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Far Northeast California Birds

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  • Craig Swolgaard
    CA Birders- This is a short note to describe the excellent winter birding in Modoc County. I spent a couple days up there last Friday and Saturday.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2012
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      CA Birders-

      This is a short note to describe the excellent winter birding in Modoc County. I spent a couple days up there last Friday and Saturday. Highlights were Northern Shrike seen both at the Modoc NWR headquarters and in the Surprise Valley about 10 miles north of Cedarville just east of Lake City, a probable American Tree Sparrow about 5 miles north of the shrike (flew off after a good look), a Northern Pygmy Owl on the road to Pepperdine Campground west of Surprise Valley, and a hunting Short-eared Owl in the fields near Modoc NWR. Of course, multitudes of Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks, nearly a dozen Golden Eagles, Canvasbacks and Redheads in Fee Reservoir, Greater Sage Grouse feeding beside Big Mud Lake, a large flock of Evening Grosbeaks in Fort Bidwell, and many other species in spite of there being a drought up there. The refuge biologist at Modoc NWR told me this year was the worse drought in 100 years; the waterfowl diversity reflected that though I was impressed with the overall bird diversity in Modoc County for this time of year. He said they get maybe five birders come through the refuge each year. It really is a stunning area, especially the Surprise Valley east of Alturas. Photos on my Flickr site (unfortunately none of the shrike or sparrow): http://www.flickr.com/photos/24349477@N08/8220641213/in/set-72157621913685053

      Good birding,

      Craig Swolgaard
      Georgetown, CA
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