Le Contes Sparrow, Common Grackle and Tufted Duck continue in Humboldt County - Dec 30th
- After a good search at the weedy field with the small clumps of brambles the LE CONTES's SPARROW surfaced for good looks to be had by myself and Gjon Hazard for whom it flushed from the darker weedy grass edge, just south of the three bramble patches frequented earlier by the bird to the west of the trail that is the most western of the access points along the V-Street loop, south, onto the Fish and Game property. If you reach a house on the north side of the road you've gone too far. The trail makes a slight dog-leg to the right as you walk down between a few buildings. The raised trail/road bed is the only dry ground and Wellington boots or hip waders worked well when looking for sparrows in the vicinity. For most this bird has been pretty straight forward, popping up after a little while along with the general Savannah Sparrow and Marsh Wren activity. For others it has been tricky. So far it has used a very small fixed area at most 50 yards square. It took almost two hours of waiting and looking this morning until 11:00. They've recently moved cattle from the pasture on the left of the trail which is now a muddy patch attracting shorebirds. You will cross a small slough about 150 m along and see some grass trails off to the right. The patch and bramble area is in-between this trail/road and another slough-like body of water to the west.
After the sparrow it was time for a quick shade grown Mexican mocha at the Muddy Waters Cafe, Arcata, and we went on to search in vain for the Common Grackle. The male bird had been seen at the spot as late as Dec 25th, but much of the pumpkin debris has gone so a wider search was needed. Despite our bad luck, the male COMMON GRACKLE was seen late today, Dec 30th, by Matt Wachs who reported it from the next bend in the road to the west. Just as the road out to Mad River County Park makes a sharp bend as the Mad River is met an orange farmhouse is set back on the right past a slight S bend. A piece of white flagging is tied to the wire fence aka. the spot. Today the grackle was an extra 200m further up by the next bend and the farmhouse located there. Tufted Duck and Common Moorhen remained at the marsh.
If anybody has any questions about Humboldt birding feel free to call LBJ Enterprises, or stop by we are open most days (Sunrise Plaza, Wabash and E Street) 10-4, do call ahead and we shall check our messages. We normally know what's about and have maps and brochures for a lot of local birding activities. Stan at the recent RRAS meeting corrected us that both these birds are the second county records.
Robert W. Hewitt
Director, LBJ Enterprises www.birdjobs.com
1707 E Street #5, Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 442-0339, fax (707) 260-0632, cell (707) 845-3189
Godwit Days Steering Committee www.godwitdays.com
April 16-19, 2004 9th Annual, 232 species cumulative.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
I might add to avoid any confusion, and Rob is correct is saying that is the
most western of the access points, that this is the third gravel parking lot
on the left. Earlier, the original post to CALBIRDS stated that this was
the second gravel parking lot. It is actually the third gravel parking lot.
The second parking lot has a green building.
Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County
>... just south of the three bramble patches
> frequented earlier by the bird to the west of the trail that is
> the most western of the access points along the V-Street loop,
> south, onto the Fish and Game property. If you reach a house on
> the north side of the road you've gone too far.