My last stop on the coast today, (5:45-7:00) pm) before returning to
the inland heat & 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 & Allen's Hummingbirds (more than I've ever seen in nature,
except perhaps in some mountain meadows.)
Downey & Hairy Woodpeckers
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 & Willow
thickets and unless it was just my imagination there appeared to be a
certain zippiness to everyone's behavior that begged the description,
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 &
the Bay Area (Dec./Jan.). Perhaps these are experiencing a second
bloom? Anyone know?