Below are sightings from several dates and locations in Sacramento County:
Yesterday, 5/4/02, I stumbled onto a very cooperative (and beautiful)
Green-tailed Towhee at the Howard Ranch portion of the Cosumnes River
Preserve (a closed portion of the Preserve). John Trochet came back out
with me in the afternoon with his GPS receiver to verify that the site was
in Sacramento County (and not into Amador), and, therefore, on the Preserve.
After an hour or so of searching for the right canyon, John heard the bird
and got a brief view of it.
Also of note were two White-throated Swifts, a Rock Wren, good numbers of
Lewis's Woodpeckers, and a Lark Sparrow nest. I also walked up onto a
sleeping coyote. Startled--actually both of us--it sprang to its feet and
proceeded to trip and fall over a log. Finally awake, it collected itself
and vanished. On the second trip, John and I saw Lesser Nighthawks flying
well before dusk. We flushed a female from the ground and saw a male
calling from an oak branch.
On 5/2 at the SRCSD Bufferlands (www.bufferlands.com) there was a Peregrine
Falcon flying over the Lower Cell of the Upper Beach Lake Wetlands. Two
Vaux's Swifts were present on 5/1.
Today's Central Valley Bird Club (www.cvbirds.org) tour of the Bufferlands
produced good views of multiple Blue Grosbeaks, a male Lazuli Bunting, two
male Western Tanagers, heard only Wilson's, Orange-crowned, and Yellow
Warbler, several heard only Black-headed Grosbeaks, American White Pelicans,
Forster's and Caspian Terns, nestling Great Blue Herons and Double Crested
Cormorants, a male and female Canvasback, and a few Semipalmated Plovers.
While it was a nice day, the forest was quieter than normal for this time of
On a tour of the Deer Creek Hills property off of Latrobe Rd in Eastern
Sacramento County on 4/27, two Band-tailed Pigeons flushed from an oak, and
there were good numbers of Lewis's Woodpeckers. There were also two
Lawrence's Goldfinches on the north side of the Michigan Bar Bridge. The
bridge was closed and there was no information about when it might reopen.
The Deer Creek Hills property is the site of the proposed senior development
that was defeated with the failure of Measure O. The Sacramento Valley Open
Space Conservancy is now raising money to purchase the property
(www.svosc.org). Just to the north, the city of Folsom is seeking to expand
its sphere of influence to areas south of Hwy 50. Development would, of
course, destroy the great raptor areas south of the freeway along Scott and
White Rock Rds. There are currently efforts by Folsom residents to get
initiatives on the ballot to uphold the current General Plan to keep Folsom
north of the freeway.