Sun Jan 9, 2005 - Yesterday George Chaniot, Chuck Vaughn, and I birded
the north coast. Though it was raining rather hard in Ukiah when we
left the sun was actually shining by the time we got to McKerricher.
At Laguna Point were three ROCK SANDPIPERS on the loafing rocks to the
north of the observation platform. From the parking lot we found one
adult RING-BILLED GULL among the large assortment of gulls on the beach.
At Lake Cleone were three GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and four CACKLING
The BURROWING OWL was standing post at the edge of it's burrow on Bald
Hill Rd. Where Pudding Creek empties into the ocean we found a single
very early (or late) BARN SWALLOW. Jerry White was kind enough to call
us and let us know at Ten Mile Beach he refound the GLAUCOUS GULL
reported Sat by the MCAS field trip. We rushed to Ten Mile and after
much difficulty were able to locate the first winter GLGU among the
several thousand gulls on the beach at the point. From Ten Mile we
drove to Caspar Pond where the lone ROSS'S GOOSE is still present. At
Van Damme State Park a single GRAY JAY was in the top of a tree directly
south of the visitors center.
After returning to Ukiah George and I drove up to Lake Mendocino to try
for the Tufted Duck. The lake was covered with scaup but after 45
minutes of scoping from Pomo A we found the male TUFTED DUCK at 16:45
out near the center of the lake. His crest has definitely grown since
his arrival in Dec and now looks like a normal male TUDU pony-tail.
The flight of robins at the north end of Lake Mendocino was quite
impressive yesterday evening. We didn't make a count but the total
number was n minus 1 because, while we were scoping, a MERLIN grabbed
one of the robins for dinner. We were afforded great views as the
Merlin flew across the lake clutching the dead robin in it's talons.
Ukiah, MEN, CA