders today. Cheers, Tim Bray

Sat, 03 Apr 2010 -- A breeding-plumage male HOODED ORIOLE briefly visited our yard in Albion this afternoon. Wish he'd stayed long enough for the camera! Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Sat, 03 Apr 2010 -- Late today I was sitting in a parking lot talking to a friend on my phone when I noticed a VARIED THRUSH on the car next to mine. It was hopping from the top of the right mirror to the edge of the door, looking at itself in the mirror and then jumping back up on the mirror again. It did this for quite a long time. Then it switched to the left mirror. I've seen cats do this with mirrors. Is this common with birds? -- Karin Wandrei

Sat, 03 April 2010 -- This afternoon, the female LONG-TAILED DUCK was still with the male Surf Scoter and Buffleheads west of the Ten Mile River bridge. It is sunny with very little breeze currently, so hurry..... Tomorrow, we should be having winds up to 28+ mph and some rain. Park on the north side of the bridge along Hwy 1, and look from the pedestrian walkway. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 02 Apr 2010 -- Dave Bengston reports seeing a male HOODED ORIOLE in his Ukiah yard today.

Fri, 02 Apr 2010 -- On Mountain House Road there was a flock of HOODED MERGANSERS on a farm pond that is visible from the road. This is about 2.9 miles from Hopland. I first found these birds on March 15th. Also seen (or heard) were CHIPPING SPARROWS and a LARK SPARROW.
Between Hopland and Ukiah on Hwy 101 a flock of blackbirds included a number of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS.
At the Ukiah Treatment Ponds the most interesting birds seen were a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a VAUX'S SWIFTt. The Vaux's Swift was with hundreds of swallows which included all 5 of the common species. The largest majority of these swallows were Northern Rough-winged Swallows, with good numbers of Tree Swallows. Other birds of general interest; Common Yellowthroats, Chipping Sparrows,and a Greater Yellowlegs. There were also 40-50 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the riparian corridor on the Russian River. -- Jerry White

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 -- This afternoon there was one COMMON MOORHEN at the 'rail pond' at the Mendocino College campus in Ukiah. -- George Chaniot and Joanne Haller

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 -- It looks like our favorite Laysan Albatross has left the water off the Point Arena Pier. I have had no sightings of Al since Mel Smith saw him the morning of 3/23/10. That is the same date he left last year, I believe. -- Jeanne Jackson

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 -- The female LONG-TAILED DUCK is still on the west side of Ten Mile R. bridge. There were storms all around when I went to look for the LTDU. I cajoled an approaching hail storm to stay back until I saw Ms Duck, and I safely made it into the garage at home!
While in Fort Bragg, I quickly walked down the Skunk RR tracks and played a tape of SORA. Jerry White had heard one last Saturday. I'm not sure where he had it, but it answered the call fairly close to the Rose Mem'l cemetery. That is such a nice, quiet spot, as long as the train isn't rattling by. Jerry thoroughly checked for the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and had NO luck. I believe that Richard Hubacek is the last person to see it on 4 March. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 30 Mar 2010 -- Jerry White told me that this would be an escaped bird and not countable but interesting to see nevertheless. It was reported to me by Paul and Sue Bleuss, and they initially thought it was a Mountain Quail. This morning they called to say that, no, it was a CHUKAR. I went to their yard to check, and it, indeed, was unmistakably a Chukar. I believe it is a female. Although the black border on the throat is very pronounced,I do not believe it extends far enough to be a male. Sue said the bird has been hanging out with a covey of Quail for over a week.
If anybody is interested in checking it out for the fun of it, the Bleuss residence is at 13529 Prather Road in the Adams Springs area off Hwy 175 between Loch Lomond and Cobb. If you are heading South on Hwy 175 you would turn left at the road that intersects Hwy 175 just below the steep grade past Loch Lomond. That is Adams Springs Road, but there is no visible sign. You proceed .2 of a mile turn R on Costello and then R on Prather Road.
If you are coming from the Middletown North on Hwy 175 you would turn R on Adams Springs Road. Here there is a prominent green highway seen that indicates Adams Springs. (Adams Springs road is a loop road that interesects Hwy 175 twice.) Continue for .3 mi, turn L on Costello and L on Prather Road.
I suggest parking in the area of 13355 Prather or just beyond that at Prather Court and walk up the hill to 13529. I located the Chukar with the covey of Quail in the manzanita undergrowth opposite the Bleuss residence. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 -- I did a bird walk Mar. 28 with staff at Navarro Winery near Philo, including some areas not generally available to the public, Notables were:
- Merlin - one pale bird foraging over the vineyards near the upper pond - the used area is possibly visible from the tasting room porch.
- Black-throated Gray Warbler - apparently an early migrant on east side of lower pond
- Chipping Sparrow - perched in wisteria arbor next to tasting room
Also,two pairs of Eurasian Collared Doves were courting in the area, the first I've seen here. A nice Allen's Hummingbird male was working the flowers around the parking area. Other standard species : Western Bluebirds, Ring-necked Ducks, Cooper's Hawk, Orange-crowned and Wilson's Warblers singing. Violet-green swallows seen, but no Barn Swallows or Cliff Swallows have arrived.
Also, I had 5 Brant at the Mendocino Headlands on 3/28, and saw the beginnings of the collection of Common Murres there yesterday evening, so evening use of the site described earlier by Ron LeValley appears to be continuing. -- Dan Airola, Sacramento

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 -- Today I headed out to coastal S. Mendocino county on a family trip trying to cram in as much birding as possible @ various stops along the way. The highlight was seeing (250+) BRANT migrating north in six groups from Point Arena Lighthouse, Schooner Gulch beach and Gualala River Mouth in the afternoon. There were (150+) scoter sp. observed migrating with the Brant as well, but only once were they close enough to ID to species and I saw only Surfs.
A male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER was preening in the shallows of the reef north of Schooner Gulch around 3:30 p.m. After about a half hour it took of and headed North. A female COMMON MERGANSER was near the bridge where HWY 1 crosses the Garcia River.
A flock of roosting (125+) SANDERLINGS on the rocks north of the Pt. Arena Lighthouse also had a single DUNLIN starting to grow in some black belly feathers and a WESTERN SANDPIPER. I looked through several dozen Black Turnstones south of the lighthouse and on the reef near Schooner Gulch but besides a few SURFBIRDS at the first spot and several BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS at both I didn't locate anything else of the rocky shorebird variety. (can anyone help this out-of-towner with directions to Virgin Creek Beach?)
A couple of other sightings of local interest were seeing a PILEATED WOODPECKER flying out in the open over Mountain View Rd about a 1/3 mile before it runs into HWY 1, well away from any sizable stands of trees and a MERLIN perched in a snag on Stoneboro Rd. that was a life bird for my brother and his girlfriend.
ORANGE-cROWNED WARBLERS were singing at just about every stop along the 120+ mile route through Mendocino county. In fact by the time we hit Gualala both my companions were calling out "orange-crown" and neither is a serious birder.
We also did a quick check of the waters off Pt. Arena fishing pier for the Laysan Albatross but it seems that "Al" has taken off for the breeding grounds. Oh well, just the excuse I need to trek back up here in the future :) Good birding, -- Dominik Mosur, San Francisco

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 -- Your directions were right on the mark for Virgin Creek Beach, where Friday morning, March 26, in the hour after high tide on the rocks just north of the beach there was a flock of 60 or so Black Turnstones (as reported earlier) and the ROCK SANDPIPER. As the tide dropped a bit, the birds worked their way northwards from one rock grouping to another. The Rock Sandpiper had some rufous on his back, the beginnings of a transition to breeding plumage? Just south of Laguna Point was another large flock of Black Turnstones, this time accompanied by a dozen or so Surfbirds. The rocks north of Mill Creek Drive had only Black Turnstones, although a sprinkling of Black Oystercatchers were at all the spots. -- Art Robinson, Oakland

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 -- I thought it might be interesting to see how the COMMON MOORHEN at Lake Cleone has aged in just over 3 months. I've downloaded a recent picture of the Moorhen I just took yesterday into my Common Moorhen album in the Photos section of this site. The other picture was taken on December 24, 2009. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 -- I witnessed a phenomenal event this evening. As I was driving home from Fort Bragg I detoured slightly to watch the sunset over the Mendocino Headlands. I pulled off near the offshore rocks were we counted the cormorants last year. There were a few hundred murres flying around the island. I took some photos and then watched the sunset and then the amazing thing happened. A least a thousands of murres were wheeling about the rocks and landing at the site of last year's cormorant nests. I took some more photos in late evening sunlight and then switched to video. I'll have to share that with you some day when I can! When looking at the video, I noticed that there was a Peregrine eating something on the rock behind the murres! It was probably a murre (or hopefully a pigeon!). Cool sight at a cool site. -- Ron LeValley

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 -- Becky Bowen saw a female LONG-TAILED DUCK on the west side of Ten Mile R. and asked me to look at it. This morning, Fri, 3/26, I went down to the bridge, and yes there was the LTDU. Becky saw it fly in with a Surf Scoter, but she was alone this morning. Construction makes for difficult parking. It is best to park on the north side of the bridge and walk out on the pedestrian walkway. Look west to the bend in the river. You will need a spotting scope. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to report that there is one ROCK SANDPIPER at Virgin Creek beach. It was seen at the north end of the main beach where the rocks begin. The ROSA was with other lingering shorebirds like Blk-bellied Plovers and Whimbrels. -- For Toby Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 -- I know that a few OSPREY will stay thru the Winter but it appears that the bulk of them are arriving back from their journey South. Had three flying and calling over my house at the Woods in Little River this morning. Had another on the Noyo today and one on the Navarro yesterday. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 -- [Today] I birded the two mountain roads M3 and Mendocino Pass Road. On M1 about .5 miles from the Eel River Station (thanks to George Chaniot and Chuck Vaughn for information on this location) there is a pullout/parking area and a trail down to the Eel River. As I got close to the river I heard a CANYON WREN calling from the north side of the Eel. I had tried this same location on March 10th (in the snow) and was not successful. On that date I did see 2 Rock Wrens (and a Bewick's Wren) on those same rock cliffs. Later on March 23rd, about 8 miles up M3 I had a NORTHERN GOSHAWK.
Other birds of general interest on the day were; 2 Townsends Solitaires on M1 and 2 more on Mendocino Pass Rd. A Cassin's Finch on M1. A small flock of Mt. Chickadees on each of the roads. Two Red-breasted Sapsuckers and 2 Pine Siskins at snow line on Mendocino Pass Road. -- Jerry White

Tue, 22 Mar 2010 -- 3/23/10 9:00 am Mel Smith checked at the Point Arena Cove and found Al, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS, peacefully floating on the water. He's still here. -- Jeanne Jackson

Tue, 22 Mar 2010 -- ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS have been terrorizing my place since mid-February. There was a big increase in numbers about 2 weeks ago. It's hardly safe to go outside right now. Saturday one tried to drink from my shirt (red patches in the plaid), then tried the (red fabric) wallet my wife was holding, then tried the (orange) AWD letters on the side of my van. Last Wednesday (March 17) there were TREE SWALLOWS at MCBG, and the Sunday before that (March 14) we saw VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS (ID by Toby) during the Van Damme birdwalk. Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Mon, 21 Mar 2010 -- I have had no sighting of Al since Tuesday, March 16th. Several birders looked long and hard yesterday, Sunday March 21, but there was no sign of our beloved Albatross. -- Jeanne Jackson

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 -- [Today] at the east end of Hunter's Lagoon in Manchester State Park I found (heard only) an AMERICAN BITTERN. It was first heard from the end of Barnegat Dr. To confirm I walked further east from that location. Later on the walk out to the Garcia River overlook, I came upon the 3 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS. On the beach at the Garcia River there was a flock of 9 "Black" Brant with the gull flock. Other birds of interest were first of the year arrivals (for me) Allen's Hummingbird and Barn Swallow. -- Jerry White

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 -- This afternoon there was a group of at least 93 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS in the blackberry patch by the 10707 mailbox on East Road in Potter Valley. They have nested at this site for the last two years. Males outnumbered females 7:1, and they were chorusing and displaying with their noisy caterwauling. There was no nest-building activity today. On the 17th I checked this spot and did not see a single Tricolored. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 -- At the Crofoot Ranch along Hwy 101 north of Hopland there were 3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, 5 CACKLING GEESE (Aleutians), and 1 female HOODED MERGANSER. At the Talmage Beckstoffer Pond there was 1 GREATER WHTE-FRONTED GOOSE. At the Gielow Lane Pond, south of Talmage along Old River Road, there were 2 female HOODED MERGANSERS, 4 COMMON MERGANSERS, 4 BUFFLEHEAD, 4 RING-NECKED DUCKS. At Oak Manor neighborhood, there were still at least 3 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS in the redwood roost trees on Yosemite/Washo. I sure there were more there but I hesitate to stop and gawk with binocs since it is in an urban subdivision. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 -- While my Anna's numbers have increased a little, along with feeder use, I have been seeing quite a few ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS here in SE Potter. These are not earliest records, but it is the first time I can remember the Selasphorus guys' outnumbering the Anna's. -- Jim Armstrong

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 -- This evening there was a GREEN HERON and a SORA at the 'rail pond' at Mendocino College. This is probably the earliest spring record on record - given the proviso that they are sometimes present on this same pond all winter. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 16 Mar 2010 -- This morning I was able to easily find the COMMON MOORHEN that has wintered at Lake Cleone. It was the only bird except for one coot visible at the West end of the lake. Note that the parking lot is still closed. Best to park at the visitor center. Also found 3 "singing" ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS. The first I've heard this year. Also had 2 WOOD DUCKS which I haven't seen there in some time.
At Virgin Creek Beach (Rocks, there's not much beach left)I was able to find a ROCK SANDPIPER amongst a large flock of BLACK TURNSTONES (60+). Also had 2 (male and female)HARLEQUIN DUCKS which I haven't seen much this winter. In fact I finally found 2 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS which have been absent there since the storms. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 -- Monday 3/15/10 - I'm happy to report that Al, the Laysan Albatross, is still in the waters of Point Arena Cove late this afternoon. After reading Bob's query I asked Mel Smith to take a look and he called to let us know Al's still "in town." -- Jeanne Jackson

Tue, 15 Mar 2010 -- I saw my first RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD of the season today in Brooktrails near Willits. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 -- Ralph Paulin reports that two GREAT BLUE HERON nests are being built in a pine tree on his property in Potter Valley. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 -- Our yard on Sanford Ranch Road has been visited twice recently by a female MERLIN. On 2-25-10 she came swooping in briefly and sat on the fence post outside the dining room window, very near the bird feeders. Today she arrived at the same spot just as the sun was breaking through for a few moments. She luxuriated in the warming rays, spreading her wings, fanning her tail and looking directly in the window at me from time to time. I stepped out onto the porch to take a photo and she just calmly watched me and looked around the yard in hopes of a meal. It sure was quiet outside, where only a few minutes earlier there had been more than 20 birds (mourning doves, quail, white-crown, golden crown and house sparrows, titmice, CA towhees, goldfinches, house finches and juncos) on the feeders and porch. Even the intrepid hummingbirds vanished. -- Cherie Foster-

Wed, 10 Mar 2010 -- Hello birders. I made a quick stop by the pond just north of the cemetery along West Road in Potter Valley. I was pleased to see 23 HOODED MERGANSERS (6 males and 17 females), as well as single pairs of CANADA GOOSE, RING-NECKED DUCK, MALLARD and AMERICAN WIGEON, as well as three pairs of BUFFLEHEADS. This is the same pond that hosted two male Eurasian Wigeons earlier this year. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 - For over 40 years I have kept an eye on a GREAT BLUE HERON nesting colony that is located near the Old river Road near Hopland. As a youngster, from around 1968 to 1974 I spent time watching this colony, even collecting egg shell fragments from the ground after the chicks hatched. During that era I recall numerous nests, definitely in excess of 40 or 50 nests atop the high Cottonwood trees. The Valley Oaks Ranch, which at the time was owned by Fred Haas, is the location of this colony, and is now owned by Browns Foreman Corp./Fetzer Winery. I knew Fred Haas personally, and Mr. Haas and I had a verbal agreement that the colony was important and was to be protected. After the Fetzer family purchased the Valley Oaks Ranch, I again, using the Peregrine Audubon Chapter as a platform, brought the nesting colony to the attention of John Fetzer and Paul Dolan. Under their direction, they agreed to protect the colony, and the Peregrine Audubon gave them a "Conservation Recognition Award". This important riparian grove is still undisturbed and protected by the current managers of the Browns Foreman Corp-Valley Oaks/Fetzer Winery.
In that early 1960s/1970s era I sadly visited the colony one time after poachers had illegally shot numerous adults from the nests with shotguns and the ground was littered with carcasses.
Over the years I have witnessed this nesting colony diminish in size, gradually dropping to fewer than 15 nests in recent years. What I saw today is even more shocking. I could find ZERO nests in the tall cottonwoods of the traditional riparian grove . a first to my knowledge. I did find two nests very near the Old River Road in a tall Calif. Valley oak tree, and another three nests that I could see at a distance to the east of the winery itself . again atop oak trees. Possible there are a few more that I could not see.
I cannot even guess as to why this change has taken place. I do know, that for some reason, the resident population of Great Blue Herons in the Sanel Valley has plummeted over the last 40 years. I speculate that it might have something to do with the change of waterflow and timing of waterflow in the Russian River but I cannot say for certain. there may be other factors like changes in ag land practices, changes in fish populations, a drop in open pasture land (where they feed for rodents, etc.). I do NOT think it has anything directly to do with the Brown-Foreman/Fetzer vineyards operation . as they are doing a great job of not disturbing this pristine riparian grove. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 -- I spent about an hour plus in the morning looking for and listening for Sooty Grouse in the vicinity of the second cattle guard on Low Gap Road with no success. Then on the drive back down towards Ukiah there was a male SOOTY GROUSE on the road. It immediately took flight and disappeared into the forest below. This was about 2.6 miles west of the intersection of Low Gap and Pine Ridge Road and about 0.5 miles west of milepost 16.97.
At the Ukiah Treatment Ponds there were 6 to 8 NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS; the first ones I had seen this year. -- Jerry White

Sun, 07 Mar 2010 -- John Luther, Nikki White and I tried this morning for the Swamp Sparrow at the Ukiah Treatment Ponds with no success. The best birds we found were CLIFF SWALLOWS, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS and a WILSON'S SNIPE. -- Jerry White

Sat, 06 Mar 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This morning at 8:45 I saw a SWAMP SPARROW at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. The bird was in the thick vegetation along the cyclone fence which borders the south levee from the (former) pear orchard to the south. The bird was half way down the levee, easterly, towards the Russian River. It was in the company of Lincoln's and Song Sparrows. Other birds of local interest out there were 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and at least 3 CLIFF SWALLOWS, the first I have seen this spring. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 05 Mar 2010 -- Today [at Ocean Meadows] there was a vagrant FOX SPARROW that had characteristics of both the Eastern RED and the Canadian SLATE-COLORED races. It was NOT just a P.i. zaboria.
If you look in your Sibley guide, he shows an intergrade between Red and Slate that hybridizes in the Canadian Rockies. The spotting on the white breast and belly was really RED!!! The auriclulars had a wash of red over gray/brown. The mantle was very smooth gray, as was the crown and nape. There was some reddish on the wings, the rump and dorsal side of the tail. The bill showed very little difference between the upper and lower mandible, DULL, not yellow/pink.
I sent two awful pics to Bob Keiffer. It was very cloudy, and I had to take the photos from my "low-e" tinted windows. Neither Jim nor I saw it this afternoon. I'll look again in the morning. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Fri, 05 Mar 2010 -- And this morning an OSPREY landed on a tree at my place in Anchor Bay. It was wonderful hearing its calls. -- Jeanne Jackson

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 -- I was able to hang around the Rose Memorial Cemetary (Fort Bragg) this morning for about an hour. Easily found the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in the Banksia(sp.) Trees as previously reported. Also found a male RUFUS HUMMINGBIRD and an EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE gathering nesting material. The Eurasian Collared Dove is listed as not observed nesting in Mendocino. It's almost certain that they do. Let's find a nesting pair and fill in that box in the checklist. Bob let us know if that's been done. -- Richard Hubacek [They nest in the fan palm on Cromwell Drive (off Eastside Calpella Road) just north of Ukiah. It is really obvious they nest all over Ukiah and Redwood Valley. -- Jack Booth]

Wed, 03 Mar 2010 -- Chris Skyhawk just sent me his sighting of a BALD EAGLE on Wednesday, March 3rd. He wrote, "I saw one over the hills here in Albion. We were going to town around 11 AM and about to drop down the hill towards the highway when I saw a very large group of vultures, about 30-35 or so, flying together in a large spiral. I noticed one bird that did not quite have the typical shape of a vulture. With binoculars I could clearly see its eagle body with the white head. The eagle suddenly pulled away from the vultures and headed south toward Salmon Creek."-- Jeanne Jackson

Wed, 03 Mar 2010 -- There were 2 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES this morning at about 9:30 on the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road at the Rodman Slough Bridge. -- Jerry White

Tue, 02 Mar 2010 -- I'm noticing the same thing here, at least they're not using the feeders. I am seeing some taking advantage of the cotton I hung out in the garden last year and never removed. I even put out more. Up on the ridges, the manzanita is blooming like gangbusters, maybe they're there. Things are different this year... I have a growing flock of Purple Finches, and already 3 Band-tailed Pigeons. -- Becky Stenberg, GlenBlair

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 -- I have not seen any hummingbirds here in southeastern Potter Valley for weeks and I haven't filled my feeders in even longer. Anyone else noticing this? Any ideas as to why? -- Jim Armstrong

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 -- I found the BURROWING OWL at Virgin Creek this afternoon. This owl was found by "Toby" on November 24, 2009. The owl was not in it's usual location as reported back then. It was approx. 6 or 7 yds to the North. Better viewed on the North side of the bridge. I saw it from near the "Wildlife Refuge" sign North of the bridge. Is this a Burrowing Owl invasion? -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 -- The BURROWING OWL I semi-reported last week continues on the mill property behind Glass Beach's Site #2, in the same location, near a low shrub on the property beyond the fenceline looking east from the south trail past the pipe. -- Lisa Walker

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 -- This morning and this afternoon, the bright male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continues in the banksias at the Rose Cemetery at the east end of Spruce St. in Fort Bragg. Also seen this morning was a female BULLOCK'S ORIOLE. Early this morning there were no white geese with the goose flock at the old Masonite Plant in Ukiah. There were, however, 3 CACKLING GEESE and 1 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. The pond at the corner of Hwy 1 and Fern Creek Rd. in Caspar had 2 ROSS'S GEESE and another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. Did not find any egrets in the Garcia River Bottom, but a FERRUGINOUS HAWK swooping low over the bluffs on the south side was a nice consolation prize. Lastly, the 3 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS continue in the vicinity of the guesthouses at the Pt. Arena Lighthouse. Two of them are actually golden! Stunning. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- [Today] 8 Peregrine Audubon members travelled to the South Coast for a day of birding. We started at Arena Cove...alas no "Al". We did see some nice birds in the cove, however, including BRANT, PEREGRINE FALCON, RHINOCEROS AUKLET, and 25+ BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES swirling just beyond the buoy. We walked out to the Garcia River mouth and among several hundred gulls found 2 GLAUCOUS GULL: a first-cycle bird, and a second cycle individual molting in contrasting pale gray back feathers. Three PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS continued at the Lighthouse grounds. Scoping the Brush Creek area from Bristol Road, we saw 51 TUNDRA SWANS, 3 more BRANT, 7 CACKLING GEESE, 3 CINNAMON TEAL, and 2 TREE SWALLOWS. On the bluffs above Alder Creek we had long looks at a very accommodating FERRUGINOUS HAWK. We meandered north up Hwy 1 ending the day at the mouth of the Navarro River.
For a more coherent account of the trip, and a complete checklist, check out George Chaniot's field trip report at -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 -- On the Peregrine Audubon field trip to the south Mendocino coast today, we found the three continuing PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS on the lawns near the Point Arena lighthouse. At one point they were on the edge of the bluff by the parking area just outside the entrance booth gate. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 -- At the Crofoot Ranch (painted white fence east of Hwy 101 about 4 miles north of Hopland) were 97 Canada Geese, 4 Cackling Geese (Aleutians), and a new arrival of an adult Greater White-fronted Goose. This last goose has very heavy black "speckling" (more like horizontal blotchy bars) on the breast. To those that don't know, hunters commonly refer to this species as "Speckle Bellies". Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 -- On Thursday February 18th the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was at Rose Memorial Park in Ft. Bragg. -- Jerry White

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 -- This evening I took a look at the flock of geese in the field by the old Masonite property in Ukiah and saw the following : Canada Geese, 71; ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE, 2; GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, 1; SNOW GOOSE, 1. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 -- On Wednesday February 17th I saw a 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL on the beach at the Garcia River outlet. There were 2 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS (continuing birds) not far from the entrance gate on the Pt Arena Lighthouse property. -- Jerry White

Tue, 16 Feb 2010 -- On Tuesday February 16th I made an owl trip to Montgomery Woods and Orr Springs Road. At Montgomery Woods as it got dark a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL called for about 2 minutes. A little later 2 GREAT HORNED OWLS called from a distant location. Then at 6:20 PM a nearby BARRED OWL started calling and continued for a couple of minutes. I made several stops on Orr Springs Road and at one of the first stops heard another Saw-whet Owl. At around 7:40 PM at my last stop there was a calling LONG-EARED OWL. This bird was still giving its low soft hoot call 5 minutes later as I left. -- Jerry White

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 -- Having postponed going up to see the LAYSAN ALBATROSS for many years, Janet and I saw him on the afternoon for Feb 15. When we arrived, the barista at the coffee shop told us that she hadn't seen him in four days. Having driven from Milpitas, I was going to look anyway. "Al" was on the north side of the fishing pier about 40 yards out. I thought I'd let people know for those keeping track of arrival/departure dates. I let "Miss Barista" know also. -- Randy and Janet Little, Milpitas, CA

Sun, 14 Feb 2010 -- Todd Easterla and Lisa Jorgensen found a 1st cycle "VEGA" race HERRING GULL at Virgin Creek mouth. They also saw the BURROWING OWL in the logs NE of the bridge crossing the Haul Rd over Virgin Ck. Todd will post photos of the "Vega" Gull to the calgulls listserv in a couple of days.
They also viewed the continuing YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Rose Mem'l Park at N Franklin and Spruce, Fort Bragg. Further north, they saw an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE and the 7-9 GTR WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at the Westport STP. Just a short way east on Branscomb Rd, Todd and Lisa found a WILSON'S WARBLER in a large, mixed flock on De Haven Creek. -- For Todd Easterla, K Havlena

Sat, 13 Feb 2010 -- [This] evening there was another BURROWING OWL in the old mill property field directly behind Glass Beach's Site #2. I wasn't able to get a shot (too far away) but the swiveling head and yellow eyes were visible even at that distance (around 50 years). The bird would hunch down in an attempt to hide once in a while. I am wondering if its the same bird that was spotted near the Pudding Creek Trestle in recent weeks? -- Lisa Walker

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 -- There was an adult BALD EAGLE that came to feed on a deer carcass in Willits today. It made it's appearance about 1:20pm along with a mob of Ravens and 8-12 T.Vs. The carcass was fresh this AM so I would expect them to be hangin around for the next couple of days. One can likely catch a look 2-300yrds north of (across a flooded field) from the "Skate Park" on East Commercial St. approx. 1 mile east of Hwy-101, past the movie theater and the Public Library. The immediate location of the dead deer is on private City owned property but one can park in the parking lot at the new Ball Fields near the skate park and walk north through the gate along the Rail Road tracks (Roots of Motive Power). There were also 9 Cinnamon Teal, several Bufflehead, Ring-Necked Ducks, Wood Ducks and two Hooded Merganser Males in the flooded field between the skate park and the tree line the Eagle came to rest in. -- Bruce G., Laytonville/Dos Rios

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 -- The wintering FERRUGINOUS HAWK is still across Hwy 1 from mm 70.32. About 5 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS are still coming to feed in the yard here in Ocean Meadows. Today, I took a walk along Ten Mile River along the road with the small, low bridge near where the two forks converge. I saw 4 GTR WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, but the Snow Goose has apparently left the area. I suspect that the SNGO reported by Toby Tobkin is the same bird originally found a few days earlier by Erica Fielder, closer to the river mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 10 Feb 2010 -- I drove to the snow line on Mendocino Pass Road at dawn and birded back down. There was 1 CASSIN'S FINCH, 2 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES, and 2 calling NORTHERN PYGMY-OWLS. About a mile west of the Eel River Station on Hwy 162 there were 3 RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS. For the 2 days there were 4 GOLDEN EAGLES and on the 10th a BALD EAGLE at the east end of Round Valley.
In the afternoon I drove up road M1 that goes northwest at the intersection at Eel River Station. This is a paved road and I was able to drive about 7 miles before the snow line. On the way up I saw 2 MOUNTAIN QUAIL. At the snow line there were 2 more TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (doing a "mew" call), and a single MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE. -- Jerry White

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 -- While walking the train tracks under the Dos Rios bridge I saw 2 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS. On Dobie Lane in Round Valley there was a PRAIRIE FALCON. There was a total of 7 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS on the day; 6 of those were along Dobie Lane. -- Jerry White

Sun, 07 Feb 2010 -- I found 2 HEERMANN'S GULLS in "breeding" plumage on Van Damme Beach. There have been a number of Heermann's Gulls seen this winter. Maybe the same conditions keeping the Brown Pelican's here this winter are keeping the gulls here.-- Rich Hubacek

Sun, 07 Feb 2009 -- The YELLOW-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was found again at 10:40 this morning at Rose Memorial Park in Fort Bragg. Chuck and Barbara Vaughn, Geoff Heinecken, Cheryl Watson and I saw the bird in the Banksia tree where John Luther had seen it yesterday. As you enter the cemetery, go to the central drive that leads to the cemetery office. You will come to a pair of Banksias on the right with many fresh wells that are tended by a Red-breasted Sapsucker. Look east down a connecting drive to the first Banksia on the right (south) of that road, which is located directly behind a sign that states "Non Endowment Care."
I watched the BULLOCK'S ORIOLE feeding on the Banksia flowers yesterday, but did not see it this morning. -- Dave Jensen

Sat, 06 Feb 2020 -- Saw at least 8 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS in the blackbird flock at Albion Inn. Talked to Toby and she has seen few of these birds this winter. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 06 Feb 2010 -- Today, Feb 6, the adult male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued in Fort Bragg at the Rose Memorial Park at the east end of Spruce St as reported by others. A nice Mendo bird for me. I heard and then saw it at about 11AM. It was first in the Banksia tree just behind the Non Endowment Care sign, then flew to the Banksia tree just north of there and then flew north into the eucalyptus grove. I later returned with Tobi and we saw a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, but did not refind the YB Sapsucker.
At Virgin Creek up stream from the haul road bridge Tobi and I saw a BURROWING OWL at the left edge of all the dead wood. Tobi had seen one earlier at another spot so there are at two in the area. -- John Luther, Oakland

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 -- Toby Tobkin called to say that the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was still at Rose Memorial Park in Ft. Bragg as of [today]. -- Jerry White

Wed, 03 Feb 2010 -- On Wednesday February 3rd; there were 2 GOLDEN EAGLES at the end of Burris Lane. On Marina Drive at the north end of Lake Mendocino at midday there was a bat flying and hunting which I watched for at least 2 minutes. My guess is it was a California Myotis? But I understand even bat experts have a difficult time identifying these mammals in flight. At the treatment ponds in Ukiah there was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. At Montgomery Woods there were at least 2 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and 2 GREAT HORNED OWLS. A Northern Saw-whet Owl started calling at sunset and there was still one calling when I walked out of the Groves at 7:15 PM. -- Jerry White

Wed, 03 Feb 2010 -- I saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER today at about 11 am and watched it for about 2 minutes until it flew; a county bird for me. It was in the large pine about 60' due south of the "Non Endowment Care" sign. The bottle -brush trees mentioned are called Banksia according to the cemetery groundskeeper, and they are popular with hummingbirds and other passerines. Yesterday, I saw a Yellow-breasted Sapsucker in one of the Banksias to the west of the mentioned sign. -- Art Morley

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 -- Hello all. Today my parents and I drove over to the coast, to look for some of the recently reported birds. At Lake Cleone, the adult male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER continues, though we could not find the Common Moorhen. Off Laguna Point were two Red-necked Grebes. Although there was a sizable flock of Surfbirds and Black Turnstones at the Point, the ROCK SANDPIPER was not amongst them; we didn't find it until about 3:00 (two hours after high tide) on the rocks just north of Virgin Creek Beach. Also at Virgin Creek were two Sanderlings.
At Rose Memorial Park, at the end of Spruce Street in Fort Bragg we easily refound the adult male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in one of the weird, yellow flowered Bottlebrush-like trees. It seemed like most of the trees had Sapsucker wells in them, but we first saw the bird in one of the two shorter trees at the north end of the cemetery that flank a large headstone that reads 'Jordan'. He also frequented several of the pines. He was quite flighty, and I only managed to get some distant record shots, but I think I surprised him when I first found him. Also of note at the cemetery were an Orange-crowned Warbler and an SY male Bullock's Oriole, probably the same one found by Jerry White a few weeks ago. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 -- I spoke with Toby Tobkin by phone .... and she found the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER [today] in the same area as described in the previous emails. -- Jerry White

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to say that she saw 1 SNOW GOOSE, 4 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, and 1 minima CACKLING GOOSE inland where two forks of the Ten Mile River come together near a small bridge. There are fields to the east and southeast where the mentioned geese were feeding with some Canada Geese. This is generally considered a private road, but there are many residents on this road, and no logging is presently being conducted. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Sun Jan 31, 2010 -- A picture of the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER has been posted. [ Mendobirds members can view it here. ] The bird was last seen in the trees mentioned by Karen next to a sign that stated, "NON-ENDOWMENT SECTION". -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 -- Jerry White phoned to tell me that he had found an adult male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Rose Memorial Park, Spruce and N Franklin in Fort Bragg. When I arrived, Jerry noted that the bird was very flighty and not attached to a particular tree. We refound it on the north-central part of the cemetery in one of several exotic trees with strange looking flowers that look like teasles. It flew for a while to the tall eucalypus grove above Pudding Creek. We could not see it in those trees, but it finally flew back to the exotic trees. Richard Hubacek arrived and got some photos of it. The bird is very clean in its markings and much lighter overall than a Red-naped or Red-breasted. This bird called a few times with a medium-loud, whiny mew. Thanks, Jerry! MEN County birds for both Richard and me! -- For Jerry White, Karen Havlena

Sat, 29 Jan 2010 -- Today, at the Crofoot Ranch (east side of Highway 101 with white fence) between Hopland and Ukiah there were 94 Canada Geese (moffitti), 13 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE (leucopareia) and 1 RIDGWAY'S CACKLING GOOSE (minima). On the dug pond nearest Highway 101 were at least 2 HOODED MERGANSERS. The immature and mature Snow Geese from a couple weeks ago were not to be found. The wet pasture field had a minimum of 1000 American Robins on it. At least 3 CANVASBACKS are still on the Old River Road pond south of Talmage at the intersection with Gielow Lane. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 30 Jan 2010 -- While birding at the botanical garden today, two groups of CACKLING GEESE flew by heading south. The first group had over 400 geese in it (I counted them in the picture I took). The second group had approx. 120. This happened just after 12 noon. From the pictures, many of the geese had ALEUTIAN type white neck-rings. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin called in to say that after the high tide at Laguna Point, she saw one ROCK SANDPIPER. Back down the road at Lake Cleone, she saw the COMMON MOORHEN and a male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on the lake, both toward the west end. These birding spots are in MacKerricher SP. Drive west from Hwy 1 on Mill Creek Dr. -- For Toby Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 -- At about 11 AM I saw the continuing CATTLE EGRET in the Garcia River bottoms. It was in a flock of at least 72 Great Egrets on the east side of highway 1 south of the bridge. At 1 PM the LAYSAN ALBATROSS was snoozing on the water northwest of the pier at Pt Arena. -- John Luther, Oakland

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 -- Birders, I counted 74 GREAT EGRETS and 1 CATTLE EGRET (a Mendo Co. bird for me) in the Garcia River bottoms first thing on 1/26/10. -- John Hunter, Arcata

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 -- This afternoon, Nancy and I did a quick survey of Point Arena with the following highlights: CATTLE EGRET on the east side of Highway 1 in Garcia Flats area. EURASIAN WIGEON (male), GADWALL (apparently uncommon on the coast), CACKLING GEESE (20+), GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (4) on the west side of Highway 1 in Garcia Flats adjacent to Miner Hole Road. These birds were most easily observed with a scope from the lighthouse road. There was a nice assortment of waterfowl in these flocks including: Scaup, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Geese, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Merganser and Bufflehead. BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (3) off the lighthouse road. Al (LAYSAN ALBATROSS) was at his regular haunt north of the pier at 5p. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 -- Today at the white-fenced Crowfoot Ranch along Highway 101 between Ukiah and Hopland there were two SNOW GOOSE, one immature and one mature, mixed in with the approximately 100 Canada Geese. Also present were mallards, about 20 American Wigeon and about 20 Hooded Mergansers. Over by Talmage, at the Beckstoffer Talmage Pond, there was a rooster RING-NECKED PHEASANT on the north side of the Beckstoffer Road ...just across from the NW corner of the pond. This is a small area of green grass and scattered live oak trees and the rooster pheasant was seen both in the morning and afternoon. This appears to be a "wild" bird (not recently released from captivity) because of its scittish behavior and extremely long tail and crisp plumage. Look for it feeding in the green grass which is about as tall as the bird. Northern Shovelers, Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Ducks were on the pond. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 -- The Eurasian Wigeon which was on the Christmas Star Vineyard pond in Potter Valley was not seen today or yesterday. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 19 Jan 2010 -- Hello birders. Inspired by the Red Phalarope I saw this morning, I ventured out between rainshowers, to see what I could find. At the north end of Lake Mendocino, I saw one adult THAYER'S GULL, as well as 35 or so California and Ring-billed Gulls. There were quite a few coots and Mallards there, as well as about 60 American Crows, foraging on the lake shore. I also had very distant views of a Duck that could have been a Tufted Duck, but I'm not even sure it was an Aythya! It was quite white-sided and dark-backed/headed, though.
At Lake Mendocino Dam, there were fewer birds overall, but there was a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in amongst the domestics, and in the Gull flock (which was larger than the flock at the north end), I noticed one adult MEW GULL and three BONAPARTE'S GULLS. The only non-domestic duck here was an adult American Wigeon.
At the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant, I ran into Chuck Vaughn, and together we saw a ROSS'S GOOSE that had a silver USFWS band on the left leg and an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE with a flock of 26 Canada Geese. On the southern, flooded pond, in amongst 80+ American Green-winged Teal was one male EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, whose horizontal white stripe was pretty obvious. There was also one bird that could have been an intergrade.
On the Beckstoffer Vineyard Pond, off River Road in Talmage, were 14 CANVASBACKS, as well as several Lesser Scaup, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, etc. At Gielow Lane Pond was one more Canvasback. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Tue, 19 Jan 2010 -- Hello all. With the massive rainstorm of the past day or so, the field across the street from my house on East Rd in Potter Valley has become flooded. Yesterday I noticed a few Mallards and a large flock of Canada Geese foraging around it, so I decided to keep my eye on it. This morning, I checked it again, and found more Mallards, as well as four new yard birds: an AMERICAN WIGEON, several WOOD DUCKS, a RING-NECKED DUCK, and, best of all, a RED PHALAROPE, swimming around in circles! This was a complete surprise for me; it was my first Sandpiper for the yard. Has anyone else seen one in inland Mendocino County due to this storm? Are there any other Potter Valley records? Has anyone checked out Lake Mendocino today? Also, the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER continues at the corner of East Road and Burris Lane. -- Matt Brady

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 -- Hi All, In Tom Stienstra's column in the SF Chronicle yesterday it was reported that Brown Pelicans have been seen migrating NORTH. The speculation is the herring that drew the Sea Lions to Oregon is luring the Brown Pelicans too. Interesting. -- Jeanne Jackson

Sun, 17 Jan 2010 -- Today I went to Ft. Bragg to see my son, so I stopped a few places to bird. There were no species of note except maybe a WILSON'S SNIPE at Caspar Pond. What struck me were the sheer numbers of BROWN PELICAN. I saw 13 at Lake Cleone, 85 at Mendocino Headlands and 159 on the beach at Van Damme SP. In addition, the flock at Mendocino was about as large as the one at Van Damme, but it was way out on the rocks. When I counted the ones at Van Damme, I was amazed at how many there were because they were packed so close together. Are other people noticing these numbers also? Is this a new trend or is this normal for this time of year? -- Dave Bengsten

Sun, 17 Jan 2010 -- The male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER was working on a Gray Pine on Perini Road across from the intersection with the road to Snow's Lake mid-morning. There was a SNOW GOOSE at Austin Park in Clearlake. The YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was at Lakeside Park this afternoon.
Also, because of a computer problem, I was not able to post a EURASIAN WIGEON found January 7th on a pond visible from the pullout at 1830 Nice-Lucerne Cutoff. Today there were no wigeon there at all. -- Jerry White

Fri, 15 Jan 2010 -- There must have been a SNOW GOOSE episode today. I spotted 8 SNOW GEESE from the Garcia River Mouth overlook. They were with a large flock of Canada Geese (40 plus) in the middle section of Garcia Flats west of highway 1. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 15 Jan 2010 -- This afternoon I visited the Ukiah Water Treatment Plant. There was one adult SNOW GOOSE with 24 Canada Geese. They were at the northwest corner, outside the fenced in pond area over near the grapes. Other spp. included: American Wigeon 7, Mallard 48, Northern Shoveler 6, Northern Pintail 1, Green-winged Teal 32, Ring-necked Duck 10, Bufflehead 13, Ruddy Duck 124, Turkey Vulture 2, White-tailed Kite 2, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, Red-tailed Hawk 2, American Coot 97, Killdeer 6, black Phoebe 3, Common raven 9, Marsh Wren 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 2, Song Sparrow 3, Red-winged Blackbird 72, Lesser Goldfinch 9 -- Dave Bengsten

Fri, 15 Jan 2010 -- Hi All, I spotted a SNOW GOOSE from my window on the Ten Mile estuary on the east side of the bridge. I called Karen Havlena, who went to the bridge with her scope to find that it might be the larger, or greater snow goose. She described the large bill and long grin. -- Erica Fielder

Thu, 14 Jan 2010 -- On Thursday January 14, we saw a male HARLEQUIN DUCK on the main fork of the Eel River about a 1/2 mile above the confluence of the main and middle fork. There may have been 3 others, but we didn't get a clear look at them. We have been regularly seeing BALD EAGLES including a second year bird along this stretch of the river. On Thursday, the second year bird flew low over us and landed on a rock along the river's edge just across from us. Here's a link to a photo of the bird. Click here. Happy birding, -- Cate Hawthorne

Thu, 14 Jan 2010 -- The EURASIAN WIGEON was still there ( 9:30 - 10:45 am) at the Christmas Star Pond, north of the Potter Valley Cemetery on West Road. I went too early and had to wait for the fog to burn off a little before I could see, so avoid the early morning fog if you go. Other birds seen included: American Wigeon 51, Mallard 2, Ring-necked Duck 7, Bufflehead 14, Common Merganser 2, Ruddy Duck 2, California Quail 45 - just south of the pond, Double-crested Cormorant 3, Belted Kingfisher 1, Northern Flicker 2, Black Phoebe 1, Western Scrub-Jay 1, Common Raven 2, White-crowned Sparrow 3, Golden-crowned Sparrow 2, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Brewer's Blackbird 2 -- Dave Bengsten

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 -- John Lamey, a visiting birder from Ontario, reports seeing the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Arena Cove yesterday in the afternoon. He also saw a ROCK SANDPIPER at Laguna Point. Today we also saw the continuing EURASIAN WIGEON at the Christmas Star Vineyard pond north of the cemetery on West(side) Road in Potter Valley. Then we found a distant LEWIS'S WOODPECKER in oaks north of the end of Burris Lane. An OSPREY was circling near the pond on Burris. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 --[Today] Doug Weidemann and I did our monthly gull survey around Clear Lake. The numbers of most waterbirds (RUDDY DUCK is an exception) are disappointingly low this winter. Our best bird was an immature SNOW GOOSE alone on the beach at Austin Park in Clearlake, which was found by Nick Shepherd on Saturday the 10th. We also saw a lone female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in a flock of scaup from the large turnout on the east side of the lake opposite Clear Lake State Park, between Lucerne and Paradise Cove. We spent 15-20 minutes searching unsuccessfully for the Hammond's Flycatcher at Lucerne, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Kelseyville and the Williamson's Sapsucker at Lower Lake. The weather wasn't very cooperative. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- Now that I have all the final tallies in hand, the CBC [19 Dec 2009 ?] results for the Clear Lake have improved considerably. We ended up with a dozen more species than tallied on our preliminary count ~ 143 in all ~ down some from last year's count of 146 and below the high total of 153 in 2007 but still respectable. The number of participants also increased to 57, up from last year's 40 and the previous 10-years' average of 30.
The species that racked up the highest number of individuals was Ruddy Duck with 13,183 counted, former high count was 5,686 in 1991 and a previous 10-year average of 1,776. Sadly to say, although Ruddys are doing fine, the count for water birds in general is considerably down i. e. Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants and American White Pelicans.
The runner-up in highest number of individuals and the only other species to break the 1,000 barrier was the American Robin with a total of 4,633 individuals. They are abundant in our vineyards. The former high count for this species was 7,443 in 1975 and a previous 10-year average of 1,307. A big thanks to all our hard-workiing participants. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- Fellow/Fella Searchers, Here are some snaps, unfortunately not from Mendocino, but offer up good views of a flying and resting specimen. A first cycle KUMLEIN'S ICELAND GULL today (1-12-10) at a private location: ICGU2b Flying, view from above ICGU4b. At Rest, at favorite feeding ground. gabagacanicus americanus. Never, ever leave home without good glass.-- Gunn

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- Both the EURASIAN WIGEON and the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER continue today at the same locations in Potter Valley described by Jerry yesterday. At the intersection of Burris Lane and East(side) Road look for a utility pole on the west side of the intersection. The Lewis's Woodpecker favors the top of this pole and the large trees to the NE of the intersection. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 -- I drove up Hwy 1 for a while, where 11 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were along side the road at the Westport wastewater treatment plant. The FERRUGINOUS HAWK was flying over the pasture across Hwy 1 from Ocean Meadows. I scoped for alcids without luck from the usual creek mouth turnouts. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 -- There was a EURASIAN WIGEON at the pond that is just north of the cemetery on West Road [today]. There is no convenient place to park to view this pond. George Chaniot suggests parking at the cemetery and then walking to the pond. Also the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER was seen again near the intersection of East Road and Burris Lane. George also saw both of these birds about an hour or so after the initial sightings. At least one AMERICAN DIPPER was on the river at the bridge.
Scoping the north end of Lake Mendocino I found a MEW GULL, 4 HOODED MERGANSERS, and another male EURASIAN WIGEON.
Later in the afternoon the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES were found at the Hopland Field Station, thanks to Bob Keiffer. -- Jerry White

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 -- I was able to relocate 7 of the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES this morning at 2700' elevation on the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 10 Jan 2010 -- I should have sent this out a week ago but it is still happening.Over the past four plus weeks large numbers (25,000+) of robins have been roosting in the trees north of Lake Mendocino Drive along the West Fork Russian River. During the last 17 days or so large numbers of starlings have joined them. They start to show up from the south around 4:30 PM. The robin numbers have dwindled to maybe 1,000 to 2,000. During the same period I have seen a PEREGRINE FALCON numerous times and two at the same time occasionally. The peregrine numbers have gone up to a minimum of five in view at one time last night 1/11, seen by Dave Bengston, myself, and three others. I saw at least three peregrines tonight. Tonight it lasted about 25-30 minutes. We have seen peregrine pairs are doing aerial food (starling) exchanges several times during the last several days. A merlin or two came by one evening a week ago.
Best place to watch is from the bridge on Lake Mendocino Drive over the river. Good parking on west side of bridge. It's a great show (maybe an understatement, first row seat at National Geographic Special). --Jack Booth

Sun, 10 Jan 2010 -- Just a couple of observations from today's 10th anniversary celebration at the Point Arena Gateway to the California Coastal National Monument: Many BROWN PELICANS - adults and immatures - all along the coast; few HEERMANN'SGULLS staying with them; first year GLAUCOUS GULL at the mouth of the Garcia River; three PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS still present and very visible at Arena Point - in front of the three motel units at the lighthouse, less than 15 feet south of the road to the visitors' station; a true albino ROCK PGEON in the BLM public access area between the LORAN station and Lighthouse Road; a light morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK in that same area; a realization of what a treasure the Point Arena/Stornetta BLM property is for anyone who takes the time to wander there. -- Dave Jensen

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 -- Rich Trissel, Jim and I tested a few Fort Bragg areas. The BURROWING OWL is still at the NE side of the Haul Rd bridge over Virgin Creek. A spotting scope is useful here. We saw a CACKLING GOOSE flying with a few Canada Geese over Bald Hill Rd. Take Pudding Creek Rd east a couple of miles, then turn north after the big S-curve. We tried our luck at Lake Cleone. MacKerricher SP, but could not find the Common Moorhen. Later, we drove out to Laguna Point. Rich and Jim also marched out to Laguna Point, but it was low tide, so no Rock Sandpiper could be found ....... After Lake Cleone, Rich, Jim and I continued to Ward Ave, Cleone. Even in the low tide and rough waves, we were able to see one male BLACK SCOTER in the surf.-- Karen Havlena

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 -- Today Dave Woodward confirmed the continuing LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES on the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. There was also a probable PHAINOPEPLA observed in early afternoon. I tried to confirm this sighting but was about 3 hours later and could not refind the bird. However, based upon the description; black bird with obvious white wing patches in flight, in chaparral where there are now lots and lots of toyon berries and mistletoe berries, I think that it probably was one. I will try to keep an eye on the area next week. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Wed Jan 6, 2010 -- As far as I can remember, there have been no postings concerning BLACK SCOTERS this winter. I found 2 males at Ward Ave. this morning. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 -- Hi Birders. Today I was joined by Lauren Harter, on her way up to Washington, for some birding around Potter Valley and a bit in the Ukiah Valley. Highlights were mostly things of local interest. Along Burris Lane, we had one LEWIS'S WOODPECKER near the barn, just after the road goes up a small hill. It kept flying back and forth between a lone oak in the vineyard to the north of the road and the oaks right along the road. We had some ducks at the pond at the end of Burris Lane, but nothing of much note.
At Van Arsedale Dam we did not find the long-staying Greater White-fronted Goose, but we did find two COMMON GOLDENEYES (both males), three HOODED MERGANSERS (all females), an adult BALD EAGLE, and two AMERICAN DIPPERS. The dippers were in the rocks just below the dam, while the ducks were in the lake behind the dam and the Eagle was in a large snag above the dam.
We then followed the county road to the Lake County line, but it was pretty quiet, so we decided to head back down into the valley. Two RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS were at different locations along Gibson Lane. At the Potter Valley Rodeo Grounds in the northwestern part of the valley we had about 25 AMERICAN PIPITS and large numbers of corvids (75+ Crows, 15 Ravens, some Scrub-Jays). At the pond along west road, just north of the Potter Valley Cemetery, was perhaps the most unusual bird of the day, a SNOWY EGRET. As I understand it, winter records for this species are sparse in Mendocino County. The cemetery itself was rather quiet.
We checked the Potter Valley Road bridge for Dippers, but we couldn't find any and the north end of Lake Mendocino was pretty quiet, so we moved on to check some of the ponds south of Talmage. The Beckstoffer Pond had a good diversity of ducks, including 8 HOODED MERGANSERS and our first GADWALS and NORTHERN SHOVELERS of the day. The pond at Gielow Lane was comparatively unducky, but it did have four continuing CANVASBACKS. That's it for now, -- Matt Brady

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 -- I refound the LAWERENCE'S GOLDFINCHES that Chuck found yesterday at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. There were at least 12 of them, maybe 14, mixed with three Lesser's. They are at the top elevations of the Center and not open to public access. If you desire to look for these for a life bird or year list then you will need to contact me directly at 707-744-1424 ext 112 or email. I will try to check on them every couple of days and post if they persist. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 -- Good Evening: This evening about 5:40 I heard an owl in the oak in front of my house. I went to find it and did. It was a SCREECH-OWL doing a trilling call. I had my camera and a flashlight, but the light wasn't good enough, so I went inside to get another light and my wife, who has a better camera. When I returned, the owl flew away in a circle and landed on the other side (east) of the house. At the same time, I saw something fly in from the southwest and land in the top of my redwood tree. It was a Great Horned Owl. The WS Owl made one more call, this time the ping-pong call, and then was quiet. The GHO, which never made a noise, flew away to the southeast. I was outside for about an hour more, but the WS Owl never vocalized again. Note: Last week I heard two owls making a commotion and I saw them fly away, but I could not ID them, so I had been waiting. Also, of note, I have two WS Owl nest boxes up, and a general purpose owl box. -- Dave Bengsten

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I saw at least 8 LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES in the chaparral at the top of the Hopland RandE Center this morning. They were with 100+ Lesser Goldfinches and all were eating chamise seeds. This is only the 3rd winter we have had them in the county, having been previously reported in the winters of 1988-89 and 2004-05. The COMMON MOORHEN continues on the ponds just above the office area. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to say that the BURROWING OWL is still in the same location east of the Haul Rd bridge over Virgin Creek in MacKerricher State Park, Fort Bragg. There is a large parking area by Hwy 1 at the north edge of Fort Bragg. Take the wide path west to the Haul Rd, turn north and walk downhill to just above the bridge. Look for the large logs on the NE side of the creek. The owl is usually to the right of a large root sticking up in a pronged formation. -- For Toby Tobkin , Karen Havlena

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 -- Hi Birders. A couple of days ago George Chaniot mentioned that he had seen a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER at the corner of East Rd. and Burris Lane, in southern Potter Valley [ Dec 30, 2009 - GEC]. This morning, I spotted the birds in some oaks just north of the intersection. It was moving around a lot, but seemed to stay in the same general area. I'll keep an eye out for it, and if it sticks around, post again soon. No sign of the large Canada Goose flock or the Cackling Geese associated with it since the 1st. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 -- We have been enjoying the presence of AMERICAN DIPPERS recently on our fresh water kayak adventures. On New Year's Eve, we saw 2 on the Noyo about 4.5 miles up river. The one was near the second Skunk Train bridge and another just below the South Fork Confluence. On Sunday, we watched one on the Eel River about 2.5 miles downriver from Outlet Creek at the top of the rapid where there once was a road crossing the river. I posted a couple of photos on our blog. Best of days, -- Cate

Mon, 04 Jan 2010 -- I found 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS (2 male/2 female) this afternoon waiting out high tide at the bend in the river at the Dolphin RV Park and Marina. Last seen they were moving towards the main harbor. Beautiful birds in full breeding plumage. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 04 Jan 2009 -- Point Arena and Manchester. At 9:15a, on the road out to the lighthouse, there was a FERRUGINOUS HAWK. At 9:30a, at the mouth of the Garcia River, as viewed from the bluff trail north of the lighthouse, there were 6 BRANT with the large gull flock. Not that rare, but missed on the CBC. Still in count week ... At 10:00a, the 3 PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS were still on the lawn across from the small house closest to the lighthouse. A seasonally rare BARN SWALLOW flew over the small houses while I was there. At 10:15a, the single CATTLE EGRET continued in the Garcia Flats on the east side of Highway 1 south of the Garcia River Bridge. At 10:20a there was a female EURASIAN WIGEON in the small seasonal pond on the east side of Highway 1 across from the dairy (just north of the Garcia River Bridge). I looked for the Burrowing Owl at Davis Pond with no luck. There were at least 40 TUNDRA SWANS at their favorite spot north of Stoneboro and the single SNOW GOOSE is still with them. A beautiful maleWOOD DUCK has joined the female on the Bower Park pond in Gualala. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 03 Jan 2010 -- On Sunday the 3rd I joined Don Roberson and Rita Caratello for some birding in Lake County. We spent over an hour searching for the WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER at Perini Road in the morning and another half-hour or so in the afternoon. I managed to see the male briefly at about 10:20 am, a few hundred feet up the road and about 100 feet above the road from where it was first found, but it vanished--moving uphill--by the time the Robersons joined me. They spent another 1.5 hours searching for it without success on Monday the 4th. Don saw a RED-BREASTED SAPSUKER to the west of the junction. I suspect the Williamson's Sapsucker is now foraging on trees higher up the hill instead of foraging on trees along the road. Good luck to anybody searching for it!
The YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Lakeside County Park in Kelseyville was much more cooperative on Sunday. Its dull facial pattern looks quite similar to last year's bird, which we all thought was a juvenile, but it seems quite unlikely that two different juveniles would favor the same tree in consecutive years. Don suggested that it may have been a dull adult rather than a juvenile last year--and I suspect he's right! I posted my photos from last year here. We also saw a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Lakeside County Park.
Also on Sunday the 3rd the Robersons saw YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES at High Valley and heard two or three LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES flying over. On Monday the 4th they found a "RIDGWAY'S" CACKLING GOOSE at Detert Reservoir.
Finally, the "screw-legged gull": at Austin Park on Sunday the 3rd, I photographed an adult HERRING GULL with what I think is a screw (maybe something else?) impaled in its right leg: Photo here. Go figure! -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 03 Jan 2010 -- The timing somehow never worked for me to join the annual field trip to the Covelo area. Last Sunday Stu and I really needed a little road trip so I printed out the directions from the Peregrine website. It was wonderful! There indeed was a PEREGRINE FALCON on the sandstone cliffs; we heard it before seeing it, and we stood for 10 minutes watching it preen on a small outcropping. Dobie Lane in Covelo is indeed impassable - the creek was running deep, wide, and fast - but along the drive there we saw many raptors (the usual suspects), some meadowlark, and scores of LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS. I had never seen woodpeckers flycatching but clearly that's what they were doing, which made it so easy to just sit and watch them. We parked about 100 feet back from the creek and walked over to stand along the bank for quite a while, enjoying the sounds and sight of a large variety of birds. A highly recommended trip. -- Janet Rosen

Sun, 03 Jan 2010 -- After several attempts to refind Todd's ICELAND GULL, I stopped at Ron LeValley's gallery in Fort Bragg. Ron was in Van Damme SP on Sunday morning (NO binoculars). There were, in his estimation, 2,000 to 3,000 gulls in Van Damme cove (too bad; the bird could have been with this group). The important part is the TIME that Ron saw the large concentration of gulls. He said that the time range was approx. 0900 to 1015. After that, the most I saw was about 90 gulls. So, an attempt during this timeframe is worth the effort. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 03 Jan 2010 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reports finding an adult winter-plumage BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE roosting with the flock of gulls at Laguna Point (MacKerricher State Park) this afternoon about 1:15 pm. Also, with the Surfbirds on the rocks, was a ROCK SANDPIPER. -- trudy jensen for Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin

Sat, 02 Jan 2010 -- [Today] I and several other people saw a banded, adult WESTERN GULL on the beach at Van Damme State Park. Chuck Vaughn and I read the band number, 2406 01341, through telescopes at close range. It also has a black color-band on the left leg above the numbered aluminum band.
As I was writing a report to the Bird Banding Lab, I realized that this is the same number that I reported on January 8, 2006, and Demian Ebert reported in March 1996 at the same location. I believe Matthew Matthiessen photographed the same bird sitting on the Vam Damme entrance sign on the east side of the road some time in 2006.
I have a previous report from the BBL indicating this gull was banded as a juvenile too young to fly on June 24, 1989 "near Farallon Islands CA". This bird is now in its 21st winter and may have been inhabiting this same location even longer than a famous albatross has been visiting Arena Cove.
Keep your eyes open. How long can we keep sighting this gull? It's fairly easy to pick up on it with its black color-band. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 02 Jan 2010 -- It was quite foggy along the south coast of Mendocino County between Elk and the Point Arena lighthouse. The total species seen on count day this year was 137. Highlights included (3) CATTLE EGRET, CINNAMON TEAL, REDHEAD, (2) ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, (3) PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, and (2) SLATE-COLORED JUNCOS. During the "count week," three days prior to and following the actual count day, three additional species were seen by Rich Trissel. They were: (6) BRANT, EURASIAN WIGEON, and BARN SWALLOW. The number of TUNDRA SWANS dropped considerably from previous years' totals. The estimate of the wintering population this year is only about 40-45 individuals. Thanks again to the area leaders: Chris Bing, Dave Jensen, Bob Keiffer, Art Morley, Rich Kuehn, Connie Schimbor and Diane Hichwa. Thanks also to Todd Easterla, who roamed around the count area and provided a few species not found by others during the day. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 02 Jan 2010 -- Todd Easterla found and photographed a probable immature Iceland Gull at Van Damme State Park beach during the morning. Several local birders tried to refind the bird during the rest of the day without luck. This species is considered a "review species" by the WFO California Bird Records Committee, and any sighting of this birds should be well documented with notes, photos, multiple observers, etc.
I personally saw photographs taken by Todd and the bird is almost snow white in color, primaries of transluscent white and extremely long (well beyond the tail when at rest), the bill is two-tone, and the head has the rounded "petitte" look like that of a Thayers Gull. The gull was rather tame and allowed fairly close approach by Todd for photos ....however, on the contrary to such "close-approach" behavior, many of us were quite frustrated by other non-birder tourists constantly spooking the flock of gulls at the Van Damme beach.
If you are lucky enough to refind this bird try to get ahold of other local birders ASAP. I know that some birders were trying to refind the bird today (Sunday) but I have not heard of any success. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Fri, 01 Jan 2010 -- Happy new year, birders. Today I noticed a flock of Canada Geese in the field across the street from my house in southern Potter Valley. In amongst the 50 or so large Canada Geese were 9 smaller ones. 6 of the 9 were obviously Ridgway's Cackling Geese (B.h.minima), while the other three were slightly larger, with slightly longer bills. Two were a little lighter breasted, while the third was quite dark on the breast. I'm not sure which subspecies of the Canada Goose complex (including both Cackling Goose and Canada Goose proper) these three might be, but I suspect that they were either Lesser Canada Geese (B.c.parvipes) or Taverner's Cackling Goose (B.h.taverneri).
I am pretty unfamiliar with these two taxa, and small White-cheeked Geese are notoriously difficult to identify, but I did find this website to be helpful, especially the 'Descriptive Comparisons' section down at the bottom. David Sibley has a nice summary of identification criteria on his website, too, though it doesn't seem to have any photos or illustrations: here. I took a lot of photos, but unfortunately the geese are rather far away and the conditions are suboptimal (dark and overcast, and the birds had their heads down a lot), so I'm not sure how useful the photos are. Maybe tomorrow they'll be a bit more cooperative.
Good birding in the new year, -- Matt Brady

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 -- I just returned from NYC to a phone message that 3 SOOTY GROUSE were sighted on Hoberg Loop Trail in Boggs State Forest by Duane Harper of Cobb on December 27. I am aware this is old news but thought birders should know that there is now a possibility of sighting Grouse should they be birding the Forest.
Hoberg Loop Trail is in the northwest corner of the forest and is accessed from Entrance Road off Hwy 175 1/2 mile mile north of the main entrance to the Forest if your heading North and 500 yards south of Emerford Road intresection with Hwy 175 at the end of Adams Springs Golf Course if you're heading South on 175. The Entrance Road sign is not visible if you are heading North but it takes off East right across from the old Hoberg's Resort which is now the Maharishi Vedic School.
The Hoberg Loop trailhead is about 500 yards up Entrance Road where it deadends at (appropriately) Grouse Road. 100 yards up the trail it forks to make the Loop and you take the right fork. Another short distance and the trail takes a sharp switchback where Mac's Trail takes off to the right. Make the sharp switchback to the left and continue until the next sharp switchback which is to the right. At the turn you will see a leafless Dogwood tree. It is just beyond this where Duane saw the Grouse about 30 feet up in a Douglas Fir. He has been in the area a couple of times since and I birded the trail yesterday with no Grouse sightings. It is approximately 1/4 mile from the trailhead to the sighting locale.
Duane said towards the end of last summer he thought he heard Grouse calling on the Creek Trail but was skeptical since there has been no recent history of Grouse in the area. Hopefully, we will have more encounters in the future. Bountiful Birding to you in 2010! -- Darlene Hecomovich

Tue, 29 Dec 2009 -- Gualala Rivermouth : A single juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL was in the large gull flock at the mouth of the Gualala river this morning at 10a. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Tue, 29 Dec 2009 -- There has been a consistent mix of geese using the CroFoot Ranch pasture (white fenced area, east side Hwy 101) between Hopland and Ukiah ever since the CBC day. Yesterday there were still 110 CANADA GEESE (Great Basin) , 8 CACKLING GEESE (I believe to be Aleutian's but I have not had my scope along to check them out), and 1 immature SNOW GOOSE. If you ever check this area out please view the mistletoe-ladened cottonwood trees for the possibility of phainopepla (has not happened yet, but I keep looking).
Chuck Vaughn mentioned that 8 CANVASBACK have been using the River Road ponds south of Talmage .that is the Beckstoffer Pond and the Montanos' Pond near Gielow Lane (spelling?). There have also been up to 24 HOODED MERGANSERS continuing to use these same ponds. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 -- Garcia Flats, Point Arena / Manchester. The 2 CATTLE EGRETS on the east side of 1 in the Garcia Flats were still present at 3:30p on the 28th. -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 -- Bill Doyle and I enjoyed a birding holiday in the Mendo neck of the woods. According to the 2005 Mendocino County Checklist, our birds of note were:
Ross' Geese (2) - Dec 27 - Fern Creek Pond directly across Hwy 1 from Caspar
Harlequin Duck (M and F) - Dec 25 - Virgin Creek Beach
Common Moorhen - Dec 26 - Lake Cleone (but most fun was to see a Sharp-shinned Hawk go after a Pileated Woodpecker here)
Rock Sandpiper - Dec 25 - Virgin Creek Beach
Red Phalaropes - Dec 25 - Cabrillo Pt Lighthouse
Thayer's Gull - Dec 26 - Ward Avenue
Black-legged Kittiwake - Dec 26 - Ward Ave
Also, while walking the Van Damme upper campground Dec 24 not seeing Gray Jay, we had two birds we think were Lewis' Woodpeckers. We could not get a great view of these birds, which flew east, but our combined opinion of what we did see points to Lewis's. -- Helen Kochenderfer, Santa Rosa

Mon Dec 28, 2009 -- I heard a SORA this afternoon at Point Cabrillo, south of the lighthouse. It was in a small marshy area where a small creek(?) exits to the ocean. This is just north of the old wooden fence boundary. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 -- The WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER continues on Perini Road near Lower Lake. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 -- On 24 December it took me 20 minutes to find the male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER along Perini Road. It is a shy and quiet bird, adept at moving out of sight behind a tree, and is easiest to find by listening to its tapping. It foraged on Gray or Digger Pines (mostly) and Ponderosa Pines along Perini Road on both sides of the junction of the unnamed road. Once it flew over the junction to one of two pines out in the middle of the vineyard, but it didn't stay there for long.
I have not seen the 1st-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL since 19 December. Grebe, merganser and gull numbers are disappointingly low in the Clearlake branch of the lake, perhaps indicative of mass mortality of shad during the cold spell earlier this month.
At Borax Lake there is a male GREEN-WINGED TEAL that looks intermediate between the "American" and "Eurasian" subspecies--and I suspect it is the latter. It is still molting and currently appears to have an indistinct horizontal white line and no vertical white line. It may be the same individual found on last year's Christmas Bird County (20 December 2008) by Jerry White, which lacked either a vertical or horizontal white stripe at the time and later molted into the "Eurasian" male that I photographed on 25 January 2009. I first saw it on 19 December when only two other Green-winged Teal (both females) were present and I saw it again on 24 December when 35 Green-winged Teal were present, but I did not see it among 10 Green-winged Teal on 27 December. The teal appear to be moving in and out of the lake.
On 27 December a partially amelanistic BUFFLEHEAD was present on Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 -- I counted 2 CATTLE EGRETS among the 25+ Great Egrets on Garcia Flats east of Highway 1 and South of the bridge. Also found 33 of the TUNDRA SWANS reported earlier. Had at least 4 FERRUGINOUS HAWKS on the trip. Also watched a PEREGRINE FALCON take a bath in the Garcia River near the mouth while another looked on. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin found a PALM WARBLER today at the upper campground of Van Damme State Park. She reports it was near the (unoccupied) camp host's site. On the beach, near the mouth of Little River, was a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (and a couple of Canada geese). -- Trudy Jensen for Dorothy Tobkin

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 -- Sunday morning. This morning I found a male WESTERN TANAGER feeding with the sparrows and towhees in my yard, which is six blocks east of Highway One at the north end of Fort Bragg. This is a new bird for my yard list, and it comes at an unexpected time. -- Dave Jensen

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 -- During a post-prandial perambulation, we saw four GRAY JAYS cruising the neighborhood about 2.25 miles down Middle Ridge Road in Albion. We had a flock of them here several years ago, stealing kibble from the dog. They don't seem to stay around for long. -- Tim Bray

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 -- Point Arena / Manchester : Nancy and I birded Hunter's Lagoon and adjacent areas and were pleased to see about 40 TUNDRA SWANS. They were best viewed from the end of Barnegat overlooking the lagoon. In the flock of Canada Geese near the swans there was a single SNOW GOOSE. Also, loads of raptors. Nothing unusual but good numbers of the usual suspects. Merry Christmas and Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Thu Dec 24, 2009 -- This morning I ran into Toby on the boardwalk to Laguna Point at MacKerricher SP. She mentioned that she had seen the COMMON MOORHEN at Lake Cleone. She also saw the BURROWING OWL yesterday in the same spot at Virgin Creek. I walked around the lake and found the MOORHEN. It wasn't at the far east end of the lake where I had seen it before. It was in the little cove west of the east end. Looking from the parking area you can see two houses. It was in the cove under the right house. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 -- This morning Chuck Vaughn and I arrived at the Williamson's Sapsucker spot on Perini Road in Lake County as described in earlier messages. It was about 10:05 am, and we first walked north along Perini Road past the "three Gray Pines" and the "forked Black Oak Tree". Chuck thought he had heard tapping but could not tell due to the wind in the pines and the honking geese on Snow's Lake. We did find 2 Pygmy Nuthatches, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and an Oak Titmouse, along with robins flying overhead. I then ventured south past the junction when Chuck found the male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER back to the north of the junction/parking area. It was working on a set of sap holes in a young Gray Pine, about 25 feet off the ground, which put the bird about 15 feet above our eye level from the road. So, this young pine, maybe 10" diameter, is about half the distance from the original "three Gray Pines which are 90 feet south of the large forked black oak with adjacent no trespassing sign" and the road junction. There are lots of sapping holes present and the bird was working on new ones. He has a habit of skirting around to the back side (east side) of the tree trunk until he feels comfortable again. With the morning light he could be viewed with good light from the road that leads to Snow's Lake, thus looking back west towards Perini Road. We viewed and photographed the bird from about 10:15 to 10:45 and the bird was still there when we left. We did NOT find the female. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

19 December 2009 -- The Peregrine Audubon Society again hosted and organized the Ukiah CBC on Saturday December 19th. The weather for the day was quite nice with some fog in the morning in places, but clear skies for most of the day. Owling parties found temperatures mild compared to most years. This year we successfully topped our all time high of 130 species on count day (from last year when Matthew Matthiessen spot-lighted a Cackling Goose after the compilation dinner to exceed a tie-breaker of 129 species). So, this year, despite no super-rarities being found, the day's effort culminated with a tally of 131 species. Roger Foote's beginner group had at least 20 participants who all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We had 55 folks at the compilation dinner, and even more participants than that for the count day (we have not added up the participant number yet).
Highlights include an immature SNOW GOOSE mixed in with the local Canada Geese, a CANVASBACK, WOOD DUCKS, HOODED MERGANSERS, MOUNTAIN QUAIL, 5 species of grebes, a PRAIRIE FALCON (not seen in the last ten years on the count), PEREGRINE FALCONS, and BALD EAGLES and GOLDEN EAGLES. A GREEN HERON was found (rare in winter), and the high count of 38 for BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS was counted as birds left their daytime roost in the Oak Manor neighborhood. Numerous EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES were counted showing the dramatic increase in the expansion of this rather new exotic species to the county (last year was the first year that this species was seen on this count).
A couple MEW GULLS were mixed in with the usual winter gulls at Lake Mendocino. The sleep-deprived "Owlers" came up with 5 species of owls. One Orange-crowned Warbler was found .a species normally long-gone during the winter months. A grosbeak sp., probably a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was also a good find. One lone male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD and a couple BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD helped with the species count.
All-in-all, a very good day was had by all. As the CBC coordinators Cheryl Watson and I, along with the Peregrine Audubon Society board, wish to thank all the participants, the Area Leaders, the given-permission landowners, and the Ukiah Daily Journal for their support with this year's CBC. Happy Holidays. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 -- This morning at about 7:30a, on our way to Ukiah for the CBC, my wife and I saw a CATTLE EGRET perched atop a barn off Highway 253 0.25 miles from the junction of 253 and 128. The bird flew from the top of the barn down to the adjacent field. We drove back by this location on our way back home at about 4:30p and the bird was apparently not present. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 -- Hey Birders, This morning I ..... made my way up highway 29 into Lake County. I went about a mile northwest of Lower Lake on highway 29 to Seigler Canyon Rd. A short distance up Seigler Canyon Rd I encountered Perini Rd. After about 3 miles on Perini I saw Snows Lake on my left and an unnamed road going off to my left just after the lake as reported by others. I looked in the Gray Pines described by others without seeing or hearing a sapsucker, but when back at the junction of Perini and the unnamed road I heard tapping (bill not toe) and quickly found the male Williamson's Sapsucker in a Gray Pine along Perini just south of the junction. This was at 10:05 AM. Feeling good about this beautiful male I decided to go to Wal Mart (not to shop of course) to look for gulls. The Wal Mart is along highway 53 in Clearlake. I climbed the hill at the back side of the parking lot and looked at the roof of Wal Mart. 500 plus gulls greeted my eyes and I soon saw a big beautiful white one that was a first year Glaucous Gull. I assume that this is the same bird reported by Floyd Hayes on Dec 11. This was at about 10:30. About 15 minutes later it took off towards the landfill. Others gulls were continuously going towards and coming from the landfill to the roof. It was a pleasant drive home. -- John Luther, Oakland

Fri, 18 Dec 2009 -- This morning at about 9 am, there was a beautiful male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER along Perini Rd. near Snow Lake south of Lower Lake. I found the group of three gray pines as reported yesterday by Darlene Hecomovich on Mendobirds. I heard soft tapping, but not in those trees. I walked on the road below Perini Rd. so the sun was behind me and looked up the slope. The male Williamson's was drilling a row of new holes in a gray pine about half-way between the group of three pines and the intersection of the unnamed road and Perini Rd. I continued south on Perini and came on an area of toyon that was crowded with American Robins and HERMIT THRUSHES. A COOPER'S HAWK bombed through, but wasn't really serious. Found 2 PYGMY NUTHATCHES on Adams Springs Rd. Finally drove up into the Boggs Mountain Area hoping for a Hairy Woodpecker. It was very quiet, so I had to settle for a male PILEATED WOODPECKER. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 -- Today Jeannette Knight and I were doing a dry run for our CBC route on Saturday and discovered a female WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER around 12:30 pm at some holes in a Gray Pine on Perini Road (accessed from Seigler Canyon Road) above Snows Lake.Snows Lake is approximately 2.5 miles from the juncture of Seigler Canyon Road and Perini Road. I believe this is only the second or third record for Lake County.
In case anyone is interested in pursuing the Sapsucker,the bird was in the southernmost tree of a set of three Gray Pines n the east side of the road and 90 feet south of a No Trespassing Sign (that doesn't apply to using the road but is a warning not to trespass off the road)and 300 feet north of an unnamed road that takes off from Perini Road and goes between Perini Road and Snows Lake.There is a large forked Black Oak near the No Trespassing sign and a large Ponderosa Pine just south of the set of three Gray Pines. Complicated, no? We're hoping it will still be there on Saturday for the Clear Lake CBC. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Mon, 14 Dec 2009-- Walked around Lake Cleone 12/14/09. I saw a strange looking bird on the south side of the lake, on the water in the a sheltered cove. To me it resembled a common moorhen. But that makes no sense. Saw a River Otter in water on north side of lake, near boardwalk. Marsh Wren, American Coots, Common Ravens, Double-crested Cormorants, 1 femle Northern Shoveler on west side of lake, Pied-billed Grebes, Mallards, Steller's Jays, Turkey Vultures, Yellow-rumped Warblers myrtle population, 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove, American Robins, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 1 female Varied Thrush from the dirt path on south side of lake, 6 male and 6 female Ring-necked Ducks on the west side of the lake. -- Fred Andrews

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 -- I saw a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER and two male PHAINOPEPLAS at Anderson Marsh. The woodpecker was at the ranch house, one Phainopepla was before the boardwalk and the other was after. Five TREE SWALLOWS were flying over the south end of the lake (why do they consistently disappear during fall and suddenly reappear in December or January?), seen from the docks at Redbud Park, and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was hanging out with domesticated geese to the north of the docks. Nine lingering LEAST SANDPIPERS and 26 SCAUP (they're finally arriving, hopefully to be joined soon by a Tufted Duck!) were at Borax Lake. The odd adult RING-BILLED GULLS, one with dark eyes and the other with a gray right leg, were both present at Redbud Park. Photos of the two odd gulls are posted here and here. I also posted a photo of last winter's Eurasian Green-winged Teal here. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 -- Barbara Dolan and I birded around the north end of Lake Mendocino this morning. We did not find the Tufted Duck today. There were only about 60 scaups scattered around the north end of the lake. On the mud near the north ramp we saw 8 Long-billed Dowitchers, 1 Dunlin, a dozen Least Sandpipers, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, and a Wilson's Snipe. Also sitting on the mud was a Bonaparte's Gull. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 -- A PEREGRINE FALCON made a mistake in targeting and got caught between some blackberries and the fence near the barn on White Dog Ranch. He was carefully extracted and released unharmed. Last week saw several BUSHTITS in the front yard there, and a flock of about 20 GREAT EGRETS in a tree; they often fish in the irrigated pasture there.-- C. De La Cruz

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 -- I covered the north shore of Lake Mendocino this morning in the drizzle, but I did not find the Tufted Duck. There were seven DOWITCHERS near Oak Grove Parking Lot. I've got to go out on the mud soon and try to identify them. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 -- This morning the male TUFTED DUCK continued on Lake Mendocino. The scaup flock was scattered over the bay to the west of the north boat ramp and I had to scope through a couple of times to find my quarry. He was hanging out with 2 pairs of LESSER SCAUP fairly close to the shore. He has a quite extensive tuft, especially when he is resting with his head turned on his back. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 -- I went out to Lake Mendocino to look for the tufted duck to no avail today. After I walked out to the mudflat I returned to the parking lot and was about to leave when a bird flew past me. I could not believe it at first, even though it is my totem bird. It was a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW. I watched it from 4:38 pm until 5:01 pm. It was trying to find a place to roost under the eaves of the restroom and occasionally flying up into the louvers. It appeared to be healthy the way it was flying. I was not smoking or drinking anything either. Other birds I saw included: Starlings 9, House Finch 4, Mallards 65, Coots 33, Greater Scaup 8, Killdeer 9, Green-winged Teal 15, Bufflehead 3, Great Egret 1, Nuttall's Woodpecker 2, Acorn Woodpecker 3, Flicker 1, Gull sp. 41 -- Dave Bengsten

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 -- Doug Weidemann and I birded around Clear Lake today. Our best bird was a 1st-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL at WalMart (my 11th gull species on the roof!) and also at the landfill in Clearlake. It's a pure white bird, very easy to spot among the 1000 or so gulls. We also saw a 2nd-cycle "white-winged" gull with pale eyes and brown-tinged wingtips, intermediate in size between a California Gull and Herring Gull, that looks like a chunky Iceland Gull or a petite hybrid of Glaucous X Herring or Glaucous-winged X Herring or Glaucous X Glaucous-winged--we gave up on it!
At Lucerne Harbor we found a "different" Empidonax flyatcher and Jerry White joined us to help identify it. We concluded it was a HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER. It was in the clump of willows just south of the docks.
At Lakeside County Park in Kelseyville we tallied 19 CACKLING GEESE.
On 5 December, Nick Shepherd saw four BARROW'S GOLDENEYES at Pirate's Cove in Clearlake Park, but I was unable to find them the following day or today. But I did see a pair of PHAINOPEPLAS there on 6 December.
Also on 6 December I got some cool photos of an adult RING-BILLED GULL with brown eyes and another adult RING-BILLED GULL with a gray right leg and greenish-yellow left leg, both at Redbud Park. We saw the latter again today. One of these days I'll post some photos... -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 -- This afternoon Karen Havlena, Steve Grams, and I refound the male TUFTED DUCK near the north boat ramp at Lake Mendocino, It was best seen by walking out onto the exposed mud to where the inlet stream flows into the lake. It was associating with Greater Scaup, Buffleheads, and American Coots - mostly in the stream. We got some excellent looks through the scope with good light at close range. Good photo opportunity. There were also four dowitchers, some Least Sandpipers, a Wilson's Snipe, and a possible female Blue-winged Teal.
I went down to the dipper location at milepost 37.08 on Route 20, and there was fresh dipper sign on the rocks, but I saw no dipper. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders. At 10 this morning I saw a male TUFTED DUCK in basic plumage at the north end of Lake Mendocino. The bird was feeding with Greater Scaup, Mallards, and Green-winged Teal in the calmer areas along the edges of the inlet. It was easily visible within 50-75 yards to the SSE of the cement boat launch. It was not on the lake during the 15 minutes I watched it. -- Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 -- I was at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens today from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM today and spent about 45 minutes in the area where the Williamson's Sapsucker was reported last sunday. There was a very people-friendly PILEATED WOODPECKER but no Sapsucker. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 -- Six ANCIENT MURRELETS and two MARBLED MURRELETS were seen from the middle platform along the Laguna Point boardwalk by Dorothty Tobkin. Additionally, Toby had a "six grebe day" between Laguna Point and Lk Cleone. The ROCK SANDPIPER was not seen today. Toby also saw the BURROWING OWL in the logs east of the Haul Road bridge over Virgin Creek. These birds were seen in MacKerricher SP west of Hwy 1 north of Fort Bragg. --- (for) Dorothy Tobkin.
Richard Hubacek, Trudy Jensen, Jim Griswold and I looked for the Williamson's Sapsucker with no luck again today. A female WISA was seen Saturday at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens along the southern boundary of the property west of the vegetable garden about 150-200 yards. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 06 Dec 2009 -- HI All, I just received a report from Chris Skyhawk who is from the Albion area. He and his family were out for a walk at the Navarro River Beach on Sunday 12/6. Chris wrote, "I ran into nature photographer Jon Klein who said he had a report that a BALD EAGLE had been seen several times hunting in the estuary. The person who told him even had a picture of it eating a Coot on the north bank." It does sound like a reliable sighting. People sometimes confuse an Osprey with a Bald Eagle. But, as we all know, an Osprey does not eat Coots! -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sun, 06 Dec 2009 - Several local birders searched for the Williamson's Sapsucker along the south side of the Mendocino Botanical Gardens all Sunday morning. This was the bird found by Dave Jensen and others on Saturday. The "search group" did NOT find the bird, but two fresh sapping well sites were discovered in the low isolated pines between the south path (at the large open grassy area were the MCBGardens has evetn tents occasionally) and the boundary fence. One sap well is about 7 feet from the ground, and the other is about 10 feet from the ground. These sapping well sites are consistent with Dave's description of the bird staying low to the ground and moving from tree to tree. The sap well holes were small, maybe 3/16 inch in diameter and round, and I think they are unlike Red-breasted Sapsucker sap wells which tend to be larger and sometimes "squared" in shape my gut feeling is that this bird made them (although I am not personally familair with Williamson's Sapsucker behavior).
With the sapping wells being found, I think it is likely that the bird will return to the site. It probably has a series of sap-well sites that it visits ...and some of those are probably on the private property to the south (do not cross the fence onto private property). We are hoping that birders will continue to keep a sharp eye out for this female Williamson's Sapsucker at this site.
The only prior Williamson's Sapsucker record for the county was a specimen collected near Albion in the early 1900's. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Sat, 05 Dec 2009 -- At 11:30 today (Saturday) a group of 4 observers spotted an adult female WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg. The bird was found adjacent to the path along the southern boundary of the park, just southeast of the open grassy area where tents are erected for musical events (about 150 yards west of the vegetable gardens). After about five minutes of viewing, the bird flew south. Other highlights of the morning's walk included several hundred PACIFIC LOONS flying far offshore, all three coastal falcon species(Peregrine, Merlin and Kestrel), and a very cooperative NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL that surprisingly escaped the notice of nearby sparrows. -- Dave Jensen

Fri, Dec 04, 2009--Went out to Navarro Point early this afternoon to look for raptors. When I got out to the point I noticed a continuous stream of PACIFIC LOONS passing south some distance out over the ocean. This was my first experience with the Pacific Loon migration. I estimated 650 (very conservative) passing in the short time I was there. It was very impressive!
My question is--is this late in the season for this to happen? A posting today on the NWCALBIRD site notes that 1000 PACIFIC LOONS in 27 minutes were observed. Most of the research I've read (and in talking to Toby) seems to support that this is a late migration. I'm prepared to hear comments that I'm wrong.
Had at least 3 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS and 2 WHITE-TAILED KITES (one being a juvenile) in my raptor search. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 04 Dec 2009 -- Jim and I saw the female LONG-TAILED DUCK, now on the west side of Ten Mile bridge feeding alone this morning. She can be very difficult to see, diving and staying underwater for long periods. This is the first time either of us has seen this bird since she was first noticed on 22 November by Toby Tobkin. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Fri, 04 Dec 2009 -- The YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was at Lakeside County Park this morning. Other birds of interest at the park were; COMMON LOON, CACKLING GOOSE, HOODED MERGANSERS, and MERLIN. On the way back to Kelseyville there was a FERRUGINOUS HAWK on Big Valley Road. -- Jerry White

Thu, 03 Dec 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin called that there was one ROCK SANDPIPER at Laguna Pt, MacKerricher SP, that was seen at high tide from the far, point viewing platform. The ROSA liked being near SURFBIRDs. Laguna Point is reached by driving north of Fort Bragg on Hwy 1 to Mill Creek Dr and turning west to the last parking lot. -- For Toby Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 -- Beckstoffer Pond--Tindall Ranch Rd., Mendocino County. Start time: 11:30 AM Area covered: 1.0 acre(s), Duration: 0 hour(s) 45 minute(s)
12 American Wigeon, 16 Mallard, 42 Ring-necked Duck, 3 Greater Scaup, 19 Hooded Merganser, 1 Turkey Vulture, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 14 American Coot, 3 Rock Pigeon, 1 Acorn Woodpecker, 2 Northern Flicker, 1 Black Phoebe, 2 Western Scrub-Jay, 4 American Crow, 40 American Robin, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 400 European Starling, 3 Red-winged Blackbird, 2 Brewer's Blackbird, 2 House Finch. -- Dave Bengsten

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders. We birded down the south Mendo coast today, more or less repeating the route taken by the Audubon trip a couple weeks ago. Not quite as successful as that trip; fewer eyes and no experts! We did see several Ferruginous Hawks in the fields south of Elk again, but no RLHA, Peregrines or Merlins. Male and female Harriers in two places (the Kinney Lane picnic area, and the field north of Miner Hole). One very brief glimpse of a possible Osprey at Elk. White-tailed Kites in three places: the Garcia River field, the horse-pasture in Albion, and my backyard on Middle Ridge :). Red-tailed Hawks everywhere.
The mouth of the Navarro River was particularly active, with a large mixed flock of ducks: mostly Buffleheads, about a dozen Common Goldeneyes, and four female Surf Scoters. A lone Red-Breasted Merganser off in the distance. Also a lone Phalarope was very actively flying from place to place, never settling on the water for long, and never giving me a very good view; from the wing pattern I favor Red-Necked, but couldn't be certain. Five Brown Pelicans flew into the river, settled briefly, then flew back out to sea.
We ended up at Point Arena where we finally, definitively saw the LAYSAN ALBATROSS, Al, in the place everybody always says he hangs out (NW of the pier). To celebrate we had coffee and dessert at the Chowder House, where we were entertained by a California Gull stealing the bun off a tourist's hamburger, swallowing it, flying over to a nearby roof, horking it back up and then chasing it down the roof.
No particularly unusual birds, but it was a gorgeous day with lots of bird activity. Plenty of good looks at some beautiful birds - one of the FEHA soared slowly past us at close range, thrilling our guest from the Bay area. Tomorrow we are going to try for the Burrowing Owl, Redheads, and maybe the LTDU. Anybody know if we can find Harlequin Ducks at Dolphin Isle? Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 -- I was coming back from birding the UWSTP with Chuck Vaughn, Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken when I spotted the honkers off the freeway. I got off and went around. The CANADA GEESE were on the west side of Airport Blvd. at the south end right where it goes from two way to one way. I parked on the far side of the road and was pleasantly surprised by the juvenile SNOW GOOSE. -- Dave Bengsten

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 -- The continuing LONG-TAILED DUCK was reported again on Sunday by Toby Tobkin, east of the Ten Mile River bridge. She also saw many Pacific Loons streaming by Laguna Pt and the 2 REDHEADS at Lk Cleone, MacKerricher SP. A NORTHERN FULMAR also passed close to the point viewing platform.
At the Ten Mile area, I still have the continuing FERRUGINOUS HAWK at about 70.32 mm on Hwy 1, north of the Ten Mile R. bridge. I went to the river to look for the LTDU (not seen), but I did see 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS (E. Fielder's?) and an OSPREY, all on the east side of the bridge. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 28 Nov 2009 -- The two SURF SCOTERS were seen today at Library Park, Lakeport. -- Jerry and Nikki White

Sat, 28 Nov 2009 -- The BURROWING OWL is still at Virgin Creek, MacKerricher SP, Fort Bragg. This morning, the wind was gusting at least 35 mph or more. I saw Dan Airola from Sacramento. He had missed the owl yesterday afternoon, so we walked down to the Haul Road and the small bridge over Virgin Creek to try again. Dan thought it is more wind today than Friday.
The BUOW was standing in exactly the same spot where Jim and I saw it on Wednesday. One can see the entire bird by standing just south of the bridge. Look across to the east where there are quite a few large logs on the north shore, below the large, new brown house. Look for three large roots sticking up in the center of the logs. The owl stands about 5 or 6 ft to the right toward the creek. (If you stand on the north side, you can only see the head). For clarification, there is only one Burrowing Owl at this location. I'm sure that Toby, Jim, Dan and I all saw the same bird.
Park in the large parking area on Hwy 1, Fort Bragg, a little south of Kemgas and Matson Building Materials. Walk out the obvious path to the Haul Rd and go north to the small bridge. To repeat, the best view is seen from above the south side of the bridge, and morning is probably the best time. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 -- I found and photographed a presumed adult GLAUCOUS X HERRING GULL on a dock at the south end of Golf Avenue in Clearlake. I was unable to relocate it the following morning. A photograph accompanied with a description is posted here: On both days there was another odd-looking adult resembling a Herring Gull but with dark gray rather than black wingtips; I suspect it was a hybrid HERRING X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, which is much more common. -- Floyd Hayes

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 -- I thought some might be interested in a report on "Al," the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Point Arena Cove in Mendocino County. Kimya Lambert and I saw him fly in around 3:30 pm on Friday, 11/27/09. Both legs appeared to be working well (photos from the winter of 06/07 showed an apparent broken leg). Photos here -- Cris Connard

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 -- Our feeder was graced by the presence of a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW today, Thanksgiving Day '09. This is earlier in the year than he usually visits us. We have many Juncos each year and there has always been one SLATE-COLORED JUNCO among them. It is back again this year. Just one with all the other little dark eyed Juncos.
The dominant hummingbird right now appears to be the male Anna's with the deformed beak and tumor on his right shoulder that we observed last summer. -- Cherie Foster, 1810 Sanford Ranch Road, 462-3339

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 -- Karen Havlena saw a BURROWING OWL this morning at Virgin Creek where Toby saw one yesterday. -- For Karen Havlena, Art Morley

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 -- I took my laptop to Lake Pennyroyal [today], hoping to get some writing done. It was hard going, what with all the birds clamoring for my attention. I sat in one place for about 1.5 hrs. Western Bluebirds, Robins, Cedar Waxwings, and at least one Yellow-rumped Warbler were all eating mistletoe berries. Of note for this location were 4 Green-winged Teal, 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, and 1 Hooded Merganser. It's been years since I've seen any Pileated Woodpeckers at the lake. -- Kate Marienchild

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin just called that a BURROWING OWL was on the east side of the Haul Rd bridge over Virgin Creek at 11:30-am. When at the short bridge or just north of it, look east on the north side of creek. The owl was on some logs below the new, brown house.
Park at the large, dirt pullout on Hwy 1, south of Kemgas and Matson's Building Materials, Fort Bragg. Walk out the obvious path to the Haul Rd, then north down to the bridge and creek. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Sun Nov 22, 2009 --The surprise of the Peregrine Audubon outing to Covelo today were the very late appearance of at least 6 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS spotted By David Jensen at the bridge just after the Dos Rios turnoff on Highway 162. A full report on the trip will be posted on their website in the near future. click here -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 22 Nov 2009 -- Toby Tobkin saw a female LONG-TAILED DUCK today at about 11:30. At that time it was with Surf Scoters about .25 miles east of the Tenmile bridge. -- Art Morley for Toby Tobkin

Sat, 21 Nov 2009 -- I pished up a somewhat late COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at Lk Cleone, MacKerricher SP this morning. It was just south of the restrooms by the lake parking lot where the Mallards are hanging out. It appeared to be a young male with a hint of a mask and very bright yellow throat, breast and undertail. An adult SNOW GOOSE was with the large flock of Canada Geese on Bald Hill Rd, about 1 1/2 miles east on Pudding Creek Rd from Hwy 1 in Fort Bragg. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 -- The sun came out briefly so I went up to Casper Pond. The immature Ross's Goose was not there apparently feeling unwanted. I did take some pictures of the remaining goose. One of the pictures, showing the head has been uploaded. It still looks (to me) like the Ross's x Lesser Snow Goose hybrid shown in Sibley's "Guide to Birds". Note also the indented (curved) feather line at bridge of bill is curved like Snow Geese not straight like a Ross's. Of course the goose could have been grinning at me for stepping in goose poop. -- Richard Hubacek

Thur, 19 Nov 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin called that an immature ROSS'S GOOSE was at Caspar Pond today. She stated that "miraculously" the adult "Ross's" Goose has lost its partial/semi-grin patch, and now it looks exactly like the newly arrived immature Ross's. I saw both birds together late this afternoon. The immature bird is clearly a Ross's. (I have boldly written this before)....The immature has a grayish bill and grayish legs/feet and some light gray smudginess on various parts of the basically, white plumage, with black tips to the primaries. Where the mandibles come together on the bill, there may be a thin blackish line, but not a serated, grin patch. The adult now looks the same - it does not appear to have a serated, grin patch, but there is a thin black line. ALL of the other proportions are identical.
Also, please note: The adult bird nipped at the immature several times, even though the young bird wanted to stay by the adult's side. Toby also noticed this behavior -- territorial? Adult Ross's can have a partial/slight/minimal grin patch, according to several books. Go Ross's!!! Caspar Pond is at the junction of Hwy 1 and Fern Creek Rd, just north of the Caspar Creek bridge. -- For Dorothy (Toby) Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin called that the ROCK SANDPIPER was on the 2nd large rock at the sandy beach, north end of Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. This is at the west end of Elm St. Take the right fork to the sandy beach.
After receiving a call from Chuck, I zoomed over to Lake Mendocino to see the AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN at the south end near Coyote Dam. The pelican had moved slightly to a small peninsula directly east of the lower parking area at the dam. Luckily, the bird was standing when I arrived about 1:40-pm. Then, it settled down and tucked its bill. I placed some phone calls after that, and it was still in sleeping mode when I left. Hopefully, it will spend the night! -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 -- Mendocino County November 18th. Left Sonoma State College a little after one PM and arrived at Lake Mendocino (exit eastbound on Lake Mendocino Drive north of Ukiah) and parked in the large parking lot next to the dam at the southern end of the lake. There, sitting out on the mudflat on a little peninsula sleeping, was the AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, a surprisingly hard bird to see in this county. Not taking any chances, I waited about 20minutes until it lifted it's head. Yep, still alive. Headed home. -- Jim Lomax

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- There was a single AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN at Lake Mendocino at 11:30 this morning. The bird was on the exposed mud on the NE corner of the dam just below the parking lot. It should be easy to see; it towers over the coots and miscreated waterfowl out there like the Pillsbury Doughboy. I did not see it there Sunday when I was picking through the gulls. Hopefully it will hang around a while. Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 -- Tom Reid, from Point Arena, reports that the Point Arena Harbor master Assistant watched "AL", the famous Laysan Albatross, fly into Point Arena Cove at 9:00 AM this morning. The bird settled into resting just beyond the pier. This will be the 17th consecutive (known) "winter season" that the bird has returned to use the cove as safe haven for resting. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue Nov 17, 2009 -- While birding Lake Cleone on Monday at approx. 11:30 AM I found a RED-TAILED HAWK in a tree on the north side of the lake near the "pump-house". Upon reviewing the pictures I noticed a single silver band on the right leg. The bird appeared to be an western intermediate (per Sibley) adult. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 -- I also saw, possibly a different, though presumably the same MARBLED GODWIT as reported earlier by Floyd Hayes. The Marbled Godwit was seen, while kayaking on Sunday afternoon, 11/15, at around 4 pm in Rodman Slough, foraging on the mudflats about 400 meters from the bridge on the slough side. No other unusual birds were seen yesterday but, in the lake itself, just beyond the slough, the incredible proliferation of hundreds and hundreds of BONAPARTE'S GULLS flying, swimming and foraging - both skimming and diving - on the now shallow, glass-smooth lake was stunning. -- Vishnu

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 -- This morning at 07:55 the two SURF SCOTERS were still present off Library Park in Lakeport. One was only about 20 feet from shore off the boat ramp by the TNT Restaurant, and the other was about 60 feet out. They were underwater most of the time, and as I was watching them, they worked their way south around Willow Point and out of view. I missed them yesterday at about the same time.
Next I went on the Lakeside County Park to look for a Red-breasted Sapsucker which would be my 200th Lake County year bird, but instead I found a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in the small eucalypt by the backstop of Ball Field A. It is probably not a stretch to imagine that this is the same bird that spent last winter in the same tree. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 15 Nov 2009 -- I birded with Doug Weidemann around Clear Lake yesterday. In addition to the SURF SCOTERS in Lakeport we saw one other bird of interest, a MARBLED GODWIT at the mouth (lake side) of Rodman's Slough. Amazingly it was foraging (or at least trying to forage) on a few patches of mud, none more than a foot across, jutting above the water near a small patch of reeds several hundred feet from shore. I doubt it stayed there for long. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 15 Nov 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Late this afternoon a male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD in adult plumage made several visits to the feeders in our yard. It is probably not a stretch to imagine that this is the same bird that we saw very intermittently in February and March last year. -- Chuck and Barbara Vaughn

Sun, 15 Nov 2009 -- The two SURF SCOTERS were close to shore between the main pier [in Library Park in Lakeport] and the TNT Restaurant around 10:30 this morning. They were still present when I went back around 1:00 pm or so. -- Jerry White

Sat, 14 Nov 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I watched 2 Scoters with our binoculars at about 1 pm today (Nov 14) off of Library Park in Lakeport. I am quite confident that they were juvenile SURF SCOTERS, but am hoping somebody can get out there with a scope to confirm this. -- Thanks, Chuck

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 -- Geoff and I refound the CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR today at 1PM in the same general location it was seen previously, southeast of the monument on the Mendocino headlands. It's a skulker. -- Cheryl Watson

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 -- Karen Havlena and I found the CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR reported by Toby at approx. 3:45PM. It wasn't easy. We found it in the long grass field just south/east of the monument by walking thru it. It flew to about 50-60 feet south of the monument and we lost it when it jumped off the bluff into the grassy area just below the bluff. Got some pictures and if they're any good will post. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 -- Per a message on my answering machine, Toby found a single 1st winter CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR at 11:00AM today. It was located at the south/west section of the headlands, just south of the monument. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Mon, 09 Nov 2009 -- This morning an adult (returning?) FERRUGINOUS HAWK was on a cypress across Hwy 1 from Ocean Meadows north of the Ten Mile R. There has been a FEHA covering that area every winter since we moved here in 2005.
At Lake Cleone, there was a female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER out on the middle of the lake. The 2 REDHEADs were visible, also. The heavy surf and high tides broke down more of the Haul Rd barrier between the cove and Lake Cleone. A lot of sand had been bulldozed off the road to Laguna Point, and kelp was strewn over the parking lot at the lake. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 -- Two SWAMP SPARROWS were found below the Ten Mile River bridges. An adult was seen by Dorothy Tobkin and an immature was spotted by Karen Havlena near the adult. Richard Hubacek was able to see one of the birds. -- Karen A Havlena

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called late Tuesday that she saw the COMMON MOORHEN on the east side of Lake Cleone again. Toby originally found the bird on 13 September. She also saw the 2 REDHEADS again, as well. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 -- This morning before 10 a.m. on a shorebird survey, a volunteer spotted what we believe is a TROPICAL KINGBIRD in the lone tree on the trail just east of the main beach at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. The bird had a typical Kingbird shape, gray head and BRIGHT yellow underparts. It was in the top of the tree and flew south--so our look was brief. We talked with Karen Havlena and Toby Tobkin, and we think it was probably a Tropical Kingbird. Just a note--the tourists have left and the birds and insects are back at the beach. -- Becky Bowen

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin just called having spotted one ROCK SANDPIPER at Glass Beach, MacKerricher SP in Fort Bragg. The bird was roosting with Black Turnstones and Surfbirds on the 2nd largest rock to the left of the sandy beach. Take the right fork from the main pathway at the west end of Elm St, Fort Bragg. -- For Dorothy Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 -- I saw a pair of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS in the estuary east of the [Ten Mile River] bridge. The BUFFLEHEADS returned for the winter 6 or so days ago. -- Erica Fielder

Tue, 03 Nov 2009 -- The two REDHEADS and one CANVASBACK were still at Lake Cleone, MacKerricher SP, this morning. I arrived too early for a good view of the lake, with the sun too low and mist rising from the water, so I walked out to Laguna Point. Since Rock Sandpipers have been seen both to the north and south of us, I looked carefully but I could not find a ROSA (yet). With the sun a little higher shortly after 08:30, I easily saw the Redheads and the Canvasback on the west side of the lake. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 02 Nov 2009 -- This morning at about 8:30 AM there was a CATTLE EGRET at the Kelsey Creek Outlet. The bird flew off about 5 minutes later heading west along the shoreline. Brad Barnwell went out looking for the bird about an hour later but it had not returned. This is the 4th record for Lake County and the 1st for the outlet and Clear Lake State Park. Another bird new for the park list was the PACIFIC LOON found by George Chaniot et al. on Saturday. -- Jerry White

Mon, 02 Nov 2009 -- This afternoon I found 2 REDHEADS at Lake Cleone (approx 3:30). Initially they were at the north side of the Lake approx. 40 yards east of the boat ramp. Moved out to the middle when they saw me coming along the board-walk to get a better look. I also momentarily had 2 CANVASBACKS earlier but they flew off north (not my fault). -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 -- Steve and I went to Lake Co this morning to try for the Franklin's Gull on the Walmart roof in Clearlake. Had no luck with that but the rest of the day was successful. SHARP-SHINNED HAWK flew over while we were looking for the gull. Met Floyd Hayes who had seen the Franklin's the day before. He gave us lots of help locating the places we wanted to visit but were sure where they were.
Went to Hidden Valley Lake WTP which is south on the 29 to Grange Rd and east until it turns south. Floyd told us there would be a gate at the end of the road and it was okay to go inside the gate and up the hill for good views of the WTP. We added HOODED MERGANSERS and one female LESSER SCAUP. Looked for Burrowing Owl but had no luck.
Then further south on the Hwy 29 to Butts Canyon Rd for the drive to Detert Res. It was low and not too much on it except more Hooded Mergansers and the usual ducks. Then back on Butts Canyon to Middletown and up Hwy 175. At Cobb Mountain we got a STELLER's JAY. Further along we stopped at Boggs Mountain State Park and added PYGMY NUTHATCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and HERMIT WARBLER.
Continuting to follow Hwy 175 to Kelseyville, stopped at Clearlake State Park and finally found the trail out Kelseyville Creek. A flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over the trees just after we arrived. Then out at the mouth of the creek sat a HEERMANN'S GULL among the many DC Cormorants and American White Pelicans. VIRGINIA RAILS AND SORA began calling and we saw those.
The sun was going down quickly and we headed to Borax Lake to look for AMERICAN PIPITS, which we saw and Eurasian Wigeon, which we didn't. Lots of shovelers and other wigeon. Continued on to Clearlake Oaks Launching Facility on Island Dr. where Floyd told us there was a COMMON MOORHEN. Check, got that one. Then checked the lake and got a COMMON LOON. Back-tracked a little to High Valley Rd to look for Lewis' Woodpecker. Missed that but got our other goal which was the YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE. It was a gorgeous, warm day in Lake Co. -- Diane and Steve Rose, Grass Valley

Sat, 31 Oct 2009 -- Floyd Hayes just called. He has found a FRANKLIN'S GULL on the roof of Wal-Mart in Clearlake. He estimates there are a 1000 gulls there at this time. This is the 3rd county record. Photos here. -- Jerry White for Floyd Hayes

Sat, 31 Oct 2009 -- Most of the reported HOODED MERGANSERS have been in the inland area. I had 5 this morning on a small pond just west of the Little River Airport. One breeding plumage male and 4 females. Will post a couple of pictures shortly. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 -- Just for the record, I have a WHITE-THROATED SPAROW in my hedgerow this morning, 10/29 in GlenBlair. His markings are bright and bold. I'd like to think it's the little fellow who spent last winter here, hoping he'll stay. -- Becky Stenberg, GlenBlair

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 -- There appear to be 2 colonies of BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS on the lower portion of the Noyo River. I have been watching them for 3 years now from a kayak and from shore. The one colony is in the "magic corner" of the Noyo River by the former launch ramp of Dolphin Isle Marina. The other is across the river from the main mooring basin.
Lately some of the BCNH's have been active in the mid to late afternoon, but typically they become active around dusk. Morning birders may catch glimses of the BCNH's before they tuck into the fir trees for the day. During the day, we consistently see them in their roosts from kayaks in the river.
I suspect that they are nesting on the Noyo and have a couple of ideas where their nests are but have not seen an actual nest. Here is a link Click here. to a photo that a visitor took of a juvenile during one of our sunset bird paddles this summer. Best of days, -- Cate Hawthorne

Wed, 28 Oct 2009, 2:05pm -- Hello - The SOOTY GROUSE is still here but has moved out of the redwood and is walking across the property towards the thick brush. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Wed, 28 Oct 2009, 1:45pm -- Hello - A juvenile SOOTY GROUSE ran into one of our living room windows and then flew into a redwood across our driveway. This happened about 40 minutes ago (1:05pm). The bird is still perched in the redwood. If anyone is interested in VERY good looks of Sooty Grouse please feel free to call me at 884-9973. I'll post an update again shortly and I'll post some photos. -- Rich Trissel, Gualala (Fish Rock Road)

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 -- Spent 2 hours on Burris Lane this morning looking and listening for a Phainopepla. Did not find it. Did however, see 4 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS to the north of Burris Lane while scanning treetops. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 -- I observed 2 juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS on the Noyo River at around 2:30 PM today. The location was the Dolphin RV Park and Marina which is as far as you can drive up the Noyo off the Highway 20 entrance. David Jensen told me about the BCNH roost at this location last month. BCNHs are listed as rare in Mendocino County with no nesting records. David thinks that he may have seen juveniles at that location this last summer. He is going to talk to the owner of the kayak company located at the marina to see if she has pictures and dates of juvenile BCNHs from earlier in the year. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 -- At 12:12 p.m. today Paul Hawks found a male PHAINOPEPLA on Burris Lane in Potter Valley. It was in some small oaks along the lane about 100 feet west of mailbox 12000. This is in the level section along the vineyard and beyond the first barn. He saw it fly off to the north to an oak in the vineyard and return to the same tree along the road.
I ran in to Paul shortly afterwards and went back to look for it. I refound it easily at about 12:35 in the same tree. It was making the characteristic, upward-inflected call note repeatedly, which led me right to it. While I was watching, it flew south across the lower pasture and into the oaks along the creek, where I lost it. I looked again about 1:30 p.m. and scoped the trees to the south to no avail. Perhaps someone with better hearing could pick it up at that distance.
Matthew Matthiessen, Karen Havlena, and I searched the area from about 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., and we could not find the bird again. There were, however, about six LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS flying among the oaks to the south. We also saw and adult BALD EAGLE, and at least three immature GOLDEN EAGLES. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 24 Oct 2009 -- Hi Birders. This evening, I rode my bike up to the pond at the end of Burris Lane, in Potter Valley (Mendocino County). I found it to be rather more birdy than the past few times I have been up there. The clear highlight was a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER, frequenting some oaks at the top of the hill overlooking the pond. On the pond were 32 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 American Wigeon and 8 Mallards, but only 4 Coots and no Pied-billed Grebes, at least that I saw. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Thu, 22 Oct 2009 - Two LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS were seen along the LAK/MEN just to the southeast fo the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. These birds are not really chasable by the public, however, I wanted to give a "heads-up" to everyone to keep an eye out in this species' regular haunts such as Covelo/Round Valley and the Old River Road between Talmage and Hopland. Last winter of 2008/2009 there was only one single LEWO reported in the county, and that was the one on the King Ranch on the Old River Road. Perhaps there will be a better winter showing for the species in MEN county for 2009/2010.
Another unusual sighting that I had was watching 7 American Crows fly from Sanel Valley up and over the Mayacmas Mountains (at about 2800' elevation) into LAK County heading towards Clear Lake. Even though our local crow flocks are primarily resident, I wonder how much genetic interchange takes place from immigation/emigration between the main valleys and populations? -- Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Thu, 22 Oct 2009 -- This morning at about 09:30 I saw a juvenile COMMON MOORHEN on the east end of the south pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. It was associating with coots and staying mostly hidden in the emergent vegetation. This species seem to be becoming more abundant in recent years in Mendocino County. This year I believe I have seen about seven individuals in four different locations. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 -- An adult female HORNED LARK has been a "road bird" for the last two days at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. I got a glimpse of the bird yesterday as it flew off but was unable to identify it to species then .however from vocalizations I knew it was "pipit-like". This morning it was (assumed same bird) back at the exact same spot and I was able to get a good binoc-look at it. Horned Larks are rather rare in the interior of the county with best chances at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. Even on the coast, fall migration produces singles or small flocks which usually do not stick around for long and luck has to be on your side to see the species. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 -- Howdy, Seabirders, The full trip report for Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip from Fort Bragg on October 18, 2009 is at: Sherawater Journeys
Highlights included a FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER, over 1000 CASSIN'S AUKLETS, and two ANCIENT MURRELETS (new county bird for me). Lots of krill near shore, with 2 BLUE and 2 HUMPBACK WHALES feeding along with all of the Cassin's Auklets. -- Debra Shearwater

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 -- Point Arena / Manchester, Hello - This morning at about 8:30a my wife, Nancy, and I saw a TROPICAL KINGBIRD on North Windy Hollow Road about 50 meters from the end of the road. I have uploaded a few pictures -- sorry about the quality. We then went to Barnegat Road off Stonboro Road and saw a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD in the large blackbird flock that was working the dairy which borders the north side of the lake (reached from trail off the north end of Barnegat). Several TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS were also in the flock. Also seen from that same spot were 27 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Good Birding -- Rich (and Nancy) Trissel

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 -- Hi all, This morning out on the Little River Headlands was a small Empidonax that I am calling a LEAST FLYCATCHER. I apologize for not getting the word out early, but I had computer user malfunction, and this bird was in a neighbor's yard in a place that can't be viewed without upsetting people so I couldn't have had people come to see it anyway.
I realize that this might be a first county record. I am uploading some pictures to the Mendobirds Photo section. here and here It was not close so they are not the best photos, but I think they are identifiable.
It was a small flycatcher, very white below, with a large head, bright white eye ring, bold white wing bars and only the slightest hint of yellow on the abdomen. It was flycatching, and sitting for extended periods when it would occasionally flick its tail up a tiny little bit. It did not dip the tail down like a Gray, nor did it actively flick its tail like a Western. Never did I see it flick it's wings. The bill was somewhat broad - broader than a Dusky/Hammonds, but not as broad as a Western. The bill was dark brown above and mostly pinkish-pale below with a hint of dark along the middle of the lower mandible. I have a video clip of it sitting as well.
It only stayed around for about 30 minutes and then when I checked later it was not there. It wasn't in a place that normally holds birds, I was actually surprised it stayed as long as it did. Hope one shows up someplace that others can see it! -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 -- Late this morning I saw Toby's CLAY-COLORED SPARROW by Lk. Cleone's outflow pond in the berry bushes below the Haul Rd, MacKerricher SP. I did the weekly SOS survey on Ten Mile beach earlier in the morning, having the most SNOWY PLOVERs I have seen this year totaling 27. All of the SNPLs are about 1/2 mile north of the ramp north of Ward Ave, Cleone. The ONLY other shorebird I had on the entire 4 1/4 mile walk was one Killdeer. This afternoon in the front yard, Jim called out that the YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD had returned to the front yard. She was missing since the rain storm. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called that she saw a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Lake Cleone in MacKerricher SP late morning. The specific location is on the south side of the outflow pond on the west side of the road going out to Laguna Point. A lot of berry bushes and lush grasses are just below the Haul Rd, where a Black Phoebe inhabits the area. -- For Dorothy Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 - I apologize for the "cryptic" message about the SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS yesterday, and I am sure that it raised a few questions. This particular bird was observed off of Half Moon Bay on October 11th. A photo of the bird can bee seen on the Western Field Ornithologist website The bird, even though not apparent in the photograph, was banded and wearing a satellite transmitter. Further checking by observers located one of the researchers involved with the banding project, and a map was provided showing that when the bird was spotted it was on its way north along the Northern California Coast. On October 12th , based upon the satellite tracking map, it was probably in Mendocino County waters, but directly west (latitude-wise) from Northern Sonoma County (bird locations on the ocean are measured to the nearest land point which for much of that area is Point Arena).
Most interesting to me, however, is the satellite tracking map covers the whereabouts from October 3 to Oct 12, 2009. Prior to the sighting the bird DOWN (southward) along the Mendocino Coast, and it looks like it was VERY close to shore along the Ten-Mile Beach to Fort Bragg section of our coastline. After it came down our coast it headed pretty far out to sea, and then came back towards near-shore around the Monterey area .and then headed north again (this is when the SFBBO Pelagic trip came across the bird last Sunday). I do NOT know if this STAL satellite-tracking info is available on any particular website. -- Good birding! Bob Keiffer

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 -- A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD and about 50 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDs have joined the neighborhood blackbird flock, and all have been feeding in the front yard this morning. I looked at Lisa Walker's photos, and while there are similarities, her bird at Lake Cleone was much darker and the feather edges (where wing patches would be and the tips of the primaries) were whiter. So, I believe that this bird is different from the Lake Cleone bird. It was too bad that she didn't get to photo the Fort Bragg YHBLs that came to feeder in town. The flock here is way too skittish for me to attempt a pic. It seems that there have been about 4 YHBLs in the Fort Bragg area in the last 2 weeks. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 08 OCT 2009 - We looked for the Orchard Oriole at Laguna Point, without success, but instead found a lone PECTORAL SANDPIPER foraging among the wrack on the beach in the horseshoe cove. -- Tim on Middle Ridge, Albion

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 -- Hi all, I took a brief walk at Virgin Creek Beach this evening and found one PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER on the north end of the beach. It mostly stayed up in the wrack line except when the Coast Guard Helicopter spooked it and then it went to the rocks briefly before returning to the lode of flies... -- Ron LeValley

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 -- At MacKerricher State Park, on my way out passing Lake Cleone and just north of the turn into the parking area, was a smallish flock of Brewer's Blackbirds. Perched among them, I caught sight of a flash of yellow and backed up to take a closer look. Sure enough, what appeared to be either a juvenile or an adult female YELLOW-EADED BLACKBIRD was among the flock. When I stopped the engine to capture more shots (will upload my other shots later), she or he flew across the road and landed on a piece of wood bordering the rise before the beach, just north west of where she had been. -- Lisa Walker

Tue, 06 Oct 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Jerry White found a first-winter BLUE GROSBEAK at Usal Beach Campground at around 10 this morning. He watched it for about 30 seconds. It was in the open grassy meadow between the campground and the beach. Jerry reports that he could not refind the bird in 20-30 minutes of searching. Of local interest were 2 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS flying over the campground. -- Chuck Vaughn for Jerry White

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 -- At about 4:00 PM today, I saw 100+ CACKLING GEESE fly south over Cabrillo Point. They were Aleutian "type" based on a very blurry picture. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 -- The ORCHARD ORIOLE is still vacationing at MacKerricher SP, along the south bluff of Laguna Point. I just got back from seeing her at 12:45-pm. Pishing brought her out from the berry brambles twice in the span of five minutes. She was in the lush, horseshoe-shaped cove just west of the pine tree growing at the base of the bluff. The bird was first discovered 1 October by John Sterling. From the Laguna Point parking lot, walk out the dirt trail in the SE corner of the lot. Taking the right fork is shorter to the south bluff trail. Several large clumps of blackberries and wax myrtles line the face of the bluff. Walking out the short, dirt spurs off the main the OROR. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 -- For the record, here are a few highlights from the last several weeks: On Sunday, 4 October, two male EURASIAN WIGEONS (one immature, one adult) were at Borax Lake.
On Sunday, 27 September, Nick Shepherd and I saw 31 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED flying over Anderson Marsh and later we saw 31 (surely the same flock) at Borax Lake. We also saw a MERLIN at Austin Park and seven RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at Borax Lake.
On Sunday, 20 September, Doug Weidemann and I saw a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at the mouth of Kelsey Creek. We canoed out to the Aechmophorus grebe colony south of Rodman Slough but all nests had been abandoned--hopefully because the chicks had hatched out and departed (we saw several small ones accompanying adults). At Borax Lake we saw 19 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES.
On Sunday, 13 September, my wife Marta and I canoed out to the Aechmophorus Grebe colony south of Rodman Slough. We also bumped into Brad Barnwell and his wife, who had kayaked to the colony and were returning. We saw about 50 active nests, mostly WESTERN GREBES but also at least three pairs of CLARK'S GREBES. We could see eggs in about 20 nests, with up to five eggs present. I managed to dig up some published reports of winter breeding in nearby areas to the south in Nevada (eggs incubated as late as 19 December; Colonial Waterbirds 20:95-97, 1997) and San Diego County, California (downy chick on 25 February; Condor 69:209, 1967), but nothing that late north of San Francisco. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 -- An adult GOLDEN EAGLE soared over Chadbourne Gulch heading south, high above the coastline early this afternoon. It was being chased by a Red-tailed Hawk. The size difference was easily seen, with the Red Tail appearing to be quite a bit smaller than the eagle. The eagle kept moving, while the RTHA kept circling just north of the gulch. Chadbourne Gulch was deadly quiet, as has been the case recently. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 -- Last night's full Harvest (or Hunter's, if you prefer) moon drew me out into the fall chill for an activity I haven't done for several years. This autumn full moon coincides with the beginnings of southward bird migration and a surprising number of them can be seen in transit across it. The low, early moon is great in Potter Valley because the pass to the south east into Lake County is a popular route. Bundle up and get comfortable with binoculars (some kind of support helps) or a spotting scope, experimenting with zoom and focus settings. I saw nine silhouettes in about ten minutes and plan another try tonight. -- Jim Armstrong

Sat, 03 Oct 2009 -- Late this afternoon, the imm female ORCHARD ORIOLE was seen by Barbara Dolan and Cheryl Watson, while Matthew Matthiessen photographed her late Friday afternoon. This bird is definitely following an afternoon pattern. [ Just a quick addition to Karen's information. I found the bird there at 12 noon, so it at least appeared that early on Thursday. -- John Sterling] Look SSE of the far platform at Laguna Point in the blackberry and wax myrtle brambles. There are several clumps of brambles about a football field's length to look off the dirt path along the bluff. The past few days, she has appeared at 2:00, 4:45, 5:00,and as late as 6:15-pm. Apparently, the NW winds are keeping the bird in the brambles, protected by the bluffs. From the Laguna Pt parking lot, take a dirt trail at the SE corner of the lot. At the fork, go right. This will take you to one of the reliable blackberry spots. -- For Cheryl Watson, Barbara Dolan, and Matthew Matthiessen, -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 -- 2:40-pm -- I just saw the imm female ORCHARD ORIOLE at the same place as yesterday. She is an afternoon bird to be sure! Please read the directions below. Tip #3: Park on the upper row of spaces at the Laguna Point parking lot and walk out a dirt trail at the SE corner of the lot. Take the right fork after a short distance. This will take you directly to the south bluff trail and the brambles. The wind has died down a little and it has warmed up a bit. The bird was very active, so it may move around again to the SE clumps of blackberries. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 -- A 45-minute search of the south bluff of Laguna Point this morning didn't turn up any orioles. It was fairly windy and quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers were in the blackberry brambles, where I didn't notice them yesterday afternoon.
If you try your luck with the ORCHARD ORIOLE, the entire length of clumps of wax myrtles and blackberries is a little longer than a football field, if drawing a straight line. The large clump where John Sterling refound the OROR at about 2:00-pm yesterday was the second closest bramble to the actual point. Then, a couple of hours later, she had moved SE to the brambles by a smallish pine growing down at the base of the bluff.
Tip: Walk out every short spur trail that goes towards the ocean from the main dirt trail along the south bluff. The pine is not very visible from the main trail. Tip #2: A Black Phoebe hangs out by the clump where John and I saw the oriole. Good luck and good birding, -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 --After about an hour of searching for the ORCHARD ORIOLE, I was about to give up when it popped it head up and I was able to get a good look at it. Pishing did not seem to help for me. If you are going to chase it, take the trail from Laguna Point observation platform and follow it south along the bluff. When you find a pine tree (thank-you Toby) coming up on the ocean side you are in the right area. I followed the trail until it dipped (formed a canyon on both sides) climbed up the embankment just pass the dip, looked north and the bird was in a section with ferns,just west of the berry and myrtle bushes. This section is where the pines close in on the ocean bluff. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 -- Luckily, John Sterling was still at MacKerricher SP near Laguna Point, so I got to see the ORCHARD ORIOLE with his help. She is an imm female and was feeding on blackberries in the spot where Matthew had a Palm Warbler last year. If you are standing at the actual point platform, walk SSE on the dirt path at the top of the bluff. Look for wax myrtle and blackberry bushes hanging off the bluff. There was a Black Phoebe and some sparrows around. The birds responded well to loud pishing.
I was sorry that the several people who looked for the imm SANDHILL CRANE could not refind it, but it really blended in with the sand dunes. I first saw it and photographed it just west of the Ten Mile R. bridges. It could be anywhere in that area, or Bob Keiffer thinks it could go to Sand Lake, west of Inglenook (difficult to get to). I will try to put a photo on either this listserv or on Peregrine Audubon's photo gallery.
Speaking of Peregrines, I watched a PEFA chase a Black-bellied Plover out over the ocean, but I didn't see if the plover became brunch for the falcon. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 -- I just received a phone call from John Sterling in Mendocino Co. Today he found an ORCHARD ORIOLE in MacKerricher State Park. Walk out the boardwalk to Laguna Point. The oriole was in the short pines just south of the point. -- John Luther, home in Oakland

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 -- After a combined effort of searching for at least an hour and a half, Rich and I came up empty-winged. There were several tracks in the dunes indicating that Canada Geese were there, Common Raven tracks, a few Killdeer and maybe California Quail tracks, and some tracks that *might* have indicated a Sandhill Crane (I really should have taken shots of them, especially after seeing the photos at the links below):
It compares herons of various species with Sandhill Crane. And I saw tracks that very closely resembled Sandhill Crane in the dunes. Ah, well. Another time, perhaps. -- Lisa Walker

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 -- For the second morning (9:30) this week Halle and I saw a pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS at the end of the pavement on Burris Lane. -- Mike And Halle Brady

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 -- Karen Havlena just called to report a juv. SANDHILL CRANE at Ten Mile Beach. She said that it was on the west side of the bridge in the dunes south of the willows and road but maybe heading down towards the water. -- Richard Hubacek for Karen

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 --[Today] (9/30) at about 11:30 a.m. I saw a female PILEATED WOODPECKER near the boarwalk along Lake Cleone. -- Fred Andrews

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 -- [This] afternoon I saw a lone AMERICAN WIGEON just east of the north boat ramp with some Mallards. On Friday the 25th I saw the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE fly over the inlet at @ 12:30. One lone juvenile separated from the flock and landed in the channel near the portable rest room. It was still there yesterday with some Canada Geese. As a side note; I saw my first AUDUBON'S YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER of the season in Pomo C in the eucalyptus trees yesterday the 30th. -- Steve Grams

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 -- "Toby" Tobkin called to say that she again found the HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Virgin Creek Beach this morning. She also saw a single (and much rarer-these days) SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at the end of Virgin Creek. -- Richard Hubacek for "Toby"

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 --There is still a HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Virgin Creek as of this morning at approx. 9:15 AM. It was north of the creek at the point where the rocks and bluff first cut into the beach. It was feeding in some kelp and is very tame. The COMMON MOORHEN is still at Lake Cleone. It was located in the extreme east end of the lake. It was near a group of coots and is best seen from the south side of the lake. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 at 10:30 a.m. -- 75+ GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flying south. Three more at 11 a.m. Seen from Ten Mile Beach where 24 Western SNOWY PLOVERS observed. -- Becky, Caspar

Sun Sep.27 2009 -- Yesterday (Sunday) on top of the 1st ridge east of Laytonville very near the "L" I saw 6 BLACK SWIFTs pass over heading South. I was loading firewood, not "really" birdwatching. at 9:40am I happen to look sky-ward and saw a single BS. It was 30-40 yards above me. I tracked it with-out optics until loosing it in the distance below the horizon. It didn't flap it's wings once in maybe 300 yards. It seemed so relaxed compared to the nervous little VAUX's. I scrambled for my Binos to take a "birdwatching break". At 10:05 I saw 5 more pass over-head at the same distance and in the same flight path. I continued to watch until 10:50 with no others sighted. Other notables; A singing CALIFORNIA THRASHER and two BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERs. Remember to have fun! -- Bruce Gullett, Laytonville/Dos Rios

Sat, 26 Sep 2009 -- Late morning, Matthew Matthiessen found a PHILADELPHIA VIREO on Miner Hole Rd. (Sorry for the late notice, but cellphone coverage is bleak in coastal areas). The bird was 100 meters EAST of the cattle guard on Miner Hole Rd, in a flock of Warbling Vireos, kinglets and chickadees. -- For Matthew Matthiessen (Karen Havlena)

Sat, 26 Sep 2009 -- At Pt Arena Cove this afternoon, I spotted a CLARK'S GREBE off the pier. . .thought folks would like to know :) -- Lisa Walker

Fri, 25 Sep 2009 -- About 6:00 PM there was a high-flying flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE heading ESE over Hopland. There were about 60+ birds in the V-formation. I heard a high-flying flock on Thursday also but could never spot them ...maybe the same group that Chuck Vaughn reported. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 25 Sep 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin called to discuss the change-over of birds at Virgin Creek beach today. Instead of finding the Hudsonian Godwit, she saw 12 DUNLIN and 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. I did NOT see either of those two species yesterday, when I did see the HUGO. It was much cooler on the coast today, We still had fog coming and going all day long, but the temperature was definitely cooler. I went to Lk Cleone late morning in hopes of hearing or seeing the Summer Tanager but had no luck. I saw Matthew's Honda, but did NOT see him or his birding pals, either. Perhaps a few passerines (like R. Hubacek's Palm Warbler) are finally on the way here. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 25 Sep 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This seems to be the fall for COMMON MOORHENS in Mendocino County. There was a juvenile on the north oxidation pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. There was also a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on the middle pond, just the second inland record in the last 6 years according to the Mendobirds inland fall arrival database that George maintains ( Four PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were on the sludge pond. Other birds of local interest were single male RING-NECKED DUCK and GREATER SCAUP, the first I have seen this fall. Yesterday evening 35 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew ESE over my house. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 -- One male and one female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD at a feeder in a backyard in Fort Bragg. E mail me privately for details. -- Lisa Walker

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 -- At 10:15 this morning, I refound the HUDSONIAN GODWIT on Virgin Creek beach in Fort Bragg. The HUGO was with a Black-bellied Plover just north of the spot where the bluff first juts out toward the ocean. There were 3 Marbled Godwits a little south of the actual creek mouth, but they were at least 150 meters south of the HUGO. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 -- I found a PALM WARBLER at Point Cabrillo this morning a little after 10:00. It was located on the unpaved lighthouse trail at a point where the trail marker indicates a split in the trail. -- Richard Hubacek, Little River

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 -- Between Point Arena and Manchester, Hello - This morning at 10:45 there was a WHITE-FACED IBIS in the field to the right as you drive in Windy Hollow Road from Highway 1. The bird was in the closest wet area to the road. At 11:00 there was a juv. light phase FERRUGINOUS HAwk hovering over the field that is across highway 1 from the entrance to Miner Hole Road. The VERY slow passerine fall migration continues. Nothing to report after spending a couple hours at the end of Miner Hole Road and Windy Hollow. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 -- Hi all, Below are the species and numbers encountered on this past Sundays pelagic trip out of Fort Bragg, sponsored by the Mendocino Audubon Society. The top highlight was having 4 Orcas swim with the boat, sometimes not even 5-10 ft away!

Location: Noyo Harbor
Notes: Mendocino Audubon-sponsored pelagic trip aboard the SEA HAWK.
Number of species: 9
Common Loon - Gavia immer 1, Pelagic Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pelagicus 14, Spotted Sandpiper - Actitis macularius 2, Black Turnstone - Arenaria melanocephala 15, Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus 1, Pigeon Guillemot - Cepphus columba 2 both juveniles at the mouth of the harbor., Belted Kingfisher - Megaceryle alcyon 1, Black Phoebe - Sayornis nigricans 1, Brewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalus 10

Location: Fort Bragg Pelagic
Notes: Mendocino Audubon-sponsored pelagic trip aboard the SEA HAWK. Sea Temp was 52-54 F. Swells from the NW 8-9 ft, winds from N @ ~ 10-15 knots.

Marine Mammals: Humpback Whale- 1-2, Orca-4, Dall's Porpoise-10, Northern Right Whale Dolphin-3, California Sea Lion-8
Number of species: 26
Red-throated Loon - Gavia stellata 1, Common Loon - Gavia immer 1, Black-footed Albatross - Phoebastria nigripes 10, Northern Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialis 8, Pink-footed Shearwater - Puffinus creatopus 95, Buller's Shearwater - Puffinus bulleri 3, Sooty Shearwater - Puffinus griseus 54, Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis 2, Brandt's Cormorant - Phalacrocorax penicillatus 1, Pelagic Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pelagicus 4, Western Sandpiper - Calidris mauri 4, Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus 4, Red Phalarope - Phalaropus fulicarius 13, Heermann's Gull - Larus heermanni 1, Western Gull - Larus occidentalis 60, California Gull - Larus californicus 130, Caspian Tern - Hydroprogne caspia 17, Common Tern - Sterna hirundo 6, Arctic Tern - Sterna paradisaea 1, South Polar Skua - Stercorarius maccormicki 1, Pomarine Jaeger - Stercorarius pomarinus 14, Parasitic Jaeger - Stercorarius parasiticus 10, Long-tailed Jaeger - Stercorarius longicaudus 1, jaeger sp. - Stercorarius sp. 6, Common Murre - Uria aalge 40, Cassin's Auklet - Ptychoramphus aleuticus 35, Rhinoceros Auklet - Cerorhinca monocerata 9

It was really nice to see the juvenile HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Virgin Creek beach after the trip, also!!! -- Rob Fowler, Arcata, CA

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 -- Just returned from Virgin Creek myself. Spotted a HUDSONIAN GODWIT with other Marbled Godwits (there were at least four MG's). Also spotted a lone SNOWY PLOVER, same end of the beach. -- Lisa Walker

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 -- A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was at Virgin Creek (just north of Fort Bragg) today. At 10:30 this morning Toby Tobkin saw the bird at the north end of the beach in the company of 3 Marbled Godwits. At 12:15 Cheryl Watson saw the bird in that same area with 2 Marbled Godwits. -- Dave Jensen for Toby and Cheryl

Fri, 18 Sep 2009 -- Thanks to Rich Trissel and Jerry White's discovery last Sunday, I enjoyed stellar views of an adult AMERICAN BITTERN at Hunter's Lagoon south of Manchester this afternoon (4:45 - 5 PM) as it was slowly feeding completely in the open on the north central shore in front of the tall reeds. From Highway 1, I had driven west on Stoneboro, right on Bristol Road and parked in the cul-de-sac on Coventry Lane before walking out to scan the water. Pied-billed Grebes, a Great Blue Heron and a female Northern Harrier were also present. For the birds, -- Richard Kuehn

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 -- Mid- to late afternoon, I stopped by Lk Cleone and found the adult male SUMMER TANAGER near its usual spot just off the break in the boardwalk on the north shore of the lake. The bird was calling, and he flew from the junction of the boardwalk and the trail uphill to the north to the west a short way. He perched near the boardwalk in the partially dead pines. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 -- "Toby", Carolyn Kinet, and I did some north coast birding today. The morning was too nice so our expectations for eastern vagrants were not high. Our expectations were met. We did see some good birds. At Chadbourne Gulch we had a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, at least 3 MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS, and 2 CASSIN'S VIREOS. There were many of the normal mig 2 rants also. The eastern trail has been cleaned-up somewhat. It looks like the trashy area at the entrance has been bull-dozed. We had a LARK SPARROW at the Westport STP and 2 MARBLED MURRELETS at the Vista Point north of Westport-Union Landing State Beach. We stopped at Lake Cleone but could not find the Common Moorhen or the Summer Tanager, but we didn't spent much time looking. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn, Karen Havlena, and I saw some interesting birds at Usal Creek campground this morning: an early RED_BREASTED SAPSUCKER, and a late HOUSE WREN, and a DUSKY FLYCATCHER. Bird activity was generally low. At Juan Creek we scoped a MARBLED MURRELET offshore. This species used to be found quite regularly here but has not been found much in the last year following the fires. I am glad to announce its return. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 14 Sep 2009 -- Had to work today which consisted of helping take some seniors to Lake Cleone for a picnic lunch. With only my binoculars I was able to see the Common Moorhen that Toby found yesterday. It is now in the little peninsula that comes out into the west end of the lake. I thought it was very dark and might be an adult. If true there might be 2 of them present. All the seniors that wanted to see it enjoyed the view. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 -- This morning Dorothy Tobkin found a COMMON MOORHEN at Lake Cleone. It was deep in the east end, but could be scoped from the parking lot. It appeared to be a juvenile rather than a winter adult. -- for Toby, George Chaniot

Sun, 13 Sep 2009-- South Manchester , Hello - This morning at about 10:30a Jerry White and I saw an AMERICAN BITTERN at Hunter's Lagoon (Highway 1, west on Stoneboro then right on Barnegat Dr. to the end, then walk north on a trail to waters edge). The bird was on the north edge of the lagoon in the reeds just east of where 2 white boats are sitting in the mud. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 -- The 'bee's' are actually yellow-jackets. You are correct about their habit of wandering in and out of their ground-based hive when the sun warms it. That was how I was able to find the Tanager. It's amazing to me how many people have come by to see him and still he remains. He is sooo beautiful and I count myself fortunate to have even seen him and witnessed the same feeding behavior you described. -- Feather Forestwalker

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 -- Last weekend, I met a couple from Oakland who were enjoying the SUMMER TANAGER in its clearing habitat. They told me it's feeding on bees living in or near the clearing; you may know that bees become active only when the sun shines on their hive/nest. The Tanager bashed a bee in its beak against a tree limb, before removing the sting and then eating the bee. This could explain why I never saw the bird after work (three tries!), but did at mid-day, when the bees had warmed up enough to become part of the food chain again. -- Good birding!-- Jessica Morton

Sat, 12 Sep 2009 -- This afternoon, Sat. Sept. 12, the male SUMMER TANAGER was still at Lake Cleone. Take the boardwalk on the north side of the lake from the parking lot. About 20 feet before the boardwalk becomes asphalt, a large blackberry bush reaches over the trail. At 3:00 this afternoon, the bird was feeding in this bush. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Wed, 09 Sep 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I saw a BLACK SWIFT this morning on the Valley View Trail on north Cow Mountain. The bird was foraging over the chaparral at the ridge crest separating the watersheds of the south and north forks of Mill Creek. After watching Vaux's Swifts around Ukiah all summer, this bird seemed so relatively large and its flight so languid that at first glance I thought it was a distant Merlin! My main interest was in the chaparral birds so I didn't proceed all the way up the north Mill Creek canyon, and there was not a lot of activity anywhere. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 --There were 120 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and 4 RED PHALAROPES at Glass Beach yesterday swimming just a few feet off-shore. They were there around 12:30 PM. When I approached the beach you could heard them calling. I found one "Red" is the flock and Toby who arrived after me found two more. One of the "Reds" was seen out of the water walking the beach with other shorebirds. The birds seemed to be attracted to the flies on the kelp. We found another "Red" south of the beach with another "small" flock of Red-necked. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 -- Here are some photos of the male SUMMER TANAGER that has been hanging around Lake Cleone in MacKerricher State Park, taken [today] about mid-day (on our third attempt to see the bird). Thanks to Richard Hubacek for his help in finding it.
I had inadvertently bumped the aperture dial on my camera (to f/14!) and didn't notice until after the bird disappeared, so the photos didn't come out very well. I posted them mainly because I haven't seen any discussion of the subspecies of this bird. Based on the lack of contrast between the color of the head and neck vs. the upper back, and the relatively short bill, it looks like the eastern subspecies (Piranga rubra rubra), rather than the western form (P. r. cooperi) that breeds in southern California. Compare to this presumed cooperi from Arizona:
I read somewhere that most of the Summer Tanagers that are found along the California coast in fall and winter, and that are identified to subspecies, are rubra. Comments/corrections are welcome.
Other than this bird, the most noteworthy birds we saw during our holiday weekend in the Mendocino area were a WILLOW FLYCATCHER in a wash above the western part of the beach in Van Damme SP on 9/6, and a large (~100) flock of VAUX'S SWIFTS at Lake Cleone on 9/5 that were simultaneously hitting the surface of the water to drink. A spectacular sight. Good birding, Glen Tepke, Oakland

Tue, 07 Sept 2009 -- I normally do not post observations of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES anymore since they became well established in the county several years ago but this morning as I drove down my driveway to Feliz Creek Road west of Hopland there was a flock of about 30 birds on our dirt road. To me this shows that there is still mass movement of this species especially during the fall of the year. There has been one pair of the doves all summer below our place, and a few pair around the Hopland area, but this large flock has appeared from nowhere is probably moving somewhere (north or south?) . Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 -- Despite excellent shorebird habitat at Borax Lake, Kelsey Creek and along the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff, few shorebirds were present this past weekend. I saw two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at Borax Lake on 5 September, when a PEREGRINE FALCON managed to catch one of the few shorebirds there, and yesterday (7 September) I saw a PECTORAL SANDPIPER in a flooded field along the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff.
Yesterday at the mouth of Rodman's Slough I was stunned to count 230 distant but obvious nests of WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES, visible in open water several hundred yards from the shore. Most of the nests had an adult on it and some adults seemed to be adding material to the nests. Among an estimated 500 adults present I was only able to pick out one swimming chick among them, so most of the nests must have eggs or small chicks. I'm surprised they're nesting so late in the year--it's September! Has anybody seen them nesting so late in the year? -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 -- This morning at about 9:30 I found a TENNESSEE WARBLER (2nd county record) at Rodman Slough Park. The bird was on the trail that parallels the lake, just before the sign : Park Ends Private Property. Dave Woodward came out and we searched for about 2 more hours but did not refind the bird. --Jerry White

Sun, 06 Sep 2009 -- This afternoon I went to Rodman Slough Park on Clear Lake for an hour. Along the trail that parallels the lake to the south I found a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, and out on the lake there were four FORSTER'S TERNS. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 05 Sep 2009 -- There was an early SAY'S PHOEBE this morning (11:30) near the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The bird was hawking in the open field near the headlands south of the Gardens' property, in the area where the Loggerhead Shrike was found earlier this summer. Stan Harris' earliest fall date for this species is September 6 (two Humboldt County sightings). -- Dave Jensen

Sat, 05 Sep 2009 -- "Toby" Tobkin called me to report 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Casper Pond an unusual location. Casper Pond is just east of Highway 1 at Fern Creek Rd. in Casper. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Fri, 04 Sep 2009 -- [This] afternoon, 9/4, at Lake Cleone, both SUMMER TANAGERS were present at the same location described by previous observers, the small clearing on the north side of the lake where the trail changes from boardwalk to asphalt. The tanagers came in together at 1:20 p.m. Both of them were still feeding when we left about 20 minutes later. -- Dave Woodward

Fri, 04 Sep 2009 -- While birding the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens today I ran into Geoff Heinecken and Cheryl Watson on Fern Canyon Trail. While discussing the birds of the day, Western Tanagers and Warbling Vireos, I noticed an Adult Male AMERICAN REDSTART high in the trees. It started calling and came down so close our bino's could not focus. It was in the same location near the west end of the canyon. Time was 12:15 PM. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 03 Sep 2009 -- Today at 2:30 I watched the SUMMER TANAGER for about 5 minutes. It was perching and flying out from the dead pines along the 100' section of asphalt where there is a gap in the boardwalk. -- Art Morley

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 -- At the Westport Headlands there was a WESTERN KINGBIRD and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. At a pullout just south of Westport there were 2 MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS. At Bruehl Point there was a LARK SPARROW. I saw the single HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Virgin Creek Beach around noon. -- Jerry White

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 -- Greetings Birders, Today, my daughter and I were accompanied by the entertaining and informative Dave Bengston for a long day of birding parts of the north coast of Mendocino County. First stop was Glass Beach (just north of Ft. Bragg) at about 7am, where we looked for the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER. No luck, except the usual suspects.
At Virgin Beach we met Oliver (Ollie) Kolkmann, also of Willits, who mentioned that he spotted a HUDSONIAN GODWIT with a few MARBLED GODWITS, but that just a few minutes before we arrived, a PEREGRINE FALCON(?)(well, some sort of agressive bird) flew over and scattered the host of gulls and the godwits. We continued north along the beach and came across Dorothy Tobkin (Toby) who was waving frantically at us from a distance until we understood to look out over the waves at three birds flying south. They turned out to be one SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, one WHIMBREL, and one immature HUDSONIAN GODWIT. The trio landed about a hundred yards south of us, so we meandered (by that I mean we sprinted) over to about twenty yards away to get good looks and pictures (this was at 10:30am, sunny, and on a sandy beach) of a very co-operative bird.
Dorothy also mentioned that she had seen the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER yesterday after seeing our previous post.
From there, we went further north to Ward Avenue beach and saw the usual suspects until we noticed a couple of birds harassing the BROWN PELICAN and gulls about a hundred yards out. They turned out to be a dark morph and a light morph pair of immature POMARINE JAEGERS operating close to shore.
From there, we went to Lake Cleone and almost immediately refound the male SUMMER TANAGER at the first forks in the trail on the north side of the lake. There were numerous PYGMY NUTHATCHES.
We moved on to the beach to the west of the lake, where (north of the wooden steps to the beach at the parking lot) we spotted a possible first winter YELLOW-BILLED LOON. It was too far out to get a positive ID, but the bottom mandible was definitely curved upward, and the bill was large, yellow, and pale. It may still be there for someone else to take a look on Thursday.
Actually, don't tell Dave, but we were in a hurry to go because we had worn Dave out. Best regards and good birding, -- Mike and Alexandria Curry, Willits, CA

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports seeing one HUDSONIAN GODWIT this morning at Virgin Creek Beach. Yesterday there was a report of a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Glass Beach. -- George Chaniot for Toby

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 -- Due to the helpfulness of other MendoBirders ever since Karen Havlena's original post about Dorothy (Toby) Tobkin's discovery of 4 Hudsonian Godwits at Glass Beach August 26th, [today's] College of the Redwood's _Birds of the North Coast_ course presented me with a unique opportunity: I helped find a Life Bird for everyone in the class, including Prof. Greg Grantham and myself. Greg had been informed by someone yesterday that a HUDSONIAN GODWIT had been seen on 10 Mile Beach, north of the Ward Ave parking, earlier in the day; so this is where he took us for our field outing in the afternoon. We had walked to the end of the haul road and down onto the beach where we were looking at many of the usual suspects: Black-bellied Plovers, Black Turnstones and Black Oystercatchers when a medium sized shorebird with a long bill, flashing black underwing coverts edged with white, flew past and landed on some nearby mussel beds.
Having studied the field marks, I immediately scoped the bird and confirmed its ID before sharing my scope with others. Luckily the bird probed and fed for a long time, allowing everyone to get crippling views! The bird we observed was a juvenile with a very distinct white supercillium, beautifully patterned wings, plain belly and black tail.
To all the MendoBirders who 've kept readers of this ListServ informed about this particular species, I'd like to shout out a THANK YOU on behalf of the students in the Biology 16 class. I'm hoping many of them will soon join our ranks. Be well and GREAT Birding, -- Richard Kuehn

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 -- Bill Doyle and I saw three HUDSONIAN GODWITS at 9 this morning at the north end of Virgin Creek Beach, MacKerricher State Park, first on the sand and around 9:30, flying north over the rocks at the end of the Beach. Thanks to Bob Keiffer for telling us exactly where he last saw them. There was also a juvenile RED KNOT on the rocks with a couple SURFBIRDS in the same area. -- Helen Kochenderfer, Santa Rosa

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 08:30 - 09:15 AM PDT -- The two HUDSONIAN GODWITS found by Matthew Matthiessen yesterday were still present at the far north end of Virgin Creek Beach, MacKerricher State Park, just north of Fort Bragg. I heard that another probable bird was on Ten Mile Beach just north of Ward Avenue at 10:00 AM this morning. I personally believe that these are NOT the same individuals as found last week at Glass Beach. HUGOs are showing up along the coast of California recently, and seem to be part of an unprecedented migration wave coming down the Pacific Coast.
This species is considered a "Review Species" by the California Bird Records Committee, and up until the printing of the Rare Birds of California, published in 2007 by the Western Field Ornithologists, only 21 records of Hudsonian Godwit had been accepted by the CBRC. So, the message is: please don't take these Mendocino County sightings lightly, despite the fact that we probably have had at least 6, maybe 7, individuals within the last week seen by many observers. Please document your sightings as best possible with notes, photographs, sketches, etc. - the more the better. Submit your documentation directly to WBO-CRBC or through me. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 -- Today Becky Bowen sent me an email that she spotted a HUDSONIAN GODWIT with a Marbled Godwit on Ten Mile Beach. It was located North of Ward Ave. near the Snowy Plover fencing. This is probably the same bird reported yesterday by Paul Hawk which means it spent the night. The time was 10:00 AM when spotted. She also had 17 SNOWY PLOVERS. -- Richard Hubacek for Becky Bowen

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there was a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and a female BLUE-WINGED TEAL. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 -- While birding at Lake Cleone in the early afternoon, a young couple from the Bay Area told me they had seen a HUDSONIAN GODWIT at 10-mile beach north of Ward Ave. It was with a Marbled Godwit. In the late afternoon, I found the pair north of the roped-off Snowy Plover nesting area. It was great to see the two species side by side, and they allowed me to get within 35 or 40 feet. Both Godwits were actively probing the sand about 10 -15 feet from the high-water line. I watched them for about half an hour. They stayed in the same area, slowly working their way northward.
No sign of the Summer Tanager at Lake Cleone. State park personnel were cutting trees nearby and the noise of the power equipment probably kept a number of birds away. -- Paul Hawks

Sun Aug 30, 2009 -- Just some more information on the HUDSONIAN GODWITS. Matthew was kind enough to give me a call and stayed with the birds until I got there. When I first saw them they were at the far south end of Virgin Creek Beach and could be seen from the bluff overlooking the beach. They then flew north and were refound near the end of the Virgin Creek Beach. A Century 21 sign could be seen from the beach. Keeping a respectful distance and advising people and dogs to avoid them, Jerry White was able to see them. Matthew and I left at about 1:30 PM and Jerry stayed until Barbara Dolan and Geoff Heinecken arrived. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 -- Matthew Matthiessen called to say that he has (re)located two HUDSONIAN GODWITS at Virgin Creek Beach, MacKerricher State Park. They have been on the sandy beach from about 150 m north of the creek mouth to just south of the creek. He found them about 10:45 and they have been present at least an hour and a quarter. -- George Chaniot for Matthew Matthiessen

Sat, 29 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Birders, My daughter and I were birding Glass Beach last night (Saturday, Aug. 29) at the immediate small beaches north of Glass Beach up to about even with the last beach house to the east. We spotted what we believe to be a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER alone in one of the little coves with a sandy beach. We got good looks for about 15 or 20 seconds before it flew around a rock to the north. It has a dark top of head, buffy yellow breast that turns to white at the vent. No spots (or very light) on the sides of the breast. The back had a black and tan with whitish trim patchwork pattern. We did not hear it call. The bill is short, straight, and like the eye, dark. The legs are yellow. It ran from one pile of seaweed to another apparently searching for food, but it did not climb on top of the piles. We were looking from the bluff above, and when it flew, I did not notice any white pattern, but we only had a couple of seconds to look before it disappeared around a rock. It seemed shy of us. It was beginning to get dark after that, but we went searching for it and refound it, but could not get any pictures that are clear. It is not very noticeable from the bluffs above until it moves. Good luck refinding it! Best regards, Mike and Alexandria Curry, Willits, CA

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 -- I saw the SUMMER TANAGER adult male this afternoon in the spot where the yellowjackets are today and made some attempts at photos. He made his appearance around 1:43 PM. No sign of the immature, either. -- Feather

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 -- In all the commotion with the Hudsonian Godwits yesterday I didn't get a chance to post that the SUMMER TANAGER (full adult) was still at Lake Cleone. I saw it at 12 noon. It was foraging further up the trail in the pines but did return to the clearing. No sign of the second Tanager reported several days ago. Also had a PEREGRINE FALCON pass over the west end of the lake going north. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 -- This morning on Burris Lane in Potter Valley there was a lot of sparrow activity. It felt like a fall morning. There were concentrations of about 30 Lark Sparrows, 40 Chipping Sparrows, several Savannah Sparrows, and 100 mixed swallows. Near, but not exactly with, the Chipping Sparrows was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW. The best area was along the fence lines by the Bald Eagle Vineyard beyond the barn with pigeons. The Clay-colored Sparrow was on the ground by the roadside, and on the fence, and then it flew off to the north into the vineyard. The shank of the morning was from about 7:30 to 8:30 after which the birds seemed to move into the vineyard. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 -- I posted nine shots from today [of the HUDSONIAN GODWITS] at Glass Beach, on the [Mendobirds] site. I was able to get within at least three feet, towards the end, so there are some good closeups. Unfortunately, the only really good opportunity to get a shot of wing linings was when a rogue wave came up over the seaweed mounds and the birds flew off, over my head without my being able to get a shot. They circled briefly, then flew north over the cliffs towards Pudding Creek. I never saw them land again. -- Feather Forestwalker

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin found 4 HUDSONIAN GODWITS at Glass Beach at the west end of Elm St, Fort Bragg. From the parking area, walk west and take the right fork to the sandy beach. There was a MARBLED GODWIT with the HUGO's on a kelp bed. -- For Dorothy (Toby) Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Tue, 25 Aug 2009 -- This morning I spotted a juv. PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER about 1 1/2 miles north of Ward Ave. There were at least 6 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS further north along the beach, with 4 together. Other birds of interest included a RUDDY TURNSTONE, 13 SNOWY PLOVERS, 3 MARBLED GODWITS and a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. The dowitcher was so tame that I walked within six feet of it. Ten Mile beach is the north extension of MacKerricher SP and is located from Ward Ave, Cleone, up to the Ten Mile River. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 -- There was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park late this afternoon. -- Dave Woodward

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 -- Brad and Kathy Barnwell while kayaking recently, had a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the exposed mudflats at Rodman Slough along the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff road. They then found a BLACK-NECKED STILT on some newly exposed mudflats between Rodman Slough and Nice. These add to a growing list of shorebirds found in Lake County this fall season. -- Jerry White

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- There was a female INDIGO BUNTING on and below the fence between to the south pond and adjacent pear orchard at about 9am today. The bird was feeding with House Finches and Savannah Sparrows, alternating between the fence and ground below the Himalaya berries. I was able to view the bird at length, but the group eventually disappeared into the orchard. Other birds out there were the continuing BAIRD'S SANDPIPER on the N pond, a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the sludge pond, and a male PURPLE MARTIN. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 23 Aug 2009 -- [Sunday] morning I checked out Borax Lake. There was an impressive flock of about 125 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and 75 LEAST SANDPIPERS, but they were very skittish and I was unable to pick out anything different among them (definitely no larger species). There were also 19 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 23 Aug 2009 -- Today fourteen birders went out from Fort Bragg on the Seahawk on an impromptu pelagic trip to compensate for recent cancellations. It was a moderately rough day, but there were birds to be seen all the five hours. We went out 8-9 miles, and water temperatures were between 51 and 52?F all day.
The low point of the day was followed by the high point: at about 8 miles out a possible petrel was called out. It flew parallel to the port side, and we got looks at it against the sun flying ahead of the boat. No one was very confident of the ID. "Oh, @#$%!," I thought with a sinking feeling. "Finally a Pterodroma in Mendocino waters and no ID." About 15 minutes later it came to light that Dave Nelson, not feeling too well on the stern, had looked up and bagged several photos of the bird which showed it to be a DARK-RUMPED PETREL, probably Hawaiian. (lat/long: N 39.55567, W 123.96586) Which all goes to show that it is still possible to take a random bird photo and come up with a lifer! A complete list with estimates: Common Loon 1, Black-footed Albatross 57, Northern Fulmar 125, Dark-rumped Petrel 1, Pink-footed Shearwater 30, Sooty Shearwater 30, Ashy Storm-Petrel 2, Brown Pelican 3, Double-crested Cormorant 1, Pelagic Cormorant 13, Red-necked Phalarope 100, Pomarine Jaeger 2, Parasitic Jaeger 1 , Heerman's Gull 6, California Gull 40, Western Gull 20, Sabine's Gull 11, Common Murre 15, Pigeon Guillemot 9, Cassin's Auklet 10, Rhinoceros Auklet 20, Osprey 1 out as far as N 39.48006, W 123.88100, Wandering Tatler 1 Noyo Harbor, Spotted Sandpiper 1 Noyo Harbor, Great Blue Heron 1 Noyo Harbor, Great Egret 2 on kelp, Pacific White-sided Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Northern Fur Seal?, Harbor Seal

Sun, 23 Aug 2009 -- Barbara Dolan, Vishnu, and I were surprised to find two SUMMER TANAGERS at Lake Cleone this morning just before 11AM. As Fred Andrews posted earlier both birds were male, one adult and one first year bird. The younger bird was mostly red, with olive-yellow nape, underparts, and flanks. The adult was seen singing softly as well.
At Virgin Creek beach Barbara found a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER just north of the creek. We followed the bird north to the first rocky area, where we spotted a fresh juvenile RED KNOT in a flock of dowitchers. Thanks to Karen Havlena and David Jensen for their expert help in IDing the knot. -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 23 Aug 2009 -- Today I was with a group of about 20 birders. We saw 2 male SUMMER TANAGERS in a Tan Oak tree along the Lake Cleone Boardwalk trail, MacKerricher State Park. This was at about 11:00 a.m. They were seen adajecent to the asphalt service road. Walk east along the boardwalk from the Lake Cleone parking lot. At the service road, the two tanagers were in the tan oaks to the left (west side of service road. -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 22 Aug 2009 -- In Lake County today I saw two CASPIAN TERNS on the beach at Austin Park, Clearlake. At Borax Lake there was one BAIRD'S SANDPIPER among the other peeps and 8 phalaropes sp. lost in the heat distortion. After being flushed several times by a kestrel, the Baird's ended up on the north shore by itself. In High Valley I was not able to locate a Yellow-billed Magpie - this is the fourth time this year that I have dipped on this species. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 22 Augt2009 -- I met Matthew Matthiessen at Lake Cleone, MacKerricher SP, this morning. After a while of looking, Matthew heard the male SUMMER TANAGER call. The bird called frequently, finally making him easy to locate. He was in his favorite area eating both choke cherries and insects. Matthew got lots of pics of this new MEN bird for him. It was the first time I heard him calling.
The best place to look is on the north side of the lake. From the parking lot, start looking along the boardwalk from the second place where the boardwalk widens (looks like a bench should be there, but isn't). The bird has been seen from there east to where there is a break in the boardwalk. Take the asphalt path north (slightly uphill) about 20-25 yards. On your left will be a small, open area about 20x25 ft. This is the most reliable place. MacKerricher SP is west of Hwy 1 north of Fort Bragg about 4 miles. Turn west on Mill Creek Dr. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 -- Thursday evening a WESTERN WOOD PEWEE showed up in our yard (first time) and spent most of its time feeding a STARLING chick. -- Henri Bensussen

Fri, 21 Aug 2009 -- I just received a call (5:25PM) from a neighbor, Raj Naidu, that he observed the SUMMER TANAGER today from 2:45 to 3:30 PM. He had gone to look for it yesterday when I told him about the bird and didn't see it. He tried again today and found it. He reported that it was in the same location as Monday when found. Check the Monday report for that location. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 -- At Kelsey Creek outlet early this evening there was a MARBLED GODWIT and a flock of 10 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. -- Jerry White

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 -- Hi Birders. This afternoon I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. A juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER started in with the Leasts in the southwest corner of the southern pond, but then flew to the marshy western-most sludge pond, where it continued when I left, an hour later. This is a rather long-billed bird, and is differant than the very short-billed bird I saw last week. Two juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were on both the north and south ponds; the bird on the latter flushed up with a group of Least Sandpipers, then receded back into the thick plant growth. Single juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were also on both the north pond and south pond. Other Peeps included 10 Western Sandpipers on the north pond, and about 100 Least Sandpipers, mostly concentrated in the weeds of the south pond. There were at least 50 Killdeer, mostly on the dry flats of the north pond. Three RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were at the east end of the flooded central pond. Also on the central pond were four BLUE-WINGED TEAL, while a single GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a single NORTHERN PINTAIL were with the Mallards on the southern pond. Passerine migrants included ~15 YELLOW WARBLERS, and ~10 SAVANNAH SPARROWS. A VIRGINIA RAIL called briefly from the weeds in the southern pond.
Overall, Peep numbers seemed higher than last week, when I visited last, but most of them were Leasts, and most of those were hiding in the weedy, flooded south pond. The north pond now has two small puddles, one at each end of the pond. The one at the east end is actively being pumped down, but most of the peeps were on the west end.
A brief stop by the pond at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley yielded very few birds; it was quite hot and breezy there this evening. I guess that's about it. -- Matt Brady

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Early this morning there was an adult COMMON MOORHEN on the southern-most of the 2 ponds that are located near the UC Hopland Center office area. It is not a stretch to imagine that this is the same individual which has wintered here the past 3 years. Prior to 2006, there had been exactly 2 sightings in more than 50 years of observations. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- After all the wonderful birds reported this weekend, I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant oxidation ponds this morning with great expectations. The reality was not equal to my desires. The best bird out there was an early PECTORAL SANDPIPER. Other birds new this fall (for me) were 1 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, and 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS at HREC. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 -- Jim and I met Richard Hubacek on the north boardwalk at Lake Cleone, on the coast at MacKerricher SP about 1-pm. We (fairly) quickly found the SUMMER TANAGER on the north boardwalk. This bird is molting, but is close to full adult plumage. (The lower belly has a central patch of yellow, and the tail feathers are splayed out, as if new). Otherwise, the bird is all red. We did NOT find an AM REDSTART (This could be the same bird announced by both Fred Andrews and Jerry White). Barbara Dolan and Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken and Dorothy Tobkin arrived to look for the tanager when we had to leave. Fall vagrant chasing is off to an early start! -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 -- I've uploaded 2 pictures of the SUMMER TANAGER. I heard it call and not knowing what it was went looking for it. The location of the bird where I first saw it (and the last time) is on the north side of Lake Cleone. Take the boardwalk from the parking lot. The boardwalk ends temporarily at some asphalt. Just where the boardwalk starts-up again there is a trail to the left. Go up the trail for about 15-20 yards and there is a small clearing on the left. The Tanager was flycatching in that small clearing. It was also seen from the boardwalk west of the trail. Thank you to the unknown young lady who let me use her cell-phone to call Karen. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 -- Richard Hubacek found an adult male SUMMER TANAGER at Lake Cleone (MacKerricher SP) at approx. 12:30 pm. The bird was just up the dirt trail to the campground/visitor center (north side of lake). This is where the boardwalk is separated by an area of asphalt. I believe there is a pump house nearby. -- Karen Havlena (For Richard Hubacek)

Sun, 16 Aug 2009 -- At about 11:30 am today, I saw what I thought was an AMERICAN REDSTART on the boardwalk at Lake Cleone. This was on the east side of the lake, near where Mill Creek goes under the boardwalk, on the east side of the boardwalk. The bird was in mid canopy of some red alder trees. I did not get a photo. I do not have confirmation from other birders. -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 15 Aug 2009 -- There was an adult male AMERICAN REDSTART [at Lake Cleone] early evening on Saturday August 15th about 30 yards past the end of the boardwalk. -- Jerry White

Sat, 15 Aug 2009 -- For the past few weeks my husband and I have been marveling at and truly enjoying the little male COSTA'S HMMINGBIRD that visits our feeders many times a day. Yesterday I casually asked Matthew Matthiesen how common these are in this area and learned, much to my chagrin, that we have been sitting on an exciting little secret! Matt came over and saw our little friend both last night and this morning, and confirmed his identity. I am trying to recall when we first saw him and know that it has been since July 20th and perhaps a few days before that. I watch for him each morning, starting at first light, and am always thrilled to find him still here.
We have seen a Costa's in our yard in late August, for about 2 weeks each time, the two previous summers as well. It will be interesting to see if he tries to winter over with our Annas or starts a new Costa's trend and has actually been moving between Ukiah and warmer winter climes.
If someone does not have this bird on their list and wishes to try to catch a glimpse, they may call us at 707-462-3339 to find a mutual time to drop by. His pattern seems to be to stop in once an hour or hour and a half. He is able to ignore all the fuss around him and really chow down for a spell then stays away for up to 2 hours. His longest visits seem to be between 6:15 and 7:00 a.m. and just before dark. Unfortunately, that means he is here when the light for photos is truly awful on our deck! We are also blessed this week with a couple dozen Rufous Hummingbirds passing through, which seems to have become this groups twice a year routine. The Hooded Orioles that visited the feeder all summer have not been seen now for just over a week. -- Cherie Foster

Fri, 14 Aug 2009 -- Today at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there were five RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on the middle pond. There was also a female RUDDY DUCK with two downy chicks - one of the few breeding records for Mendocino Co. Although there was extensive mud on the north pond, there were only a few WESTERN SANDPIPERS, Least Sandpipers, and one GREATER YELLOWLEGS. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 12 Aug 2009 -- Early this morning Nick Shepherd and I saw the adult BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER in 3/4 alternate plumage at Borax Lake. I suspect it is the same individual seen at Kelsey Creek a few days earlier. Despite searching thoroughly among the usual peeps we did not see George's SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER--which was either somewhere else on the lake or came in after we left (several peeps appeared to arrive while we were there). We also saw 7 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES.
At Kelsey Creek we saw a juvenile SORA, which is not listed as present for summer according to Jerry's checklist. We wondered whether it hatched locally or arrived recently from elsewhere. Few shorebirds were present. Nick left after we birded Kelsey Creek.
At Rodman's Slough I saw my first WILLOW FLYCATCHER of the season.
At Reclamation Road I climbed the abandoned red machine and scanned several thousand starlings (mostly), blackbirds and crows for a half hour. After spotting several long-tailed false alarms (several kestrels and a mockingbird) I was about ready to give up when I finally saw a male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE on a wire well west of the road, where it perched with crows rather than the blackbirds, and then it flew far to the south. Whew!
At Nice I saw a juvenile RING-BILLED GULL, my earliest date for a juvenile in the county.
On Friday the 7th I saw 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and 9 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at Borax Lake, plus the usual peeps. -- Floyd Hayes

Wed, 12 Aug 2009 -- At Borax Lake in Lake County this afternoon there was a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and, among 40 Leasts and Westerns, a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. At Kelsey Creek there was only a few Leasts and Westerns. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- I was on Tenmile Beach today from about 1:40 to 3:30 and did not find the Franklin's Gull. I went south to Inglenook Creek. I did not search the river edges which is a possibility. -- Art Morley

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- I've downloaded a picture of the FRANKLIN GULL that Karen Havlena found this morning just north of Inglenook Creek. [see Mendobirds photo section] The Gull was last seen flying north. Due to fog I couldn't see how far it flew. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- This morning there were three GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES at the Reclamation Rd. wild rice fields east of Upper Lake. The fields are private property, but the grackles were visible from the public road along the east side. To get to the location take the eastern end of Reclamation Rd. to the rice fields and turn left (south). Drive down to the end of the road where there are two sets of double aluminum gates. There are utility poles and wires crossing the rice fields near that location. The grackles were landed on the utility wires near the third pole mixed with crows and blackbirds including a few TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS. All of the birds were flying back and forth between the wires and the rice fields which were all recently harvested. A spotting scope would be useful. -- Dave Woodward

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- Hi Birders. This afternoon Maggie MacPherson and I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant, to look for some Shorebirds. In the North Pond, we were able to refind the SOLITARY SANDPIPER, as well as a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. I'm not sure if the SemiSand was a continuing bird or a new bird, but singles (of unspecified age) were reported on the 5th of August and 9th of August, so it could be the same bird. I was able to snap some good photos of the Solitary Sandpiper, and some tolerable photos of the Semipalmated Sandpiper, which I will hopefully be able to upload soon.
Other birds included quite a few LEAST SANDPIPERS, lesser numbers of WESTERN SANDPIPERS (all juvs, as far as I could tell), two GREATER YELLOWLEGS, one SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, one SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, and a juvenile SNOWY EGRET. One brood of six or so baby RUDDY DUCKS was nice to see. Two or three YELLOW WARBLERS in the oak trees along the western side of the ponds were migrants, I suppose. I guess that's it. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- At least 5 PURPLE MARTINS are along University Road on the west end of the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. They have been hanging out in the large diameter, but short, power pole on the south side of the road adjacent to the "Ski Pond" property. They have been there for a while, but I was able to get a good count on them this morning. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- At 9-am, I found an adult FRANKLIN'S GULL on Ten Mile beach, 1/4 mile north of Inglenook Ck mouth. Mid-morning, Richard Hubacek called to tell Jim that he saw the gull and took a couple of photos. The bird flew north towards Ten Mile River mouth.
I quickly completed my SOS survey, which included a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, fos MARBLED GODWIT, and eleven SNOWY PLOVERS, so I could drive over to Ukiah.
At 12:30-pm, I saw the SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the Ukiah STP. It was still in the SW corner of the north pond. It is in fresh plumage, a cool brown with light tan speckling on the edges of the almost all wing feathers. It has been many years since I have seen a SOSA, and this one is lovely.
Now, I am going to scope the north end of Ten Mile beach, to see if I can relocate the Franklin's Gull. Jim said he might walk down to Inglenook Ck tomorrow morning. If it can be refound, I will post again. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I met George Chaniot at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. We found a SOLITARY SANDPIPER on the north pond. It seemed attached to the western corner of the pond. George saw a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER on the south pond which we could not refind. There were at least 4 Greater Yellowlegs and moderate numbers of Western and Least Sandpipers. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 10 Aug 2009 -- There was a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER in breeding plumage and a WILLET at the outlet of Kelsey Creek this afternoon. -- Dave Woodward

Mon, 10 Aug 2009 -- Was sitting in the yard yesterday and saw a bird that my wife and son both identified as a SAY'S PHOEBE according to multiple books. I'm 4 miles east from Mendocino village. -- Jeffrey Osier-Mixon

Sun, 09 Aug 2009 -- I think I saw two VAUX'S SWIFTS flying at dusk above Redwood Valley (Black Bart Trail) this evening. I also saw a SANDERLING at Lake Mendocino last Sunday, August 2. Sorry for the late report. -- Kate Marianchild

Sun, 09 Aug 2009 -- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens :The male AMERICAN REDSTART was still near the intersection of the Fern Canyon Trail and the North Trail at 1:45p this afternoon. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 08 Aug 2009 --- This morning there was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, and a heard-only LEAST BITTERN. -- Jerry White

Sat, 08 Aug 2009 --- Geoff and I found a WHITE-FACED IBIS on the south pond of the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. The bird spooked easily but stayed in the plant, flying back and forth between the muddy north and south ponds. We also spotted a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the north pond, possibly the same bird seen last Wednesday. And lots of LEAST SANDPIPERS on the sludge pond. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 -- I saw my first WILLOW FLYCATCHER of the season on the Eel River near Fish Creek. This is about halfway between Hearst and the Highway 162 bridge at Outlet Creek. The river valey is wider here with extensive gravel deposits with small willows growing in the gravel. The bird was making foraging sallies from a small rock in the middle of the (very low) flow. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 -- Hi all, This morning I scoped the ocean from Little River Headlands for a while. It was very calm. I did see what I was pretty sure was a COOK"S PETREL. At watching it as it flew by, I became convinced that I was looking at a Pterodroma instead of a shearwater, because of the bouncy flight. I am familiar with Manx Shearwaters and their close to the water flight, and even though there was no wind, this bird was still bouncy. At one point I thought I saw a hint of a 'W' pattern on the back as it banked. It was too far away to get anything really convincing, but this weekend might be a good time to scope the ocean.. Not much else was about, I saw one RHINOCEROS AUKLET, only one juvenal COMMON MURRE (with its dad) and a few PIGEON GUILLEMOTS already started on their way north. Oh, and a BLUE WHALE..thanks for sending it north Richard.. -- Ron LeValley

Wed, 05 Aug 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I ran into Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken this morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. We found a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the north pond which is presently being drained. There 50-75 peeps between the sludge pond (primarily LEAST SANDPIPERS) and the north oxidation pond (primarily WESTERN SANDPIPERS). Of local interest were 9 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and 3 SNOWY EGRETS on the north pond. As with last August, it is feast of famine with the habitat out there, and these conditions are unlikely to last long. All of the water is being drained into the very weedy south pond where visibility is a problem. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 04 Aug 2009 -- Today at Borax Lake there was a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. Also at the Kelsey Creek outlet there were 2 LEAST BITTERNS. I heard 1 bird call and saw another one in flight. -- Jerry White

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 -- Today I was doing steelhead surveys in the Main Stem Eel River where Tomki Creek comes in about 2.5 mi downstream from Van Arsdale Dam. I saw and heard a PURPLE MARTIN coming down to the river to drink on the wing. It's the first time I've seen them in the upper Eel since they quit nesting under the Pioneer Bridge some years ago. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 -- Birds of local interest this afternoon at the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park included 5 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 3 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, one RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and one GREATER YELLOWLEGS. The number of Least and Western Sandpipers increased to about 40. - Dave Woodward

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 -- Hi all, We went to look for the Wilson's Phalarope at Virgin Creek Beach reported by Trudy Jensen today. We were not successful with that bird, but there was an adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at Virgin Creek Beach this afternoon. There were also three LESSER YELLOWLEGS and six LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and about 10 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERSs among the Western and Least Sandpipers and Killdeer. -- Ron LeValley and Charlene McAllister

Sun, 02 Aug 2009 -- This morning there was one RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and one SEMIPALMATED PLOVER at the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park. I also saw a fly-by adult BALD EAGLE. The SANDERLING was still present on Friday afternoon, but I didn't see it today. -- Dave Woodward

Sat, 01 Aug 2009 -- Around noon today at Borax Lake I saw a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and similar numbers of WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS as last weekend, but no phalaropes or anything else noteworthy. Floyd Hayes

Sat, 01 Aug 2009 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there was a WILSON'S PHALAROPE and four LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS on the north pond. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 -- We have another first summer record for Lake County (in addition to the juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper found by Floyd Hayes at Borax Lake). Dave Woodward on Monday July 27th, found a SANDERLING at Kelsey Creek outlet in Clear Lake State Park. I saw the bird on Wednesday. This is the first record outside of the Fall period (when they are extremely rare in the county). Also on Wednesday I counted 20 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on Borax Lake.
Most years in July in Lake County there is very little shorebird habitat exposed. But because of the low lake levels this year there is extensive available and viewable habitat at Borax Lake and at the Kelsey Creek outlet (waterproof boots needed here to cross over to what is for now an island). These are the two best locations for sandpipers usually, but other spots that might turn up something are Lake Pillsbury, Detert Reservoir, Indian Valley Reservoir or other exposed shoreline locations around Clear Lake. -- Jerry White

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 -- One of the RUDDY TURNSTONES remained on Ten Mile beach about 3/4 mile north of Ward Ave when I did my SOS survey Thursday morning. By the new fenced area about 1/2 mile north of Ward Ave, I saw 6 SNOWY PLOVERS. Two of them were banded. The bands were totally different styles, which may indicate that those two birds were banded at separate locations. Two additional SNPLs were way up the beach, north of Inglenook Creek mouth halfway to Ten Mile River mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 --I was able to refind the AMERICAN REDSTART at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. It's location was on the West end of Fern Canyon Trail about 30 yds from the end. The same spot that the Audubon Walk found it on the 15th. I found it at 12:30 PM and again at 2:30 PM. I heard it sing only once but it did call several time. It's call is still the loudest and sharpest of all the calls in the area. It's been there now for at least 19 days. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 -- Three RUDDY TURNSTONES and four SNOWY PLOVERS were on Ten Mile beach this morning, as seen by Jim Havlena. Jim did my SOS survey for me today. The RUTUs were about 3/4 mile north of Ward Ave. and the SNPLs were only about 1/2 mile north of Ward Ave. This area is part of MacKerricher SP and is west of Cleone and Hwy 1 and north four miles to the Ten Mile River. -- For Jim Havlena, Karen Havlena


Sun, 26 Jul 2009 -- Floyd Hayes just called with a number of shorebirds seen in the Clearlake area: At Borax Lake he saw the following expected species 35 Western Sandpipers, 15 Least Sandpipers, and 5 Long-billed Dowitchers. In addition he recorded 6 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, 13 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, and the first summer record for the county, a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. At Austin Resort he had a flock of 16 WILLETS flyover. That is easily a new high count for the county. -- Jerry White for Floyd Hayes

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 -- To all; I looked and listened for the male AMERICAN REDSTART in the area Richard writes about for 3 hours on 7-25-09. Up and down "FERN" and "CANYON " to Dahlias , etc. Unfortunately, I did not have a sighting of the bird. But I left at 1:30PM . I did find the WESTERN WOOD PEEWEE nest with the babes being fed; I also saw 3 groups of BROWN CREEPERS IN 3 different areas around, one group with 5 birds. Also WILSONS WARBLER begging to a parent and receiving a niblet. A beautiful place to bird, nice weather. Barbara Dolan

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 -- I found the AMERICAN REDSTART at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens again at approx. 4:00 PM. It's location had changed. It was near the East end of Fern Canyon Trail which connects to the SOUTH Trail. It sang infrequently and I did not hear it call. I have not seen a female and there were no signs of nesting although I had a brief moment of hope because it was in a tree with alot of begging chicks. It turned out to be a Western Wood-Pewee nest. It has a bedraggled look (new picture downloaded) which according to The Birds of North America Online is probably due to molting. This bird has been in this general location for at least 13 days. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 19 July 2009 -- George and Janet Chaniot and I went to Fort Bragg's Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, arriving about 9:10-am just before Toby Tobkin showed up. We all walked along the North Trail, passing through the right-side gate. Watching for alders and listening, we soon heard the male AMERICAN REDSTART. A little pishing brought him out, below the canopy of the alders. We all got many excellent looks, while the bird sang and sang. He began to range around his presumed territory.
Our other goal was to search for the female AMRE, reported on this listserv by Chuck Vaughn two days ago. We kept track of the male as he moved in and around Fern Canyon by the creek and up the south rim near the dahlia garden. The four of us looked carefully for 50 minutes. Toby continued the search for a while longer, when George, Jan and I had to leave at 10:30. She called me at noon. No female AMRE could be located, unfortunately.
Both Toby and myself agreed to try to monitor that area of the botanical gardens during the week for the female and any evidence of breeding activity. -- Karen A Havlena

Sun, 19 Jul 2009 -- This morning at Virgin Creek beach there was a RUDDY TURNSTONE, 4 WHIMBRELS, and about 60 WESTERN SANDPIPERS. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 17 Jul 2009 -- RUDDY TURNSTONE and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS spotted at MacKerricher - full breeding plumage, but starting to change out. See photos at the group site :) -- Feather Forrestwalker

Fri, 17 Jul 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara Dolan, Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken and I made a very quick trip to the coast this morning to look for the recently reported American Redstart and Red Knot. We met Toby Tobkin at the Botanical Gardens and did find a Redstart near the north trail, but not the singing male. We found a Yellowstart, with visibly worn flight feathers, in that same area. female (?) male...breeding??? Our trip to Virgin Creek beach for the Red Knot was for naught; there was not a Knot at that spot. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 17 Jul 2009 -- As of 12:15PM the AMERICAN REDSART was still calling and singing in the same location (see previous postings) at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Toby and her dog were at the spot and she said that it had come so close that her binoculars would not focus. The bird was seen by me both hign in the trees and down near the creek. I have uploaded 2 pictures to the site. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 16 Jul 2009 -- Two non-breeding, adult POMARINE JAEGERS flew out of the fog bank that lay immediately offshore from Ten Mile beach this morning. It was quite foggy at the north end of Ten Mile beach as I began my SOS shorebird survey. Still north of Inglenook Creek mouth, a pocket of sunshine opened up, with the thick fog bank just a few yards out in the breaking waves. The jaegers flew about 15-20 ft above me moving south over the wet sand. Realizing their navigation error, the pair swung around and headed back into the fog and out to sea. Even though it was a brief encounter of less than a minute, they were close providing excellent looks including bulbous, central retrices that were a little over an inch longer than the median and outer retrices and wide, white patches at the base of the primaries.
Other shorebirds included a molting RED KNOT. After discussing the plumage and the fact that the Ten Mile bird had a stiff, right leg creating a hobbling gait when it tried to run, Toby Tobkin and myself agreed that her REKN on the 14th at Virgin Creek beach was a different bird (brighter with no limp). -- Karen A Havlena

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 -- Yesterday evening (7/15) there was a juvenile cowbird (looked like an overgrown sparrow) being fed by a very small gray bird (sorry, don't know what kind) in our backyard. The little bird was dashing back and forth trying to keep the cowbird fed, then they moved on--just here for a few minutes. -- Henri Bensussen Fort Bragg/Harold St.

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 -- Hi All, Since I had an 11 AM meeting in Petaluma today I decided to bird Lake Co at dawn and then hustle back to Petaluma. After all Petaluma is about half way there from Oakland. So out of the house by 4:30 and 7 AM found me at Rodman Slough just west of the bridge, but could not find the black bird that I hoped for. I went to plan B which was to park east of the bridge by the green gate at 1830 Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road following George Chaniot's and Jim Lomax's nice directions. I scanned all of the marsh areas, fields and trees seeing lots of black birds such as Crows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Starlings, BH Cowbirds, DC Cormorants, but not the one I was hoping for. Then, at 7:30, a much longer tailed black bird flew from the northeast (perhaps from about where Jim saw it on July 3 on his "death march" in 104 degree temperature) to near where I was standing. I finally had great views of a nice male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE. Thank goodness I did not have to go to plan C , D, etc. Since it was only 7:30 there was no need to rush back to Petaluma. I just enjoyed the Rodman Slough area. I parked east of the bridge and watched the White Pelicans, Green Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, DC Cormorants, etc. Just as I was about to leave I noticed a long-tailed black bird in a dead tree straight north across the slough on the east bank. Yup, it was a (the same?) Great-tailed Grackle. A nice morning and when I left at 9 AM it was only 77 degrees. -- John Luther, Oakland

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 -- During the Mendocino Coast Audubon walk this morning (approx. 11:00 AM),Trudy Jensen spotted an Adult Male "Singing" AMERICAN REDSTART. All observers on the walk got good views. It's location was in the West section of the Gardens along the north path about 30 Yards (just a guess!) from the very obvious pump-house. It was moving above the creek to the south. If you look at a map of the Gardens it was located in the West section of the "Red Alders and Riparian Vegetation". Other birds of note were a calling GREATER YELLOWLEGS flying over and about 8 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS (also found by Trudy) an apparent first for the Gardens. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 13 Jul 2009(approx.) -- Peter Pyle reported to me (with a photo) an adult male HARLEQUIN DUCK at the end of South Harbor Drive (off Hwy 20) near the Dolphin Isle Marina, This is a public campground/RV park along the Noyo River near Fort Bragg. This is about 1 mile from the mouth of the river. The duck was in the northern of the two dock channels (the one against the cliffs) when he saw it. So , I believe this to be the first Mendocino County record that hasnot been directly along the coastal shore (or nearby in Noyo harbor). Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer [17 July 2009 - Thanks to those who let me know that the drake Harlequin Duck has been around the Noyo Harbor and upper marina for up to 2 years.]

Fri, 10 Jul 2009 -- Perhaps I missed it in the archives, but I don't see that this bird has been previously reported. While on a brief family trip through the area, we stopped by the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg. There I heard and saw a singing, adult male AMERICAN REDSTART in the riparian vegetation in what I guess is called "Fern Canyon". The bird was audible and visible from the "North Trail" west of the property's bottleneck; I also heard it from the "Dahlia Garden" (see the garden's map at It was good to be back in the region. I wish I could get there more often... Cheers, Gjon Hazard, Encinitas, San Diego County, CA

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 -- This morning, while doing a Save Our Shorebirds survey, Toby Tobkin found a RED KNOT in a group of 24 Surfbirds. She reports it was molting out of breeding plumage but still had a lot of red on it. It was the same size as the Surfbirds. The group was on the first set of rocks at the north end of the beach. -- Toby Tobkin by Trudy Jensen - ps - Jim and i went to the beach about 12:30 and were not able to find the Red Knot - just 8 Surfbirds, 1 Black Turnstone, a dozen Whimbrels, and a dozen Black Oystercatchers. the waves were washing over a lot of the rocks, so the flock could easily have moved on... Trudy Jensen

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 -- To those interested; The bird was seen 7-10-09 6:30AM. The bird was seen 7-11-09 at 6:20AM and 6:40AM on the Gazebo feeder. Next time seen on same weekend day of 7-11-09 by Karen Havlena, visiting about 3:30PM . On 7-13-09 it was seen at 7:35AM. The bird was not seen on 7-14-Yet. - Barbara Dolan

Sat-Sun, 11-12 July 2009 -- A group of eight of us also birded the high country of the Mendocino National Forest a day behind Matthew Matthiessen and Karen Havlena. On Saturday we followed M1 from the Eel River Ranger Station to Spruce Grove. We spent the night at Spruce Grove, and Sunday morning we continued south on M1 as far as Monkey Rock. Then we backtracked and took M61 and M6 down to Lake Pillsbury and out.
On the way in along the Covelo Road, we stopped at the Dos Rios Bridge and got glimpses of both WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS and VAUX'S SWIFTS. At the sandstone bluffs there were two PEREGRINE FALCONS.
One of the most noticeable things of this trip was abundance of CASSIN'S FINCHES. We saw them and heard them singing at numerous locations between Charcoal Ridge and Monkey Rock. With over a decade of visiting this area in summer, I don't think I've ever seen this many. On May 31st this year Chuck Vaughn and I did not see or hear one. We also saw quite a few WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS from Grizzly Flat to the extreme corner of Lake County near where M61 meets M6. DUSKY/HAMMOND'S Flycatchers were evident, and we saw a singing TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE along M1 near Charcoal Ridge and saw another juvenile at Spruce Grove. GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES were numerous, and we saw several HERMIT WARBLERS at Spruce Grove.
At Spruce Grove we found the main camping area occupied (a first for me!), so we drove to another very nice site about 200 yards further to the east. At about 9:30 p.m. a FLAMMULATED OWL began calling to the west in the direction of the spongy meadow, and later in the evening another began calling to the east - keeping some of the party from falling asleep!
At Spruce Grove we hit several fantastic mixed flocks of about ten species - one flock seemed to be mobbing something unseen, and the other was pished up. Juveniles of almost every species were found wherever we went.
About 80 species for the whole loop from Ukiah to Ukiah. -- George Chaniot, with Janet Chaniot, Chuck Vaughn, Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken, Roger Foote, Barbara Dolan, and Dave Bengsten

Sun, 12 July 2009 -- 10:38am This morning I watched a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK hunting what appeared to be a family of Oregon Juncos. They were all in a White Oak growing in our yard, here on Dos Rios east of Laytonville. The tree is about 45' tall with many 2'-3' clumps of mistletoe growing in it through-out the canopy. 5 or 6 Juncos were using the "balls" of mistletoe for refuge as the Sharpie would literally crawl in one side and out the other chasing the the OJs from one clump to another. What I found odd was at the same time, there were several Red-Breasted Nuthatches, with at least 3 obvious Juveniles foraging on the main trunk and limbs of the same oak tree. Seemingly unnoticed and never pursued by the predator. After about 5-6 mins the SSH over took a young Junco as it tried to fly 8 or 10' between clumps! I headed east to check-out the WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS at the Dos-Rios/Hwy 162 bridge as well. Great "fly-byes" Thanks Karen! I don't really have a "Favorite" Bird. But if one develops... The WTS is certainly "in the running". Remember to have Fun! -- Bruce Gullett. Laytonville

Fri-Sat, 10-11 July 2009 -- Matthew Matthiessen and I went on a short camping trip to eastern mountains of MEN County, mainly along route M1 and down Hull Mtn Rd after MEN County birds for me and year birds for both of us.
We started the trip at Dos Rios, where 5 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTs could be seen at once flying below the Hwy 162 bridge, but several more than that number could be heard. We walked the railroad tracks to listen for Canyon Wren, but had no luck with it. (Dragonflies and damselflies were another goal at which we had great success on the Eel River and elsewhere).
Spruce Grove: The most exciting birds of the the trip were 2 FLAMMULATED OWLs that began calling at 9:25 pm, before Matthew had his CD and speaker ready to go. One of the owls was directly above us at the top of a tree, so whatever direction one turned, it seemed that the bird was calling from a different spot. At our campsite in Spruce Grove, 3 CASSIN'S FINCH provided good looks. A HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER also visited the camp.
Sat, 11 July 2009 -- Driving south on M1, we stopped to see NASHVILLE WARBLER, DUSKY FLYCATCHER and WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER, but missed out on Townsend's Solitaire. The unlikely Black-chinned Sparrow was not to be ours. Mountain Chickadees, warbers: Black-throated Gray, Hermit, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned, plus Lincoln's and Fox Sparrows, as well as many Red-breasted Nuthatches abounded. -- Karen Havlena and Matthew Matthiessen

Fri, 10 Jul 2009 -- To all; ROSE=BREASTED GROSBEAK - First seen at my feeder at 7:20PM 7-9-09. Black head and neck extending to the low back and rump which has a generous contrasting generous white area. The edges of this band of white are slightly flecked with black. The tail is all black. Light large bill and contrasting to the black face. Rose red bib which extends with a point into the white chest and abdomen. White patch areas on the black wings. Have not been able to see the underwing yet. Feeding again this morning 7-10-09 on gazebo feeder and saucer feeders-taking the area away from the BLACK HEADED GROSBEAK family which consists of a large number of members with many plumage states(including possibility of the07 and 08 CBC bird). New yard bird . -- Barbara Dolan

Wed, 08 Jul 2009 -- After being excused from jury duty yesterday, I birded around the lake. At the mouth of Rodman Slough I walked out onto the rocks and, about 5 minutes later, a LEAST BITTERN flushed from reeds only about 12 feet from the farthest rock and flew about 75 feet before disappearing into the reeds. I searched the area between Rodman Slough and Robinson Lake for the Great-tailed Grackle for more than 45 minutes before giving up.
Shorebirds are moving through and I'm predicting a stellar migration this fall for Lake County. A flock of 13 LESSER YELLOWLEGS flew over Robinson Lake (water too high for shorebirds). At Borax Lake, where shorebird conditions are ideal (lowest water I've seen since moving here 5 years ago), about 80 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and 20 LEAST SANDPIPERS were on the small pools on the former island (now connected to land and accessible by foot). -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 07 July 2009 -- 5:00 - 6:00 PM - There were 4 VAUX'S SWIFTS foraging over the Russian River channel on both sides of the Talmage bridge. I am guessing that they are a family group as there was a difference in wing molt on the birds .possibly adults versus immatures. The birds foraged for the entire hour that I was there .always passing over the bridge . never under the bridge. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 --'s up, Dogs? I went to bed intending on going east, but when the alarm went off at three I changed my mind and chose Plan B and got up at five. Actually Plan B was tomorrow's Plan A but 3 AM is hard these days. Getting old. So off to Lake County to look for George Chaniot's rediscovered bird reported yesterday.
Arrived at Rodman Slough about 1000 hrs and found the green gate at 1830 Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road east of the slough. I parked and as George said, scoped north and northwest from the gate. I found the snags in the direction of the pump house as he described, but they were to hell and gone from where I was. I could barely see a Common Crow sitting on the snags with the heat waves. After 15 minutes and deciding I wasn't going to have George's luck with one appearing in the small window between the green trees to the snags, I looked for a better way. I checked my google map which I had made at home, then headed northeast to Hwy 20. Ruby took me northwest on Hwy 20 to Reclamation Road where we went west. We followed Reclamation Road around to the north and then continued as it curved west again to another gate. Here Reclamation turns north again and the dirt road behind the gate is Edmand's Boulevard (not marked). A couple of years ago, the Prof and I talked to a person there and he told us it would be alright to walk beyond the gate, which has space to go around, and bird. I have no idea who that man was but he was now my source of permission. I walked west on Edmand's Boulevard and turned south which headed me back towards the bridge area even though I knew I could not reach that area. The walk is a mile and a half and it was 104. A truck came by with three men and I braced myself but they asked what bird I was looking for, were very friendly, offered me a ride for the rest of the way (declined), and wished me luck. Felt much better.
The walk south is on Whalen Way (also not marked) and I walked to the south end and turned east on MacKie Road (again not marked). Basically, I walked around the irrigated fields of the Reclamation Area. Once I got to Mackie, I went east about 1-2 tenths of a mile and walked up on the dike. This abuts a finger of the slough which extends east from Rodman Slough. The snags were now 400 yards away and much easier to see. However, during the hour I was there, feeling sick and close to vomiting in the heat (Who forgot the damn water!), the bird was a no-show. By noon, I had to go back hoping I would make it without dropping dead. As I walked back on Mackie, I came upon another pumphouse which I had passed going the other way. I could see that I could walk up on the dike unmolested by weeds, sticker bushes, needles, ticks, etc., unlike the other two places I tried, so I walked up on the dike again. This put me at the entrance of where the finger flows into Rodman Slough. I sat down on a rock to rest and stop the nausea. As I was peering down into the water, I suddenly saw a reflection fly from east to west going by right in front of me and I looked up to get 'Welcome back to the GOP's most qualified candidate, one term mayor, and part term governor from the largest state that knows how to pick 'em, UU in Drag, Maverick Sarah Louise Heath "I can see those commies from my yard" Palin' looks at the beautiful blue black adult male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE. Yes! The grackle flew down another fifty feet and perched in the only tree growing on the levee south of the pump house area. I watched it for ten minutes before I left with it still there. The euphoria got me almost back to Ruby before I got sick. Felt better in the air conditioning on the way home.
Thank you George, for finding and reporting it. -- Jim Lomax

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Cheryl Watson, Barbara Dolan and I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning. Although there is little shorebird habitat, with the exception of the sludge pond, birds are beginning to turn over out there. Most notable today were 2 (m,f) BLUE-WINGED TEAL, a very early SNOWY EGRET, and 6 WILSON'S PHALAROPES. There were about 6 each of WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS. Yesterday, Cheryl and Barbara saw a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. Steve Stump, a very observant plant employee, reported that a WHITE-FACED IBIS was present on Wednesday. It was not refound yesterday or today. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 02 Jul 2009 -- This morning I went to Rodman Slough for my third try for GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE, and I succeeded. I set up my scope at the green gate to the east of the bridge at number 1830 and scoped the rice fields and trees to the north. It took about 15 minutes before I saw one sitting in the top of a dead tree to the NW - in line with the pumphouse. The scope was really necessary to pull this one in from public access on dry land. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 28 Jun 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Cheryl Watson, Barbara and I saw 3 adult female WILSON'S PHALAROPES this morning on the sludge pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. Sure wish they would start draining some ponds so we could get some mud. There wasn't anything else really noteworthy out there on this hot day! -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 27 Jun 2009 -- This past Saturday 6/26 we were walking along the Eel River in Mendo county just over the hill from Potter Valley when we saw a beautiful yellow bird with a red head. Looked it up in our book and it sounds like a WESTERN TANAGER. -- Stan, Santa Rosa

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 -- Today Linda Angerer and I conducted the Hullville BBS which runs from up on Hull Mtn. in ex. se. Mendocino Co., I believe, south past the west side of Lake Pillsbury in n. Lake County. The route passes through some outstanding chaparral of a kind that does not occur in Humboldt County, mostly because it's loaded with chamise.
A highlight was a singing Bell's [Sage] Sparrow, a form regarding as worthy of individual treatment by Beadle and Rising in their sparrows book. This bird was at a site I did not mark but which was one of the flagged BBS stations. It's a few miles northward of Lake Pillsbury and, while a straightforward drive, takes a long time to get to on the mostly unpaved M1 forest road. If anyone is interested in trying to hear and see this sparrow, which I viewed from the main road, let me know and I can put you in touch with Linda for directions.
We also encountered numerous Blue-gray Gnatcatchers as well as other chaparral birds, including Oak Titmouse. I had California Thrasher at a BBS stop here a couple years ago but not this time. We heard a Poor-will at our camp high on the south shoulder of Hull Mountain the evening of the 25th. From the looks of the habitat, it would seem likely they're scattered throughout that stretch of country. -- David Fix, Bayside, HUM, Calif

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 -- This morning I birded the 'old logging road' along the Eel River from Pioneer Crossing Bridge to beyond Bucknell Creek and into Lake county a ways. I saw several WILSON'S WARBLERS in this area which I don't often see at this time of year. I also saw Orange-crowned Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and eight Yellow-breasted Chats for a total of six warbler species. There was a lot of dipper sign at the riffle just below Trout Creek and the county line riffle just above Bucknell Creek - but no dippers today. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 -- Not sure if this is unusual but it struck me as so... a pair of OAK TITMICE in the courtyard by the tasting room at Handley Cellars in Philo on Thursday 6/25, midday. I don't recall having seen them in the valley. -- Taylor Ellis

Sun, 21 Jun 2009 -- Today I went to the ponds where the COMMON MOORHEN young were seen. I saw one breeding adult foraging across from me. On arrival I flushed the GREEN HERON. Other birds included; SONG SPARROW, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, ,CALIFORNIA TOWHEE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, BLACK PHOEBE-ONE LOOKING LIKE A FRESH YOUNG BIRD. Surrounding area birds included; ACORN WOODPECKER, TREE SWALLOWS hawking; NUTTALS WOODPECKER; LESSER GOLDFINCHES.
I missed the floating island-it was not moving . No rattlesnake though I was alert due to Karen's report.
At the Bottle brush up by the utility road North of the walk-in to the pond, there were numerous ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS, and a beautiful SELAPHORUS MALE that repeatedly tried to enter and feed ,but was being harassed and chased away. Back and out the gate at that North pond there were WESTERN BLUEBIRDS; MOURNING DOVES; CANADA GEESE WITH young, and a lone WESTERN GREBE. 7 COMMON RAVENS came down to drink. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 21 Jun 2009 -- I had not checked my e-mail for a week (vacationing in Yosemite) when I briefly stopped by Rodman Slough yesterday at 10:00 am, so I was unaware of George Chaniot's sighting of a Least Bittern last week. A couple of minutes after clambering up on the rocks I was pleased to see the LEAST BITTERN flush from reeds about 30 feet away, fly about 20 feet farther into the reeds, and disappear. This morning I learned that Doug Weidemann and his father searched for it at noon yesterday--but they were less fortunate. I also searched fruitlessly for a grackle at Rodman Slough.
A CASPIAN TERN was on the beach at Austin Park in Clearlake. At the small park east of Park Street in Lakeport I counted 67 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON nests, up from the 34 nests that Doug and I tallied on May 17. Clear Lake now has large numbers of courting WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES, but I could not find any fledglings among them. -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 18 June 2009 -- George Chaniot and I met at Mendocino College to look for the two juvenile COMMON MOORHENS at the "rail pond" on the campus of Mendocino College in Ukiah. George confirmed these birds as the first breeding record of COMO in Mendocino County this past Sunday, 14 June. We also were interested in trying to refind a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON that George saw on Sunday.
We had to wait a while to finally see the two young COMO's emerge from the cattails on the east side of the larger pond that is closest to the buildings. They are growing quickly! One of the parents was near the north side of the pond.
There were a few other VERY interesting sightings while we were there. One was the traveling clump of cattails that George mentioned in his previous post on 6/14. There was no breeze at all, but this clump of living cattails, about 4 ft in diameter, moved back and forth over a 8-10 yard area! There must be an animal (maybe the beaver I saw another time) propelling the cattails around the pond - a very puzzling sight to see. Also, we watched dragonflies and snake(s). CAUTION>>>> a WESTERN RATTLESNAKE was by the path at the south side of the pond. It was still cool, so the snake moved slowly across the path and into a low area of gray, granite-type rocks. These rocks are easy to see, so take care in that specific area.
After George had to leave, I stayed on to continue looking for the BCNH. It was not to be found! On the east side of the smaller pond to the south, I got great looks at a slow moving, 4 ft Gopher Snake. I got fairly close to the adult COMO on the north side of the "rail" pond.
Park at the east end of the main parking lot and walk south to the ponds, which are just west of where the entrance road turns north. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 17 Jun 2009 -- I drove over to Rodman Slough on Clear Lake this morning mainly to look for the Great-tailed Grackles reported recently - no luck. I walked south from the bridge and out to the rocks near the picnic table. There were at least 10 YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS in the reeds to the south. After about ten minutes a LEAST BITTERN appeared in the same reeds, then flew by close and landed about 50 feet away. It was about as good a view as you can get. There was a female GADWALL in the rice field at 'Robinson Lake' , and there were at least four CINNAMON TEAL flying over the rice fields along Reclamation Road - both species listed as extremely rare in summer on the Lake County list. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 17 Jun 2009 -- Our kayaking business is at Dolphin Isle on the Noyo, and we have been watching this HARLEQUIN DUCK over the past 2 years. He is one of the first migratories to appear early in the fall and one of the last to leave in the late spring. We see him almost daily including last night. Lately he has been fraternizing with the mallard drakes. In the winter, he tends to congregate with the buffleheads. He has a very squeaky - "rubber ducky" like voice and a personality of his own. We are glad that you noticed him. He is such a handsome bird. Best of days, -- Cate Hawthorne

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 -- Two days ago another, smaller snake came and ate all the babies. One adult House Wren mobbed it over and over, and a couple of Anna's Hummingbirds also hovered around the scene. The fact that only one adult wren was mobbing the snake makes me think something happened to the other parent as well as the babies.
This morning I opened the nest box, looking for jumping spiders or their egg sacs, and I found the snake still there. At the moment it's torpid and sort of upside down, so I'm not sure of the i.d.
The reason I was looking for jumping spiders is that House Wrens (mostly males) collect jumping spider egg sacs and attach them to the walls of the nest cavity, and the sticks that make up the nest. When the spiderlings hatch they go around gobbling up mites. (At least that's been observed in nests of captive House Wrens). I was trying to figure out what kind of jumping spiders they collect. -- Kate Marianchild

Sun, 14 Jun 2009 -- Geoff and I saw two ROCK WRENs on the south end of the Lake Mendocino dam this morning. The first was in the lake side rocks side not far from the tower and the second near the rest room. As we headed back, the first wren flew across the dam and south in the direction of the second. A pair maybe? -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 14 Jun 2009 -- I went back to the Mendocino College pond this morning to check on the COMMON MOORHENS, and I quickly found an adult clambering around in the _top_ of the cattails pecking at the newly emerging 'flowers'. It carried something yellow in its bill deep into the cattails. A few minutes later I saw a largish juvenile with a lot of clinging down emerge from the cattails at the east end of the pond. About 15 minutes later I saw two juveniles at the same time. I heard a lot of rail sounds which I have never heard before coming from their vicinity. This is, I believe, the first confirmed nesting in Mendocino County. Oddly, there is a floating island of cattails in the pond which must have drifted 40 feet while I was there. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 -- A single Male Harlequin on the Noyo River June 12, 2009 about 10 AM and again at 5PM. -- Bud Bernard

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 -- Hi All, The WHITE-FACED IBIS continued at the Ukiah sewage plant today (June 12). At 8:30 this morning it was along the southern edge of the second large pond as you look from south to north (southern most pond is almost dry). It was very well hidden in the vegetation at the edge of the pond. Most of the time it was not visible or only its head would stick up above the vegetation. -- John Luther, Oakland

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 -- This evening at sunset I was walking along West Road in Potter Valley south of the cemetery when a nighthawk flew over low heading toward the western hills. It was silent, but I got a good enough look at the position of the white bar and the pointedness of the wings to be sure that it was a COMMON NIGHTHAWK. It's the first of this species that I've seen in Potter Valley since 10 Jun 1984. [not seen the next three evenings] -- George Chaniot

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 -- This morning I did some productive birding along the Lake Pillsbury road, 240B, between Potter Valley and Soda Creek, concentrating on the Lake County side of the line. My goal for the day was to search the grassy area west of Soda Creek for Grasshopper Sparrow, since on May 31 Chuck Vaughn and I found several at a similar area on the Covelo Road. As it was a weekday morning, there was very little traffic until about 10:00, and I had the place almost to myself.
Just about 1/4 mile into Lake County I found a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, a pair of HERMIT WARBLERS, and a HOUSE WREN. The female Hermit Warbler was carrying food. At about mile 36.3 I heard a booming SOOTY GROUSE near where I heard one several years ago. Isn't this late in the season?
I spent about an hour at the grassy hillside. It is located at about mile 32.5 and is called "The Slides" on the Mendocino National Forest map. It also shows as an open area on the DeLorme map p.75, A 4.5. I picked up on a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW before I finished my first thermos of coffee. It appeared briefly on a fence wire on the north side of the road then flew across the road and down the slope a way. Over the next half hour I got two more views downslope. One could be seen singing, and the other seemed to have some food in its craw. These were in the area between the two "Slide Area" signs and near the pi-shaped gate posts at 27282. In the same area there were at least four LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES, 3m 1f, visiting some water in a seep along the road and feeding in the weedy grasses upslope - some of which were bloomed-out fiddlenecks. I also had several close passes by GOLDEN EAGLES and one BALD EAGLE flying upcanyon high overhead. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 11 Jun 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I stopped in at the USTP this afternoon for a quick walk around the ponds. There was a WHITE-FACED IBIS feeding on the edge of the middle pond. It flew to the sludge pond as I approached, and it was still there when I left. About the only other bird of any interest out there is a continuing and very worn BUFFLEHEAD female. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 08 Jun 2009 -- I just wanted to let you know that there has been a male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK visiting my bird feeder on Ford Street in Ukiah. I saw him visit off and on yesterday (Sunday, June 7) in the early morning and again in the afternoon. -- Lois O'Rourke

Sun, 07 Jun 2009 -- We saw at least 3 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES up the right branch of Rodman Slough near Lakeport on Sunday, 6/7 around noon. -- Mark Bailey

Fri, 05 Jun 2009 -- RED CROSSBILLS are now coming to our feeders in Little River. I've seen at least 2 juveniles. They are very trusting. I've posted two close-up pictures in my Red Crossbill album in the photo section. -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 03 Jun 2009 -- UC Hopland Research andExtension Center - this morning Greg Giusti, Shane Feirer, and I discovered a Rufous-crowned Sparrow nest with 4 unmarked whitish-blue (maybe white as it was hard to tell in the shadows) eggs in it. It was in Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii) habitat with a grass understory of rattlesnake grass, ripgut, dogtail, etc. The site was very well shaded and is on a west aspect old cut on the upper side of a very old dozed-fire trail with the nest tucked into a small pocket on the partially grassed road-cut. The nest is grassed-lined with tightly woven grass, with an overhang which protected the upperside of the bird and nest. The female returned to the nest to brood shortly after being flushed. I believe that this may be Mendocino County's first documented nest - although nesting has been confirmed in the past by observers witnessing adults feeding fledged young. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 -- Having some time to kill at Mendocino College this afternoon, I went to the "Rail Pond" to take a look. I was surprised to find a COMMON MOORHEN. I have not seen them there since late March. As I was watching the bird at the east end of the pond, I heard another calling from the cattails on the south side. I presume that these are the same two birds that wintered here. During the 50 minutes that I watched the pond I had a moorhen in view less than 10% of the time. I heard them call about 10 times.
Having two birds in the right habitat at the right time of year is the lowest level evidence of possible nesting. This bears further observation since I don't believe there is a Mendocino breeding record to date. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 31 May 2009 -- Invasion of the Exotics: Eight EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES in our Ft. Bragg yard today. They came in with a group of starlings and a pair of house sparrows, plus a pair of mourning doves. -- Henri Bensussen

Sat, 30 May 2009 -- Marisela de Santa Anna reported that on Saturday, 5/30/09, during a bike ride along Reynolds Hwy. in Little Lake Valley, she saw for the first time there, a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES. The exact location was not mentioned. She wondered if Lawrence's Goldfinches had ever been reported from Little Lake Valley or the Willits area before. I don't recall ever hearing of that either. Does anyone know? -- Vishnu

Fri, 29 May 2009 -- Late this afternooon I found a single ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER on the south side of Juan Creek, just east of Highway One. Juan Creek is on Highway One north of Westport, just before the road turns inland. I also saw several PURPLE MARTINS at that location. -- Dave Jensen

Fri, 29 May 2009 -- No Ash-throated Flycatcher was seen during the scheduled bird survey this morning at Pt. Cabrillo. If still there it could have a larger feeding territory than where I saw it. However, there was a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH recorded on the survey, which is also unusual for the coast, and there are no oaks on the Pt. Cabrillo Preserve. The WBNU was seen in the south-east corner of the Preserve in mixed pine and riparian vegetation. -- Art Morley

Thu, 28 May 2009 -- Today at about 3:30 I saw an ASH-THROATED FLYCACHER at Point Cabrillo. It was about 100 yds north of the houses in an area surrounded by wax myrtle and spreading Cypress. It was about 50 feet from breeding bird survey station #12. We will watch for it on the survey tomorrow morning. It could be nesting. -- Art Morely

Thu, 28 May 2009 -- Thursday morning - today I observed a male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH gather salt at the traditional spot from years past along University Road here at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. The "traditional spot" is a black-plastic salt feeder for sheep that is on the SE side of the road near a wooden pasture sign that says "Vassar Corner". There are multiple Lesser Goldfinches and House Finches that come in for the salt also. The salt feeders have a large black plastic rain shield over the top of the tubs. Viewers are welcome to stop at the "parking area" near the sign for the goldfinches at the salt feeder close by (25 feet), or the salt feeder behind the gate (75 feet), or atop the many fences, or bathing at the bird bath near the tank overflow to the SE. Listen for the high "bell-like tinkle" sound of the Lawrence's. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 27 May 2009 -- Hi - A few interesting things. This year I'm seeing a lot more nesting birds, unfortunetly the european sparrows are chasing the new birdbird couple out of the boxes. Some ravens were nesting atop a tall pine tree in our yard(about 3 stories up) on monday morning I found 3 young raven heads , neatly detached and about 3 feet from their intact bodies on the ground below the nest, it appears they were just about to fledge, still with a few pin feathers..they were just dispatched and kicked out there were no signs of them being eaten,etc. I beleive this attack happened at night. I don't hear any more sounds , nor do I see the parents who were regulars here.
I saw 2 young Pileated Woodpeckers that appear to have just left the nest. And , It wasn't the Pileated Woodpeckers in our dead pine tree as I suspected as I see a female and male on our property often, because yesterday I saw a female flicker enter a hole in it.
There are a number of other nesting birds that have returned to the same nests for several years now. Usually we have a number of Pheobes here, but for some reason they are all absent for a few weeks now.( really strange as we usually have so many)
Today I saw some sort of raptor type bird Ive never seen in this are area before, it had long ,narrow wings, and was very light colored,top and undersides with white/grey with some black perhaps, but it definetly was not a kite or the usual hawks around here. I wasnt able to grab my binocs before it flew off. It wasnt making any sounds. Curious if anyone has any ideas on that. -- Lynne- Road D redwood valley

Tue, 26 May 2009 - Tuesday - Two Grasshopper Sparrows were seen at the traditional site on the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. 1 was a singing male. We are certain that nesting is occurring (as it has in prior years). This site in NOT open to the public .but limited viewing can be arranged. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 25 May 2009 -- Larry Siemens spotted a TUFTED PUFFIN near Goat Rock, Mendocino Headlands SP on Memorial Day. The group he was with birded there early in the weekend, but did not see the TUPU until Monday. -From Hwy 1 near Mendocino village, take Lansing St intersection (north side of Mendocino), and turn west on Heeser St and park at the NW parking area. Goat Rock is the large, grass-covered rock that would be the most due north. Scope the water in this area. A pair bred here last year, so this could be one of the same adults. -- Kaen Havlena [For Larry Siemens]

Mon, 25 May 2009 -- Today, I helped Bob Keiffer run his Breeding Bird Survey on Branscomb Rd, from Laytonville to Hwy 1. Our most surprising bird was a NASHVILLE WARBLER found by Bob west of Branscomb. Quite a few HERMIT, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, WILSON'S and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were at many stops. One of the WILSON'S stumped us for a couple of minutes until we could actually see it, because its song was so rapid - a Wilson's on speed. We also had PURPLE MARTINS and a GREEN HERON near the western end of the route.
Jim joined us for the rest of the day. We tried for Marbled Murrelets at Juan Creek without success. (There have not been any MAMU there for months). Then, we traveled back east on Branscomb Rd, then north on Wilderness Lodge Rd to the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, where we met Peter Steel. We found two to three old NORTHERN GOSHAWK nests, but no NOGOs.
Continuing east, we drove Dos Rios Rd its12 miles from Laytonville to the Hwy 162 bridge. There we saw 3+ WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS. We then walked the old railroad tracks between Dos Rios and the Eel River to listen for Canyon Wren but had no luck with it. So, back to Laytonville we went to end our fun day. -- Karen Havlena (Bob Keiffer and Jim Havlena, too)

Sun, 24 May 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I met Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning for some birding. There wasn't a lot of activity, but we did see a couple of nice birds. There were 2 BLACK-NECKED STILTS which were quite active, visiting any spot with shallow water. On the north pond we saw a pair (m,f) of BLUE-WINGED TEAL among the mallards. They had moved to the middle pond by the time we left. It was nice to hear the SWAINSON'S THRUSHES singing along the river. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 18 May 2009 -- The last few days have brought the most magnificent display of BROWN PELICANS my wife and I have seen since moving to Albion in 2005. Notwithstanding "duplicates" in my observations, my estimate is based on counting formations which varied from one or two individuals up to 52 in one group - usually in groups of 20-30. I estimate that on Sunday afternoon, May 17, groups totaling 300-500 Brown Pelicans the shoreline of Salmon Creek cove and then headed north. Today, we are also seeing a consistent series of fly-bys and then they head north. BTW - would someone educate me and let me know what the correct term is for a "group" of pelicans? My Googled results include pod, squadron, flock, scoop... Thank you! -- Howard Guyer

Sun, 17 May 2009 -- Location: Offshore Waters (Mendocino Co.). Notes: Pelagic Trip out of Fort Bragg (with Mendocino Coast Audubon Society) Other Species seen: 3 Humpback Whales, 10 California Sea Lions, 2 Harbor Seals, 1 Gray Whale, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphin, and 5 Harbor Porpoise
Number of species: 38
Brant (Black) 45, Surf Scoter 12, Pacific Loon 825, Common Loon 20, Western Grebe 34, Black-footed Albatross 200, Northern Fulmar 16, Pink-footed Shearwater 170, Sooty Shearwater 325, Ashy Storm-Petrel 2, storm-petrel sp. 1, Brown Pelican 98, Brandt's Cormorant 27, Pelagic Cormorant 38, White-faced Ibis 16, Osprey 2, Black-bellied Plover 1, Red-necked Phalarope 177, Red Phalarope 1, Sabine's Gull 125, Bonaparte's Gull 60, Heermann's Gull 2, Western Gull 255, California Gull 181, Glaucous-winged Gull 15, Common Tern 7, Elegant Tern 2, Pomarine Jaeger 2, Parasitic Jaeger 2, Common Murre 425, Pigeon Guillemot 17, Rhinoceros Auklet 16, Mourning Dove 1, Purple Martin 3, Cliff Swallow 2, European Starling 2, Song Sparrow 2, White-crowned Sparrow 2 -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 17 May 2009 -- Today Barbara Dolan, Bruce Gove, Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken, and I birded along the Eel River near Potter Valley from the Pioneer Crossing Bridge to Trout Creek. We saw many of the species seen on 9 May including 7 warbler species. Several MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS, at least one HERMIT WARBLER, and several YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 14 May 2009 -- Inspired by MasterBirder Steve Glover's report, I got up to Hopland about 0730 hrs. Over the last few years I have looked for this goldfinch either here or on Burris Lane in Potter Valley and every year I have missed it. Today was no exception. None around the Hopland Research area.
I drove back into Ukiah to the Water Treatment Plant, signed in, and hiked out to the ponds. It's hampered and a little sign tells you which way to go due to over a years worth of construction. I walked over to the western most pond, set by itself, and checked the shoreline. Immediately got "sharing a hot tub with Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck" looks at a beautiful SOLITARY SANDPIPER. A very nice surprise. Nothing else of note, unless you like to look at Mallards in the other ponds, two of which had too much water for shorebirds, and the other, the southeastern most one, was almost dry. A couple of puddles had six Spotted Sandpipers, Killdeer, and a Semipalmated Plover. (Alexandra? You remember her. Probably you knew her as Sandra Dee. Google it if your that young.)
Headed north then, to mm 103. I needed the swifts Steve and Frances saw. All roads in this county were designed by the health industry, namely, the pharmaceutical companies. People who drive these roads use a lot of hydrochlorothiazide pills. To keep their blood pressure down. Anyway, by mid-day, I arrived to swifts. Only Violet- green, Cliff, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. I climbed the hill for a better view again wasting my time.
Then I drove out Hwy 162, to Dos Rios, to look for reported-over-the- years Canyon Wrens. Couldn't find any, but, while checking the rocks in the canyon below the bridge by Dos Rios, there was a WHITE- THROATED SWIFT flying around with the swallows. Felt a little better.
In planning the day, I was going to go out to Fort Bragg as well, but there just isn't enough time. It's 103 miles to mile marker 103 when you enter the county and it takes forever. So now I figured I'd check Burris Lane on my way home. Upon arrival at 1715 hrs, I drove to the east end and sat there. No goldfinches in sight. I called Steve. He told me to look around the Fiddleneck across from the pullout at the top of the rise just before the end of the road. I parked at the pullout and walked to the fence on the north side, which is uphill, and once at the fence, I had to look downhill on the other side finally finding the Fiddleneck buried in the grasses. While I was looking, I suddenly had "we don't have to drive it, we can park it out in back, and have a wild party in my Pink Cadillac... Pink Cadillac" looks at a gorgeous male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH. AT LAST! It was sweeter than finding a 500 dollar bill, sweeter than keeping my right arm, sweeter than sharing a hot tub with Alexandra... Well...not that sweet. -- Jim Lomax

Wed, 13 May 2009 -- At 11:30 AM, I heard and observed 12 RED CROSSBILLS flying from the Pygmy Forest over Little River Airport Rd. to the "Wood's" Senior Park. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 10 May 2009 -- In Mendocino County we noticed a flock of swifts over the Eel River at the bridge near mile 103. We backtracked to a pullout on the southbound side just before the bridge (quite possibly not legal). Amongst a flock of VAUX'S SWIFTS were at least 3 and probably more WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS, a county bird for both of us. Finally, at about 5:30 we saw a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES in the amsinckia just before the end of Burris Lane. Good birding! -- Steve Glover, Dublin and Francis Oliver, Lodi

Sun, 10 May 2009 -- At least 3 LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES were at the end of Burris Lane this afternoon from about 3:30-4:30. They tend to disappear deep into the patch of fiddlenecks and may still be present when not seen. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 10 May 2009 -- Neither Red Knot nor Ruddy Turnstone could be found at Virgin Creek beach late morning. Four LONG-BILLED CURLEWS, sixteen DUNLIN, four Semi-palmated Plovers, several Western Sands, and numerous Whimbrels were about. At Ten Mile river mouth, there were three LONG-BILLED CURLEWS and two Spotted Sandpipers. On Ocean Meadows Cir, our tan stripe WHITE-THROATED SPARROW is still with us. Its molt appears to be complete, so it may not hang around much longer. May 10th should be a pretty late date for MEN. (Humboldt Co. has records to very, late May, etc). -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Sat, 09 May 2009 -- The Peregrine Audubon field trip to Potter Valley and the Eel River took place Saturday. Among the more interesting finds were a displaying YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT near the old bridge on Potter Valley Road, an AMERICAN DIPPER at the rapids at milepost 0.97 on Potter Valley Road, multiple MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS and HERMIT WARBLERS along the Eel River between Pioneer Crossing Bridge and Trout Creek Campground, and at least 6 LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES at the end of Burris Lane (seen in mid-afternoon, but not in mid-morning). A full list can be seen at the Peregrine website -- George Chaniot

Fri, 08 May 2009 -- Early afternoon, I saw a male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD west of Hwy 1, Inglenook, near mm 66.50, just south of Little Valley Rd. Late morning, I had seen a mystery bird there, so I went back to see if it was around. (The bird, reminiscent of a female Phainopepla, flew in a flight pattern characteristic of PHAI towards Inglenook Fen). The YHBL also flew towards Inglenook Fen, sort of inticed by a few Brewer's Blackbirds). Barn Swallows were also flying about the area. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 08 May 2009 -- This evening from 6:45-7:05 the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES were back at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley as described in the last post. This time there were two females and one male on the fence and in the orange fiddlenecks. When they land in the fiddlenecks, they disappear from sight and could be overlooked. A male was singing on the fence only about 25 feet from my car window; I don't think I have ever heard the song as well. It's a sweet, complex warble with some mimicry thrown in. I hope we can find them on tomorrow's field trip. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 08 May 2009 -- Late morning, Toby Tobkin, myself, and Dave Jensen saw an undeniably different RED KNOT at Virgin Creek beach, north on the main beach but a little south of the first bluff. Two RUDDY TURNSTONES were nearby. One LONG-BILLED CURLEW was a short distance north of the REKN with several Whimbrels. This REKN was just coming into breeding plumage. The throat, upper breast and the sides had light orange, splotchy coloring, unlike George's description of yesterday's very brightly colored knot. At Laguna Point, there were two BONAPARTE'S GULLS found by D A Jensen. Caspian Terns and Red-necked Phalaropes are on the move, as well along the coast. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 07 May 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn and I birded along the coast this afternoon working on our year lists. The most interesting finds were a RED KNOT in high breeding plumage, two LONG-BILLED CURLEWS, and a RUDDY TURNSTONE - all among other migrants at Vir gin Creek Beach in the late afternoon. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 06 May 2009 -- Hi Birders. I had a few unusual migrants at my parent's place in Potter Valley (Mendocino County) today. Perhaps of most interest (to me) was an adult male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD that tried to share the single Hummingbird feeder with about a dozen Anna's and at least three Rufous Hummingbirds. Also quite interesting was a pair of PURPLE MARTINS that buzzed by while I happened to be out on the deck. The PUMAs were new for me for the inland portions of the County (and my yard, of course). Actually, today was quite a good day for migrant Swallows in general, with a dozen or so Cliff Swallows, two Northern Rough-winged Swallows and several Violet-green Swallows during the same twenty or so minutes that I noticed the Martins in. In the Raptor department, I was excited to see a pair of BALD EAGLES soaring high over the valley, headed in the general direction of the pond at the end of Burris Lane. I've seen them from the property several times during winters past, but these were the first Bald Eagles I have seen during the breeding season in Potter Valley. Also interesting were a dozen or so Turkey Vultures that suddenly appeared low over our house; judging by their sudden appearance and disappearance, I suspect that they were migrants.
At the end of Burris Lane at about 5:30 this afternoon, I did not see any Lawrence's Goldfinches, but most of the expected migrants were in (Western Kingbird, Lark Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, etc), and I saw another 50 or so Cliff Swallows and a half dozen or so Violet-green Swallows moving past. Also nice to see was a close adult Golden Eagle.
Finally, this evening in Ukiah I noted 250 or more VAUX'S SWIFTS crusing fairly low over the County Courthouse. -- Matt Brady

Tue, 05 May 2009 -- At 8:30ish CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD at our feeder with the evening frenzy of Anna's and a male and female Rufous. It was so miniature compared to the Anna's. -- Kelly Austin

Tue, 05 May 2009 -- We have had an adult male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK coming to feed both at our yard and the south yard (with feeders) in Ocean Meadows Circle, 1/2 mi north of Ten Mile River for three days. Also, the WHITE-THROATED SPARROW is still coming to the seed as of today, 5 May. Alas, I have NOT seen any of the TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS for at least one + week. As I recall, the TRBL's left briefly from the pond across Hwy 1 last year, so hopefully they will return shortly to our area. --Karen Havlena

Tue, 05 May 2009 -- This evening at 6:30 I saw a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES along the road above the pond on Burris Lane in Potter Valley. There is a patch of orange fiddlenecks beyond the fence on the north side of the road which they were visiting along with some Lesser Goldfinches. They also landed on the fence. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 05 May 2009 -- This morning we briefly had a male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK in the front yard. -- Tim Bray, Middle Ridge, Albion

Mon, 04 May 2009 -- I first saw EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE in Mendocino County July 24, 2004 Mendobirds message 963 at which time I posed the question "How long before they appear in my yard?" Well, the answer is four years, nine months, and ten days. A pair landed on the fence outside my study window and eyed the feeding area for a while before going to the ground and feeding. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 03 May 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I got out this morning to the USTP in between these May rains. We met Geoff and Cheryl and Barbara Dolan. There had certainly been a turnover in shorebirds since last Wednesday. The big surprise was a group of at least 200 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, in various stages of alternate plumage, on the N pond. I do not recall ever seeing that many birds inland before. My personal previous high count inland was 33 birds at USTP in April, 1995. Other birds of local interest were 15 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 15 DUNLIN, and a single LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. The Avocets and the Wilson's Phalarope were not to be seen, however the latter could easily have been invisible in the mass of Red-necked Phalaropes. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 02 May 2009 -- Hi All, Today a flock of over 100 BROWN PELICANS was seen by Cheryl Faconti flying over Gualala Point Island headed north. They were followed by several smaller flocks. As she put it, "So magnificent!" -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sat, 02 May 2009 -- S Dora in Oak knoll area of Ukiah: We have had a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES doing major courting behavior for over a week, and our first BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK of the spring showed up at the feeder this morning. -- Janet Rosen

Sat, 02 May 2009 -- I checked for the AMERICAN DIPPER again today and saw one fly by in the same area. The recent rains have erased from the rocks most of the sign which was apparent yesterday. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 01 May 2009 -- I watched five EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES here in Laytonville valley this evening at 6:15 pm feeding in a horse pasture with 8-10 California Quail and a small flock of Brewer's Blackbirds. I was able to watch them for about 10 minutes before they were "spooked" along with the quail and blackbirds by some one coming out of a house to tend the horses. The location was/is 44700 Tolen Ave. Access is west at the Laytonville Auto Parts store, across from the Cheveron station in Downtown Laytonville. Take the second left just past a large two story building. Then, it's the second house on the right. Yesterday 4/30 I saw what I thought was a Collared-Dove fly over hwy 101 approx. 4 miles south of Laytonville at the Shamrock Ranch. (Where the Elk hang out on the east side of the hwy) But was unable to make a good ID. -- Bruce Gullett

Fri, 01 May 2009 -- Today I found an AMERICAN DIPPER, perhaps two, at the 'quarry' area along Potter Valley Road at about milepost 0.97. There is quite a bit of fresh dipper sign downstream as far as the parking area at milepost 0.75. I saw a dipper carrying food upstream from the rapids, and I suspect that there is a nest in that vicinity. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 01 May 2009 -- I have been marking the calendar each day for some time to write that we still have a tan-stripe WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW coming to our front yard to feed near the driveway on Ocean Meadows Circle, north of the Ten Mile R. bridge. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Fri, 01 May 2009 -- A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was heard by Toby Tobkin at the Botanical Gardens this morning. The Chat was along the south boundary fence by the large "Events" lawn area. The Gardens are west of Hwy 1, about 1/2 mile south of Hwy 20 and Hwy 1. There is a fee to enter if one is not a member. Of note, Toby said theYBCH is a new addition to the MC Bot. Garden's Bird Checklist. -- (for) Dorothy Tobkin.

Fri, 01 May 2009 -- I went back to USTP again today. There was a turnover in the shorebirds: 1 SEMIPALMATED SANFPIPER, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 39 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 6 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 1 DUNLIN in beeding plumage, 1 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER in breeding plumage, and 2 WILSON'S SNIPES. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 30 Apr 2009 -- I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning to look for the Wilson's Phalarope seen yesterday, but I did not find it. Other shorebirds present were 6 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 6 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 8 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and 2 WILSON'S SNIPES. YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS were singing strong from the riparian. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 -- Rich Hubacek found a WILSON'S PHALAROPE on the north pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant late this morning. The bird is between distinctive plumages. When we snuck up to get a better look it flew across the pond, revealing a Wilson's white rump and unmarked wings. -- Cheryl Watson

Mon, 22 Apr 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirder- This morning I saw a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES feeding on fiddleneck above the office area at HREC. Maybe this year these irruptive birds will stick around to breed here again. We didn't see a single individual here in 2008. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 -- I had a BARRED OWL of the darker variety tonight about 7:30 PM at my neighbor's property. I went back to get my family to show them and it had moved on. It may be resident there, as the property consists of 11 acres of fairly mature woods. If anyone wishes to try their luck with me tomorrow evening, I'll be happy to accompany them. Please give me a call or email me if so. I have my neighbor's permission as long as people are with me. Good birding. -- Mike Curry (707) 456-1032

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 -- A pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES visited our backyard Thursday, in Ft. Bragg. -- Henrietta Bensussen

Fri, 24 Apr 2009 -- Today I visited Timber Lake at approx. 5080 ft. elev. on the southern slope of Snow Mtn in northern Lake County. The lake would better be described as a small tule pond. There were at least 4 male and 5 female Red-winged Blackbirds in the tules around the lake. Bryan McIntosh confirmed nesting by Red-winged Blackbirds at Timber Lake in 1994. I did not observe any behaviors to confirm nesting, but their continued presence suggests the possibility that they are long-term breeders at the lake. Earlier this month on 4/5/09 I visited a small lake that has no official name at the low (west) end of the slides in the Blue Slides area near Snow Mtn. It is ringed by Ponderosa Pines, Douglas-Firs and live oaks and is in the drainage from the the southern slope of Snow Mtn. at approx. 3500 ft. elev. There were two male Wood Ducks and also one male and two female Mallards on the lake at that time.--Dave Woodward

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders: I met Dave Bengston and Cheryl Watson at the USTP oxidation ponds this morning. Things were pretty much as Karen described from yesterday except that there were 5 AMERICAN AVOCETS, and 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. The real surprise was a pair of MUTE SWANS on the north pond. Floating languidly among their smaller cousins, they appeared so huge and elegant. For a brief moment we thought we heard strains of "Dance of the Swans" echoing through the sludge digestors...NOT!--Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 -- On 4/8/09 an imm. male HOODED ORIOLE visited our feeders in southwest Lakeport and stayed until 4/11. This evening 4/22/09 there were two imm. male Hooded Orioles at our feeders, both visiting together on several occasions. I suspect both of the orioles we saw today are new to the location. -- Dave Woodward

Wed, 22 April 2009 -- This AM I birded the USTP in Ukiah. I had an early arrival of YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT along the Russian River at the east boundary of the water treatment plant. I pished twice and the bird popped out of the willows to perch on the barbed wire just a few yards away. Two AMERICAN AVOCET were at the most north pond. Interesting behavior: For no apparent reason, other than possibly territorial, one of the Avocets stretched out its neck parallel to the ground, called and chased a female Mallard a few yards. The duck flapped out into the water. (George Chaniot told me that several years ago, that a pair of Avocets had a nest, with eggs, at USTP that failed only because of rising water levels).
Other birds at USTP were: 1 m. LESSER SCAUP; a pair of GREATER SCAUP; 2 pair CINNAMON TEAL; 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 3 WILSON'S SNIPE, Lst +Western Sandpipers;Yellow, Wilson's and Org-crowned Warblers, and other waterfowl (NSHO, RNDU, RUDU, CAGO).
At Lake Mendocino, I watched a ROCK WREN sing near the parking lot by the Coyote Dam. It sang a variety of phrases! There was a HOODED ORIOLE on Cromwell Dr. I also checked the palms on Empire Dr but didn't see any HOOR. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 18 April 2009 -- With the weather warming there was lots of human activity on the lake ...skiers, kayakers, fishermen, etc. by late morning. However, I was able to spot a mature and immature BALD EAGLE on the east side, along with a single BONAPARTE'S GULL. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 -- Hello - This morning I had 6 swallow species (well, 5 + martin) while standing in one spot (for less than 20 minutes) on the bridge over the Gualala River. There were at least 10 PURPLE MARTINS present. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Fri, 17 April 2009 -- This morning at both Noyo R. and Ten Mile R. bridges, a few pair of PURPLE MARTIN just arrived early this morning. I looked briefly for the LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE at the MC Botanical Gardens but did not see it. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there were five AMERICAN AVOCETS on the south pond. The water is falling in all ponds. The middle pond is mostly puddled mud now, and the is mud appearing in the north and south ponds as well. This should pull down some passing shorebirds. This morning there were 11 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 4 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and 5 WILSON'S SNIPES. A group of 6 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS (2m, 4f) flew over the sludge pond, landed in a nearby tree for a few minutes, and then flew off far to the SE. This species has been increasing in Mendocino Co. in the last five years. I am trying to keep track of this, and I would appreciate any observations. Lake Mendocino had very few birds on it today, but the following were of interest: 6 BONAPARTE'S GULLS between the mesa and the boat-in campground, a COMMON LOON in the same area, a ROCK WREN singing on Coyote Dam, and a 2nd year BALD EAGLE near Deer Camp. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 -- My wife and I have spotted what we believe to be an EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE pair roosting in a red wood tree in south Ukiah. We have never seen this bird before in this area. They have been around for a couple of weeks. Sibley's says not in this area. Are they common to this area??? Thanks -- Bill Leair

Thu, 16 Apr 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders: Late this afternoon Barbara showed me a male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD which visited our feeders twice during a 30-minute watch. I will let you know if it sticks around. -- Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 -- This morning, the LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens was seen by Toby Tobkin and 3 other birders. It perched on a couple of windswept pine "trees" (and on a driftwood log along the bluff) and made hunting forays. The wind has abated a bit and perhaps it was fueling up for its departure. -- Trudy Jensen

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 -- Heavy winds brought some rare visitors to Big River on Tuesday: at least 25 CASPIAN TERNS were observed just upstream from the Haul Road Gate while a few others were observed as far upstream as 1.67 miles. Also observed were a small flock (12-14) of dark geese, likely BRANT. Last Friday morning, a pair of GREATER YELLOWLEGS shared the flat across from the boat launch ramp with 3 GREAT BLUE HERONS. -- Matt Coleman

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 -- Taking a tip from Jim Lomax,, I went back to Riviera West Drive on the side of Mount Konocti, parked at the end of Mountain Crest Drive, and made my way uphill to the Mount Konocti cliffs. This is serious, blind, bushwhacking, and it took about a half hour to go about a quarter mile up the steep slope. I spent about another forty minutes working west along the base of the cliffs, and finally heard, but never saw, a CANYON WREN. It was about 50 yards beyond the pink flagging. No White-throated Swifts today.
On the drive back along Soda Bay Road I saw a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES near Stone Road, and at Lakeside Park I independently discovered the SNOW GOOSE and ROSS'S GOOSE that I see Floyd Hayes reported yesterday. -- George Chaniot
[ The Snow Goose and Ross's Goose that frequented the Esplanade and C St. area in Lakeport were found in late November by Jamie Scott. They occasionally joined a flock of park ducks and domesticated geese that are fed by a property owner nearby. Canada Geese, as many as nine Cackling Geese and one Greater-white-fronted Goose also joined the group on occasion. On one date (Dec. 5, 2008), there were two Snow Geese and the one Ross's Goose present at the same time. One Snow Goose and the Ross's Goose were frequently seen through January, but their visits to the C St. domesticated flock became less frequent. We began to see them fly by in a flock of Canada Geese. They were generally flying either along the west shore of Clear Lake or in a direction toward or away from the City of Lakeport sewer treatment lake at the end of Linda Lane (SW of Lakeport). That area is used by Canada Geese for grazing. On Jan. 20 and 21, 2009, I saw the flock of Canada Geese, the Snow Goose and Ross's Goose fly in front of my house (they are yard birds now) heading toward the sewer treatment lake area. The geese continued to frequent the Esplanade area on occasion into March. As far as I know they have not been seen in the area since. I have not seen the geese at Lakeside Park, but it seems likely they are the same geese that frequented the west shore of Clear Lake earlier in the year. -- Dave Woodward]

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 -- We've had flocks of CEDAR WAXWINGS passing through this past week, in our back yard in Fort Bragg. Lots of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and some PINE SISKINS too. -- Henrietta Bensussen

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 -- Flocks of CASPIAN TERNS, about a dozen at a time, are flying north over the west end of Middle Ridge in Albion this afternoon/evening. Also, yesterday we had a bright male WILSON'S WARBLER, first one I've seen on this property. Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Sun, 12 Apr 2009 -- Today I birded around Clear Lake with Don and Doug Weidemann. We tallied several late winter birds, including a 1st-cycle THAYER'S GULL and four HORNED GREBES at Clearlake, two more HORNED GREBES at Clearlake Park, a 1st-cycle WESTERN GULL at Nice, and a SNOW GOOSE and a ROSS'S GOOSE at Lakeside County Park. We also saw four male and two female CINNAMON TEAL at Robinson Lake. At Corinthian Bay (just west of Lakeside County Park) we counted 57 active GREAT BLUE HERON nests, which can be viewed from St. Francis Drive and Elizabeth Drive. At Nice we were entertained by a EUROPEAN STARLING pilfering nesting material from an active OSPREY nest. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 12 Apr 2009 -- As I was coming across Hwy 20 I saw a flock of around a dozen WHITE PELICANS circling.I don't know what this area is called, it's between Upper Lake and Blue Lakes, the NW corner of Clearlake where it is flooded at high water and diked fields at low water. -- Becky Stenberg

Sun, 12 Apr 2009 -- Easter Sunday - in late afternoon I came across a flock of about 100 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS and was surprised to get my binocs on an apparent leucistic Band-tail. The entire bird was about the cream color of a Eurasian Collared-Dove ..but it was definitely a wild Band-tailed Pigeon. That was here as the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center ..but these pigeons will be moving on ( to where?) very soon keep an eye out. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 12 Apr, 2009 -- While in search of the Blue-winged Teals reported by David Jensen yesterday I found myself out on the Garcia River overlook by the lighthouse. Just north of the river's mouth were approx. 200 BRANT resting(?)on shore. It might be a local stop because another 16 flew in while I was watching.
The BLUE-WINGED TEAL and CINNAMON TEALs were still in the pond where David found them as of noon today. In a conversation with Karen Havlena, she said that the LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was still at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens as of today. See past postings for information on location. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 -- Bob -- Note the BRANT resting near Gualala. Also, I have tried for Purple Martins at several local bridges in the last two days - NO luck. We have a pair of NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS that returned today across the street today (they breed on the face of the bluff). In our yard, we still have our Tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and about four TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS (I have informed George). -- Karen A Havlena

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 -- Highlights of this morning's Mendo Coast Audubon Society field trip at The Sea Ranch included many alternate plumage COMMON LOONS and PACIFIC LOONS flying north; many BRANT resting close to shore; a few CASPIAN TERN flying north; singing WILSON'S WARBLERS, ORAMGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS; many VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS and ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, several BARN SWALLOWS and a few TREE SWALLOWS (no Cliffs).

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 -- This afternoon at the Stornetta Ranch on Highway One, north of Point Arena: on the small pond (flooded area) east of the highway just north of the Garcia River, there were 5 male and 2 female CINNAMON TEAL as well as a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Oh ya- and a couple of Mallards. -- Dave Jensen

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 -- The LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was still present despite 4 deer and 12 ravens in the yard, plus a brisk wind blowing. It was at the top of a scrubby, shore pine next to the boundary fence. I managed to get quite close, standing next to a thorny shrub. The shrike began to give its buzzy, short call 8+ times. It was silent for a minute, then it gave a one-note call, metallic and clear like a Cal Towhee. After 6 to 8 of the one-note call, it waited about 30 seconds, then began a two-note "song." The quality was similar to the one-note call, but with two notes together followed by a short pause. (I have heard the buzzy call many times but not the song). [Note: The reason one must look for the shrike from the botanical gardens is that small neighborhood has a locked gate to a private road, thus preventing entrance. The gardens has a small entrance fee if you are not a member. It is located on the west side of Hwy 1 in S Fort Bragg, south of Hwy 20.] -- Karen A Havlena

Fri,10 Apr 2009 -- At the MC Botanical Gardens and at Ten Mile R. bridge area, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and WILSON'S WARBLERS, plus PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS. Lingering winter birds include VARIED THRUSH and many YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.-- Karen Havlena

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 -- This morning in the drizzle the two BLACK-NECKED STILTS and one AMERICAN AVOCET continued at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant on the mud that is appearing in the middle pond. Also present were a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and three CINNAMON TEALS. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 -- The LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE perched atop the chimney of the light, grayish beige house adjacent to the SW corner of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens today around noon. The rain showers don't seem to bother it. There is a fee to enter the gardens if you are not a member. The location is on the west side of Hwy 1, south of Hwy 20's end at 1 in southern Fort Bragg. They open at 9-am. -- Karen A Havlena

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 -- TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS are back in numbers at the location on East Road in Potter Valley where the bred last year. Today there was a minimum of 240 birds in the blackberry hedge on the south side of the pond at mailbox 10707 East Road, and nest-building is underway. There are also tricolors present near the two other locations where they have nested in Potter, but I have not been able to determine their status yet. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 -- 6pm Laughlin Way and Lees Rd., Redwood Valley, male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK We've never seen one this early. It joined the abundant spring variety of backyard birds including RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, HOODED ORIOLES and BULLOCK'S ORIOLES. -- Kelly Austin

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 -- A first spring male HOODED ORIOLE visited my oriole and hummingbird feeders in southwest Lakeport at noon today and was still present after 4pm today. It joined at least five Bullock's Orioles that have been using the feeders the past few days. -- Dave Woodward

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 - 12:30 PM - Chuck Vaughn and I quickly birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant at noon. On the exposed mudflat in the middle pod there were the continuing two BLACK-NECKED STILTS and one AMERICAN AVOCET. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS visited the mudflat but was chased off by one of the stilts. At least four CINNAMON TEAL and a GREEN-WINGED TEAL were among the numerous BUFFLEHEAD, RUDDY DUCKS, MALLARDS, RING-NECKED DUCKS and NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Apparently there should be more exposed mudflats in the near future which may provide good stopover habitat for migrating shorebirds. A singing WILSON'S WARBLER was along the south fence line ditch as you walk along the west pond. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 -- After being dismissed from jury duty I decided to bird the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant before it rained. There were two BLACK-NECKED STILTS in the middle pond where some mud islands have appeared. Time was approx. 10:55 AM and they were still there when I left after it started raining. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin said that the LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was still at the Mendo Coast Botanical Gardens this Tuesday morning. We are currently having a rain shower this afternoon, but there is NO wind, so maybe the shrike will find lots of insects to eat and stay a few days longer. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 -- On Sunday the 5th I canoed with Doug Weidemann at Anderson Marsh. We found a number of active nests including 19 GREAT BLUE HERON, 1 GREAT EGRET, 1 OSPREY and 1 RED-TAILED HAWK. The heron rookery was near some homes and, after some exploration by car, we found out that most of the heron nests could be conveniently observed from Harbor Lane at the south end of Clearlake, from where we also saw a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE. The Osprey nest is in front of the Mormon Church at the end of Lakeview Way. We saw very few grebes; Doug has the data so I'm not sure of exact numbers but I think we saw four WESTERN GREBES and two CLARK'S GREBES in an area where there was a major colony several years ago. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 -- I kayaked in the area west of the Lake County Park on the south side of Clear Lake. (along the lake shore between the county park and the Indian casino). Birds of note (to me) were a COMMON MOORHEN and very, very many vociferously singing MARSH WRENS. The one Marsh Wren I had long careful looks at had a prominent blue horizontal stripe across his upper breast. The stripe appeared to be about 1/4 wide and was a grayish blue on an otherwise cream white throat above and breast below. Sorry, no photo. I've never seen or heard of this before. Does anyone know whether this was an anomaly or a regular breeding feature?
I had gone out to check on the status of the Western Grebe/Clark's Grebe population and in 4 hours I saw not a one. (I did hear one in the distance behind me, at one point.) Has anyone seen Grebe flocks in other parts of Clear Lake recently? I bring this up because it is my understanding that the last successful breeding season there was in the spring of 2006. There was no real breeding population the past 2 years and in 2007, at least, it was attributed to a fish die-off. Any related information would be appreciated. -- Vishnu

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 -- VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS appeared this morning, checking out potential nesting sites in the snag. Probable BARN SWALLOWS have been heard inside a nest in the eaves of the house for over a week, but I have yet to see them flying around - odd! Four OSPREYS in a group circled over us this afternoon. Later, a single Osprey joined some Turkey Vultures circling around, before heading north. A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER began drumming on metal signs and the ground wire on a power pole - probably the same bird who did that last year? Another surge in hummingbird numbers over the past two days; apparently the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS are continuing to arrive.
Forgot to post a notice at the time, but about two weeks ago a couple of probable CASPIAN TERNS went by on their way north. Haven't seen the flocks that usually go over us this time of year. Cheers, -- Tim Bray, Middle Ridge, Albion

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 -- The LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, originally found Sat, 4/4, is still immediately adjacent to the SW boundry of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Walk out toward the south bluffs, and after getting out into the open grassy area, look just beyond the fence to the large, open yard with a light ashy-gray house. The shrike likes to perch atop the house, on the fence, the wellhouse and the scrubby, shore pines. (Toby Tobkin called me this morning after seeing it). -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 --The LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE found by David Jensen was refound today by Karen Havlena and Toby Tobkin this morning. I saw it at noon today. It perched in two locations while I was there. The tip of the roof of the most Western house and a green shrub that formed a sort of triangle up near the fence. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 -- Just after sunset my wife and I saw a NIGHTHAWK sp flying over our property off Fish Rock Rd. on Gualala Ridge. A new bird for our property and a Mendo county bird to boot -- nice. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 -- While birding at the Little River Airport today about 11:30 AM., A flicker flew out of a drainage ditch to a tree very close to me. I noted the bird had yellow tail feathers, a black malar and a red nape crescent. Before I could get my camera out it flew off. Not having much experience with YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKER I did not note the face and throat coloring. Did not see any red in the under-wing feathers but also didn't see any yellow due to angle of flight. The bird was in the North-west section of the airport. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 -- A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen on the southern boundary of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens approx. 100 yards from the ocean bluffs this morning. Although this bird is fairly common at times inland, this is the first LOSH I have seen on the coast since I returned in 2001. -- Dave Jensen

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 -- I've had a flock of PINE SISKINS around our house (in the hills above Ukiah)for the last couple of weeks, giving the resident flock of Lesser Goldfinches a lot of competition at the feeders. -- Maureen O'Hagen

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 -- Hi all, The past couple of weeks has bought a few interesting birds around.
14-15 March 2009 CALIFORNIA TOWHEE 1 singing on the Little River Headlands
17 and 31 March 2009 CALIFORNIA TOWHEE the same or another bird at the entrance to Van Damme Beach State Park
28 March 2009 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE One flying around Big River about a 1/4 mile upstream with a group of 25 or so Canada Geese
31 March 2009 WILSON'S WARBLER about 10 singing along Little River at Van Damme State Park. -- Ron LeValley

Sat, 28 Mar 2009 -- Saturday between 4 and 5 pm a male HOODED ORIOLE was at our oriole feeder here in Redwood Valley (Laughlin Way and Lees Rd.). The Hooded and Bullock's Orioles visit every year so it was a welcomed sight to see one return again. -- Kelly Austin

Sat, 28 March 2009 -- Three CASPIAN TERNS were at the surfline by the mouth of Ten Mile River in the early morning. Also, in the river slightly upstream, there was a lone, nice-looking male GREATER SCAUP. (Since he was alone, he probably isn't very nice at all)! In the afternoon, a large V of about 115 "Aleutian" CACKLING GEESE flew north over the neighborhood. Their calls are certainly different than large, Canada Geese. Three or four "minima" Cackling Geese were in the flock.Our imm WHITE-THROATED SPARROW is still coming to our seed. Also, there are 2 or 3 maleTRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS here, as well. At least one female blackbird appeared to be a little smaller and darker and was with one of the males (guessing female TRBL). -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 29 Mar 2009 -- Hi All, Mel Smith was at the Point Arena Pier this Monday the 23rd when he saw Al, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS, swim over to a surfer and then vocalizing. Al then lifted off at 5:26 pm, flying west. As of yesterday, Saturday the 29th, there have been no sightings of him/her. Good flying to our special visitor. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sat, 28 Mar 2009 -- Today I was counting at my house for Project Feederwatch. I saw a male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, the first this year. He did not stick around and I think he was just passing through. I also saw a PURPLE FINCH with the eye disease, which I reported to Cornell. This is the only purple finch I have ever seen with the eye disease. I also saw two WRENTITS in my yard. I have lived here for 20 years and never seen any here. I live in oak woodland in an urban area and not chaparral. -- Dave Bengston

Fri, 27 Mar 2009 -- North of Ward Avenue on the beach well above high tide line, several SNOWY PLOVERS were seen with BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, which were just getting their breeding plumage. I have posted four photos of the Snowy Plovers (A LIFE LIST BIRD FOR ME) at the YahooGroups MendoBirds site. -- Feather Forestwalker

Fri, 27 Mar 2009 -- The ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was still near the Fairbanks Lane/Hwy 162/Poonkinney Road junctions as reported yesterday by Charles. I saw no other raptors in Round Valley other than Red-tailed Hawks and Am. Kestrels. A HOUSE WREN (my first for the year) was singing near the Eel River Ranger camp area Canyon Wrens could be found. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 -- Joanne Haller and I found a SNOW GOOSE and an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE on the north shore of Lake Pilsbury at the Oak Flats Campground. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 -- I believe this is a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK - looks like light juv. click here for photos Saw it here in Round Valley, hanging around the intersection of Fairbanks Rd and hwy 162, several times today. -- Charles Nummelin

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 -- Joanne Haller and I visited the Mendocino College ponds this afternoon and saw the two continuing COMMON MOORHENS. Both have bright red bills now and chartreuse legs.
In Potter Valley we could not find the Burrowing Owl on Burris Lane. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 -- Geoff Heinecken saw and heard a male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE in our south of Talmage yard this afternoon. Spring marches on. -- Cheryl Watson

23 March 2009 - Large numbers of hummingbirds are once again congregating at my feeders. Numbers have been increasing all month, and seem to have taken a big jump last week. Among the new arrivals are a few RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS. Cheers, --Tim on Middle Ridge, Albion

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 -- I have received word that "AL" the Point Arena Cove wintering LAYSAN ALBATROSS was at the cove... and has been for several days of the last week. The bird will assuredly be leaving soon for until, hopefully, next winter. Good Birding.-- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 -- There is a pair of OSPREY checking out an osprey nest on Old River Rd. south of Talmage. Going south on Old River Rd, look for mile post 8.80. Go three tenths of a mile further south. On the right hand side of the road in a tall snag there is an osprey nest that was used last year. The pair has been there since the middle of last week if not before. I saw one osprey perched above the nest shortly after 5pm today 3/23. -- Janet King

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 -- My neighbor photographed a leucistic AMERICAN ROBIN in your area, and e-mailed the photo to me yesterday, asking for an ID. I have posted the photo in the photo area of Mendobirds in an album called Leucistic Amercan Robin. The photo was taken on March 2, 2009, 2:07 PM. Location: Mendocino County, 19870 Ridgeway Highway, Potter Valley, CA. That is about 6 miles outside Potter Valley. Or it is about 28 miles Northeast of Ukiah, out in the country on a dead-end road. I am curious to know whether anyone else on this list has seen it. Thanks! -- Dotty Calabrese, Mountain View, CA [ About that same time a bus driver for Potter Valley Schools reported a white robin in about that same area. I went by once without seeing it. -- George Chaniot]

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 -- Today is the second time a RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW has visited my feeding stations. A male, seems to be traveling alone. I only see him when it is snowing. Fortunately, I am able to view him just outside my slider, about five feet away, a rare pleasure. -- buteosr,Willits

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 -- On Highway 175 within 1/4 mile off Hwy 101 near Hopland I observed Turkey Vulture # 92. About 30 TUVUs were tagged last August and September here at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center as part of a state-wide research project. All of the captured birds were fitted with large, round white "patagial" tags with bold black numbers stencilled onto them. These numbers are fairly easy to read "top and bottom" so the tag numbers are visible when the bird is perched or in flight (dorsal or ventral view). Please keep an eye out for such tagged birds as many of these may be returning from the wintering grounds in Central and South America. Any sightings provide valuable data to the researchers ... especially helping them figure out if specific birds are resident or migratory. By posting the sightings on Mendobirds one will get the information to the researchers (via myself). Thanks and Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 22 MAr 2009 -- There's a stunning male HOODED ORIOLE in our back yard, drinking nectar from one of our "oriole" feeders. The earliest arrival to our yard that I have noted in the handful of years I've been keeping track. Good birding, -- David Smith-Ferri

Sat, 21 Mar 2009 -- Alist of birds seen on the Peregrine Audubon trail work day on the Scorpion Trail at Mill Creek County Park and be seen at

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 -- To all; March Month Yardbird sightings for the BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that has stayed around from '08 and maybe same bird as '07 include 3/1, 1/8, 1/13, 3/15, and 3/19/09.
DARK-EYED JUNCOS have decreased in numbers. Still around are two SONG SPARROWS (probably visitors from Standley Creek, AND one WHITE-THOATED SPARROW. The pair of NUTTALS WOODPECKERS that fledged two young-male and female-last year are often at the suet. -- Barbara Dolan

Wed, 18 Mar 2009 -- Well, shiver me timbers! After 3 days of no show, making us SURE he/she had flown the coop, who showed up in full color today but our favorite fryer, Al the LAYSAN ALBATROSS... in one of his usual spots due north off end of the pier... Peace, -- Tom Reid

Wed, 18 Mar 2009 -- Mendocino Co. Started a very long day at Mendocino College in Ukiah a little after dawn. In the pond to the left of the entrance road, I finally saw a SORA. Also in the pond were 16 HOODED MERGANSERS, 2 WOOD DUCKS and 1 COMMON MOORHEN - a very dramatic assemblage. 1 ROCK WREN was sunning itself on a rock just inside the cyclone fence at the dam at Lake Mendocino. Backtracked a bit to the Crofoot property on Hwy 101 between Hopland and Ukiah. 1 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was still associating with the Canada Geese. In Potter Valley, it took a bit of waiting for the BURROWING OWL to emerge from its burrow as seen from the end of Burris Lane.
Lake Co. With help from Brad Barnwell, walked out toward the mouth of Kelsey Creek at Clear Lake State Park. No luck with the Swamp Sparrow, it didn't help that a boatload of fisherman was parked at the creek mouth. Did see lots of MARSH WRENS and 1 FOX SPARROW. 2 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS were twinkling with swallows over the cliffs on Mt. Konocti. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Mon, 16 Mar 2009 -- The LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on Kingfarm between Talmage and Hopland on the Old River Road was again on it's favorite telephone pole at 6:00PM. This is near mm 7.54 ...the sharp turn with a gate and cattle corrals on the north side of the road. The "favorite" telephone pole is the third pole from the road to the north ...the one very near and almost behind a deciduous oak tree. If one walks west along Old River Road from the mentioned sharp turn, then one can look "back" and see the telephone pole without branches in the way. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 15 Mar 2009 -- The past two months have been a bit lackluster for gulls at Clearlake, so Doug Weidemann and I were surprised to tally 8.5 species on Sunday, including a 1st-cycle "NELSON'S" (GLAUCOUS X HERRING) GULL and an adult MEW GULL at Ray's Market (adjacent to Wal-Mart), and a 2nd-cycle WESTERN GULL at Austin Park. Among the several THAYER'S GULLS at Ray's Market was a pale-winged 1st-cycle gull resembling an Iceland Gull, but at this time of the year it was more likely a bleached Thayer's Gull. Although we birded around the lake the only noteworthy bird we saw was a COMMON MOORHEN found by Doug at the county park at Clearlake Oaks. -- Floyd Hayes

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 -- After an absence of 3 - 4 days (we thought he'd flown the coop for the year) Al , the LAYSAN ALBATROSS was waiting for everyone this morning... he was close by the pier earlier, then re-located to a spot so far off the pier binocs were required for positive ID. I managed to get a picture of him using a combination of lens, extender, and crop factor adding up tp 800mm and he was still just a dot; I don't know yet if the pics are going to be usable, but proof that he was still here as of today. - Tom Reid

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 -- Today I went to Lake County to look for a couple of nemesis birds. I found my way to the slopes of Mount Konocti at the Riviera West development. I drove up Riviera West Drive, took a right on Mountain Crest Drive, and followed it to the end. Here I had a view of the cliffs above and only had to wait about five minutes until several WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS appeared among the Violet-green Swallows. I also found a PEREGRINE FALCON sitting at the top of the closest cliff of columnar basalt.
Next I went to Clear Lake State Park and walked to the mouth of Kelsey Creek. The trail is now flooded where it goes through the reeds, but I was able to make it through with dry feet by stepping on the mats of tules instead of the trail. The mud is covered with water now, but I got a little further out on the matted vegetation and set up my scope. To my surprise I picked up the SWAMP SPARROW almost immediately. It was in the furthest clump of reeds as reported months ago. I probably would not have seen it were it not making flycatching sallies out over the water. Two Song Sparrows were doing the same thing. I probably saw 25 out-and-back flights.
I checked Adobe Creek Reservoir, Highland Springs Road, and Lyons Creek for signs of Tricolored Blackbirds, but there were none yet. I also did not find the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Lakeside Park today.
Back in Potter Valley, Mendocino Co. the BURROWING OWL was visible again. I've seen it four-for-four times since I found it on the 7th. From the top of the knoll at the end of Burris Lane point your scope to the SE and look for a rocky outcrop on a grassy hillside. The burrow is directly in front of the rocks. The owl may be sitting totally in the open or partly hidden a depression. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 09 Mar 2009 -- Mendo birders: To add to Bob Keiffer's note from earlier today, on Monday March 9 I saw or heard the following: At the Crofoot Ranch, a single "ALEUTIAN" CACKLING GOOSE, in addition to the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE that Bob reported On Old River Road, the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on his (this bright bird MUST be a male) favored power pole near mp 7.54 On the large pond at Mendocino College, two COMMON MOORHENS, one SORA, and one VIRGINIA RAIL. Plus two NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, and about three VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS. Three skittish WOOD DUCKS took off when I appeared; it took a closer approach to flush (didn't mean to!) the last of 11 HOODED MERGANSERS present when I arrived.
At least one BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON roosted in its favored redwood (look for the whitewash) behind 240 Washo Drive in east Ukiah
Near mp 17.62 (or is it 17.63??) on Low Gap Road, a SOOTY GROUSE called near dawn.
In the various vineyard ponds, I saw no Common Goldeneyes or Canvasbacks, and in a brief stop near sunset, I did not see "Al" in Arena Cove. Bummer.
Thanks to everyone who previously reported one or more of these interesting birds. -- Dave Quady, Berkeley, California

Mon, 09 Mar 2009 -- The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE that has spent the winter period at the Crofoot Ranch along Hwy 101 north of Hopland is still there. All of the 80+ Canada Geese are still present there but all scattered about the field mostly in pairs. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 08 March 2009 -- This afternoon the BURROWING OWL was still present where George Chaniot described it yesterday. For about five minutes it was totally out in the open, near a squirrel burrow just downhill from the rockpile by 25 feet or so. Then it walked into a depression and all I could see was the head. When I drove back by about an hour later it was again totally out in the open (5:00PM). You need a scope to really see this bird.
A SAY'S PHOEBE was on the fence to the NE of the gate at the end of Burris Lane. About 100 American Pipits were seen about a mile beyond the gate (private property) but I could not find any other species mixed in like longspurs or red-throated pipits. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 08 March 2009 -- This morning was very windy, but having a little time, I saw a 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL and a COMMON GOLDENEYE at the mouth of Ten Mile R. A possible hybrid GLAUCOUS x HERRING GULL was also there. It looked much like a hybrid seen in San Luis Obispo County by Brad Schram at Pt. Piedras Blancas on 5 March. This bird had a smudgy, bi-colored bill, and primaries that were partly white with creamy centers. A 1st cycle Glaucous-winged Gull looked a little larger with an all dark bill. The beaches from Ten Mile R. south to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg are all within MacKerricher SP. -- Karen A. Havlena

Sat, 07 March 2009 -- Three LONG-TAILED DUCKS were seen off the north end of Ward Ave, Cleone on Saturday, by Toby Tobkin and Karen Havlena, within 15 minutes of each other, but we did not see each other. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 07 Mar 2009 -- From 3:30-4:00 this afternoon there was a BURROWING OWL enjoying the sunshine at the mouth of its burrow at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. I have seen one at this same burrow system over a period of years but with no consistency. The burrow is to the SE of the top of the knoll and can best be seen with a scope. Look for a distant grassy hillside with an outcrop of rocks. In front of the rocks are several burrows with a lot of ground squirrel activity. The owl was sitting in the open near one of the burrows. After 4:00 it scrunched down in the mouth of the burrow and was harder to recognize. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 28 Feb 2009 -- Both of the Common Moorhens, the adult and the first year bird, are still at the Mendocino College pond on the south side of the Science Building. Park in the campus parking lot and walk back to the pond. The moorhens were on the north east sid eof the pond ...but were a little scittish as I did not spot the immature bird until the very last bit of searching. 3 Coots are also in the pond. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 28 Feb 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken, and I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant oxidation plant this morning. There were a few birds out there of local interest. We saw 2 BALD EAGLES (adult and imm) which are probably the same pair that have been seen along the river all winter from Hopland to Lake Mendocino. There was a DUNLIN mixed in with the Wilson's Snipe, Least Sandpiper, and Killdeer on the north pond. A BONAPARTE'S GULL landed briefly on the middle pond. Lots of TREE SWALLOWS are now active along the river and we spotted a single VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW and a very early CLIFF SWALLOW mixed in. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 27 Feb 2009 -- I got out to the lake between rains today. The water level has gone up to an elevation of 721.2' from a low of 711.4' on the 10th, but the water is turbid and there is a fair amount of floating debris. Bird numbers are down except for widgeon, scaup, and gulls. TREE SWALLOWS were cruising about everywhere, and I saw one VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW.
There was a group of gulls on the mud near the south ramp with birds streaming to and from Ukiah. Among the California and Ring-billed Gulls was a first winter GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and a 1st winter bird which I take to be a THAYER'S GULL but on the very pale side. [ smaller than Glaucous-winged, larger than California, bill relatively small, bill all black, wing coverts neatly speckled, secondaries slightly darker than coverts in flight, primaries cafe au lait and finely edged with light color.] Others may want to take a look at this bird -- George Chaniot

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 -- This afternoon at 4:45 the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER made an appearance at the King Ranch corral on Old River Road, where it has been seen for weeks. It flew from the trees north of the corral to the top of one of the power poles close to the corral. After about 15 seconds it headed up the hill to the east and landed in one of the oak trees a hundred and fifty or so yards away, and for awhile seemed to be digging grubs or some kind of food out of the branches. The pink on the breast was brilliant. -- Paul Hawks

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 -- Went up to Ukiah and finally saw the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on Old River Rd. south of Talmadge. He was perched on top of the pole that is almost hidden by an oak tree. What a beauty! He is in high color, with the darkest bright rose front that I have ever seen on a Lewis's. At Lake Mendocino, there were too many people and dogs for the Rock Wren, and there were no interesting gulls, ducks or geese on the lake, but I did manage to add WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH to my county list. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos [from Countybirders]

Mon, 23 Feb 2009 -- This morning a black-backed LESSER GOLDFINCH has been coming to my thistle feeder in Potter Valley. Its upperparts are quite black from crown to tail. Seen from above, the center of the back is a little duskier with faint striping and traces of olive. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 22 Feb 2009 -- The off-shore pelagic birding trip for today was cancelled a couple days ago due to rough seas and bad weather forecasts. Unfortunately these forecasts did not hold true ....and the trip would have been very doable with the SE winds laying down the NW swells quite well. A few white caps began to show at about 2:00 PM but were short-lasting as by four is was quite mild again. J.Foxx, M.Curry, K.Havlena,and I did venture out on the Trek II with two other whale watchers between 10 and noon. The water temp was at 50 degrees F. and we only went out about as far as the second buoy and headed south a very short distance. One pod of 4 to 5 Gray Whales were observed spouting fairly near ....but no close views of the whales themselves were observed. Gulls followed the boat as we chummed with popcorn the entire trip. Here's what we saw: Common Goldeneye 1 (in harbor); Bufflehead (in harbor) 4-5; Red-throated Loon 2; Red-necked Grebe 1; Northern Fulmar 1-3; Brandt's Cormorants 8-12; Pelagic Cormorants 12-15; Mew Gull 1; California Gull 4; Thayer's Gull 1; Western Gull 80; Glaucous-winged Gull 10; Western x G-winged Gull 1; Black-legged Kittiwake 40; Common Murre 10; Rhinoceros Auklet 20-25; Sea Lions (Calif?) 15
Upon return to shore Foxx,Curry, and Keiffer went to MacKerricker S.P. at the end of Ward Avenue where we saw: Long-tailed Duck 1m,1f; Harlequin Duck 5; Black Scoter 10-12; Surf Scoter 8; Red-necked Grebe 2
Laguna Point Parking Lot and Laguna Pt.: Thayer's Gull 3+; Western Gull many; Glaucous-winged Gull many; Western x G.w-gull 1; Whimbrel 2
Virgin Creek Beach: Harlequin Duck 2m; mixed gulls with 3 Mew Gulls.
At Todd Point/Pomo parking area on south side of Noyo:Glaucous Gull 2 first winter birds quite "whiter" than the other. Good Birding -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 21 Feb 2009 -- Saturday noon - I saw the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER again atop the telephone pole by the oak tree on the Kingfarm Ranch on Old River Road south of Talmage. This is WNW of the cattle chutes by about 100 yards or so. Refer to earlier posts for the mile marker. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 -- Went up to Mendocino County to look for that gull but first stopped at Becky Stenberg's house where she had reported a bird so far eluding me for the county. She lives 6-7 miles east of Fort Bragg and I arrived about 8:40 AM to watch her yard. About 15 minutes later, two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS came through the bushes out of an old orchard next to her property along with Fox Sparrows, Juncos, Steller's Jays, Towhees, etc. Then I headed for the town of Mendocino.
I went to Mendocino Headlands State Park just on the west edge of town where the reported gull was seen a couple of days before. I drove all the way to the south end to the last parking lot and "hung around". No great white gull. Few Westerns. So I left and came back later. Still no great white gull.
By 1 PM, I drove south on Hwy 1 just past Mendocino and crossed the bridge over Big River. I could see a hundred gulls on the beach and pulled over about a mile past the bridge where there was access to the bluff overlooking the river mouth and beach. After a few minutes, there it was!. The great white gull. Almost pure white with white primarys and tail. Beautiful.
But there was one little problem. It was not a Glaucous Gull. Rats. The bill was all black. So I, in my uneducated, mediocre birding ability, with no expertise, labeled it a Glaucous X Glaucous-winged Gull. I missed the reported Glaucous Gull. Oh well, still a good looking bird. -- Jim Lomax [from CountyBirders]

Wed, 18 Feb 2009 -- For the BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK; THE times seen include : 2-13-09 9:30AM about 5 minutes. The bill is looking very light. Throat feathering is improved but still has considerable missing feathers on the collar or nape area. Feeding well for about 5 min and pushing off HOFIs. Then 2-14-09 8:30AM 3 minute stay; then 2-15-09 8:30 to 8:30AM . Head feathers are very scruffy, tertials looking more brownish, Tail feathering looks sparse. I think if the same bird, it looked similarly at this time last year.
Other species: 2-17-09 After the storm seemed to be passing, 7:30AM I could hear VARIED THRUSH call from Standley Creek.

Tue, 17 Feb 2009 -- There was a single ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE associating (but not too close) with 4 of the local Canada Geese on the Mendocino Headland bluffs just south of the North-west parking area. Time was approx. 11:15 AM. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- Today I birded the Mendocino Coastline starting at Juan Creek. The Surf was very high but the ocean seemed rather calm with no whitecaps ...just very spreadout swells that really built up as they approached shore. At Juan Creek I had 4 - 5 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES beyond the breakers ... they were with a feeding group of gulls, grebes, cormorants, and murres. Ward Avenue had 1 BLACK SCOTER and 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK. Lake Cleone/Laguna Point access was closed in the morning but was open this afternoon. Many mixed gulls at the beach, including Thayer's adults, and 1 adult Brown Pelican on the beach with the gulls. 6 Whimbrels with Surfbirds and B.Turnstones were on the rocks north of the Laguna Point platform (no Rock Sandpipers). There were a bunch of mixed gulls at Virgin Creek beach, including Mew Gulls, but nothing of rarity stood out. A SAY's PHOEBE was along the north end of the beach. Just north of the beach on the rocks were clumped oystercatchers, Black Turnstones, Surfbirds, and 3 ROCK SANDPIPERS. At Todd's Point I refound the 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL. Also, there was at least 1 very nice adult THAYER's GULL and immatures... they seem to be more common than I remember ...or maybe I am just getting better at recognizing them. At Caspar Pond (Fern Road) I refound the ROSS's x SNOW GOOSE. This bird is very small, the right size for a Ross's ...but it has too much of a black "grin-patch" to be pure and it surely has Snow Goose genetics mixed in. I think this is a 2nd winter bird due to the mature white plumage, some black flecking on the upper head, and the smooth base of the mandible. At Van Damme SP Beach there were many mixed gulls, including another immature GLAUCOUS GULL. A couple with two dogs chased away all the gulls before I could really get a good look at them. About 20 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were getting ready for roost in a fir tree between Hwy 1 and the Navarro River. I mention this ...not that it is unusual ...(as it is a regular hang-out for them along the Navarro) but to make folks aware that Mendocino County still has NO DOCUMENTED NESTING for this species. I am sure that they nest along our coast, especially near the Navarro ...but nobody has documented this as of yet as I recall. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- Karen Havelena and I tried to find the possible Slaty-backed Gull in downtown Fort Bragg, which was reported by Jerry White yesterday, but missed the morning popcorn handout outside the theater. Weather conditions were improved this morning (occasional heavy showers but little wind) and there were few gulls to be found in the downtown area. The first cycle GLAUCOUS GULL was at the northwest corner of Todd's Point again today.
At Van Damme beach we found a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE resting on the beach. We were unable to locate an Iceland Gull, although there were many young Glaucous-winged Gulls. Again, the total number of Gulls was lower today. Same story at Navarro, but without the Kittiwake. Less than 75 gulls, mostly Western Gulls, Glaucous-winged, California and Mew. -- David Jensen

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- For about five days now I have had a TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD coming to my feeders. This is the first time. I have had Red-winged Blackbirds and Brewer's for years. One interesting thing is I have watched it on occasion be very aggressive and keep all other blackbirds from even landing on the feeders. -- Dave Bengsten

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- I went out this afternoon and poked around Potter Valley in the car in the drizzle. The most interesting finds were TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS in mixed blackbird flocks in four different locations. They totaled up to 14 males and a bunch of possible females. These are my first Potter sightings for the month of February. At the end of the last breeding season I estimated that there might be 4500 Mendo/Lake tricolors out there, but these are the first I've seen since they disappeared from the breeding colonies in early July. I also found three MERLINS all of the taiga type. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- Karen Havelena and I tried to find the possible Slaty-backed Gull in downtown Fort Bragg, which was reported by Jerry White yesterday, but missed the morning popcorn handout outside the theater. Weather conditions were improved this morning (occasional heavy showers but little wind) and there were few gulls to be found in the downtown area. The first cycle GLAUCOUS GULL was at the northwest corner of Todd's Point again today.
At Van Damme beach we found a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE resting on the beach. We were unable to locate an Iceland Gull, although there were many young Glaucous-winged Gulls. Again, the total number of Gulls was lower today. Same story at Navarro, but without the Kittiwake. Less than 75 gulls, mostly Western Gulls, Glaucous-winged, California and Mew. -- avid Jensen

Sun, 15 Feb 2009 -- Heavy rains, strong winds and at times huge waves on the coast this weekend. Large numbers of gulls concentrated at Van Damme and at the Navarro River on Sunday. I was not able to study them in detail (at the Navarro I just had a distant look at maybe 400 or 500 birds) because of the wind and rain but there was a (maybe) Iceland Gull at Van Damme. Needed Floyd H. and or Matthew M. to get photos etc to study in more detail. Also at the theatre parking lot in Ft. Bragg around 9:30 AM or so I got a brief look at an adult gull that had some of the characteristics of a Slaty-backed Gull. This was a definte maybe as the look was very brief .
The gulls were gathered there when Nikki and I first parked in the Longs Parking lot. I spoke with the lady who was cleaning the theatre. She throws out left over popcorn for them, as she did on this day, and it attracts a pretty good number of gulls.
On Saturday and Sunday there was a 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL on the bluffs at the end of Ocean View Drive near Pomo Bluffs Park. On Sunday there was another 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL at the Mendocino Headlands State Park in the monument parking lot. In Mendocino on Sunday was a male Allen's Hummingbird. -- Jerry White

Sun, 15 Feb 2009 -- Two locally unusual sighting to report form my backyard today. A male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE took a quick bath in my small pond but did not stay to feed. Also, seven PURPLE FINCHES were present, up from my usual two, but one of the males had such severe pox on both feet that he appeared to be wearing lamb's wool slippers. -- Dave Jensen, near Pudding Creek in Fort Bragg

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 -- Today I saw the continuing YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in Lakeside Park near Kelseyville. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 -- There are still two of the three WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS coming to my feeders in Potter Valley. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 -- At noon today there were 4 CANVASBACKS at Mendocino Vineyard's (Beckstoffer) pond on Old River Rd. This is just south of River School and Mill Creek Rd. on the west side of the road. Also present were the usual coots, 3 mallards, 2 buffleheads, and 3 ruddy ducks. - Dave Bengston

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 -- There were 2 inches of snow and 3 RED CROSSBILLS in the parking area at Boggs Mountain State Forest off Hwy 175 in Cobb at 2 pm this afternoon. Other than that, the Forest was quiet. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 -- The reappearance of the S Dora WHITE-THROATED SPARROW lasted only one day and I'm thinking it probably represented a totally different specimen from the one that was in residence in Dec and Jan - the plumage on the longer visitor was incredibly crisp and bright, and this one was much duller. -- Janet Rosen

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 -- Hello - I observed a first cycle GLAUCOUS GULL at the mouth of the Gualala River today at noon. It was in the large gull flock just below Bones restaurant. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 -- I have two WHITE-THROATED SPAROWS here, I've been sure there were two for about a month now. One is much more boldly marked than the other, I was thinking they must be male and female, but maybe one is the tan striped variety? -- Becky Stenberg

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 -- I still have a visiting WHITE-THROATED SPARROW-tan stripe morph also. I also have a very crisp and darker than usual PURPLE FINCH(male-female?) no reddish coloring. The BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK visited over the 7th and 8th. It is appearing ragged with big white windows in outer tail feathers. I want to say maybe it is an older bird-scruffy cap and nape, and no feathers around the collar-gotta be cold. But it is feeding well and pushing HOFIs away to get to feed. -- Barbara Dolan

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 -- Birders and photographers have recorded river otters working cooperatively to grab, drown, and consume Western Gulls near the mouth of the Gualala One can stand on the Gualala River Trail behind the Surf Supermarket and perhaps observe it, if you 're quiet and patient. (Agree it appears to be a river otter with a Pelagic Cormorant, Ron.) Their diet is primarily fish, but they are known carnivores. There have been postings on NBB (North Bay Birds) of the river otters working together to drown and kill Brown Pelicans in Marin Co., also. Enjoy our wildlife, -- Rich Keuhn

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 -- Hi all, I posted the otter and cormorant picture taken by Peter Bogdahn and sent to me by Tom Reid in the Mendobirds folder named Otter and Cormorant. Mendobirds members click here. I think you will see that it is a river otter, still pretty interesting. Thanks Tom, for passing this along to the group. -- Ron LeValley

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 -- Hi everyone; There has been much speculation around the Arena Cove as to why Al sightings have been so sporadic this winter; he has been away seemingly about as often as he has been here... yesterday and today's events might provide a clue. There have been Sea Otter (not River Otter) sightings of late, and yesterday several people saw Al being attacked by a sea otter; he was able to fight it off... and today our Harbor Master was lucky enough to get a picture of a sea otter attacking a cormorant and ripping it to pieces... I attached a fairly graphic pic to this email, but if I remember correctly there is some reason why that won't work... if anyone wants me to send them the pic so they can post it please do so. The pics that followed in this sequence were pretty gruesome; nature in all its splendor. Also, Peter Bogdahn, the Harbor Master told us that the only other time he has seen a Sea Otter in the Cove was in the 90's when he worked on an urchin boat and the kelp beds were gigantic as they are this year. Also, there has been a family of River Otters living in the creek here for years with nary a problem; as the pic shows, the otter in question is much lighter in color than our local River Otters. Peace, -- Tom Reid

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 -- Doug Weidemann and I birded around Clear Lake on Friday the 6th. Our best birds were an immature ROSS'S GOOSE and an immature SNOW GOOSE on the baseball fields at Lakeside County Park in Kelseyville. We were short on time and didn't have much time to search for rarities, so we missed the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Swamp Sparrow.
At both Rodman Slough and the mouth of Kelsey Creek we carefully scanned flocks of 100+ TREE SWALLOWS but only found a few VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS among them. It might be a good year for early arrivals of other swallow species.
At Borax Lake we saw six male "AMERICAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL but not the male "Eurasian" Green-winged Teal. On Sunday the 1st we saw three male "American" and also missed the male "Eurasian."
We tallied eight species of gulls on the lake but no rare species. The number of gulls at Clearlake appears to have declined by half during the past month. Nick Shepherd informs me that he last saw the ICELAND GULL on January 28. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 09 Feb 2009 -- The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW disappeared for a week (or I missed it's visits) but its been back at our feeder way down S Dora for a couple of days now. -- Janet Rosen

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 -- The lone LEWIS'S WOODPECKER continues along the Old River Road was atop the telephone pole by the tree to the NW of the cattle corral. 5 CANVASBACK were on the Beckstoffer Pond and 5 more Canvasback were on the pond by Gielow Lane (spelling?). Several HOODED MERGANSERS and 20+ RING-NECKED DUCKS continue on the pond across from Fern Canyon Dr. All these sites are along the Old River Road south of Talmage. A RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW was on Low Gap Rd. about a mile west of the cattleguard. Good Birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 -- This morning Geoff and I watched a CHIPPING SPARROW gleaning high in the eucalyptus tree at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. The tree is near the beginning of the birdwatching path, not far from the northwest corner of the entrance pond. -- Cheryl Watson

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 -- Brad Barnwell saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER today at Lakeside County Park. -- Jerry White

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 -- I made a quick check of the Mendocino College 'Rail Pond' in the rain this afternoon and found the two COMMON MOORHENS reported by Barbara Dolan on Feb 1. One bird has a dusky bill and has been present since the Christmas Count [ See photo by Rudy Yakzan ], and the other is an adult with a bright red bill first reported Sunday. If these reports are repetitious, it's because moorhens have been very rare in Mendocino Co., and these two are very easy to see. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 -- Today in Lake County I saw a PRAIRIE FALCON in High Valley in the prominent dead tree near the Five Star Fish Farm. CALIFORNIA THRASHERS were singing in the chamise up High Valley Road about where the pavement ends. A lone male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER flew by as I was scoping scaup from Route 20 at about mile 25. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 -- A pair of AMERICAN DIPPERS has been seen consistently at the old bridge on Potter Valley Road since Jan 28. On Feb 1 one of the pair was collecting nesting material and carrying it up under the bridge on the far side. Today the pair was inspecting up under the near side of the bridge. This is the first sign of nesting activity at this location since a previous nest was destroyed in June 2004. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 -- First sighting of ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD of 2009 in my yard. A male has taken up residence on a prominent shrub, having driven off the Anna's formerly occupying the spot. Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 -- 12:30 PM Monday - The HARLAN'S HAWK (Red-tailed Hawk), assumed the same as discovered by Matt Brady on the Dec. CBC, was seen just north of Burke Hill adjacent to Hwy 101. Again, this is south of Ukiah. The bird was sitting atop the Vichy Springs / Jack London billboard (viewed from the northbound lane) on the east side of Hwy 101. This is a striking bird, especially in flight as the mottled white on the back gives the bird almost appears solid white on a portion of the lower back and wings. The bird flew to a heavy cable telephone line just to the north. There was good safe viewing from the side road on the west side of Hwy 101. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 -- Geoff Heinecken, Cheryl Watson and myself had nice looks at the single LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on Old River Road about mile marker 7.24 going south on the road and at the previously described pull out. It flew across twice from the pole near the Blue Oak across the field to work another Oak on our right up the hill. The last time I saw this species here was 3/1996 and there were 3. Toby Tobkin had come over from the Coast. So nice to see this visitor here again. Geoff had his 3rd look. On the return to Talmage, we viewed the OSPREY nest along the river . Then I stopped for the CANVASBACKS, then continued to Mendocino College ponds for the COMMON MOORHEN. There were two. One with brown bill and maybe the first resider there?, and a second bird with a bright red breeding bill. The latter bird was being dominant and chasing off the other and not allowing nearness to occur. I meandered around for about an hour. I heard VIRGINIA RAIL call as I went to leave but did not view. I had nice looks at SORA with one swimming by-behavior that was new for me to see. Gary Maddox came to photo and was able to see both also. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 -- This morning there was a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in Clear Lake near Hwy 20 mile marker 26.44. That is at the western edge of Clear Lake Oaks. -- Dave Woodward

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 -- This morning between 06:15 and 06:50 I found 2 NORTHERN PYGMY-OWLS, about 4 WESTERN SCREECH-OWLS, and a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL at several stops along Scott's Valley Road. At Rodman Slough there was a good variety of dabbling ducks in the flooded rice fields to the east including a male EURASIAN WIGEON. In the flooded fields along Route 20 at Bachelor Valley Road there was a male REDHEAD among some CANVASBACKS.-- George Chaniot

Sat, 31 Jan 2009 -- at least three NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS were calling at dusk or shortly after at Montgomery Woods S.P. MOUNAIN QUAIL were also calling at dusk. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 30 Jan 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin just called that she saw 5 LONG-TAILED DUCKS just off the north parking area at Ward Ave, Cleone. They were associating with SURF and BLACK SCOTERS. Ward Ave is just north of the Cleone Grocery off Hwy 1, north of Fort Bragg. -- For Toby Tobkin, KAren HAvlena

Fri, 30 Jan 2009 -- Jim and I saw the small, white goose at Caspar pond. It is definitely a ROSS'S GOOSE. It was first thought to be a "possible" hybrid, but virtually all characteristics point to Ross's. So, for any of you keeping count, it is countable. [Actually, I saw that bird and photographed it as well, and I think it is a hybrid Ross's X Snow Goose.. Bruce Deuel agrees that the grin patch and the shape of the bill are not consistent with a pure Ross's Goose and look a lot like other hybrids from this pair of species. -- Ron LeValley. To see a photo of this bird click here. ] Jim also saw the 4 BRANT at Ten Mile River mouth this morning. -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Fri, 30 Jan 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn reports seeing the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER in the same tree mentioned yesterday.

Thu, 29 Jan 2009 -- 11:30-12:00 Geoff Heineken and I found the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on Old RiverRoad this morning. As seen from the gate, the woodpecker first appeared flying from the group of live oaks on the left, and it landed in the bare oak just to the right of the dam where it spent at least a half hour. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 28 Jan 2009 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin said that 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS are still at Ward Ave, Cleone, along with several BLACK SCOTERS on 29 Jan 2009.

Wed, 28 Jan 2009 -- To all; the BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was seen the 8:00AM in my yard. This is the first sighting/and visit since 1-9-09. I figure it has been feasting on the berries around. It only stayed seconds on the feeder nearest the house. It looked less ragged and the orange very bright. I was unable to see if feathers had returned to its nape and collar . It had a previous loss of feathers in the area.
I also have a returning and/ or another WHITE-THROATED SPARROW - TAN STRIPE MORPH and was surprised to see again. The RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was seen coming down the tree on 1-24-09. It used to come to the suet but it appears it its feeding more outside the yard. -- Barbara Dolan

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 -- Birded a couple of places for a few hours this afternoon around Ukiah. Was too early for the Lewis's Woodpecker on Old River Rd., but I did come across a small flock of LARK SPARROWs. The CANVASBACKs were at the Beckstoffer Pond on Old River Rd. just south of Talmadge.
Drove up Low Gap Rd. mostly to see what it is like. By this time, the sun was going down behind the hills, so the bird activity was pretty slow. However, at a pullout 1.1 miles below the first cattleguard, I was trying to pish up a White-breasted Nuthatch I thought I had heard, when out popped a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL. It was only about 30 feet away, and stayed out in the open for about 5 minutes. What a treat! It is amazing how fierce such a small bird can look. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 -- On January 3rd I spotted a FERRUGINOUS HAWK on the ground just north of the town of Elk. I didn't take much notice of this Ferruginous Hawk except to stop along Highway 1 to take a picture of it, but now that there appear to be several postings of sightings I am realizing this sighting may be significant. I have posted a couple pictures of the hawk as it was in the field and as it flew past me under photos of this discussion group. You can find the pictures in the folder Ferruginous Hawk. I hope you will enjoy the pictures. -- Ron Storey, Petaluma, CA

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 -- I also had a FERRUGINOUS HAWK this afternoon along Burris Lane in SE Potter Valley. It was sharing a thermal (such as it was) with a Red-tailed Hawk, but they did not seem to interact as they climbed. Flying hrough the same air space (I think) were two birds in close formation moving speedily due south but with no wing motion, i.e. sort of soaring but really moving. They looked like nothing so much as two fighter planes; they went behind a line of oaks and I could not find them again. Kind of eerie. -- Jim Armstrong

Tue, 27 Jan, 2009 -- This morning, Ron LeValley and I (independent of each other) saw the FERRUGINOUS HAWK along Hwy 1, across from Ocean Meadows Cir, mm 70.32. This hawk has been around on and off again for at least the last four winters. It must have a large range. -- Ron LeValley and Karen Havlena

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 -- Today the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER was again seen along the River Road south of Talmage near mm 7.54 as described a few days ago. This time the bird was atop an oak tree and it was hawking insects and returning to the top of the tree. It is very light-breasted when well lit from the sun as it was as 3:00 PM ...I almost did not stop to look thinking it was just a robin or kestrel. The tree is just on the south side of the pond (you cannot see the water... just the face of the dam). A MERLIN was about 1/2 mile south. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 -- This morning Jim Havlena spotted 4 BRANT on Ten Mile River near the mouth. I saw the birds about an hour later near the new and old bridges. They were headed east. -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Tue, 27 Ja 2009 -- Today I ventured way up Mid-Mountain Road east of Potter Valley with Beb Ware, and we found that you can drive clear into Mendocino National Forest without encountering any gates. It was not very birdy at this time of year, but we did find a PILEATED WOODPECKER doing loud, territorial drumming on a resonant Ponderosa, and SAY'S PHOEBE in McCleary Glade. We ended up climbing Garrett Peak and getting some very beautiful views of Clear Lake and the Eel drainage. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 25 Jan 2009 -- Yesterday morning Dough Weidemann, Nick Shepherd and I found a male "EURASIAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Borax Lake in Clearlake Park. It was associating with three male "AMERICAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL and several females out on the obvious island near the south end of the lake. Unfortunately I left my camera at home this morning so I'll try to post some photos of it tomorrow. I counted 670 SCAUP on the lake and there were similar numbers of AMERICAN WIGEON, but unfortunately no Tufted Duck or Eurasian Wigeon among them. We were unable to find any unusual gulls in Clearlake. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 24 Jan 2009 -- I did some birding around Ukiah area. From Hopland to Ukiah via the River Road I refound the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER on the King Ranch ...near mm 7.54. There is a sharp sweeping turn with a gate and a temporary metal-pipe cattle corral in rather open grassy area with brush piles on the north side of the road. A line of power poles heads directly NW across the flat area (there is a farm-pond dam face to the east) and the Lewis's flew to the top of one of these poles ... the top of which is almost obscured by a deciduous oak tree (the third pole I think). The bird also flew into the adjacent oak tree and then NE to another oak tree ...however it does not spend much time in the tops of the oaks but rather down in the interior canopy. About 16 HOODED MERGANSERS and RING-NECKED DUCKs were on the pond across from Fern Canyon Road ...also on the River Road. Several CANVASBACK were on the Beckstoffer Pond just south of Talmage. A MERLIN was in this area also ...atop a redwood tree just about 1/8 mile south of the pond ...almost across from Twining Road.
There was a ROCK WREN near the very beginning of the Coyote Dam ...just below the entrance gate barrier. Two GOLDEN EAGLES flew west to east over the dam ... one bird was missing several primary and secondary feathers on it's right wing but it seemed to fly OK. Single SNOWY EGRET and GREAT EGRET were seen along the base of the newly rip-rapped dam face. The water level in Lake Mendocino is at it's second all-time low for this date, which the 1977 drought year being the only lower /> A quick look up Low Gap Road did not produce the December's Red-naped Sapsucker ...but I only looked and listened for ten minutes or so. -- Good Birding! Bob Keiffer

Sat, 24 Jan 2009 -- This morning Matthew Matthiessen and I found the 12th (my 11th) gull species of the season for Clearlake, a 1st-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL on the first dock south of Redbud Park. While we were photographing it the 1st-cycle ICELAND GULL was briefly seen on the same dock by David Nelson, Stan Snyder and another birder whose name I can't remember, but it flew off before Matt and I got to see it. The gulls apparently decided to boycott Wal Mart--none were on the roof at their usual time. Nick Shepherd saw the ICELAND GULL twice during the past week, at Austin Park on Wednesday morning and at Redbud Park on Thursday morning (if I recall correctly). -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 24 Jan 2009 --"Toby" Tobkin called to report a small white goose that she feels is a ROSS'SxSNOW GOOSE hybrid. She found it at the Casper Pond (a.k.a. Fern Creek Pond)which is just east of Hwy 1 on Fern Creek Rd. in Casper. -- Richard Hubacek for "Toby"

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 -- Today from a Redwood Valley ridge top I watched two adult GOLDEN EAGLES dive-bomb a hatch-year Golden Eagle several times. One time the juvenile flipped over 360 degrees. I wonder if one of those birds is the one Bob Keiffer later saw that was missing some feathers.The excitement took place in the vicinity of a nest that's in the area. The adults both perched on the nest tree for a while during the half hour or so that I watched the action. I wonder if the young one was the (single) off-spring from last year's nest. The nest itself wasn't visible from my vantage point, which could have been a trick of light. I'll check it out one of these days to make sure nothing happened to it. It's a huge nest that's been used many years in succession. During the same viewing period two WHITE-TAILED KITES helped electrify the sky and a male NORTHERN HARRIER cruised s grassy hillside below me. -- Kate Marianchild

Tue, 20 Jan 2009 -- This morning I saw an immature HARLAN'S RED-TAILED HAWK on the west side of Hwy 101 just south of the Calpella exit sitting on a billboard. This is possibly the same bird that has been seen south of Ukiah. On my return trip I saw it again on a sign on the east side of the freeway. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 19 Jan 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn and I spent the day birding the Mendocino Coast. A dawn drive over Mtn. View Road did NOT turn up any Sooty Grouse ....only many VARIED THRUSH. AL, the winter resident LAYSAN ALBATROSS, was waiting for us at Point Arena Cove as a PEREGRINE FALCON watched from it's favorite ridge-bluff perch to the south. Chuck saw a RHINOCEROS AUKLET just below the pier.
A drive down Windy Hollow Road did not result in the CBC's Black and White Warbler, but we did have a fly over FERRUGINOUS HAWK. Also a large flock of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS in the riparian was comprised of all Myrtle's variety.
A visit to Stoneborro and Duxbury Lane found us a pair of RED CROSSBILL in a mixed flock ...just 100 yards west (along Stoneborro) of the first instersection fo the two roads. There were approx. 106 TUNDRA SWANS in Brush Creek and in the pasture just to the NW of Biaggi Diary barns .... no geese could be seen mixed in.
Another FERRUGINOUS HAWK was along HWY 1 north of Irish Beach. The Navarro River had 15+ COMMON GOLDENEYE.
A stop at Van Damme Beach found us with several RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, numerous HORNED GREBES, 2 COMMON GOLDENEYE and about 20 MEW GULLS. The small-sized Greater White-fronted Goose that has been there could not be found. And a search of Van Damme campgrounds did not show us any Gray Jays.
A 15 minute lunch break at Road 500D only resulted in PYGMY NUTHATCHES ....neither Townsend's Warblers nor the Grace's Warbler were seen, but our time was limited.
There were 3 GADWALL on Lake CLeone. From the Laguna Point platform we saw at least 9 ANCIENT MURRELETS just beyond the kelp line to the WNW. There were BLACK TURNSTONES and a couple WHIMBREL on the rocks. A visit 200 yards south quickly found us looking at the PALM WARBLER down on the small beach with driftwood and washed up kelp.
Scoping off the old Haul Road at the end of Ward Avenue gave us 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK, several BLACK SCOTERS, 3 female HARLEQUIN DUCKS, 2 SURF SCOTERS, and 6 SURFBIRDS. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 19 Jan 2009 -- I spent today in Lake County searching for three birds that had been noted in earlier posts. At about 9:00 a.m., I found the presumed ICELAND GULL on the pier at Austin Park in Clearlake. The bird was conveniently standing next to a 1st-cycle GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, allowing for easy comparison. Comparing my mental image against the excellent photographs posted by Floyd Hayes, I am convinced I found the same bird that he initially reported.
Next I visited Lakeside County Park in search of the reported YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Though the day was beautiful and the birds abundant, the sapsucker was not cooperative. I suppose the children playing frisbee on the ball field and the maintenance guy circling the grounds with his tractor/mower might possibly have had something to do with it. A trio of WOOD DUCKS on the nearby slough were untypically non-skittish, allowing extended viewing. A large flock (perhaps 30 or more) of CANADA GEESE were floating off-shore in the lake, with perhaps as many as half a dozen CACKLING GEESE in their midst.
Undaunted by the lack of success, I headed for the mouth of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park in pursuit of the reported SWAMP SPARROW. I found the little niche in the reeds that seemed to be a smorgasbord for all kinds of ground foragers: a VIRGINIA RAIL, a SORA, a FOX SPARROW, two MARSH WRENS (staying unbelievably long periods out in the open), a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and at least half a dozen SONG SPARROWS were alternating scratching around and dashing for cover. Try as I might (and, believe me, I tried hard for over two hours) I was unable to turn any of the variously plumaged Song Sparrows into their Swamp cousin. In addition to the usual cast of AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS, RING-BILLED AND HERRING GULLS, COOTS, AND COMMON MERGANSERS, the lake also hosted a small flotilla of SCAUP (I took them to be GREATER, but wouldn't bet more than a few cents on it) and a female GOLDENEYE (all bets are off on which one).
Not liking the one in three success rate, I went back to Lakeside County Park, spending another fruitless half hour. I decided to make a pit stop before starting the three hour drive back home. As I came out of the restroom, the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER flew over my head and landed in a Eucalyptus tree about fifty feet away. The time was 4:45 p.m. And, yes, only one other car was in the parking area: a guy silently metal detecting the picnic area. No surprise here, but early morning or late evening appears best, especially in the areas heavily used by other recreationers. Happy Birding, -- Mike Stanley, Grass Valley

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 -- Hey all, 1/18 As Steve G mentioned I was at the Rd 500D site without any luck on the Grace's Warbler. BUT after my 4 hrs there I stopped at the area of dead trees with lots of berries and robins (just past the houses on the way in) to find a very dull HERMIT WARBLER (presumably an imm fem). I also saw a northbound 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL just off the point around 1:15 pm. I was able to see the OLDSQUAW + RED-NECKED GREBES and BLACK SCOTERs at Ward Ave and the Laguna Pt PALM WARBLER (sans any disgust inducing human behaviors!) later in the day ~ 300.1 m SE of the platform. -- Al DeMartini [from County Birders]

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 -- Hi all, Today Frances Oliver and I did a bit of a big day in Mendocino, with a great deal of help from Chuck Vaughn.
Frances and I started owling at 3:30 on Orr Springs Rd., eventually adding a couple of. One was just past the Orr Hot Springs. On Low Gap Rd., also west of Ukiah, we added Barn Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl and Long-eared Owl. The latter three were all about 1.5 miles past the turnoff for Pine Ridge Rd. A couple Great Horned Owls made it a 6 owl morning.
Next Chuck took us on a guided tour of the U.C. Hopland property where we added Sage Sparrow and Common Moorhen. The Long-eared Owl was not at the spot where it was noted as recently as yesterday.
Along East Side Rd. was a flock of 14 Hooded Mergansers and, at the spot mentioned in previous posts, a small flock of Canvasbacks.
The Black-crowned Night-Herons were in their usual Redwood Tree at the intersection of Yosemite and Washo in east Ukiah.
The Common Moorhen and Green Heron continued at the pond along the entrance to the Mendocino Community College.
We saw very few birds, of nothing of much interested, at Lake Mendocino. There was a probable adult Western Gull but I didn't see it long enough to be positive.
At the end of Ward Ave north of Ft. Bragg we saw at least 7 Red-necked Grebes, 9 Black Scoters and at least one Long-tailed Duck. There was no doubt much more but we had to hurry.
At Laguna Pt. we missed the Palm Warbler and Rock Sandpipers but the place was wall-to-wall people. Frances did pick out three Ancient Murrelets just off the point near the viewing platform.
Along with Al DeMartini we spent only about an hour looking for the Grace's Warbler and came up empty-handed.
Along Hwy One, I think just north of Manchester, there was a Ferruginous Hawk and a flock of Tricolored Blackbirds.
In Manchester itself came the highlight of the day. A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak flew over the car and obligingly landed on a telephone where it graciously posed for photos for 5 minutes. The address was 19651 Hwy. 1. Look for the ridiculous looking tree that has been pruned in the shape of a hockey puck. I will post a photo tomorrow in the Mendobirds photo section.
We looked for but did not find the Eurasian Wigeon on the small pond north of the bridge over the Garcia River. The flats at the Garcia R. were pretty much devoid of birds which isn't surprising since the area appears to be dry as a bone. From Stonesboro Rd/ Barnegat Rd. south of Manchester we were able to see about 30 Tundra Swans well to the north.
I think we ended up with 125 species for the day and the weather was amazing! -- Steve Glover, Dublin, CA

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- The male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD continues in our back yard. Barbara and I saw it many times today between 11 am and 330 pm, at maybe 30 minute intervals. We were not home yesterday and most of this morning so it may have been around then as well. Since we have seen it for 6 days now, and it is certainly visiting the feeders more regularly, it may be worth a chase. We will not be home tomorrow between about 9 and 4, so come on through the gate on the E side of the driveway. There are lots of chairs you can move anywhere on the patio. We have never seen the bird visit any but the eastern-most feeder, nearest the sliding doors and the Weber kettle. -- Thanks, Chuck

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 -- Hello - I'm not sure if this is 'reportable' or not but there is a TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD in the largish blackbird flock in Gualala that frequents the southern end of town along Highway 1. Sorry if this is not that interesting. I am using the "Checklist of the Birds of Mendocino County, California" as my guide for 'rareness'.
Also, a group of 4 of us looked for the Grace's Warbler today and did not find it after looking from 11:15 - 12:30. Al, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS, was back this evening. Good Birding -- Rich Trissel

ISat, 17 Jan 2009 -- I spent several hours on Saturday afternoon diligently helping three birders find the Lesser Black-backed Gull and presumed Iceland Gull at Clearlake but neither showed up. One of the birders returned on Sunday morning and again we spent several hours searching in vain. I'm glad that Barbara Dolan and Michael Stanley scored hits on the Iceland Gull over the weekend. I haven't seen the Lesser Black-backed Gull since January 3 (has anybody else?), so perhaps it has finally departed. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 17 Jan 2009 -- Mendocino College was my first stop Saturday for COMMON MOORHEN, SORA, and GREEN HERON. Getting to watch a beaver swim about, lifting its flat tail out of the water was a treat. Matthew Matthiessen arrived and he saw the moorhen and heron, at least. We each saw 6+ CANVASBACKS at the Beckstoffer pond .6-mi south of Talmage Rd on Old River Rd.
Matthew and I met Bob Keiffer at HREC. He enthusiastically took us to see the roosting LONG-EARED OWL, where Matthew got some good photos up close. (Please contact Bob Keiffer by email at for information).
Matthew then headed for Lake County and I went to Westside Ukiah. I picked up Pileated Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Lesser Goldfinch and a Bewick's Wren for my 2009 year list. Visiting with my good friend Barbara Dolan into the evening, rounded out the rest of a very, satisfying day! -- Karen A Havlena

Sat, 17 Jan 2009 -- Today I again saw the SWAMP SPARROW at the Kelsey Creek Outlet. On Clark Drive there was a PRAIRIE FALCON. In the afternoon Nikki White and I saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Lakeside Park. This bird was seen earlier by Barbara Dolan. This morning Barbara saw the ICELAND GULL at Austin Park in Clearlake around 9:00 am. -- Jerry White

Sat, 17 Jan 2009 -- Hello - This afternoon I observed 2 RED CROSSBILLS at the intersection of Duxbury and Stonboro in "Southern Manchester". There were also 2 CACKLING GEESE 300 yards (or so) upriver from the mouth of the Gualala River. This area is about 100 yards upriver from Bones restaurant. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 17 Jan 2009 -- No luck with the Grace's Warbler despite quite a few hours of searching by me and others. However, did have a great day of birding in Mendocino Co. otherwise. Started out at dawn in Ukiah at Mendocino College. Managed to see the continuing COMMON MOORHEN, female HOODED MERGANSER and 1 VIRGINIA RAIL scurrying from 1 tule clump to another. Also there was one very cold, huddled up GREEN HERON. While searching for the Grace's Warbler, I was able to add GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, TOWNSEND'S WARBLER and HAIRY WOODPECKER to my list. A quick stop at the bridge over Pudding Creek added 4 WILSON'S SNIPE on one of the islands just upstream of the bridge. Where Ward Ave. gets close to the ocean, I had a fabulous experience. There were 2 flocks of BLACK SCOTERS - one with 7 birds, 6 males and 1 female and another flock of 3 birds, 2 males and 1 female. This about tripled the total number of Black Scoters I have ever seen. 3 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were with a small flock of SURF SCOTERS and 3 HARLEQUIN DUCKS were also there. I found the PALM WARBLER at Laguna Point on the beach beneath its bush. I would agree with Jim Lomax that it is closer to 500 yards from the observation platform. The main thing is it is the first large bush along the edge of the cliff going south - it is half bare. On the rocks at Laguna Point were the usual rocky shorebirds and 1 ROCK SANDPIPER. The cove and ocean here had 3 ANCIENT MURRELETS, 2 RED-NECKED GREBES and 1 more male HARLEQUIN DUCK. In the Lake Cleone parking lot, 3 GADWALL were resting on a half-submerged picnic table. A beautiful day at the beach. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos [from County Birders]

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 -- At least one of the UC-HREC LONG-EARED OWLS is continuing to roost in the same bushy pepperwood tree as discovered in. This is not near the University Road (county road) so arrangements would have to be made with me to see this bird. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 -- This morning from 06:20-06:25 there was a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL calling at the Glen Eden Trailhead on Scotts Valley Road in Lake County. This is the sixth species of owl that I have heard at this location over the last several years. Western Screech Owl and Great Horned Owl were also vocal this morning. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I have seen a male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD in our yard on 3 occasions that last 2 days. It has made VERY brief visits to our feeders. I was home and in the yard much of the day yesterday and did not see the bird until it fed once at 4:45. We have not seen it this morning. It is a very aggressive guy, running all of the other birds off before it feeds. Apparently it likes to eat alone. If it becomes a more regular visitor I will post it here. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 15 Jan 2009 -- This afternoon there were three CANVASBACKS on the Beckstoffer Pond along Old River Road just south Talmage. At least two HOODED MERGANSER on the Old River Road pond on west side of the road across from Fern Canyon Road. A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was on the south side of the Morrison Creek "Gravelly Valley" which is also on Old River Road ....this is along the straight section of road just south of the Waddington Ranch sign. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 -- I too got a look (my 1st) at the ICELAND GULL yesterday in the early afternoon. The bird was on the 1st pier to the south of Redbud Park. With binoculars only at a fair distance it was certainly not the quality look many have had. However, all the field marks indicated Iceland Gull and what striking pale primaries! -- Jerry White

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 -- 's up, Dogs? Arrived at Russian Gulch State Park about 8:30 AM. The drive up from the Bay Area has not improved and a recuperation period has to be alloted for when one returns. For this trip, I took the torturous Hwy 128 to Hwy 1, passed the town of Mendocino, then turned west on Road 500D as advertised. After parking Ruby in the little pull out roughly 200 feet from the end, I set out on the west side of the road and walked out the peninsula. Half and hour later out near the cliffs on the south west end I thought I had a glimpse. Two and a half hours later I finally cornered the maddening little GRACE'S WARBLER in a tree with sparsely needled branches where I got very satisfying views. I left with my neck killing me.
I proceeded north on Hwy 1 to MacKerricher State Park on north side of Fort Bragg. In the park, I went out to Laguna Point and walked south along the bluffs. Reports from 100 to 250 yards southeast of the platform located at the point (I think it's closer to 500 yards) is a bramble bush on the edge of the bluff and the bird was reported to hanging around there and on the beach below. When I got near the bush to look, I found two unattractive tattooed (a male and a female) blobs of protoplasm laying on the beach exchanging bacteria with their tongues. The bird was no where in sight and I didn't blame it. I was grossed too. So I hiked south along the coast to see if I could relocate it. Roughly another 100 yards down along the bluffs, in other bushes along the slope of the bluffs, was the PALM WARBLER. A real beauty which my eyes sorely needed after the sickening shock a few minutes before.
The return trip via Hwy 20, then Hwy 101 was just as bad. My neck still isn't right. My head tilts a little to the left. -- Jim Lomax, Concord [from County Birders]

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 -- Today Chuck Vaughn, Jim and Karen Havlena, and I drove to Lake County to look for some of the recently reported rarities, particularly the probable ICELAND GULL. We arrived at Austin Park in Clearlake at about 08:00, quickly found it on our first stop, and had it under observation for over a half hour. It was sitting on a piling of the dock to the east of the park and not on the beach among the hundreds of other gulls. Once it flushed and flew off, but it returned to the dock. We had nice side-by-side comparisons with Thayer's and Glaucous-winged Gulls of the same age.
After checking out Redbud Park and Wal-Mart without finding the Lesser Black-backed Gull, we took a tip from Nick Shepherd, whom we met in Austin Park, and drove out to Sulfur Point Drive to look for a male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, and we found it close to shore right beneath the large "Crestview" sign. It disappeared underneath a boathouse, and we could easily have missed it. At the same place we saw a PACIFIC LOON.
At Clear Lake State Park we looked for the Swamp Sparrow at the mouth of Kelsey Creek, but we were unable to find it. At Lakeside County Park we found the continuing female YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in an oak near the restrooms by Ball Field A, and it later visited its favored eucalypt near the backstop. The tree has many fresh wells oozing with sap. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 13 Jan 2009 -- Hey Birders, Wanted to let you all know that the GRACE'S WARBLER was still in Mendocino County today near the end of Road 500D just north of the town of Mendocino. Plenty of directions have been given to the spot. I first glimpsed the bird at about 10 AM near the west most point of the peninsula, but wanted better looks. It took almost 2 hours for me to get satisfying looks. This time the flock and Grace's was only about 100 yards from Road 500D where I parked which was about 100 yards from the end of the road. You need to find the flock and examine each bird. Good luck. -- John Luther, Oakland

Tue, 13 Jan 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn and I checked on the LONG-EARED OWLS this morning and only found one bird in the pepperwood roost tree. Why both birds were not there today I cannot explain as they seemed quite settled in yesterday as I left them. The bird today was much more skittish than yesterday and flushed as I attempted to get a good photo. I will try to monitor the tree from a distance in the future. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- Greetings Mendobirders- There was a bright female-type WESTERN TANAGER in our yard this afternoon, alternately feeding on apples and hawking out of the oaks. We had a very similar bird for a week last winter, with very similar behavior, and it is interesting to wonder if it might not be the same individual? -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- Hi Birders. this morning I headed over to the coast to check out some wintering birds. At Laguna Point, MacKerricher State Beach, I met Lisa Hug, Karen Havlena, Toby Tobkin and a few other birders. Although the Rock Sandpipers didn't show up, there was still a nice array of rocky Shorebirds, including 43 SURFBIRDS, 169 BLACK TURNSTONES, 37 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS and 11 WHIMBRELS. Off the point were several ANCIENT MURRELETS, as well as five RED-NECKED GREBES. The WESTERN PALM WARBLER continues in the same spot, which is about 200 meters southeast of Laguna Point in a bramble patch.
Next I stopped by Road 500D, just north of the town of Mendocino. I met Jessica, a local birder, and after only about 10 minutes we were treated to nice views of the GRACE'S WARBLER. The looping sallies it performs are quite helpful in locating it. It hung out in the upper canopy of the pines for about five minutes before disappearing. Finding it so quickly was pure luck, as I spent another hour there waiting for it to reappear so I could take some better photos than the marginal ones I was able to manage, but it did not cooperate. I saw the Grace's Warbler this afternoon just after 1PM. So, its definitely not just a morning bird. Other birds there included a number of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, and a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in the cove.
A quick stop by the Mendocino Headlands yielded a couple THAYER'S GULLS, as did a stop at the mouth of Little River (aka Van Damme State Park). Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- This afternoon I discovered two roosting LONG-EARED OWLS in an isolated pepperwood tree here at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. I suspect they are two of the family group that many of us observed during last summer ...these two birds are not that far away. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- This morning, out at sewer ponds, a couple of us got a wonderful head on, then lateral, then disappearing view of a fully mature BALD EAGLE flying low above the riparian strip at the Russian River, heading north. There was also an enormous hawk, but no matter what I did, couldn't justify it as anything but the goshdarned biggest redtail I've ever seen :-) -- Janet Rosen

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- This morning From 8:25-9:20 I observed and took photos of the presumed ICELAND GULL on the dock at Redbud park. -- Nick Shepherd

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 -- I routinely see one or two leucistic (white) EARED GREBES at Clear Lake and Borax Lake, but yesterday we were amazed to see four different birds at Clear Lake Park, where there were no more than a few dozen Eared Grebes. One was pure white, the others were nearly pure white.
Even more intriguing was a very odd RING-BILLED GULL, an adult with a brown right iris and normal yellow left iris (orbital ring red on both sides), and a yellow right leg and a duller yellow-pink left leg. Photos are posted here: -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 11 Jan 2009 -- Nick Shepherd, Doug Wiedemann and I birded around Clear Lake today. At Clearlake we failed to find the Lesser Black-backed Gull and presumed Iceland Gull in the morning, but when we returned in the afternoon we saw the ICELAND GULL on the beach and dock at Austin Park from 3:15-3:40. During the day we tallied seven WESTERN GULLS (five at Clearlake, one at Nice, one at Clear Lake State Park) and three MEW GULLS (two at Clearlake, one at Clear Lake State Park). Along Sulphur Bank Point we saw a male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (found by Nick) from the turnout at Crestview. At Clearlake Oaks County Park we saw a COMMON MOORHEN (found by Doug). And as mentioned earlier by Jerry White, we saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and SWAMP SPARROW near Kelseyville. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 11 Jan 2009 -- Laguna Point at MacKerricher SP was the destination of Matthew Matthiessen, David Jensen, Jim Havlena and myself during the morning high tide. Three or four ANCIENT MURRELETS were seen by David, Matthew and me by scoping offshore. There were two OSPREY flying over the cove by the parking lot. The PALM WARBLER was seen by all of us 100 meters SE of the point platform. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER was on the rocks with Surfbirds and Black Turnstones near the Palm Warbler site. Matthew and I spent a good amount of time trying to refind ROCK SANDPIPER and RUDDY TURNSTONE but had no luck.
Matthew left for Rd 500D, just north of Mendocino in SW Russian Gulch SP, to try for more photos of the GRACE'S WARBLER. The unusually calm and sunny weather should continue for at least a week, so the Grace's should stay in the same location for a while. The bird has been seen west of Rd 500D at various time during the day, including 3-pm. -- Karen A Havlena

Sun, 11 Jan 2009 -- At Clear Lake State Park this morning at the outlet I found a SWAMP SPARROW. Other birds of interest at the park were a Common Loon, Winter Wren, 3 Bald Eagles (1 immature), and 2 Pileated Woodpeckers. At Lakeside County Park I met Cliff Johnson and Floyd Hayes and his crew; Nick and Doug. We saw the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. We observed an interaction between it and a Red-breasted Sapsucker. The Red-breasted Sapsucker lost and was chased out of the oak grove. -- Jerry White

Sun, 11 Jan 2009 -- Hello - I observed a PRAIRIE FALCON this morning at 10:45a. I was parked at mile marker 18.1 on highway 1 (north of Point Arena and south of the Garcia River bridge). The bird was flying (soaring a lot) over the fields on the east side of the highway and was being constantly harrassed by Ravens. The black Axillaries on the bird were obvious.
I saw a single RED CROSSBILL (but heard a few others) at the intersection of Stonboro and Duxbury and Al (LAYSAN ALBATROSS) was at his normal spot. A FERRUGINOUUS HAWK was flying over Point Arena between town and the pier. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- After the Audubon trip, highlighted by the Bald Eagle, we stopped at Pudding Creek bridge (acting on a tip from David Jensen) where I saw at least 8 Common (WILSON'S) SNIPE. There were a number of other birds that could have been either Snipe or Dowitchers but they weren't moving around and the light was poor. Also in the water were six GREEN-WINGED TEAL.
After that we tried Laguna Point where we saw a WHIMBREL, SURFBIRDS, BLACK TURNSTONES, and BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS but no Rock Sandpipers. I could easily have missed them among the expanse of rocks exposed by the rapidly-retreating sea.
After that we tried the Caspar Cemetery but failed on Red Crossbills. Then just before sunset we found the Peregrine Falcon on her usual perch off the Mendocino Headlands.
Still seeing Brown Pelicans, three at Laguna Point and six at Mendo. Also saw the PELAGIC CORMORNTS with their white rump patches. And lots of whale-spouts.
Day count was 56 species, including three that were heard but not seen. We missed at least ten common birds, as well as five or six uncommon species that we might have seen with better planning, so a 70-species day was within reach. Maybe next time. -- Cheers, Tim Bray on Middle Ridge, Albion

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- Chuck Vaughn and I scoped from Laguna Point this morning during the very high tide. The most notable birds were about 15 ANCIENT MURRELETS in groups of 2-7 diving repeatedly just outside the kelp zone. Despite perfect viewing conditions, a 7.6 foot tide, and a large resting flock of turnstones and surfbirds, we were unable to find a Rock Sandpiper - reported only yesterday. There was one RUDDY TURNSTONE among the Blacks.
We refound the PALM WARBLER south of Laguna Point in the same place it was seen on Jan 1st and 3rd. About 200-250 yards south of the outer observation platform at Laguna Point is a patch of brambles on the edge of the sea bluff with wax myrtle and willow shrubs on the face of the bluff down to the beach. The small beach is covered with logs and kelp flotsam, and the Palm Warbler has be seen in the shrubs and on the logs and kelp along with pipits, White-crowned Sparrows, and a Black Phoebe. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- Matthew Matthiessen arrived at 2:45 pm at the Rd 500 D section of Russian Gulch SP, west of Hwy 1. I met him and Darcie, and I walked west with Matthew on the north side of the small peninsula to the pines where the GRACE'S WARBLER was seen by myself, Barbara Dolan, Jim Havlena, George Chaniot, and Chuck Vaughn several times from about 10:30 -12:30 today. Within 5 minutes, Matthew saw the Grace's and was taking photos. I saw one that was reasonably good, but Matthew was determined to get more pics. I left him to coax the bird to pose for a portrait. [ Some photos here. ] We are all glad that the bird is still here, just north of Mendocino. -- Karen A Havlena

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- Hello - Fritz Steurer and I observed an adult winter BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE today at 1:30p near the mouth of the Gualala River. We were immediately adjacent to (just south of) Bones restaurant and the bird was directly below us. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- On an Audubon field trip this morning, our group saw an adult BALD EAGLE about one mile east of the mouth of Ten Mile River, near the divergence of the north and south forks of that stream. The bird started low above the fields and then soared high to the north before it disappeared. -- Dave Jensen

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 -- Hi all, I stopped at the north side of the Noyo Harbor this morning on my way into Fort Bragg. I went to the boat launching ramp upstream from the main harbor area. There was a beautiful male HARLEQUIN DUCK swimming with the Bufflehead and I saw my first Pelagic Cormorant of the year with its white rump patches. Spring is coming! -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 09 Jan 2009 -- At approximately 11:00 AM, I saw 2 of 3 ROCK SANDPIPERS at Laguna Point in MacKerricher SP found about 9:45 this morning by Dorothy Tobkin. I was surprised at the large number of Surfbirds and Black Turnstones that were roosting on the large, long "yellowish" rock to the north of the furthest west observation deck (at the point itself). Also, resting there was a good number of Black Oystercatchers; that group was to the west of the smaller shorebirds. It was quite nice today, sunny and calm, when compared to the cold foggy conditions a day or two ago. It should be similar on Saturday. At the parking lot, I could not find the presumed Glaucous Gull that I saw yesterday. -- Karen A Havlena

Fri, 09 Jan 2009 -- 09:30-10:45 Since there was heavy fog this morning in Potter Valley and at the north end of Lake Mendocino, I went a little further afield and birded around the Mendocino College campus. The "Rail Pond" was very pruductive: the COMMON MOORHEN discovered on the CBC is still there, as were the unseasonal GREEN HERON, a HOODED MERGANSER, and a VIRGINIA RAIL. I went to the lower pond to the south and found a SORA sneaking along the margin. (I'll leave the fourth rail to your imagination.) Surprising to me were about 15 Purple Finches deep in the cattails. I don't remember seeing them in this habitat before.
On the way back to Potter Valley I found an AMERICAN DIPPER at the old bridge on Potter Valley Road. I haven't seen them there for some time. The bird was foraging on the rocks below the bridge and also going to the bank as if looking for nesting material. I thought I could hear a hidden dipper singing above the water noise. It would be nice if they decide to nest under the bridge again. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 09 Jan 2009 -- Dorothy Tobkin just called to say that she saw 3 ROCK SANDPIPERS at Laguna Point this morning. (Where have they been hiding)? She also said that one can drive out Mill Creek Drive to the Laguna Point parking lot with ease. Good birding! -- Karen Havlena For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 -- This morning about 10:00, the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was in the small eucalyptus trees behind the northmost backstop on St. Francis at the Lakeside Park north of Kelseyville. The southmost tree is especially full of sapsucker wells. Also at the park was Mr. 16,000, John Luther, adding another bird to his amazing total. In the afternoon, the male EURASIAN WIGEON was still at Detert Reservoir on Butts Canyon Rd. Also, there was a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER at Mp 3.40 on Butts Canyon Rd. I missed the goose flock at Redbud Park in Clear Lake, and never did find them anywhere else. While looking for them at Anderson Marsh State Park, I saw a BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. -- Kathy Parker

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 -- There was a possible 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL just north of the Laguna Point parking lot this morning, but all I could see was the head and bill. The bird was just over a rise in the sand, but the bill was pink with a clean black tip, and the head was very light (but not pure white) and looked larger than the heads of Western gulls. There was also a HERRING GULL and a THAYER'S GULL there.
Out on Bald Hill Rd off Pudding Creek Rd, there were two GREATER WHITE_FRONTED GEESE and several CACKLING GEESE among the Canadas. Two of the Cackling Geese were definitely minima and one was an Aleutian. I could not tell the race of three others. -- Karen A Havlena

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 -- Nick Shepherd just showed me a bunch of photos he took of the presumed 1st-cycle ICELAND GULL, which was on the docks at Redbud Park at about 8:15 this morning. -- Floyd Hayes

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 -- Twice today, I tried for some birds along the coast in MacKerricher SP. I had NO luck in finding a Rock Sandpiper nor the Palm Warbler at Laguna Point. It became very foggy, so I could not scope offshore for any pelagic birds.
Later this afternoon, I went to Ward Ave. I did happen to have a light, hazy fog, so I did see one female LONG-TAILED DUCK and two BLACK SCOTERS. (Two LTDU's were here a few days ago). -- Karen A Havlena

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 -- Nick Shepherd saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park this morning at about 8:00 am (while dropping off his son at school). He also saw the EURASIAN WIGEON at Detert Reservoir yesterday morning. -- Floyd Hayes

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 -- 08:00-08:15 This morning I easily refound the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Lakeside Park. It was in a tree near the backstop of Ball Field A and in other trees near the restrooms and further west along Saint Francis Drive. -- George Chaniot [ The YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER that Darlene Hecomovich found on Monday (I saw it later that day) is only the 3rd county record. As George Chaniot pointed out this is an easy location to search for this bird.
The first county record (I do not have the exact years available at my office) was a bird found many year ago by Rich Stallcup on Butts Canyon Road.
The second record was a bird I found at Anderson Marsh State Park (several years later) on Cache Creek. I believe only 3 or 4 other people saw that bird.
So if this bird sticks around for awhile, it should be easier to locate than the other good birds in the area. The Lesser Black-backed Gull, the probable Iceland Gull and the Mendocino County Grace's Warbler have all been difficult to find. Jerry White ]

Tue, 06 Jan 2009 -- Nick Shepherd saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park at 8:05 am this morning. Yesterday he and Michael Stanley were unable to locate the presumed ICELAND GULL at Wal-Mart while searching from 9:15-10:00 am. I have just added a few more photos of the presumed Iceland Gull here And I added three additional photos by Myron Widmer, taken while at Wal-Mart on Saturday, here My free website is now out of space, so some photos will be deleted in the near future. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 05 Jan 2009 -- I just got a call from Darlene Hecomovich. She found a female YELLOW -BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Lakeside County Park which is northwest of Kelseyville. Take Park Drive off of Soda Bay Rd to St Francis Dr. Go to the 2nd ball field on the west side of the park. The bird was in a deciduous tree behind the backstop from 10:00 AM till 10:15 AM or so. Jerry White for Darlene Hecomovich

Sun, 04 Jan 2009 -- On Saturday the 3rd, six of us tallied 10 species of gulls and 4 species of geese by 10:15 am. We saw the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park from 7:50 to 7:55 am and the presumed 1st-cycle ICELAND GULL at Wal-Mart (what is the correct spelling? Wal-Mart according to Wikipedia, but often spelled Walmart or Wal*Mart) from 8:50 to 9:20. We also saw a 1st-cycle MEW GULL at Wal-Mart and, later in the morning, an adult at Austin Park. The immature SNOW GOOSE, a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and seven CACKLING GEESE (six were "Aleutian") were on the ball fields at Redbud Park.
I returned alone in the afternoon hoping to get better photos of the Iceland Gull. I relocated the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL along the shoreline south of Redbud Park from 2:12 to 2:24 pm and the ICELAND GULL on the first dock (Bella Laguna) south of Redbud Park from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. The latter dock is visible from Redbud Park just south of the boat ramp and also from the junction of Beach Avenue and Golf Avenue. Unfortunately it is more distant than the last dock on Golf Avenue so I couldn't get any better photos.
Optimistic that I had the movements of the two gulls wired, I spent yesterday morning helping four birders (who missed Grace's Warbler the day before) find the two gulls. We worked very, very hard to find them at all the gull hangouts, but to our dismay neither showed up and we quit in the early afternoon. At Austin Park we saw a 2nd-cycle MEW GULL, three PHAINOPEPLAS and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.
The numbers of SCAUP are increasing at Borax Lake (several hundred yesterday), so if you're visiting the area, a search for a Tufted Duck (seen four consecutive winters) might be rewarding.
On Thursday the 1st I saw the male EURASIAN WIGEON at Detert Reservoir, along Butts Canyon Road south of Middletown. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 04 Jan 2009 -- These birds were at my in town Ukiah feeders today: Black-headed Grosbeak at 7:55AM, and 1:27PM . The RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH came in at 11:20AM as if familiar with the feeder. The A "black-backed" Lesser Goldfinch stayed briefly at 2:30 with no other birds around. I had a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW-tan morph today. The SOOTY FOX SPARROW with a missing foot has not been seen since 12-30-08 and was doing well in spite of. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 04 Jan 2009 -- Geoff Heinecken w/ Karen Havlena ID'd a PALM WARBLER just NE of the Garcia River bridge. I got the Palm in my scope, and in the excitement of seeing a very, close-up view, it got scared off as Cheryl Watson and Jim Havlena tried to get those good looks! The four of us also got to watch about 15 RED CROSSBILLS pry open pine cones on Stonboro Rd near Duxbury Rd. This area is also a short distance north of the Garcia River in "south" Manchester. At Point Arena cove, we all got saw that "Al" the LAYSAN ALBATROSS has returned (after a short absense) to the north side of the harbor.
On my drive home, I saw the pair of HOODED MERGANSERS at the Ledford House pond, SW of the Albion River bridge near Hwy 1.
We tried for, but missed, the BLACK and WHITE WARBLER on S Windy Hollow Rd by Hathaway Creek. Also, the two EURASIAN WIGEONS were not at the large puddle NE of the Garcia River bridge this morning. -- Karen A Havlena

Sat, 03 Jan 2009 -- Our count (CAMN) was on Saturday, Jan. 3. Report in progress. Here are some highlights: Gr. White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Tundra Swan (66). The geese and swans were seen mostly in a field near the mouth of Brush Creek, viewed from near the end of Stoneboro Rd. Eurasian Wigeon (2m.) seen on a small pond east of Hwy 1 just north of the Garcia River bridge. Clark's Grebe, Osprey, Snowy Plover (9), Eurasian Collared-Dove (many), Warbling Vireo (being considered), Gray Jay, Black-and -White Warbler, Palm Warbler, Red Crossbill. Total: approx. 137 spp. -- Art Morley

Sat, 03 Jan 2009 -- At MacKerricher State PArk: CA Brown Pelican, California, Western and Herring Gulls, White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows, PALM WARBLER, Turkey Vultures, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coots, what appeared to be a female Eurasian Wigeon (in Lake Cleone - might have been American; she flew off too fast), Brewer's Blackbirds, Horned and Eared Grebes.
The Palm Warbler photo is posted at the Photos section.
I met, by accident, Chuck Vaughn, George Chaniot and Matthew Matthiessen, scoping the Palm Warbler. Thank you, gentlemen, for pointing out the bird to me. Sorry it wasn't a better shot. -- Feather Forestwalker

Sat, 03 Jan 2009 -- The BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK arrived at 7:55 A.M. 1-3-09. I had not seen it since 12-28-08 at 1:30PM. Its arrival times have been between 7-8:50 AM and 1:30PM and 3:30PM. It appears to be missing feathering on its collar at the nape, but otherwise looks and behaves okay. It has been flying off toward Perkins each time it is flushed. It ate only 11 seeds and then got flushed off by noisy WSJA .
I have had an influx of House Finches of all colors-yellowish, oranges and reds on the males. Only a few females. One reddish male today surprised me with a bill that was very long and curved downgoing. I would guess the length 1 and 1/4" to 1 and 1/2 ". Does anyone know about this abnormality? It was feeding fine. -- Barbara Dolan

Fri, 02 Jan 2009 -- I was part of a group of six birders who impatiently and disdainfully sorted through many otherwise beautiful Townsend's Warblers before finally getting a clear view of the GRACE'S WARBLER on the west side of Road 500D, just north of Mendocino Village. The mixed flock of Townsend's Warblers, Pygmy Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, and Chestnut-backed Chickadees with a single GRWA seems to rotate through the forest about 100 yards from the end of 500D. -- Dave Jensen

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 -- Liz West and I headed over to Mendocino to bird over the New Year's Holiday. Found some great birds and met up with a few Mendo birders. On Wednesday we started out in Potter's Valley checking out all the ponds for wintering ducks and geese, and fence lines for potential wintering hawks. Highlights include a SAY'S PHOEBE, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, and a FERRUGINOUS HAWK. Nothing unusual to report for waterfowl.
From the boat ramp at Lake Mendocino we found; a SNOWY EGRET and SPOTTED SANDPIPER walking the edge of the lake, plus a number of LESSER SCAUP, AM WIGEON, and a few shovelers further out. A BALD EAGLE was sitting along the edge of the lake.
Next we headed up to Covelo and Round Valley. Lots of great potential spots along the river were checked for dippers, but unfortunately none were found. Soaring raptors included a GOLDEN EAGLE and lots of RT Hawks. In the valley we encountered another FERRUGINOUS HAWK and the juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. Never did find the Prairie Falcon or Lewis' Woodpeckers.
On New Years Day, Chuck Vaughn graciously invited us on a tour of HREC (Hopland's Research and Experimental Center for UC Davis). What a great place to work and bird! We truly experienced the grand tour. Chuck started out by showing us the sag ponds where a COMMON MOORHEN (a rare treat for Mendo) has returned for another winter. Then from his office window we could see the feeding station where a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW is wintering. Next we headed up the hill looking for a few other wanted birds.
What a great day we had! The views were spectacular and the birding was great. Plus we found out the G. Kellar recorded the songs for his California Bird CD for both Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows on the property. Bird highlights included; RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, CAL THRASHER, SAGE SPARROWS, MERLIN, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. Plus lots of the expected Oak Woodland species were seen and more flocks of BT Pigeons than I've seen in a long time.
Next we headed over to Low Gap Rd. Missed out the RN Sapsucker but had both HAIRY and PILEATED WOODPECKERS, and calling MT QUAIL.
After saying good-by to Chuck we headed over to Lake Mendocino to check for Rock Wrens. Lots of people were walking the dam, so the wrens were MIA. Next we were off to the dipper spot along Hwy 20, no dipper but we did run into George Chaniot. All and all a great way to spend the New Years! -- Frances Oliver, Lodi

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 -- There was a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS in a large pond, SW of Hay 1 and Albion Ridge Rd, adjacent to the Ledford House restaurant. We also saw an adult BALD EAGLE on Hwy 1, across the Eel River from an area between Piercy and Confusion Hill. I'm a little confused on the exact location........We saw the eagle around noon, perched on a snag above the river. Further south, I spied a tagged Turkey Vulture -- # 95 -- just opposite the Westport STP on Hwy 1. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 -- Late this afternoon, I saw the GRACE'S WARBLER on Rd. 500 D, just north of Jack Peter's Bridge. When, Jim and I arrived, there was a large flock of Townsend's Warblers, Pygmy Nuthatches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Brown Creeper, and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The call and the Grace's behavior are the BEST ways to locate the bird. The call is a soft, VERY-slightly slurred, VERY-lightly down-curved "schlip." The (possible female) behavior is very active. It stays high in the canopy of the pines, but it also "fly-catches" in an upward, almost bouncing behavior, up and down. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 -- There was a group of 5 swallows this morning at Lake Cleone. Two were clearly BARN SWALLOWS and one was probably a TREE SWALLOW. Other notable birds at Lake Cleone included an OSPREY. At Ward Avenue the female LONG-TAILED DUCK was present and BLACK SCOTERS outnumbered the Surf Scoters. -- Dave Jensen

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 -- The GRACE'S WARBLER reported yesterday was refound by several birders today is the same general area. Toby and myself met up with Jerry White and we followed the mixed flock. The Grace's Warbler is associating with Townsend's Warblers which makes it hard to differentiate unless you get good looks. It appears to be more active and has a softer chip call then the Townsend's. Two other birders, Steve Rovell and Rich Trissel, independently confirmed the sighting.Our location again was Road 500D just north of the City of Mendocino. Follow the road to the end, turn around and come back around the first curve, and park. There are several trails leading west out to a small peninsula, where we found the bird. There is speculation that the bird might have been there for sometime and could remain for the Winter. Happy New year!! -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 31 Dec, 2008 --"Toby" Tobkin called tonight to report that David Shuford found a Grace's Warbler today in the South Headlands Loop of Russian Gulch State Park. The location is at the end of Mendocino Road 500D (500D is just north of the Lansing Street entrance to Mendocino and just north of the Jack Peter's Bridge and only goes west). The warbler was "reported" to be near the end of the road in the "flock" which contained Townsend's Warblers. No information on age or sex. Happy New Year -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 -- 31 December 2008. Perhaps the final fine sighting of the year was reported this afternoon. Dave Shuford and others found a GRACE'S WARBLER in a mixed flock just north of Mendocino. Dave called Toby Tobkin to report that he had seen the bird on Road 500D, which is a short dead-end road on the west side of Highway One between Russian Gulch and Jack Peters Creek. Evidently the bird was in coastal pines along the bluffs near the end of the road. -- This message was received from Toby and posted by Dave Jensen.

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 -- This morning Nick Shepherd and I saw the presumed ICELAND GULL on the roof of Walmart from 9:30-9:50. An adult MEW GULL was on the beach at Austin Park, only my second in the county this winter. No sign of the Lesser Black-backed Gull. At Redbud Park we were surprised to see two SNOW GEESE (one immature, one adult) along with seven CACKLING GEESE (mostly Aleutians) and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in the local goose flock, which wanders widely (seen both at Redbud Park and the Clearlake Wastewater Treatment Plant during the CBC).
Speaking of CACKLING GEESE, I saw 11 (mostly Aleutians) along Hwy. 29 at Hidden Valley Lake on 28 December, but haven't seen them since. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 -- Today is my "last day" for 2008, since Jim and I are going to Humboldt Co tomorrow morning. So, I decided to go to Covelo and give Lewis's Woodpecker one more try. On my way over Branscomb Rd, I thought that perhaps a side trip north on Wilderness Lodge Rd might be a good place to check on the way home. I couldn't resist turning up Wilderness Lodge Rd at about 10-am, since it was sunny. I drove about 3/4 to Angelo Preserve, when I spotted a raptor at the top of a snag. It was a large, female COOPER'S HAWK, with tail and wings spread to dry off in the sun. Continuing north, near the boundry of the Angelo Preserve, another large raptor flew speedily by and landed nearby in an open redwood. It was a NORTHERN GOSHAWK !!!!!! (I had only hoped that I would see one here, really checking the area for sometime next spring). I called Jim immediately, I was so happily surprised. We plan to return in the spring to hike there and look again for N Goshawk. Not long after that, I saw a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK near Branscomb Rd.
I did go over Dos Rios Rd to Covelo and Round Valley. The elusive Lewis's Woodpecker was still absent every place I looked. They only like George and Matthew, at least this year anyway!
NORTHERN GOSHAWK was my 322 MEN County bird and 293 for my 2008 year list !!!! (Even though there were some big misses, I would not have passed Jerry White's 299 in 2005). -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 27 Dec 2008 -- I finally relocated the possible 1st-cycle Thayer's X Iceland Gull (first seen briefly at Walmart on 7 December) at Clearlake. After further scrutiny I now think it is a fair candidate for a "KUMLIEN'S" ICELAND GULL, although the CBRC will be the ultimate judge of its identity. You can judge the photos for yourself at:
It is hanging out with a group of 1st-cycle gulls, especially GLAUCOUS-WINGED and THAYER'S GULLS. I saw it from from 2:45-3:25 pm on Saturday and again on Sunday from 1:30-3:30 pm on a dock at the south end of Golf Ave., which is just south of Redbud Park. From the stoplight at Highway 53 and Lakeshore Boulevard, drive west toward the lake, turn left (south) at the next light onto Old State Highway 53, turn right on Ball Park Ave., and then turn left on Golf Ave. At the end of Golf Ave. there is a narrow grassy corridor with a long dock visible at the end. The gulls can be viewed from the road. A few of us were previously granted permission by the owner of the Lake Club to walk out toward the dock and Nick Shepherd is trying to obtain permission for all birders; in the meanwhile it is better not to trespass. I also saw the gull briefly today on the roof of Walmart (8:40-8:41 am) and (with Nick) at the landfill (8:55-9:00 am).
The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL hangs out with the CALIFORNIA GULLS and has become increasingly difficult to locate. In November I saw it during 4 of 5 days but this month only during 4 of 13 days. On Sunday I saw it on the beach at Austin Park from 12:27-12:50 pm; when flushed by others it flew far to the north and disappeared. I got some very close photos, one of which is posted at:
The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL is probably easiest to see at Austin Park, where gulls have been consistently congregating at about 7:15 am. By 8:00 am most of the gulls have departed the lake for either the roof of Walmart (viewable from the hillside beside the parking lot) or the landfill (viewable from the paved road on the hill to the left; do NOT enter the landfill!), and they begin trickling back to the lake during late morning. Most sit out on the water off Redbud and Austin Parks, but many congregate on the beach and dock at Austin Park and on a few docks at Redbud Park and south of the park. The afternoon is the best time to look for the presumed ICELAND GULL at Golf Ave.
During the CBC on Saturday the 20th, three of us had good but brief looks at a presumed adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK on the forested ridge along Crestview Drive near the north tip of Sulphur Bank Point (northwest of Clearlake Park and Borax Lake). It was a very large, pale-gray, long-tailed Accipiter, but it was facing away from us and we didn't see the white eyebrow before it flew. I've been unable to relocate it three times.
This afternoon I saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON along with several HOODED MERGANSERS and CANVASBACKS on Detert Reservoir (Butts Canyon Road, south of Middletown). -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 28 Dec, 2008 -- Matthew Matthiessen found a PALM WARBLER about 125 meters S/SE of the main Laguna Point platform about noon. The bird was working an area of brambles/berry bushes. Also, from the platform, Matthew had 5 ANCIENT MURRELETS and 2 MARBLED MURRELETS. At Ward Ave, he saw the 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS found a few days ago (see previous post by Roger Adamson). Earlier this morning, Matthew saw 2 male EURASIAN WIGEONS at the Garcia River flats. Also, at nearby Brush Creek, there are now 30+ TUNDRA SWANS. Take Stonboro to the end of Bristol, west of Hwy 1, north of the Garcia River. For Matthew Matthiessen (K Havlena)

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 -- Two LONG-TAILED DUCKS were off of Ward Avenue (December 25-26) in Cleone, along with the usual Black Scoters and other divers. Sorry for the latte report--I had no internet and was tied up with holiday duties. -- Roger Adamson, Davis

Fri, 26 Dec 2008 -- Hi Birders. I found a juvenile HARLAN'S HAWK at Burke Hill Road. It was originally north of Highway 101, but then it flew across the freeway. I took some photos of it, three of which are here: Harlan's Hawk is a very distinctive form of Red-tailed Hawk. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Fri, 26 Dec 2008 -- Hi Birders. My dad and I visited the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley this afternoon. Overall it seemed like there were very few birds up there, compared to my previous visits, but there were a few highlights. 35 LARK SPARROWS flocking with 25 or so WESTERN BLUEBIRDS seemed like an unusually large flock for the winter. An adult GOLDEN EAGLE was soaring over the hills to the east. a YELLOW-SHAFTED NORTHERN FLICKER was my first for the location. Interesting mammals included two River Otters in the pond and eight Tule Elk, including six bulls, on the hillside. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Wed, 24 Dec 2008 -- WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, white spripe form. This bird was in my yard this morning a little after 8:00 AM. -- Barbara Dolan

Wed, 24 Dec 2008 -- Now that the CBC "Count Week" is over we are posting the results. First of all, thanks to all of our dedicated area leaders, counters, and spotters as we tallied 129 species for the Ukiah CBC Count Day of December 20th ...which is a new record high beating last year's 128 species. We left the compilation dinner tied with last year's record ... but Matthew Matthiessen, with his "never give up" approach, headed out to a likely site in his area (after the compilation dinner) and spot-lighted a sleepy CACKLING GOOSE to provide the record breaker and bring the total to 129.
We had good luck with the owl species, but poor luck with the waterfowl species... but overall many of the "iffy" species like MOUNTAIN QUAIL, RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, and ROCK WREN were found. The "beginners group" led by Roger Foote had some fantastic looks at SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, and COMMON MOORHEN.... with the addition of AMERICAN COOT all on the same pond giving them a "four rail pond"!
Highlights of the day were a GREEN HERON, COMMON MOORHEN, LONG-EARED OWL, RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, two AMERICAN DIPPERS, and thirty-four BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS. And although it disappeared for the big day, a MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD was seen by Karen Havlena on Low Gap during Count Week. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 23 Dec 2008 -- Hi all, Today, 12/23, there was a flock of at least 5 WESTERN BUEBIRDS along Highway 1 at Spring Ranch (2 miles south of Mendocino). On 12/22 there was a first year GLAUCOUS GULL on the rocks off of Little River Beach. Also, just keep us on track, the gray whales are migrating south. Happy Holidays. -- Ron LeValley

Mon, 22 Dec 2008 -- While driving out of Potter Valley, I saw a large kettle of 40+ TURKEY VULTURES circling over the hills at the south end of the Valley. It seemed like a pretty large concentration of Vultures for late December. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 -- On the Clear Lake CBC at around 8:00 AM a group of us saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park in Clearlake. I was not able to attend the count dinner so do not have details of what was seen overall on the day. However, birds of local CBC interest that Guy Commeau and I saw were; Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Sage Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Common Loon, and Eurasian Collared-Dove. We also had a teal at Borax Lake the showed some of the characteristics of a "Common Teal". -- Jerry White
To follow up on Jerry White's posting, we ended up with an unoffical count of 146 species. In addition to those species noted by Jerry, we also had 1 each of the following: Northern Goshawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Merlin, Lewis' Woodpecker, and Black-throated Gray Warbler. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Sun, 21 Dec 2008 -- Just looked out my window (12:05 PM)on this first day of Winter and found 7 RED CROSSBILLS on my feeders. Two were obvious males. From Little River -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 -- On Dec 20, a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER continues to be seen on Low Gap Road in Ukiah. Head west on Low Gap Road off of North State in Ukiah. Continue on the unpaved road, until a cattle guard. Continue 1.4 miles beyond the cattle guard, there will be an oak with yellow flagging. -- Matthew Brady [from N.Calif Birdbox]

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 -- Fri, 19 Dec 2008 -- Shortly after noon today, I saw the RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER on Low Gap Rd at 1.4 miles uphill from the first cattle guard. I only got a couple of brief views, but I did hear its distinctive tapping (softer and more rapid than Acorn Woodpecker). I could not tell if it is a female or male, as I did not see the chin. The white barring on the back was fairly extensive, which would go along with the thought by George Chaniot that it is probably a female.
Also, on Low Gap Rd, on two occasions at 1.2 miles uphill from the first cattle guard, there were two very pale, gray with bright, sky blue bluebirds. They were not with any other Western Bluebirds, and they stayed and hovered close to the ground in an open area. One bird in particular had NO rufous or beige/orangey color at all. That one did the most low-to-the-ground hovering. I do think that at least that one, and probably the other bird are MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS. Low Gap Rd. begins at N State St and runs west of Ukiah, MEN County, up into the mountains. -- Karen A. Havlena

Wed, 17 Dec 2008 -- Chuck Vaughn and I did some CBC scouting up Low Gap Road this morning and discovered a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER about 9:00. It was working some wells in the bark of a live oak on the left side of Low Gap Road 1.4 miles beyond the first cattleguard. Chuck put some yellow flagging on the tree. When we returned at 11:00, we did not see it, but hopefully it will return to the wells in this tree. [This is the 8th MEN record, 6th winter, and first since 2001.-- CEV]
Lower down on Low Gap we saw a 100% YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKER male and , on the grassy hillside with fence, a pair of RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 17 Dec 2008 -- I looked outside and saw that my two feeding areas needed some seed. After I came back inside and looked out of the kitchen window, there were only two birds in sight: a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and the CALIFORNIA TOWHEE. The WTSP is half white and half tan-stripe. I have not seen the Cal Towhee for several weeks (25 October). -- Karen A. Havlena

Wed, 17 Dec 2008 -- I suspect the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL is gone. I was unable to find it despite a few hours of searching each day on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. However, there are probably 1500-2000 gulls in the area and it's impossible to view all of the gulls out on the water. After being excused from jury duty on Tuesday I saw a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at the County Park south of Lakeport and at Clearlake Park I saw a male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, a pure white EARED GREBE with a gray bill, and three TREE SWALLOWS. On Friday I saw a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Anderson Marsh. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 16 Dec 2008 -- Today I took an hour for lunch and looked for the Lesser Black-backed Gull in the Clearlake area. No Luck. There were a large number of gulls at Redbud and also at the (Clearlake) Eastlake Landfill. While at the landfill I talked with the landfill supervisor who said that trespassing was an ongoing problem at their property and that in some cases the trespassers were birders (including me today, as I went to a location that I thought would be OK ). I told him I would post a reminder to birders not to enter the property. The bird, if present, can usually be picked out with a scope from the road above. However, much searching on Saturday and Sunday and my quick look today has not turned up the bird. -- Jerry White

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 -- To all; at 2:30PM my feeder was visited by a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. We are hoping it stays and / or is visible so it could be included in our CBC. I will keep the black sunflower seeds flowing. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 -- Hello all, [the LAYSAN ALBATROSS], Al has been here most every day except yesterday, Saturday, Dec 13, even thought the ocean has been raging quite a bit... today he was bobboing about in his usual location just off the pier to the north west, ranging from 15 - 25 yards to 40 - 50 yards as the current caused him to move around quite a bit. I was a bit surprised to see Al today since the ocean was so gnarly, but perhaps he was a bit lonesome? When Hans, one of the surfers who goes out in these stormy conditions paddled out, Al made a point to get over to him to get his pat on the head; Al is a great lesson for all of us as to how loving nature's creations are... if we don't cause their demise... *sigh* -- Peace, Tom Reid

Sat, 13 Dec 2008 -- I scouted Lake Pennyroyal, in both the morning and the afternoon, also getting ready for the CBC. In the morning I found the first HOODED MERGANSERS I've ever seen there. By afternoon a flock of AMERICAN WIGEONS had flown in, with what I'm quite sure was a EURASIAN WIGEON among them. It was a long view to the end of the lake, even with my scope. I imagine it's the same one Steve Grams and I saw at Lake Mendocino last week, as there's a lot of back and forth between the two lakes. -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 13 Dec 2008 -- Barbara Dolan and I birded around the south end of Lake Mendocino today doing some scouting for the CBC next Saturday. We got a ride to the spillway, birded there, and walked back across Coyote dam, which is not officially open yet.
At the spillway we found a cooperative pair of RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS on the pipe and the rockwork on the east side of the cut. There was a SAY'S PHOEBE foraging from the tops of what low weeds it could find after brush and cattails have been cleared. We could not find a Rock Wren there as usual, but on the walk back we found at least three ROCK WRENS at the very south end of Coyote Dam near the last bench (CBC Area #2). They have not been displaced by the recent activity where 50,000 tons of new rip-rap have been added to the dam. At the north end of the dam we also found a Rock Wren on the white barrier just inside the gate. This wren also went underneath the bucket of a huge piece of earthmoving equipment - not intimidated!
At the south boat ramp the SNOW GOOSE is still present, and a HERRING GULL has joined the other gulls. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 13 Dec 2008 -- Karen Havlena called to say that, after many attempts, she finally found a SOOTY GROUSE on Mountain View Road. It was near some turkeys at milepost 9.25 -- George Chaniot for Karen Havlena

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 -- This morning there was a male REDHEAD along the north shore of Lake Mendocino at Oak Grove and dozens of CACKLING GEESE among the hundreds of Canadas.
I hiked down to the Russian River from the pullout at mile marker 37.08 on Route 20 this morning and easily found an AMERICAN DIPPER. It probably could have been glimpsed from the pullout itself without making the steep climb down and out. The hike down was worth it though because there was a group of 5 WOOD DUCKS in a pool just upstream. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 -- 12/11/08 there were two LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS along Butz Canyon Rd about 2 miles east of Hwy 29 at Middletown. There is a row of Eucalyptus on the north side of Butz Canyon Rd. and a cyclone fence with a sign that says "Fire Access." The woodpeckers were on the south side of the road in oaks near to the sign. -- Dave Woodward

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 -- A Tagged TURKEY VULTURE with the patagial (wing) white band with # 93 (last seen near Russian River Estate) was observed today on the south end of the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. This is definitely a resident bird, whereas most of the tagged TUVUs from this summer's UC study are probably soaring the skies or jungles of Central or South America. Everyone needs to really pay attention during this spring's northward migration ...late February and Early March to watch for "returnees". Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 -- At 10:00 this morning I found five AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS at the north end of Lake Mendocino. They were sitting on the edge of the mud and swimming in the water near the north boat ramp. (CBC Area#3) I may have seen them as early as 08:30 but I could not see them well enough to ID. At 10:40 they took off, circled up among the vultures, and headed off toward Clear Lake. Geoff Heinecken and Cheryl Watson arrived just in time to see them in flight before they disappeared across the ridge toward Lake County. Congratulations to Geoff on his 300th Mendocino bird!
This encounter reinforces my impression that the white pelicans which occasionally appear at Lake Mendocino are day-trippers from Clear Lake and don't hang around very long.
The SNOW GOOSE is still present among the domestic geese at the south boat ramp (CBC area#2). Two weeks ago there were six species of gulls, but they have dwindled to Ring-billed and California. I was unable to find Kate and Steve's Eurasian Wigeon, but it could still be around. There was an adult BALD EAGLE sitting in the last tree on the Miti campground spit (CBC Area #3). -- George Chaniot

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 -- Yesterday the hit and run flock of tiny birds in the trees behind my house here in Glen Blair included an OAK TITMOUSE. This little flock always sends me running for binoculars, but they are very hard to see and id. I feel like a real klutz trying to focus on the rapidly moving small critters up in the branches in contrasty light.
Anyway, the Oak Titmouse is new to me, but it seems I can't be confusing it with anything else, I got a good look. How common are they? Also in the flock yesterday were Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Townsend's Warblers, Downy Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, before the Juncos took over. -- Becky Stenberg, Glen Blair

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 -- Located between Ukiah and Hopland along Highway 101 (east side) is the CroFoot Ranch. Look for the ranch sign along Highway 101 with a large black crow holding up a large foot painted on it ...and grass pasture usually with cattle and llamas. This has become a regular foraging and daytime use area for the now resident Canada Geese (Great Basin subspecies). It also occasionally gets other geese attracted to the flock. Currently there are about 60+ CANADA GEESE, 15-20 CACKLING GOOSE(Aleutian subspecies), and 1 WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 -- Becky Bowen and I did a shore bird survey today at Virgin Creek Beach and a SAY'S PHOEBE was present on the beach just north of the creek. -- Charlene McAllister

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 -- I was surprised to find an immature GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE late morning today in a very small marsh/pond south of the light-keeper's house at Point Cabrillo. You could just see the white feathers coming in around the bill. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 08 Dec 2008 --Just to let everyone know, Al or Alice, our beautiful, faithful albatross has been in the cove every day, all day of late, in his/her favorite location just north of the pier... the last few days Al has been sharing space w/ a few pelicans who seem to have been feasting on schools of baitfish close to shore; quite a wonderful site, Al bobbing about in the background while the pelicans glide around and dive for dinner 'til full, then relax next to Al as their dinner digests... pics will follow when I get my full computer function back... Peace, -- Tom Reid

Sun, 07 Dec 2008 -- Nick Shepherd and I tallied 8 species of gulls this morning at Clearlake, including the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the roof of WalMart from 8:18-8:25. Now that it's been here at least 37 days I'm hopeful it will stick around for the CBC, maybe all winter. We also saw a 1st-cycle gull appearing intermediate between Thayer's and Iceland Gull (strongly speckled tertials, primaries concolorous with wing, faint secondary bar, didn't see tail well; not as good a candidate for Iceland Gull as the 2006 gull).
At Redbud Park we were surprised to see four species of geese in a single flock: a SNOW GOOSE, a WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, five CACKLING GEESE and 16 CANADA GEESE. At Clearlake Park we saw a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. We were unable to find the RED-NECKED GREBE--my bad luck bird for the county--seen twice north of Clearlake Oaks by Jerry White. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 06 Dec 2008 -- Steve Grams and I saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON among 6-8 American Wigeons this afternoon around 5 p.m. at Lake Mendocino, near the north boat ramp. We got our shoes all muddy and got great, long looks. Also several GREATER SCAUP and a few RUDDY DUCKS along with the Coots. A SNOWY EGRET was also having great success fishing in an isolated pool. -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 06 Dec 2008 -- A BLACK SCOTER and a RED-NECKED GREBE were off the north end of Ward Ave in Cleone. (Earlier in the week, 8 Black Scoters were seen here by Toby Tobkin). It was another calm, crystal clear day at Laguna Point, with almost no swell on the ocean. There were two additional RED-NECKED GREBES in the cove. After scoping a few minutes from the point's observation deck, I spotted 5 small alcids at the edge of the kelp. One was a MARBLED MURRELET. The others disappeared below the surface. After 1/2 hour, I finally saw 5 small alcids again. One was a/the MARBLED MURRELET, 3 were ANCIENT MURRELETS (289 for the year), and 1 was a CASSIN'S AUKLET. -- Karen A Havlena

Sat, 06 Dec 2008 -- Floyd Hayes saw the LESSER LACK-BACKED GULL again today between about 8:15 AM and 8:45 AM, this time on the roof of Rays Market which is just to the south of Wal Mart in the City of Clearlake.
I birded for a couple of hours at Clear Lake State Park. Birds of general interest (for the upcoming CBC) were; 4 Townsend's Warblers, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a number of Golden-crowned Kinglet's, 2 Glaucous-winged Gulls at the outlet and a Common Loon seen from the swim beach. -- Jerry White

Fri, 05 Dec 2008 -- Immediately south of Willow Point in Lakeport (at the end of C Street), a single ROSS'S GOOSE and 2 SNOW GEESE flew in with 9 CACKLING GEESE and were visible from the Lake County Vector Control District office on Esplanade. Likely they could also be seen from the southern side Willow Point. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE has also been spotted here several times in the last week, but it's a very small individual--barely larger than a mallard. Dave Woodward also saw the geese today, and has seen the GWFG here as well.
There is a large flock of domestic geese and ducks, and many MALLARDS that are daily visitors (residents), and the wild geese are mixing with this flock (although the feral geese often harass their wild brethren). -- Jamie Scott

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 -- Today, I spent hours in the Covelo and Round Valley area looking for Lewis's Woodpecker and Rough- legged Hawk. I covered almost every accessible road in the valley. Finally, I found a 1st year ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on East Ln. This is in the NE corner of the valley. On Dobie Land, I could not find any clue of Lewis's Woodpecker being there. Of course, I searched all over the valley, but there were no Lewis's in sight.
Prior to my arrival in the Round Valley, I came over from the coast on Branscomb Rd and Dos Rios Rd from Laytonville. When I reached Dos Rios bridge, I stopped and looked over the sides with my binoculars. There were at least 55+ King Salmon resting just north of the confluence of the Eel River and the N Fork of the Eel River. Later on, I checked two other places, where I saw about 10+ salmon each time. My unofficial total was 55- to 75 salmon. -- Karen A Havlena

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 -- I just had a SLATE-COLORED D-e JUNCO in my yard in Potter Valley. Second time in 30 years. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 -- This morning there was an adult SNOW GOOSE at the south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino feeding on dry bread among the domestic geese and "soup ducks." It was a nice view at close range if you want to study the details of the black "gums." Across the lake were a few CACKLING GEESE among the many honkers. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 03 Dec 2008 -- I drove south along Hwy 1 to check on a report of a Rough-legged Hawk between Manchester, Irish Beach and Elk. I saw 3 Ferruginous Hawks and numerous Red-tailed Hawks in the area. Since Jim and I were in the same place on Nov 29 and 30, I was interested in finding the Rough-leg (which we did not see on the dates mentioned above). I concentrated on the fields north of Irish Beach, as well as north of Manchester. Unfortunately, I could NOT find a Rough-legged Hawk.
I witnessed an unusual scrape between a Ferruginous and a Red- tailed Hawk. The Ferruginous was easy to spot, because of its light colors. While I looked at it, a Red-tailed Hawk landed within 2 feet of the FEHA. The FEHA spread its wings, while the RTHA challenged it. The FEHA must have had a mouse in its talons. This fight accelerated with the FEHA "winning" the food prize.
ALSO --- Further south, I drove Stonboro to the end of Bristol (just north of the Garcia River). Five SNOW GEESE still had one ROSS'S GOOSE with them on Brush Creek. No Tundra Swans have arrived. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 02 Dec 2008 -- Toby Tobkin called to report an apparent hybrid SNOW X ROSS'S GOOSE at Lk Cleone, MacKerricher SP. I drove down to see it. It was alone when Toby saw it, but it was with an imm GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and a CACKLING GOOSE (or quite small) Canada Goose when I arrived. The white goose looked mostly like a Ross's, but it was the same size as the other two geese, and it had a narrow black mark on the gape of its bill. -- For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Mon, 01 Dec 2008 -- Beb Ware and I saw a PEREGRINE FALCON from the top of Squaw Rock today. It was sitting in a tree to the east of Highway 101, but it never came close to give us a good view. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 -- Jim and I stayed in Point Arena last night to bird the south MEN county, concentrating on several areas, such as Mountain View Rd, Garcia River flats, Brush and Alder Creeks, and Lake Davis near Alder Creek. Two ROSS'S GEESE were with a small group of SNOW GEESE on Brush Creek. We saw no swans in the area, as yet. We also missed "Al" at Point Arena cove. We looked for Burrowing Owl at Lake Davis, but had no luck. Most of our time was spent driving and walking up and down Mountain View Rd, between mm 6.00 and 10.00, then 15 miles of Fish Rock Rd in another fruitless attempt at seeing a Sooty Grouse - boo hoo. Checking for raptors along Hwy 1, there were 3 FERRUGINOUS HAWKS south of Elk. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 -- Today the Thayer's Gull was not to be seen - although I have seen it fly to the north end of the lake previously. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 28 Nov 2008 -- The 1st year THAYER'S GULL is still at the south ramp of Lake Mendocino. There were only three gull species today compared to six a week ago. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 -- On the 26th I saw a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. It was in the top of the oaks to the north. A resident of the area also told me she had seen one in the same area recently. I was back on the 29th and did not see one. We did not see any on the Peregrine field trip to Round Valley on the 23rd. It seems to be a low year for Lewis's although the acorn crop appears moderate. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 -- A pair of HOODED MERGANSERS were on the large, manmade pond on Old River Rd, about a mile south of Talmage. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 25 Nov 2008 -- Several observers reported the arrival of "AL" the assumed same LAYSAN ALBATROSS that has been returning to the Point Arena Cove for the last 16 consecutive winter periods (or more). The bird returned at approximately 10:00 AM on November 22nd (thanks Tom for the sharp lookout). Ironically, I just returned from Kauai where the re-arrival of Laysan Albatross for the nesting season occurred during the week of November 10 - 15th November... about the same time that the Humpback Whales return to Kauai waters. I don't even try to guess if there is any correlation. To update your curiosity, below is a chronological list of arrival and departure dates.

For those of you for whom this information is new, the bird uses the Point Arena Cove as a resting/loafing area during normal seas. During very rough, intense storms the bird tends to disappear. I always tell folks that they have about a 50% chance of seeing the bird from the Point Arena dock on any one day during the winter period ....but one might have to keep checking every couple hours as you never know when the bird might arrive or depart. If you are travelling from out of the area specifically for this bird might plan on being in the area for at least a couple days to increase your chances. And ...if the bird is sleeping with his head tucked under the wing it can be missed if it is not near any other birds or objects for size reference ( I have seen people mistake is for a Western Gull). Ask the surfers ....they usually know and look after the bird's welfare.
Here is a revised list of first reported arrival dates and last reported season's dates (assumed near departure) for the subsequent years:
???? to? 28 Feb 1994 (T.Easterla and J.Booker)
30 Nov 1994 to 27 March 1995 (report of two birds in synchronized courtship? flight during the end of this period)
5 Dec 1995 to 14 March 1996
3 Dec 1996 to 26 March 1997
27 Nov 1997 to 8 Mar 1998
12 Dec 1998 to 21 Mar 1999
4 Dec 1999 to 12 Feb 2000 with a "fly by the cove" on 2 April 2000 as observed by George Chaniot (possible same bird?)
26 Nov 2000 to 26 Feb 2001
28 Nov 2001 to 24 Mar 2002
>21 Nov 2002 to 12 Mar 2003
25 Nov 2003 to 28 Feb 2004
28 Nov 2004 to 21 Feb 2005
26-30 Nov 2005 to 19 Mar 2006
25 Nov 2006 to 16 Mar 2007
7 Dec 2007 to 5 Mar 2008
22 Nov 2008 to "time will tell"
-- Robert J. Keiffer

Sun, 23 Nov 2008 -- The Peregrine Audubon Society had its annual field trip to Covelo and Round Valley today. The day started out with heavy ground fog in Ukiah and Willits, but along the Covelo Road we managed to find an AMERICAN DIPPER and a BALD EAGLE near Dos Rios, and an adult PEREGRINE FALCON at the sandstone cliffs. Round Valley was fogged in also when we got there and didn't begin clearing up until about 10:30. After that we began seeing things: multiple FERRUGINOUS HAWKS along Fairbanks Road and Dobie Lane, a PRAIRIE FALCON, and quite a few more raptors. A coyote in a field on Dobie Lane flushed up several birds which turned out to be two ravens and a SHORT-EARED OWL. The owl climbed above the ravens and circled in view for a full 15 minutes. At the lunch site at the Eel River Ranger Station we turned up a CANYON WREN just below the picnic tables.

Sat, 22 Nov 2008 -- Hi All, Barbara Pratt reported to me that Al was seen this morning, Saturday Nov. 23rd, off the Point Arena Pier. I've attached the picture she sent me. Good news, yes?! -- Jeanne Jackson [For photo by Barbara Pratt on Joe Morlan's Page click here ]

Sat, 22 Nov 2008 -- At approx. 10AM this morning, Saturday, November 22, Al the LAYSAN ALBATROSS glided into the Point Arena cove... Take a look at the attached pic... proof! He's yawning, perhaps tired from his long journey? -- Tom Reid,Point Arena

Sat, 22 Nov 2008 -- This afternoon at about 3:30 the THAYER'S GULL was still present near the south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino with 74 California Gulls. The Bonaparte's, Ring-billed, Herring, and Glaucous-winged Gulls of recent days were not to be found at that time. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 -- The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen Friday morning (around 8:00 am) by Nick Shepherd from Redbud Park on a dock south of the park. Also there was a ROSS'S GOOSE at the park. -- Jerry White for Nick Shepherd

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 -- Today there were 7 CACKLING GEESE, 1 SNOW GOOSE, and 1 ROSS'S GOOSE in Lakeport just south of Willow Point/ north of the Vector Control District Pier. Dave Woodward saw the snow goose and cackling geese, but the Ross's goose flew off before he arrived. We took a few marginal photos of the Ross's, and several good photos of the snow goose.
Other birds I've been seeing regularly off Esplanade in Lakeport include SCAUP (usually too far off for me to confidently distinguish Greater or Lesser), COMMON MERGANSERS (usually in flocks of 30-100), BUFFLEHEADS, and RUDDY DUCKS. There have been some extremely large feeding flocks of WHITE PELICANS visible from here over the last few weeks (some over 600 individuals). -- J.J.Scott

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- I took a brisk walk around the hospital and medical clinics off Cypress St in Fort Bragg sans binoculars. Hearing many yellow-rumps and robins, I walked to the edge of a property and gave a soft pish, just to make the yellow-rumps jump. Out of an old fruit tree popped a round, very short-tailed warbler with a fairly good amount of yellow from lower breast/belly up to the top of the crown. She was only 10-12 ft away in a tiny, sparse bush. "This is a good bird!" My first impression was PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, but I had only previously seen males, and she was too low in the bush for me to see the undertail coverts. After about 20 seconds, she flew into another tree in the yard. Unable to get David Jensen or Toby Tobkin on the phone, I called Jim and persuaded him to drive down with my Warblers guide, which took almost 1/2 hour. In the meantime, I refound the Prothonotary twice.
She took a bath in an old apple tree by rubbing through the wet leaves for about 3 minutes, a neat maneuver to observe. During this bath, I was able to see good field marks: long, white spots in the short tail; white undertail coverts; smooth, slate gray wings - no wing bars; greenmantle almost as green as imm Chestnut-sided; round, black eye on a plain yellow face. The yellow wash on belly, breast, face and up onto the crown gave way to greenish tips of the feathers on the back crown and nape.
After this, she flew to a Douglas-fir and sat near the trunk by some ivy. I lost her when some clinic workers came out for break, and sat right under the fir. Then, Jim arrived. Later Richard, Toby and finally Matthew came. No luck. I am so disappointed that, so far nobody else saw her. I am leaving for Fort Bragg now and will write again, if she shows up.
Location: South side of Cypress and west of River Rd. Large, open shrubs in the lot between the 4 large cypress trees and Ft Bragg Police Station. This is east of Hwy 1. -- Karen A Havlena

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- The first winter THAYER'S GULL is still at the south boat ramp area at Lake Mendocino. Today I walked out onto the lakebed and got scope-filling views in good light at 50 feet. It was the best opportunity I've ever had to study this plumage well. At times I had it side-by-side with 1st winter Ring-billed, California, Herring, and Glaucous-winged Gulls. It also hung out in the parking lot among other gulls, but was run off by cars from time to time. There were about 75 Calfornia Gulls, and they were returning over the dam from the direction of Ukiah. In Ukiah the only concentration of gulls I could find was in the parking lot of Carl's Jr. and on the roof of Dorsey's Body Shop next door - all adult Californias -- George Chaniot

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- Approximately 700 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS are roosting near the outlet of Manning Creek in the southwest corner of Clear Lake. In the mornings, they swim and fly northward along the west shore of the lake and feed in the shallows. The Threadfin Shad population in the lake is low this year, but the shallows along the west shore are loaded up with Inland Silversides and young-of-the year Sacramento Suckers. Those species could be providing food for the pelicans. The best places to see the pelicans would be by boat or at the south end of the Esplanade off of S. Main St. in Lakeport where there is a beach area. The beach is private property, but the lake is visible from the public road. Several CACKLING GEESE have been hanging around the beach on the Esplanade the past few days. In the past week there has been a PEREGRINE FALCON working the southwest shore of Clear Lake, seen by Jamie Scott, Terry Sanderson and by me on Nov. 16. -- Dave Woodward

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- There was a RED-NECKED GREBE east of Lucerne on Highway 20 near milepost 20.35 today. -- Jerry White

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -- Karen Havlena just called to report a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER at the corner of River Road and Cypress Avenue in Fort Bragg. This is essentially in front of the Mendocino Coast Hospital. It was in the yard on the southwest corner of River Road and Cypress and spent some of its time bathing in the leaves of the apple tree in the yard. She thinks it is an immature female. Cypress is the third street north of the Noyo Bridge and River Road is two long blocks west of Highway 101. Good luck! -- Ron LeValley

Mon, 17 Nov 2008 -- I found 2 HORNED LARKS today, walking the bluffs just north of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse at 3:17PM. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 17 Nov 2008 -- A few minutes ago, while my binocs were focused on a Red-breasted Sapsucker in my apple tree, something darted in/out of the field of vision at an angle I couldn't follow. The gestalt impression was empid (pale drab grey/olive with a pronounced pale yellow chin or bib area, definite eyering but couldn't tell if full or broken, wing bars); I know they are supposed to be away for the winter so wondered if it was an empid is there a particular species more likely to still be here before heading south? Many thanks! -- Janet Rosen

Mon, 17 Nov 2008 -- This morning there was a single CANVASBACK amid a large group of Ring-necked Ducks at the pond at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 -- I spent about 3 hours walking very slowly along Bald Hill Road north of Fort Bragg Saturday morning and saw at least 3 Ferruginous Hawks. At one point there were two on the west side of the road, with one calling in flight, the other in a tree, while a third bird was cruising the sky on the east side of the road. Other raptors included one male and one female Northern Harrier, several Kestrels, and a Red-tailed Hawk. I found one Cackling Goose among hordes of Canada Geese, and had a brief look at a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker. Also saw Meadowlarks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Savannah Sparrows (I think - couldn't figure out anything else), lots of White-crowned Sparrows, and one Marsh Wren. And one coyote. I watched it trying to catch rodents (I think) and then it lay down next to a stump under a bush.
Then I went to Glass Beach just in time to see two Harlequin Ducks before they dropped into the water and disappeared from view around the rock. The rock they were on also hosted one Black Oystercatcher, lots of Black Turnstones, a Brandt's Cormorant, and a Western Gull.
Very nice morning, except that I was sweltering in the wrong type of clothing for what seemed like 80-degree weather on Bald Hill Road. -- Kate Marianchild

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 -- This afternoon there was an adult FERRUGINOUS HAWK along the Hearst-Willits Road east of Willits.
This morning at the south boat ramp at Lake Mendocino there were six species of gulls continuing: Bonaparte's, Ring-billed, California, Thayer's, Herring, and Glaucous-winged. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heinecken, Barbara and I went to the dam parking lot at the south end of Lake Mendocino early this morning for some casual birding. We saw a good variety of gulls...well, good for Lake Mendocino, but not so good for Lake County. In the immediate area of the parking lot, among dozens of CALIFORNIA GULLS, we found single adult and first-winter HERRING GULLS, a first-winter THAYER'S GULL (seen on Nov 13 by George Chaniot), and a first-winter GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Out over the lake there was an adult BONAPARTE'S GULL. An adult BALD EAGLE was unsuccessfully strafing a large group of Coots. A flock of 36 SNOW GEESE, including a dark morph bird, circled the lake briefly before leaving directly east towards Clear Lake. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 -- I briefly saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the roof of Wal-Mart from 9:48-9:50 am, when about 200 gulls were present. I was unable to find it earlier in the morning when about 1000 gulls were present. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 -- Mid to late afternoon, I saw two HORNED LARKS just south of the tip of Laguna Point. Both birds were fairly plain, but one of them had yellow lores, superciliums and throat. They were scared over to a large, short grass-covered "island" about 40 meters south of the point. Above the exposed rocks, about 20 MEW GULLS were hawking insects like nighthawks, and offshore many Pacific Loons and Western Grebes flew south. It was a fabulous afternoon, warm, still and crystal clear! A great day to finally get the Horned Larks for my MEN list.
In the morning at high tide, the two Rock Sandpipers could not be found, according to Toby Tobkin. They still could be there, or maybe a couple more will arrive soon. -- Karen A Havlena

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 - This afternoon, Jim and I could see 2+ BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS in the redwoods at Yosemite and Washo in Oak Manor. Park on Pomo and look into the trees. This is east of Hwy 101, south of Perkins and north of Gobbi. Then, we drove down to Talmage, and continued .6 mile down Old River Rd to the large pond with signs for Beckstoffer and Mendocino Vineyard Co. We had hoped to see returning Hooded Mergansers. But NO, the pond was almost completely drained !! RFI - If anyone sees Hooded Mergansers on other MEN County ponds or at Lake Mendocino, could you please report their location? Thanks very much. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 -- Rain, a birder who lives up the hill from me (near Ukiah), wrote this.: "I swear I heard an Evening Grosbeak flying over today. Have you ever heard of one being around here? I sure miss them from Oregon. Rain". Can anyone answer this? -- Kate Marianchild

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 -- I just saw _four_ WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and one White-crowned in a brush pile on my property in Fort Bragg. White-throated Sparrows have always been solitary in my previous sightings (which amount to a grand total of two). -- Kate Marianchild

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 -- On Nov 13, (2) ROCK SANDPIPER were seen roosting on the rocks at high tide at the end of the last platform at Laguna Pointin MacKerricher State Park. (Dorothy Tobkin) [from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called to say that she saw a LONG-TAILED DUCK and a HARLEQUIN DUCK in the ocean just off Pudding Creek. The LTDU was far out, so she could not tell the gender, but the HADU was a male. One will need a spotting scope to bird here. Park just north of the Pudding Creek bridge in the public parking lot between the Surf and Sand and Beachcomber motels, then walk out to the bluffs.
11 Nov at Ocean Meadows, a/the NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was in the yard, and that Cooper's Hawk just won't go away. -- For Toby Tobkin and Karen A. Havlena

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 -- Today. along with 2 Chico birders, we refound and viewed from 9:00-9:30 am the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at the Clearlake Landfill. The gull was still present when we left. The road to the landfill was closed because of the Veterans' Day Holiday, but we were able to achieve good viewing by taking the Quackenbush Mountain Road immediately above the landfill road. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 -- Near dusk, I drove east on Pudding Ck Rd and then north on Bald Hill Rd, hoping for Burrowing Owl in the darkening skies - still no luck. There were about 20 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and hundreds of Canada's mixed with some CACKLING GEESE (minima and Aleutian). -- Karen A. Havlena

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 -- MendoBirders - Along with Rich Stallcup and a bunch of good friends, Les and I enjoyed a rainy Saturday and a sunny Sunday morning mostly along the Mendocino Coast. We did not see Karen, Toby, nor David, but we do have a few other highlights to report. Friday, 07 November 2008 (late afternoon): 1 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE on the beach at Little River; Saturday, 08 November 2008: 2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS at Glass Beach; Sunday, 09 November 2008: From the platform at Laguna Point we saw 1 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, 1 BULLER'S SHEARWATER, 1 BONAPARTE'S GULL, 1 ROCK SANDPIPER - we saw this little beauty around 8:30 AM in great light - it was, as usual, with the BLACK TURNSTONEs and SURFBIRDs, 48 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS ! And at the Garcia River we saw 1 FERRUGINOUS HAWK. -- Cindy Lieurance

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 -- If any of you happen to be driving south on Highway 1 into Sonoma County during the next couple of days, you may wish to swing into Bodega Bay for a few minutes and attempt to locate an immature Yellow-billed Loon, which was discovered there Saturday by Rusty Scalf. Though the bird apparently dives for extended periods of time when feeding, it has been well seen by others. -- Richard Kuehn

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 -- I have a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW here in Glen Blair also. Glad I read the digest and looked it up so I could quit being baffled by the odd-looking White-crowned Sparrow with the Song Sparrowish face! So I guess I shouldn't pay so much attention to the range maps? ;oP -- Becky Stenberg

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 -- I saw ten GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE on Bald Hill Rd, off Pudding Creek Rd. There were many Canada and a few CACKLING GEESE in the fields also. No Burrowing Owl nor Ferrugious Hawk, as yet here. Also Sunday 11/9 - Toby Tobkin saw a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE from Laguna Point in MacKerricher SP. No Rock Sandpipers yet. -- Karen Halvena

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 -- Haven't seen any posting on this bird today, so just to let you know the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen by a number of birders on the roof of the Walmart in Clearlake 8.30 - 9.00 am this morning (and didn't fly off while we were there - Bill Doyle and I left it to go see the Yellow-billed Loon at Spud Point, Bodega Harbor). -- Helen Kochenderfer

Sat, 08 Nov 2008 -- David Jensen found a FERRUGINOUS HAWK south of Elk along Hwy 1. We also saw many Red-tails and Kestrels, Western Bluebirds and Yellow-rumped Warblers. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 08 Nov 2008 -- Nick Shepherd, Mike Stanley and I saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park from 7:25-7:55 this morning. Barbara Dolan joined us later and we relocated it on the roof of WalMart from 9:15-9:45. The landfill will not allow any birders to enter but the gulls can still be viewed from the road above the landfill. Nevertheless, there were only a few hundred gulls and most departed when an employee began firing at them with a paintball gun. To my dismay we could not find a Heerman's Gull. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 08 Nov 2008 -- On Nov 8, the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continues in the town of Clearlake. It has been seen at Austin Park, on the roof of the Wal-Mart, and at the Clearlake Landfill off of Davis Street. (Jerry White) [from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 -- Speaking of PEREGRINE FALCONS, I got a shot of one at Virgin Creek today on the rocks I call "Frog Eye" just south of the creek itself and along the headland cliffs. . .the rock with the two 'eye holes' above and just south of where the Harbor Seals lay on the flats there. It was an adult. The photos weren't that good. If anyone wants to see. ..I will e mail them privately. . .just let me know :) -- Feather Forestwalker

Thur, 6 Nov 2008 -- Today seemed liked a good day for birding. Low pressure and cloudy skies beckoned me out to see what was about. ** North Coast- I went north to Hardy Creek and drove south to locations along Hwy 1. Hoping for good alcids, no small alcids were at the usual locations. At Westport STP, there was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD. Earlier in the week, we had a N Mockingbird in our yard at Ocean Meadows (perhaps the same bird ??). At mm 72.00, I saw about 40-50 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS near a small herd of cattle north of the large turn-outs on Hwy 1. This is the old site of Newport. There has been an imm. PEREGRINE FALCON and a COOPER'S HAWK in the Ocean Meadows neighborhood, as well, for a couple of days. ** Toby Tobkin had a MERLIN at Virgin Creek by the small bridge over the creek. Also, there were 6 SNOWY PLOVERS and 50 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS. -- Karen A Havlena and Toby Tobkin

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin ventured out today and saw yet another LAPLAND LONGSPUR at Mendocino Headlands St Park by the sister city plaque. Also, Toby still has a tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and a male "SLATE-COLORED" Junco coming to her feeder at her home in Fort Bragg. Jim and I saw both of these birds on Monday. -- For Toby Tobkin, KAren Havlena

Mon, 03 Nov 2008 -- I also had _three_ WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS at my feeders here in Potter Valley today. This is an unusual concentration here. One was white-striped and two were tan-striped. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 -- This morning Cheryl Watson, Larry Petrie, and I observed the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park in the city of Clearlake. It was sitting at the water's edge on the beach with a group of California Gulls and Bonaparte's Gulls - a nice view at good range. We had it under observation from 11:05 to 11:35 at which time it was flushed by a boat and flew off to the east in the direction of Redbud Park.
Earlier, Cheryl and I searched from 9:00 to 11:00 starting at the landfill at the end of Davis Street. They would not let us in even if we paid, so we walked up Quackenbush Road a short way and scoped from there. Next we went to Wal-Mart where there were several hundred gulls on the roof - no luck. Thirdly we went to Redbud Park where there were many gulls on the water and on the docks. There we found two HEERMANN'S GULLS on the water among California Gulls - maybe the fourth and fifth birds for Lake County. When we arrived at Austin Park the LBBG was an easy find.
We also stopped at Borax Lake where we saw a wigeon which was probably a hybrid AMERICAN/EURASIAN WIGEON and a distant bird which appeared to be a totally albino EARED GREBE. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 -- This morning a CACKLING GOOSE joined the flock of domestic geese behind the Lake County Vector Control Office at 410 Esplanade in downtown Lakeport. The goose was found by Jamie Scott and appears to be of the Aluetian race. Last week on 10/28/08 I drove onto the Lake County side of Sanhedrin Mtn. There were two SOOTY GROUSE along the road to Tule Lake. One was standing on the road about a mile west of Tule Lake. The other flew out of the top of a Douglas-Fir just west of the lake. There were also two WILD TURKEYS at Towhead Flat, elevation 4030 ft. -- Dave Woodward

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 -- Nick Shepherd saw the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Austin Park at 8:00 am this morning. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 -- This morning I made a brief trip to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant dodging rainshowers. There was a first-winter BONAPARTE'S GULL there, unusual for this location. Several of us saw it Sunday, 2 Nov, and it can still be seen at close range. Today it was making flycatching sallies close to the water, and an Eared Grebe was following it wherever it went. (!?) -- George Chaniot

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 -- John Luther just called and said he and John Sterling (and John's daughter) were looking at the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in Redbud Park. This is the first time it has been found at that location. As I was writing this I got another call from John Luther. All the gulls flushed including the Lesser Black-backed Gull but some of the gulls were returning so it could be back. In addition a new gull showed up. An adult HEERMANN'S GULL. That happens to be only the 4th county record. I'm waiting in anticipation for the next phone call to see what those guys can turn up. -- Jerry White

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 -- Howdy Birders, Jim Lomax just called me to let me know that the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL found over the weekend and Monday was present at 10 a.m. at the dump at the town of Clearlake (end of Davis Road). The bird has been seen at nearby Austin Park and other piers in the waterfront in the town of Clear Lake as well as on the roof of Walmart. Good luck! -- John Sterling, Woodland

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 -- I finally founds some time to post four photos of the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at my website: Thanks to Joe Morlan for posting a photo yesterday on his website and for cleaning up the blur on a couple of photos. On Saturday we also saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON at Borax Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 -- I had 3 WHITE-THROATED SPAROWS today (late morning) at the Little River Airport. They were in a mixed sparrow flock of mainly Golden-crowned Sparrows. There were 2 white-striped and 1 tan-striped. The most I've ever seen at once has been one. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 -- The possibility of this being a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL is looking even better today after seeing the bird in good light and with some additional photos being taken. But of course we hope some other birders will be able to see the bird and share their opinions with us.
The gull was first seen this morning by three of us at Austin Park in Clearlake (on Lakeshore Dr. across from the City offices and Olympic Dr) where it landed on a piling at about 6:55 AM daylight time, stayed for a few minutes and then flew south.
Maybe an hour plus later Floyd Hayes refound the bird at a known gull roost site on top of the Wal Mart Store. This is where the bird was studied and photographed. Wal Mart is in the shopping complex east of the intersection (with stop lights) of Highway 53 and Old Highway 53 at the south end of Clearlake. To view the gulls you need to climb the steep hill on the east side of the parking lot so you can view the flat roof.
As we watched many of the gulls started to fly NE probably towards the landfill mentioned yesterday which is at the end of Davis Ave. Good luck. -- Jerry White

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 -- Floyd Hayes yesterday morning found an adult gull that appears to be a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. The bird was first found at Austin Park on Lakeshore Drive in the city of Clearlake. Then, later in the morning, a group of us saw the bird at the Clearlake Landfill at the end of Davis Avenue. The bird was seen again, after the landfill closed, at Austin Park by Nick Shepherd around 4 pm. -- Jerry White

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 -- A new bird has appeared here at my seed feeder in Glen Blair. It's a little CHIPPING SPARROW, exactly matches the first year photo in the Thayer program. While the literature says it's common, I've never seen one before. It hangs out with the Juncos, and since it's so small it seems very comfortable sitting on the lip of the feeder. Also it camouflages really well in the scratched up brown grass under -- Becky Stenberg

Thurs, 30 Oct 2008 -- With storms approaching, I thought the low would make favorable conditions to look for birds. A flock of 7 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were grazing in a green field opposite Matson Bldg Materials on Hwy 1, just north of the parking area for Virgin Creek access.
Late this afternoon, I was still charged to keep looking for another "year bird." So, driving north from Ten Mile Rvr, aiming for Hardy Creek at mm 83.50 (and thinking of Jerry White all the way), I stopped everywhere. I thought that the Westport STP would be a good spot for Tropical Kingbird. I did find a TROPICAL KINGBIRD -- it was at Juan Creek, below and east of the Hwy 1 bridge at mm 83.00. I would not have seen it, except for a Belted Kingfisher, saving the day!
As I was scanning the creek from the dirt road on the south side of the creek, a kingfisher calling loudly, flew from under the bridge right along the edge of the willows lining the creek. It startled the Tropical Kingbird, which flew a few feet to the west. It landed, facing directly toward me, so that I could see its bright yellow belly and the slightly, lime green sides of the breast! This was 280 for my 2008 year list.
Number 280 for my MEN County list was a Common Tern, just over a year ago on 9/2/07, thanks to Chuck Vaughn (PS- welcome home,Chuck!!). -- Karen A. Havlena

Sun, 26 Oct 2008 -- Hi Birders, we have had a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers around our place for a few days. Didn't get a good look at them until yesterday afternoon, when they settled in to eat some Winter Banana apples on the tree! They were quite vocal as they flew around. I've added a couple of photos to the "Albion Birds" folder. -- Tim on Middle Ridge, Albion

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 -- Is this an Ash-throated Flycatcher? It was much larger than any of the smaller empidonax (sp?) flycatchers, such as Pacific-Slope, etc., and seems to fit the description of the Ash-throated. click here Thanks in advance. The photo was taken Oct 20 at MacKerricher State Park. - Feather Forestwalker [consensus is that it is a late Ash-throated Flycatcher]

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 -- The darker rufous coloring in the wings caught my eye on a bird in my brush pile located in my chicken pen. Alas, a bit of "pishing" resulted in a better look at the first fall arrival (in my yard) of a nice adult WHITE-THROATED SPARROW at my home in Hopland. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 -- Yesterday all three of the LAPLAND LONGSPURS were still in the same location (2:25 PM) that Karen found them on Sunday. Today I could find just one, again in the same location (1:30 PM). I've posted a picture of the remaining Longspur. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 --While on my way home in the waning light of Friday the 17th, I was shocked to see a dark-billed swan in Detert Reseroir, along Butts Canyon Road south of Middletown. I returned on Saturday the 18th and confirmed its identity as an adult TUNDRA SWAN. A male EURASIAN WIGEON and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE were also present. I did not see the swan either yesterday morning or this morning, but the light was poor and I didn't stop to look carefully (needed to get a few kids to get to school on time). -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 -- Yesterday and today, up to eight EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW were in the front yard of 3810 Eastside Calpella Road. Viewing is permissible from the driveway. Yesterday, a ROCK WREN was on the lake side of the dam at Lake Mendocino, to the left of the trail that goes down to the peninsula that would be an island if the water were higher. -- Ken Burton, Arcata

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 -- This morning at about 9:30, at Virgin Creek Beach, there was a PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER with a group of Black-bellied Plover, near the road. Seen by myself, David Jensen, Scott Huber, Garry George, and others. -- Art Morley

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 - This morning I found three LAPLAND LONGSPURS on the Mendocino Headlands in the area by the sister city plaque. Two of them were first year birds, identical in appearance. The third bird was quite buffy ochre, so I studied it carefully. While it had an narrow eye ring, just a few, very fine streaks on the sides, and a light wash of beige on breast,sides and most of the belly, and the greater coverts were not russet, other key field marks pointed to Lapland. The only other longspur possibility was Smith's, but I finally could see the second retrice of which only had the lower, out side of the feather was white. Also, the primary extension was long, with all of the white-edged primaries equidistant from each other, with no wide spacing by thethird rect. The facial pattern was identical to the other two Lapland's.I also threw out Snow Bunting, Rustic Bunting, and McCown's and Chestnut-collared Longspur. I would have thought that the greater coverts would have been more colorful (like the two HY birds), but they were smudgy. I still think that it is simply another Lapland. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 -- At 4:30 this afternoon, 2 SORA were actively feeding near the Lake Cleone boat ramp. Along with an embarrassment of American Coots, there were also what looked like 2 pair of GADWALL at the East end of the lake, and 4 possible HORNED GREBE (I welcome corroboration and/or dispute about this call-the light was dimming!), perhaps 2 juv and 2 adult? - Jessica Morton

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 -- Toby Tobkin phoned this afternoon that a pair of GADWALL and a SORA were at Lake Cleone in MacKerricher SP, north of Fort Bragg a few miles At 5-pm, I ventured over to the lake. It was nice and calm and quiet. The Sora was in full view at the boat launch (NE side of parking lot). It was tiptoeing around the short vegetation and easy to see. The Gadwall pair was out in the middle of the lake near a group of coots. -- For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin, K Havlena

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 -- Jim and I had no luck trying to find his Black-throated Blue Warbler from yesterday. Also, none of the many Townsend's Warblers were still around - only a couple of Yellow's, Hutton's Vireos, creepers, kinglets, etc, were at Chadbourne Gulch. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 -- Marisela de Santa Ana and I have both recently seen CALIFORNIA THRASHERS in places we hadn't seen them before. Both sightings were soon after the last rain. She saw one on Baechtel Creek in the Willits area and I saw one on York Creek near Parducci Winery. Has anyone else noticed unusual Thrasher activity? - Kate Marianchild

Sun, 12 Oct 2008 - An adult male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER was found by Jim Havlena about 11:30 am at Chadbourne Gulch, on the EAST side of Hwy 1. The bird was with a flock working just west of the small grove of redwoods. Jim followed the flock and refound the bird two more times as the flock moved west down the creek. He last saw the bird about 12:15 pm. Chadbourne Gulch is at mile post 75.43 along Hwy 1. There is plenty of parking space on the west side of the road. This is south of Westport. -- For Jim Havlena, Karen Havlena

Sun, 12 Oct 2008 -- Andy and I saw a Black-throated Blue warbler this morning eating berries in our Honeysuckle tree (Andy took a photo). Has anyone else seen one? I read that they are rare visitors here in the fall. - Virginia MacIntosh

Wed, 9 Oct 2008 -- There were a few new developments at the lake on Wednesday. A single BONAPARTE'S GULL was flying around the south half, a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and two CACKLING GEESE were among the Canada Geese on the spit by the boat-in campground, and there was a small group of GREATER SCAUP near Deer Camp. Coyote Dam was still open to the public, but it is supposed to be closed imminently. There was a ROCK WREN on the barriers right by the parking lot. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 06 Oct 2008 -- At 1:55 PM I observed a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Glass Beach. It was actully on the beach ( a rare occurance according to the literature)that is located where the path curves North. I was able to see the alert posture because of a dog on the beach. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 -- Hello -First, thank you to all of those that responded so generously to my query regarding south county hot spots. I took your advice and started birding the mouth of the Gualala River and this morning it paid off. I had a PRAIRIE WARBLER first at 8:15 and then again at around 9:00. The bird was very actively foraging low in the willows adjacent to the main path about 100 yards west from Highway 1. It was easy to locate each time since it was continuously pumping its tail (as is typical of this species). I'm not sure what the area is commonly referred to but it is just north of the bridge over the Gualala River on the west side of Highway 1 and it's where the local kayak place launches their boats. Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Fri, 3 Oct 2008 -- On Friday morning at Usal I was able to find a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL, a Bobcat and a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER before the rain chased me out. On Saturday, Oct 4, at Lake Cleone there were 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and an AMERICAN REDSTART. -- Jerry White

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 -- Steller's Jays first appeared in my backyard in southwest Ukiah about 3 years ago - one to four at a time and irregularly, mainly in the spring and have turf wars/coexist uneasily with the scrub jays and the mockingbirds. -- Janet Rosen

Thu, 02 Oct 2008-- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin phoned with her find of a VESPER SPARROW just north of Virgin Creek and east of the Haul Rd. She met me at the spot. I saw the bird east of the road just south of the east extension of MacKerricher SP out to meet Hwy 1. There is a trail from a parking area west to the Haul Rd. The best landmark for finding the trail head is Three Rivers Learning Ctr Charter School. -- For Toby Tobkin, Karen A Havlena

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 -- Tue, 30 Sep 2008 -- John Sterling and John Luther joined local birders Ron LeValley, Toby Tobkin, Art Morley, Richard Hubecek, Trudy Jensen, Jim Griswold, Jim Havlena and Karen Havlena birding at various locations today. Highlights: ***Chadbourne Gulch: John S, John L and Ron refound the VIRGINIA'S WARBLER and a NASHVILLE WBLR in the ravine, west end of the dirt road. Karen and Toby each found their own CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER on the east side of Hwy 1. ***Ten Mile River (south side): John L, John S and Ron saw the MAGNOLIA WARBLER found 9/29 by John Sterling. *** Usal: John S, John L and Ron saw 2 ARCTIC TERNS and 50 ELEGANT TERNS on the beach. A female AMER REDSTART was in the Usal creekbed. Also, they saw a N MOCKINGBIRD there. ***Westport STP: Jim and Karen Havlena saw 3 PALM WARBLERS and a SAY's PHOEBE on the east fence. Toby found a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and a female LAZULI BUNTING near Hwy 1. ***Lk Cleone- MacKerricher SP: John S and John L refound the BLACK and WHITE WARBLER from 9/28 on the S/SE side of the boardwalk, where the repair work was recently done. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 -- Hi All, For the first time ever ,I saw (and Heard) a STELLER'S JAY at my house on Road D in Redwood Valley. Scrub calif blue Jays have been common, but no Stellars Jay thus far! Ive been here 8 years, and never saw this common bird here before. He is calling a lot. But not getting any answer. -- Lynne Kary

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 -- John Sterling found a MAGNOLIA WARBLER on the south side of Ten Mile River this afternoon. The bird was along the old Haul Road east of the new bridge construction zone. (Take care birding in this area during the business week). He and John Luther unfortunately missed the CSWA found on Sunday. -- For John Sterling ,Karen Havlena

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 - Chuck Vaughn and I searched for the Virginia's Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler at Chadbourne Gulch this afternoon. No luck! One the east side of Hwy 1, quite a ways up the "ATV trail" we found a mixed flock of 3-4 Townsend's, 2 Yellow's, 1 Black-throated Gray, 1 Hutton Vireo, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a "Yellow"start Warbler (AMERICAN REDSTART). Also seen were a flock of Cedar Waxwings and a Red-shouldered Hawk. Interestingly, the warblers were totally silent ... but they did respond to pishing. 1 Willow Flycatcher was seen near the bottom end of riparian zone near the beach parking lot. With this storm front moving in, there is a wind out of the south which is helping to drop the migrating birds to land ....this will probably change once the rain hits. A "gray-headed" Orange-crowned Warbler was seen in the next willow draw north of Chadbourne Gulch. Various parties are birding Usal and the coast over the next two days and it will not surprise me if more notable vagrants are found. Good Birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 29 September 2008 -- Thanks to Karen for posting and notifying everyone about the birds she and I found the past few days. I had a brief glimpse of what I thought was a possible VIRGINIA'S WARBLER yesterday on the trail on the east side of Highway 1 at Chadbourne Gulch. So as Karen mentioned in her post these birds could well move up and down the creek if they stay for more than a day. On Sunday morning at about 7:25 AM a Fox ran across Highway 1 from the town of Westport to the Westport Headlands. -- Jerry White

Mon, 29 September 2008 -- Two male EURASIAN WIGEONS were among the hordes of ducks at Borax Lake on Sunday the 28th. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 -- At about 9:15 am, Jerry White found a VIRGINIA's WARBLER, and I spotted a HY female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER at Chadbourne Gulch about 9:45 to 10 am. Both birds were at the far west end of the parking area in a ravine of smallish willows that comes down from the north. The birds could move back up the regular stream (with water) during the day. Chadbourne Gulch is located on Hwy 1 south of Westport at milepost 75.43. -- Karen A Havlena and Jerry White

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 -- This morning Barbara Dolan saw an AMERICAN AVOCET at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. It picked up off of the middle pond with flooded weeds and flew off to the west. It was not seen again for the next several hours. -- George Chaniot for Barbara Dolan

Sun, 28 Sep 2008-- This morning I found an imm CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and an imm female NASHVILLE WARBLER on the south side of the Ten Mile River on Hawthorne Lumber Rd. The birds were in a good-sized flock just east of the speed bump with the large piece of orange painted cement. Jim arrived a few minutes later and got to see the CSWA. -- Karen A Havlena

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 -- Jerry White found several good birds on the north coast along Hwy 1 this morning. ***Hardy Creek-- There were 2 AMER DIPPERS just a few yards from where the creek meets the ocean. ***Wages Creek-- A large flock held a BLACK and WHITE WARBLER, a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. On the wooden fence by the curve in the road, a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW landed right next to Jerry. ***Westport STP-- There were 2 PALM WARBLERS on the east fence and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER on the pond.
Correction to Usal's Green-tailed Towhee on 9/27. The bird was on the road that goes out to the beach, but it wsa only about 30+ yards west of the memorial at Usal Rd. -- For Jerry White, Karen Havlena

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 -- At about 2 p.m., Holly and I saw 15-20 RED CROSSBILLS flying between the cone ladened crowns of the Sitka Spruces along the path (road) to the Caspar cementery. -- Roger Foote

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 -- Jerry White phoned that he found a GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE at Usal this morning. GTTO is rarely seen away from the mountains in MEN County. I believe that the bird was in the grassy area or hillside between the western campsites and the beach. Apologies if I did not get the location correct. We went on to talk about other places just after that. He checked other locations, such as Chadbourne Gulch without any luck. Usal camp is located north of Hwy 1, north of Rockport. Turn onto the dirt road at milepost 90.88, then drive 6 miles north to the campground. -- For Jerry White, Karen A. Havlena

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 -- Also on the birdathon Chuck Vaughn, Karen Havlena, and I found a COMMON MOORHEN on the sag ponds at the Hopland Field Station. Chuck informs me that this is the 8th fall record ever for Mendocino - the Blackpoll was the 18th. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 -- During our Mendocino County birdathon effort, Karen Havlena and I found a BLACKPOLL WARBLER at Chadbourne Gulch north of Fort Bragg. It was about 150 yards upstream on the east side of Route 1 foraging at midlevel in the trees. It was not in the company of any other birds. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reports that she found an immature female CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER this morning about 9:30 am. It was in one of three good-sized flocks of birds, near the first bathrooms in the campground area. She also noted large numbers of Warbling Vireos and about a dozen Townsend's Warblers. -- Trudy Jensen (for Toby)

Sat, 20 Sep 2008 -- BROWN THRASHER; seen as I was looking down from Highway 1 at the Hardy Creek willows. The bird came up to the top of the willows and then dove back in. Best bird of the trip. CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at the Wesport Headlands. RED CROSSBILL, Caspar Cemetary. 20-30 birds? Making a whole lotta noise. -- Jerry White

Sat, 20 Sep 2008 -- At Borax Lake this morning Mike Stanley and I saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON, a possible female BLUE-WINGED TEAL (head in water most of the time; I would like a better look) with five CINNAMON TEAL, a PEREGRINE FALCON (Mike saw one earlier in the week) and a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER (definitely not the Ruff suggestive of Mike's photos on the 15th; Jerry White and Mike relocated it and confirmed its identity on the 16th). We also saw a white EARED GREBE with a dark black crown; earlier this summer there was a different one with a white crown (or perhaps it is the same bird which has subsequently molted black crown feathers?).
In Clearlake I saw five species of gulls including an adult WESTERN GULL and at Anderson Marsh I saw two VAUX'S SWIFTS. I also saw a lot of warblers, vireos and flycatchers (especially at Austin Park), but nothing unexpected.
The most unexpected bird of the morning was a COCKATIEL feeding with MALLARDS on the lawn at Redbud Park. -- Floyd Hayes

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 -- VESPER SPARROW, Usal, in the grasslands near the beach. New bird for Usal. SONG SPARROW, Westport Headlands, a Song Sparrow on steroids. Very large compared to our regular Song Sparrows and a very dark bird. Upperparts and head dark chocolate-brown. Underparts heavily streaked and mottled with chocolate-brown. Was probably M. m. morphna found from central Oregon to SW British Colombia (breeding range). CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, found on the east side of Highway 1 at Chadbourne Gulch. MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER at the same location. Same bird Karen Havlena found the day before. BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, on the west side of Highway 1at Chadbourne Gulch. Immature bird. -- Jerry White

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 -- I spotted a FERRUGINOUS HAWK from the living room window on a cypress just east of Hwy 1 this afternoon. This is pretty early for FEHA. I took my scope up to Hwy 1 to get a better look at it. While at the side of the road, Jerry White drove by and stopped. He got good looks at the hawk, also. We talked about all of the latest blitz of sightings. It has been a great week and 1/2. -- Karen A Havlena

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 -- CA TOWHEE has returned our yard at Ocean Mdws Circle, Ten Mile area. After an absence of almost 2 1/2 months, "Cal" Towhee appeared at the brick post by the lone pine, at the north side of our yard this morning! I am sure that this is the same CA Towhee that visited the neighborhood for many months. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 -- Jerry White reports from the coast that he saw a SOOTY GROUSE at 07:15 a.m. on Mountain View Road east of milepost 8.13. On Duxbury Road he saw a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in the morning - possibly the same one as before.

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 -- While performing the California Coastal National Monument Stewardship Task Force Non-breeding Seabird Survey at Gualala Point Island, George and Michele Marshall, Dean Schuler and I watched humpback whales feeding on clumps of krill and/or schools of small fish. Through our spotting scopes, we were able to see 90 - 100 SOOTY SHEARWATERS and 2 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, many COMMON MURRES, immature and adult WESTERN GULLS, BROWN PELICANSs and some unidentified Alcids feeding in the same area. Enjoy our coastal wildlife! -- Rich Kuehn

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 -- There were good numbers of western migrants including a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER along Miner Hole Road. There was also a yellow AMERICAN REDSTART. Toby and I birded Chadborne Gulch this morning and had migrants but none of the goodies reported from there yesterday. Also, I checked the Fort Bragg Cemetery over the last few days with not much to report. -- John E. Hunter

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 -- This morning, Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin found an imm. LARK SPARROW at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The bird was at the western bluffs with a couple of Savannah Sparrows.

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 -- Late afternoon, I found a RED-EYED VIREO at Chadbourne Gulch, about 3 miles south of Westport on Hwy 1. Jim and I walked along the trail east of Hwy 1, to the 3 stream crossings. The vireo was (very) loosely associated with a flock of Wilson's, Yellows, Warbling Vireos and chickadees just before and after a small grove of Western Hemlocks. The bird was a 1st year bird, and was fairly drab, but the key ingredients were there. Jim got less-than-good looks at it. It lagged behind the flock, and I was able to study it more, while Jim moved ahead. Also at Chadbourne were an ad. female McGILLIVRAY'S WBLR, and a HAMMOND'S and a WILLOW FLYCATCHERs.
Earlier in the day, I birded Wages Ck and Howard Ck. Only Western migrants could be found at those spots. At 10 o'clock in the morning, I could not bird the east side of Chadbourne Gulch, because a guy was drinking beer and smoking, with his pick-up backed into the entrance to the trail. He also threw a couple of empty beer bottles into the willows there. So, I went on up to Wages Creek at that point. -- Karen A Havlena

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 -- 12:30 - 1:30 PM - Chuck Vaughn and I discovered a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH on the north edge of the north pond here at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. As we and waited for Cheryl WAtson and Geoff Heinecken to show up a BLACKPOLL WARBLER ventured into the same binocular view as the waterthrush ... probably the same bird as Chuck found yesterday. Also present at the ponds were Willow Flycatcher (2), Wilson's Warbler (1), Yellow-rumped Warblers (4-5), Orange-crowned Warbler (1), and Yellow Warblers (2). The Northern Waterthrush was still there when we left and may hang around for a while.
As Jerry White mentioned, as long as this south wind is blowing we should all be out searching willow patches and thickets for vagrants as the conditions are holding them to the ground. Good Birding -- Bob Keiffer - 744-1424 wk

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 -- Came home from work and there was a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, foraging in my compost. Welcome to fall. -- Janet Rosen

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 -- There was a BLACKPOLL WARBLER on Reclamation Road this morning. The turnoff is between Upper Lake and Nice (off Highway 20). Go about 1 to 2 tenths of a mile to a dirt pullout. The bird was moving through the riparian area with a mixed flock. This is a somewhat overdue first record for Lake County as there are several records for nearby inland Mendocino County. -- Jerry White

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Earlier this afternoon there was a first-fall BLACKPOLL WARBLER along the edge of one of the ponds near the HREC office area. This is only the second record for the Center. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 -- Because of ideal weather conditions the last four days - high overcast and light southerly winds - birding on the coast was very good. I recorded 14 species of warblers. Highlights were: MacGillvray's Warbler 9/15/08 (today) at Hardy Creek, Yellow-breasted Chat 9/15 at Chadbourne Gulch (on the east side of the highway), 3 American Redstarts 9/12 on the south side of the Garcia River 9/13 at Usal 9/15 at Hardy Creek, Chestnut-sided Warbler 9/12 on Stonboro Rd, Magnolia Warbler 9/15 (thanks to Jim Havlena) on the train tracks in Ft Bragg with a group of other birders, Canada Warbler 9/13 at Usal.
On 9/14 a goup of us were on a very successful Pelagic Trip with Ron LeValley and Rob Fowler and organized by Karen Havlena. road out to Usal he instead discovers another Canada Warbler at a much more convenient location. Congratulations. -- Jerry White

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 -- Very early yesterday morning I was unable to find a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Borax Lake but I photographed a juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER with the flock of peeps on the small island.
Michael Stanley just e-mailed to me a very blurry photo of a much larger shorebird with pale legs and a short, pale bill, tentatively identified as a PECTORAL SANDPIPER. It towers above the peeps and to me it looks too large for a Pectoral Sandpiper--I think it could well be a RUFF! It would be nice if somebody could check out this bird soon... -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 -- This morning at about 8:30 Nick Shepherd and I saw a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Borax Lake in Lake County. The bird was in a flock of peeps that included about ten LEAST SANDPIPERS and about fifty WESTERN SANDPIPERS. The birds were on the extreme northwesterly end of the exposed mudflats about a third of the way up the southwesterly side of the lake. Low quality digiscoped photographs that reasonably show the bird relatively to the peeps are available on request. -- Mike Stanley

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 -- Rob Fowler found a 2nd CANADA WARBLER along the Skunk Train tracks the mid-late afternoon of 14 Sep '08. I went along with him to bird the tracks, located off Franklin and Bush Streets, east of Rose Memorial Cemetery in Fort Bragg. Rob found the immature bird at about 3:30 PM not far east from where the tracks leave the large eucalypus trees. I got great looks at this bird. -- For Rob Fowler, Karen Havlena

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 -- At 11:30 am, Jim Havlena saw a 1st-yr male MAGNOLIA WARBLER along the Skunk Train tracks in Fort Bragg. It was in a large flock that included Golden-crowned Kinglets, Townsend's, Wilson's and Yellow Warblers. The Canada Warbler was not present at this time (found at 3:30 - see other post). The Skunk Train tracks are east of the cemetery at Franklin and Bush Streets in Fort Bragg. -- Jim Havlena

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 -- Fort Bragg Pelagic; Mendocino Audubon sponsored pelagic. Leaders: Ron LeValley and Rob Fowler. Due to the calm seas Ron decided to steer the trip south to Navarro Canyon.
Other wildlife: Blue Shark-6, Orca-at least 2 individuals seen but more probably present, of course- very distant views, Harbor Seal-1 Elephant Seal-3. No other cetaceans seen.
Number of species: 40; Surf Scoter - 3;Red-throated Loon - 1; Pacific Loon - 3 (2);Pied-billed Grebe - 1; Western Grebe - 5; Black-footed Albatross - 20; Northern Fulmar - 6; Pink-footed Shearwater - 530; Flesh-footed Shearwater - 1; Buller's Shearwater - 45; Sooty Shearwater - 200; Short-tailed Shearwater - 2 Early. ; Brown Pelican - 20; Brandt's Cormorant - 41; Double-crested Cormorant - 4; Pelagic Cormorant - 25; Great Blue Heron - 1; Great Egret - 2; Turkey Vulture - 1; Peregrine Falcon - 1 juvenile bird approx. 8 miles offshore from the nearest point of land that took a couple of swipes at the hy male cowbird! ; Black Turnstone - 6 Noyo Harbor. ; Sanderling - 20; Red-necked Phalarope - 25; Heermann's Gull - 45; California Gull - 330; Western Gull - 130; Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) - -1; Common Tern - 2; Common/Arctic Tern - 7; Elegant Tern - 2; South Polar Skua - 3; Pomarine Jaeger - 6 (4) ; Parasitic Jaeger - 2 (4) ; Common Murre - 45; Pigeon Guillemot - 1; Cassin's Auklet - 4; Rhinoceros Auklet - 12; Belted Kingfisher - 3; warbler sp. - Parulinae sp. 1 long-tailed yellow under-sided warb. ; sp that flew away. ; Brown-headed Cowbird - 1 (approx. 8.2 miles offshore fromthe nearest point of land)--Ron LeValley

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 -- Stan Beach on Saturday, out in a boat on Konocti Bay, saw an all dark bird in flight he at first thought was a small gull. He noticed swept back wings on the bird. Another Long-tailed Jaeger? Jerry White

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 -- This morning I noticed a female AMERICAN REDSTART at Glass Beach in the lone cypress tree near the beach. Barbara Dolan found a RUDDY TURNSTONE among the many shorebirds in the huge wrack of kelp on the beach. There were 6 Marbled Godwits, also.
Jerry White called to tell us about the CANADA WARBLER at Usal. We hopped in Barbara's truck and drove directly up to Usal. Jerry was still birding, where he also found a imm/female "Yellowstart" east of the bridge in the Usal creekbed. We spent over three hours looking, waiting and listening for the Canada. Jerry heard the call, which is somewhat like a Com Yellowthroat, but it is sharper and brighter. We heard the call, too. After Jerry left, I (Karen) finally saw the CANADA about 3 or 4 times, putting together bits and pieces of what I saw. The bird called numerous times during this drawn out search to try to get a full look at the bird. Unfortunately, Barbara did not get good looks, which we both hoped for badly. We finally had to leave for home.
At least Barbara got the Am Redstart for a MEN County bird - hooray for that. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 -- Jerry White called from the coast to report that he found a CANADA WARBLER at Usal Creek this morning. It was in a mixed flock on the east side of the road about 0.2 miles beyond the first campground you come to. He saw it about four times.

12 Sept 2008 -- we just found out about this two-week old sighting - Evan Johnson photographed 7 to 8 American White Pelicans on Lake Mendocino, just south of the Blue Shay campground peninsula on the NE side of the lake. This is the area where they have shown up in prior years ...but I think it has been since 2003 since we have had this species in the county. I saw one at this spot in the 1990s ...also in the early fall ...which was my 300th species for the county. Anyway, I am posting this because in years past a similar flock returned to Lake Mendocino daily for about a two weeks period all of you Lake Mendocino birders please check that NE shoreline of the lake for pelicans and post ASAP if you find any. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 -- Jerry White reports that he saw an AMERICAN REDSTART on the south side of the Garcia River in willows way out near the mouth. He also saw a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER on Stoneboro Road near Duxbury, and he saw two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at the mouth of Caspar Creek.

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 -- Combining some volunteer driving of a CRC client to the Point Arena clinic with some birding, I spent ~30 minutes at Arena Cove this morning. There were 5 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, juveniles and adults, surface feeding in the foam near the shore on the right side of the pier. Several BLACK TURNSTONES were inspecting the bull kelp that had washed ashore recently nearby. There were also 2 WANDERING TATLERS, many juvenile and adult WESTERN GULLS, a juvenile and adult HEERMANN'S GULL and 2 BLACK OYSTERCATCHER on the shore. Perched in the snag above was a watchful OSPREY. Good Birding --Richard Kuehn

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 --On Monday there was an AMERICAN PIPIT (first of the fall) at the Kelsey Creek Outlet. On Tuesday around the Lake there was a first of the fall SAY'S PHOEBE. A VAUX'S SWIFT was seen which is a rare migrant in Lake County. Also there were 15 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS seen on the day.On Wednesday evening at the outlet there was a MARBLED ODWIT, a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and 3 BLUE-WINGED TEAL. -- Jerry White

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 -- For the second day in a row, hundreds of SOOTY SHEARWATERS are passing by the Little River Headlands close to shore. Among them I've picked out a few PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS and BULLER'S SHEARWATERS. -- Ron LeValley

Tue, 09 Sept 2008 --Toby Tobkin and I traveled to the Usal Beach and campground today. The best bird of the day was a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH found in a small spring fed(?) pool near the beach. From the beach parking we walked up the dry creek bed around the bend where there were camping sites and benches on the north side. The small pool (you can hear the sound of water)is on the south side of the creek bed. There were plenty of other migrants in the area but they weren't of the eastern variety. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 08 Sept 2008 -- Recently researchers were trapping Turkey Vultures and Common Ravens at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. They captured 34 TUVUs and 40 CORAs. The Turkey vultures were marked with white patagial (wing) tags with black numbers- #s 63- 96. the Common Ravens were marked with metal leg bands of the number sequence #s 1687-31562 through 1687-31599. Please report to me or the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center if you sight any of these birds. I anticipate little movement with the ravens ....but The turkey Vultures will most likely be heading south for the winter ...although we do assume to have some resident birds. Thanks and good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 08 Sep 2008 -- Yesterday in the morning, birds seen at the outlet by various observers were; a MARBLED GODWIT, the continuing 2 SANDERLINGS and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. Early evening additonal sightings were; a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, and a FORSTER'S TERN that was hanging out with 10 COMMON TERNS. -- Jerry White

Sun, 7 Sep 2008 -- Scarse on the MEN coast was a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER. AMERICAN DIPPER and WILLOW FLYCATCHER were the other best birds we could find this day. PGandE held a planned power outage, so Jim and I went birding at Miner Hole Rd, Windy Hollow Rd, Garcia River and Mountain View Rd. Hoping to find Sooty Grouse, we drove from Hwy 1, back and forth just after dawn, along Mountain View Rd. The Dipper was seen at the bridge over Rancheria Creek. (It was on the same rock that I got my MEN County Dipper 5 or 6 years ago). Alas, we did not see a Sooty Grouse. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was along Miner Hole Rd. (Apparently, the BGGN is only seen about once a year, or less, on the MEN coast). The Willow Flycatcher was at the Garcia R. beyond the west end of Miner Hole Rd. Otherwise, only saw the usual migrants could be located in this area. We walked the Garcia River in the Windy Hollow Rd area, but nothing out of the ordinary was seen here, either. The high pressure was just beginning to give way, with some patchy fog. So, I wish we could have done this trip in a few days from today. Oh well-- next time. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 07 Sep 2008 -- I checked Borax Lake this evening. The peep flock had been persistently hanging out on the island near the south end during the past two weekends, but this time they were on the shoreline at the end of 12th Street (south end of lake). Unfortunately they scattered shortly after I arrived. About half of the flock flew to the island, but I failed to relocate the SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS among them (sunlight quickly faded), although they could still be present. It appeared to be the same flock, accompanied by an adult LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER and a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, that had been present since the previous weekend. Strange how shorebird turnover is so high at Kelsey Creek but not at Borax Lake (with the exception of phalaropes). I also saw a HORNED GREBE (my first for Borax Lake) and at least five CINNAMON TEAL.
Incidentally, I think it's okay to walk down the dirt road to the shoreline near the island. A year or two ago I was birding there when the owner drove up to check me out. As soon as he realized I was birding he assured me it was okay; he told me there were other activities going on there that he couldn't tolerate, which is why the fence and cable were put up.
I hoped the southward-bound jaeger or some of the terns would be loitering with the CALIFORNIA and RING-BILLED GULLS (I counted 155) off Austin and Redbud Parks in Clearlake, but there was nothing unusual among them. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 06 Sep 2008 -- Three WHIMBRELS flew onto the island at the Kelsey Creek outlet about 3:45pm this afternoon. John Luther had the birds in view when I left about a half hour later. I believe this is the fourth record for Lake County. -- Dave Woodward

Sat, 06 Sep 2008 -- Lots of birders out and about this morning in the county. At the Kelsey Creek Outlet, BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were seen, there were the continuing 2 SANDERLINGS, and I heard a calling LEAST BITTERN. At Borax Lake Floyd Hayes found 2 (or 3) SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, seen later by George Chaniot and John Luther. Also George and John had 7 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on Borax Lake.
The bird of the day; actually the best bird of the Fall (after the Cattle Egrets) ; was seen at the outlet by George Chaniot, Dave Woodward and myself. George first found a flyby Jaeger which we decided was most likely a LONG-TAILED JAEGER. This is the 4th county record. What's Next? -- Jerry White

Sat, 06 Sep 2008 -- Borax Lake, Friday, September 5, 2008, 6:30 p.m.: 15 peeps, at least five (and probably all) were SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. -- Mike Stanley, Clearlake, CA

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 -- Brad Barnwell found and photographed a LEAST BITTERN at the outlet this morning. -- Jerry White

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 -- Dave Woodward and I were at the outlet for about an hour. Still present were 2 SANDERLINGS and the two AMERICAN AVOCETS. New arrival; 2 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS. -- Jerry White

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 -- Dave Woodward and I were at the outlet in the late afternoon, early evening yesterday. There was a group of small terns (11 at one point) roosting on the mudflats. They all appeared to be COMMON TERNS. There was an amazing 6 SANDERLNGS, a new high count for Lake County. This morning Brad Barnwell and I saw 2 AMERICAN AVOCETS. There were 2 SANDERLINGS still there and 1 MARBLED GODWIT. No terns were seen. -- Jerry White

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I went out to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning and saw a juv BROWN PELICAN on the south pond. This is only the second one I remember seeing in Ukiah. The other was the injured bird on Lake Mendocino several years ago. This bird appeared fine, but it going to have to eat an awful lot of Gambusia to make a living out there! The water on the north pond has pulled back into very small puddles on the east and west ends. However, there is pretty good habitat on the middle pond presently although it is pretty weedy. I saw the usual shorebirds as well as a juv PECTORAL SANDPIPER, a WILSON'S SNIPE, and a single RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. Lots of passerines are moving along the Russian River now. I counted at least 6 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS and lots of warblers, including a "celata"-type ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 -- A SOLITARY SANDPIPER just visited our little backyard pond (about 20 feet across) on Middle Ridge, Albion. Bobbed his head a few hundred times, hopped around on the rocks, grabbed a few bugs, fluttered a bit, then flew off toward the southeast. -- Tim

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 -- I made a survey of Lake Mendocino this morning. There were a few migrant waterfowl beginning to return: 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, 3 GADWALLS, 1 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 7 AMERICAN COOTS. There were four small terns flying around the north end. They were too distant for me to be certain of the species, but I am entertaining the possibility that they might not be Forster's. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 -- I was at the Kelsey Creek outlet from about 1:00 to 1:30 pm. All the birds Todd Easterla saw were still there; 2 MARBLED GODWITS, a SANDERLING, and a WILSON'S PHALAROPE. I too, saw a distant flock of small terns. Also landbirds are on the move in Lake County. In the riparian woodlands Todd had a NASHVILLE WARBLER and a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER. Yesterday at Anderson Marsh (northern section) at lunchtime I found a HERMIT WARBLER and a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER. -- Jerry White

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 -- Just received a phone call from Todd Easterla who found two SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS at Borax Lake, then a SANDERLING and MARBLED GODWITS at the Kelsey Creek mouth on the south shore of Clear Lake. He also saw a flock of small terns that were either Common/Arctic. He is waiting for the flock to return as he thought that some of those could have been Arctics. -- John Sterling

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 -- A smallish flock of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES has been seen feeding at bird feeders on West Street in Fort Bragg. The residents are private folk, but I witnessed several flying east and circling back west from and to that direction yesterday morning. -- Feather Forestwalker

Mon, 01 Sep 2008 -- This morning was calm on the coast after the blustery conditions yesterday. Westport Vol Fire Dept has done a great job of removing trash at Chadbourne Gulch (south of Westport), so I was able to easily walk inland on a trail from the east side of Hwy 1 (at the hairpin curve). There was a large flock of western migrants back there: 2 MacGillivray's, 1 Townsend's, 1 Yellow, 1 Orange-crowned and at least 18-20 Wilson's Warblers. Also present was a Hutton's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and local resident birds. In the sky above an assortment of swallows flew about, accompanied by several Vaux's Swifts.
This scene was repeated at Wages Creek to a lesser extent and without the MacGillivray's and Townsend's Warblers. Vaux's Swifts were also above the Westport STP and Recycling Center, as well as Wages Creek. -- Karen A. Havlena

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 -- Floyd Hayes called to say he also found another SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Borax Lake . The two birds found on the day are the 6th and 7th record for Lake County. Floyd also saw a Red-necked Phalarope. -- Jerry White for Floyd Hayes

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 -- This morning there was a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER hanging out with single Western Sandpiper at the Kelsey Creek outlet. -- Jerry White

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 -- This morning I spied a WILLOW FLYCATCHER land in the lone pine tree at the north edge of our property on Ocean Meadows Circle, Ten Mile area. Jim got to see it, too. It is a new yard bird. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 30 Aug 2008 -- Another WILLOW FLYCATCHER and a WARBLING VIREO were seen by Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, located on Hwy 1, south of Hwy 20. -- Karen A. Havlena

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 -- Sorry if this posting, which was originally sent to local nonbirding listservs, is a bit off topic, but Ronnie James faithfully serves the coastal birding community with her valuable rehab efforts and certainly deserves our support: "Woodlands Wildlife near the village of Mendocino has a young (but full size) pelican who needs a ride to the International Bird Rescue and Rehab Center in Fairfield. It's on the way to Sacramento, about 20 miles this side of Vacaville just off Hwy 80. We need to get him there sometime within the next 4-5 days, he will come in a secure pet crate, and will smell strongly of fish. He needs the back of a station wagon or medium-sized car, no pickup trucks. Email me, include your phone number: if you are going to Sacramento and would like a passenger. Hopefully you will be returning to this area so we can get our pet crate back. We can help a little with gas. They have a great web site: " Dave Jensen.

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin found a fresh, juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Virgin Ck beach. I also saw the same bird after her call to me. It ranged from the closed-off creek to the farthest north sandy beach. It was with a single, juv. Western and several Least Sandpipers. Also, Virgin Creek held 2 MARBLED GODWITS and a BOBCAT !
At Ten Mile beach, I had 2 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS at the tiny lagoon formed at Inglenook Creek mouth. Seven SNOWY PLOVERS were behind their renovated fence south of Ten Mile River Two additional MARBLED GODWITS rounded out the better birds. -- Karen A. Havlena

Fri, 22 Aug 2008 -- At Lake Mendocino there was a sizable flock, 50+, of CASPIAN TERNS. Still in breeding plumage and quite squawky when flying, the birds were on the southern end of the lake and resting on some of the new sandbars to the south of the boat launch area and just east of the dam. Also of dramatic interest. for a minute, was a PEREGRINE FALCON* in full attack mode in mid lake pursuing with several stoops and fly- overs some small bird on the water.*
My eyes said this was a Prairie Falcon as it seemed brown colored but I didn't have binoculars with me in the boat and I was wearing brown polaroid glasses so my brain has decided to call it a Peregrine. I would be interested to hear if anyone thinks a Prairie Falcon might also perform such a pursuit of a bird resting on the water and far from shore. -- Vishnu

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 -- Ten Mile beach: I saw 5 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at three far apart locations from Inglenook Creek to just north of the Ward Ave. ramp. One of the birds appeared to be an adult, with the other 4 in fresh juvenile plumage. Two of the juvs. were seen by me on Tues, 19 Aug. near Inglenook Ck. Also, I had 5 MARBLED GODWITS on the 19th near Ward Ave.
At Virgin Creek, both Wed and Thurs, 20-21 Aug, a sub-adult GREEN HERON has been feeding right out in the open by the edge of the creek, west of the Haul Rd bridge. I saw it on 8/20 and Toby Tobkin also had it on 8/21. SURFBIRDS, BLACK TURNSTONES, BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS on the beaches. Several people (except me) have seen RUDDY TURNSTONES, too. -- Karen A. Havlena

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 -- Borax Lake is low enough to have some exposed mud flats. They are visible from Sulphur Bank Drive. Yesterday there was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a flock of "peeps". On Wednesday August 13th there was at least 8 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS and LEAST SANDPIPERS, and 2 dowitchers. A scope would be very helpful at this location.
Congratulations to Dave Woodward on his discovery of Cattle Egret (and thanks for the call!). -- Jerry White

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 -- Near 10 am this morning there were three CATTLE EGRETS in the harvested rice fields on Reclamation Rd. near Upper Lake. The rice check where they were landed was nearly dry, just some isolated puddles in the harvester tracks. Also landed in the same check near the center of the fields were several Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and one White-faced Ibis. I had a five minute view of the Cattle Egrets, both landed and in flight. Jerry White was able to relocate the Cattle Egrets later and he also had views of the birds landed and in flight. He informed me that this is the third record for the species in Lake County. All three records have been in the Reclamation area east of Upper Lake.
To get to the location from downtown Upper Lake, drive east on Hwy 20 several miles to Reclamation Rd., or the next road which is Recalamation Cutoff, and turn right into the Reclamation area. Follow either road to the rice fields. The only public roads are along the eastern and northern edges of the fields. Scan the rice fields for the egrets or watch for them in flight. -- Dave Woodward

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 -- Hi Birders. After seeing Chuck Vaughn's report on the Ukiah Sewage Ponds yesterday, I decided to pay a visit today. I was impressed by the numbers of Shorebirds: I think there were more there today than I have ever seen there before. The continuing juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and a juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS among six adult Greater Yellowlegs were highlites. I was also struck by the number of migrant Passerines. There were quite a few Yellow Warblers along the river, as well as a couple of Black-throated Gray Warblers, the continuing WILLOW FLYCATCHER (a new county bird for me), a Cedar Waxwing, several Lazuli Buntings, a Cassin's Vireo and a Warbling Vireo.
The best bird was one that got away: I heard what I'm pretty sure was a Red-eyed Vireo singing along the river, but I was never able to glimpse it to confirm. It sang a weaker variant of the typical "" song but that's about what I'd expect for a migrant in mid-August. It was along the river between the southern and middle ponds, next to a locked gate. I also had very distant views of a bird that may have been the American Bittern that was seen earlier this summer. I couldn't refind it to confirm, though. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 -- Clear Lake is now at 2.75 ft. on the Rumsey scale, low enough to expose mud at the outlet of Kelsey Creek into Clear Lake. To get to the outlet park at the north end of the Visitor Center parking lot in Clear Lake State Park (day use fee required) and look for the unmarked trail leading into the willows north of the parking lot. Follow the deer trails about 75 yards north to the tules, then turn east and look for the trail through the tules to the outlet of the creek. Watch for aerial yellowjacket nests in the willows along the way. It is not an easy walk as downed willow logs must be stepped over or ducked under at several points along the way. The island is visible with no rubber boots needed, however to see to the east or west of the island hip waders would be useful.
Near noon today there were five WILLETS and one MARBLED GODWIT on the island at the outlet. There were also a few WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, one SPOTTED SANDPIPER and one AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN. I also saw four WESTERN KINGBIRDS which is unusual for this location. -- Dave Woodward

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant are this morning with Cheryl Watson. The north pond is being drained and there has been lots of mud exposed. There were ~100 peeps, about 3:1 LEAST to WESTERN SANDPIPERS. There were also 6-8 each of GREATER YELLOWLEGS and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS. There was a single BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and also a single SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. Along the river was a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, the first I have seen this fall. It is feast or famine out there right now, and it is unlikely this will last long. The north pond is being drained and dried so they can plow it up. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 -- Hello - At 10:30 this morning I had a WHITE-WINGED DOVE fly over. I was standing at the Farmer's Market in Gualala (held adjacent to the Community Center) and the bird flew from the ocean-side of Highway 1 towards the center of town. -- Rich Trissel

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 -- This is a report of Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip from FORT BRAGG : A different day a different ocean! Sea conditions changed substantially between August 8th, the Lucky Eight Day of Hawaiian Petrels, to the morning of August 10th. Leaving the harbor, conditions were pretty good, and we really could not detect much change from the Lucky Eight Day. However, the marine forecast already stated that northwest winds were blowing 18 knots at the Point Arena Buoy. This made heading south out of the question. So, we headed north for most of the day, returning along the coastline, hunting for small alcids (which we did not find). Another difference between the two days, was the sea surface temperature. Throughout the day, it remained about 52F, with very little change. We did not experience those finger-like streams of warm water of the Lucky Eight Day.
Off we went to the north and NOYO CANYON. Only 4 miles out of the harbor, a LAYSAN ALBATROSS flew up the wake. Oddly enough, this four mile zone is often very productive! I'm not sure that I had even seen one shearwater for the day when this albatross flew in. In fact, overall, there are very few shearwaters off Fort Bragg. This presents quite an advantage in that we do not have to sift through thousands and thousands of shearwaters to find something unusual. The unusual birds stand out quite well. Other highlights of the day included the first of the fall season, BULLER'S SHEARWATER over the middle of Noyo Canyon; all three jaegers- POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; one SOUTH POLAR SKUA, and a very surprising juvenile GRAY WHALE in 30-50 feet of water along the kelp line off Usal River. The much hoped for Hawaiian Petrels, seen on the August 8th trip, were not observed. Keep in mind that all of our previous records for Hawaiian Petrels have been found near Noyo Canyon. Although we experienced some swells, our skipper handled the boat expertly, taking us on a great route which made the ride comfortable, and more importantly, made seabirding possible at all times. Thumbs up all the way around for our great boat crew and leaders!
After the LAYSAN ALBATROSS showed up, we were naturally, hoping to find a Short-tailed Albatross. It was not to be. However, a research vessel with Steve Howell on board did find a Laysan Albatross near Cordell Bank within the past couple of days. Perhaps, we shall be lucky tomorrow!! -- Debi Shearwater

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 -- Hi Birders. After a very nice day on the ocean off Ft Bragg, Mendocino County with Shearwater Journeys, I stopped by Virgin Creek Beach, just north of Ft Bragg. The most uncommon shorebird I found was an adult RED KNOT. Also present were six juvenile Least Sandpipers, one juvenile Western Sandpiper, five adult Semipalmated Plovers, one Snowy Plover, twenty six adult Black-bellied Plovers in various stages of molt, twelve Sanderlings mostly in basic plumage, four adult Whimbrels and three adult Marbled Godwits. No sign of the Semipalmated Sandpiper found there yesterday afternoon by Jerry White. I also ran into Mike and Sally Parmeter, who independently found the Knot. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant Barbara Dolan, Cheryl Watson, and I saw a female RUDDY DUCK with a brood of six very tiny downies on the S. pond. This is one of the small handful of nesting records for Mendocino County. There were two other females and two males both of which were displaying. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 -- This morning on Burris Lane, Potter Valley I saw an unusual concentration of 19 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS. They were only together for a few minutes before sunup, and then they dispersed into the vineyards. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 -- On Aug 8, a pelagic trip from Fort Bragg reported three sightings of HAWAIIAN PETREL at Navarro Canyon off of Pt Arena in Mendocino. The three sighting many be of the same individual or different birds. Photographs were obtained for the first and second sightings. Also (2) XANTUS' MURRLETS were seen. -- Debi Shearwater [from N.Calif.BirdBox] For a full account of the day check the Mendobirds archives.

Thu, 07 Aug 2008 -- This afternoon just before 5 pm I made my way to the Rodman Slough area where Rob Fowler spotted the Least Bittern last Sunday that was subsequently seen by Nick Shepherd, Michael Stanley and George Chaniot. I watched from the mound of large rocks for a half hour before the LEAST BITTERN emerged from the tules across the channel pretty much just opposite the rocks. It stayed along the tule edge for 15 minutes and then melted back into the tules.
As Rob Fowler indicated, Rodman Slough is along the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff at the nortern end of Clear Lake. Take the main path from the parking area at Rodman Slough, walk south to the first picnic bench, then turn left to take the path to the water's edge. -- Darlene Hecomovich

Thu, 07 Aug 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reports that 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS are north of Virgin Creek beach in MacKerricher SP. They are males in eclipse plumage. Look just offshore from the bluff that separates Virgin Creek beach from the next large beach to the north.
Also, this morning I looked for the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that I found on Tues, 5 Aug '08, but could not refind it. It had probably just landed at that location, almost under the "old" Ten Mile bridge. The willows are fairly thick there, and as usual, I didn't have much time to look for him.
There were 7 SNOWY PLOVERS this morning on Ten Mile beach, all unbanded. Six of them were behaving themselves (actually inside their enclosure), north of Inglenook Creek mouth. The 7th was alone near Fen Creek mouth. -- Karen A. Havlena

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 -- This morning I saw an ad. male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK just west of Ten Mile River bridge in the willows. He initially perched at the edge of a large willow, then he flew to the interior. I could not get him to make another appearance right away, since I had to get going on my SOS shorebird survey.
The shorebird walk had a lot of variety, but nothing unusual was noted. No Snowy Plovers were in evidence this time. I have seen only 4 SNPL's at one time, then only one SNPL last week (the day I had the Pac Golden- Plover). Wandering Tattler, Caspian Tern, Semi-palm Plover, Blk-bellied Plover, Black Oystercatcher, Least and Western Sandpipers, Com Merganser, Sanderlings, Brn Pelicans, Brandt's Cormorants, Surf Scoters, and Surfbird were along the way. -- Karen A. Havlena

Mon, 04 Aug 2008 -- An adult BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER still in two-thirds breeding plumage was present at the southwest corner of Borax Lake on Saturday the 2nd. The only other shorebirds present were five LEAST SANDPIPERS and the usual KILLDEER.
On Friday the 1st, two EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES briefly alighted on a powerline along Honey Hill Drive in Hidden Valley Lake. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 04 Aug 2008, 07:43-08:43 -- The shank o'the morning. I decided to move on the Least Bittern report quickly since I have missed seeing them at Kelsey Creek in the past. I walked out from the parking lot to the picnic tables, down to the rocks, and across the planks where I stationed myself to watch the tules to the south. At 08:06 I saw a LEAST BITTERN fly into the tules just about where they disappear from sight. A few minutes later a Green Heron flew the same path giving a nice comparison of size and pattern. Ten minutes later the Least Bittern flew back east across the mouth of the slough and into the tip of the tules on the east side. About ten minutes later it flew back west across the water and landed in sight for about 30 seconds. Finally about ten minutes later again it flew east into the tip of the tules. This habit of flying back and forth across the water made it a pretty easy find. The harsh E-SE light made it hard for me to resolve the age question. This would be a nice place to prowl around in a canoe. Thanks Rob and Mike.
On the return trip I stopped by Reclamation Road where there was an American Bittern (Great Bittern) sitting in the open in a damp field - making it a six-heron morning. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 03 Aug 2008 -- Nick Shepherd and I followed up on Rob Fowler's report of a LEAST BITTERN at Rodman Slough. In a hour and a half of watching, starting at about 6:30 pm on Sunday, August 3, we were able to briefly view the bird three separate times, twice when it was flushed by a passing fishing boat. We endured the constant whining of an Osprey from the nest near the parking lot while we were able to watch a Green Heron working the shallows on the far side of the slough. Since neither of us was familiar with the bittern, I was somewhat concerned about distinguishing it from the similarly colored, but much larger, Green Heron. But with the heron fresh in our minds, the diminutive size and orange-brown sides made the identification relatively easy. In the slanting evening sun, the bird appeared to flash gold as it flew away from us across the water. Thanks, Rob, for posting your find and for your excellent directions. -- Mike Stanley

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 -- Hi all, On my way to the Central Valley, I stopped at Rodman Slough along the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff at the northern end of Clear Lake. My highlight was surprisingly a juvenile LEAST BITTERN seen flying from a very small patch of tules to a larger patch of tules. To get to the spot where I saw this bird take the main path from the parking area at Rodman Slough and walk south to the first picnic bench and then walk the path to the waters edge.There's a bunch of large rocks right here to scope from. I went back to my truck to get my scope, went back to the spot, and got KILLER looks at the bird as it briefly came out into the open to forage. Of course, there's no guarantee on refinding this bird! I know Least Bitterns have been reported from Clear Lake in the past (it's been quite awhile) but I don't remember hearing about them at Rodman Slough; nor have I heard of them being confirmed as breeders in the county. What does Jerry White say? -- Rob Fowler
[Congratulations to Rob Fowler on his sighting of Least Bittern at Rodman Slough. That is the 9th (official) record for the county, the 6th Fall record. There are records of other juvenile birds. I suspect breeding occurs every year? Just very difficult to detect these rather secretive birds. They at one time were probably more regular in the county as oldtime local fisherman mention seeing these "small bitterns". I found an adult bird up the (Rodman) slough along a levee exactly 20 years before Rob's sighting, on August 2nd 1988. Mendocino County awaits its first record. -- Jerry White]

Thu, 31 July 2008 -- PURPLE MARTINS continue to be present along University Rd near the large telephone pole, as described in an earlier post by Bob Keiffer. I saw 2 individuals (females, subadults, or juveniles; not adult males) at ~12:45pm and again at 8:00pm on Thursday, July 31. They were flying over the vineyard south of the road and also hanging out on the telephone wire. This was the first time I've seen a Purple Martin. I had no idea how large they are. They dwarfed a Barn Swallow that was flying in the area. Very cool.
The LONG-EARED OWLS that have been hanging out in the canyon along University Rd since early July seem to have moved on. I have made three visits to the area since July 24 (the last time they were reported) and have not detected them.
On Thursday July 25, I visited the turnout on University Rd from 10:05 to 10:15pm. I heard no begging juveniles and saw no owls. In previous weeks, the young could pretty reliably be heard begging from the canyon at this time of night.
On Tuesday July 29, I stayed at the turnout between 8:43 and 9:25pm. I saw no owls emerge from the side canyon where they have been roosting, heard no begging juveniles, and saw no owls flying over the main canyon. I did hear some activity in the trees in the side canyon, but I also heard a screech-owl calling from that area. The sun had set by the time I arrived, but it seemed that it wasn't quite dark enough for the owls to have emerged already.
On Wednesday July 30, I visited the turnout between 8:45 and 8:55pm. exclosure plot", a grassy expanse ~100-200m away - this is where Bob Keiffer guessed they might be hunting. I was there for about 15 minutes but saw no owls.
Finally, Bob and I have discussed the possibility that the Long-eared Owl family that I found on the Hopland Reservation on June 21 may have been a different family than the one that we've been tracking on University Rd. We think it is somewhat unlikely that a family would move 1km from the reservation to the canyon on University Rd, then stay put for 3 weeks. It seems like a big move for owls that didn't venture more than a couple hundred meters from their roost while they were using the canyon. It's possible that the owls were prompted to move due to excessive disturbance during our June 21st survey. During that survey, two observers followed the juveniles for 1 to 1.5 hours in an effort to identify them, but at the time, we felt that they didn't seem to be bothered by our presence.
After the owls were found on June 21, several visits were made to that area within the next week. Neither Bob nor myself heard any juveniles begging during those visits, though Bob saw a possible juvenile. After the owls were discovered on University Rd on July 3, we focused all attention on the new location. Finally, on Thursday July 25th, I went back to the original location (i.e. on the reservation) between 8:20 and 9:50pm. At one point, a large bird flew out of a nearby tree, and I thought I heard it bark once as it left. Could have been a Long-eared Owl. However, I heard no begging juveniles and saw no definite owls. After I'd been there about 45 minutes, I hooted and tried to imitate the juvenile begging call, but got no response. So now we're just left to guess whether we found 1 or 2 families. It would be good to monitor both locations next year during the breeding season. -- Emily Heaton. Healdsburg

Tue, 29 Jul 2008, 11:15 AM -- Once again I refound the female GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE and begging but fully fledged juvenile. Unfortunately this location along University Road is private property and not really viewable from the road. The birds foraged along the edge of the pond for about ten minutes and then flushed with a mixed group of blackbirds and starlings. I could not refind them afterwards. The juvenile makes a begging single note call that sounds like a loud, raspy song sparrow call note. If anyone is truly interested in seeing these birds then let me know your contact information. Then If I refind the birds I will call you and try to keep track of them until you arrive (reasonable travel distance of course). Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 29 July 2008 -- This morning I saw a PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, still in partial alternate plumage. It was about 1/4 mile north of Inglenook Creek mouth with several Semi-palmated Plovers, Westerns, Leasts and Whimbrels.
SNOWY PLOVERS were at two locations: 3 north of Inglenook Creek and 2 by the small lagoon at Inglenook Creek mouth. None of them were banded. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 25 Jul 2008,1:00 PM -- Today I refound (after searching several times) the female GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE and single begging fledged young as found a few days ago off of University Road, Hopland.. They were on the same private pond as found before ...but about 100 yards away from the original sighting. If anyone really needs to chase this bird, call me to organize a search as this is private property. The weekend will probably have human activity on the pond...thus reducing the chances of finding them. Chances of seeing these birds from the University Road are poor.
Purple Martins (6+) are still hanging around the thick-diameter power pole near the end of the long straight stretch on University road ....this pole is just east of the double gray metal gate posts on the south side of the road. The birds seem to go to roost early, or are away foraging and return quickly to enter the roost cavities in the pole, as we have zero luck finding these birds in the late afternoon/early evening. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 -- [Today] for about 15 minutes I had our first EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE at the feeder here on the Little River Headlands. Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 -- This morning was the first time for SNOWY PLOVERS on Ten Mile beach; I had three unbanded SNPL's. Yesterday, there were two, unbanded SNPL's found by Becky Bowen at Virgin Creek beach. Other shorebird species have begun their southward move, such as Surfbird, Black Turnstone, and Ruddy Turnstone.
I wanted to see Gray Jays this year, so a short trip to Van Damme SP was in order. In the upper campground, there were three GRAY JAYS (two ad. and one juv). They were near campsite 53 and the north restrooms. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 -- Chuck Vaughn found a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at The Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant today on the north side of the sout pond. It appeared to be an adult female, and it is probably the first July record locally. The previous earliest record in the Mendobirds database is 24 Aug 2007.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 -- HOODED ORIOLES have been nesting this summer in at least two locations in south Ukiah. One in a fan palm in the backyard of a home near the south end of Rose Avenue (on the west side of the street, about 3 houses from Beacon Lane). The other nest is in a fan palm in the front yard of the home on the corner of Helen and Doolan Canyon. I think that Hooded Orioles are fairly well established now in Ukiah. -- Paul Hawks

Wed, 23 Jul 2008 -- Roger Foote and I visited the LONG_EARED OWL site on University Road in hopes of photos. At 8:50 PM what appeared to be four owls began to move around the "roost pocket". A minimal amount of begging calls were heard where near how they vocalized a week ago. I watched two of them perched for a short while, but by about 9:00 they were all in the air over the canyon twisting and turning and interacting with each other in the air. They have definitely become masters of the air as compared to their clumsy flying a week ago. Soon they were flying over the road and over the small chaparral pocket above the road. Occasionally they would disappear over the ridge to the NE and then reappear over the brush patch. By 9:15 they had disappeared, I suspect going over the hill to an area that has been fenced from grazing for 50+ years is loaded with meadow mice. The young are definitely foraging on their own now. Roger and I each positively saw four birds at one time ...and I thought that I heard a fifth. I think they will continue to come back to the wooded draw for roosting... at least for a while more. At least two Western Screech Owls also called. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 23 Jul 2008 - I was able to locate the roosting LONG_EARED OWLS along University Road this morning. However, they are extremely flighty and provided NO chance of photographs despite my attempt to be extremely quiet and stealthy in my search. I saw three birds but could not tell if they were adults or immatures. I recommend that folks do NOT pursue them at their roosts. I abandoned the effort as I did not want to spook them from the area or subject them to harassment by jays, etc. I can tell you this ..... they are still VERY near the normal large pullout that folks have been using (the one with the posted No Trespassing sign) ... and future listening and viewing from this pullout site, or from the short little grassy ridge to the west (careful, as there is an abrupt drop off) should be excellent. I suspect the evening show will again happen around the 9:00 PM range ....arrive a little earlier if you hope to view these guys in the few minutes of daylight as they just leave their roosts.
Along the entrance straight stretch of University Road, just east of the big overhanging Walnut tree, look for a very thick power pole on the right hand side (south) of the road. there were 8 Purple Martins there checking out holes and the top of the pole ....I am assuming for roosting purposes. Several of these were immatures. There is also one cavity being used by acorn woodpeckers.
NEGATIVE report for the Great-tailed Grackles, the female and begging immature, found nearby two days ago. I have not been able to relocate these birds.
Lots of birds are migrating south (assumed) right now as I see constant turnover of birds in this area.... so keep an eye out for rarities like Eastern Kingbirds, Stilt Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Bank Swallows, etc. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer.

Tue, 22 Jul 2008 -- Today there was a lot of HOODED ORIOLE activity along Leslie Street in Ukiah. They appeared to be a pair of adults and several juveniles. Most of the activity was centered around the two fan palms in the 600 block of Leslie, but they ranged wider through the neighborhood. During the heat of the day they spent most of their time in the deep shade of the lower palm leaves.
Both a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE and a RINGED TURTLE-DOVE were singing in the same neighborhood. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 21 Jul 2008, 2:30 PM - I just saw a female GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE feeding a begging fledged young near a private pond along University Road, Hopland. This is the first breeding record for Mendocino County. I was able to take a few photos to document this. Other birds seen: 2 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 2 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 6 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 19 Jul 2008 -- The LONG-EARED OWLS continue along University Road east of Hopland. Refer to earlier posts for directions.
My husband and I arrived at 8:45 PM. We joined Chris Dunlap, from the Sacramento area. I'm not sure how long he had been there, but he hadn't yet detected any evidence of the owls. I suggested that we go over to the northwest end of the turnout (the downhill end) to look down into a small side canyon. This is where I had seen owls several days ago at dusk (July 16 post). Looking downslope across grassland, I saw a Long-eared Owl sitting on a log at the bottom of the draw/side canyon, about 100ft away. It had orange facial disks and long ear tufts - beautiful! We were immediately joined by Vishnu and 2 others. We first thought that the owl was an adult, due to the orange facial disks. However, we could also hear the begging call of a juvenile coming from the same area. Soon, a second owl jumped onto the log (it seemed to have jumped up from behind the log). This individual also had orange facial disks and ear tufts. The owls started making freaky head movements while staring at us - moving their heads around in circles or bobbing them back and forth. It seemed that their backs were slightly fluffy, and we decided these were almost certainly juveniles. Within 5 minutes, a third owl emerged. It seemed to fly down from a nearby tree (live oak?) or perhaps from the slope on the opposite side of the draw/side canyon. It landed on the log displacing one of the other owls. At this point, the owls started becoming more active, making short flights between trees and the log. The begging calls became more frequent. Since all 3 owls were exhibiting similar behavior and looked similar, we assumed they were all juveniles.
Within 10 minutes of the initial sighting, the owls moved down into the main canyon, still begging. They spread out, with ~100m separating some individuals. From my experience (this was my third or fourth visit to this turnout), the juveniles hang out in the main canyon after darkness sets in. I have only seen them in that side canyon at dusk, and both times that I've seen them there, they were close together and fairly active. This leads me to believe that they are roosting in that side canyon, near the log.
Within an hour of our arrival, we heard something calling, moving up the canyon along the opposite ridge. (By this time, there were only 4 observers). I can't remember the call very well, but it was different enough that Vishnu was prompted to pull out his recorder. I believe the call was a low-pitched barking, with about 1 second in between barks, but I could be wrong. As Vishnu was trying to get the recorder working, I saw a medium-sized owl fly up the canyon and disappear into the trees. Within a few minutes, we could tell that it was flying back down the canyon to the opposite ridge. I believe it was vocalizing, but we didn't get a recording. A few times, I thought the calls of one of the juveniles became more excited (higher pitched and slightly faster). It was calling from the same location that the adult seemed to have gone to. My interpretation was that an adult had brought food in to one of the young. However, I think only myself and Chris noticed any excitement in the begging. Vishnu said he had heard obvious, prolonged excitement in a begging juvenile (lasting about 6 seconds or more) on a previous visit. We certainly didn't hear that.
As I recall, the adult slipped off into surrounding lands without detection after that. We stayed until 11:20 PM and were unable to detect an obvious adult again. However, we did hear low-pitched barking (kind of like `wruf' or `wruck') ~200m away on several occasions; the direction varied. We kept looking around, expecting something to fly in, but nothing ever did, and then the barking would stop for prolonged periods. We noted that the young didn't seem to respond to these far-off calls by becoming more excited. There were several screech-owls in the area. They did some barking, although the quality of the far-off barks seemed to be different. We also heard dogs barking in the distance on occasion. However, there were some barks that seemed neither to be screech-owls or dogs. So maybe a Long-eared adult, maybe not. At any rate, visits by the parents seem to be very infrequent. We were there for almost 2 1/2 hours and only saw a likely adult once.
For most of our visit, we were only able to pick out 3 distinct individuals at any one time. However, my husband and I definitely heard 4 individuals begging at one point. One up canyon, one down canyon, two in front of us - one near, one far. We heard calls coming from these different locations at least 3 times, so we were sure that we were hearing 4 juveniles (presumably juveniles, I don't think adults make that begging call), not 3 juveniles that were moving around.
The screech-owls were exciting in their own right. We heard `squirrel-barks' on several occasions, like a demented laugh, sometimes trailing into the typical bouncing ball call. No barn owl -- Emily Heaton (and Jacob Newell), Healdsburg

Fri, 18 Jul 2008 -- OK, it's my turn. I went to see the LONG-EARED OWLS this evening, arriving at 8:45 pm. Juveniles began calling at 8:59. At 9:03 a Long-eared Owl flew from the trees in the ravine on the left and landed in the trees on the western skyline. At 9:08 another flew from the same area and lit in the trees on the southern skyline. I did not see or hear any Long-eared Owls after 9:13. A BARN OWL flew over at 9:15. At least three WESTERN SCREECH OWLS were active constantly from 9:01 to 9:50 when I left. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 -- Don Rowe and I observed 3 juvenile LONG-EARED OWLS at the same location and under similar circumstances as has been previously posted. We arrived at 8:30pm, hoping to catch some evidence, or view, of where these owls are roosting. Very little success in that regard; the owls just "manifest", flitting about in the trees and chaparral in the little canyon below the road just before 9:00pm. Whence they come is still their own secret although one, and possibly two, were heard giving weak calls on the opposite side of the road for about 3 minutes prior to the appearance of any of them. Our vantage point should have allowed us to see them cross the road but we did not see that. With a strong light and patience we gained excellent views of perched Long-eared Owls until about 9:20pm when they flew south across the little canyon where, too dark to see them now, they vocalized regularly, moving about the area until we left, about 10:30pm.
During the evening 2 BARN OWLS were heard, as well as a good many WESTERN SCREECH-OWLS vocalizing in a variety of interesting ways; some in the distance and some quite close-by.
On Tuesday 7/15 I made several recordings of these juvenile owls and have posted a one minute version in the "Files" section of this MendoBirds forum. After about 20 seconds you can hear a single adult owl "bark".
The begging call tends to become very monotonous but on that same night I did hear one of the vocalizing juveniles suddenly become "more excited, as though food was being delivered", (to use Emily Heaton's description of a similar experience). Unfortunately the recorder, which had been performing flawlessly, had a cyber moment and crashed just when these new and different vocalizations occurred. -- Vishnu

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 -- The LONG-EARED OWLS continue along University Road east of were already active, begging and making short flights between trees and sometimes landing on the ground. This was happening just downslope of the large turnout described by Bob Keiffer, not more than 50m from me. Within 5 minutes there wasn't enough light to use binoculars. If you make the trip, I suggest arriving a little earlier - maybe 8:40 or 8:45. You may have to wait a few minutes before the owls wake up, but if you're lucky, you'll be able to find them while there's still plenty of light.
I stayed for 45 minutes, and only once saw a possible adult circling overhead, silent. Apparently, these juveniles have to wait quite a while between feedings, unless the adults are sneaking in and silently feeding them; but I've been around these juveniles 3 times now (for at least 45 minutes at a time) and only once heard the juveniles become more excited, as though food was being delivered. On July 3, an adult circled overhead repeatedly, barking "wruck wruck wruck wruck wruck wruck wruck, wruck". That's the only time I've heard an adult vocalizing.
There were also at least 3 screech-owls in the area, if not several more. I heard a Barn Owl on July 3, but not this time. At any rate, this canyon is a very happening place.
And in case anyone is keeping track, I first discovered begging Long-eared Owl juveniles with the help of Mike Holley (wildlife biologist with Mendocino Redwood Company) on June 21 on the Hopland Reservation, about 1km from the current hangout. We're assuming it's the same family. -- Emily Heaton

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 -- The shorebird habitat at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant ponds is not very good now, but some migrants are hugging the narrow margins under the overhanging knotweed. There was a group of 45 LEAST SANDPIPERS and among them two different birds: one bird with extensive white in the secondaries and upper wing coverts - apparently an aberrant Least Sandpiper, and a paler, dark-legged bird - possibly a Semipalmated Sandpiper. I was unable to get an identifying view.
Some odd, continuing summer birds for the ponds were a female BUFFLEHEAD, a male RING-NECKED DUCK, a WESTERN GREBE, and a CLARK'S GREBE. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 15 Jul 2008 -- The LONG-EARED OWLS continue along University Road east of Hopland. Refer to earlier posts for directions. Vishnu heard and saw 3-4 owls starting at 9:00 PM. The fledged birds were still calling when I joined Vishnu at around 10:15 PM. Vishnu also heard different, barking type calls a couple of times ...possibly an adult bird. Again, the birds tend to roam up and down the wooded draw canyon ...but seem to be resident there for the time being. We think the adults forage away from this canyon and the fledged young are constantly calling in hopes of a parent returning to them with a meal. Western Screech Owls were again heard and a Barn Owl screeched as it flew over the area. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Mon, 14 Jul 2008 -- In the evening, again around 9:00 PM the fledged juvenile LONG-EARED OWLS began their high-pitched calling from the canyon just below University Road (see earlier posts for directions). At least three birds were seen ...possibly four. I had one fly about 6 feet over my head ...but was unable to get a photo at that point. Later I was able to get a few photos of one perched in a tree ....I think George Chaniot might post the photo on the Peregrine Audubon website. Screech Owls were also calling. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Sun, 13 Jul 2008 -- Janet Chaniot and I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant just before noon. Not a very good hour, but we saw 13 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 3 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and the continuing RING-NECKED DUCK. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH was singing along the Russian River riparian habitat. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 12 July 2008 - Julie Jedlicka and group saw three fledged young and one adult LONG-EARED OWLS at the same area on University Road, Hopland. Time frame about the same as before ...they become vocal (young begging calls) at around 9:00 PM. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 12 Jul 2008 -- On Jul 12, a second hand report from Craig Strong of a BROWN BOOBY which was seen from Ten Mile "Haul Road ?". (Ryan Terrill) -- [From N. Calif. BirdBox]

Sat, 12 Jul 2008 -- Neighbors directly to the south and a few lots north (South Dora, near Oak Knoll, in south Ukiah) have fan palms, and I'd seen HOODED ORIOLE here last summer. This morning a large shrub/small tree in the neighbor's yard was playing host to a beautiful male plus what appeared to be a female and a couple of fledglings. Didn't have any other fruit handy, so have put out a little wedge of watermelon. -- Janet Rosen

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 -- My last stop on the coast today, (5:45-7:00) pm) before returning to the inland heat and smoke, was at Navarro State Beach. It proved to be very interesting and very birdy. Not the Beach but along the road as you drive in. The big attraction were the Blue Gum Eucalyptus on both sides of the conspicuous old white house (which seems to be in a slow process of restoration). The trees to the east of the house are old and very tall and are part of a grove. Although many birds were foraging there in the high canopy the height of the trees made seeing them more problematic. There are 2 Eucalypts, however, just to the west of the house that appear to be re-sprouts of old larger trees cut down years ago. These two "trees" are now quite sizable in their own right and are at the peak of their bloom.* I observed 9 different species sipping nectar from the abundant flowers on these trees. (Admittedly some birds could have been after insects stuck in the nectar wells, but I couldn't see that.)
The 9 species I observed dipping their heads into the flowers were: Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds (more than I've ever seen in nature, except perhaps in some mountain meadows.), Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Wrentits, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Orange-crowned Warbler, Steller's Jay.
There were also a number of Swainson's Thushes singing loudly and, at times, quite visible but I didn't see any of them on the flowers. The area has a riparian feel as there are also Alder and Willow thickets and unless it was just my imagination there appeared to be a certain zippiness to everyone's behavior that begged the description, "sugar high". The road to Navarro State Beach is a west turn from Hwy. 1 just to the south of the bridge crossing the Navarro River. The white house mentioned is the first structure you'll come to after about 1/3 mile.
*Blue Gum Eucalyptus are well know winter bloomers in northern CA and the Bay Area (Dec./Jan.). Perhaps these are experiencing a second bloom? Anyone know? -- Vishnu

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders: I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant early this morning. The bird of the morning was easily an AMERICAN BITTERN juvenile which I spotted flying S along the Russian River. It crossed the oxidation ponds and lit in the Typha on the S edge of the sludge pond (aka "the bubbler"). Other new birds out there included a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and about 25 peeps, mostly LEAST but also several WESTERN SANDPIPERS. There were also single WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES. A PEREGRINE FALCON made several stoops, terrorizing the sandpipers. The summering male RING-NECKED DUCK, which has never totally molted into alternate plumage, and female BUFFLEHEAD continue. There was a cool, fresh south breeze and the smoke was visibly thinning as I was there. It would not be difficult to imagine we were at the Salton Sea these past couple of days! -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 11 July 2008 -- It was just reported to me by Julie Jedlicka, a UCSC researcher, that one juvenile LONG-EARED OWL was observed at 5:30 AM this morning on the University Road (on the white side-line) just below the "sharp turn to the right" as described by me on 7/5. Julie and fellow researchers had a great look at it in their headlights...and said that this juv. does not have orange coloration on the facial disks....but is definitely a long-eared owl. This is about 200 yards before (downhill) the wide pullout where folks have been hearing and seeing the owls in the evenings at dusk. Thus far I have been unable to locate any of this family group during daytime roosting. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Thur, 20 Jul 2008 -- This evening I found a female BUFFLEHEAD in the Pudding Creek lagoon just east of the Highway One bridge in Fort Bragg. Although Dr. Stanley Harris' book states that "a few nonbreeders remain [in northwestern California] throughout the summer," this is the first summer BUFF I have seen along this coast since I returned in 2001. -- David Jensen

Wed, 09 July 2008 -- Hi All. July 9, after a PRBO bird-a-thon meeting (hope you are all organizing your county teams now for this great fun fund raiser) in Petaluma I headed north for the Long-eared Owls near Hopland. It was 112 in Hopland July 5 and nice details provided by Dave Quady on July 8 I easily found the spot. At 9:01 PM the temperature was down to a "cooler" 93 and the first call of a young Long-eared Owl came out of the canyon. It (and/or others) were constant until 9:10. At 9:08 I heard a Screech Owl. It and at least 3 other Screech Owls were calling from both sides of the road until I left. At 9:12 a silent Barn Owl flew over the canyon and landed in a tree for nice looks. At 9:15 I briefly saw a Long-eared Owl fly up the canyon. There were occasional LE Owl begging calls down (west) the canyon until I left at 9:25. Back in Hopland at 9:30 a cold snap had hit and it was 80. -- John Luther, Oakland

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 -- I did a survey of the Lake Mendocino on Wednesday. There was little of note except a few returning migrants: an adult RING-BILLED GULL and two adult CALIFORNIA GULLS at the south marina, and two adult LEAST SANDPIPERS at Pomo A. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 --Birders: Last night the fledgling LONG-EARED OWLS again begged for food at the University Road location that Bob Keiffer described in his July 5 posting. Beginning at 9:10 pm I heard three (I think) fledglings, two consistently uttering higher-pitched whines than the third beggar, as they moved along the far side of the canyon, from a hundred yards or so above the pullout down at least to the lower end of the pullout. They begged pretty steadily up until 10 pm, when I left. I didn't detect an adult either indirectly (via really excited begging, 'yum-yum' cries, or something else that indicated a youngster being fed) or directly until 9:55 pm, when I got my light on a silent adult as it cruised down the canyon just below the pullout. As a bonus, a pair of Western Screech-Owls began duetting just below the pullout as the Long-eared Owls began begging.
Earlier in the day I had good luck birding Mendocino National Forest, following\ Kris Carter's "Etsel Ridge" trip (in A Guide to Finding Birds in Mendocino County). Following Etsel Ridge Road (Forest Road M1), I began at Grizzly Flat Station at 6:30 am, stopped also at Coffee Mill Flat, at the 'small hill' 1.4 miles further up the road, at the junction with road M6, and at the 'site that has harbored nesting White-headed Woodpecker' before arriving at the Spruce Grove campsite at 10:30 am. There I spent a couple of hours wandering that wooded area and the nearby meadow's willow clumps. Among those stops, and a couple more on my way back down, I found most of the mountain birds that I sought. These included: Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-headed Woodpecker, Dusky Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo, Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, House Wren, Townsend's Solitaire, Orange- crowned Warbler (they were everywhere), Nashville Warbler, Yellow- rumped Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee Rufous-crowned Sparrow (a surprise at the 'small hill'), Fox Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Cassin's Finch. I was unable to locate Hammond's Flycatcher or MacGillivray's Warbler.
It was hot by the time I started back down the hill, and birding slowed to a near crawl. My only high (low?) lights of the afternoon were the opportunity to practice changing a tire on my car, and seeing a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE do a wheelie in front of my car, along US 101 near Ukiah. Hard to know which I enjoyed least. -- Dave Quady, Berkeley

Mon, 07 Jul 2008 -- This morning at about 09:00 two CASPIAN TERNS, making their characteristic squawk, flew high over the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley headed SE toward Clear Lake. The only other records here have been in late August.
Some other unseasonal records in recent weeks were three PINE SISKINS at my feeders (Jun 11, 25, 30), and a male GREATER SCAUP (Jun 27) on the East Road Pond. The TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD colony on East Road is rapidly disbanding as the second nesting comes to an end. There is a creche of about 80 juveniles in a nearby cattail marsh that is being attended by adults, but numbers are down from about 400 last Thursday. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 06 Jul 2008 -- On either side of the Ten Mile River bridge, the alternate-plumaged AMERICAN AVOCET and GREATER SCAUP continue.
Sat, 5 July '08, three SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS arrived on the east side of the bridge. All of these birds were still here this afternoon, after the sun finally brightened up the landscape. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 -- The highlight of today's beginners' bird walk at the Botanical Gardens (in addition to having 25 participants, many from out of the area) was the presence of a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL on Joe Moura's pond directly south of the Gardens. -- David Jensen

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 -- The family of LONG-EARED OWLS discovered at the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center has now moved about a half-mile from the original site. This is good news to those who wish to pursue this species as the new site is right along University Road ...which is a county road with access to everyone. For the last two nights the family group of three or four fledged young plus at least one adult has been at this location. To get there, go to Hopland on Hwy 101, then east on Hwy 175 to a small community called "Old Hopland" (there is no sign). As you pass through this little community you will reach a round-a-bout on Highway 175 ...head north onto Old River Road. Go about 200 yards and University Road will be on your right (east side). Follow University Road will pass irrigated pasture on your left and vineyard on your right, then cross a cattleguard and pass an old barn on your left. Continue on University Road as you begin to climb a fairly steep grade. As you climb the grade the road makes a sharp turn to the right, then makes another jog-turn to the right, and then you will see a large pullout on your right. At this point you are almost at the top of the grade climb. Below this pullout, which is to the south, is a small pocket canyon of thick oaks, pepperwoods, etc. BE THERE AT DUSK, by 9:00 PM, and listen quietly for the juvenile calls, a high pitched, single note "eeeeckkk" (identical to the Cornell juv. long-eared owl recording). Last night all of the juveniles were very vocal, and could be seen flying through the trees occasionally. We were able to get one good look at a perched bird. One adult was there for a while but then flew to the north and away, I presume to hunt for nightime snacks to bring back to the young. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 -- Hi Birders. There has been a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT singing at the intersection of East Road and Burris Lane in Potter Valley for at least a week. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Thu, 03 Jul 2008 -- This morning I saw an AMERICAN AVOCET with its toasted marshmallow head and neck, first on Ten Mile beach, then late AM and this afternoon, it was west of Ten Mile bridge (best seen with a scope). Also, on the river west of the bridge, was an adult male GREATER SCAUP, also in alternate plumage.
I called Art Morley, who also got to see the Am Avocet, which is a MEN County bird for both Art and me. I have been fortunate to have added 8 birds to my MEN County list since the beginning of May! -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 -- Hi Birders. I spent a few minutes at Virgin Creek Beach both yesterday today, and the first few south-bound Shorebirds are starting to pass through. Yesterday (the 1st) I had 22 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and 1 LEAST SANDPIPER. Today I had the Least Sandpiper again, as well as 12 WHIMBRELS, 3 MARBLED GODWITS and 3 Black-bellied Plovers. The Westerns were gone. Also, among several hundred California and Western Gulls I had 4 very bleached Glaucous-winged Gulls yesterday and about 50 Heermann's Gulls today. -- Matt Brady

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 -- I saw a WILSON'S PHALAROPE and 3 WESTERN SANDPIPERS at Caspar Creek mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 01 Jul 2008 -- I saw a MERLIN of the 'suckleyi' race flying about 20 feet west from, and above, the Haul Road at the north end of Ward Ave in Cleone. (The previous day, I was fairly sure that a, or the same, Merlin flew over the bluff at Ocean Meadows). At Ward Ave, I had easy, clear views of the bird and noted the very, dark streaking on the breast and narrow, dark tail. Any barring on the tail was not easily discerned.
Also, 1 July, '08 - Dave Bengston saw 3 eclipse-plumaged HARLEQUIN DUCKS off Virgin Creek beach in N Fort Bragg. I called Toby, and she said that she had seen one HADU in eclipse plumage there. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 01 Jul 2008 - Chuck Vaughn and I met with several other birders to pursue the LONG-EARED OWL that I posted on Monday. We arrived at the site shortly after 9:00 PM. Even before I had the caller equipment set up, at around 9:15 PM, two Long-eared Owls flew out from the hardwood grove and flew about over the open grassy field, sometimes flying overhead. One of the owls lighted in a dead oak for about one minute could see short ear tufts through binoculars. I believe that this was an immature bird ...but I cannot be sure. We never did hear them vocalize, but they put on quite a display for a couple of minutes. Later a Barn Owl flew over the same grassy field had much faster wingbeats than the LEOWs ...and of course was very light on the underneath side as compared to the LEOWs. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 -- Hi Birders, I was camped at the Kate Wolf music festival along Ten Mile Creek just north of Laytonville. There were a few birders among the several thousand gentle tie-dyed folks. The highlight for me was a PHAINOPEPLA pair. It seems a bit west of their range in the Central Valley foothills. 25 species all together, common stuff. -- John Lace, Grass Valley, CA

Sun, 29Jun 2008 -- Last week a UC researcher reported to me that she and fellow surveyors believed that they had several young LONG-EARED OWLS respond during their night-time surveys on adjacent property to the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. I played a Cornell tape of juvenile Long-eared Owls for her and she thought was identical to what they had heard. Tonight I ventured out to the vicinity of where they had heard the reponses. I arrived at around 9:20 PM at a side road on the UC Hopland REC ...which bisected open grassland and the dense hardwood forest where they had heard the earlier responses. I sat quietly on the tailgate of my pickup as I prepared the tape caller and spotlight. During this time I thought I heard a strange bark-like owl call about 100 yards away in the dense forest. I proceeded to call the typical Long-eared owl "hoot" call for about a minute. After waiting a few minutes I called again with just a few hoot notes ....and waited again! The third time that I called I saw the silhouette of an owl fly in from the direction that I had heard the earlier bark-like call ...and it alighted in a tree about 60 feet away from me. I turned the tape caller down low and proceeded to play the tape again while I had the spotlight ready. Within a couple notes of playing the owl left its perch and flew directly over me which time I flipped the spotlight on the bird which was 25 feet directly over my head. It circled two complete tight circles directly over me in grand light ....I could see the orangish facial disks, the vertical streaks on the breast, the dark "coma" marks on the underwing "wrists", the "barn owl" size as compared to huge size that a Great Horned Owl would be. There was no doubt .... an adult Long-eared Owl. The owl flew back to the direction that it came ....I turned the light off as it disappeared about 250 feet away. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 -- This morning five birders saw a group of 13 WILSON'S PHALAROPES on the south pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. It was an almost equal mixture of adult females and males in alternate plumage. -- George Chaniot [I checked the MEN database for inland Wilson's Phalaropes in June. The only records are 2-8 birds on the ponds at USTP from 6/17 thru 7/15 in 2000. There are no notes regarding age or sex. -- Chuck Vaughn]

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 -- We spent about 5 hours over the last three days scoping the islands off the Mendo Headlands and enjoyed many views of the various sea birds. However, this morning between 7 and 7:30 am in light fog and smoke we were treated to good views of one of the TUFTED PUFFINS flying and briefly standing on the cliffs. We did not see it go to a burrow. After flying around the area for several minutes it headad northwest in a line out to sea around 7:25. It was just off-shore near the northwest corner of the Mendo Headlands. We had the best view of the sea bird colony by walking north from the northwest parking area on Heeser. Thanks to Dave J. and Cheryl W. for previous reports. -- Roger and Grete Adamson, Davis

Tue, 24 Jun 2008-- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin telephoned to say that she heard a singing NORTHERN PARULA about two miles east of Mendocino Village off Little Lake Rd. There is a fire road near mile marker 2.0, and the bird was singing in the forest. For more precise directions, please call Toby at 964-6216. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 -- Geoff and I scoped the northern burrows of the seabird colony off Heeser Drive in Mendocino early this afternoon and were fortunate to see two TUFTED PUFFINS. Both birds were perched near the top of the rock when we arrived. Each flew off and returned separately, then departed together about fifteen minutes later. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 3:00 PM, a mature BALD EAGLE was seen perched in a tree overhanging the Russian River along the 101 Highway between Squaw Rock and Commisky Creek. It's wings were kind-of spread as if to say, "Dang it's hot out here" (over 100 F. degrees today). This is just north of the MEN/SON line by a few miles. Another birder has reported to me seeing mature Bald Eagles (two, then one) between Hopland and Cloverdale within the last few weeks. I suspect that we have a nest somewhere nearby ....but nobody has reported one yet. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 -- In the past few days, I have seen several interesting sightings on the coast. Monday, 6/16, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was near the Ten Mile Rvr bridge. Today, 6/19, I saw an AMERICAN BITTERN at Lk Cleone. I would not have seen it, but it lifted up and moved a few feet at the edge of the large, area of reeds at the east end of the lake. Also 6/19, I had a Willit, still in alternate plumage, on Ten Mile beach. (There are NO Snowy Plovers on the the beaches of MacKerricher SP at present).
I have been searching (and seeing) for some TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS. Today, 6/19, I finally was able to observe a closed area near where I live. There were at least 3 adult males, and one juvenile with a presumed female TCBL. Details will be provided to George Chaniot for his survey.
And lastly, the CALIFORNIA TOWHEE at Ocean Meadows/Ten Mile area, is still here. He stopped singing about ten days ago. Now, he gives his "chink" call all day long. He is lonely! -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 -- Last night, a good couple of hours after dark, I heard something that seemed to be coming from the eaves above my back deck, but by the time I turned on the outside light, it had relocated to somewhere up in a nearby tree. Weird as in, I couldn't even characterize it as specifically vocal or a wingbeat kind of noise: it was low in pitch, wavery and fluttery, in discrete bursts of a few seconds with a slightly longer interval between them. The sound couldn't translate easily into a word phrase like some bird calls do. I know this is ambiguous and a long shot, but maybe somebody reading this will know exactly what it is? thanks all. -- Janet Rosen

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 -- The TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD colony on East Road in Potter Valley is still active. About half of the birds seem to be renesting asynchronously. Some are still singing, but the colony is much quieter than two weeks ago. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 -- At 11:00 this morning I saw the TUFTED PUFFIN fly to the seabird colony at the northwest end of Heeser Drive in Mendocino. With its large orange bill and bright orange feet, it is easy to distinguish from the crowd of black and white Common Murres and larger black Brandt's Cormorants that share the island. The bird flew into a burrow that was obscured from sight and remained in there during the 45 minutes I watched. The cormorants are still actively engaged in nest building. Two notes of interest: unlike other years, most of the birds are nesting on the dirt and vegetation covered island east of the traditional larger bare rock colony that lies to the most northwest. This new colony is much easier to observe from the headlands. Two smaller groups of Murres remain on the original colony. Also, if you proceed to the end of the spur that runs north from the parking area, you can easily view many burrows on the side of the closer, more active colony. I believe that the Puffin disappeared into one of these burrows. -- David Jensen

Thu, 12 Jun 2008 -- Around 6:00 p.m. there was a male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE calling and being harassed by the Brewer's Blackbirds across from the Mendocino Beacon office just west of the Post Office in the village of Mendocino. Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 -- This afternoon I had a juvenile PINE SISKIN at my feeder here in Potter Valley. It's the only time I have seen one in June - in fact, I've never seen one between April 22 and Sep 24. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 -- At least 4 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS can be found flying around the Dos Rios Highway 162 (Covelo Road) bridge, as previously reported by C. Vaughn and G. Chaniot. This is a great place to find these birds in Mendocino County ,,, with some terrific looks (actually looking down on the birds). If you go there don't be confused by the numerous Cliff and Rough-winged Swallows that also nest under the bridge. The swifts come and go every few minutes listen for their excited twittering calls. -- Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 -- The day before yesterday (June 1) I went to look at the GOLDEN EAGLE nest in Redwood Valley. Two very large chicks were on the nest. Today I got an excited report that at least one of them was in the air, riding the currents high above the valley. My informant couldn't tell if the other one in the distance was an adult or a juvenile. -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 31 May 2008 -- The colony of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS on East Road in Potter Valley is still very active after one month. It appears that renesting is occuring. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 31 May 2008 -- I saw three WHITE-FACED IBISES ~ 9:30 AM flying west over Ten Mile River toward the mouth. Jim and I were on the road south of the river, but he drove us north across the Ten Mile bridge and could not see them until we parked. He did get to see them, but they flew north gaining altitude. (There were also quite a few Purple Martins at the bridge). We also drove north and checked everywhere we thought possible, including Westport STP and creek mouths.
Around 11:00, we saw Jerry White near Juan Creek. He was heading south and was going to also check at the Westport STP. So far, no word from Jerry (at 2:00 PM), so I guess they kept migrating or stopped at an out-of-sight farm pond. That is another MEN county bird for me. Watch out "bd." One more and we will be tied. Nice consolation birds, since I missed the Indigo Bunting. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 30 May 2008 -- At 5:00 pm tonight there was a female LONG-TAILED DUCK feeding about 10-20 yards off the beach at Noyo Harbor. -- David Jensen

Fri, 30 May 2008 -- A male INDIGO BUNTING just appeared on the ground outside my window for a few seconds. Both Charlene and I got good looks at it. I'll post again if it stays around. -- Ron LeValley

Wed, 28 May 2008 -- On May 28th, a flock of 15 WHITE-FACED IBIS were feeding in the irrigated fields of White Dog Ranch in Western Potter Valley. Observation was made by Angie Meroshnekoff. They stayed until near evening, then moved on. -- Catherine de la Cruz

Wed, 28 May 2008 -- At 1:15 PM today, I witnessed the same view of a TUFTED PUFFIN at Mendocino Headlands. The bird was on the water NW of the rocks when I arrived, but it almost immediately picked up and flew to a burrow that is barely out of sight on the NW side of the rock/island with grass on top (could be Goat Rock?). It was great to see the puffin come in for a landing, with wings and bright orange-red feet spread out in all directions! -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 26 May 2008 -- About 11:00 AM, Stan Snyder spotted a TUFTED PUFFIN in the bay north of Mendocino Headlands. After watching the bird dive, we saw it fly to the north most near island and landed just below the rim. This is the green island with the tunnel through the right side and the Western Gulls nesting above the "puffin nest." The bird stretched and shook off water then disappeared into a hole. The mouth of the hole is not visible from shore. -- Larry Siemens

Sun, 25 May 2008 -- This morning I helped Chuck Vaughn with his Breeding Bird Survey along Route 162 between 101 and Round Valley. Afterwards we did not go up the high country as usual because the snow looked daunting near Hull Mountain. We returned to the Dos Rios bridge over the Middle Fork of the Eel where a five minute wait produced nice looks at WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS. We saw at least four at once, and they seem to be nesting under the bridge. This is probably the most reliable place in Mendocino County to see this species. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 24 May 2008-- This morning there was an almost full adult BALD EAGLE (it looked like the head was not pure white, but we didn't get that good of look) perched in a tall tree along Highway 128 at mile marker 33. This is between Boonville and Yorkville and along Rancheria Creek not too far east of the Fish Rock Road turnoff. -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 23 May 2008 -- I saw 2 adult BALD EAGLES flying overhead and calling at the Hopland Reservation today. They were probably a couple hundred feet above, just passing through; direction was from the ESE to WNW. I'm guessing they came from Lake County. The checklist for the nearby Hopland Research and Extension Center (where I work on my doctoral research) lists Bald Eagles as 'occasional' in the spring - i.e. not seen every spring season. -- Emily Heaton

Sun, 18 May 2008 -- Thanks to Kerry Ross for keeping such good notes for us. Here is the trip list and the totals.
Location: Noyo Harbor, Mendocino Coast Audubon Pelagic trip
Notes: Great sea conditions with a light wind and smaller swell but we were in the fog the entire trip. Visibility was ~ 1/4 mile for much of the trip and never exceeded 1 mile all day.
Number of species: 23
Surf Scoter - Melanitta perspicillata 14
Pacific Loon - Gavia pacifica 3
Common Loon - Gavia immer 1
Western Grebe - Aechmophorus occidentalis 12
Black-footed Albatross - Phoebastria nigripes 57
Northern Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialis 3
Pink-footed Shearwater - Puffinus creatopus 15
Sooty Shearwater - Puffinus griseus 88
Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis 3
Brandt's Cormorant - Phalacrocorax penicillatus 6
Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus 1
Pelagic Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pelagicus 9 (including two nests with chicks near the harbor breakwater)
Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus 161
Red Phalarope - Phalaropus fulicarius 78
California Gull - Larus californicus 11
Western Gull - Larus occidentalis 98
Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1
Sabine's Gull - Xema sabini 4
Common Tern - Sterna hirundo 5
Common Murre - Uria aalge 142
Pigeon Guillemot - Cepphus columba 7
Cassin's Auklet - Ptychoramphus aleuticus 8
Rhinoceros Auklet - Cerorhinca monocerata 26
Ocean Sunfish - Mola mola 1 very large one!
Harbor Seal - Phoca vitulina 1
California Sea Lion - Zalophus californianus 1 on the dock
Notably absent were all cetaceans, including dolphin and porpoises, and absolutely no By the Wind Sailors (Velella velella), usually quite prevalent in the spring. -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 18 May 2008 -- Barbara Dolan and I watched a pair of WILSON'S PHALAROPES on the north pond of the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning, a male and female in beautiful breeding plumage. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 16 May 2008 3:45 PM - a lone WHITE-FACED IBIS was seen on a private pond near the bottom of the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. If anyone really wants to see this bird, this evening is probably a good chance. Call me 391-8190 cell or 744-1160 home (eves). I have permission from the landowner and can get you in this evening. I doubt if the bird will stay the weekend due to human activity on the pond this weekend. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 16 May 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called to say that she saw a male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE in Fort Bragg late this AM. The bird was near McPherson and Chestnut. He then flew east a block to Harrison, between Chestnut and Hazel. She lost track of it after that. He had a very, long tail, and he only made a single call note. -- For Toby Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Thu, 15 May 2008 -- The colony of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at 10707 East(side) Road in Potter Valley is still going strong with a constant stream of parents arriving with food for fledglings and going right back out. There are some signs of renesting, but this colony could pick up and leave in a week when the nestlings have fledged. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 12 May 2008 -- A very late GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW has been visiting my feeders in Potter Valley today. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 11 May 2008 -- Twenty eight people joined the Peregrine Audubon field trip to the Eel River near Potter Valley. Some of the more interesting observations of the day were a party of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS foraging in the top of an oak near the Old Bridge on Potter Valley Road, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER near the Pioneer Crossing Bridge, an AMERICAN DIPPER at Van Arsdale Dam, YELLOW WARBLERS in the willows near Trout Creek, and several MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS at different locations along the Eel. For a full list click here. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 11 May 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reports seeing approximately 200 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES this morning on Lake Cleone (in MacKerricher State Park). There was at least one RED PHALAROPE as well, but it was extremely windy. -- Trudy Jensen for "Toby" Tobkin

Fri, 09 May, 2008 -- The second in a series of 9 point-count surveys in the Spring Big River Bird Surveys took place this chilly morning shortly after dawn. Nine stations were surveyed in the vicinity of Laguna Marsh, the easternmost of the three survey routes at Big River, with the following results: Purple Martin were heard or seen at four of nine stations, while Vaux's Swifts were seen at 3. Violet-green Swallows were observed at 2 stations, Tree Swallows at one. Cliff Swallows were observed only at one station but may have been the most numerous swallows of the day with at least 15 individuals counted.
Marsh Wren were widespread (4 of 9 stations), numerous and noisy but only one Virginia Rail was heard. Swainson's Thrush were observed at 5 stations and Hermit Thrush at 3. Hummingbird species included Anna's (2 stations) and Allen's (only one.) Raptors were scarce with only Turkey Vultures (3 stations) and Northern Pygmy Owl (one station) noted. Mallards were the most numerous duck species at the Marsh this morning but three Wood Drakes were also seen.
Olive-sided Flycatchers were heard from 5 stations and Warbling Vireo only at one. Woodpecker species observed were Northern Flicker (3 stations), Acorn Woodpecker (2 stations) and Hairy (on the way out.) Red-breasted Nuthatch were only heard from one station. European Starling were noted at 4 stations.
The station overlooking Little Laguna Marsh was the diversity champion of the day with 22 species noted during a ten-minute survey. -- Matt Coleman

Thu, 08 May 2008 -- Scott Harris saw a BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD at a feeder at his home in Willits. It was a twenty minute bird and has not been seen since.

Thu, 08 May 2008 -- On southeast side Ukiah I had two competing pairs [of Red-tailed Hawks] screaming at each other and doing aerial maneuvers about a month ago and very quiet since. -- Janet Rosen

Wed, 07 May 2008 -- Pardon this sort of "Hound of the Baskervilles-esque" post, but for the first time in 36 years, including a dozens with active nesting in the oaks around my house on Burris Lane in PV, I have not even HEARD a Red-shouldered Hawk since winter some time. Anyone one else with a similar lack? Although OT, it may be related that I am also not seeing previously common mammals such as raccoons, skunks, oppossums, squirrels, etc. I have had a Grey Fox several times in the last couple of weeks; his/her daytime appearances are a little worriesome with a rabies report for one in the area. George's Tri-colored Blackbirds on East Road will be worth a look on the way to the Eel next Sunday. -- Jim Armstrong

Wed, 07 May 2008 -- The Spring Big River Bird Surveys, a collaborative project between the Mendocino Land Trust's Big River Stewards, the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society and California State Parks, got off to a good start today as surveyors surveyed 11 point-count stations on the lower Haul Road.
Two species rarely seen at Big River, WHIMBRELS and GREATER YELLOWLEGS, were observed during the surveys for the first time, although participants in the training led by Ron LeValley, of biological consulting firm Mad River Biologists, last Sunday spotted them first. From station two, observers also spotted a lone Red- necked Phalarope.
Osprey were the most frequently observed raptor during today's survey (noted at 5 of 11 stations), but surveyors also documented a Red- shouldered Hawk, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Peregrine Falcon at station three, about a half-mile above the Haul Road gate.
Woodpecker species observed were Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker and Downy Woodpecker.
At the quarry, or station four, surveyors saw at least 20 Violet- green Swallows, two Tree Swallows and two Vaux's Swifts.
While Pacific-slope Flycatchers and Orange-crowned Warblers were widespread, Olive-sided Flycatchers and Warbling Vireo were only heard at the lowermost stations. Two Brown Creepers were heard at station six, about a mile-and-a-half above the haul road gate.
After finishing the last station, surveyors stopped for a second time at station nine, which looks downstream to the New Boom, to watch a "feeding frenzy." Two adult Harbor Seals and a pup, 18 Common Mergansers, 5 Great Blue Heron, 2 Kingfishers, 2 Osprey, a Western Gull and a Great Egret feasted on abundant small fish while a Red- tailed Hawk circled overhead. -- Matt Coleman

Mon, 05 May 2008 -- I have been observing a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES for the past couple of weeks out here in the Talmage area. I saw them fly onto my property together about two weeks ago, and I have been hearing and seeing them almost every day since. Sincerely "for the birds" -- Deborah Grilli

Sun, 04 May 2008 -- Looks like the BROWN THRASHER visitor has moved on somewhere else. I have not seen it since about 6 p.m. yesterday (Saturday). It is interesting that the few quail that usually hang around under the feeder weren't present most of the time the Brown Thrasher was here. Today they are back. -- Carolyn Kinet

Sun, 04 May, 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called to say that she saw at least 14 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on Lake Cleone in MacKerricher SP. It is quite windy today, with large whitecaps on the ocean. Perhaps that pushed the tiny phalaropes to the lake. Yesterday, the BROWN THRASHER was still in Inglenook at Carolyn Kinet's home on Hwy 1. -- For Toby and Carolyn, (Karen Havlena)

Thu, 01 May 2008 -- This morning I counted 7 OSPREY above Lake Cleone at MacKerricher State Park. Several attemps were made by osprey to catch a fish. Finally, one osprey dove into the water and grabbed a fish. -- Fred Andrews

Fri, 02 May 2008 -- Hi all: The BROWN THRASHER continues to hang around near my feeder. He/she is pretty aggressive when the scrub jays come around looking for peanuts and does a little display with his feathers sometimes to keep them away. -- Carolyn Kinet

Fri, 02 May 2008 -- I just posted 2 pictures of the BROWN THRASHER found in Carolyn Kinet's Inglenook yard. Mendobirds members click here Jim Havlena, Carolyn, and myself waited about 20 minutes for it to show up. It totally intimidated the two Scrub- jays that were there. It acted very much like a woodpicker raising it's head and pounding it's bill into the ground. See contact information in Karen's post. I understand from Jim that they will be breaking out a good bottle of wine tonight. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 01 May 2008 -- Thanks to a visiting birder, Gary Deghi, from Half Moon Bay for calling my attention to a TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD colony in Potter Valley. The colony is along East(side) Road between Pine Avenue and Mid-Mountain Road. Just north of milemarker 4.77 on the west side of the road there is a vineyard pond behind an elevated berm with cattails along the road and a swath of blackberries along the south side. The birds can be observed easily at close range from the road, but there is very little room to pull off. Look for a narrow pullout by mailbox 10707. The tricolors are nesting in the blackberries and are probably in the fourth week of the breeding cycle. They are beginning to provision young - "birds on a mission", and their comings and goings are very conspicuous. I haven't made a careful estimate yet, but the numbers are probably in the 400-600 range. This may be the same group that nested several years ago on West(side) Road in a similar situation, but where the blackberries have been killed with herbicides.
I'm am embarrased to say that I looked this new site over several times in the last four weeks specifically looking for tricolors, but I overlooked the conspicuous.
I should add that I checked the Lake County site on Lyons Creek on 27 Apr. and found a colony that I estimated at about 620. This is on Whalen Road just beyond the Juvenile Detention Center and just inside the white gate of the Lake County Sanitation District on the left-hand side in cattails. With the window rolled down you can't miss them. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 1 May 2008 -- A BROWN THRASHER was spotted this afternoon by Carolyn Kinet at her feeder in Inglenook, north of Cleone and the Fort Bragg Grange. The bird appeared under the feeder in early afternoon, then went into hiding for a couple of hours. When it came back to feed around 3:00, she called me and Toby. I live about 2 miles north of Carolyn, so it did not take me long to get to her house. Thanks to Carolyn, I just saw my 300th Mendocino County bird! If anyone wants to talk to Carolyn or go to her home, you can inquire through me (964-1280) or Toby Tobkin (964-6216). -- For Carolyn Kinet, Karen Havlena

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders: This morning I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant with Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken. The best bird of the morning was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER which we saw along an exposed mud strip that is appearing on the western corner of the north pond. It was with a single DUNLIN, and a group of about 20 peeps with equal numbers of LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. The bird returned to this same mud after flying away twice and was still there when we left at 1045. There was an early SWAINSON'S THRUSH calling along the river. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 -- My second post in a day, sheesh...on my way back to the house after filling feeders I looked up to see a flock of what sure looked like swifts flying over the house, heading east...which ones do we get hereabouts? [most likely Vaux's Swifts- GEC] -- Janet Rosen

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 -- Well I have had a serious case of feeder envy, but came home from work today to find a pair of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS joining "the usual suspects" at my sunflower seed feeder (down way south South Dora). Yay! -- Janet Rosen

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 -- Marigold Klein saw two AMERICAN DIPPERS on the Russian River yesterday. She has seen them there before. If you go north on the Potter Valley Road from Hwy 20, it's about .67 miles from Hwy 20. The road makes a sharp right turn and then there's a parking place on the right for McKee Park. She also saw some wing wiggling among the four Bullock's Orioles that were there. Mergansers and a kingfisher also. Rich spot. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 -- The BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that has been coming to my yard since 12/09/07 was seen again on 4/19(6:10PM) and 4/21/086:50AM. A triangle of skin is observeable on the right neck of the bird from the throat to the shoulder right of midline. The nape of the neck is also thin of feathering. The feathers and retrices in some areas look like cellophane brown . It appears to be eating well and attentive to surroundings. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 20 Apr 2008 -- Sun, 20 April 08-- The wind stopped blowing, so I ventured down Hwy 1 for a while this AM. I saw one of the LONG-TAILED DUCKS just north of Pudding Creek. Later, during a phone call to Toby Tobkin she said there were two LTDU's there. Eight WHIMBRELS fed on the bluffs, while an additional 7 Whimbrels worked the beach. The parking lot is located between the Beachcomber and Surf and Sand motels.
I also drove out Bald Hill Rd, east of Hwy 1 and north of Pudding Ck. A WESTERN KINGBIRD perched on a fence wire by the cattle fields. During my call to Toby, she stated that only 1 or 2 WEKI's are seen each Spring and Fall by her on the coast, while many can be found in the inland valleys and open, oak woodland habitats. Maybe it will stop by Ocean Meadows. I need it for a yard bird! -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I made a brief, but fruitful, visit to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant early this morning. The middle pond is being drained and there is lots of exposed mud. It seems that some birds are starting to move in and out of there. Six days ago I saw 7 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 1 LEAST SANDPIPER. This morning there were no Yellowlegs, and 8 Least Sandpipers. They were accompanied by a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER that was mostly molted into breeding plumage. That is the first I have ever seen out there in the spring. The ducks were quite flighty and it was difficult to get looks at all of them. However, there were at least 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL females. Two of the group of wintering EARED GREBES remain, and they are growing their yellow ears. A few YELLOW WARBLERS are already singing along the river. Cheap thrills!! -- Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 -- I saw 1-2 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WABLER this morning foraging in oaks on the City of Ukiah property south of Low Gap park. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 -- Hello, Re: Viviana's email - I'm a "regular lurker" of Mendobirds living in Albion. In the Ft. Bragg Safeway parking lot I regularly see a blackbird with whiteish wings and tail feathers. Robert Keiffer was kind enough to educate me on the likely cause. Leucism. Regards -- Howard Guyer

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 -- We have a white headed blackbird in our yard here in the Covelo area. He/she also has alot of white underneath her wings. Looks like a minature bald eagle on first glance. She hangs out with a flock and talks the talk. Anyone else ever see such a variation/mutation? -- Viviana

Sun, 13 Apr 2008 -- Early this morning, I could hear the CALIFORNIA TOWHEE singing in the pine at the north edge of our driveway. I took some seed out as I started my walk. The towhee came down to have some breakfast. When I returned, I was shocked to see EIGHTEEN EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES in the driveway, along with a lone Mourning Dove (truly mourning) by the brick pillar. They scattered north to a tree in the next yard as I ran towards them waving my arms. Hopefully, they will keep on migrating somewhere else. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Last Saturday morning (12 Apr), a singing male PALM WARBLER made a brief appearance in the budding alders along the pond at the Ocean Lake mobile home park in Fort Bragg then headed north. -- Cheryl Watson

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Toby Tobkin called to report the presence of two, late ROCK SANDPIPERS and three LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the rocks just west of the Haul Road parking lot, north of Pudding Creek along Hwy 1, north Fort Bragg. The parking lot is located near the Beachcomber and Surf and Sand motels. -- For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Maybe these have already been reported? I saw several pairs of BULLOCK'S ORIOLES and WESTERN KINGBIRDS today for the first time this year. A friend saw a Bullock's Oriole at Lake Mendocino on Thursday, as well. I still haven't seen any Western Tanagers or Lazuli Buntings. Has anyone else? -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 12 April 2008 -- There were 3 male and 1-2 female PURPLE MARTINS flying above the Ten Mile River bridge this morning. Also, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS fed with several GREATER YELLOWLEGS on the mudflat east of the bridge on the north shoreline. As I walked back north to Ocean Meadows, sadly a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES were on the telephone wires. The CALIFORNIA TOWHEE sang both atop a willow and the top of a cypress at the southern curve of Ocean Meadows Circle. Three OSPREY hunted at the river mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 -- A handsome male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD stopped at our feeder in Talmadge for a drink this evening. -- Cheryl Watson

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 -- PURPLE FINCHES, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, BULLOCK'S ORIOLES, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, and an early BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK in addition to the regulars in the backyard. Spring has sprung! -- Kelly Austin, Redwood Valley

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- A male CASSIN'S FINCH made 2 lengthy visits to our backyard feeders this evening. This is only the second time we have seen this bird in our yard, and the only other visit was when a pair came to the feeders in February, 1997. I got some serviceable photos of the bird feeding on the patio through the sliding-door glass, and you will not mistake them for the art of Messrs. LeValley and Matthiessen. Nevertheless, I will post them on Mendobirds when I get them off my very expensive camara/lens setup and fuss with them in whatever-you-call that editing software. Mendobirds Menbers click here -- ChuckVaughn

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders: This morning I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant with Cheryl Watson and Geoff Heinecken. The best bird of the morning was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER which we saw along an exposed mud strip that is appearing on the western corner of the north pond. It was with a single DUNLIN, and a group of about 20 peeps with equal numbers of LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. The bird returned to this same mud after flying away twice and was still there when we left at 1045. There was an early SWAINSON'S THRUSH calling along the river. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 -- My second post in a day, sheesh...on my way back to the house after filling feeders I looked up to see a flock of what sure looked like swifts flying over the house, heading east...which ones do we get hereabouts? [most likely Vaux's Swifts- GEC] -- Janet Rosen

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 -- Well I have had a serious case of feeder envy, but came home from work today to find a pair of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS joining "the usual suspects" at my sunflower seed feeder (down way south South Dora). Yay! -- Janet Rosen

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 -- Marigold Klein saw two AMERICAN DIPPERS on the Russian River yesterday. She has seen them there before. If you go north on the Potter Valley Road from Hwy 20, it's about .67 miles from Hwy 20. The road makes a sharp right turn and then there's a parking place on the right for McKee Park. She also saw some wing wiggling among the four Bullock's Orioles that were there. Mergansers and a kingfisher also. Rich spot. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 -- The BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that has been coming to my yard since 12/09/07 was seen again on 4/19(6:10PM) and 4/21/086:50AM. A triangle of skin is observeable on the right neck of the bird from the throat to the shoulder right of midline. The nape of the neck is also thin of feathering. The feathers and retrices in some areas look like cellophane brown . It appears to be eating well and attentive to surroundings. -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 20 Apr 2008 -- Sun, 20 April 08-- The wind stopped blowing, so I ventured down Hwy 1 for a while this AM. I saw one of the LONG-TAILED DUCKS just north of Pudding Creek. Later, during a phone call to Toby Tobkin she said there were two LTDU's there. Eight WHIMBRELS fed on the bluffs, while an additional 7 Whimbrels worked the beach. The parking lot is located between the Beachcomber and Surf and Sand motels.
I also drove out Bald Hill Rd, east of Hwy 1 and north of Pudding Ck. A WESTERN KINGBIRD perched on a fence wire by the cattle fields. During my call to Toby, she stated that only 1 or 2 WEKI's are seen each Spring and Fall by her on the coast, while many can be found in the inland valleys and open, oak woodland habitats. Maybe it will stop by Ocean Meadows. I need it for a yard bird! -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I made a brief, but fruitful, visit to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant early this morning. The middle pond is being drained and there is lots of exposed mud. It seems that some birds are starting to move in and out of there. Six days ago I saw 7 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 1 LEAST SANDPIPER. This morning there were no Yellowlegs, and 8 Least Sandpipers. They were accompanied by a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER that was mostly molted into breeding plumage. That is the first I have ever seen out there in the spring. The ducks were quite flighty and it was difficult to get looks at all of them. However, there were at least 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL females. Two of the group of wintering EARED GREBES remain, and they are growing their yellow ears. A few YELLOW WARBLERS are already singing along the river. Cheap thrills!! -- Chuck Vaughn

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 -- I saw 1-2 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WABLER this morning foraging in oaks on the City of Ukiah property south of Low Gap park. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 -- Hello, Re: Viviana's email - I'm a "regular lurker" of Mendobirds living in Albion. In the Ft. Bragg Safeway parking lot I regularly see a blackbird with whiteish wings and tail feathers. Robert Keiffer was kind enough to educate me on the likely cause. Leucism. Regards -- Howard Guyer

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 -- We have a white headed blackbird in our yard here in the Covelo area. He/she also has alot of white underneath her wings. Looks like a minature bald eagle on first glance. She hangs out with a flock and talks the talk. Anyone else ever see such a variation/mutation? -- Viviana

Sun, 13 Apr 2008 -- Early this morning, I could hear the CALIFORNIA TOWHEE singing in the pine at the north edge of our driveway. I took some seed out as I started my walk. The towhee came down to have some breakfast. When I returned, I was shocked to see EIGHTEEN EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES in the driveway, along with a lone Mourning Dove (truly mourning) by the brick pillar. They scattered north to a tree in the next yard as I ran towards them waving my arms. Hopefully, they will keep on migrating somewhere else. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Last Saturday morning (12 Apr), a singing male PALM WARBLER made a brief appearance in the budding alders along the pond at the Ocean Lake mobile home park in Fort Bragg then headed north. -- Cheryl Watson

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Toby Tobkin called to report the presence of two, late ROCK SANDPIPERS and three LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the rocks just west of the Haul Road parking lot, north of Pudding Creek along Hwy 1, north Fort Bragg. The parking lot is located near the Beachcomber and Surf and Sand motels. -- For Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 -- Maybe these have already been reported? I saw several pairs of BULLOCK'S ORIOLES and WESTERN KINGBIRDS today for the first time this year. A friend saw a Bullock's Oriole at Lake Mendocino on Thursday, as well. I still haven't seen any Western Tanagers or Lazuli Buntings. Has anyone else? -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 12 April 2008 -- There were 3 male and 1-2 female PURPLE MARTINS flying above the Ten Mile River bridge this morning. Also, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS fed with several GREATER YELLOWLEGS on the mudflat east of the bridge on the north shoreline. As I walked back north to Ocean Meadows, sadly a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES were on the telephone wires. The CALIFORNIA TOWHEE sang both atop a willow and the top of a cypress at the southern curve of Ocean Meadows Circle. Three OSPREY hunted at the river mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 -- A handsome male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD stopped at our feeder in Talmadge for a drink this evening. -- Cheryl Watson

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 -- PURPLE FINCHES, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, BULLOCK'S ORIOLES, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, and an early BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK in addition to the regulars in the backyard. Spring has sprung! -- Kelly Austin, Redwood Valley

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- A male CASSIN'S FINCH made 2 lengthy visits to our backyard feeders this evening. This is only the second time we have seen this bird in our yard, and the only other visit was when a pair came to the feeders in February, 1997. I got some serviceable photos of the bird feeding on the patio through the sliding-door glass, and you will not mistake them for the art of Messrs. LeValley and Matthiessen. Nevertheless, I will post them on Mendobirds when I get them off my very expensive camara/lens setup and fuss with them in whatever-you-call that editing software. Mendobirds Menbers click here -- ChuckVaughn

Sun, 06 Apr 2008 -- 4/6/08 9 to Noon.
Hwy 1, South of Cleone: Tree Swallows, Mourning Doves, White-crowned Sparrows, 1 male California Quail,6 Band-tailed Pigeons, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 3 Turkey Vultures, 1 Scrub Jay, 4 Mallards, 10 Common Ravens.
Green Acres: Brewer's Blackbirds, 1 Song Sparrow,3 American Robins, 2 House Finches
Coast south of Laguna Point: 2 Canada Geese, Black Oystercatchers, Western Gulls, 30+ Pelagic Cormorants, Several Black Turnstones, 2 Killdeer, 1 Whimbrel
Headlands: 1 Osprey, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 White-tailed Kite
Lake Cleone and Vicinty: 6 Red-winged Blackbirds, 2 Double-crested Cormorants, 6 American Coots, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 1 Steller's Jay -- Fred Andrews

Fri, 04 April 2008 A WHITE-WINGED DOVE flew past me near the County buildings on south Franklin Street this morning.

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 -- We are seeing a similar surge in species at my house in Northern Redwood Valley. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS, but no Calliope yet. :( We are seeing seeing BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS at the feeders :) Cheers -- Bruce Gove

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 - It looks like Karen is experiencing the same surge of migrating hummingbirds that we are seeing inland. In my yard it has been an audible rise and fall of ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS like this: 28 Mar 2
29 Mar 3
30 Mar 3
31 Mar 14
1 Apr 7
2 Apr 4
3 Apr 5
4 Apr 3 -- George Chaniot

Thu, 03 April 2008 - Today at there were only 2 hummingbirds that I saw at Ocean Meadows/Ten Mile area. For the past 5 days, there have been several male Rufous and numerous Allen's, plus the female Calliope.
Alas, poor "Cal" the California Towhee has been singing more often, and louder than ever around the house. It breaks my heart, knowing that he is all alone over here.
Also, for arrival dates, there were 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS on 3/31. Today, Jim spotted a male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT near the house. 4/2 there were 4 Savannah Sparrows in the yard. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 02 April 2008 -- A female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD visited here late this afternoon in the yard at Ocean Meadows Circle- Ten Mile area, north of Fort Bragg and the Ten Mile River. I watched her feed at some electric blue, low-growing plants for a couple of minutes. Then, a female Allen's/selasphorus hummer came up and challenged the Calliope. Both spread their tails, and I could see the Calliope's tail well, as she was facing away There was little, or no, rufous visible at the basal halves of the retrices (it was not apparent). A really neat addition to the yard list. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 -- There's a fungal infection (Fusarium moniliforme) that hummers spread from fuchsia to fuchsia and other prized garden plants. . .this might be it. If not, it looks suspiciously like scaly face mites. Also of consideration: candida, caused by either dirty hummingbird feeders or people feeding honey instead of sugar/water mixed to the correct ratio. -- Feather Forestwalker

Wed 02, April 2008--I need some opinions on a ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD picture I just posted. Obviously there's a problem with the bill. I've done some searching of the internet and can find no definitive answer as to the cause. Things that are mentioned are Avian Pox, knemidocoptes mites, bacterial infection, and hopefully, "sticky nectar and pollen".
The hummingbird seems to be healthy and currently is the alpha male. I'm getting more hummingbirds (Anna's, Allen's and Rufous)at my feeder then usual. The Anna's that wintered here didn't have this problem. Any ideas? -- Richard Hubacek

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin reports seeing two LONG-TAILED DUCKS, along with six HARLEQUIN DUCKS (and Scoters), today from the bluff west of the Haul Road parking lot. They are in heavy molt - no long tails. The Haul Road parking lot is just north of Pudding Creek, just north of Fort Bragg. The birds were readily visible from the bluffs directly west of the parking lot.

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 -- Recent arrivals on Middle Ridge, Albion, elevation 400 ft, 3/4 mile east of Highway 1:
March 30: First 3008 sighting of a Violet-Green Swallow, checking out potential nest sites in a dead redwood snag.
March 28: First 2008 sighting of (male) American Goldfinch on thistle sock.
March 30: After disappearing for over a week, the Acorn Woodpeckers are back.
April 1: Eurasian Collared Dove in front yard.
In the last week or so we have had a big influx of Allen's Hummingbirds, perhaps two dozen or so around the house. Males are displaying everywhere. No Rufous yet.
Now for the question: Janet in Anchor Bay reported Pine Siskins arriving on March 27 - but we have had a small flock of PS here pretty much all winter. Are they generally resident here, or was this unusual? They seem to have mostly moved on recently. We had a Purple (?) Finch as well, around the same date, but it didn't stay. Cheers -- Tim

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 -- In the last week I have visited all of the locations in Lake and Mendocino Counties where I know Tricolored Blackbirds have nested in recent years, and I have discovered a new colony on Highland Springs Road. Tricolors are present at most of these areas and song, display, nest building, and copulation are under way already. Here's a summary of what I've found. All of the numbers estimates are preliminary and conservative. The best places for watching or photographing are probably the Adobe Creek and Highland Springs Road sites:
MacGuire's Pond/Camp 19 on Route 20: At least 9 males displaying.
Wilson's Pond, Burris Lane, Potter Valley: At least 35 males.
Christmas Star Vineyard, Potter Valley: None present. Blackberry hedge where they nested once has been nuked.
Fetzer's Valley Oak Center pond: Males present, singing, displaying, no number estimate yet.
Lyons Creek Wetland: None present.
Adobe Creek Reservoir: At least 34 males in the NW corner, and another group of at least 21 males on the east side. Nest-building, copulation. 2 Yellow-headed Blackbirds on territory in the NE corner.
6495 Highland Springs Road: At least 95 males displaying in a blackberry patch right along the road near the driveway. Nest building, copulation. Foraging in the vineyards to the east.
I am going to be the coordinator for Mendocino and Lake Counties of the statewide Tricolored Blackbird survey this spring. If you have any observations of tricolors in Lake and Mendocino between now and July please contact me - particularly nesting information. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 -- For the last couple of evenings I have heard a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK singing, but couldn't find him. This morning about 0800, I heard him again and finally saw the boy perched atop a conifer about 50 yards to the north of my house, one mile up Tomki Rd. in Redwood Valley.. Happy Birding!! -- Bruce Gove

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 -- A great day for birding at MacKerricher State Park. 10:15 to 12:15. On and around Lake Cleone I identified 25 bird species including: 1 Osprey with a fish, 1 Great Blue Heron, Many Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, Heard several Marsh Wrens, 2 red-winged Blackbirds, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Pied-billed Grebes, 1 Hermit Thrush, And possibly 1 Pine Sisken. I have never seen one before!, Good Birding to all. -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 -- On Saturday the 29th, two SHORT-EARED OWLS hunted leisurely at Anderson Marsh from 5:55 to 6:55 pm. I was hiking with my family and did not observe them the entire time, but nearly every time I scanned the open marsh/fields one (rarely two) was easily visible as it flew back and forth across the area. They began at the south end near the buildings and methodically worked their way northward. On one occasion an owl flew upward a few hundred feet and chased an unidentified raptor (rear views only) for a few hundred yards, then it returned and landed in the field. I think it was the first time I had ever seen an owl chase a hawk. I assume these were the same owls first found by Jerry White on the evening of the Clear Lake CBC. I had searched for them several times at dawn but had only a brief glimpse of one, and had never searched for them at dusk. Perhaps dusk is a much better time for viewing them. -- Floyd Hayes Hidden Valley Lake

Fri, 28 Mar 2008 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Barbara and I watched a male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD as it visited our feeders this afternoon from 4:30 until at least 7:30 when it became too dark to see anything. It was a bright, pleasant surprise on this gloomy afternoon. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 28 Mar 2008 -- I see that the HOODED ORIOLE at our feeder right now represents the earliest record for Mendo interior. One day earlier than the previous record. -- Happy birding, David Smith-Ferri

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 -- Joanne Haller and I birded the north coast Thursday from Ten Mile River to Navarro River. It was a beautiful, clear day with an onshore wind, but not very birdy. The most interesting bird we found was a 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL sitting with a group of Western Gulls on the beach by the parking lot at Laguna Point. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 -- Yesterday a huge group of PINE SISKINS arrived. At one point over thirty of them were clinging to our thistle feeder. Another visitor arrived to join the noisy party - a male PURPLE FINCH. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sun, 23 Mar 2008 -- To all; the SLATE-COLORED JUNCO came on 3-21-08 at 7:30AM. Not seen 22nd or this AM, 23rd. I have had 1 PINE SISKIN on 22nd and 23rd. Lots happening in those trees, a PURPLE FINCH sang for 3 hours today. -- Barbara Dolan, Ukiah

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 -- There was a single male HARLEQUIN DUCK upstream from the Noyo Harbor (visible from the parking lot at the boat ram on the south side of the river) today.
OSPREYS were making a lot of noise as well and there was a group of 15 COMMON RAVENS floating about the Osprey nest area.
Last Sunday, the 16th, there was a singing PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER and at least 5 singing ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS along Ten Mile River about 3 miles upstream from the Highway 1 Bridge. Spring is here... -- Cheers, Ron LaValley

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 -- Hi All, Yesterday my husband, Rick, spotted a male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. We put out the thistle feeder and this afternoon six, male and female, were at the feeder. Yea! -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 -- At noon today, there were about 125 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, plus a few SURF SCOTERS just off Ten Mile River mouth, north of MacKerricher SP. They were flying then landing, over and over, in a large oval where the fresh water and the salt water mix together. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 -- Yesterday I had a new bird at my seed feeder, which sent me scurrying for the binoculars. I definitely have not seen one of these guys here before, the bright red would be impossible to miss. His mate was here with him. I am familiar with House Finches, though they don't come around our house. I used my Thayer birding program to try to be sure of his identity, and concluded that I would not be able to distinguish a Purple Finch from a Cassin's Finch, so I'm going with the PURPLE FINCH on the basis of likely habitat. (I'm at a low elevation, creekside, mixed conifers at the edge of a small orchard) Anybody have any suggestions?
Our BAND-TAILED PIGEONS have recently returned, I counted 11 yesterday. In summertime we have had as many as 30. -- Becky Stenberg, Glen Blair

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 -- Hello - The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW I reported last week is still here (corner of Ford and Little Lake in Mendocino) and was last seen at 6p this evening (Tuesday) around the Blair House.
The sparrow flock has grown and now includes 3 FOX SPARROWS, a SPOTTED TOWHEE, 2 HOUSE SPARROWS, a few SONG SPARROWS as well as the WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS mentioned previously -- a veritable sparrow convention! Good Birding, -- Rich Trissel

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 -- Al [the LAYSAN ALBATROSS] hasn't been seen for a while. Point Arena's famous visitor may be gone. On a happier note, OSPREYS have returned to our road in Anchor Bay where they have successfully nested for more than twelve years. -- Jeanne Jackson

Sun, 16 Mar 2008 -- I have some long-overdue reports. One WHITE-THROATED SPARROW near Pomo CG at Lake Mendocino about two weeks ago; two SOOTY GROUSE west of Willits south of Hwy 20 right at the peak of the Willits Grade, and one SOOTY GROUSE on Ridgewood Ranch, reported by Marigold Klein. And one HOODED MERGANSER in the hidden lagoon immediately west of Rodman Slough along the Nice-Lucerne cut-off. -- Kate Marianchild

Sun, 16 Mar 2008 -- Today at Big River near the rivermouth and along the haul road: 1 Osprey, 5 White-crowned Sparrows, 14 Turkey Vultures, 30+ Common Ravens, 1 male and female Common Mergansers, non-breeding, 2 adult non-breeding Common Loons, 6 American Coots, 10 Western Gulls, 3 Steller's Jays, 5 Buffleheads, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 large hawk, unable to identify, possibly a juvenille Red-tailed Hawk -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 15 Mar 2008 -- 3-15-08 The female SLATE-COLORED JUNCO is still around and it looks very beautiful. The BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was seen last on 3-9-08 and still looked a little tattered. -- Barbara Dolan

Sat, 15 Mar 2008 -- Roger Foote found and photographed a female LONG-TAILED DUCK this morning about 200 yards north of Virgin Creek mouth. The bird was near the long, flat rock where Harlequin Ducks sometimes rest. (No Harlequins were there today). If you are on the Haul Rd, the spot is off the bluff, west of the small, decorative lighthouse by the road. Virgin Creek is just north of the Fort Bragg city limit, west of Hwy 1. It is a part of MacKerricher SP. -- Karen Havlena for Roger Foote

12 and13 December 2007 - T.Reid reported to me that AL was at the Point Arena Cove yesterday and today ...and came in VERY close to the pier several times. He was able to photograph AL, including on "take-off" and the legs appear to be working ...and reported that AL could possible be favoring the right leg... but it was somewhat difficult to tell even directly below the pier in clear water. If you look at the attached photo taken by Mr. Reid it looks as if both feet are used during the running. In the sequence of three photos that were provided to me the left foot splash MAY be a little larger than the right foot splash ...but both feet are definitely being used. Several birders were able to see AL, including a San Diego fellow who specifically came to Pt. Arena for the chance of seeing this famous Laysan Albatross. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 -- A late-posted follow-up to Karen's sighting: "My" WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (adult) returned to our yard in Fort Bragg on Sunday, December 9. I was beginning to fear the bird would not return. We have had at least one WTSP spend the winter in our yard (near the edge of Pudding Creek) for each of the three winters we have owned this house. Lesser Goldfinch numbers at our thistle feeder have increased only slightly since mid-summer. -- David Jensen

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 -- This morning, Jim spotted a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW from the kitchen window feeding by the brick pillar and the pine tree with the other birds. Four zonotrichia species all at once! It appears to be a sub-adult or adult, but some of the coloration is not perfect. Within the range from all tan to pure white, it leans mostly to the white side, but the yellow lores are very dull. The left side of the head has a little more tan on the supercilium, while the right side has more white. The throat is quite white with a nice black border. -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 -- I stopped by Arena Cove this afternoon and saw "Al" the LAYSAN ALBATROSS. He swam up to a returning fishing boat and either greeted the fishermen or begged for a handout, depending on your interpretation of Albatross bill clackings. I clearly noticed that he was using both legs for propulsion as he swam across the bay. This surprised me greatly. Last winter one leg trailed uselessly as he swam. I was unable to stay long enough to see him fly. If anyone sees the bird fly in or take off, please post your observation of the legs - does one leg still dangle as the bird flies, and does the bird still hop across the water on one leg as it takes flight? Does anyone know whether a broken leg (at least we assumed it was broken) can heal and become totally functional without receiving aid? As I watched the interaction with the fishermen, I heard one of them claim that this was not Al, but a different bird. I find it easier to believe that the leg could reheal on its own than that anot! her Laysan would quickly fill the void left by a non-returning Al.
I stopped at Stoneboro Road just before sunset and observed 6 TREE SWALLOWS. I was also able to count 16 TUNDRA SWANS near the mouth of Brush Creek as they flew into the estuary for the evening. -- David Jensen

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 -- I spent the morning again at Lake Mendocino concentrating on refinding the loon for a closer view. I didn't find the loon, but I did find some more interesting birds. There was a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER near the south boat ramp resting in the water and on shore. There was also in the south end a lone female Common Merganser trailing about three feet of fishing line in flight. There was a group of 19 California Gulls in the same area and they were joined by an adult THAYER'S GULL and a RING-BILLED GULL. I have birded the lake for the last four days, and the gulls seem to change daily. The only constant has been an adult HERRING GULL that likes to sit on the buoys in the Pomo A area. The group of CACKLING GEESE has grown to 51. Only two have partial white collars, there is a big range of browns on their breasts, and a few have divided chin patches. They were mainly near the south ramp but were swimming to the east shore when last seen. The ROSS'S GOOSE is still hanging out with his two buddies near Oak Grove. It's a good photo opportunity for someone. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 -- The first year HARRIS'S SPARROW in our front yard north of Ten Mile River in Ocean Meadows is certainly a different bird than the Fort Bragg bird. We see our bird several times per day, and we live almost 11 miles north of the city of Fort Bragg. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 -- Marybeth Arago reports that she has a HARRIS'S SPARROW has shown up at their feeder yesterday the 8th in Fort Bragg, It was confirmed as such on Sunday (DT)...and is a probably different bird from the Ocean Meadows Circle - Ten Mile Harris's Sparrow which was still there on the 7th. If interested in seeing this bird you can call Marybeth at 962-0724 anytime after 8:15am.

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 -- Around 8:30 AM I had a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK at my wild bird seed feeder. The feeder has ground sunflower and thistle seed and I mix it with regular wild seed. The bird sat long enough for me to recognize it in a foreshortened view head toward me. It flushed. I called Cheryl and Geoff, thinking it might not come back. Then it returned and long enough for me to have same look at it feeding while putting film in an ancient camera. It flushed again and did so turning giving me looks at the white windows and spots on top wing. It appeared as a vibrant mature male. I neglected to note behind the eye if it had a broken head pattern with any orange? It is too early for count week in our area. Of Ukiah. I did put out sunflower seeds in the open feeders. I am wondering if this bird is ever known to eat persimmons because there are ripening trees in the area, and thinking that neotropical migrants switch to fruit when they go south? -- Barbara Dolan

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 -- About noon today Barbara Dolan and I found a RED-THROATED LOON at Lake Mendocino. It was about half-way between the dam and Perry Creek Cove. Probably it could be scoped from Coyote Dam. Hope it sticks around until Saturday. The flock of 26 CACKLING GEESE is still around. Today we saw them fly west over the dam and south towad Ukiah. A ROSS'S GOOSE is still present in the north end. It is hanging out with two domestic geese near the Oak Grove parking lot. There are also two adult BALD EAGLES which have been in the north end mornings and are eating dead striped bass on the mud flats. Yesterday there was a CANVASBACK at the delta of the Russian River - now migrated south of the Mesa. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 -- Lake Cleone - MacKerricher State Park 9 -10:45 am 40F at 9 am: Parking Lot: Brewers Blackbirds. On or Near the Lake: 100+ American Coots, Several Mallards, 5 Double-crested Cormorants, Buffleheads, 4 female, 4 male, 1 Eared Grebe, non-breeding plumage, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 Great Blue Heron, About 12 Scaups, Greater or Lesser, 1 Northern Harrier soaring low over the lake, About two dozen Western Gulls, Other gulls not able to ID. Tidal Pond West of Lake: 1 Pacific Loon, Several coots. Trail Around the Lake: Flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees in trees, Flock of House Finches in trees, 1 Common Raven, 5 Stellars Jays, 1 Acorn Woodpecker, 1 Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers, very active in trees south of the lake, 1 Red-tailed Hawk perched in dead tree on south side of lake, 1 Turkey Vulture soaring overhead -- Fred Andrews

Sun, 09 Dec 2007 -- Off of the Little River Headlands today we saw at least 3 ANCIENT MURRELETS and 5 MARBLED MURRELETS in close. We also saw a winter/plumaged PIGEON GUILLEMOT in the same place that we saw one on November 6. Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 -- Hooray! AL, the local winter visiting LAYSAN ALBATROSS is, in fact, back. It was reported to me by two independent observers (Thank you Tom and Grace) that at 2:45 pm Mel Smith saw him fly in and land at the wharf. At 4:30 pm one of my tried-and-true observers verified it with Zeiss and with Elites. It is just riding in the water and preening. -- Bob Keiffer

[This is the 15th winter season that it has been known to be present]

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 -- This morning at Lake Mendocino there were a few birds of Christmas Bird Count interest:
BONAPARTE'S GULL, 1, southmost end of the Lake, Area 3.
CACKLING GEESE, 26, south of the South Boat Ramp. Flew to the north shore near Oak Grove Parking Lot, Area 2
ROSS'S GOOSE, 1, with the Cacklers., Area 2
ROCK WREN, 1, Coyote Dam between markers 004 and 005, Area 2
SNOWY EGRET, 1, Pomo A, Area 2.
HERRING GULL, 1 adult, Pomo A, Area 2.
-- George Chaniot

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 -- Hi- This morning Jim and I saw three BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS in the traditional spot in Oak Manor near Yosemite, Pomo and the north end of Washo.
After arriving back on the coast this afternoon, one of the first birds we spotted was the HARRIS'S SPARROW. It frequents the low hedge and area around the lone pine and the brick pillar at the north end of our yard. The location is halfway around the inner circle of Ocean Meadows Circle, 1/3 mile north of the Ten Mile River bridge. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 -- This AM while driving east on Branscomb Rd, Jim and I saw at least one VARIED THRUSH with a small group. Some, or all, of the other 5-6 birds could also have been Varied Thrushes. The location is between mile markers 3.00 and 3.65 at the west end of Branscomb Rd, north of Westport. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 -- I visited Lakeside County Park on the south side of Clear Lake this morning. I found a group of geese in center field of one of the ball diamonds. Today there were 15 CANADA GEESE, 9 CACKLING GEESE (of two sizes), 7 SNOW GEESE, and 1 ROSS'S GOOSE. I also checked Pyle Road for the shrike but to no avail. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 02 Dec 2007 -- Today I saw three female RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS at the county park in Clearlake Oaks (I didn't know Jerry had seen them until I just now read his message from Friday). After they were spooked by a boat, I relocated them plus an adult WESTERN GULL along the south shore, viewed from the campground just south of the park. A partially leucistic PIED-BILLED GREBE was in the channel at the park. I also saw three COMMON MOORHENS in a small pond visible from Sulphur Bank Road just east of the entrance to the El Em Indian Colony.
The few gulls at Clearlake are loafing on a dock near the end of Golf Street in Clearlake (just south of Redbud Park), where I found an adult and a 3rd-cycle WESTERN GULL, plus five 1st-cycle and three adult THAYER'S GULLS. Two 1st-cycle WESTERN GULLS were present on November 18 and an adult on November 11. SCAUP continue to increase at Borax Lake with 645 present on December 2, but no Tufted Ducks yet.
Two CACKLING GEESE were among 139 CANADA GEESE in a field beside Hidden Valley Plaza, opposite the Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course on Highway 29. I first saw these two birds on November 4. On November 11 I tallied 110 CANVASBACKS at the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 -- The "Sanel Valley" group of Canada Geese have been using the Crowfoot Ranch pasture which is along Highway 101 between Hopland and Ukiah ....just north of Jepson Winery...on the east side of the highway. I stopped to check them out and found three GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and 6 ALEUTIAN-race CACKLING GEESE mixed in with about 75 Canada Geese (Great Basin race). There is one Canada Goose with an extra large white check patch which is common when they interbreed with domestic geese ....but more interesting is a very light-breasted Canada goose that is just slightly smaller than the Great Basin Canadas (Branta canadensis moffitti). This bird may be an Interior Canada Goose (Branta canadensis interior) but needs to be checked out further. Good Birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 -- The HOUSE WREN was in the yard across from us on Ocean Meadows Circle. It was missing yesterday, so I was glad to see it this AM. The HARRIS'S SPARROW is also still at the north side of our yard near the lone pine and low hedge. This is halfway around the circle on the inner side. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 -- Today there was a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE on Pyle Rd., Nice.
A large number of fish-eating birds have moved into the Clearlake Oaks lower arm of Clear Lake. At the Clearlake Oaks Boat Launch Facility I found 2 female RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS .
Lakeside County Park (on Park Drive off of Soda Bay Rd) is a fairly reliable location to find Canada Geese.
Today as usual there was a flock of geese but none were Canada Geese Instead there were 9 CACKLING GEESE, 6 SNOW GEESE, and 1 ROSS'S GOOSE. -- Jerry White

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 -- This morning I birded Lake Mendocino and found a few interesting species: There was a MEW GULL at the south boat ramp area,two HERRING GULLS in the north end of the lake, a SNOW GOOSE and a CACKLING GOOSE on the shore at Pomo B, an adult BALD EAGLE at the Mesa, a pair of CANVASBACKS at the Mesa, and a COMMON LOON at Perry Creek Cove. Later in the day there was an Aleutian-like CACKLING GOOSE among the 75 honkers at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 -- Hi-- Both yesterday and this morning, a HOUSE WREN has been in the slightly overgrown yard across the street from us at Ocean Meadows. Hopefully, it will stay a few more days, but some people are now visiting the usually vacant home. The HARRIS'S SPARROW Sparrow is still present in our yard, as well. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 27 Nov 2007 -- Hi --This morning I was surprised and encouraged to find a MARSH WREN right outside the living room window. The wren was a bright, rusty red, more like the eastern population.
So, I headed north to Juan Creek and worked my way south along Hwy 1. There were almost no birds to be found, not even a Red-tailed Hawk. When I finally got back to Ocean Meadows, the wintering FERRUGINOUS HAWK was hovering on the east side of Hwy 1, and the HARRIS'S SPARROW greeted me. The Marsh Wren has moved on, presumably to the marsh just a quarter mile to the south. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, November 27, 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- A male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER made a brief visit to some sap wells in a red berry bush just outside the lab window at HREC this morning. A Red-breasted Sapsucker, apparently the rightful proprietor of the wells, ran him off and I haven't seen him since. That is a new bird for the Center. If anyone is interested in a follow-up on the presence/absence of this bird, let me know off list and I will let you know if he returns. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 26 Nov 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- A "Red" Fox Sparrow showed up this morning at the feeder outside the lab at HREC. I have posted a very nice photo of the bird, taken by Bob Keiffer, on the Mendobirds website. Mendobirds Members Click Here -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 -- Belated 22-25 November 2007 - Irish Beach to Point Arena highlights: BLACK SCOTER - female - directly below Irish Beach housing - sometimes with Surf Scoters
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER - 4 on Hunter's Lagoon, 1 at Pt. Arena Cove near the pier, several along the coastline
FERRUGINOUS HAWKS - 3 to 4 - various places along Hwy 1 - one very cooperative bird (for photos) was seen several times on the power poles just north of Manchester ....about three poles north of Brush Creek.
PEREGRINE FALCON - atop the pyramid-shaped rock island that is in the NW view from the CalTrans overlook by Mallo Pass Creek ...just north of Irish Beach
BLACK-CROWNED NIGT HERON - 20 - 25 birds along Garcia River just west of the end of the Miner Hole Road
Of note: I did not see any swans on the Garcia River flats ...and "Al" the Laysan Albatross had NOT shown up yet at the Pt. Arena Cove... and I did not see any Eurasian Collared-Doves along Duxbury Ln. (many times near the Thompson residence). Good birding -- Bob Keiffer.

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 -- Hi, The BURROWING OWL we took to Ronnie James, who does bird rehabilitation, was released on Bald Hill Rd in north Fort Bragg this afternoon. Toby, Jim and I accompanied Ronnie and a few other people to a property near the cattle ranch. We all followed Ronnie, who had the owl in a carrier, to a somewhat open spot on the property. There was a fence with nice posts, and we all hoped that the owl would land on a post for a few seconds. But no. It popped out of the cage and immediately flew about 50 yards around some cypresses. We did not see where it landed, but hopefully it will find a good spot to feed and rest tonight. The bird seemed to be quite healthy now.
Toby came by our house late this morning, and finally saw the HARRIS'S SPARROW. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 -- I drove around Potter Valley this morning and encountered quite a few raptors: Golden Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, 1st-winter FERRUGINOUS HAWK, 2 Cooper's HAwks, American Kestrel, and a PRAIRIE FALCON. On Burris Pond there was a pair of GADWALLS - fairly unusual in the valley, and there were two female GREATER SCAUP on the East Road pond - also unusual locally. Between Burris Lane and Pine Avenue I saw at least three distant LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 -- Toby Tobkin and I tried to find the Rock Sandpiper at Laguna Point this morning during high tide but failed to find it. Plenty of Turnstones and Surfbirds but no Sandpiper. We did see a flock of 14 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS fly by(they seem to be numerous this year). We then went up to Ward Ave. and found 6 BLACK SCOTERS with a few HARLEQUIN DUCKS mixed in. Since I was most of the way there I decided to try for Karen's HARRIS'S SPARROW and when I arrived (around noon). Karen waved me up to her front porch from which I had an excellent look at the Sparrow. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 -- Today from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. I walked around the Lake Cleone trail at MacKerricher State Park. I need help with identifying a bird that I only glimpsed for a few seconds. It was perched in a deciduous tree along the south side of the lake. It was grayish and very small, but not a hummingbird. Any ideas?
Birds on the lake: 100s American Coots, Dozens Western Gulls, Several Mallards, About 2 dozen male and female Ring-necked ducks, One Pied-billed Grebe, One Male Greater Scaup (has the green appearing iridescent head), (Immature)Male and female Eurasian Wigeons (the male did not have the white forecrown of a male American Wigeon)
Flying overhead: Two separate flocks of Canada Geese, One Turkey Vulture, Three Common Ravens
On the trail around the lake: Maybe a dozen male and female Yellow-rumped Warblers, Three Double-crested Cormorants perched in a dead tree, Female Acorn Woodpecker, Ten California Quail, Heard a Marsh Wren, Five Stellars Jays, One Western Scrub Jay, A dozen or more Chestnut-backed Chickadees, One White-crowned Sparrow (probably a juvenille, I need a new field guide), Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet, One female Northern Flicker
Paking lot: Brewers Blackbirds -- Fred Andrews

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 -- After arriving home, the HARRIS'S SPARROW is still in the front yard by the lone pine and brick pillar (inner part of Ocean Meadows Circle, halfway around). Our neighbor did a good job in putting out enough seed. The bird has stayed over a week now. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 -- Around noon today, I spotted an OSPREY flying over the Russian River at milepost 8 on Hwy 101. I think Jim got a glimpse of it as we drove north. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 -- "Toby" Tobkin had a ROCK SANDPIPER today during high tide. It was mixed in with the Turnstones and Surfbirds at Laguna Point in MacKerricher State Park. -- Richard Hubacek for "Toby"

WED, 21 Nov 2007 -- Today's Mendocino Coast Audubon Society's Birdwalk at the botanical garden tied the previous high species count at 59. Some of the most interesting birds were a RED PHALAROPE(new to the gardens list), several WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a MERLIN seen from the parking lot, a WILSON'S SNIPE (also new to the list), and a PALM WARBLER that showed up as we compiled our list. The Palm Warbler was seen in the parking lot around the pond and was last seen near the adm. buildings just north. The walk was led by "Toby" Tobkin. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 19 Nov 2007 -- The first year HARRIS'S SPARROW has been seen twice this morning feeding in the same location on Ocean Meadows Circle, north of the Ten Mile River bridge. If I can get a neighbor to put out seed around Thanksgiving, hopefully the bird will stay for a while longer. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 18 Nov 2007 -- Some of the highlights for the Peregrine Audubon field trip to Round Valley were a pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS around the Sandstone Bluffs along hwy 162, several FERRUGINOUS HAWKS and a PRAIRIE FALCON along Dobie Lane. and about nine CHINOOK SALMON at the bridge over the mainstem Eel River at the mouth of Outlet Creek. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 17 Nov 2007 -- The HARRIS'S SPARROW is still in the front yard, and Matthew and Roger are photographing it this AM. Location: halfway around the inner side of Ocean Meadows Circle, 1/3 mile north of Ten Mile River. Near the lone pine by the brick pillar.
The BURROWING OWLwas refound standing by a culvert at Seaside Beach. Dave and Johanna Jensen came by to look for the sparrow, so the three drove down and looked the owl, thinking it was fine. Ronnie James (bird rehaber) did not agree, so in the late afternoon, Jim and I captured it and delivered it to Ronnie in the early evening. She will contact us for release in a couple of days, hopefully.
This morning, Jim brought a dead adult male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on Seaside Beach. Matthew took a couple of photos of it, also. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 -- Hi-- The HARRIS'S SPARROW has been feeding this AM, Fri. 16 Nov 2007, in the front yard near the lone pine tree and brick pillar. It is a very attractive bird. The location is halfway around Ocean Meadows Circle on the inner side, about 1/3 mile north of Ten Mile river bridge. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 15 Nov 2007 -- Just a few minutes ago, a HARRIS'S SPARROW was feeding in front of the garage! That is another yard bird and a new one for MEN County. The sparrow flock usually works around Ocean Meadows Circle. Hopefully it will stay. It is a first winter bird - very pink bill, tan head, white chin, and a necklace of black spotting over a pure, white breast and belly. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 -- This evening, a BURROWING OWL was in our front yard about 6:45 PM. I got a few photos of it, as it was very tame. A great yard bird! -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 -- Late this morning, I tried for the third time to see if a Rock Sandpiper has returned to Laguna Point in MacKerricher SP. Last year there were six ROSAs, but none has shown up as yet this year. A few Common Murres flew by, a Clark's Grebe was in the cove, and a few MEW GULLS were near the parking lot. At Lake Cleone, a "minima" CACKLING GOOSE stood near the picnic tables. It had a broken chin strap, small bill and no white necklace whatsoever. I did not have time to venture out on the board walk. It is a very pretty day today, though. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 11 Nov 2007 -- Saw one OSPREY flying overhead at the west end of the Haul Road at Big River. -- Fred Andrews

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 -- The Mendocino Coast Audubon chapter led a field trip to view wintering hawks along the coast from the Navarro River to Point Arena this morning. Despite the periods of light rain, we saw five FERRUGINOUS HAWKS in the fields along Highway 1 immediately north and south of the Irish Beach subdivision. However, the highlight of the day came as we birded from the pier in Arena Cove. We watched as a PEREGRINE FALCON swept down from the cliff bordering the cove and struck an unsuspecting female Bufflehead on the back of the neck as she floated near the surf line. The falcon then wheeled past us, circled back, snatched the motionless duck off the ocean surface, and flew past us again, this time to a cliffside perch where it fed on the hapless hen. -- David Jensen

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 -- One adult BALD EAGLE was seen flying upstream along the Russian River 1.6 miles north of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line along Highway 101 at about 10:00 am. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 -- The SURF SCOTER was still present today on the south pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 -- Four of us went birding on the Spring Ranch portion of Van Damme State Park this morning. Highlight was a ROCK SANDPIPER on the north side of the headlands. Number of species: 27
Surf Scoter 4, Western Grebe 1, Brown Pelican 1, Brandt's Cormorant 20, Double-crested Cormorant 2, Pelagic Cormorant 20, Turkey Vulture 5, Northern Harrier 1, American Kestrel 2, Black Oystercatcher 10, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Black Turnstone 40, Surfbird 20, Rock Sandpiper 1, Wilson's Snipe 1, Mew Gull 4, California Gull 10, Western Gull 40, Glaucous-winged Gull 2, Mourning Dove 2, Belted Kingfisher 1, Black Phoebe 4, Common Raven 4, Winter Wren 1, American Pipit 5, Savannah Sparrow 5, Western Meadowlark 15 -- Charlene McAllister and Ron LeValley

Thu, 08 Nov 2007. -- I stopped at Arena Cove (south of the lighthouse, west of the town) about 3 p.m. this afternoon for about 30 minutes. I saw the usual assortment of gulls (sorry, larophiles) and WESTERN GREBES, a flock of 27 EARED GREBES, one solitary HORNED GREBE, at least 8 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS (one of them less than 50 feet offshore directly alongside the pier so you could look straight down on the bird), 2 female BUFFLEHEADS, 4 river otters (one of which was 'chirping' at the rest), but no Albatross. First sighting dates for 'Al' have ranged from November 21 to December 12, so it is still early. -- David Jensen

Wed, 07 Nov 2007 -- On my jog this morning I came upon a group of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES near the intersection of Powerhouse Rd and Main Street in Potter Valley. There were at least 12 birds roosting in a thick ash tree and going down to feed on the bare ground of a horse paddock. This seems like a pretty large number considering that they were first detected in Potter Valley on June 11, 2007. Do they rove around in big groups like Rock Pigeons or Band-tails? I've never seen them on the move like that. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 06 Nov 2007 -- Hi all, Today off of Little River Headlands there was a single basic (winter) plumaged PIGEON GUILLEMOT. Most of these go north for the winter and I rarely see them after September. -- Ron LeValley

Mon, 05 Nov 2007 -- At Pudding Creek, 12:20 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. I first saw a female American Kestrel perched high on a telephone wire. I also sighted: Western Gulls, American Coots, Common Ravens, Turkey Vultures, Mallards, a Snowy Egret, a Great Egret, a pair of American Wigeons, a a pair of Surf Scoters, Rock Doves and an an immature White-Crowned Sparrow. As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed a large raptor flying overhead. It was a Red-tailed hawk that flew accross to the east side of Hwy 1 and perched a top a monterey cypress. Quite a sight. -- Fred Andrews

Mon, 05 Nov 2007 -- Hi Birders. I visited the Ukiah STP this afternoon, where I was surprised to see an immature SURF SCOTER. Are there prior records of this species for the USTP? [No, this is the first. There are records for Lake Mendocino.-GEC] It was on the south pond, with all the rest of the ducks and coots and whatnot. There were also six Eared Grebes on the pond.
Also present were a number of AMERICAN PIPITS (25 or 30 at least), as well as quite a few MARSH WRENS. Three LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS may have been notable, but the only other shorebirds that I saw were Killdeer. -- Matt Brady

Mon, 05 Nov 2007 -- Toby Tobkin passed on to me that she saw a LONG-TAILED DUCK (likely the same one reported by David Jensen yesterday) and an ANCIENT MURRELET from the middle platform out on Laguna Point today. There was also a CLARK'S GREBE present there. Cheers. -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 04 Nov 2007 -- Hi all, Today around 11:45 a.m. when I was driving into Fort Bragg (for an 11:00 a.m. meeting), I noticed a pair of Ravens harassing a slightly smaller hawk as the three birds flew north to south across the Noyo Harbor. Charlene and I got only a quick, but good, look at the hawk, but it was smaller than the ravens, shaped like a Red-tailed Hawk, and was notably white below with dark black wing tips. Both the under side of the body and the under wings were almost immaculate white. The only thing that keeps me from calling this a light juvenile Broad-winged Hawk was that the tail was finely barred all the way to the tip of the feathers (I did not notice a larger subterminal band). Given the look that I had, and the fact that I was driving, I would not want to call this bird for sure, but I encourage anyone birding around the Noyo Harbor Bridge to keep a eye out. Most Broad-winged Hawks that are in California are migrating, but given that this is getting late in the season, occasionally one hangs around for a few days. Good luck. -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 04 Nov 2007 -- I was able to see the following today between 10 and 11 a.m. from the Laguna Point lookout: All three loons, but mostly many flocks of Common Loon heading south. All three Scoters. 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Parasitic Jaeger, 1 Black-legged Kittiwake, 1 male Long-tailed Duck (resting on the water just outside the surf zone), many Common Murres (having seen none during the month of October), about 20 Rhinoceros Auklets, about 10 Cassin's Auklets, and finally, a mystery gull that soared low over the waves, ALL WHITE - with no black markings on the wings (and if there was significant grey it did not show in the bright light that reflected from the flying bird), probably smaller than a Heerman's, with tight pointed wings and a square to slightly rounded (not forked) tail. These markings were confirmed by another person who was watching through my Leicas while I trailed it with a Swarovski scope. Probably just another albino . . . All in all, it was a good morning and I hated to leave. -- David Jensen

Sun, 04 Nov 2007 -- This morning at MacKerricher State Park I saw: On Lake Cleone: Hundreds of American Coots, Mallards, Western Gulls, One Pied-billed Grebe, and a few other waterfowl that I could not identify.
Along the trail aroung Lake Cleone: Common Ravens, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, White-tailed kite, Yellow-rumped Warblers, male Ruby-crowned kinglet, Stellars Jays, male and female Northern Flickers, Song Sparrows, Brewers Blackbirds, Marsh Wren on wet grassy area on west end of lake, 2 Double-crested Cormorants perched in a tree snag -- Fred Andrews

Sun, 04 Nov 2007 -- This afternoon, I spotted a FERRUGINOUS HAWK atop a pine on the east side of Hwy 1, about 1/3 mile north of the Ten Mile River. This is directly across the road from the mail boxes for Ocean Meadows Circle. For the past two+ winters, an adult Ferruginous has hunted in this vicinity. -- Karen Havlena

Sa, 03 Nov 2007 -- There are 3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and 6 CACKLING GEESE (Aleutians) hanging out with the resident Canada Geese in the Hopland area. Seen this am in the large open flat field on the south side of Feliz Creek viewed from Feliz Creek Road about 1 mile west of Hopland. These geese range to various local ponds including the "Crowfoot" pond and pasture along Hwy 101 just north of the CDF fire station north of Hopland. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 -- To all; I finally got to see in good light this morning a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that joined the 9 Golden-crowns and 2 Dark-eye Juncos at my yard feeding area. It started a loud call at 6:15AM. This was not a tan striped form as we saw at our Clearlake Field Trip . New yard bird for me. -- Barbara Dolan

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 -- Dear All, While paddling on Ten Mile River I saw, among the 18 species of mostly ducks, an AMERICAN BITTERN. -- Erica Fielder

Thu, 01 Nov 2007 -- While working in the Manchester area today I saw the following: 2 Peregrine Falcons , 1 Merlin, (many Kestrel, Red-tails and Northern Harriers, as expected), 2 Osprey (together), 1 immature Bald Eagle, no Ferruginous Hawks, and 7 White-winged Scoter, mostly immatures, on Hunter's Lagoon
Two brief impressions: * I have seen more White-winged Scoter this year along the entire coast than I can remember in recent years. * My job has required me to drive to Gualala about twice a week since July. The number of White-tailed Kite seen from Elk to Anchor Bay has increased dramatically in the past two weeks. _- David Jensen

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 -- This morning Joel Franks found an AMERICAN BITTERN in the small overflow pond at Lake Cleone. When he returned from jogging, he refound the bird near the lake before it flew into the reeds. -- Dave Jensen for Joel Franks

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 -- "Toby" Tobkin reported seeing a "probable" female LAPLAND LONGSPUR at noon today. Location was the Mendocino Headlands at the far most south- western parking area. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 -- This morning George Chaniot, Geoff Heinecken, and I refound the AMERICAN BITTERN reported by Chuck Vaughn last Friday at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. The bird was hunting along the south edge of the south pond, keeping a respectable distance as we walked east until it was nearly "cornered". It then flew across the pond, stayed there awhile, then flew back in behind us to resume feeding.
On the dry north pond, a flock of seven HORNED LARKS fluttered in to peck around in the dirt and were joined by eight or so AMERICAN PIPITS. The flock was moving between the north pond and the corporation yard over the north fence.
Other highlights were a late male WESTERN TANAGER and four WHITE-TAILED KITES. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 -- Today another WHITE-THROATED SPARROW made an appearance in my yard - a white-stripe bird this time -- George Chaniot

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders: I made my obligatory Friday morning visit to the USTP today, and the wet, gloomy weather proved lucky for me. I saw an AMERICAN BITTERN in the tall "Smart Weed" on the south edge of the south pond. The bird flushed as I approached and hopped over the south fence into the drainage ditch adjacent to the pear orchard there. It may well still be in the area. On the dry and recently-plowed north pond I saw a beautiful reddish, male HORNED LARK. This bird, unfortunately, flew SE over the river and disappeared. Other birds of local interest included 22 CACKLING GEESE (no collars, dark brown-purple upper breast), a single DUNLIN, and 3 BONAPARTE'S GULLS. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 -- A first-winter male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was picking seeds out of sunflower heads in my garden a few minutes ago. We had an adult male at the window feeder once last year, and I heard them singing in the redwoods this spring. How often are these birds seen on the coast?
Earlier today, in the same garden, a juvenile COOPER'S HAWK made a dramatic appearance, perched on the frame over the strawberry bed. Somehow it managed not to collide with any of the two dozen or so Mourning Doves infesting the front yard. Too bad; better luck next time!
Two nights ago we had a very small owl flittering about, but I was unable to see it clearly enough to get an ID. It seemed smaller than a Screech to me. What's the next most likely small owl? Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 -- Four PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS have been feeding in the former lumber storage area on the GP mill site just south of the path that leads to Glass Beach at the end of Elm Street in Fort Bragg. I first spotted the birds in that same area on Tuesday evening while walking my dog. Unfortunately I did not have my binoculars with me that evening (DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!) and could only guess the species based on relative size, behavior and habitat. I was able to return this evening and confirm my earier assumption. In his book Northwestern California Birds, Dr. Stanley Harris reports that small groups winter in northern California, so I will check on these periodically to see how long they stay. -- David Jensen

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 -- This morning I had a tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in my yard. This is my first for the season and fairly late. I also have been seeing a single PINE SISKIN around my feeders -- George Chaniot

Tue, 23 Oct 2007 -- Thanks for your report, Floyd. Regarding the different pattern to this year's Fall migration, might it be due to the fact the fog has stayed off the coast (except for just a few days) producing many starry nights for migrating south along the ocean?
I live right on the ocean bluff and it was 73 degrees here today with no wind and a beautiful green-flash sunset through a distant (light) fog bank out over the water. Tonight it is stunning with nearly a full moon shining on the ocean. I've lived 10 years full-time on the coast now and this was the best summer/fall I've experienced. Global warming???
This is the first year I've ever seen so many GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flocks (6) migrating south over the ocean and the number of resting/feeding shorebirds have been more numerous, also. FWIW -- Rich

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 -- On Oct 21, (6) GRAY JAYS were seen in Leggett at the junction of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1. -- Rich Stallcup [ from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 -- On Sunday the 21st I found an adult male EURASIAN WIGEON among perhaps 300 AMERICAN WIGEON at Borax Lake. I was surprised to see about 90 SCAUP, numbers which usually don't appear until January, but I could not find a Tufted Duck among them. At Clearlake Park I saw a partially leucistic female COMMON MERGANSER with a diffuse whitish eyering and postocular stripe plus extra large white wing patches. A COMMON LOON and a male HOODED MERGANSER were at Detert Reservoir.
Does anybody have a hypothesis why so few shorebirds turned up this year in Lake County? The past few months the habitat has been excellent at Borax Lake and Detert Reservoir, yet I've seen only Killdeer and, on Sunday, a Wilson's Snipe at Borax Lake. Not even one yellowlegs, peep or dowitcher! I did see a few more shorebirds the few times I visited Clear Lake State Park, but I've been told there were relatively few this year considering the excellent habitat. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 -- After observing the Snow Bunting Toby and I went up to Bald Hill Rd. We did find an adult FERRUGINOUS HAWK. The Canada Goose flock(130+)had small numbers of CACKLING GEESE but no other varities. There were large flocks (200+) of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS. No Burrowing Owl yet. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 -- The SNOW BUNTING was still in the same location as described at 3:00PM this afternoon. Pictures to be posted on Mendobirds shortly. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 20 Oct 2007 -- Dave and Sarah (last names unknown), a couple of new birders on the Mendocino Coast, found a winter male SNOW BUNTING at MacKerricher State Park this morning. "Toby" Tobkin confirmed the sighting at 12:15 pm today... and the bird was at the same place as described to her. From the "south" parking lot at Mackerricher ...this is the one just a short ways north of Pudding Creek, one takes the "southern" path that leads towards the "tip of land" ...the bird was at the far end of the main walk trail. -- Reported for Toby Tobkin by Bob Keiffer. This is a CBRC "Review" species please take descriptive notes, sketches, photos if possible. Good birding.

Fri, 19 Oct 2007 -- An almost entirely white leucistic EUROPEAN STARLING is with a large flock of starlings along University Road on the east side of (Old) Hopland...University Road turns off of the Old River Road. The flock hangs around the permanant pasture on the UC property (north side of road) and the Lakeview Vineyards (south side of road). The bird is entirely "whipping-cream white" with smudgy brown on the head area, which may just be from feeding. It shows up like a neon sign when the flock is in flight. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 16 Oct 2007 -- I got a much better view of this parrot yesterday. It is a parakeet with a bright green, almost chartreuse, back, yellow tipped tail and yellow wings with black speckles and black spots on its face and neck. Its cere is brownish, so perhaps it is a female. I can't see any leg bands, but apparently the practice is much less common than it used to be. Several reponses I got predicted a very short life expectancy, but it is a month or more since first sighting. -- Jim Armstrong

Sun, 14 Oct 2007 -- A CANVASBACK, at least 8 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a couple of BLACK SCOTERS and a PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER were at various areas of MacKerricher SP today. I could not find very many small, colorful passerines, except Townsend's and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Yesterday, I looked from Juan Creek to Lake Cleone. This morning the Canvasback had arrived at Lk Cleone. The scoters in many, large flocks flew south past Laguna Point. I tried to find a Rock Sandpiper but had no luck. The Pacific Golden Plover was called in to me by Becky and Win Bowen. They saw it in the dry sand north of Ward Ave. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 13 Oct 2007 -- I just wanted to mention that I had a COMMON POORWILL on my dirt-road driveway here in Hopland. This bird was in the same spot on the road as COPO have been observed at in years past (same bird?). Mid-October to early November seems to be the time period that this species migrates south and passes through our county. The bird was seen on the road just at dusk ...and was later foraging nearby. Good birding -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 13 Oct 2007 -- On Saturday 10/13 amongst the AMERICAN WIGEONS an Pudding Creek, I saw one in plumage that my nat. geo. guide described as "eclipse." Bright color in the bill, rusty sides, but no white mohawk. I hadn't noticed those before...are they common? -- Haley Ross

Wed, 10 Oct 2007 -- This afternoon was beautiful after the storm moved on. At Lake Cleone I observed a male and female GREATER SCAUP, a male and female LESSER SCAUP, a few PIED-BILLED GREBES, dozens of AMERICAN COOTS, some MALLARDS, a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT and dozens of WESTERN GULLS. Along the Lake Cleone trail there was a WINTER WREN, two STELLER'S JAYS and an immature WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. At the Laguna Point headlands there were about two dozen HEERMANN'S GULLS, a few BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, one BROWN PELICAN, several PELAGIC CORMORANTS and two WILLETS. And there was a WESTERN GREBES in a tidal area next to the Haul Road. -- Fred Andrews

Tue, 09 Oct 2007 -- Four, beautiful, male HARLEQUIN DUCKS stood side by side on a rock just off Glass Beach in Fort Bragg this morning. It was quite breezy, so virtually all litttle birds stayed in the low willows. Glass Beach is at the west end of Elm St. After walking out to the beach, the ducks were just to the north on a rock with some whitewash on it. They were very close to shore. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning and saw 3 CACKLING GEESE on the south pond. None of them had white-collars so I assume they were probably not "Aleutians". Despite the large expanse of muddy puddles on the draining middle pond, the only shorebirds besides some LEASTS were 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. Two PEREGRINE FALCONS , an adult and an immature, made several noisy and half-hearted strafes over the ducks on the south pond. A much more stealthy MERLIN was also working the area. There were several hundred swallows out there, but all I could find were VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS. This afternoon I have had a late WESTERN TANAGER eating what remains of my zinfandel grapes at home. On 10/3 a "V" of about 110 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over the HREC office area headed SSE. They were definitely not going to Clear Lake. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 -- The Big River Stewards spotted a PEREGRINE FALCON at Station 1 (Big River Beach parking lot)and again at station 4 (the Quarry)during the first survey of the West Haul Road this Fall. For the past four years experienced surveyors from the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society have joined with volunteers from the Mendocino Land Trust's Big River Stewards program to conduct Fall Bird surveys at various locations on Big River.
An EARED GREBE (possibly new to the surveys), was also observed near the mouth of Big River, as were a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS. Volunteers also observed a juvenile Sea Lion hauled out on the Beach and Harbor Seals at Station 2 (Haul Road Gate.)
Further upriver, strong winds made surveys challenging but BROWN CREEPERS were heard at both Stations 7 and 8 (about 2 miles up the haul road)and a BRANDT'S CORMORANT was observed at Station 9 (New Boom).
Other birds heard or seen included Northern Flickers, Acorn and Downy Woodpeckers, Ruby Crowned Kinglets, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons and the "usual suspects." -- Don Coleman

Wed, 03 Oct 2007 -- I saw my first DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT of the fall, a juvenile, yesterday above the Russian River in Potter Valley. It's funny how in the spring they're so plentiful that I get a little bored with them, but I missed having big birds in the trees all summer. I also got a pretty nice and very lucky photo of a flock of WOOD DUCKS flying over me that I've added to my Potter Valley album. -- Elaine Lindelef

Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -- Birders, Gjon Hazard and I birded northern Mendocino County on 10-1-07 We started the day at Usal Campground/mouth of Usal Creek. We had more migrant landbirds here than anywhere else today; the other coastal patches we checked were had very few birds. The highlight for me was the SWAMP SPARROW out in the low veg near the mouth. There were also 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS about. We had a few warblers (including a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER), vireos, and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS.
Later in the morning, about 200 feet up Usal Road from Highway 1, there was a termite hatch going on that was being attended by a flock of warblers (Yellow, Townsend's, Black-throated Grey, Wilson's), Warbling Vireos, kinglets, etc. The highlight was a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. The scene reminded us of something you'd see in the tropics with antbirds and army ants, and was really fun to watch up close since the birds ignored us in their feeding frenzy. Also, there was a single PECTORAL SANDPIPER at the mouth of Virgin Creek. -- John E. Hunter Arcata

Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -- For the second time in two weeks, I have a small, uniformly bright yellow parrot (or large yellow parakeet) in my yard in SE Potter Valley. It was here briefly on George and Chuck's Big Day, but refused to be seen when they came by. While I assume it is an escapee from a home or collection, it is far from tame, flushing from my seed feeder area with wild-bird speed when I go out. I haven't noticed any call or song. Any one know where it might belong? -- Jim Armstrong

Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -- After searching the entire Virgin Creek area in MacKerricher SP in Fort Bragg, I could find neither Ruff nor Buff. I included looking at the bluff area south of the creek mouth, the pond at the SW corner of the Baxman Gravel property, and the beach as far north as I could go. Also at Virgin Creek beach: There was a CACKLING GOOSE with a narrow, white neckband, probably an Aleutian and 14 godwits of the Marbled variety. A female BLACK SCOTER played in the surf with other scoters. Jim Havlena saw 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS flying north very close to shore at Seaside beach, north of Ten Mile River. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -- On Saturday the 29th I stumbled across a juvenile female RUFF at Virgin Creek. It was well observed and photographed by a group of birders during the Albion Birding Weekend. We followed it from 9:00-10:00 am as it moved from the mouth of the creek southward along the rocks, where it foraged with Black Turnstones and Surfbirds in the surf. I just uploaded two photographs at:
We searched for it unsuccessfully on Sunday afternoon, but met a couple of birders who mentioned that one had been seen over the weekend at Pudding Creek. If so, I'd be interested in knowing the details (none posted on Mendobirds).
On Friday the 28th a juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen just north of the mouth of Virgin Creek by Stan Snyder and several other birders. Stan, a very experienced birder familiar with both Ruff and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, also saw the Ruff on Saturday and says it was a totally different bird than the Buff-breasted Sandpiper they saw on Friday.
Other shorebirds seen at Virgin Creek during the weekend included a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER and a juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This morning there was a VESPER SPARROW in an open pasture above the office area at the UC Hopland RandE Center. The COMMON MOORHEN continued on the southern sag pond at noon. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 -- While birding with the group from Albion on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 29, in the campground at Manchester Beach State Park I found a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE in a flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Views of the birds were short as they moved through the pines and cypress trees. But the one Black-capped Chickadee gave a striking view as it worked over a group of exposed cones on a bare cypress branch for half a minute before moving behind the greenery. I hope someone else can find this bird again. -- Larry Siemens, Redding

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 -- My wife came back from shopping today and said she saw a strange bird in the Fort Bragg Safeway's parking lot. She had her camera with her and chased it around the lot taking it's picture. It turned out to be a female BREWER'S BLACKBIRD with partially white feathers. I've haven't seen many birds with "abnormal coloration" and thought it interesting in light of the most recent issue of ABA's "Birding" magazine. I posted photos in the Mendobirds photo section. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 -- A flock of fifty to sixty GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE was seen at 1:20 PM 9/28/07 over Mendocino Town at the south end of Howard Street flying northwest.-- Jack Booth

Thu, 27 Sep 2007 -- Hello Mendobirders, I took a trip yesterday through Covelo, via 162, to the middle fork of the Eel. Notable birds were a VIRGINIA RAIL along Outlet Creek and a CANYON WREN on the Eel, 3-4 miles upstream from the Eel River Work Station. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 -- I've had a PINE SISKIN around my thistle feeders this afternoon after a virtual absence for two years. This is the earliest record by a week for inland Mendocino (1 Oct 1998), and the earliest I've had them before in Potter Valley is 11 Oct. If they follow their pattern of ups and downs, this winter should be a big siskin winter. Is anyone else seeing them yet? -- George Chaniot

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- At noon today I saw a hatch-year BLACKPOLL WARBLER in the wooded adjacent to the sag ponds at HREC. This is a first for the Center. The COMMON MOORHEN continues. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 23 Sep 2007 -- Hi - The MCAS pelagic trip on 9/23/07 went very well. The highlights were: 4 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, 1 SOUTH POLAR SKUA, 20+ NORTHERN FULMARS, 10+ BULLER'S SHEARWATERS, 22+ BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, 3 POMARINE JAEGER, 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS, and several HUMPBACKED WHALES. The South Polar Skua was spotted by Richard Hubacek. Pelagic trips are risky; there was "the one that got away" seen by Chuck Vaughn. It started to come in, then turned- tail and quickly flew away. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 21 Sep 2007 -- There was a flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS in downtown Ukiah Thursday (9/20). I got a good look at them and could clearly see the yellow wax on the tail tips of some of the birds. I think I hear them again today (Friday morning), but I couldn't see them clearly enough for a positive ID.
Also, I've realized it's been quite a while since I've seen Chestnut- backed Chickadees at my feeders. I really miss them, and it's starting to creep me out. They used to be year-round visitors, and we still get titmice, nuthatches, goldfinches, etc. all year along with bigger birds (Acorn woodpeckers, Steller's Jay's, Towhees, Ravens). Have they all been up in the mountains for the summer or is something more sinister going on? -- Maureen O'Hagan

Thu, 20 Sep 2007 -- This morning, a PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER and 4 juv BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were on Ten Mile beach, along with 5 MARBLED GODWITS scattered from Fen Creek mouth north to Seaside Beach. The PGPL was fairly close to the Ward Ave ramp with 2 Black-bellied Plovers. The Baird's were all by Inglenook Creek mouth. Also, there was a SAY'S PHOEBE in our backyard at noon. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 20 Sep 2007 -- About 11am this morning there was a second winter HEERMANN'S GULL at the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park. The gull was swimming just beyond the long, thin gravel bar that is on the west bank of Kelsey Creek right at the outlet into Clear Lake. There was also one MARBLED GODWIT standing on the gravel bar. Watch out for the aerial yellowjacket nest that is on a leaned over willow trunk along the trail that leads out to the outlet of Kelsey Creek. -- Dave Woodward

Sat, 15 Sep 2007 -- Hi All. A female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK showed up at my feeder last week here in Anchor Bay. She "posed" for me and I have posted the picture. She was joined by a male the following day. Exciting! -- Jeanne Jackson

Fri, 14 Sep 2007 -- Today about noon we saw a small Alcid in the cove off the end of Main Street in Mendocino, not far from the near end of the sea cave. It appeared to be a MARBLED MURRELET in transitional plumage. Wish I'd had the camera, it was quite close in and might have made a decent photo. Also watched a PEREGRINE FALCON standing on top of the westernmost island off the northwest tip of the Headlands. It made a couple of short flights but returned empty-taloned. Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Thu, 13 Sep 2007 -- Thursday, 13 Sept, there were 2 juv BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS and a juv RED KNOT on Ten Mile Beach, with the Baird's near Fen Ck and the Red Knot close to the Ward Ave ramp in MacKerricher SP. Large rafts of SURF SCOTERS have shown up between Ward Ave and Ten Mile River mouth. I tried to find other scoter species with my scope but could not pick out any different birds. I noticed a single MERLIN flying south over Seaside Beach, too. I forgot to mention the 4 MARBLED GODWITS that I have been studying for days at the mouth of Ten Mile River. Not one of them will turn into something better. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 13 Sep 2007 -- I had two relatively minor sightings today that are worth noting. A COMMON TERN was feeding in the Navarro River just west of the Highway 1 bridge. A pair of MERLIN put on a wonderful show the hour before sunset above the Noyo Rive beach. A male and a female (the color and size differences easily noted) chased each other, with each alternatively taking the role of aggressor. They also literally flew circles around a few pitiful Ravens that got in their way. RED-NECKED PHALAROPES continue to be plentiful along the coast and in the lower reaches of rivers. -- David Jensen

Wed, 12 Sep 2007 -- This is just for curiosity's sake ...yesterday, here at UC-Hopland REC I observed a mature GOLDEN EAGLE swooped down in front of my vehicle and nab a mature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK as it left it's perch on a large oak limb. Both birds continued to the ground with the Red-shouldered screaming. The eagle left, maybe due to the presence of the vehicle, and the hawk lowered itself into the grass. I thought that the hawk was probably dying but upon inspection it seemed rather alert and perky. I left it in an open box hoping that it might recover and fly away ...but it perished. It is now destined to be a museum study-skin specimen here at HREC. Good birding - Bob Keiffer

Mon, 10 Sep 2007 -- This morning at Pudding Creek's northern part of the beach (behind the hotels) I saw a plover that I cannot id. It was overall very dark with white under the tail on the belly, but the breast and belly were mainly very dark, white eye stripe and a bit of white around the bill, but had black primaries. Was this a molting Black-bellied? I got some photos, but they didn't turn out. IF one of them did, I will post a link to it later. -- Feather Forestwalker

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 -- This morning and yesterday at Pudding Creek there was a single COMMON TERN, in the vicinity of the tressel. Also: Yesterday at Virgin Creek Beach there was a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. The Buff-breasted was near the north end of the beach. RED-NECKED PHALAROPES continue in numbers at Virgin Creek and other lagoons and beaches near Fort Bragg. -- Art Morley

Thu, 06 Sep 2007 -- This evening at about 7:30 - 7:35 PM, I saw Jerry's SHORT-EARED OWL at milepost 72.32 on Hwy 1. This is the old townsite of Newport. I thought I was a little early arriving at 7:20, but a high marine layer began to come in. I parked at the gate at milepost 72.21. Many times I've thought that this is a great spot for Short-eared Owl. The sun was obscured by the partial marine layer, so the lighting was just right. Just about 7:35, I saw the owl fly low from the slope on the east side of the highway. It flew across the road, rose higher, then swooped straight down into the high grass in the field. It landed close to the road. I walked up to mm 72.32. Shortly, it flew north, staying low and went over the small rise. The terrain slopes down again. I walked back to the car. Another car stopped on the road between the two mileposts. I started to go up to talk to them, but they moved forward, stopping and driving until they went over the rise. Their timing would have been good, if the marine layer had not come in Hopefully, they will try again.
I really like watching Short-eared Owls hunt. Either Jim or myself were always assigned to get one for the Morro Bay CBC. We were successful all but once or twice. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 06 Sep 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Today at noon there was an adult COMMON MOORHEN on the more southern of the 2 sag ponds near the HREC office area. I suspect this is one of the 2 birds which spent the period from Oct 23, 2006 through April 20, 2007 on the same pond. In the area were 2 SAY'S PHOEBES, the first I have seen this fall. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 6 Sep 2007 -- The best birds of the day were not at Usal but on the trip out there this morning. I watched a SHORT-EARED OWL hunting (it was successful) for about 5 minutes starting at 6:35 AM on Highway 1. This was in the grasslands near milemarkers 72.21and 72.32. Then on the Usal Road about a mile from Hwy 1 there was an adult male NORTHERN GOSHAWK. At Usal after about 2 1/2 hours of birding I was able to find a first fall CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. This bird was with a mixed flock about 2/10ths of a mile up the dry creek bed from the bridge. Earlier I observed another successful owl hunt as a Northern Pygmy-Owl grabbed an unidentified prey item. There were moderate numbers of western migrants; Willow Flycatchers, 1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Tanagers, Lincoln Sparrows, Western Wood-Pewee's, 2 Black-headed Grosbeaks Warbling Vireos, and Wilson's, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, Common Yellowthroats, and Townsends warblers. -- Jerry White

Thu, 6 Sep 2007 -- This morning, I heard a very, vocal RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH in some conifers alongside Ten Mile River. A post on another listserv mentioned that many RBNU have been seen in the Northeast US and may be a sign of a good flight year. We will have to wait and see. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 -- I just saw a pair of PEACH-FACED LOVEBIRDS in a tree just in front of the main office of Savings Bank on School Street in Ukiah! The male was calling (screetching) rather loudly, which is what caught my attention. I'm assuming they are recent escapees - there isn't a feral lovebird colony in this area, is there? -- Maureen O'Hagan

Mon, 03 Sep 2007 -- George Chaniot, Geoff Heinecken, and I refound two or possibly three BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS on the beach about half mile north of Virgin Creek this afternoon. Becky Bowen saw the birds earlier today and told us exactly where to look. -- Cheryl Watson
There were also two juvenile SNOWY EGRETS at the mouth of Virgin Creek wearing aluminum bands above their "heels". Does anyone know where these birds may have been banded? -- George Chaniot

Sun, 02 Sep 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Matthew Matthiessen and I made a quick trip to Fort Bragg this morning to do some birding at MacKerricher with Karen Havlena. We tried for the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER that Karen had seen north of Ward Avenue yesterday. We dipped on that Sandpiper, but did see a first-year COMMON TERN resting on the beach. We moved south to Virgin Creek Beach to see if the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER seen there yesterday by Matthew might still be around. It was. We found it on the long open stretch of beach just north of what is presently Virgin Creek estuary. On the estuary there was a single WILSON'S PHALAROPE. Matthew saw 3 there yesterday. There were also 3 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on the estuary providing some nice comparisons of the two. We tried Lake Cleone boardwalk for some passerines, but things were very quiet there. We stopped for some ice cream at Cowlick's on our way home (Mocha Fudge and Root Beer Sundae) where we found a resplendent DAVID JENSEN. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 31 Aug 2007 -- Becky Bowen called to say that the 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS are still present in the Virgin Creek area. The birds were together almost 1/2 mile north of the creek mouth in the wet sand. One might park at the state park access north of Matson's and the Three Rivers School at Hwy 1, then walk out to the bluffs. -- K Havlena for Becky Bowen

Thu, 29 Aug 2007 -- To beat the heat, I tried to turn Mendocino Co. blue. Best birds of the day were the continuing BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER north of the Ward Ave. parking lot at McKerritcher SP., 2 RED-NECKED GREBEs with quite a bit of color still visible just off the beach at the Ward Ave. parking lot, and the rocky shore shorebirds that I saw at Laguna Point with John Luther after we hooked up at Lake Cleone - BLACK TURNSTONES, 1 SURFBIRD, 2 WANDERING TATTLERS, 1 SPOTTED SANDPIPER, 9 WHIMBRELs, 1 WILLET, and a bunch of very vocal BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS.
The Ukiah WTP did not have much in the way of shorebirds, with only some Leasts and Westerns, 2 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 2 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS to keep the KILLDEER company. There was a good variety of ducks with at least 8 species evident. If you need COMMON YELLOWTHROAT for the county, this is the place to go - they were all over the place!
I did beat the heat, and I did turn the county blue with 52 species for the day, getting me to 113. -- Kathy Parker, Los Gatos

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 -- There are, or have been, a total of 3 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS at both Virgin Creek beach and at the Ward Ave end of Ten Mile beach at MacKerricher SP. I saw the Ten Mile beach bird this morning (8/30), about a quarter mile north of the ramp at Ward Ave access to the beach. At least one of the Virgin Creek birds was seen yesterday (two birds on Tuesday).
Also, there is a Baird's Sandpiper near Fen Creek mouth, seen yesterday and today (Toby Tobkin and me). -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 -- After a week or more of tiptoeing around the east side of my house, I discovered this morning that the CALIFORNIA QUAIL nest I posted about has only eggshells in residence. The fact that they are all in place and apparently undisturbed makes me think that they hatched successfully instead of falling prey. Also no signs of feathers anywhere around. I will keep a close eye for a little covey scurrying around the neighborhood. -- Jim Armstrong

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 -- hi all...'Toby' Tobkin, Bill from Redding, and I saw the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at noon today. From the Ward Avenue parking lot, go north along the Haul Road to where it slopes down to the beach. The bird was in the wet sand, not far from the surf line. It had been further north, near the wood 'structure' (that Ron LeValley would term a 'predator perch'), but a southbound jogger pushed it towards us. Now all we have to do is figure out how many Buff-Breasted Sandpipers are here, right? -- Trudy Jensen (for Toby Tobkin)

Tue, 28 Aug 2007 - 4:40PM - 6:30 PM - I chased the American Redstart, that Karen and Jim Havlena found at the end of Windy Hollow Road...this species has avoided me over the many years. However, I stepped out of my vehicle, saw a bird high in the alders, and amazingly enough it was a nice, brilliant male AMERICAN REDSTART. I was able to get many looks at the bird in the same flock that Karen described, however I was never able to coax it down close for decent pictures.
At the west end of Miner Hole Road I walked down the Garcia River for a ways ... I find that wearing sandals and shorts makes this easy and allows one to sometimes approach birds in the river. Of note were: BAIRD'S SANDPIPER,1 ad., 1 juv.; LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 2; GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 1; RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, 30+;BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, 1.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES were seen in the towns of Pt. Arena (2) and Manchester (1). WILD TURKEY, 5 two miles north of Manchester. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 -- I found what appears to be a Juvenile PARASITIC JAEGER at about 3:00PM, north of Ward Ave. I use the "appears to be" because I'm unfamiliar with Jaegers in general and have been comparing pictures I took (they are posted) with those in the books. It was found well north of the spot where the haul rd. ends, just pass some driftwood artwork along the beach. It may have a bad wing because the right wing hangs lower. I was able to get within 4 to 5 Feet of it without it appearing to be bothered. Moving closer caused it to fly south in a very low flight. I wasn't able to see the under-wing feathers. -- Richard Hubacek

Tue, 28 Aug 2007 -- Jim spotted a male AMERICAN REDSTART in a large flock of migrants on the NORTH portion of Windy Hollow Rd that ends at the Garcia River. The road is off Hwy 1, just south of Mountain View Rd. I found several western migrants in the flock, including Black-throated Gray Warbler, Cassin's Vireo, Western Wood Pewee, Pac Coast Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers. At the west end of Miner Hole Rd, I spotted at least 3 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS.
I forgot to mention in last night's post about the BBSA's, that I saw a BARN OWL flying in the large, vacant lot for sale between Hwy 1 and the haul road by Virgin Creek beach in Fort Bragg. (That bird is not on the MacKerricher SP bird checklist). -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 -- I found a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER North of Ward Ave at approx 3:30PM. Could be one of the two seen at Virgin Creek but it would be going in the wrong direction. The location is north on the haul road until it ends then down the trail to the beach. Head North/West towards the beach. It was in the remains of the last high tide kelp. It was moving in a northern direction. I was lucky to get a couple of pictures that I will post shortly. The buffyness is washed out a little. -- Richard Hubacek

Mon, 27 Aug 2007 -- We saw one of the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS found this evening about 6-PM at Virgin Creek mouth by Art Morley. Jim and I arrived after 7:00 and found one of the pair feeding among the piles of kelp. Toby Tobkin came from the north, where she saw the other bird on the shore near the vicinity of the rocks where the Harlequin Ducks rest. Toby saw the bird we saw through my scope. She commented that the bird to the north was smaller than the creekmouth bird. This was a crisp juvenile - very pretty! We stayed until almost dark. Tina Fabula happened along and got to see the creek- mouth bird through my scope, also. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 27 Aug 2007 -- Hi All, I birded the Ukiah sewage ponds this morning and did add LESSER YELLOWLEGS for Mendo. In fact there were 6 Lesser Yellowlegs and 4 GREATER YELLOWLEGS all in the middle pond from the middle to the west end. There were 10 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in the middle pond and 14 in the south pond. About 9 AM over 30 VAUX'S SWIFTS swirled over the middle pond for a couple of minutes and then left. A couple of SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and a few WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS were also there. -- John Luther, Oakland

Sat, 25 Aug 2007 -- Greetings, Mendobirders, This morning I was at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant from 9:30-11:00. The north pond is now nearly dry and had no shorebirds. The west end of the central pond had some shorebird habitat, and there were 6 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and a number of LEAST and WESTERN, and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. There was also a group of Least and Western Sandpipers walking on the floating mat on the sludge pond. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 25 Aug 2007 -- Hi Birders, Best birds of this morning were LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Inglenook Creek and CASSIN'S VIREO at the east end of the boardwalk at Lk Cleone, both in MacKerricher SP. Other birds were 3 MARBLED GODWITS at Ten Mile rivermouth, WANDERING TATLER at Seaside beach (Jim Havlena), 19 SNOWY PLOVERS, 13 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS (where there were zero just two days ago), two good-sized flocks at Lk Cleone with WARBLING VIREOS, WILSON'S WARBLERS, etc. It was overcast, cool and fall-like this morning with very little breeze. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 23 Aug 2007 -- Early this afternoon there was one SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park. The avocets and godwits that were at the outlet yesterday were not present today. -- Dave Woodward, Lakeport

Wed, 22 Aug 2007 -- Hi, I was standing on my back deck in Redwood Valley, just off of Laughlin Way, about 11 in the morning and spotted a PILEATED WOODPECKER. It came flying across our back pasture and landed on our fence next to our neighbor's vineyard. It sat there for several minutes before taking off again. It was AWESOME! -- Christy Scollin, Redwood Valley

Wed, 22 Aug 2007 -- Today at noon I made my way out to the outlet of Kelsey Creek in Clear Lake State Park. This has been one of the best birding locations in Lake County during years when water depth in Clear Lake is low enough to expose the mud flat at the outlet of the creek. The area remained underwater during all of 2005 and 2006, but Clear Lake is presently at 2.38 ft. on the Rumsey scale, low enough to expose mud below the Creeping Water Primrose that has unfortunately covered most of the mud flats around the lake shore. To get to the outlet, pay the $5 entry fee to the park and go to the north end of the Visitor Center parking lot. Find the trail leading into the dense thicket of willows and follow it ca. 100 yds to the tules. It is difficult to follow as many willows have fallen during the past two years. Also, pay attention to this WARNING!!. About 75 yds along the trail there is a large aerial YELLOWJACKET nest about three feet above ground on the underside of a fallen willow. The nest is just about 15 yds before the location where you reach the tules and if you try to duck under this trunk your face will be nearly right on the nest. I went past the yellowjackets by going off the trail out towards the tules and around. Look for the trail which passes through the tules out onto the flat at the outlet of the creek.
Today at the outlet there were 7 AMERICAN AVOCETS, 2 MARBLED GODWITS, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 7 CASPIAN TERNS and about 100 gulls. There were also SPOTTED, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS. -- Dave Woodward, Lakeport

Tue, 21 Aug 2007 -- "Toby" Tobkin reported seeing an AMERICAN BITTERN at Lake Cleone at around 11:00AM today. Location was half way up the Lake on the North Shore, just west of the pump-house. She said if it stays in that location it would be easier seen from the South side of the lake. She also reported an EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE at the Pudding Creek overlook sitting on a power(telephone?)line. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 17 Aug 2007 -- Mendobirders, At the mouth of the Garcia River I had 1 SEMIPALMATED, 3 RUDDY TURNSTONES, 5 BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, 60+ RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, 1 PECTORAL SANDPIPER, lots of SANDERLINGS, and 300+ peeps (mostly WESTERN and some LEAST SANDPIPERS). Also, later that day along Highway 101 at a bridge at milepost 103 (just south of Piercy) I saw a single WHITE-THROATED SWIFT while driving by at about 60 mph. -- John E. Hunter,Arcata, CA

Fri, 17 Aug 2007 -- Hi all, This morning I went to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. The north pond is almost completely dry, but there is still a good patch of wet mud with shorebirds. I did not find a Golden-Plover, but there was one BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER among the few LEAST, WESTERN, and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. On the middle pond there were at least three BLUE-WINGED TEALS sitting on the bank, a number of NORTHERN SHOVELLERS, and two more HOODED MERGANSERS have joined the one that has been there for weeks now. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 -- Hi -- There was a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER along with an adult SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Inglenook Creek mouth this morning. The SemiSand had a very, short bill an was quite pale (like the one found by Curtis Marantz east of the Ten Mile River bridge in late July).
There were not very many other shorebirds along the four mile walk. Numbers and variety have dwindled considerably. Also seen were (12) SNOWY PLOVERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, WHIMBREL, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, SANDERLINGS,and other expected species. The SURF SCOTERS are coming in, with at least 75 off Ward Ave. Also, CALIFORNIA GULLS have been increasing over the last 3 weeks. I have had MARBLED GODWIT almost every week except today.
Mammals: Just offshore there were several HUMPBACKED WHALES and a few RIZZO'S DOLPHINS between Laguna Point cove and Fen Creek mouth The whales and dolphins were very active! -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 15 Aug 2007 -- Hi All, I birded the Ukiah sewage ponds and Lake Mendocino today (Aug 15). Of interest to me at Lake Mendocino near the dam was an adult FORSTER'S TERN (first in county for me at last) and 3 adult CASPIAN TERNS.
At the sewage ponds 4 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were present along with a SPOTTED, 6 WESTERN, and 3 LEAST SANDPIPERS. Of greater interest was an adult PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER feeding in the mud with Killdeer. It still had a black belly between the legs to the vent and black marks along the white flanks and black on the throat and chin. The upperparts were very golden. The perplexing part was that the primaries went well beyond the tip of the tail (about 1.5 cm plus in my estimation) and 4 primaries were visible past the tertials which is what an American Golden-Plover should show. However the primary tips did not show even spacing. It had the tall, long-legged look of a Pacific Golden-Plover. So I am saying Pacific Golden-Plover for the moment, but certainly would be interested in any comments and hope that someone might be able to see the bird tomorrow. You might be interested in looking in Western Birds Vol 35, No 2, 2004 at the article by Alvaro Jaramillo on Identification of Adult Pacific and American Golden-Plovers in their Southbound Migration. It has two featured photos on the back cover. -- John Luther, Oakland

Tue, 14 Aug 2007 -- For the last several years we routinely have had Lesser Goldfinches eat (really EAT) the leaves of our Echinacea plants. Sometimes only the spines are left. At first I thought it was major insect damage until I saw them actually doing it. They're so small they can perch and tear at the same time. The new thing this year is they have recently discovered the hulled sunflower seed kernels feeder (it used to just get medium small birds such as titmice and nuthatches, and one very determined female Acorn Woodpecker as customers). -- Maureen O'Hagen

Mon, 13 Aug 2007 -- While doing the SOS survey at Virgin Creek today at about 3p.m. I saw a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, carefully compared with nearby Least and Western, at about 25 feet distance. A small number of peeps usually feed along the edge of the lagoon near the road (away from the gulls). -- Art Morley

Mon, 13 Aug 2007 -- I saw a juvenile (juvenal? hatch-year?) RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at the mouth of the Mattole River yesterday. It was all alone. I got pictures that should be good, but haven't uploaded them yet. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 13 Aug 2007 -- Hi Jim, Our LESSER GOLDFINCHES ate most of the early leaves off our sunflowers this spring but the sunflowers grew new leaves faster than they could be eaten and bloomed marvelously. -- John Lace, Grass Valley, CA

Mon, 13 Aug 2007 -- George and I were kidding last week that it is getting expensive to keep the Goldfinches of various ilks in Nijer seed. I have two socks that I fill every morning and lately there is usually just a little left the next day. Yesterday the little boogers discovered two sunflower plants that had volunteered in my tomato barrels. By this afternoon, one is completely stripped of foliage and most of its flowers and the other about half gone. This before my very eyes. I've never seen this in all the years of feeding them. Anyone else? -- Jim Armstrong

Mon, 13 Aug 2007 -- There is a WHITE-WINGED DOVE sitting in our back yard in Little River. Hopefully it will stay awhile. -- Charlene McAllister and Ron LeValley

Sun, 12 Aug 2007 -- Hi all, For the past few days my yahoogroups account has been down, now I have it reactivated. Apologies for the late report on the Bald Eagle. Since at least Saturday the 4th of August there has been a Bald Eagle just south of the Little River Post Office. It is eating hatch year Western Gulls on the island offshore, and then hiding in the trees when the gulls get to it. It is a young bird, probably hatched in either 2005 or 2006 on Santa Catalina Island and I know that because it is tagged on both wings with bright orange patagial tags. Today I read the numbers on the tags, so will report when I get more information. This bird is probably best seen in the morning from behind the Little River Post Office. You might have to wait a bit before it flies out of the trees and searches over the islands.
Also, Lisa Hug saw a hatch year SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Virgin Creek Beach yesterday afternoon. We did not see it today. There was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS there today.
Also, off Van Damme Beach State Park we saw one freshly fledged RHINOCEROS AUKLET and two freshly fledged PIGEON GUILLEMOTS today. Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 12 Aug 2007 -- Ron LeValley has discovered an immature BALD EAGLE in Little River. The bird was seen yesterday and today just offshore on the large rocky island directly behind the post office. The bird reportedly has two orange patagial tags. Evidently Ron is experiencing computer problems, so I have posted this sighting to alert others to this uncommon coastal sighting. -- David Jensen

Sat, 11 August 2007 -- A pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES flew over Old river Road and Highway 175 on the north side of the "Old" Hopland community. This is the first time that I have seen this species on the east side of the Russian River in Sanel Valley. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 11 Aug 2007 -- MendoBirders - Notable for us today: Early this morning, Les Lieurance and I saw 1 juv. BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at the mouth of Virgin Creek in Fort Bragg.
Later in the morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Ponds we saw 3 WILSON'S PHALAROPEs and 6 RED-NECKED PHALAROPEs in the south pond. The north pond has a lot of good mud exposed, an we saw WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERs there. The GREATER SCAUP was still in the middle pond. Along the walk between the fenceline next to the orchard and the cattails, on the south side of the entrance pond, we saw 2 WILLOW FLYCATCHERs.
WESTERN TANAGERs and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKs were moving through in good numbers at the USTP and at a little Ukiah city park off the Gobbi exit from Highway 101. -- Cindy Lieurance

Sat, 11 Aug 2007 -- Mendobirders: Today, Les Lieurance and I rambled around coastal Mendocino County.
At Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg we found 7 WANDERING TATTLERs, 27 BLAC TURNSTONEs, 3 WHIMBRELs, the usual PURPLE MARTINs and a few COMMON MERGANSERs.
At Ten Mile Beach estuary we saw a lot of nervous-acting waders, the only additional ones to the list above being SPOTTED SANDPIPER and silent, distant dowitchers.
At the mouth of the Garcia River (near the Point Arena Lighthouse) we saw many waders, including extremely distant dowitchers, phalaropes (the close ones were RED-NECKED PHALAROPEs), WILLETs, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDERLINGs, LEAST SANDPIPERs, WESTERN SANDPIPERs and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERs. Fortunately, the BAIRD'S SANDPIPER flew over our heads, calling as it went. And a LESSER YELLOWLEGs landed briefly in front of us before flying off to the east. Two CASPIAN TERNs and a few COMMON LOONs also made an appearance there.
We saw only 4 species of gulls all day - WESTERN, CALIFORNIA, HEERMAN'S and HERRING. -- Cindy Lieurance, San Francisco

Fri, 03 Aug 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- This morning George Chaniot, Matthew Matthiessen, and I birded the USTP oxidation ponds. The south pond has been reflooded, but now the north pond is being drained and there is some nice mud in the NW corner of that pond. There were a number of shorebirds there, but the highlights were 2 juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. These birds can be easily studied in comparison to adjacent WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS in an array of plumages. There was also a juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER on the N pond and 2 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were swimming there. Ducks included the continuing HOODED MERGANSER and GREATER SCAUP, and a CINNAMON TEAL. YELLOW WARBLERS continue to sing along the river and 3 GREAT EGRETS flew over, the first I have seen inland this fall. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 02 Aug 2007 -- Today I found a RED KNOT on Ten Mile beach, and Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin also had a RED KNOT at Virgin Creek beach. By coincidence, we each found our personal bird at almost the same time this morning. My bird was about 3/4 to one mile north of the Ward Ave ramp down to the beach.
There are still 9-10 SNOWY PLOVERS north of Inglenook Creek mouth on Ten Mile beach. Most of them have been rotating in and out of this location, because some of the banded birds keep changing. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 02 Aug 2007 -- I heard the LONG-EARED OWL again this morning, once at 03:16 and then at 04:10. I have listened a lot in the evening, but I have not heard it then. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 -- On Monday I found a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at the Garcia River Mouth. It was seen by others later in the day and was last seen flying out toward the beach. -- David Vander Pluym, Ventura, CA

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 -- On Friday July 27th Nikki White and I saw a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL on a utility pole on the Ukiah Boonville road just before noon. At the Garcia River estuary there was an adult RUDDY TURNSTONE, at least 40 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS,and 3 WILLETS. On Saturday July 28th there was a distant Kingbird sp. on the south facing slope at Usal. Probable WESTERN KINGBIRD based on the time of year? On Monday July 30th 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS flew over Highway 1 into Mackerricher State Park. At Virgin Creek Beach there was another adult RUDDY TURNSTONE and a MARBLED GODWIT. -- Jerry White

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 -- 04:02 A LONG-EARED OWL woke me out of a deep sleep. Less than 100 yads away - probably in the oaks behind the house. It gave about 10 hoots in the full moonlight. 04:16 Seven more hoots. About 200 yards to the east. 04:27 Five hoots about 1/4 mile to the east now. 04:29 Five more hoots from about the same area. 04:32 Five more hoots. The last I heard. No going back to sleep for me.
I'd been expecting this guy eventually; several years ago I heard one at sunset about 1/2 mile to the west. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 29 Jul 2007 -- Hi, Seabirders, Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip from Fort Bragg on Sunday, July 29, 2007 kicked off the seabird season on the north coast. Even though the seas were very nice the day prior to our trip, we were not so lucky. Swells and wind made the day somewhat difficult, but we did make it to the canyon and to the Tolo Banks. Highlights of the day included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, PINK-FOOTED and SOOTY SHEARWATERS; POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS; SABINE'S GULLS; COMMON MURRE, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, CASSIN'S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. In the morning, five PURPLE MARTINS were in the trees at the harbor while an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was calling. -- Debbie Shearwater

Sun, 29 Jul 2007 -- For much of the trip Curtis was either leaning over the back of the boat or sleeping, so from his perspective the pelagic trip probably "was not particularly great". For the visiting birders from Denver and Reno the trip was a huge success. I don't have the official numbers that the leaders will be providing, but we did see good numbers of BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS and SOOTY SHEARWATERS. There were a few PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 1 POMARINE JAEGER, at least 2 SABINE'S GULLS, an ELEGANT TERN and usual numbers of the usual birds. However, there were spirited games of volleyball and shuffleboard and the pool-side catered buffet was five-star. Otherwise, the trip was admittedly ordinary. Jerry White, Matthew Matthiessen and I were hoping for that really rare pelagic bird that never appeared, but we were certainly in the right habitat. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 29 Jul 2007 -- Today at Borax Lake I saw a distant male Aythya duck whose head shape appeared to be that of a GREATER SCAUP. A female-type CINNAMON TEAL was also present. At Austin Park in Clearlake I saw an alternate plumaged FORSTER'S TERN and a female COMMON MERGANSER. At the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant I saw a CLARK'S GREBE, which was my first for the locality. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 29 Jul 2007 -- As of 5:10 PM, the SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER had not been seen at Ten Mile River. The tides changed considerably, and less Western and Least Sandpipers were seen from various locations. There were quite a few SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, though. Art Morley also tried for the Semi-palmated Sandpiper without success. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 28 Jul 2007 -- Hi- Curtis Marantz found a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER just east of the Ten Mile River bridge this afternoon, 28 July. He was with Jon Dunn and Larry Sansone. Jim and I saw the bird about 5:30 PM. This is 10 miles north of Fort Bragg along Hwy 1.-- Karen Havlena for Curtis Marantz

Sat 28 Jul 2007 -- LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES are still coming on a daily basis to my thistle feeder in Potter Valley -- George Chaniot

Fri, 27 Jul 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- George Chaniot and I birded the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant early this morning. There were some new birds on the ponds and birding is starting to pick up a little bit inland (see George's post about Lake Mendocino yesterday). On the north pond, presently fully flooded, there was a CLARK'S GREBE, the continuing male GREATER SCAUP, and a HOODED MERGANSER in very confusing molt. It is probably an adult female. There were 2 juvenile CALIFORNIA GULLS and a single juvenile WESTERN GULL milling on and over the ponds. Shorebirds included SPOTTED, LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and 7 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS. They were mostly along the north edge of the south pond where there is some really nice muddy habitat due to an apparent water leak between the middle and south ponds. There was also a juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE on the middle pond. That was probably the highlight bird of the morning. At least 2 SWAINSON'S THRUSHES and several YELLOW WARBLERS are still singing along the river. -- Chuck Vaughn

Thu, 26 Jul 2007 -- There was a smattering of migrant shorebirds at Lake Mendocino this morning: a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at the south boat ramp. This is the earliest sighting of Baird's Sandpiper on record for the interior county. At the inlet were 5 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 5 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER. There was a RING-BILLED GULL and a group of CALIFORNIA GULLS at the south end. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there were 3 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 4 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, 8 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and 1 SPOTTED SANDPIPER. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH was still singing from the Russian River riparian.-- George Chaniot

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 -- This morning there were 5 juvenile LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES around my yard in Potter Valley. They were following a male around, but he was not directly feeding them. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 -- As I drove past Squaw Rock (south Mendocino County along Highway 101 and the Russian River) last evening I could see at least two PEREGRINE FALCONS sitting on the edge of the nest site on the face of the rock. I believe they were ready-to-fledge juveniles ....but it was difficult to tell at 60 mph. The nest site ledge is very evident from the amount of white wash below it. The site could be easily viewed from the large pullout on the east side of Highway 101 ....if you are coming from the north you may have to go further south, maybe down to the Commisky Road exit in order to turn around safely and head back north. Good birding! -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 14 Jul 2007 -- Hi. As early as 5 July, Jim Havlena saw 3 MARBLED GODWITS on Ten Mile beach. Two days later, I saw 2 Marbled Godwits on Seaside Beach. On 12 July, I again saw 2 Marbled Godwits on Ten Mile beach, just south of the river mouth.
Four SNOWY PLOVERS are being seen (7/12-19)on Ten Mile beach 900 yards north of Inglenook Creek mouth. There are bands on two of the birds: LR:WW and GW:LY. Apparently, the LR:WW bird is at least 7 years old! (One can read a detailed account on the Yahoo group Save Our Shorebirds Or contact Angela Martin Liebenberg: . This is a "members only" group, so the web address might not work.
Also, Erica Fielder told me that there are several PURPLE MARTINS flying below Ten Mile bridge. It is a little difficult to bird around there now, due to the new bridge construction, but there are about 4 parking spaces on the south side of the bridge. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 -- Charlene and I were surprised to see 5 SNOWY EGRETS on the offshore rocks off of Van Damme Beach this morning. They were feeding in the intertidal out off Little River Headlands. One of them left flying to the south, but the other four stayed until the fog came in and we could no longer see the rocks. -- Ron LeValley

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 -- I was on the coast for a couple of days recently and saw a few things of interest to me. On July 8 there was a TUFTED PUFFIN on the water north of the Mendocino Headlands and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET with a horn pretty close to shore in the same area. On July 9 there was a MARBLED MURRELET just south of Laguna Point, and three MARBLED GODWITS flew north across the point. On July 9 there was a male PURPLE MARTIN at the parking area for Caspar Cemetery landing on the dead tree with an Osprey nest just to the east of the road.
In Potter Valley LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES continue to come to my feeders daily, and I have been seeing a few at other locations around the valley where I have never seen them before. They are quite the phenomenon in Potter Valley this summer. I see that they are being reported in Humboldt and Del Norte counties too. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 -- I was on the coast for a couple of days recently and saw a few things of interest to me. On July 8 there was a TUFTED PUFFIN on the water north of the Mendocino Headlands and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET with a horn pretty close to shore in the same area. On July 9 there was a MARBLED MURRELET just south of Laguna Point, and three MARBLED GODWITS flew north across the point. On July 9 there was a male PURPLE MARTIN at the parking area for Caspar Cemetery landing on the dead tree with an Osprey nest just to the east of the road.
In Potter Valley LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES continue to come to my feeders daily, and I have been seeing a few at other locations around the valley where I have never seen them before. They are quite the phenomenon in Potter Valley this summer. I see that they are being reported in Humboldt and Del Norte counties too. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 -- The male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES continue daily at my thistle feeder in Potter Valley. Today there were three. I have not seen a felmae yet. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 -- This morning while driving out of Potter Valley towards highway 20, right as I was crossing the final bridge, I saw an OSPREY flying overhead. That was an unexpected bit of pleasure for my day. -- Elaine Lindelef

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 -- This morning, I heard a late SWAINSON'S THRUSH Thrush singing repeatedly from the riparian/conifer area east of Hwy 1 (Seaside creek drainage, east of Ocean Meadows.
Also, last Thursday, 6/21/07, Jim Havlena saw two, early WESTERN SANDPIPERS at Inglenook Creek mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 -- This morning I saw a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE on West Road, Potter Valley near Spring Valley Road - about 2.5 miles from Matt's observations. I think they became firmly established in interior Mendocino in 2005 and 2006, and this year they are spreading out everywhere.
I also had an ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD male visiting my feeders this morning, which is a less-than-annual event, and two male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES continue to visit my thistle feeder irregularly. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 -- Hi Birders. I was shocked and apalled to see a second EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE interacting with the first bird this morning. The two birds were flying around my parent's Valley-floor yard, with one chasing the other. The first bird has been present since June 12th, and probably represents the first Potter Valley record. I wonder how many will be here by the end of the summer.
In other news, I saw my first south-bound RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD of the summer here in Potter on the 20th. Also on the 20th a large FALCON, either a Peregrine or a Prairie, circled over the house. I didn't have my binoculars, and the bird was rather high up, but I'm guessing it was likely a Peregrine. I'm not really sure where it might have come from, but I don't think I have seen any other PEFAs in Potter Valley. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 -- Today while at Schooner Gulch State Beach I saw 9 BRANTS foraging in the tide pools. The state beach is a couple miles south of the town of Point Arena, and is basically a pullout / trailhead leading down to the beach. If anyone is interested I could download some photos. I was also surprised to see 6 or 7 European Collared Doves in and around the town of Point Arena. -- Craig Swolgaard, Folsom, CA

Thu, 21 Jun 2007 -- Hi all, This morning about 8:15 a.m. a large herd (at least 100) of RISSO'S DOLPHINS passed by the Little River Headlands going north. The seas were flat, the sun was low and behind us and it was quite beautiful. -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 17 June 2007 - I just received information about a GREATER ROADRUNNER observed on this date last month in Mendocino County. The observer has a place in Point Arena and spends a lot of time in the county. His verbal report (to Jerry White) sounds credible. The observer saw the bird on Mountain View Road (Boonville to Manchester) on Sunday, 17 June, near mile marker 17. If I recall the area correctly this is coastal scrub type habitat - blue blossom (Ceanothus sp.), etc. I have heard of a roadrunner in past years near Whitethorn, Humboldt County, which would be similar habitat (this is on the way to Shelter Cove).
The observer got a clear look at the one bird, saying he saw good color on the face and felt that it was an adult. There was apparently another bird in the area that he did not get a good look at, but it was the same size and color as the identified bird. The second bird disappeared into the brush as it was approached.
Even though this report is near a month old, I suspect that any roadrunners observed in June may have be nesting or had newly fledged juveniles in the area. I would venture to say that it is VERY possible that the birds are still in the vicinity. I encourage any birders to check out this area ... the birds would most likely be silent and foraging at ground level. My limited experience with Mendocino County Roadrunners is that they are extremely wily .... not the typical tame "road-runners" from the Southwest.
This is a VERY difficult species to find in Mendocino County ...and the number of occurrences had dropped to almost zero in the past two decades. Please post if you have positive or negative results from a search of the area. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 18 Jun 2007 -- A male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH just joined the swarm of Lesser and American Goldfinches at my thistle feeder. I've been expecting him for years, and this certainly is the year for Lawrence's in Potter Valley. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 17 Jun 2007 -- This morning, Chuck Vaughn, Geoff Heinecken, and I saw an eclipsing male NORTHERN PINTAIL floating with the MALLARDS on the middle pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant. This is only the second summer record in the county. Also of note were a continuing GREATER SCAUP and a very late, singing SWAINSON'S THRUSH.
The south pond is nearly dry and the middle pond is expected to be emptied next. It could be a good summer/fall for migrating shorebirds. -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 17 June 2007 -- I just received information about a Greater Roadrunner observed on this date last month in Mendocino County. The observer has a place in Point Arena and spends a lot of time in the county. His verbal report (to Jerry White) sounds credible. The observer saw the bird on Mountain View Road (Boonville to Manchester) on Sunday, 17 June, near mile marker 17. If I recall the area correctly this is coastal scrub type habitat - blue blossom (Ceanothus sp.), etc. I have heard of a roadrunner in past years near Whitethorn, Humboldt County, which would be similar habitat (this is on the way to Shelter Cove).
The observer got a clear look at the one bird, saying he saw good color on the face and felt that it was an adult. There was apparently another bird in the area that he did not get a good look at, but it was the same size and color as the identified bird. The second bird disappeared into the brush as it was approached.
Even though this report is near a month old, I suspect that any roadrunners observed in June may have be nesting or had newly fledged juveniles in the area. I would venture to say that it is VERY possible that the birds are still in the vicinity. I encourage any birders to check out this area ... the birds would most likely be silent and foraging at ground level. My limited experience with Mendocino County Roadrunners is that they are extremely wily .... not the typical tame "road-runners" from the Southwest.
This is a VERY difficult species to find in Mendocino County ...and the number of occurrences had dropped to almost zero in the past two decades. Please post if you have positive or negative results from a search of the area. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

Sun, 17 Jun 2007 -- I have a larger than normal crop of young BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS this year. For the last couple of weeks I have noticed a begging/feeding behavior I've missed before: The youngsters have a distinct shivering movement, with their wings in sort of a trailing position. Both mom and dad will feed them with just eaten seeds, even with the baby on the feeder with them. Several sources mention that the young leave the nest after 11 or 12 days, but can't fly for two more weeks. Do they simply stay near the nest or run around on the ground? -- Jim Armstrong

Sat, 16 Jun 2007 -- Today at 12:46 PM I found the TUFTED PUFFIN that Toby reported back on the 9th of June. It was almost exactly where she said she saw it. Just east of the northern most island off the Mendocino Headlands. -- Richard Hubacek

Thu, 14 Jun 2007 -- Hi Birders -- In the past 24 hours, I have seen several slices of bird life that may be of interest. A PEREGRINE FALCON that I see occasionally over Seaside beach was flying laboriously north over our bluff. It was carrying a PIGEON GUILLEMOT, with its red feet dangling! A male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD was "singing" his raspy song for a female in a shrub behind our house. This suggests possible breeding for both the falcon and the blackbird.
Up the coast at milepost 83.30, just south of Hardy Creek mouth, there is a large, pointy rock that cormorants, etc, rest upon. On the very, steep side facing Hwy 1, there is a family of BLACK OYSTERCATCHER. I saw one parent bring food to the rocky nestsite, where the other parent and THREE fluffy chicks were waiting for lunch. PURPLE MARTINS are still flying around the Juan Creek bridge. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 12 Jun 2007 -- Hi Birders. This morning, while stacking chord wood at my parent's place in Potter Valley, I heard the distinctive "Wheew-wheew" of a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE. Looking up, I saw it fly into one of our oak trees. This was a first for me in Potter, has anyone else had them here? -- Matt Brady

Mon, 11 Jun 2007 -- Daffy Duck? There's a nesting MALLARD under a rosebush at the Ukiah fairgrounds. It's on the right of a yellow building on the north side of the parking lot. She was on the nest the morning of June 9. I couldn't tell how many eggs were there. I assume she's a resident of the small pond across from the fine arts building. -- Don Rowe

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports finding a TUFTED PUFFIN at the Mendocino Headlands this morning. First it was in the water north of the northmost island. Then it began flying and flew to a burrow on the north face of the northmost island. This is a new burrow location in this area.

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 -- Today John Luther and I failed to find any Horned Puffins from Jenner north to Pt. Arena (northern Sonoma to southern Mendocino counties). We looked hard at a quite a few locations. Much of the coast line is private and not accessible, so we didn't check every possible location. One TUFTED PUFFIN at the Pt. Arena cove was a highlight. Also at Greistler (sp.?) campground at Salt Point State Park on the Sonoma coast, there was a COMMON NIGHTHAWK at night and a singing PURPLE MARTIN at dawn. Also a pair of martins were on the wire over Gualala River at the bridge. Another martin was on the ridgetop at Pine Flat Road in Sonoma County. -- John Sterling, Woodland [from N.CalBirdBox]

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 -- Dear Helen et al, Advice on the egg came in from several sources, including suggestions to keep it moist and to help it break out of the shell. Bob Keiffer said it most certainly was a goose egg, some of which are as big as eagle eggs. He said a raven wouldn't be able to carry an egg that large without putting a hole in the shell. My friend was quite sure it was not a goose egg. Turkey was proposed as a possibility. Ron LeValley asked for a picture but digital camera problems won out.
One internet source said that it could take 5 days for such an egg to hatch, others said that if it didn't hatch within in 24 hours it would die. Alida Morzenti, an eminent raptor expert with Bird Rescue in Santa Rosa, offered to take it and hatch it out.
The pecking stopped so my friend decided to help it out of the egg, and it turned out to be dead. She has saved the egg, which is mostly intact except for a hole, and was planning to take it down to Alan Grass at the fish hatchery for i.d. I haven't heard the final word yet. I think she's going to give me the egg eventually, though if it's a golden eagle egg I'll have to turn it over to HREC or someone who can legally hold it.
Thanks for everyone's advice and interest. -- Kate Marianchild

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 -- Hi Tim, The 3 RED-SHOULDERED HAWK nestlings are still in the nest here, looking quite large but still a bit ragged. They have a little bit of red on their shoulders. They should fledge sometime between June 12-14. -- Kate Marianchild

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders, Yesterday a large, fluffy, very light-colored RED-SHOULDERED HAWK perched on our gatepost. It did not have red shoulders but did have all the other characteristics. I suspect it is a recent fledgling - anyone else noticing young ones flying about? -- Tim Bray, Middle Ridge, Albion

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 -- A ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK came to my feeder two years ago with a possible sighting last year. I have a male at my feeder now. -- Lois Sundberg, Little River, 8151 n hwy one, 937-2909

Thu, 07 Jun 2007 -- As I was out and about this morning, I saw a large bird outline in what I think of as my "Cormorant Tree", a tree that hangs over the Russian River - a perfect hangout if you like wet fishy snacks. I haven't seen any cormorants for a while, so I figured I'd snap a photo of a June sighting. But as I got closer, it became clear that it wasn't a cormorant. I think it's an OSPREY: photo
This is in the main valley on the river between Burris and Pine. I've never seen an osprey here before, but I may just have been unobservant. -- Elaine Lindelef

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 -- Hi Kate, Unfortunately the ravens/crows do steal eggs, they take most of our chickens eggs! On the bright side, when i first moved to Redwood Valley I saw one carrying a very large snake into a tree! One nice thing about the decline in (raven) population past few years is Ive seen a big return of nests/ babies of smaller birds. However , its not just the ravens/crows- when we lived in Cloverdale we frequently saw/found baby birds taken from their nests by the bluejays. I was wondering about coming up with some sort of nesting place that would appeal to the smaller nesting birds where the crows/jays can reach them etc. Hope your friend has something suitable to feed her baby, seems he should've come out by now. -- Lynne

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 -- Still hoping for word of golden eagle nest near Van Arsdale dam. My friend Jo wrote this today:"Yes, I definitely know goose eggs. Not big enough for sure. You know, it is sooo bizarre if this is a Golden Eagle, but I'm thinking those ravens may very well have teamed up on the parents, with the intention of getting an egg. We have a LOT of egg-loving ravens and crows and I have frequently seen them flying around here with eggs in their big mouths. If they're starting to steal raptor eggs, they need to be stopped.
It didn't make much progress last night, but a little at the bigger hole. It seems to be pecking strategically in two spots and then maybe he'll more easily be able to break through in the middle of those two spots and have a big hole. I've got a better "nest" set up for him now. Although, I still didn't get a very good night's sleep. -- Kate Marianchild 463-0839

Mon, 04 Jun 2007 -- Saturday night a friend of mine found what she thinks is a golden eagle egg near the Van Arsdale dam. She put it in her bed and slept with it and last night it started pecking. (At that time she thought it was a turkey egg, but she's since measured it and it's probably too big to be a turkey. It's about 3").
Does anyone know where a golden eagle nest is in the vicinity? Would anyone be willing to look at it to help her figure out what it is? Her phone number is 743-2389 -- Kate Marianchild

Thu, 31 May 2007 -- I visited Usal Beach campground after completing the Branscomb Road Breeding Bird Survey. The coast was cold, damp, and fogged in. PURPLE MARTINS are nesting again in a couple of old snags above the Branscomb Road at about the 1.0 mm (one mile from Hwy 1). The road to Usal was rough as usual but easily passable. Off Usal Beach campground was a large pod of HARBOR PORPOISE (constant rolling on the surface)...probably working schools of surf fish. 140+ Aechmophorus sp. grebes (Western and probably some Clark's) were also clumped off the beach area ....I saw a large flock there last year at this time also. I was not in the mood to eat lunch in the fog so I decided to try driving the Usal Road which leads north. I was able to drive all the way to the Shelter Cove Road (Usal Road is 27 miles of 1st and 2nd gear dirt road from Hwy 1) and never saw another vehicle ...only one tired mountain biker. It helps to have high vehicle ground clearance on this road, and I used 4WD once in a while, but a sturdy 2WD vehicle with good ground clearance should be able to make it. I would NOT recommend this road, even to 4WD, in the winter there are some deep muddy holes (now dry) and some narrow "suicide" chutes that the road goes through. I did see HERMIT WARBLERS at one of the side pullouts (there are only about three of them the entire way).
One the way home I stopped at the Benbow State Park, accessed via the old Hwy 101 road which exits Hwy 101 just north of the "Bigfoot" souvenir shop just before the freeway). This takes you to an old state campground right under MAL COOMB MEMORIAL bridge where you can watch WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS entering the vertical drain holes. There are also VAUX'S SWIFTS around. This is, however, Humboldt County. I did not get a chance to check out the Piercy bridge or any of the other Mendocino County bridge structures. -- Good birding, Bob Keiffer

Sun, 20 May 2007 -- Here is a belated report form the Mendocino Coast pelagic birding trip from Sunday May 20th. It was led by Ron LeValley and attended by about 20 mostly local folks. The weather was quite nice with good visibility and very calm seas, which was nice for a change. I believe that we went out to about 12 miles or so and we were out for about 6 hours. We actually had little bird activity ...a few areas that picked up but no unusual species, no migrating terns, only two jaegers, no Laysan Albatross, etc. The highlight of the trip was getting into the middle of a HUGE (estimated 1000-2000+) herd of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that were feeding on congregated schools of bait fish. These bait fish were very near the surface, probably due to harassment by the dolphins, and could be seen "churning" the surface or 6 to 12 inches under the surface as the boat went through them. A few Northern Right Whale Dolphins were mixed into the foray also.
Several flocks of migrating (north) Red Phalaropes and Red-necked Phalaropes were observed, sometimes sitting on the water for some decent looks at them. And, we had great looks at 3 Red-necked Grebes up close as we left the harbor. One of these was in full breeding plumage with the other two almost there. There were also PURPLE MARTINS either using (for nest sites) or looking at the drain holes underneath the new Noyo Bridge. Here is the list of species: Pacific Loon 15, Common Loon 10, Red-necked Grebe 3, Western Grebe 15, Black-footed Albatross 75, Pink-footed Shearwater 2, Sooty Shearwater 100+, Pelagic Cormorant 5, Brandt's Cormorant 6, Osprey 2, Red-necked Phalarope 75, Red Phalarope 300, Parasitic Jaeger 2, Jaeger sp. 1, Calif. Gull 12, Western Gull 100, Glaucous-winged Gull 1, Common Murre 75, Pigeon Guillemot 2, Ancient Murrelet 2, Cassin's Auklet 25, Rhinoceros Auklet 50, Tufted Puffin 1, California Sea Lion + 2 (in the Harbor), Northern fur Seal 4, Northern Elephant Seal 1, Harbor Seal 2, Northern Right Whale Dolphin 30 -100+ (Ron thought 30, I think more, use your own judgment!), Pacific-White-sided Dolphin 2000+
Hope to see you on future trips ...each one is different and the "surprise" species is always possible. Some day in the future Mendocino County will get its first Short-tailed Albatross. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 28 May 2007 -- Hi all: An overnight trip to Hendy Woods State Park (Mendocino Co./Anderson Valley) had me marveling at a colony of PURPLE MARTINS this morning at the Hendy Woods Day Use section of the Navarro River. The birds are occupying cavities in dead portions of the the upper canopy of live redwoods. Very scenic locale, and very vocal, gorgeous birds. I counted 9 martins, 5 males and four females in two trees, but the amount of chatter coming from the canopy of other redwoods as I approached the river made me believe the colony is at least twice that size. Good birding, -- Bob Power, Oakland, CA [from Calbirds]

Sun, 27 May 2007 -- Dorothy "Toby" Tobkin called to say that today, she saw a singing, male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK along the Skunk Train railroad tracks. The bird was singing "like on territory" about a mile east on the tracks from Franklin Ave. Park near the entrance to the cemetery and walk inland above Pudding Creek. Be careful to listen for the train or small rail vehicles. -- K Havlena for Toby Tobkin

Sun, 27 May 2007 -- Sunday morning, Jerry White, Jim and myself searched valiantly for Matthew's Brewer Sparrow, but we had no luck with it. We visited the east end of the boardwalk at Lake Cleone more than once, walked the outer edge of MacKerricher SP along Hwy 1, and then hiked up and down Ten Mile beach. Karen started at Ward Ave going north, while Jerry and Jim came down from the Ten Mile River. We looked all over the dunes.
Consolation birds: There were a few phalaropes on the east side of Ten Mile bridge. Jerry thought that two of them were very likely WILSON'S PHALAROPES. They were whiter than the others, Jim said, but they did not have scopes. Jerry was pretty sure of the differences, saying that they had a different feeding pattern. After coming home, Jim and I went back to the river with our scopes, but only one RED-NECKED PHALAROPE remained. I (Karen) saw a single sandpiper on the southwest bank that was very likely an adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. The wing extension was quite long behind the tail tip, and it had light brown, streaky neck and upper breast. There was no rufous at all, and the scapulars and coverts were a dull brown with black centers. There were no white streaks at the sides of the mantle like Least, and the legs appeared to be dark. It disappeared when I moved the scope slightly, so Jim did not see it, and I did not see where it flew. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 26 May 2007 -- Matthew Matthiessen had a BREWER'S SPARROW this morning about 9:30 at the boardwalk at Lake Cleone. It was in willows at the far end of the boardwalk on the east side of the lake. Dorothy Tobkin looked for it about an hour later and was unable to relocate it.

Fri, 25 May 2007 -- This morning a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, two ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, a WARBLING VIREO, and a male RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER were among the birds at Usal Camp. CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES were silent (I finally saw two of them), so there were no flocks to follow. The Chat was up the hillside above the road that goes out to the beach, and the Ash-throated Flycatchers were together on the same road, but closer to Usal Road. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Thu, 24 May 2007 -- Hi Birders. I took a walk up Burris Lane in Potter Valley today. Several LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES persist at the end of the road, over-looking the pond. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was singing from the willows where the road turns to dirt. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was singing in the field below the barn with the Guinea Fowl. There were YELLOW WARBLERS and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS singing from a number of locations. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Thu, 24 May 2007 -- The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (or one of his buddies) that eluded us on the Potter Valley field trip has been hanging around my house for the past week or so. I have a lousy photo in my Potter Valley album Yellow-breasted Chat - he only comes out of the foliage when the light is terrible.
There's also another little bird that I photographed on our fence line that I can't identify. He's small and fawn colored all over.
A belated thanks for the field trip, by the way - my daughter and I had a wonderful time. -- Elaine Lindelef

Tue, 22 May 2007 -- There is a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE setting up house-keeping in Hopland. They sometimes hang out in the big California Valley oak tree located behind the Hopland Inn / Lawson's Station. They have been in the area for about one week as first reported to me by my parents.... and I finally saw the birds today. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 22 May 2007 -- Toby Tobkin called to say that she saw an adult FRANKLIN'S GULL in full, breeding plumage late AM at Virgin Creek beach, but it flew north and did not return I will be fighting the wind and unlikely odds, but I will write back if it can be refound. -- Karen Havlena (for Dorothy Tobkin)

Mon, 21 May 2007 -- Is this a Bonaparte's Gull or . . . ??? It was photographed by me (It wouldn't let me get very close, but the zoom helped a little) in Virgin Creek this afternoon north of Fort Bragg. Bonaparte's Gull? -- Feather Forestwalker

Mon, 21 May 2007 -- I birded Potter Valley for a couple hours yesterday. The LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES are still at the top of Burris Lane. Also of interest was a single GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE with a much larger domestic goose at a pond on West Road. Traveling south on West Road the pond is on the left side of the road right after the 2.54 mile marker sign. Are there any May records for this bird in Mendocino County? I looked at George Chaniot's Potter Valley birds list and he didn't have any records for april-september. -- Austin Booth

Mon, 21 May 2007 -- I found my first-ever WESTERN KINGBIRD nest this morning. It was a cup of what appeared to be mainly Ramalina, though I couldn't see the inside. I also watched a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE carry what looked like cattail down to a nest well-concealed in oak leaves, and found a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW cavity in a black oak. The three hawk nestlings are doing well. Watched them swallow lizard legs yesterday. I have also found groups of newly fledged black phoebes, orange-crowned warblers, and bushtits in the last two days.-- Kate Marianchild

Fri, 18 May 2007 -- The pale male, female and what appears to be a juvenile (or molting into adult plumage - it's hard for me to tell) are at the smallish pond behind Baxman's Gravel Co. on the Haul Road. Here are some shots I took of them - I also have video of their feeding behavior for anyone interested. (Email me privately for that).
Male RNP: Male RNPH
Juvenile being chased by two ducklings: Juvenile
Female: Female -- Feather Forestwalker

Wed, 16 May 2007 -- I saw a male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH at Round Mountain ranch in oak canopy this afternoon.
I also saw the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK Dad feeding a King Snake to his three youngsters. He worked on the tail end for a long time, struggling to get meat. It seemed to be hard to tear it off. Then he ceased feeding the chicks, and kept looking in the nest, as if wondering, "Now what am I going to do with the rest of that snake? It's taking up too much space." He picked it up and held it, looking off into the distance, which is when I saw that the body of the snake was largely untouched. Then he put it down and picked it up a few more times, and finally he flew off with it. I wish I knew where he took it. To hang it over a limb somewhere and save for later? Does anyone know if raptors cache food away from their nests? -- Kate Marianchild

Wed, 16 May 2007 -- Today I saw at least 5 male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES feeding on fiddleneck flowers with a group of Lesser Goldfinches (mostly males). With this number showing up, and other sightings in the county, it is likely that the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center birds will soon find the established salt feeder along University Road. If this happens, as it has in the past (except for last year), it provides a good "wait and see" spot for the public birders to watch for this species. Chuck Vaughn and I will keep an eye on this spot and post it if they begin to use the salt feeder site. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 15 May 2007 -- Luise Mariana reports a possible COMMON GROUND-DOVE at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg around midday on the 15th. She saw it at close range several times along the sandy trail which runs north from the beach along the bluff toward Pudding Creek. Toby has looked for it once without luck, and she will probably try again this afternoon.

Wed, 16 May 2007 -- Hi, I was visiting Mendocino Woodlands State Park last weekend and two PILEATED WOODPECKERS flew past the dining hall in Camp 1, landing briefly on a nearby stump. The first sighting was at 2:00 pm. Then they came through a second time about 4:30 pm. Are PIWOs known to be in that area? I've attended a weeklong camp in the same location for several years--at the end of June--but have never heard or seen PIWOs there before. I'm just wondering how recently they moved into the area. -- Judy Donaldson, Capitola, CA

Tue, 15 May 2007 -- This morning Dave Woodward and I tried for, but did not find,the cuckoo reported yesterday at Rodman Slough.The bird was heard calling on Monday by Tom Leskiw and reported on nwcalbird. We did see a Black Tern (4th county record) in flight with a flock of Bonaparte's Gulls. There was also an adult Bald Eagle in the area. -- Jerry White

Tue, 15 May 2007 -- The single GOLDEN EAGLE chick in the nest off of Black Bart trail above Redwood Valley fledged sometime between May 6 and May 12, three to four weeks earlier than the fledging of two chicks from the same nest two years ago. Darn! I wanted to get a good look with my scope. -- Kate Marianchild

Tue, 15 May 2007 -- I am always delighted when I find an active nest in my yard. Yesterday an unnoticed accumulation of poop led me to a cavity in adead branch about 30 feet up a Poplar tree. Binoculars, then a scope, showed three fairly well-grown chicks with a lot of interest in their surroundings. A little time turned up an early explorer fluttering around the nest, always in danger of falling from the tree. A parent would make really quick feeding approaches, with the chicks moving back in the hole to be fed, instead of leaning forward for first dibs as seems more common. I finally got a good look at Mom: Phooey, a STARLING. Well, heck, I guess they don't know they were imported. Still interesting to watch. -- Jim Armstrong.

Sat, 12 May 2007 -- We have a pair of VARIED THRUSHES still in the Anchor Bay area. One of my expert birding friends says it is very late for them to still be here. Do you know if this is at all unusual? Maybe they are expanding their territory? Anyway, I love hearing their calls. Thanks, Jeanne Jackson

Sat, 12 May 2007 -- At MacKerricher State Park today, I photographed a White-crowned Sparrow - nothing unusual in that - but this bird had a seamed band on its right leg. Does anyone know of any banding projects involving White-crowned Sparrows? -- Feather Forestwalker

Sat, 12 May 2007 -- We have a pair of VARIED THRUSHES still in the Anchor Bay area. One of my expert birding friends says it is very late for them to still be here. Do you know if this is at all unusual? Maybe they are expanding their territory? Anyway, I love hearing their calls. Thanks, -- Jeanne Jackson

Sat, 12 May 2007 -- At MacKerricher State Park today, I photographed a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW - nothing unusual in that - but this bird had a seamed band on its right leg. Does anyone know of any banding projects involving White-crowned Sparrows? -- Feather Forestwalker

Fri, 11 May 2007 -- Last weekend, on May 5, I believe, 3 lovely chicks were born to a pair RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS in the nest near my house. This hatching was approximately one week later than the 2005 hatching. Both parents and chicks appear to be doing well, though with three chicks the "sitting adult" has difficulty finding a place to rest in the nest and is often a "standing adult." -- Kate Marianchild

Thu, 10 May 2007 -- This morning Chuck Vaughn and I birded along the Eel River near the Pioneer Crossing Bridge. There was a lot of song: Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Cassin's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Lazuli Bunting, i.a. We saw seven species of warblers: Yellow, Orange-crowned, Hermit, MacGillivray's, Wilson's, Black-throated Gray, and Yellow-breasted Chat. An Osprey was sitting on a nest along the county road, but we did not see a bird on the recently discovered Bald Eagle nest nearby.
Saturday morning, May 12, there will be a Peregrine Audubon field trip to this same area. We will leave from the Ukiah Long's parking lot at 8:00 am, or you can meet us at the old Potter Valley Road bridge along the Russian River at 08:30 am. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 06 May 2007 -- Hi, On May 6th, I birded for an hour and a half in the afternoon along the northern end of the Reynolds Hwy. which is just north of Willits The only highlights were a GOLDEN EAGLE flying over the ridge to the east and a PILEATED WOODPECKER calling to the north. NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER and OAK TITMOUSE, which were both present, are regular here, but rare just to the north. -- Jim Tietz

Sat, 05 May 2007 -- On May 5, I believe, 3 lovely chicks were born to a pair of RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS in the nest near my house. This hatching was approximately one week later than the 2005 hatching. Both parents and chicks appear to be doing well, though with three chicks the "sitting adult" has difficulty finding a place to rest in the nest and is often a "standing adult." -- Kate Marianchild

Thu, 3 May 2007 -- Hi Birders,I birded the Glass Beach area for quite a while with Toby early on, then Ron and Charlene briefly, covering the entire area twice. Toby said she saw (earlier) what looked like a kingbird (from the back), and it seemed to show a little yellow at the top of the chest. We could not refind it or any thrasher as the morning progressed. Toby said she might try again in the early evening. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 02 May 2007 -- Maria Finnegan and I have seen a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL on five consecutive nights between 8:15pm and 9:00pm on the telephone wires on the west side of Live Oak between Cypress Ave. and Maple Ave. right along the golf course in Ukiah. We got an incredible look one night, about 5 feet away, the owl was sitting on top of the speedometer sign. It tends to hunt and then come back to the phone wires. Dusk is best after that we only hear it. -- Shawn O'Brien

Wed, 02 May 2007 -- At approximately 7:00 this evening I saw a SAGE THRASHER feeding in the old GP lumber storage area just south of the path to Glass Beach, near the fork in the path where one branch goes off to the northwest.
Shortly after that, I saw a TROPICAL KINGBIRD flying to and from the western end of the chainlink fence that separates Glass Beach from the old mill site. I am aware that TRKI are usually found along the coast during fall migration. However, I was able to study this bird with the sun behind me and clearly saw the following field marks: bright yellow feathers from the vent up the belly to the top of the chest where it met the light grey/whitish throat; notched tail with brown feathers to the outer edges (no white in tail); large bill about half the length of the head. Ironically, I misidentified this bird on the 2004 Mendocino Coast CBC (I reported a Western Kingbird by mistake because I failed to study the bird), so I have been very cautious when observing yellow-bellied kingbirds ever since. -- David Jensen

Tue, 01 May 2007 -- Hi birders, This morning we saw 1 female and 3+ male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH on Burris Lane, Potter Valley. The birds were just west of the pullout above the large pond. They perched on the fence and came across the road to feed in the fiddleneck along the roadside, singing sweetly all the while.
Thanks to Paul, Austin and George for their reports and updates. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 30 Apr 2007 -- My partner Larry Knowles and I attend Heron Days, too. On Sunday we kayaked up Kelsey Creek about .5 miles and flushed several times, both coming and going, two immature BALD EAGLES and four male and two female WOOD DUCKS. We got great looks at all these birds. We were also on the first pontoon boat to find the HORNED GREBE and got a great look at it. Heron Days was great. -- Erica Fielder

Mon, 30 Apr 2007 -- During the Heron Festival and Wildfowl Brunch at Clear Lake State Park, an alternate (breeding) plumaged HORNED GREBE was seen by several guides on both Saturday the 28th (as reported to me by Susanne Scholz) and Sunday the 29th (when I had good looks at it). I heard a second-hand report of two AMERICAN BITTERNS seen on Sunday and a first-hand report from a non-birder of a swan (presumably a MUTE SWAN) at Rodman Slough on Wednesday the 25th. Several dozen WESTERN/CLARK'S GREBES were present over the weekend, which was considerably more than the previous weekend. As alluded to in a brief post a few weeks ago by Kate Marianchild, most of the grebes on Clear Lake departed after a mass fish mortality event--presumably due to cold temperatures--back in March. It will be interesting to see whether any grebes wind up breeding this year.
Belatedly I've seen some birds (plus a mammal) of interest during my daily commute past Detert Reservoir, including a BOBCAT on April 23, an adult BALD EAGLE on April 20, a HORNED GREBE in about 90% basic (winter) plumage on April 6, a pair of CINNAMON TEAL on March 22, and an adult GOLDEN EAGLE feeding on roadkill (I had to swerve to miss it) on March 20. A pair of OSPREYS were nest building on a utility pole on March 22 but within a few weeks the nest disappeared, so I suspect it was removed by PGandE employees. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 -- This morning from 07:15 through 08:15 Joanne Haller and I saw at least three LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES among about ten Lesser Goldfinches at the end of Burris Lane. They were feeding on the young seeds of fiddlenecks. We did not see any yesterday evening just before sunset.
The Burrowing Owl was not visable, but some vegetation has grown up around the entrance to its burrow. Nor did we see any Tricolored Blackbirds.
An early YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was singing near the old bridge on Potter Valley Road. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 -- Today I saw the LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES at the top of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. They were on the fence on the north side. There was about 4-6 of them. I just put up a photo album on here and there is a picture of one of the goldfinches in it. -- Austin Booth

Fri, 27 Apr 2007 -- Toby Tobkin reported seeing at first year GLAUCOUS GULL on Virgin Creek beach today (April 27) at noon. She reported that it is all white except when it raises its wings and shows the brown vermiculation on the back. A very large bird, it has a pink bill with a black tip and was seen in with a flock of Western Gulls. Also present were 2 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, giving a wide range of sizes to the gull flock. -- Charlene McAllister

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 -- Yesterday I was birding along the Russian River under the bridge on Talmage Rd. I got a very brief look at a sparrow that I believe was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. It had a spot of yellow in front of the eyes and the throat was white. Unfortunately it flew before I could observe any more details. I'm not going to say it was a white-throated for certain because I only saw it for a couple seconds and didn't get a chance to fully analyze the bird. Good birding. -- Austin Booth

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 -- Hey Birders. Another male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD put in a brief appearance at my parent's place in Potter Valley today. I was able to take a couple of quick shots with a small digital camera. If they turned out at all, I'll post them later. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Wed, 25 Apr 2007 -- Although I knew this day would come, I was dismayed to see a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE fly over the freeway north of Ukiah this morning. It's probably only a matter of a couple of years until they're crowding every telephone pole, like they are down south. I may have missed previous reports, but I think this may be the first record for inland Mendocino County.
On another note, Austin Booth and I visited the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant today, and found all three ponds full. There were quite a few ducks on them, mostly Mallards and Ruddy Ducks, but also 65+ Ring-necked Ducks, several Greater Scaup, two or three pairs of Cinnamon Teal, a pair of American Wigeon, 20 or so Buffleheads, 25 Green-winged Teal, and several Canada Geese. The only shorebirds were two WESTERN SANDPIPERS. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Mon, 23 Apr 2007 -- Hi birders- Jim saw a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER with about 30 WESTERN SANDPIPERS at the mouth of Ten Mile River yesterday. There has also an influx of CASPIAN TERNS during the last week. In our yard, a CHIPPING SPARROW fed on the driveway for the last two days. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 23 Apr 2007 -- A pair of RED CROSSBILLS have been coming to my feeders on an infrequent basis since April 14th. I've called neighbors who regularly feed birds and they also are reporting Crossbills on an infrequent basis. Since we live at the Woods Senior Community amongst pygmy forest they are not out of place but are listed as rare in Mendocino. This is the second year in a row that we've seen them here. I've posted three pictures. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 20 Apr 2007 -- I saw a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES at the top of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. They were sitting on a wire on the fence on the north side of the road, bright patches of yellow in the wing very evident in the male. Also saw Chipping Sparrow, Bullock's Orioles, and Western Kingbirds, among others. The Burrowing Owl was not to be found on the hillside where we had seen it a few weeks ago.--Paul Hawks

Thu, 19 Apr 2007 -- I was attending an event at Redwood Valley Cellars. It was about 6:30 PM, drizzly and dusky. I saw what I'm pretty sure was a Semipalmated Plover in the picnic/garden area. I believe it had only one neckband. It also didn't have the white band through the eye area. I thought this unusual as it was out of its normal habitat. I have seen a killdeer before. This bird appeared to be smaller and didn't pretend to be crippled when I inadvertantly approached it. Nor did it fly off, just sort of ran away along the paved walkways. I would appreciate anyone confirming this bird either way if they are in that area and can stop by. Thanks. -- Bill Schuhmann

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I first reported this male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD on the evening of the 10th and he is still here. I did not post his presence again because he was somewhat irregular. He is getting a little more aggressive, more comfortable with the other hummingbirds at the feeders, and Barbara and I have pretty reliably seen him the past few days. A number of Ukiah-area birders have been successful and if anyone else would like to make a twitch, please reply OFF LIST and we can make arrangements. We had NW wind gusts in excess of 30 mph today, and can expect the same tomorrow according to the weather guessers, so I think he might hang around a little longer. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 16 Apr 2007 -- Hi Birders. On Friday the 13th I heard a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE at my parent's place in Potter Valley, and have heard it several times since. According to the database posted at this is the earliest record in inland Mendocino County. The previous early record was on April 20th, 2005 at the Hopland Field Station, recorded by Chuck Vaughn.
On Saturday the 14th Austin Booth and I had a NASHVILLE WARBLER up at Cow Mountain, as well as several Warbling Vireos. Apparently this was the first one in inland Mendocino County this year. A drive around Potter Valley yielded many pairs of Western Kingbirds. There was a single Tricolored Blackbird at the end of Burris Lane, and several more along Pine Avenue. I'm not sure what their status in inland Mendocino county is. There was no sign of the Burrowing Owl at the end of Burris Lane, which I last saw it on March 29th.
Yesterday the 15th Ryan Terrill, Austin Booth and I headed up to Hull Mountain. The low snow levels made it possible to drive all the way to the top, although the road is in bad condition and a high clearance vehicle is necessary. There were very few birds up there, though 'THICK-BILLED' FOX SPARROWS are in, as were 'AUDUBON'S' YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. At Lake Pilsbury we also heard a PURPLE MARTIN, which, if it had been in Mendocino County, would have been the first one this year as well as the earliest arrival. I'm not sure what their status is up there, but these may have been the first arrivals this year for Lake County.
There has been no sign of the Calliope Hummingbird since Saturday morning. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Sun, 15 Apr 2007 -- The 70,000 or so Western and Clark's grebes that wintered on Clear Lake don't appear to be there now. Brad Barnwell drove around the entire lake looking for them the other day. Vishnu saw 400 on Lake Mendocino yesterday. Does anyone know where the rest are, or have any theories? -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 14 Apr 2007 -- Hi Birders. I woke up this morning to find a nice adult male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD on my parent's feeder in Potter Valley. He has returned several times since, so he may stick around for a bit. If you'd like to check him out, give me a call at (707) 743-1133. Good birding, -- Matt Brady

Tue, 10 Apr 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- Between 545 and 730 this evening Barbara and I enjoyed a male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD that was visiting our feeders repeatedly. It was quite timid, but we saw it 8-10 times. There were 6-8 ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS and 4 RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS also at the feeders. We have had the Rufous continuously since March 15, and more this evening than previously. I never remember them in these numbers during spring migration at our feeders in the past. This is the second CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD we have seen in our yard, and only the third I have seen in Mendocino County. -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 09 Apr 2007 -- Stan Beach saw a Magpie (assumed YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE) at Navy Camp, Lake Pillsbury yesterday afternoon. This is a first for Lake County at that location. Could this be the Potter Valley magpie? --Jerry White

Mon, 09 Apr 2007 -- The GOLDEN EAGLE nest in Redwood Valley west of (upper) Black Bart trail has a bird sitting on eggs, as does the osprey nest above Hwy 20 west of Fife Vineyards. I think the GE nest is visible only from private property.
I'm always interested in hearing about any active nests (hummingbird to eagle-sized) that can be seen from a close to level vantage point one way or another, including via climbing trees. I love to watch nests, especially nests with chicks, and also like to pass information on to Jon Klein, wildlife photographer. No bird too drab. -- Kate Marianchild

Sun, 08 Apr 2007 -- This morning, Peggy Macres and I walked up the hill to Montgomery Grove in the moments before dawn. We were rewarded with hearing a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL along the hike, then two BARRED OWLS in conversation somewhere to the south of the grove. Lots of PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, BROWN CREEPERS, WINTER WRENS, and three PILEATED WOODPECKERS, too.
There were plenty of WILD TURKEY throughout Mendocino County today. We encountered the largest flock of the day on and just off the road about two miles west of Montgomery Woods.
At Van Damme State Park, we dipped on Gray Jay. We enjoyed plenty of returning warblers (ORANGE-CROWNED and WILSON'S). At MacKerricher State Park, we saw one RED-NECKED GREBE in full alternate plumage off-shore, one HERRING GULL and quite a few GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS mixed in with WESTERN GULLS, and a breeding colony of PELAGIC CORMORANTS. On the trail around the lake, we enjoyed two HORNED GREBE feeding with AMERICAN COOT - we assume the Horned Grebes were migrating, indulging in a feeding frenzy. One of the Grebes had almost completed its molt; the other was still in basic, making for an interesting comparison. Good birding --Jennifer Rycenga, Half Moon Bay

Sat, 07 Apr 2007 -- Steve, one of the operators at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant, saw a BLACK-NECKED STILT at the edge of the south pond yesterday. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 06 Apr 2007 -- Hi birders. While sitting on the back deck this morning, drinking my coffee, I heard a BUL:LOCK'S ORIOLE and at least one WESTERN KINGBIRD. These are my first for the spring, which is rather exciting. Has anyone had any earlier ones in Mendocino County this spring? I also saw a male HOUSE SPARROW investigating nesting holes, which was a bit of a shock. That's a species I've never seen here before, and I'm pretty sure I haven't seen them anywhere else in Potter Valley, either. The pack of Myrtle Warblers seems to have left. Good birding, -- Matt Brady, Potter Valley

Fri, 06 Apr 2007 -- There was one EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE (and probably a 2nd bird) at the west end of Lakeshore Blvd. in Nice this morning. The bird was seen perched in an oak tree from the small pullout area at the gate in front of the abandoned section of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff road.
Also (Matt) in the same oak tree was the first WESTERN KINGBIRDI have seen this year in Lake County.
A very belated report for Mendocino County; there were about 20 EURASIAN COLLARED DOVES along with one very obvious RINGED TURTLE-DOVE at the Thompsons near Manchester on Friday March 2nd. -- Jerry White

Thu, 05 Apr 2007 -- Hi Birders. While standing on the back deck this evening, I heard an unfamiliar bird song. It turned out to be a troop of a half dozen or so MYRTLE WARBLERS, notable (to me) for two reasons: firstly because wintering Myrtle Warblers tend prefer dense coastal riparian thickets, and secondly because these were the first Warblers of any species I have seen in the yard since I got back from Costa Rica last week. So, these guys, spiffy-looking in fresh alternate, were definitely migrants that weren't here earlier in the day! It's always fun to see migration in action. Good birding, -- Matt Brady, Potter Valley

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 -- I'd given up on "my" RED-SHOULDERED HAWK nest (thought I'd scared them off by watching one day) but we're in biz over here! Yes, it seems to be a late year. I notice that the tree is only now leafy enough to provide some cover, so maybe that factor overrode the light factor. (Bob Keiffer explained to us the other day on the "Ecology of the Oak Woodlands" field trip that the arrival of Orange-crowned Warblers appears to coincide with the appearance of tassels on oak trees. That was a great field trip. Thank you Bob!)
Jim, I also had a one-chick family that year, but the same pair had two chicks that fledged successfully last year in a different, hard-to-see nest. I wonder how many it will be this year.
For those of you who don't know it yet (I don't think I've mentioned this here before), the current issue of Birder's World features my Red-shouldered Hawk diary from spring 2005, with Jon Klein's incredible photographs. One of Jon's photos is on the cover, and we have six pages on the inside. The article got edited in half, so it's missing some of the interesting hawk behavior, but it's still pretty exciting for me. -- Kate Marianchild

Tue, 03 Apr 2007 -- Yes, Jim, there is a distinct pair that has been in my trees and sky over Standley street.Calling to each other tree to tree, pairing and calling legs down at times since Feb. On previous years they were always calling at the most West hills . Unfortunately some oak tree trimming near the Creek last week, but the report is the "nests "(and we do not know if it is theirs) remained un harmed purposely. Will keep a look out of course as usual. -- Barbara Dolan

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 -- At the same time Kate was "raising" her RED-SHOULDERED HAWK chick(s) two years ago, I had a one-baby family. They nested elsewhere last year, but have been visiting their old nest this week. If I recall all of the '05 chicks hatched in the last week of April, putting this year's (at 33+/- days incubation) quite a bit behind. Any others in some phase of nesting this year? -- Jim Armstrong

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 -- Today, there was a pair of EURASIAN COLLARED DOVES in our yard. They seem to be spending most of their time at the south end of Ocean Meadows Circle. Only time will tell if they will stay, and if they do stay, how many doves will we have in the next few years? I'm not particularly thrilled about these new neighbors. Where we used to live, the collared- dove population grew rapidly in just a few years. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 -- Lot of migratory birds returning, or passing through, lately. WESTERN BLUEBIRDS returned a few days ago, and BARN SWALLOWS; the VIOLET-GREN SWALLOWS have been staying around since last week. This morning a couple of flocks of CASPIAN TERNS flew right over me, about 1 mile inland from the beach (avoiding the wind?), heading north.
Have not seen the Varied Thrush for about a week, and Spotted Towhees have not been in the yard for a couple of days. ACORN WOODPECKER comes to the suet morning and evening; yesterday I heard the pair of them calling to each other about 30 yards apart. One was on the standing redwood snag, the other in the trees - perhaps they were scouting for nest sites?
Lots of raptor activity as well. A COOPER'S HAWK flew through the front yard, somehow failing to collide with any of the sparrows; the next day another, smaller bird flew over the house. I would have called it a Sharp-Shinned but the tail had distinctly rounded corners. RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS were around last week. A pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS have been coming up Salmon Creek canyon in late morning, when the air warms up.
There are eight hummingbirds attempting to drink from the 3-station feeder on my window as I type this. Cheers, -- Tim on Middle Ridge

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 -- I have finally posted a few photos on the Mendobirds website from Jan 1, 2007 of Al the LAYSAN ALBATROSS interacting with a surfer. When the surfer entered the water, Al, already very near shore, starting "talking" immediately and swam over, mouthed his hand, and still stayed close when nothing was proferred. Other photos show his injured leg and his behavior of pulling "sticks" up from under the water and moving them to a new location.
I read that Al has left this year, hope others get to see him next year. -- Kris Olson, Menlo Park CA

Mon, 26 Mar 2007 -- Gobblepalooza 2007 is in full swing at our place these days. During the winter, we had only 3 faithful toms who came to eat seed I put out for ground feeders. But a week or so ago, a switch was flipped (the solstice?) and now we have 3 - 4 toms in full display (I call it full sail) and gobble mode most of the day, along with 6 - 8 females and what we think are several young (yearling?) males. They snooze and have dust baths under our oak trees, the young males chase each other around in circles, hitting each other with their wings and trying to bite each other's throats. Lively times - Spring clearly has sprung for the turkeys. Do only males have the "horn" at the top of the beak (that turns into the drooping flap along their beaks)? Is that a way to distinguish females from young males without a breast beard?
I also saw a blue grouse along side the road on Parducci Road as I was driving home around 6 pm on Friday. It was much lower down the road (closer to town) this time below the fir forest where I saw the grouse last August. -- Maureen O'Hagan

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 -- There is a MUTE SWAN hanging around Rocky Point near Lakeport, as seen from a boat by Greg Giusti. It is apparently a strong flier but is seen often with the domestic mallard-type waterfowl.-- posted by Bob Keiffer

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 -- Today I heard my first spring arrival of PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER near Hopland. Also, last Friday the Chen hybrid goose (Snow x Ross's) was still at the pond along Old River Road and Gielow Lane...south of Talmage. This hybrid was first discovered during the Christmas Bird Count in December. I heard from a landowner near Hearst (NE of Willits) that the "Silver" Crow was back. The observer said that the wild turkeys paid no attention to the normal black American Crows, but would harrass the silver-colored American Crow if it got near them. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 -- 12:25-13:15 Today I, along with Kelly and Phil Austin, refound the shrike first reported on 18 Mar by Al DeMartini. It was a bit distant for confidence, but I read it as an adult NORTHERN SHRIKE also: as big as a robin, narrow mask with eye extending above the edge, mask not extending above the bill, very pale above and below, rump paler than the back, perhaps some lighter color at the base of the lower mandible.
It was on the north side of the end Burris Lane, Potter Valley, at the high point above the pond. It sat on fenceposts of the fence along the east side of the vineyard, and it sat in the bare tops of willows along the gully that runs across the pasture and through the vineyard. It also sat in the tops of two valley oaks and returned several times to the tops of the willows. We saw it make two captures of mouse-like creatures one of which it appeared to cache deep in the leafy willow along the gulch in the vineyard. The caching behavior gives some hope that it may stay around. I have only seen one other shrike in Potter Valley, a Loggerhead, in the early seventies.
There were several groups of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS around the vineyard intermittently, and several small groups of males were chorusing from the tops of the oaks. The stake-out BURROWING OWL was in its usual spot. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 -- The last time Al, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS, has been seen in the waters off the Point Arena Cove is Friday, March 16th. Al's injured leg appears to have healed so we have hopes this famous bird will continue to thrive.
I've been enjoying watching an OSPREY fixing up its nest here in Anchor Bay. The cry of an Osprey circling in the sky is, for me, the sound of spring. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 -- Today I heard my first PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER about 4 miles up Navarro ridge Road and returned to hear the first PIGEON GUILLEMOTS calling off the Little River Headlands.Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- There were two HOODED MERGANSERS, one male and one female, at the Beckstoffer Pond south of Talmadge Saturday afternoon at about 3 p.m. The male's crest was up for a long time as he washed and preened. With light shining through it was beautiful.
Off Twining Road along a stream I also saw a site where a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK had recently been devoured - on a thick horizontal branch about 10 feet off the ground under fairly dense canopy. Feathers on the ground and in the bushes caught my attention, and, looking up, I saw a 2-foot section of branch littered with feathers. Who could/would do that? Great Horned Owl? There was a large nest high in a tree nearby - possibly an RSHA nest. Also, in the same spot, I got my first sight of the crown on an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERr. It was bathing in the stream. -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- A beautiful glowing copper colored RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in the morning sun at my feeder and then at the Primroses at my feet this morning. One lone VARIED THRUSH staying around with robins. About 8 GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS (the most at my feet at one time) in my patio at the Hemlock tree and seed feeder, are singing episodically, but are in molt or replacement feather state, and are in interesting ragged and varied appearances. -- Barbara Dolan

Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- Last week I briefly saw a small group of swallows, maybe 8 or so, high overhead - too high for ID. Yesterday, two VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS flew around us for a few minutes; hopefully they will return to nest again in the old redwood snag. Haven't seen the Barn Swallows at the Albion PO yet. Today the first ACORN WOODPECKER showed up at my suet feeder.
ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS have been showing up in large numbers recently; two days ago there were probably twenty at my house. Now the males have staked out territory and are making display flights, and the numbers are down a bit.
OSPREYS are back in force - I saw three while driving up to Fort Bragg yesterday. Cheers -- Tim in Albion

Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- This morning there was a group of 40 male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS foraging on the ground in the vineyard at the end of Burris Lane, Potter Valley. There were also groups of females of undetermined species collecting nesting material and carrying it toward the hidden pond to the east. It looks like trikes may be preparing to nest there for the fourth year.
The BURROWING OWL had moved about 20 feet from its usual station, but it returned there later when a ground squirrel was running around too close. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 23 Mar 2007 -- I spotted a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE in the pine tree at the north end of our yard this morning, above where I have been putting out seed. The female LONG-TAILED DUCK was seen by Jim this morning near the mouth of Ten Mile River. Also, the FERRUGINOUS HAWK was hunting just east of Hwy 1 across from our neighborhood this AM. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 -- Cliff Hawley and I returned home to the Central Valley via Lake Mendocino and Potter Valley. We also found the BURROWING OWL, but no Northern Shrike. Found 2 female HOODED MERGANSERS on a farm pond along West Side Valley Potter Valley Road Nothing else remarkable to note. Lake Mendocino had the usual oak woodland species, plus a FOS WARBLING VIREO. The CACKLING GOOSE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE still remain. -- Frances Oliver, Lodi

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 -- This afternoon, having been away for several days, I spent about an hour and a half on Burris Lane and Pine Avenue hoping to find the shrike. The BURROWING OWL was sitting in the burrow where it has been a fixture for about a month now. I was able to scope a distant BALD EAGLE sitting north of Pine Avenue, there were several GOLDEN EAGLES about, but I was unable to find the shrike. It has become very green and lovely out there in the last week, and the popcorn flower is beginning to bloom. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 19 Mar 2007 -- Hi all, A pair of OSPREY have been circling over our house, about 1 mile east on hwy 20 near the feed lot, for a couple of days now. They have done this every spring for the past three or four years. They glide in circles at altitudes between 500 and 2000 feet, probably catching thermals from the asphalt highway, communicating back and forth. It is my belief that they nest in the relatively thick woods between Dorffi Road and the Noyo river, as they usually disappear to the northwest.
Toward midsummer, as usual, we expect to see one of them (mom?) appear with a very loud baby learning to fly. I'll post again when the youngster arrives.

Mon, 19 Mar 2007 -- Hi Birders, Jim saw another female Long-tailed Duck at the mouth of Ten Mile River this morning. I saw her from the bridge using a scope. One of the Ten Mile Osprey arrived this morning. The wintering Ferruginous Hawk was still across Hwy 1 from Ocean Meadows Saturday. The Red Fox Sparrow was last seen by both of us late afternoon on March 9th. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 19 Mar 2007 -- Wonderful view of OSPREY in nest. Easy to see from the east side of Stone Road in Finley (near Kelseyville in Lake County) about a half mile south of Soda Bay Road. -- Lolo Westrich

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 -- On Mar 18, a NORTHERN SHRIKE, a previously reported BURROWING OWL, BALD EAGLE, GOLDEN EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON and COOPER'S HAWK were reported from Burris Lane in the Potter Valley. The shrike was seen near the pond on Burris Lane, which is 1.4 miles from East Side Potter Valley Road. -- Al DeMartini [from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 -- On Mar 17, (5) RED CROSSBILLS were seen in the Pygmy Forest at Jug Handle State Preserve. -- Al DeMartini [from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 -- At Lake Mendocino today there were three BONAPARTE'S GULLS, newly arrived CLIFF SWALLOWS, and a big increase in Western and Clark's Grebes. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 -- Dorothy Tobkin found a dead HORNED PUFFIN on the beach north of Ward Avenue. It was probably a week old. Then she saw a flyby HORNED PUFFIN at Laguna Point from the platform about halfway out the boardwalk.

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 -- I got a photo of Al just last Friday (9 Mar). The stories of him interacting with the surfers is true. He was just floating around and occasionally preening, but, as this surfer returned to shore, Al definitely rode over to check him out and the surfer stopped to return the gesture and pass the time of day. I'll bet the surfers are developing quite a legend of this amazing bird. A passerby surfer on the pier told me that the leg injury seems to be permanent but seems not to be hindering Al. Picture was taken about 3:30 PM and it's posted in these albums. I haven't heard if anyone has developed a history of Al's ETD in the spring. Good luck. -- Ken Holmes

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 -- Today I checked the EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES along Tollini Lane N. of Ukiah and saw at least six between 3580 and 3650. There's a lot of collared-dove song in this neighborhood. One bird was carrying nest material into the dense, twin cypresses that span the sidewalk at 3600. I watched five trips with nest material. One house to the north there was a RINGED TURTLE-DOVE sitting on the wire (smaller, paler, wingtips the same color as the back, white undertail coverts). A collared-dove went to land beside it, and it flew off to the west.
In Potter Valley I saw the BURROWING OWL sitting in the mouth of the same burrow as reported previously. From the high spot above the pond on Burris Lane look to the SW. The owl is in a burrow about 1/3 way up the hill facing you. A trio of ravens was harassing an immature FERRUGINOUS HAWK to the north of this point. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 -- On Sunday the 11th I found a male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER with a flock of about 30 COMMON MERGANSERS on the north side of Clearlake Oaks. Other enjoyable birds included two CINNAMON TEAL and four HOODED MERGANSERS at Robinson Lake, about 20 HORNED GREBES at Glenhaven, five GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS at Clearlake Oaks and three THAYER'S GULLS at Clearlake. Most of the wintering waterbirds appear to have departed. Along the north, east and west shores of Clear Lake I saw <100 white-headed gulls, <150 mergansers and <200 RUDDY DUCKS. And at Borax Lake there were only about 200 scaup, with no Tufted Duck among them. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 -- A COMMON REDPOLL was first seen coming to a feeder on private property in Fort Bragg on 2 Mar. It was last seen on 10 Mar. See a photo.

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports a winter-plumaged TUFTED PUFFIN and a MARBLED MURRELET from the Mendocino headlands in the water to the NW of Goat Island. On 8 Mar she saw three ROCK SANDPIPERS with Black Turnstones on the rocks off Virgin Creek beach.

Fri, 09 Mar 2007 -- Hi birders-- The RED FOX SPARROW is still coming to seed in our front yard north of the Ten Mile River. Its timing is more sporadic than in January, but we see it once or twice per day. The TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD was also seen this morning. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Fri, 02 Mar 2007 -- Hi Birders-- Jim saw an OSPREY yesterday near the Ten Mile R bridge. The RED FOX SPARROW, FERRUGINOUS HAWK and the TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD contine around Ocean Meadows Circle north of Ten Mile River. -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Mon, 26 Feb 2007 -- Once yesterday and twice this morning, a COOPER'S HAWK has chased birds coming to our seed. The RED FOX SPARROW has been seen twice today, so it has escaped the hawk so far. The hawk has mainly been going after quail and blackbirds. Hope it moves on soon. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 25 Feb 2007 -- This morning Geoff Heineken, Cheryl Watson, Barbara Dolan, and I birded in Potter Valley along Burris Lane and Pine Avenue. Of note were a BURROWING OWL sitting in an opening about 30 yards from the place I reported one on the 19th. We also saw three WILSON'S SNIPES on the edge of the pond and several GOLDEN EAGLES from Burris and Pine. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 24 Feb 2007 -- It's been several days since I saw and photographed two PINE SISKINS dining on our thistle bag feeder (see Middletown album) with a bevy of goldfinches. I hoped, at the time, that they might become regular visitors, but then, after several days with not another sign of them, figured that I'd probably see them no more. Well, I haven't seen "them" but, happily, this morning, when I looked out the kitchen window I was happy to see not two, but just one lone siskin among all the goldfinch hanging on that popular thistle bag! I'm hoping that he and his ilk will decide to become "regulars" in our back yard. -- LoLo Westrich

Sat, 24 Feb 2007 -- Mendobirders, This afternoon about 2:20 Chris Corben and I had a BROWN BOOBY fly past us as we were standing on Cliff Way at the end of Ocean View Drive in Fort Bragg. This is the overlook just south of Noyo Harbor. It was a first year bird and likely a male because it had some blue in the face around the bill. The bird came in from the north and continued flying south.
We also had the LAYSON ALBATROSS next to the Point Arena pier at about 5pm. It flew off around 5:15 pm. -- Lisa Hug, Sebastopol

Thu, 22 Feb 2007 -- I stirred up a MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (?) laying in the gravel of my drive 5 feet of Highway 175 in McDowell Valley at 5:00 PM today 2/21/07 (dusky, cloudy conditions). I was only 15 feet from him when he decided to fly off. He hovered near an old oak and finally landed in a low branch.
Due to his size, I thought at first it was an indigo bunting. He was no more than 6 inches long (if that), and his wings were more rounded and shorter than you'd expect from mountain bluebird. I couldn't ID his bill. There were no other colors than blue.
Could this have been a rare occurrence of a bunting? Sibley Guide says it's possible. Or should I just accept that it was a mountain bluebird in all its glory. What a sight! -- Bill Schuhmann

Wed, 21 Feb 2007 --Two handsome little PINE SISKINS seen at our thistle bag feeder this morning. Nothing unusual about this except that they are the first we've had in our yard this winter. -- Lolo Westrich, Middletown

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 -- In Lake County today there were at least 8 LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES on the south slope of Quackenbush Mt in Clearlake. This is above the Landfill at the end of Davis Ave. Take the middle road (dirt) on the public easement access to BLM land. The signs indicate no motor vehicles allowed. I first saw the birds about 3/4 miles up the road in an abandoned orchard around 12:15 PM. On the walk back down about a half hour later they had moved to near the start of the access road. There were also 2 SAGE SPARROWS along the road, the first I have detected this winter in the area.
I finally found one of the TUFTED DUCKS reported by Floyd Hayes at Borax Lake. There were maybe 1 or 2 thousand of the Scaup near Sulphur Bank Dr , the first time I have seen them on the near side of the lake this year. -- Jerry White

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 -- This afternoon I saw an EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE on Tollini Lane north of Ukiah where Maureen O'Hagan has been reporting them since July. From Hyw 101 take the Lake Mendocino Drive exit and turn north (left) on N. State Street. In about 1/2 mile turn left on Parducci Road, and as soon as you cross over the freeway, Tollini Lane is the first left turn. The dove was near the Calvary Way church. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 -- At 10:00 this morning there was a BURROWING OWL sitting conspicously in the open near the pond on Burris Lane, Potter Valley. When you are at the high point of the road at the pond, there is a prominent burrow system of Beechy Ground-Squirrels about 150 yards to the SW. The owl was sitting in plain view here while two ground-squirrels were active a few feet away. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 -- On a Fifty Species Challenge walk on Saturday we saw two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. I'm not sure how unusual that is. -- Kate Marianchild

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 -- On Saturday, Jim Rowoth, Liz West and I birded around Lake Co. We started out at Hidden Valley Sewage Ponds, drove down Butts Canyon Rd to Detert Rd and back than drove around Clear Lake. Highlights included:
Along the west side of the road leading to Hidden Valley SP 10+ CACKLING GEESE were found hidden in the grass. Further along the road a BURROWING OWL was sunning himself on top of the dirt ridge close to the post marked #2. Next we scoped from a vantage point above the ponds where CANVASBACKS were added to the list.
Along Butts Canyon Rd, 2 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS were found with a flock of blackbirds. Then Liz spotted FERRUGINOUS HAWK standing on the top of a distant tree, but soon it took off and soared giving us tremendous views. After returning to the car we saw a LEWIS' WOODPECKER (not sure if they are common in this area).
Borax Lake - a huge flock of LESSER and GREATER SCAUP (I'm sure that the Tufted Duck was tucked away somewhere in there!) more CANVASBACKS, NO. SHOVELER, etc. A lone SAY'S PHOEBE flitted around the wood pile.
Glenhaven Cove - COMMON LOON, RED-NECKED GREBE, MERLIN, COMMON GOLDENEYE, female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE were the great birds for us all.
Clear Lake State Park - a drumming PILEATED WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, multiple VARIED THRUSH, a WINTER WREN rounded out the day of great birding.
On interest was the 1000+ flock of AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS that was soaring first thing in the morning. A beautiful day of birding! -- Frances Oliver, Lodi

Sun, 18 Feb 2007 -- The BURROWING OWL near the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant was conspicuously present at 9:00 am on Saturday the 17th (thank you very much Jerry!) but not today, Sunday the 18th, at 3:40 pm. Since I visit the ponds nearly every weekend I wonder how many times I might have driven past the owl. The CACKLING GEESE were barely visible in a field a few hundred yards southeast of the sewage ponds on the 11th but there was no sign of them this weekend. If you drive to where the road becomes dirt and park at the gravel-like serpentine rock formation on the right, you can walk along the outside of the fence to the top of the hill and easily scan the sewage ponds without trespassing. I once inquired at the office about obtaining permission; they asked me to leave my phone number and said they would call me back, but never did.
I spent about 15 minutes scanning the armada of scaup at Borax Lake on the 10th without any luck. Today I spent another 15 minutes and lucked out by spotting a male TUFTED DUCK after only 2 minutes. I managed to show it to two of the seven students with me before it vanished in thick scaup soup. The students would have mutinied had we lingered any longer there, so we left.
Several miles southeast of the junction of highways 53 and 20 there are several ponds along highway 20 where we saw 17 TULE ELK (my first) plus about 50 TREE SWALLOWS this morning. Four elk were still present in the afternoon.
On the 11th I saw two LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS at High Valley but no YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES.
The gulls have been a bit disappointing for me this winter. At Glenhaven I saw an adult WESTERN GULL on the 10th and a first-cycle WESTERN GULL on the 11th, plus a presumed 2nd-cycle HERRING X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL on the 10th and a presumed 1st-cycle HERRING X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL on the 11th. A few hundred gulls were loafing on scattered docks and boathouses there last weekend, but I didn't check them this weekend. Gulls have basically vacated the Clearlake arm of the lake.
I'll end on a sad note. At Redbud Park in Clearlake I easily captured a CLARK'S GREBE flopping about on a boat ramp this afternoon. It was badly entangled in fishing gear which we managed to remove (after the bird poked me in the face and drew some blood), but one leg was nearly severed (perhaps while being reeled in by a fisherman who no doubt was disappointed) and badly bleeding. Unable to do any more for the poor bird I let it go, reckoning it would probably succumb to an infection within a few days. Is there anybody in Lake County who specializes in rehabilitating wildlife? I wish I had a phone number to call. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 18 Feb 2007 -- At 2:45PM to 3:25PM today I had a SLATE-COLORED JUNCO at the open mixed seed feeder. Clearly a male. At the feeder and then joining the other 2 dozen or so DEJU below the feeder when a Western Scrub Jay threatened all. Last year a Slate-colored visited 2-20-06. Other species accompanying were a VARIED THRUSH(they have been singing like a chorus in the mornings), 13 Lesser Goldfinches at thistle and mixed seed, Acorn woodpecker (suet cake), Nuttall's Woodpecker, 2 Golden-crowned Sparrows, 2 American Robins, 2 Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Rufous-sided Towhee. A male Pileated Woodpecker has been actively tearing at the bark of the Bay tree in the yard, and now is active at a Madrone in the next lot in the morning, pounding and very vocal last week and Saturday.
I was at the USTP today and highlights as I sped around the sundry of ducks were, MERLIN(one seen 2/17), RTHK , 1 Eared grebe, 1 Green-winged Teal. Did not see Moorhen.
A trip to the College today resulted in seeing and hearing the expected Acorn Woodpecker, but I surprised a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK perched on an ornamental bush by the Lowery Library door. It flushed to a visible perch and I could see the the nice blush of streaking on the chest and abdomen, the distinctive legs, and the sharp corners on the tail, folded in repose. -- Barbara Dolan

Sat, 17 Feb 2007 -- Saw and heard an OSPREY today at approx. 2:30 PM South/West of the Little River Airport. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 -- Jim found a female LONG-TAILED DUCK in basic (Winter) plumage west of Ten Mile River bridge late this afternoon. Karen saw a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD at Ocean Meadows Circle and Hwy 1 today. Also, the RED FOX SPARROW is still coming to feed in our yard. -- Jim and Karen Havlena

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 -- I've lived at Lake Pennyroyal for about 5 years now, and saw CANVASBACKS here today for the first time - two males and 1 female. Also 8 Ring-necked Ducks - 7 males and 1 female; 6 Ruddy Ducks or so, and 2 muskrats. -- Kate Marianchild

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders, Today (Friday Feb. 16) we headed down the coast to Point Arena to see Al, but he was not in evidence. We tried from about 10:00 - 10:30 and again after lunch, but no luck. Then we went out Miner Hole Road and though we did not quite know how to bird that area, we did see the FERRUGINOUS HAWKS (4), a NORTHERN HARRIER, and one beautiful PEREGRINE FALCON who obligingly flew up close and soared around us for a few minutes. No Tundra Swans - were they supposed to be in the meadow, or do you have to wade the river to bird the other side near the mouth? I didn't have waders. There were two sizeable flocks of Egrets, but they were too distant for me to make a positive ID.
Great place for hawk-watching. One of the Ferruginous perched on the ground for a while, just like the book says they do. Are the hills (on the other side of the fence) off-limits? Cheers, -- Tim Bray

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 -- I decided to move quickly on this owl since I have missed others in Lake Co. several times. Jerry's directions led me right to the spot at 08:10, and there was the BURROWING OWL on the lip of the bank directly above some burrow openings. A nice look at close range. Thanks, Jerry.
I drove into the Hidden Valley Treatment Ponds, but I was told that there was no public access for birding. So I left, but not without poaching a quick peek: there were quite a few diving ducks including several dozen CANVASBACKS. I went out Butts Canyon Road as far as Detert Reservoir and saw several TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS in a flock of mixed blackbirds along the way.
Next I went up to Borax Lake to try my hand at the Tufted Duck challenge. After about an hour of scoping scaup, I was unable to find one either. My rule of thumb of 1 Tufted Duck per 1000 scaup is going to have to be revised downward by an order of magnitude. What is it about the flora and fauna of Borax Lake that makes it so attractive to scaup? No wonder that we don't have any scaup on Lake Mendocino - they've been sucked into the Borax Lake vortex. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 -- Today I found a BURROWING OWL at 12:15 PM (present until about 1:00) near the Hidden Valley Treatment Ponds. From Highway 29 several miles north of Middletown take Grange Road. Continue until you come to a road that is marked 18896 Grange Road (there is a sign for Crazy Creek Gliders) and turn south; you will go by the entrance to the Treatment Ponds. Along the road look for a yellowish metal post with the # 2 on it.. Look behind that post to the high bank that is on the east side of a small creek drainage. This is in the same general area I found a Burrowing Owl a couple of years ago. -- Jerry White

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 -- Dear Birders, This may be of interest to birders of Mendo County. While on a family vacation to Elk, California, I was surprised to see two FERRUGINOUS HAWKS within a mile of the ocean. They were both located in cattle country near the town of Manchester. One, an adult, was located half- way out the road to Manchester State Park and the other, an immature, was located on Hwy. 1 just north Manchester. -- Deren Ross, Auburn

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 -- Jim and I went to the Westport STP at noon. Neither the Barrow's nor the Common Goldeneye were seen. We stayed a while to see that if they were in the NE corner, they might swim into view. Jim walked all the way to the north end, but he could not see a small part of the pond and shore. The male Buffleheads were practicing their romantic moves, but the females did not seem too impressed -- too early in the year. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Wed, 14 Feb 2007 -- I heard my first RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD of the season yesterday, 2/13, at the future Mendocino Coast Regional Park, 3 miles east of Fort Bragg, Highway One on Highway 20. -- Ron LeValley

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 -- The RED FOX SPARROW has stayed through the rainy days on Ocean Meadows Circle north of the Ten Mile River. The last of the three Varied Thrushes has apparently departed for the hills, but he was here yesterday (Monday). The Tri-colored Blackbird was seen again today.
The Fox Sparrow has changed his habits of coming to the seed around the hedge and pine tree. Now, we don't see it until around 11 AM, then it comes in several times during the afternoon. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 -- I live in town in Fort Bragg and I am watching birds more closely than before since this is the first year I've been involved in Project Feeder Watch. I'm wondering if what I have now seen 3 times is unusual or common. I have seen both White-Crowned Sparrows and Golden Crowned Sparrows feeding at a platform feeder with Pine Siskins. Both species have grabbed a Siskin by a wing tip, twirl it around almost 360 degrees and let it go.
I'm curious if this is something I've just missed before; how common is this? Thanks -- Maria Wetzel

Tue 13 Feb 2007 -- I was in my backyard, in McDowell Valley, on 2/13/07 and I disturbed a large bird on the ground. He flew up into a tree and as he did so I thought he dropped something. I went back into the house to get my distance glasses and binoculars. From the window I saw this bird fly back to the spot on the ground where he was before and start plucking feathers from the neck and possibly head of another bird which he had mounted. He had this bird by the "shoulders" with his talons.
The bird beneath him was as large as he(?)and I saw bright red quills on the lower bird who had its wings spread on the ground. As I went out the door the upper bird flew off. I could not get a good look at the lower bird other than the wings.
The agressor bird had a buff colored breast and a large bill. Dark eye markings. About 2 feet long from head to tip of tail. The tail was dark with a few light bars. There was no apparent red shoulders. Definitely no red tail.
.I have collected feathers from the ground that were plucked from the other bird. They are very short, about 1" to 1 1/2" in length. The larger feathers are mostly medium brown with thin black stripes. The others are light rust colored with a black dot towards the tip.
I've been able to narrow the selection to a red shouldered hawk with the assistance of varous bird books and the Univ. of Mich website. Any help in identifying these birds and whether what I viewed was a breeding would be very much appreciated. -- "mendobill1"

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports two BLUE-WINGED TEAL and several EURASIAN WIGEONS in Hathaway Creek along Miner Hole Road. There were thirteen species of waterfowl in that area including about 120 Tundra Swans and a large group of CACKLING GEESE. At Arena Cove the LAYSAN ALBATROSS was in its usual place at about 2:30 P.M.

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 -- Elaine Lindelev photographed a NORTHERN SHRIKE at her home on West Road in Potter Valley. This was probably the first sighting of a bird seen on 18 Mar and 25 Mar by other observers.

Mon, 12 Feb 2007 -- A neighbor of mine on Burris Lane in Potter Valley had a good look last Monday (3/12) morning at what she is sure was a Yellow-billed Magpie. This was a long look at about ten or fifteen feet of a fairly tame bird; she was too excited to think to get her camera. Given the quality of seeing and the distinctiveness of this species, it seems unlikely she was mistaken. George, Mike Brady and/or I have looked in the area every day since with no result. I have alerted almost all of the residents on the lane to keep an eye out. George points out that the nearest known breeding group of YBMA's is in High Valley north of Clearlake Oaks in Lake County, perhaps 25 miles as the Magpie flies from PV. So it is possible that this individual could be any place in the area. Also, given its relative tameness, it would be worth knowing if there is a captive population anywhere near. -- Jim Armstrong

Sat, 10 Feb 2007 -- This morning I spotted (what I think is) a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON down on the river. I've seen him before, very occasionally. And I braved the rain for quite some time until it let up enough to attempt a photo. (Click Here) He even moved his head for me once, and I got a shot of him looking directly at me - from the front they look like completely different birds. (Click Here) But, the joke was on me, because the camera actually caught two. I never spotted the second one. (Click Here) -- Elaine Lindelef

Thu, 8 Feb 2007 -- I've probably been seeing the same group of WOOD DUCKS, and with the same problem of flushing them before I saw them. Until I got a shot with my camera (click here) , I couldn't ID them. This morning there were maybe ten swimming together and calling out to each other in the Russian River just south of Jones Creek (a bit north of Burris Lane). Either they're getting less spooky or I'm getting stealthier. -- Elaine Lindelef

Wed, 07 Feb 2007 -- I know WOOD DUCKS are not a great discovery, but I have had a mini- flock of about ten of them in my creek for the past month or so, the first time I've seen them there in 35 years, more often seeing signs of muskrat, otter or raccoon. I had a hard time identifying them because when I would go out for the mail or paper, I would startle and flush them, startling and nearly flushing me; they would go out of sight so quickly, I couldn't get a good look. On clear mornings, they would disappear behind the trees and then off into the distance; on foggy mornings, they would only go a couple of turns up the creek. Of course, when I would sneak up, they wouldn't be there.
George finally ID'ed them one morning and I've been getting better looks recently. If you're out Burris Lane, take a look from the county bridge about a 1/4 mile from East Road or from my bridge another 100 yards on the north side. -- Jim Armstrong

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 -- On Sunday the 4th I spent about 2.5 hours scanning the scaup flock at Borax Lake and picked out only two male TUFTED DUCKS. The first I found after only 10 min and the second after 40 min. After scanning about 2/3 of the scaup in 45 min they suddenly spooked and scattered. I continued scanning hoping to see something unusual (such as a female Tufted or hybrid) during the next 2 hours but only saw a male Tufted (perhaps one of the two seen earlier) just before I gave up and left. John Sterling suggested I estimate the proportion of scaup species present. I counted a sample of 300 scaup and came up with an estimate of 79% LESSER SCAUP, 21% GREATER SCAUP. At Clearlake Park there were only about 10 AMERICAN GOLDENEYES and no BARROW'S GOLDENEYES. -- Floyd Hayes

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- At noon today I refound the 2 COMMON MOORHENS which have been on the south sag pond since this fall. I had not seen them since December and had thought they were gone. They prefer the eastern edge of the pond where they can disappear into the cattails. Also in the area has been a first-winter BALD EAGLE. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 -- Hi Birders-- The BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (99.9% sure) is still at the Westport STP along Hwy 1. Jim and I saw the bird again Tuesday AM. The bird is most likely a first year female. Looking with scopes, the yellow wash over a dark bill extends almost up to the base of the upper mandible on the LEFT side of the bill. The right side of the bill has less yellow showing through. The bill shape is good for Barrow's; it is smaller and straighter than the Common accompanying the Barrow's. The angle of the forehead is more abrupt and the crown seems more bulbous on the front of the crown, while the peak on the Common's head is more at the top of the crown.
Also, there appears to be much more white on the folded wing. Consistently, the Barrow's has just a little white showing toward the tail end, while the Common has a long stripe of white showing along the sides. The Westport STP is at the north end of town. Turn east up a dirt drive. One has to walk up behind the large pond about halfway down the pond. The Goldeneyes usually stay toward the north end of the pond. There is a viewing platform, but it is only available Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 10 AM for part of the day.
I forgot to mention that the eyes of the Barrow's Goldeneye are not yet golden. They are a dull yellow-brown, which would point towards a first-year bird.
The RED FOX SPARROW, a red SONG SPARROW, two VARIED THRUSHES are still in our yard on Ocean Meadows Circle, north of Ten Mile bridge. I have not mentioned that for the 2nd Winter, there is also at least one TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD in the neighborhood. We don't see it every day, because it is usually with a flock on the south end of the circle. It is probably the same Tri-colored that was here late last Fall and Winter.
I don't know the races of Song Sparrow, but this bird has very reddish wings and is quite streaky all over. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 -- The dull eye is a characteristic of immatures, so this bird is likely a first-winter bird. By now, most males should show some of the darker head, facial crescent and black bill, so I guess we are safe in calling it a female as well.
What did others think of the bill color? I only saw the bird with binoculars and could not be sure of the color. Anybody else have comments on the head shape? I know Karen thought that the bird was smaller than the adjoining Common, and that is not a problem as, although the Barrow's averages larger, there is enough overlap that individuals could be smaller than individual Commons. -- Ron LeValley

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 -- Hi all, Yesterday afternoon Charlene and I stopped at the Westport Sewage Ponds and were surprised to find two goldeneyes on the pond. They mostly stayed in the far back (northeast) corner. I am 95% sure that one is a Common and one is a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE. I only got a look at the Barrow's through the binoculars, but it appeared to have a mostly yellow bill and a very steep forehead.
Sorry I didn't post this yesterday. Just spaced on it when we got home. Good luck. -- Ron LeValley

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 -- Dorothy Tobkin birded the south Mendocino Coast today, and she reports about 120 TUNDRA SWANS at Brush Creek. Nearby there was a group of about 150 CACKLING GEESE most of which appeared to be Aleutians and two SNOW GEESE. She also had FERRUGINOUS HAWKS in four different locations.

Thu, 1 Feb 2007 -- Birders, Paul McHugh of the SF Chronicle wrote about the Point Arena Laysan Albatross today February 1 at this link . Best, Tom Leskiw, Eureka, CA

Thu, 1 Feb 2007 -- Hi birders, The RED FOX SPARROW continues to come to our yard north of the Ten Mile River bridge. The flock includes Varied Thrushes, Spotted Towhees, Song, Lincoln's, Golden- and White-crowned Sparrows. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 28 Jan 2007 -- Sunday at 11:00 I spent about an hour scoping the ducks on Borax Lake in Lake County looking for the Tufted Ducks reported by Floyd Hayes last week. Although I didn't see any Tufted Ducks there was one male EURASIAN WIGEON and at least 20 CANVASBACKS present. If you want to try for the Tufted Ducks you must bring plenty of patience and lots of time because there a thousands of scaup on the lake spread from one end to the other. Good Birding. -- Matthew Matthiessen

Mon, 29 Jan 2007 -- I didn't see anything spectacular over the weekend but I did tally some personal high counts for several species of waterfowl.
On 27 January there were 13 CACKLING GEESE (two appeared to be "Aleutian"), 48 CANVASBACKS and a male CINNAMON TEAL at the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, and 43 HOODED MERGANSERS and 15 CANVASBACKS at Detert Reservoir.
On 28 January there were 10 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES (7 males, 3 females) among roughly 75 COMMON GOLDENEYES at Pirate's Cove, Clearlake Park. At Borax Lake the scaup were much more clumped than last weekend and I was unable to detect a TUFTED DUCK among them despite >1.5 hr of searching; however, I spent some time counting the LESSER and GREATER SCAUP by 100s and came up with about 13,000!
There were hundreds of gulls at Clearlake Park but the only unusual one I could find was a presumed adult HERRING X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL hybrid (grayish hood with some streaking, whitish iris, pale gray back and wings, dark gray wingtips).
I learned from a couple of local residents about the recent cholera outbreak and just read several articles in the Lake County Bee , which report that about 4,000 birds (>90% Ruddy Ducks) have died thus far in northern Clear Lake. One of the locals pointed out two dead birds floating near the shore at Pirate's Cove, so perhaps it has begun to spread there... -- Floyd Hayes, Hidden Valley Lake, Lake Co.

Tue, 23 Jan 2007 -- Sighted an adult PEREGRINE FALCON at Pudding Creek today, perched on the rock to the north of the main beach - I was hiking along the cliff trails shooting panoramics of the ocean when I spotted it sitting on the tall rock (looking north) which, from that distance and perspective, has Baxman's Gravel Co. on the cliff behind it. I took several shots when I realized there was a bird on the rock. Thought it was a gull at first. Got closer, zoomed in, and there was a Peregrine Falcon sitting there! Posted the images to the Photos section. They're not that good but at least you can tell they are of a Peregrine Falcon. Enjoy -- Feather Forestwalker

Mon, 22 Jan 2007 -- We put a small pond on our property in June, 2006, and it has been full of water for a couple of months now. I am pleased to announce we are now hosting our first duck visitor: a RING-NECKED DUCK drake! He has been at the pond for about a week now (keeping the phoebes company) and I finally got a good look at him during daylight on Sunday. -- Maureen O'Hagan

Sun, 21 Jan 2007 -- Sunday morning produced a handful of nice birds at USTP. The LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and LEAST SANDPIPERS were still present. Only six species of ducks were present but this included a lone female COMMON GOLDENEYE. One MERLIN and at least three TREE SWALLOWS rounded out the morning.
A couple hours around Lake Mendocino in the early afternoon produced a few nice birds. At the north end of Coyote Dam there was a MEW GULL hanging out with the resident ducks and geese. From the parking lot below the dam I was able to scope two adult BALD EAGLES on the east side of the lake. At the north end of the lake the CACKLING GOOSE and two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were still present sitting on the shore together between the boat launch and Pomo A. Two CANADA GEESE had joined them making for nice comparisons between cackler and canada. I could not find the Canvasback reported last week by Chuck Vaughn but there were several CLARK'S GREBES just out from Pomo A. -- Matthew Matthiessen

Sat, 20 Jan 2007 -- Paul Fox, Bob and Ann Marcus tried for the Laysan Albatross on Saturday the 20th from 9:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. without success though there were many other good birds on the windy roads getting to Pt. Arenas that made the trip worthwhile. -- Paul Fox, Pacific Palisades [from Calbirds]

Sun, 21 Jan 2007 -- Today I birded the eastern and southern shores of Clear Lake. The hordes of grebes, mergansers and gulls were concentrated at Glenhaven, Clearlake Oaks and north of Clearlake Park.
I spent more than 2 hours scanning the guesstimated 7,000 scaup at Borax Lake and picked out three male TUFTED DUCKS. I also found a presumed male hybrid TUFTED DUCK X GREATER SCAUP. Its back was blackish but was slightly paler toward the neck, the tuft was tiny and fluffy, there was some smudginess between the blackish back and white sides, and the forecrown had an angular bump shaped like that of a Greater Scaup. I took some distant photos. On 14 January I spent an hour scanning the guesstimated 4,000 scaup at Borax Lake and picked out two male TUFTED DUCKS. There are about 10 CANVASBACKS and 10 RING-NECKED DUCKS among the scaup.
Although I saw no unexpected gulls the past two weekends, today I tallied six WESTERN GULLS (one 1st-cycle and two 3rd-cycle at Glenhaven, one 2nd-cycle and two adults at Clearlake Park). I also saw 20 CANVASBACKS at Lucerne and a COMMON MOORHEN at Clearlake Oaks.
Belatedly, I saw a CLARK'S GREBE and 15 HOODED MERGANSERS at Detert Reservoir on 1 January. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 20 Jan 2007 -- Today there was an immature GLAUCOUS GULL on the beach at MacKerricher State Park. Unfortunately, this beautiful gull has a compound fracture of the lower right leg. The FERRUGINOUS HAWK is still present on Bald Hill Road. Yesterday (January 19) there was an OSPREY above the lower haul road at Big River, along with the 4 male/ 1 female COMMON GOLDENEYES reported earlier. -- David Jensen

Sat, 20 Jan 2007 -- Pete and Mary Gealey reported seeing a male HARLEQUIN DUCK on lower Big River amongst a small group of buffleheads of Friday. They saw this group of ducks upriver of the gate but well below the rock quarry.
Today Suzanne and I found it from the parking area near the first bend above the bridge and still with a group of about 10 buffleheads. We had a scope with us and it gave us plenty of time to observe it. As we left, the group was swimming upstream behind the first island.
We also saw a group of very active COMMON MERGANSERS, one RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, three COMMON GOLDENEYES and a SNOWY EGRET. For awhile, the snowy egret was following the mergansers as they were working along the riverbank. The snowy would hop/fly along along the bank, keeping pace with the ducks, apparently to see if they would stir up something interesting. -- Ed McKinley

Thu, 18 Jan 2007 -- I did a survey of Lake Mendocino today, and, as mentioned previously, there is a dearth of ducks this winter. I managed to claw my way up to 7 species. Most interesting was a pair of REDHEADS south of the Mesa. There were two adult BALD EAGLES sitting again in the last tree on the boat-in campground spit and an immature sitting on the 'osprey' platform near Perry Creek Cove.
This week I have also seen an adult Bald Eagle along the Eel River below Tomki Creek, and another adult has been scavanging chinook salmon carcasses at the Tomki Creek ford on the Willits-Hearst Road. There has also been an AMERICAN DIPPER foraging on the spillway of Van Arsdale Dam. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 17 Jan 2007 -- An OAK TITMOUSE tried to harbinge spring from the top of a sunlit oak early this morning, but he didn't fool me! Nor did he seem to fool himself for long. -- Kate Marianchild

Tue, 16 Jan 2007 -- I found a FOX SPARROW in our yard that is of the "Red/Taiga (Eastern)" race. We saw it briefly late yesterday, but this morning I was able to get very good looks in the scope. In the fading light Monday, the reddish streaking on the mantle, reddish wash on the crown, and the reddish pattern on the auriculars was not apparent, making it look more like the "Slate Colored/Interior" race (but not Thick-billed). Today, I studied it as often as I could see it. Jim just now got looks in the scope, too. It is definitely an Eastern Red. I went online to Google. If you put "Fox Sparrow Photo" on the search line, our bird looks like a combination of Greg Lavaty's and Bob Moul's photos on and the Cornell/P.Lowther photo. It is quite striking, especially the super bright, rusty-red rump and dorsal side of the tail. The malar stripes and base of the throat have a hint of light cream.
Also, new to our yard are three Varied Thrushes visiting since yesterday. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 15 Jan 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- It being a beautiful, bright morning, I got out and about for some early birding. At the USTP I found a group of about 15 CHIPPING SPARROWS in the blackberries on the south side of the ponds. I was surprised at the array of plumages in these birds as some of them appeared to be molting into alternate plumage already. There were 4 TREE SWALLOWS and a single BARN SWALLOW working over the ponds. It was nice to hear the bubbly chatter of the Tree Swallows. Both the north and middle ponds are now pretty much full of water and most of the former muddy habitat has disappeared. Not surprisingly the numbers of shorebirds has declined. I saw 12 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, about 15 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and the Dunlin seem to have left the area. At the south boat launch at Lake Mendocino I saw an adult BALD EAGLE along the Hunter's Cove area to the east. From the Pomo day-use area on the north end I saw an adult WESTERN GULL, the 1 CACKLING and 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE that George reported, and 6 CANVASBACK. I was hard pressed to find a couple of LESSER SCAUP and never did see any Clark's Grebes. There were only 4 species of ducks at the USTP. Can anyone explain the dearth of water birds in this area this winter? -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 14 Jan 2007 -- I saw the LAYSAN ALBATROSS (Big Al) Sunday afternoon, 1/14, near Pier 1 at Pt. Arena. -- Anne Scofield, Upland, CA [from Calbirds]

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 -- Just a quick note to say that my wife Jody and I did NOT find "Al", the Laysan Albatross. We arrived later than we wanted at about 3:15 PM and stayed for about 1 1/2 hours. A local told us Al hadn't been seen for about three days. Good birding, -- Eric Goodill, Menlo Park

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 -- Hi, On Saturday I went birding with Elias Elias on a friend's property which is along Shimmin's Ridge Rd just east of Hwy 101 and north of Willits. The habitat is predominantly oak savannah scattered amongst ponderosa/douglas fir forest.
In a grassy field with a stream running through it, we found at least 5 THICK-BILLED FOX SPARROWS in manzanita and willow shrubs. I first noticed them by their metallic call note, which sounds to me like "sting." This is slightly different than the California Towhee's (also present in the field) metallic call note which sounds more like "chink," and much different than the Sooty Fox Sparrow's which sounds like "check." I got good looks at a few of the Thick-bills. They had all gray heads and mantles and much larger bills than the Sooties which out-numbered the Thick-bills in this field 3 to 1. I've never seen Thick-billed Fox Sparrows outside of their breeding habitat and from looking at a few range maps, they are not supposed to winter in Northern California. Has anybody else seen them wintering in Northern California?
We also found a CHIPPING SPARROW in a flock of 150 juncos on a hill in an oak savannah setting. It was smaller than the juncos, long-tailed, white below, and had a black eyeline that went through the lores. -- Jim Tietz, Arcata

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 -- This afternoon I saw a BURROWING OWL from the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. It was sunning at the mouth of its burrow on a distant hillside to the SE of the highest point of the lane. I have seen an owl at this burrow several times over the last three years. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 -- Those of us on today's Mendocino Audubon trip to 10 Mile did get good looks at the BALD EAGLE reported earlier by Karen. We found it East of the bridge after walking inland a short distance. It was last seen soaring North of the bridge.
Also spotted was a 1st year THAYER'S GULL and a single RING-BILLED GULL amongst the mixed (Mew, California, and Western) gull flock at the month of the river.
There were approx. 30 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE (we has bad sun glare, ID based on head shape). They were chased off by a light airplane before we could get a better look. They were seen near the mouth. -- Richard Hubacek

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 -- At 8:15 this AM, I saw a 2nd-year BALD EAGLE sitting on the south shore of the Ten Mile River just west of the bridge. It flew a little further west and tried to nab a female Bufflehead, but missed. It then sat again on the shore for several minutes. I scoped the ducks it flew, so I did not see which way it flew.Shortly thereafter, Art and members of a field trip arrived. I told them about the Bald Eagle, so hopefully they will refind it.
Also on Tuesday, there were at least 375-400 BROWN PELICANS at the river mouth. Today, there are only about 5 pelicans left. There were 5 SNOWY PLOVERS at the mouth of Seaside Creek this morning -- the first time Jim has seen them at that location (no dogs or other people). -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 -- At twilight this evening I was out on West Road in Potter Valley with binoculars looking for Comet McNaught on the western horizon. As I was searching, I saw a COMMON POORWILL against the twilight sky flying back and forth above some trees. This is exactly the same location where I was startled to hear a poorwill calling on Jan 8, 2003! -- George Chaniot

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 -- Today, Toby Tobkin braved the cold wind and saw the 1st cycle GLAUCOUS GULL at the NW edge of the Mendocino Headlands. I don't know the exact time she was there. It was flying with a small group of other gulls, but she said she got very good looks at it. -- For Dorothy Tobkin (Karen Havlena)

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 -- This afternoon, among the geese, muscovies, and other ducks that hang out at the Oak Grove parking lot at the north end of Lake Mendocino, there were two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, one CANADA GOOSE, and one CACKLING GOOSE. (There has also been a Greater White-fronted Goose on the Christmas Star vineyard pond north of the cemetery on West Road in Potter Valley for more than a month.) Sitting in the last tree on the spit by the boat-in campground were two adult BALD EAGLES. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 -- This afternoon Tim Derry and I flushed a SOOTY (Blue) GROUSE on private property along Longbranch Creek NW of Potter Valley. They must be more widely distributed, but I don't run into them very often. I haven't seen one in Mendocino Co. in nearly two years. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 -- Mendobirders, Sorry for the late report but I felt it important to report. Fellow birder Don Wyman and I drove up from San Jose hoping to see the Albatross of Pt. Arena. This was the third try for the bird in the past three years and with all the recent stories about his/her leg injury, I thought we better get up there. On Sunday (7th)for one last try. Four hours later after lunch there in the cove area we joined several people--not all birders--who were standing at the end of the pier. It was about one-thirty, windy and cold. As we waited most of the others left, one was a fellow birder from our South Bay Bird group. Just about two, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS flew in from the left side of the pier and landed just off the right end of it. Another fellow got the thrill of seeing it fly in all from the south as I caught the flight just before it landed in the water. To my surprise this life bird for Don and it was not as large as I had thought. Al remained floating about the area on the right side of the pier for several hours as we waited--hoping to see the bird fly. The sea was rough but we still got good scope views. Al approached several surfers obviously interacting with them with open beak. Later Al tried to tuck in his/her head for a snooze but for the most part was up during the time we were there. We checked after seven and Al was still out there. Sunday afternoon we also saw a gorgeous pair of Red-breasted Mergansers in full plumage in the same area feeding in the rough water. It is a rare treat to see these birds with their red breast! Thank you, Mendobirds. -- Bernice Camuso, San Jose and Don Wyman, Morgan Hill

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 -- Yesterday, January 8, Charlene found a PILEATED WOODPECKER and an interesting sapsucker in the yard on the Little River Headlands. The sapsucker was clearly a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, with a complete red head, except that it had a strong white stripe running from the bill back below the eye and down the side of the face like the more southern daggetti race and not the nuchalis race with a very red head that I am used to in Humboldt County. It might have had some red-naped genes in it. I'll keep an eye out for it and try to get some photos one of these days.
We also heard and saw 85 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE heading north along the coast over the house. Today a single adult HEERMANN's GULLl flew by. -- Ron LaValley

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 -- Hi birders, I saw the GLAUCOUS GULL found on Monday afternoon this morning at 11:30. I thought I would be too early, since the original sighting was at 2:30, but I stopped by late this AM anyway. Approaching the N/NW bluff, there were lots of Brown Pelicans but only a few gulls among them. As I looked down at a long, low rock, there was the first cycle Glaucous Gull next to an adult Western Gull. The size difference was obvious. I watched it for over ten minutes. There were only five other gulls visible during my time at the bluff. -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 -- I have posted two photos of what I believe is a GLAUCOUS GULL (1st winter) spotted at the North/West corner of the Mendocino Headlands this afternoon at approx. 2:30. -- Richard Hubacek

Sun, 07 Jan 2007 -- Today Chuck Vaughn and I were on the coast and we refound the female LONG-TAILED DUCK at Alder Creek which was first reported on Dec. 30. It was in the little lagoon at the mouth of the creek with some Buffleheads and a Ring-necked Duck. The road to the mouth of Alder Creek is closed now due to damage, but you can park just off Route 1 and walk in about 3/4 mile one-way. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 07 Jan 2007 -- Hi Birders. Today Austin Booth, my dad and I tried for some birds along the Mendocino coast. We started at MacKerricher SP, where we did not see any Rock Sandpipers. However, we did see a RED-NECKED GREBE sitting off Laguna Point. Back at the parking lot, a first-cycle THAYER'S GULL was hanging out in the small Gull flock on the beach.
At Pt Arena we succeeded in finding Al the LAYSAN ALBATROSS sitting just off the pier at Pt Arena Cove. He spent most of the time we were there asleep. While watching Al, a young FERRUGINOUS HAWK cruised overhead for an odd combination of species. We saw a second young Ferruginous Hawk north of Manchester.
The most interesting sighting of the day (for me at any rate), was a bird that I am pretty sure was a first-cycle ZONE-TAILED HAWK. The bird was in the town of Pt Arena, and was flying around with some Turkey Vultures. It was strongly back-lit, but it was completely black - the body, underwing coverts, tail, and upper parts were all black, with no streaking or other markings. The secondaries and primaries were light, which contrasted with the body and underwings, but I could not determine if they were patterned or not. The shape of the bird was also correct for Zone-tailed Hawk, with long, narrow wings and tail, and a rather small head profile. However, the poor viewing conditions (with the sun almost directly behind the bird), and the short period of time I was actually able to observe the bird make me less than certain of my sighting. So, those of you heading out to Pt Arena to look for Al ought to keep an eye out for weird Hawks, too!
Finally, our last sightings of the day occurred along Mountain View Road, on our way back to the Ukiah Valley. Somewhere along the west slope of the mountain we had a pair of MOUNTAIN QUAIL foraging along the road, as well as several VARIED THRUSHES. It's always a treat to see these guys, and Mountain View Road is just about as good a place as I know of. -- Matt Brady

Sun, 07 Jan 2007 -- Heard and observed mid-morning Sunday, 1/7/07 were, at least 2 each, VIRGINIA RAILS and SORAS at Mendocino College. At one point I had both a Sora and a Virginia Rail in my scope at the same time. These birds were along the pond margins of the pond just south of Hensley Creek Rd. and about a block before one encounters the first college buildings. -- Vishnu

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 -- Greetings Mendobirders- I got out to the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this brisk morning. The only new birds were 3 TREE SWALLOWS, and the only other bird of note was a very pale "richardsonii"-type MERLIN. The middle pond is being filled out of the north pond, and the extensive mud is being submerged. It will be interesting to see if the shorebirds stick around with the disappearance of that great habitat. The waterfowl are really falling off both in numbers and diversity. -- Chuck Vaughn

Sun, 01 Jan 2007 -- Ron Thorn and I drove to Pt Arena to see the Laysan Albatross on Jan. 1 -- great way to start the new year with perfect weather and beautiful views.
We stopped at a cove just before Fort Ross. There we saw 150 ANCIENT MURRELETTES, 400 RHINOCEROUS AUKLETS,20-30 SURFBIRDS and BLACK TURNSTONES. Two WHITE-WINGED SCOTERs flew by. [Sonoma County]
When we arrived at Pt Arena about 11-11:30AM, no Al. Locals told us that he/she always comes in around mid-day and stays for the rest of the day. We birded Miner's Road and Alder Creek Road next. We saw some terrific raptors, esepcially from the Alder creek road turnoff, right at the top by the house/farm there.
First we saw one, then 2, FERRUGINOUS HAWKS. One was an adult (sitting in front of the farm facing the ocean) and the other, which we saw on the east side of route 1 over the farmland, was an immature with no rufous markings under the wings. Soon the adult joined the immature and both flew together over the farm fields.
Next, Ron spotted this really intersting RED-TAILED HAWK. From the dark brown-black back, white/light gray tail with narrow subterminal band, and heavily streaked breast, Ron thought it was probably a light morph HARLAN'S HAWK, which apparently is pretty rare. Once he got home, he did some more research and agrees (see his comments below). I looked it up in Raptors of Western North America and it fits well with the photos of the light morph Harlan's. So that was pretty exciting. We got to watch it for quite awhile.
Back at Pt Arena, Al had indeed arrived, floating in his usual position on the north side of the pier. He floated to about 20' from shore and stayed there, head tucked. Eventually, a friendly surfer who had "known" Al for 10 years got into the water near the bird, and amazingly, Al woke up, opened his bill and started making all kinds of noises, swam over to the surfer, mouthed the surfer's hand coverings with it bill. The surfer said that Al is this friendly toward all of them and will even climb in their laps while they are surfing! He also says that surfers don't feed Al, but he sure looks used to expecting good things from their hands. I have all this on photos, but I have to get them off the camera onto my computer. Next Al proceeded to search around him for bits of stick-like things in the water, apparently clearing them out of his way? He would pick them up, move them, put them down. He was not eating them. he also picked up a couple of round items, maybe floating snails,and moved them.
We left around 2:30 or 3pm and headed over to highway 101 via Mountain View Road (thanks Dean Manley for the tip.) In addition to VARIED THRUSHES and TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS, we found 3 MOUNTAIN QUAIL. We had pulled over to check the Birding Mendocino book, and wham, there they were! pretty amazing coincidence. They froze, so we got quite good and close looks. It was a lovely way to start the new year! -- Kris Olson, Menlo Park

Sun, 01 Jan 2007 -- Yesterday afternoon around 2:30PM, I watched a beautiful first year GLAUCOUS GULL harass a couple of WESTERN GULLS on the rocks just offshore of the Mendocino headlands near Goat Rock. I wonder if this is the same gull seen from the Point Arena Lighthouse on the coast CBC? -- Cheryl Watson

Sun, 31 Dec 2006 -- Here are my best birds seen today (Sunday the 31st):
TUFTED DUCK: Two long-tufted males among roughly 2000 scaup at Borax Lake. One had some faint dark smudges on its sides and presumably was the same molting individual with more extensive dark smudging on its sides that I found among only eight Greater Scaup on 16 December.
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE: One male among hordes of mergansers and perhaps 15 COMMON GOLDENEYES at the north side of Glenhaven.
CINNAMON TEAL: A pair at the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant (HVLWTP).
CANVASBACK: 50 at HVLWTP plus two males at Borax Lake.
COMMON MOORHEN: Three at the county park in Clearlake Oaks and one in a pond (but three on the 16th) visible from Sulphur Bank Road just west of the entrance to the El Em Indian Colony.
WESTERN GULL: One 2nd-cycle immature at Lucerne, plus one 3rd/4th-cycle immature and one adult at Glenhaven. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 31 Dec 2006 -- Yes, Al the Laysan looks to have a broken right foot. But Al is coping. Yesterday Al was seen in the water off the Point Arena pier. A surfer swam out with some bait for Al and the bird negotiated itself over to the surfer for its treat. Then Al tucked his head down and took a nap. Al is able to fly and to fish. Bird experts have decided to monitor Al for the time being. If Al appears to deteriorate, an intervention may be tried. We treasure this Laysan very much here on the coast. This is the fourteenth winter that Al has spent here. -- Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay

Sat, 30 Dec 2006 -- Bob Keiffer, Cheryl Watson, and Geoff Heinecken found a winter female LONG-TAILED DUCK at the mouth of Alder Creek today on the coast CBC.
Matthew Mattheissen, Chuck Vaughn, and I scoped to sea from the Point Arena Lighthouse from 8:30-12:00 this morning, and among the highlights were 5 MARBLED MURRELETS, 2 ANCIENT MURRELETS, a 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL, and an unseasonal PIGEON GUILLEMOT. Later, looking from Hunters' Lagoon to Brush Creek, we saw a BLACK-NECKED STILT, and a male EURASIAN WIGEON. Finally, we went north to Laguna Point and found a ROCK SANDPIPER off the point, proving that, yes, they _can_ be found at low tide. -- George Chaniot

Tue, 26 Dec 2006 -- Hi all, Thanks for posting these pictures, Jim. This does look like a "typical" broken leg that seabirds get. I'm not sure how it happens, but at any breeding colony, one sees this kind of hanging foot. I would be almost positive that it was not caused by "kids throwing rocks."
I think the stress of capture, handling and so forth could be harder on Al than letting things play out. I would suggest that we keep on eye on his plumage, and if the condition of the feathers starts deteriorating (indicating some sort of stress), then some action might be considered. As long as he otherwise looks healthy, I recommend a wait and see approach. Cheers -- Ron LeValley

Tue, 26 Dec 2006 -- I've posted photos of the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Point Arena Cove (Mendocino County, CA), taken on Saturday 23 December 2006, a da after it was noticed with a broken leg; unfortunately, overcast and wind made conditions lousy for making photos that might help determine extent and kind of injury:
Click here. -- Jim Greaves, Santa Barbara [from Calbirds]

Mon, 25 Dec 2006 -- Hi All, I received the following email this morning stating that Al can fly and land, and that the International Bird Rescue and Research Center in Fairfield has been contacted. There is hope.
"Thanks for your concern. We are assessing Al's condition when he returns to Arena Cove and have been in touch with International Bird Rescue and Research Center in Fairfield, who will accept and treat the bird if necessary. At the present time Al is able to fly and land, so there is good reason to hope for the best. David Jensen, Mendocino Coast Audubon Society" -- Ron Storey, Petaluma

Mon, 25 Dec 2006 -- I just finished reading on North Bay Birds the disturbing news about 'Al' having a broken leg due to some kids throwing rocks at it. Since an Albatross needs to run on the water to take flight, can `Al' fly? Since this bird is now crippled what is its future? This bird has been viewed by many of us, and I personally would not like to see this bird come its demise in this manner. What are the options now for helping this bird to recover? Is there a wild animal rescue or wild bird rescue that can retrieve the Albatross and aide it until the leg mends? -- Ron Storey, Petaluma

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 -- Barbara Dolan, Geoff Heinecken, and I were surprised to see a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW circling low over the north pond of the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant this morning.
As we were leaving, a flock of 18 Canada, 3 Cackling, and 1 SNOW GOOSE flew in to the south pond.The three of us studied the Snow Goose until closing, unsure whether this was the Chen (Ross's x Lesser Snow Goose?) seen by Matthew Matthiessen on the CBC. The grin patch on this bird was easily seen with a scope and although the goose was smaller than the Canadas, it seemed comparable in size to the Cacklers. Geoff and I stopped at Mountanos pond on Old River Road on our way home and sure enough the Chen was still there with the ducks and domestic geese, appearing much more Rossy than the USTP goose.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and DUNLIN continue in the middle pond. -- Cheryl Watson

Sat, 23 Dec 2006 -- Big Al, the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Point Arena Cove, is present 23 Dec 2006. Unfortunately, has a broken leg (first noticed yesterday). Flies fine, roosting on water N of pier at 1225 (noon-ish). Best of luck to those who seek this great bird... a lifer for both of us, sought on a fluke! -- Jim and Lark, Santa Barbara

Sat, 23 Dec 2006 -- Observed by Vishnu and son, Michel, around 3:30 pm 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS about 1/4 mile south of the sister city monument at the Mendocino Headlands. One was perched on an outer ocean stack and the other flying in the area where a large number of Brown Pelicans have been roosting for the past couple of months. -- Vishnu

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 -- Dorothy Tobkin reports three ROCK SANDPIPERS at Laguna point today.

Tue, 19 Dec 2006 -- The Clear Lake CBC was held on Saturday December 16th, the coldest day of the year. Despite the weather the preliminary total was 143 species. This will, I believe, be the 3rd highest count ever.
Two new species were added to the cumulative total. A SPOTTED OWL was heard by Dave and Brian Woodward near Boggs Lake and a TUFTED DUCK was found by Floyd Hayes at Borax Lake. -- Jerry White

Fri, 15 Dec 2006 -- Saw an OSPREY this afternoon heading north towards Ten Mile from MacKerricher State Park at around 3 PM....... -- Feather Forestwalker

Thu, 14 Dec 2006 -- This morning, 4 SNOW GEESE were seen flying with a group of about 35 Canada Geese. They were flying north along the coast past Seaside Beach. -- Jim Havlena

Wed, 13 Dec 2006 -- There were 4 MARBLED GODWITS and at least 250 BROWN PELICANS by the mouth of Ten Mile River on Wednesday morning. -- Jim Havlena

Tue, 12 Dec 2006 -- Two ROCK SANDPIPERS were found this morning just south of the Ward Ave coastal Access. The sandpipers on the rocks with Surfbirds and Black Turnstones. Ward Ave is off Hwy 1, a short block north of the Purple Rose restaurant. Drive on Ward to the ocean (it curves southwest after a few blocks). -- For Toby Tobkin, Karen Havlena

Mon, 11 Dec 2006 -- There was an AMERICAN DIPPER plunging into the Eel River at Todd's Riffle about a mile downstream from Tomki Creek. The water visibility is only about 18 inches after the recent rain. -- George Chaniot

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 -- As beginning birders, we can be excited by sightings that others might consider quite ordinary. This morning from my office window on Fern Creek Road east of Caspar, we spotted a pair of gorgeous VARIED THRUSH scratching like chickens in the pine duff, and hopping around on high limbs of nearby trees. At one moment one posed for us -- a beautiful view taken directly from the front and back covers the the Sibley FG to Western North America. Ahhh.... the pleasure of wishing I could fly... Best, -- Tony Miksak and Joselyn Bartlett, Caspar CA

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 -- I saw a quite a few raptors this morning around Manchester and Brush Creek. Only one short shower and a few sprinkles had me using the windshield wipers. The ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, plus 2 FERRUGINOUS HAWKS, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, a nearby RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, 2 WHITE-TAILED KITES, 4 NORTHERN HARRIERS and numerous AMERICAN KESTRELS were all around the dairy farm and Brush Creek. The 4 TUNDRA SWANS and an adult SNOW GOOSE were near the mouth of Brush Creek. The hawks kept moving all around the farm fields. The area is visible at the end of Stoneboro or Bristol, just south of Manchester. I looked for, but did not see any swallows, no Eurasian Collared Doves, nor a Eurasian Wigeon.
Further north on Hwy 1 near mailbox 12250 there was a PEREGRINE FALCON and a large flock of about 35 WILD TURKEYS.
North of Fort Bragg on Bald Hill Rd, the FERRUGINOUS HAWK remains. There was an adult and an immature SNOW GOOSE with the Canada Geese. I did not see the BURROWING OWL. -- Karen Havlena

Sat, 09 Dec 2006 -- Geoff and I scouted the river below the pullout at mile marker 37.08 on Highway 20 this morning and were rewarded with a look at an AMERICAN DIPPER. We hiked down to the grassy flat, then took a "trail" east until we had a good view of the rapids upstream. The bird was preening on a flat rock in the river for several minutes then flew across the river and out of sight. I sure hope it's around next Saturday. No sign of Rufous-crowned Sparrows. -- Cheryl Watson

Sat, 09 Dec 2006 -- No Gadwall today at the Lake Mendocino Inlet. There were 2 drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL. At the N boat launch were 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and a real CACKLING GOOSE with the 2 Canadas. The lake is a desert. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 -- I did a survey of Lake Mendocino this morning with an eye to the upcoming CBC on Dec. 16. I was surprised at how few waterfowl were present. Maybe this will change with the approaching storm system. The lake level has been dropping to 724.8 feet, and there is mud and gravel exposure around the south boat ramp, Perry Creek Cove, south of Miti Campground, and at the mouth of the inlet. Nonetheless, the whole south end of the lake was devoid of birds other than the menagerie around the feeding area at the south boat ramp. Most of the waterfowl were along the north shore - best viewed from the Oak Grove parking lot. Two Canada Geese have been in this area for weeks, but today they were joined by a singleton GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. (There is another GWFG on the Christmas Star Vineyard pond in Potter Valley) At the mouth of the Russian River inlet there were LEAST SANDPIPERS, and a drake GADWALL. -- George Chaniot

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 -- Tim Derry and I were hiking Longbranch Creek on private property and heard a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL calling from 09:00-09:05 a.m. It was hidden in a group of Douglas Firs on the edge of some chaparral. A pair of Steller's Jays were mobbing it, but they were not making the noise. I remember hearing Saw-Whet calling in the daytime only one other time. -- George Chaniot

Wed, 06 Dec 2006 -- Toby Tobkin is reporting that she saw an imm. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at 11:00 AM. The location was just North of Hunter's Lagoon on a fence Post. Hunter's Lagoon is off of Stoneboro Rd. which connects to Highway 1 just South of Manchester.
She also reported 4 Swans (presumed Tundra)in the Brush Creek Wetlands which is just North of the lagoon. -- Richard Hubacek for Toby

Mon, 4 Dec 2006 -- Two ROCK WRENS were observed foraging together amongst the rip-rap rocks on the Coyote Dam. They were just on the north side of where the concrete pump/gate column pier is located. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Tue, 05 Dec 2006 -- I think of ROBINS as a Spring bird, but I seem to be hearing them everywhere these last few days around Ukiah. -- Maureen O'Hagan

Mon, 04 Dec 2006 -- Hi Mendobirders, Five miles north of Willets, Rebecca Green and I stopped along Reynold's Hwy to check out the birds from 3:30 to 4:40PM. We drove about a half mile down and parked and then walked another half mile. Highlights were a WESTERN PALM WARBLER amongst a flock of Audubon's Warblers and a male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD with the numerous Bicolored Blackbirds.
This is a great stretch of road to bird while passing through Willets. In the winter, the waterfowl in the flooded fields are abundant. Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, and Ring-necked Ducks are easy to find here. Raptors can also be good here. I've seen Cooper's and Ferruginous Hawks, Peregrine Falcon, and White-tailed Kites. Oak woodland species are also present here such as Nuttall's and Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch.
Description of Palm Warbler - It was slightly smaller than the 3 Audubon's Warblers flocking with it. It stayed above me in an oak the entire time of observation so I was not able to see the bird's upperparts well. Undertail coverts yellow. Tail black and bobbed constantly. White tailspots obvious from below. White patch between legs. Chest and belly pale grayish with darker gray blurry streaks. Throat white. Face and malar dark gray contrasting with white supercilium and malar stripe. Wings and mantle grayish-brown. Wingbars not noticed. Rump and crown not seen. Good birding, -- James R. Tietz, Southeast Farallon Island

Mon, 04 Dec 2006 -- A CACKLING GOOSE is still roaming the Clearlake area, where I've now seen it on three occasions. On 3 December it was swimming alone in the water off Austin Park. Hopefully it will stick around for the CBC.
On Sunday the 3rd, large numbers of gulls were loitering along various piers at Lucerne, where I saw 8 species including one first-winter and two near-adult (each with a small black smudge on the bill) WESTERN GULLS. I've also seen a second-winter and two similar-looking adult WESTERN GULLS at Clearlake during the past few weeks, plus some suspected hybrids.
Other birds I've seen recently include an adult BALD EAGLE at Detert Reservoir on 27 November, a PRAIRIE FALCON at Nice on 24 November, a YELLOW-BELLIED MAGPIE at High Valley on 19 November, and five CINNAMON TEAL at Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant on 19 November. -- Floyd Hayes

Sun, 03 Dec 2006 -- Larry Knowles and Erica Fielder saw a female HOODED MERGANSER about 1 mile up Ten-mile River on Sunday. It was with a small group of Buffleheads. They also might have seen at least one female EURASIAN WIGEON in the vicinity of the Ten-mile Bridge. They were in a loose flock with Mallards, Buffleheads, Ruddy Duck (1) , and pintails. They weren't sure of the i.d.
The river is alive with Buffleheads.
They also saw group of Mallards fly at full speed past a tree with a perched PEREGRINE FALCON. The falcon took off after the Mallards and quickly caught up with them. It appeared to hit one of the mallards, which dropped directly downward briefly and then resumed flying. The Peregrine abandoned the attack. -- Kate Marianchild

Sat, 02 Dec 2006 -- I visited the [Beckstoffer Vineyard] pond Saturday afternoon (starting around 2 p.m.) and there were not a lot of birds there - coots, a few Northern Shovelers, quite a few Ruddy ducks, a pied-billed grebe, and a pair of buffleheads. I tried, unsuccessfully, to turn the male bufflehead into a male Hooded Merganser, and then after I'd been there a while, a real pair of HOODED MERGANSERS appeared, and the male was unmistakable. (Just a single pair - I think they had been sleeping over on the far right of the pond where I couldn't see them from where I was on the access road). They swam back and forth and then bathed, so I got a good look at them. They are beautiful, especially the male! When I left about 3:15 they were still in view. -- Maureen O'Hagan

Sat, 02 Dec 2006 -- Ed DeBellevue of San Rafael, CA Saw the LAYSAN ALBATROSS at Arena Cove at 1:30 PM. For more information see the report on Calbirds

Sat, 02 Dec 2006 -- FYI - no Hooded Mergansers to be seen this morning (Sat Dec 2) on the pond. But it was worth a try. I'd be interested to know if they are gone for good or I just happened to miss them. Thanks, -- Helen Kochenderfer, Santa Rosa

Fri, 01 Dec 2006 -- Chuck Vaughn and I birded the coast today looking for those two little Emperor Geese, which we did not find. We did see an ANCIENT MURRELET at Laguna Point, 5 HARLEQUIN DUCKS among the BLACK SCOTERS at Ward Avenue, and THAYER'S GULLS at both Virgin Creek Beach and the mouth of the Garcia River. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 01 Dec 2006 -- I just wanted to let the Humboldt folks know that "AL", the Laysan Albatross that has wintered of the Mendocino coast and uses Point Arena Cove (where the boat dock is) as a resting area for the last ten years, has returned as of 11/28/04. The bird was first discovered by Tod Easterla and Jim Booker... and it might have even used the cove in prior years. This will be the 11th winter season that this bird has used the cove. He/she typically arrives right around Dec 1 and usually leaves around the first week of March. The bird comes and goes from the cove. When it is there it is usually on the water somewhere between the buoy and the dock, sometimes very close to the dock, and usually straight out or to the North of the dock. It is very tame and approaches the surfers... even taking handouts of food from them. If it is all by itself far out with its head tucked under its wing it can be confused with a Western Gull by novices ... that is if there is no size reference to the bird. -- Bob Keiffer [from nwcalbird]

Tue, 27 Nov 2006 -- In the course of making a Chinook Salmon survey on the Eel River, I saw two AMERICAN DIPPERS and two BALD EAGLES (one adult, one immature) in the mile and a half below the mouth of Tomki Creek. The following day I worked in tributaries, covering 3.5 miles in Tomki Creek and its tributary, Long Branch Creek, and I saw neither dippers, eagles, nor chinooks. -- George Chaniot

Sat, 25 Nov 2006 -- On Sat the 25th I did a count on this pond among the Am Widgeon, Am. Coots, Ruddy Ducks, Pied and Eared Grebes and got 45-48-and 47 on count passes. Their plumage is exquisite now. -- Barbara Dolan

Sat, 25 Nov 2006 -- On Nov 25, the two EMPEROR GEESE were seen flying north of the Pt Arena Lighthouse, near the Garcia River. -- "Pete Panchin" [from N.Calif.BirdBox]

Sat, 25 Nov 2006 -- Yesterday I joined the North Coast Butterfly Club on a search for wintering Monarchs around Bodega Bay. It was a lovely sunny day. No luck on the Monarchs but on the way home I stopped at Point Arena, walked up the pier and there, 20 feet out, was Al [the LAYSAN ALBATROSS] resting with his head tucked back. Then he awakened, stretched his long long wings, flew a few feet and then settled down again. Think of the thousands of miles those wings have taken him since last spring Nature is truly a Thanksgiving blessing. --Rosie Rhia

Fri, 24 Nov 2006 -- This afternoon the two adult EMPEROR GEESE flew from Big River into Mendocino Bay. They were later found just off the headlands south of Mendocino, near the area called "Portagee Beach." Hopefully they will stay a while, but they will need to be refound in the morning. -- David Jensen

Fri, 24 Nov 2006 -- The two EMPEROR GEESE reported by Toby and David Jensen have left Big River and were last seen flying North around the Mendocino Headlands at approx. 2:00 pm. -- Richard Hubacek

Fri, 24 Nov 2006 -- Toby Tobkin reports seeing 2 adult EMPEROR GEESE on the shoreline of Big River, just before the gate to the logging road (near the parking area). -- Johanna Jensen for Toby / David Jensen

Tue, 21 Nov 2006 -- It was a nice morning to be jogging with binoculars on Burris Lane, Potter Valley. There is now a variety of waterfowl on the pond including American Wigeons, Bufflehead, and Ring-necked Ducks. There was a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER in the oaks near the pond too. (On the field trip to Round Valley on Sunday we saw about 10 along Fairbanks Road). There was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in a group of White-crowned Sparrows in the brush along the driveway just before the bridge which I saw on both passes. (This is less that 100 yards from your place, Jim. It ought to be coming to your feeders.) The biggest surprise was a CALIFORNIA THRASHER in the blackberries along the flat section. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 -- There were 23 HOODED MERGANSERS on the Beckstoffer vineyard Pond which is located on the west side of the Old River Road about 1/2 mile south of Talmage. I have been seeing Hooded Mergansers there consistently for the last couple of weeks but last Friday was the highest count. This is a great place to view this spectacular waterfowl species ...the drakes are as eloquent as any duck species in the world. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 -- At Lake Mendocino today there was a male GADWALL among Mallards at the inlet to the lake. There were also five BONAPARTE'S GULLS moving around the lake - seen sitting on the margin at the south boat ramp and sitting on the water in the middle of the lake.
At the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant Chuck Vaughn and I saw a odd duck: it was much like an adult, male Mallard but the sides of the head and the throat were brownish and the bill was mottled yellow and black. After looking at at some pictures on the web, we agree that it is probably a Mallard/American Wigeon hybrid. It is a good match for the putative Mallard/American Wigeon hybrid seen at this link -- George Chaniot

Sun, 12 Nov 2006 -- On 11 November I saw a male EURASIAN WIGEON at Borax Lake and a CACKLING GOOSE with a flock of CANADA GEESE at Redbud Park in Clearlake. Presumably these were the same individuals I saw at Borax Lake on 22 October, but I missed both on 5 November.
At the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, there were a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS and three CINNAMON TEAL on 12 November and six CINNAMON TEAL on 5 November.
At Detert Reservoir, a HORNED GREBE, about 10 HOODED MERGANSERS, an adult BALD EAGLE and a PEREGRINE FALCON were present on 12 November. -- Floyd Hayes

Sat, 04 Nov 2006 -- Hi Birders -- A male CANVASBACK was found by Toby Tobkin around noon at Lake Cleone. Jim and I went to the lake, and we too saw the Canvasback. Also, we found a Redhead among the American Wigeon, Ring-necked, Wood, scaup, Bufflehead and Ruddy Ducks. This was about 1:30 PM. Most of the ducks were on the east and south sides of the lake.
Upon arriving back home, we scoped a FERRUGINOUS HAWK atop a cypress on Hwy 1, just south of the curve going down to Seaside Beach.
The Canvasback is 280 on my Mendocino county list. It may take a few more years to reach the milestone 300 mark, but I am happy to have reached my goal of 280 this year. Thanks to all who have helped me with my quest. -- Karen Havlena

Wed, 01 Nov 2006 -- There is a resident flock of 80 to 100 Canada Geese (Great Basin subspecies Branta canadensis moffitti ) that hangs around the Hopland/Sanel Valley area. They use farm ponds in the Feliz Creek drainage and Hopland area, and can be seen each morning feeding south of Feliz Creek road... on the opposite side of Feliz Creek in the large bare field (used to be vineyard). They also use the farm pond west of and along Hwy 101 just south of the CDF fire station ... and they also use the Crowfoot Ranch permanent pasture field about 1/2 mile north of Jepson Winery. 1 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE has been with them for a couple weeks and today 5 CACKLING GEESE (Aleutian subspecies Branta hutchinsii leucopareia ) joined the group. Throughout the fall and winter it is always good to view these Canada Goose groups for the "unexpected" visiting goose species that may show up. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 30 Oct 2006 -- Toby Tobkin called to report that she saw a/the returning FERRUGINOUS HAWK on Bald Hill Rd, north of Pudding Creek Rd, east of Hwy 1 in Fort Bragg. She thought that the BURROWING OWL was in its place on the east side of Bald Hill Rd, but it was difficult even with a scope. The Canada Geese were way west of the road, so she could not tell if any other species were there.
A SLATE-COLORED JUNCO is coming to her feeder in Fort Bragg. Call 964-6216 for info. -- Karen Havlena

Mon, 30 Oct 2006 -- On the evening of October 30, 2006, Dennis Freeze photographed a SPOTTED OWL on his property approximately one and one quarter miles east of Highway One on Little Lake Road in Mendocino.

Mon, 30 Oct 2006 -- This morning there was a BLACK-NECKED STILT in the flooded northern pond along the Nice-Lucerne cutoff. The stilt was in the southern end of the pond while I was there. That portion of the pond is only visible from the extreme northern end of the pond near the small wooden barn. There were also at least three Dunlin and three Pectoral Sandpipiers among the dowitchers and peeps along the shorlines. The only egret at the pond this morning was a Great Egret. -- Dave Woodward

Sun, 29 Oct 2006 -- I saw a late WILSON'S WARBLER in my backyard.... maybe that goes with the lovely fall weather we have been having until recently. --Tina Fabula

Sat, 28 Oct 2006 -- Hi Birders- This morning at 8:30, I saw 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS on the Mendocino Headlands. They were south of the monument and dirt parking lot at the foot of Little Lake St. I was out on the trail closest to the ocean. From behind me where the short grass meets the long grass, I heard the "rattle" call. Turning, I saw the 2 birds fly a short distance further south (and nearer to me). They landed about 15 yards away on the edge of the slope. One bird flew down to the narrow, strip of green grass. The other bird joined it. When I left, they had flown back up to the edge of the slope and the trail. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 -- This morning I walked around Lake Cleone in MacKerricher St Park. There was a group of about 9 or 10 RED CROSSBILLS in the tall, shore pines on the SSE side of the lake. Two were adult, orange-red males. Warblers included Orange-crowned, Townsend's, Yellow-rumped and Common Yellowthroat.
Along the ocean, an OSPREY made its way south near Laguna Point. Just south of the Lake Cleone restrooms, a male NORTHERN HARRIER hovered and hunted only a few yards from me. I got great looks at that beautiful bird. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 -- One adult COMMON MOORHEN continues to reside at the "middle" sag pond located on the west side of University Road at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center near Hopland. If interested in seeing this bird please contact Chuck Vaughn ( or myself, Bob Keiffer, at ( SORAS and VIRGINIA RAIL can be heard also, but not likely seen. Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 -- This morning I saw a CATTLE EGRET along the Nice-Lucerne cutoff in the northern field which currently has water in it. It was in a group of about 15 Snowy Egrets. At about 08:30 a group of egrets flew off to the SE; I do not believe the Cattle Egret was among them. I could not find it after that - it may have been out of sight behind the reeds in the foreground. The most recent Lake County checklist shows only one previous record of Cattle Egret, a fall record.
On the field to the south, which is currently dry, there were 14 CACKLING GEESE, apparently Aleutians, visable from the green gate. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 23 Oct 2006 -- On 22 October, a CACKLING GOOSE and a male EURASIAN WIGEON were at Borax Lake, about 75 HORNED GREBES (outnumbering EARED GREBES) and an adult GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL were at Clearlake, and seven CINNAMON TEAL were at the Hidden Valley Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant (HVLWTP).
Belated bird observations at HVLWTP include: four CINNAMON TEAL on 23 September and 15 October; a PECTORAL SANDPIPER on 1 October (best of eight shorebird species recorded this fall); and what appeared to be a melanistic NORTHERN SHOVELER that was jet black with neatly patterned paler-fringed feathers (unlikely to have been oiled) and pale outer tail feathers on 23 September (unfortunately not photographed).
And very belatedly, four CANVASBACKS were at Detert Reservoir on 23 September and a flock of 34 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at Borax Lake on 10 September. -- Floyd Hayes

Mon, 23 Oct 2006 -- Greetings Mendobirders: At noon today I saw 2 COMMON MOORHENS on the middle sag pond at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. The last time there was a Moorhen here it stayed into the winter. Early in the morning 3 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS were in the oaks at our upper weather station at 3000'. With regards to the woodpeckers, I am copying below a note I received from Lue Owens of Covelo. She reports that she is seeing them at their usual spot along Dobie Lane. This is easily the most reliable spot in Mendocino County to see these birds.
"Yesterday, October 22, I saw at least five (5) Lewis's Woodpeckers on Dobie Lane, 1.3 mile north of where it starts at Fairbanks Road. A fence goes west across the field, and there are two trees on the north side of the fence close to the road, and one on the south side a little farther away, and they flew back and forth. I am putting down the details because I read in the "Falcon Flyer" that sometimes people come out here birding. " -- Chuck Vaughn

Mon, 23 Oct 2006 -- Toby Tobkin called this afternoon (10/23) to say that she had two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS about 1/4 mile south of the far platform at Laguna Point in MacKerricher St Park. -- (for Toby Tobkin) Karen Havlena

Sun, 22 Oct 2006 -- Toby Tobkin called to say that today she saw one BURROWING OWL on Bald Hill Rd, north of Pudding Creek Rd in Fort Bragg. The owl was seen at 4:30 PM on the south side of the mound east of the gate marked with a yellow cord.
On the west side of the road, there were a CACKLING GOOSE and an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE with the large flock of Canada Geese. Saturday, Toby had a PALM WARBLER at the Mendo Coast Botanical Gardens in the west end of the cultivated gardens. -- Karen Havlena for Toby Tobkin

Sat, 21 Oct 2006 This morning I scoped the dry flat behind the metal barn on the Nice-Lucerne cutoff. The flat is several hundred yards east of the Rodman bridge. The most interesting birds on the flat were three HORNED LARKS. There were also six CACKLING GEESE, several of which had very thin white collars. Also present were about 20 AMERICAN PIPITS and about 25 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS. Around the corner to the east in the pond that is now drying the MARBLED GODWIT reported yesterday was still present. -- Dave Woodward

Fri, 20 Oct 2006 -- Yesterday a quick stop at "Robinson Lake" (Nice-Lucerne Cutoff) turned up a flock of about 50 BONAPARTE'S GULLS and a continuing MARBLED GODWIT . Just west of mile post 21 on Highway 20 at the large turnout overlooking Clear Lake there was a ROCK WREN. At Austin Park in Clearlake there was a CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE. -- Jerry White

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 -- And to add to the earlier report of a Palm Warbler, there was a SWAMP SPARROW on the Little River Headlands this morning as well. -- Ron LeValley

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 -- To the plethora of eastern warblers along the north coast of California, you can add a single PALM WARBLER on the Little River Headlands October 19, 2006 seen by Ron LeValley and Charlene McAllister.

Wed, 18 Oct 2006 -- This morning Jim and I traveled up to Usal Camp again. The weather was a little windy early, but it got pretty warm later. Last night was quite clear with high pressure. There are less people there mid-week, so we went ahead.
The best bird we could find was a wayward BEWICK'S WREN! A NORTHERN FLICKER looked like an intergrade (neither Red- or Yellow- shafted), but it was at a distance, so I could not be sure.
There were the usual large flocks in the same places as in past weeks. Other birds besides RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES were WARBLING VIREO, TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, PINE SISKINS, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, LESSER GOLDFINCHES, the usual sparrows, etc. Even the Great Blue Heron has departed. The spots of water have almost completely dried up.
It is surely a great birding spot, though. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Tue,17 Oct 2006 -- Two large flocks of migrating (south) GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were seen over the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. The first flock had about 200 birds, the second about 100 ... both were heard before being seen. Keep an eye (and ear) out for other migrating geese as the heavy storm front hitting Alaska and British Columbia is driving them southward. Good Birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Mon, 16 Oct 2006 -- Greetings Mendobirders: There was a single GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE on the permanent pasture at the lower end of the Center. A female BLUE-WINGED TEAL, first observed 10/9, continues on the middle sag pond just above the office area. Yesterday I saw a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER in an open pasture just east of the office. Last week I had one-time sightings of a BURROWING OWL and a PRAIRIE FALCON. I apologize for the late posts. -- Chuck Vaughn

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 -- This morning, due to cold, foggy conditions, Jim and I got a late start and went to Lake Cleone. We started on the south side of the lake with a very large, pure flock of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. We saw at least 70 YRWAs fly in like a stream of Sooty Shearwaters. There were 6 RING-NECKED DUCKS and over 100 AMERICAN COOTS on the lake. On the southeast side, a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL was mobbed by Bushtits, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and chickadees. The owl was perched directly above the trail. Virtually no other warblers or vireos were seen around the board- walk trail. The owl sighting was exciting, though. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 -- Hi Birders, This morning Jim and I had an imm female MAGNOLIA WARBLER along the Skunk Train tracks in Fort Bragg at about 9:45. The bird was in a flock of Townsend's Wblrs, R-C Kinglets and C-B Chickadees. The location was about 75 yards west of the boggy area, where a small creek joins Pudding Creek from the south. We had a couple of other small flocks, but nothing unusual was with them.The bird stood out with her pretty, yellow breast, gray face, gray streaks on the flanks, and the undertail - bright white with a wide black terminal band. Good birding! -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 -- Yesterday morning I saw the CACKLING GOOSE (first found by Stan Beach in September) at Library Park in Lakeport. It was hanging out with 2 Canada Geese.
Late afternoon there was a MARBLED GODWIT on one of the ponds at Nice- Lucerne Cutoff Road. -- Jerry White

Sat, 07 Oct 2006 -- Back out at Usal on a clear cool day, but again very little wind. The numbers and diversity of birds were way down as compared to Thursday. However, the first thing in the morning I found 2 SWAMP SPARROWS moving back and forth between the grasslands and the coastal scrub on the north slope, another new rarity for Usal. About an hour later in a mixed flock I had an excellent close look at an immature CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in the campground area northeast of the bridge. Other additions to my Usal list were Red-winged Blackbird and Pine Siskin.
For the 5 trips made to Usal this fall I recorded a total of 5 vagrant warblers: Blackburnian,Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, and Black-and-white (add Blackpoll and Palm found by others=7 at Usal) plus Clay-colored Sparrows on 4 trips and the Swamp Sparrows on Saturday. Last year I was out there 3 times and had American Redstart, Black-and-white and a White-throated Sparrow. This was probably an exceptional year (it has been a very good year for vagrants up and down the coast) but I think it is safe to say that Usal is one of the best locations to look for rarities in Mendocino County. -- Jerry White

Fri, 06 Oct 2006 -- started out birding the south coast on a somewhat overcast day again with little wind. A very slow day birdwise. I did not even hear a chickadee until I got to the Navarro. On Miner Hole Road there were 2 or 3 YELLOW WARBLERS. At Duxbury Road there was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD. Along the Navarro there were 2 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS. Also here were about 600 BROWN PELICANS. On the day I estimate seeing a total of 1000 Brown Pelicans. Early afternoon I walked the train tracks but had no luck on locating the vagrants found the day before. Congratulations to Toby, Karen and Jim on those birds. The Black-throated Blue Warbler found by Jim was the second county record. -- Jerry White

Thu, 05 Oct 2006 -- I birded Usal in the morning and along the coast (Highway 1) to Ft Bragg during the afternoon. The day was overcast with occasional rain showers. At Usal there was little wind and a lot of bird activity.On the north slope I found a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW that ended up flying out to the beach with a couple of Savannah Sparrows. At the west campsites (wooded sites next to the grasslands) I found an active early morning flock which had an immature BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER. A little later in the morning I came across a huge mixed flock on the road just south of the bridge that I stayed with for well over an hour. There were large numbers of Ruby-crowned Kinglets in all of the flocks I saw on the day. Another immature Black-and-white Warbler was in this flock along with 2 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, 5 or 6 YELLOW WARBLERS, a WILSON'S WARBLER, 1 WARBLING VIREO, a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER and an immature HERMIT WARBLER which was new for Usal for me. Back at the west campsites I found a NASHVILLE WARBLER which was also new. On the drive out I stopped at the pullout/overlook above Usal and saw two very late WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES competing for perching sites on the tops of the conifers. I continued birding along the coast (Highway 1) which was very active even in the early to mid-afternoon. At milepost 81.25 on the east side of the road there is a Cal Trans property where they keep materials such as sand, gravel and on this day brush piles. There were large numbers of sparrows and with them was a PALM WARBLER. I ended up @ 11 warblers on the day with 10 seen at Usal. -- Jerry White

Sun, 08 Oct 2006 -- This Sunday morning Toby Tobkin birded with Jim and me at a few spots on the north coast. The same BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (from 10/3) was still at Wages Creek. At Wesport STP pond there were 4 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Chadbourne Gulch did not have anything of note. At the southside Ten Mile River road (remember it's Sunday), we had a HERMIT WARBLER and a HY WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, along with TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS, YELLOW WARBLER and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Thu, 05 Oct 2006 -- This morning at 9:00 AM, I found the 1st of 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, and Toby Tobkin found the 2nd CSWA in the same large mixed flock. At about 10:45, Jim spotted the female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER in a smaller flock. These and an HY Lazuli (unlikely possible Indigo) Bunting were all seen along the Skunk Train railroad tracks in Fort Bragg. The birds were all seen about a quarter mile past the eucalyptus trees with Chestnut- backed Chickadees. We heard a Sora and several Virginia Rails below Pudding Creek.
Park just east of Franklin St. on Spruce St at the entrance to Rose Mem'l Cemetery. Walk through the south edge of the cemetery to get on the tracks. Be careful -- listen for the 10 AM train and work vehicles on the tracks, get away from the tracks! -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 05 Oct 2006 -- This morning Dorothy Tobkin and Karen and Jim Havlena found a female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER along the Skunk Tracks in Fort Bragg. It was in a small group of birds less than 1/4 mile up the tracks. Farther up the tracks they found a female-type Lazuli/Indigo Bunting which could bear further observation. Even further up they found a larger mixed flock that contained two CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS

Wed, 04 Oct 2006 -- I saw a male HOODED ORIOLE flying over the Rancho del Rey seniors' park in Ukiah. It was coming from the direction of two palm trees on Leslie Street, but I did not specifically see it there. Is this the latest record ever? -- George Chaniot

Tue, 03 Oct 2006 -- The third BLACK-AND-WHITE Warbler I've seen this fall, plus a PALM WARBLER were near the coast at Wages Creek this AM between 10 and 10:30. They were with a good-sized flock of chickadees. Yellow, Wilson's, Warbling Vireo among the flock. Wages Creek is on Hwy 1 just north of Westport. Be careful birding here, as there is not much room on the roadsides, except for a large turnout a few yards north of the creek.
This Black and White was an adult, with heavy streaking and obvious spots on the undertail coverts. The Palm had very, bright yellow undertail coverts, bobbed it tail continuously, and even showed a hint of chestnut color on the crown at certain angles. (The other Black-and-Whites at Ten Mile and Usal, were female or immature - slightly dingy, while this bird was immaculate).
A LARK SPARROW was seen by Jim Havlena while I was out this morning on our driveway. I saw it at lunchtime with lots of White-crowns. Good birding! -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 08 Oct 2006 -- On today's Big Sit at Lake Mendocino Chuck Vaughn spotted a RED-NECKED GREBE among the many Western Grebesin the center of the Lake. This is one of the very few inland records of this species. Also of interest were the first season records of LEWIS'S WOODPECKER, BONAPARTE'S GULL, and COMMON LOON. Our total for the day was 75 species, about average for the eight years that we have done this event. Lewis's Woodpecker was new to the circle, and the cumulative list is now 118 species. To see the full list and details go to Lake Mendocino Big Sit Results -- George Chaniot

Mon, 02 Oct 2006 -- An imm, or basic-plumaged ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was reported coming to a feeder south of Fort Bragg above Hare Creek. This is the same location where an adult male RBGR was seen last year. Call Raj at 964-5072 for directions. This bird was reported by phone to Toby Tobkin today.
In my neighborhood (Ocean Meadows, north of Ten Mile River), a SAY'S PHOEBE was flycatching in my front yard, while I was talking to Toby on the phone, just a few minutes ago. -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 01 Oct 2006 -- This morning I birded Miner Hole Road and the Garcia River to the mouth in hopes of finding fall migrant vagrants. I had all the usual warblers including two NASHVILLE WARBLERS, but none of the more unusual vagrant warblers. There was a bobcat in the flats and a coyote barking from the river area. River highlights including a nice mature PEREGRINE FALCON perched on a snag near the mouth and a lone BRANT. Shorebirds included a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 16 MARBLED GODWITS, 5 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 50 DUNLIN, many LEAST SANDPIPERS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and SANDERLINGS. Also there were 20 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and 6 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. I find it enjoyable to walk to the mouth of the Garcia from the end of Miner Hole Road by wearing shorts and sandals and wading across the river in a couple places seems much closer than walking down Manchester Beach with a greater variety of birds.
There were about 200 BROWN PELICANS resting and bathing near the mouth of Elk Creek (the 200 acre parcel which is for sale). Good birding. -- Bob Keiffer

Sat, 30 Sep 2006 -- About 1:15 this afternoon, a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE flew over Ten Mile River, while a flock of 12 adult, male GREATER SCAUP paddled about below the bridge. An OSPREY is still hunting off Seaside Beach.
At Virgin Creek mouth, there were 39 MARBLED GODWITS, about 11:30 AM.
Casper Creek mouth and Doyle Creek willows (just south of the RV park store) had a late-ish PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, a Yellow and a Wilson's Warbler. I was there mid-morning. It has been quite cool and overcast for several days here. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 29 Sep 2006 -- I saw about 50 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at 11:45 AM fly west over Howard Street in Mendocino. -- Jack Booth

Wed, 27 Sep 2006 -- Jim and I had a BLACK and WHITE WARBLER and an imm. Black- throated Gray Warbler at Usal Camp among almost 60 species. A heavy marine layer about 150 ft. above the campground kept birding somewhat quiet. We also had Bonaparte's Gull, Sharp- shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Warbling Vireo, Cedar Waxwings and Vaux' Swift.
Jim commented on how nice it was to bird in quiet surroundings, without the traffic at most of the coastal creek mouths. The weekend can have many more people, as Matthew related on Saturday. So, mid-week is the best time to go to Usal. The turnoff from Hwy 1 is at milepost 90.88, east of Rockport. Then drive 6 miles on a steep, windy dirt road. There is a $3 day use fee. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Mon, 25 Sep 2006 -- Today there was a VESPER SPARROW just past the entrance gate to Anderson Marsh State Park (north section) at the end of Lakeview Way (near the church) in Clearlake. Also there were 2 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES on Borax Lake. -- Jerry White

Mon, 25 Sep 2006 -- I went to Chadbourne Gulch early Sunday, but had no luck with the Kentucky Warbler. Only Fox, Song, crowned sparrows and a Common Yellowthroat made themselves known. He also went to Wages Creek and DeHaven Creek without any luck there, either. Just the usual common migrants. It is time for another good warbler wave to arrive -- Jim Havlena

Sun, 24 Sep 2006 -- Today I saw (what I think was) a juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE near the cliffs off the Mendocino Headlands (by the north parking lot). It was a single, small, elegant white seabird with gray on the back, a black cap, black line through the eye, and a black, needle-like bill. I also saw 8 BLACK TURNSTONES on the rocks near by. We had originally stopped to get a good look at the brown pelicans, who were on the farther rocks in a considerable group (adults and juveniles). I had also seen the pelicans in Agate Cove Thursday evening, some in the water filling their pouches. The bird book said the pelicans only migrate through this area, but where we stayed in Mendocino said the pelicans had been around for a couple of weeks. Is that a normal migration pattern? -- Maureen O'Hagan

Fri, 22 Sep 2006 -- Usal Creek Campground - Yesterday the Chuck Vaughn, George Chaniot, and Bob Keiffer "Birdathon" crew found a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and an immature BLACKPOLL WARBLER in the same mixed flock with Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Orange-crowned Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, Hutton Vireos, etc. We found these while walking the creekbed upstream from the bridge. The key is searching the campground and listening for chickadees, then locating them ... usually there are warblers associated with them. "Pishing" sometimes helps. I also find that it helps to wear an old shirt or jacket so that one can lie flat on the ground to view the birds in the treetops .... this helps to prevent a permanent kink in the neck.
There were not as many warblers as on Wednesday ... so we really had to search for them. Activity does not really start until the sun hits the trees ... about 08:30 AM. It was quite windy at times but we did find pockets where it was calm least for a while.
There was one CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at the entrance ....right near the campground sign. There were also numerous VAUX'S SWIFTS and at least a dozen WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS foraging over the north hillside (up near the burned area). The white-throated can easily be seen and identified from the beach access area.
For any of you that pursue the Kentucky Warbler at Chadbourne Gulch (I unfortunately did not see this bird) Chuck found it by "pishing" and then hearing a "chup" note call somewhat like a Hermit thrush's but different. He realized it was a warbler and continues to "pish" it closer to him (about 10 feet away) in the thick underbrush riparian along the creek. This guy is a real "skulker" and sticks to the ground or low dense understory. The bird was seen just about 50 feet west of where the dirt entrance road meets Hwy 1. We searched for another 20 minutes or so without relocating the bird ... I even walked (crawled) up the creek in search of it. -- Good birding. Bob Keiffer.

Fri, 22 Sep 2006 -- A male KENTUCKY WARBLER was seen by Chuck Vaughn, George Chaniot, and Bob Keiffer at Chadbourne Gulch, a few miles north of Ten Mile River on the Mendocino Coast. What a week for warblers! -- message relayed by Cheryl Watson

Fri, 22 Sep 2006 -- Hi birders, This morning Jim walked below the bridge and east on the old haul road. He had a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER and his first GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW of the Fall. I went to the river mouth, where I saw 4 ELEGANT TERNS and 3 MARBLED GODWITS. Last Saturday, Becky Bowen saw a LONG-BILLED CURLEW on the beach south of the river mouth. -- Karen Havlena

Thu, 21 Sep 2006 -- This afternoon at the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff pond there was a MARBLED GODWIT and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER. -- Jerry White

Thu, 21 Sep 2006 -- In addition to the birds already reported I had the following at Usal Camp; a SAY'S PHOEBE and a WILLOW FLYCATCHER were on the north slope on the road out to the beach, and there were 2 MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS in other locations on Tuesday September 19th. On Wednesday the 20th there was a LARK SPARROW on the north slope. On Thursday the 21st there were a total of 4 CLAY-COLORED SPARROW; 3 were seen in the grasslands and on the north slope and 1 was at the entrance campground. Also on Wednesday Chuck spotted (seen by the rest of us) the WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS, a very good local bird.
Directions to Usal Camp; take Usal Road @ mile marker 90.88 on Highway 1. This is about 15 miles west of Leggett or about 13 miles northeast of Westport. Usal Road is a rather rough sometimes fairly steep dirt road but is passable this time of year even without 4 wheel drive or a high clearance vehicle. It took me about 25 minutes to drive from highway 1 to Usal (6 miles) on this road each morning. From Ft. Bragg the total trip time was about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The beach, grasslands and the north slope are the first to get sunlight this time of year. Most of the woodlands and riparian areas are not light until about 9 AM (if there is no fog).
This is a major migrant "trap" (and therefore a vagrant trap) this time of year. Including 3 trips last year and the 3 this year my list includes: Tennessee, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, American Redstart (warblers). Add to that the Blackpoll seen on Wednesday and a Palm Warbler that was recorded prior out there and you have 7 of the 15 vagrant warblers reported for the county. For sparrows I have seen a White-throated and the Clay-colored.
That is the good news. On the down side is it is a very large area and can be difficult birding( a group of birders is the best way to cover the area). Also the weather conditions can be a factor. The winds in the morning (from land to sea) can be very strong and make looking through the flocks moving through the woodlands near impossible. And of course the birds do not always cooperate. I looked through a number of passerine flocks yesterday (in perfect weather conditions with no wind) and did not turn up anything rare. -- Jerry White

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 -- While waiting on the 9th tee at the Ukiah Golf Course yesterday, a LESSER GOLDFINCH landed on the index finger of my left hand, which was also wrapped around my golf ball and my club. She sat there for about 5 seconds.... -- Bruce Gove

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 -- TENNESSEE WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER and BLACKPOLL WARBLER topped the list of 10 Warbler species seen this morning at Usal Campground on the Lost Coast of MEN Co. Three CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, Cassin's Vireo and 5 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS added to the fun had by Chuck Vaughn, George Chaniot, Jerry White and myself.
The other warbler species were: Black-throated Gray, Townsend's, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Wilson's and Yellow-rumped. The Magnolia was an HY female, while the Tennessee and Blackpoll appeared to be non-breeding adults. Yesterday, Jerry White had a MacGillivray's in addition to the Blackburnian (NOT seen today).
From N Hwy 1, take Usal Road at MM 90.88 and go 6 miles to the campground. (The road is passable but steep in places).
In the afternoon, 2 MARBLED MURRELETS were off Juan Creek, and a second Cassin's Vireo (quite gray, but still a Cassin's) was at Chadbourne Gulch in the willows. Cheers -- Karen Havlena

Tue, 19 Sep 2006 -- Jerry White reports that he spent the morning birding the campground at Usal Beach. This is reached by taking the dirt road north off of Hiway 1 at mile marker 90.86. The campground is 6 miles north along this road. Jerry said that when the sun warmed the trees in the campground by about 10 am, there was lots of bird activity. Between the first large camping area to the left and the bridge over Usal Creek he followed a mixed flock which contained a first-winter BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER. This is our first county record. Jerry also found 2 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS in the same flock, one a first-winter bird and the other a probable fall adult. Along the road were 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS. Jerry intends to go in there again tomorrow. He advises that birding activity doesn't pick up until the sun reaches the campground trees later in the morning -- ChuckVaughn

Tue, 19 Sep 2006 -- This morning I went to the ponds along the Nice/Lucerne cutoff reported on by Dave Woodward yesterday. I found about the same group of birds as he: an AMERICAN AVOCET, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, about 30 LEAST SANDPIPERS and a few WESTERN SANDPIPERS. This was my third try this fall for an avocet in Lake Co., and I finally succeeded. -- George Chaniot

Mon, 18 Sep 2006 -- A mudflat has developed at the pond behind the metal barn on the Nice/Lucerne cutoff that bears watching for the next couple of weeks. This is several hundred yards east of the Rodman bridge. This morning there was one AMERICAN AVOCET and one PECTORAL SANDPIPER on the flat as well as hundreds of gulls and lesser numbers of peeps and wading birds. -- Dave Woodward

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 -- Hi, Seabirders, This is the trip report for Shearwater Journeys' Sep 15 and 17 pelagic trips. The Sep 15th trip from Bodega Bay was weathered out at the port the morning of the trip. Many of the birders who had signed up for the trip on the 15th, were also scheduled for the Fort Bragg trip on the 17th. So, those of us who were, birded our way north along Highway 1 from Bodega Bay to Fort Bragg on the 16th. Many out-of-state birders headed up to Mountain View Road to successfully find MOUNTAIN QUAIL. A few lucky birders also found NORTHERN PYGMY OWLS on this road, and in Van Damme State Park.
On Sep 17th the swells were still quite large, and winds were from the northwest at 15-20 knots. Highlights of our trip included BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, MARBLED MURRELETS off Usal River mouth, and two BLUE WHALES. Leaders on the 17th were: Lisa Hug, Jim Danzenbaker, Scott Terrill, and Debra Shearwater. Our species list is unusually low due to the difficult weather conditions.

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 -- Two distinguished guests from New York have been staying at my home. They just got in the door from birding in Mendo County after the boat trip on Sep 17th. So, I just now learned that they saw a PHILADELPHIA VIREO during their time spent birding after the trip.
Directions for the vireo are as follows: Highway 128 off Route 1 just below Redwoods State Park at mile marker 1.38 near pullout with short trail to river. The vireo was in cottonwoods or aspens on the river side toward Route 1. It was seen from 4 feet above ground and in aspens by two very top notch east coast guys.
They also saw three NORTHERN PYGMY OWLS in daylight. One owl was at Lake Cleone, being mobbed by a single Steller's Jay. Two owls were at Van Damme Park, also being mobbed by little birds. They drove Mountain View Road twice and saw MOUNTAIN QUAIL both times.
These fellows had a great time birding in Mendo County. They are here for the month of September, and are going on every single Shearwater Journey's trip during the month, including the October 1st trip. Then, they head home. -- Debra Love Shearwater, Hollister

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 -- Hi birders, I had a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and a NORTHERN PARULA this morning on the south bank of Ten Mile River. Jim and I walked down the paved haul road east of the bridge to the low bridge over the south fork of the river. The female BAWW was seen near where the old (walking) haul road joins the paved road. Later, she moved with a large, mixed flock to the east. The young male NOPA was on the steep hillside above the road with Warbling Vireos, Yellows, Wilson's, Orange-crowns, etc. Even though the skies have been clear, I'm glad we took the chance. (Unfortunately, Sunday is the only day to walk on the paved road).
At Lake Cleone, a SORA responded nicely to clapping today, at the east end of the lake. On Friday, Jim watched a RED PHALAROPE with 6 Red-necked Phalaropes on Lake Cleone. There was Black-throated Gray Warbler on the south side of the lake, along with a Willow Flycatcher.
Friday, I had my first-of-the-year Amer. Pipits at Caspar Creek mouth, Lincoln's Sparrows at Big River, and Western Wood Pewee at Wages Creek. -- Karen and Jim Havlena

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 -- There was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW on the east side of Hiway 1 past Howard Creek across from a Vista Point entrance. This is north of Westport. Also there was a LARK SPARROW at Westport and a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER at Chadbourne Gulch that same morning. -- Jerry White

Sat, 16 Sep 2006 -- I birded today with Chuck Vaughn on the south coast from Point Arena to the Navarro River. We were hoping for warblers but had trouble getting beyond Yellow and Wilson's. The most interesting birds were shorebirds along the Garcia River: we had a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Windy Hollow, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS near the end of Miner Hole Road, and a RED KNOT at the mouth. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 15 Sep 2006 -- Greetings Mendobirders: This morning George Chaniot and I found 2 CATTLE EGRETS on the north oxidation pond at the Ukiah Sewage Treatmen Plant. They subsequently flew to the south pond and were walking between there and the middle pond when we left at 945. They seemed fairly approachable so hopefully will hang around a while. We also found a PECTORAL SANDPIPER among lots of peeps. As Cheryl Watson reported last weekend, the north pond is being filled and presently has some great shorebird habitat. They are filling it by emptying the south pond which will very soon also be great for shorebirds. We also refound the first-winter male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD in a large flock of mostly Red-wingeds. Of local interest was an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON flying between the ponds and the river. -- Chuck Vaughn

Tue, 12 Sep 2006, 06:17 -- This morning before sunrise I was stopped for road construction on Hwy 20 over the Russian River inlet to Lake Mendocino when I heard several BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS down along the inlet. Kate Marianchild reported seeing several in willows along there back on 26 Aug. while she was kayaking. Maybe they are regulars -- George Chaniot

Mon, 11 Sep 2006 -- Hi -- This morning, Toby Tobkin had a RED KNOT at Glass Beach. I had a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, 2 WARBLING VIREOS, plus WILSON'S WARBLERS and YELLOW WARBLERS at Wages Creek. At Ten Mile River by the bridge, there were 2 MARBLED GODWITS and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, but no LTDU (last seen 28 August). -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 10 Sep 2006 -- The north pond is being filled and the south pond emptied, creating some nice mud banks and flats. Nothing unusual today, but a small flock of LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS may be the harbingers of some interesting shorebird activity. Five AMERICAN WIGEON were the only new ducks seen. -- Cheryl Watson

Fri, 08 Sep 2006 -- The EASTERN KINGBIRD was still present this evening at the Hopland Research and Extension Center's permanent pasture along University Road. Barbara Dolan, Cheryl Watson, Geoff Heineken, and I found it at about 7:05 PM foraging from posts and sprinkler heads in the center of the pasture north of the road. I had been scoping the pasture and the vineyards to the west and south for nearly two and a half hours before we found it. So, as of sunset it was still in the area. -- George Chaniot

Fri, 08 Sep 2006 -- Hi Birders, Today Jim and I birded various locations north of Fort Bragg. Wages Creek had a large flock containing an imm female BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, several WARBLING VIREOS (I looked at each one carefully), YELLOW WARBLERS, WILSON'S WARBLERS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, etc. An unfortunate SWAINSON'S THRUSH was alive, but in the mouth of a cat inside inside the fence at the private campground.
Inglenook Fen and Ten Mile beach had a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, WARBLING VIREO at the fen. Four RUDDY TURNSTONES, a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, four MARBLED GODWITS, WANDERING TATTLER, and a GREATER YELLOWLEGS were scattered up and down the beach and rocks.
Lake Cleone had a CASSIN'S VIREO and a WESTERN TANAGER. An early RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was along the boardwalk over Mill Creek.
The Long-tailed Duck has not been seen. The river mouth may be closing off, because the water is becoming quite high east of the Ten Mile bridge. -- Karen Havlena

Fri, 08 Sep 2006 -1:40 -2:30 PM -- There is an adult EASTERN KINGBIRD foraging over the irrigated pasture at the lower elevation of the UC-Hopland Research and Extension Center. It would be viewable with binos or preferably a scope from the University Road (county road). In the short time that I looked at the pasture I saw 1 Willow Flycatcher, 2 Western Kingbirds, 2 Black Phoebes, 1 Say's Phoebe, and the Eastern Kingbird. There are also a dozen or so Western Bluebirds flycatching from the fences and sprinkler heads also. The EAKI ranges all over the pasture during the time that I watched it, at one time into the vineyard to the west, and another time atop the large Valley Oak tree at the NE side of the pastures. This bird may hang around until this evening ...the south wind helps to keep the migrating birds in place. You can call me 707-391-8190 if you wish to pursue this bird this evening. Cheers. -- Bob Keiffer

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 -- John Luther saw a flyover COMMON TERN (extremely rare for Lake) from the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road. There were also 2 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in one of flooded checks; but no Avocets. -- Jerry White

Wed, 06 Sep 2006 -- 18:00 hrs - I saw an EASTERN KINGBIRD along MacKerricher Haul Road. The white-tipped black tail was evident. It was flycatching from posts along the east side of the Haul Road north of Virgin Creek about 1/8th mile, near a red house with white trim. -- Tina Fabula

Mon, 04 Sep 2006 -- Hi all, Charlene and I decided to avoid the traffic through Fort Bragg and so went south to the Garcia River Mouth. Immediately after getting out of the car at the end of Miner's Hole road, we had two Cassin's Vireos and then Charlene spotted an adult male AMERICAN REDSTART which was shortly joined by a second adult male. We later encountered at least 2 other Cassin's Vireos and a scattering of other western migrants including two Townsend's Warblers, Western Wood Pewee, Wilson's Warblers, Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroat. On the river were two Lesser Yellowlegs and a Red Phalarope of note.
To see a photo of yesterday's Reeve, you can go to . There will be a second photo posted tomorrow morning. Cheers. -- Ron LeValley

Mon, 04 Sep 2006 -- Jim and I went early this morning in hopes of seeing Ms. Reeve at Caspar Creek mouth, but she was not there. There were campers just below the pullout, and a man with his coffee was walking around the edge of the usual "birdy" area. We also checked the mouth of Doyle creek around the corner to the south, but no luck there either.
I have not seen the Long-tailed Duck since Monday, August 28th. He regularly seen the previous week. The tides have been high during the day, and the Common Mergansers have been missing as well. They may all be up stream. His flight feathers were still not in very good shape on or about 8/23, so he still could be around. This coming week, the low tides return to the early, daylight hours -- so, we shall see . . . -- Karen Havlena

Sun, 03 Sep 2006 -- Hi all, Charlene and I had a juvenal REEVE (female RUFF) at the Caspar Creek mouth late this afternoon, Sunday September 3, 2006 -- Ron LeValley

Fri, 01 Sep 2006 -- There were at least 8 AMERICAN AVOCETS at the pond behind the barn on Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road. This is about 1 mile from Highway 20 fairly close to Rodman Slough Bridge. There were also a large number of gulls. I was not able to get out and check for an accurate count of the Avocets or to look for any other species. -- Jerry White

Fri, 01 Sep 2006 -- This morning at the Ukiah Sewage Treatment Plant there was a female REDHEAD on the south pond hanging with the Greater Scaups and Ring-necked Ducks. At Lake Mendocino there were two FORSTER'S TERNS flying widely around the lake from the Mesa to the Coyote Dam. There was also an eclipse male NORTHERN PINTAIL at the very south end of the lake. -- George Chani