Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Lazy Day in California

After finding that it would cost too much to fly home a day early, I decided to do some local birding.  It was fun.  No, I didn't go to Big Sur and look for Condors.  I went to a local park near Petaluma where there were ten joggers and dog walkers for every birder.  The park is an area associated with a set of sewage lagoons for the city of Petaluma.  There were lots of water birds including hundreds of Long-billed Dowitchers, American Avocets, and Black-necked Stilts.  Near the beginning of the trail around the impoundments a nice group of Tri-colored Blackbirds were croaking away (photo) [After re-examining my notes and checking in the literature, I think these were the "Bi-colored Blackbirds" which occur in Central California].  Their vocalization is quite different from that of the usually more common Red-winged Blackbirds.  There were no Red-wings at the park.  Overhead a Red-shouldered Hawk was screaming (photo).
The second place I visited was the Benicia State Recreation Area which was on the edge of the bay, so there were some Western and Clark's Grebes there.  A pair of Clark's Grebes were interacting and vocalizing (photo).  Around the edges were White-crowned Sparrows, many Song Sparrows, and a few Western Scrub-Jays and California Towhees.
During the day there was a rumor of a Smew in British Columbia and news that a few White-winged Crossbills have been seen in Maine.  So far the Smew is not firm enough to chase, and I'll get the crossbills when I go north in December, but it was nice to get the news.  Tomorrow I fly home via Las Vegas which is a much better route than going back through Minneapolis or Detroit given that a perfect storm will lash the north midwest tomorrow.Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

  1. Redwing blackbirds we have many in our area which is mostly agriculteral many hawks and if your lucky you might see a Bald Eagle here in Scott Valley in Siskiyou County