Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, June 18, 2010

Down from Yuba Pass and up Mosquito Ridge

The return to Yuba Pass netted pretty much the same birds as last night....unfortunately, meaning that no Sooty Grouse was heard or seen.  We did run into a squad of Purple Finches feeding on some seed that a photographer, who was camping at the pass, had scattered to lure subjects for his images.  The Purple Finches were in addition to the Cassin's Finches, giving us a great chance to compare their bubbly songs.  I know you'll all recall that Purple Finch sounds like Warbling Vireo and visa versa.  The Cassin's seems to have a few harsh tags that it adds...but not always.  After the nice birdwalk at the pass, we dropped down the mountain to Bassetts where we had noticed a number of hummingbird feeders at a hotel.  Three of the feeders were occupied by Calliope Hummingbirds, two males and a female.  Caching!!  Another year bird.  On down the mountain to our motel where we had breakfast and checked out.  We headed toward Auburn where there is a nearby site for Black Rail, which John still needs.  Although it was the middle of the day, we thought we'd give it a try.  At least we'd check it out for a run tomorrow morning.  It turned out to be a beaver-impounded wet spot, but the rail didn't call for us.  Our motel for the night was in Auburn and we used the time from our early check-in to finalize some future plans.  For dinner we picked up some sandwiches and headed up to Mosquito Ridge where we picnicked on sandwiches and the mosquitoes fed on us.  Yes, Mosquito Ridge was true to its name.  Our target was Flammulated Owl and as soon as it got dark enough, we played the call and got an answer.  We lured it in closer and closer, but couldn't get a light on it.  John couldn't count it for a lifer, but it did count for the yearlist.  We got back to the motel after 11pm.  I thought I might let John go back for the Black Rail alone.  But I decided to defer the decision until the morning.  The two new birds brought the year's list to 637.

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