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Kern County (7-7/8-2001)

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  • Mike Feighner
    Kern County Birders, CALBIRDERS, County Listers: On July 7, 2001, I joined John Trochet, Howard King, and Molly Pollock, in counting birds in the South Fork
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2001
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      Kern County Birders, CALBIRDERS, County Listers:

      On July 7, 2001, I joined John Trochet, Howard King, and Molly Pollock,
      in counting birds in the South Fork Preserve along Sierra Way. The
      Red-eyed Vireo was a no show. We counted Yellow-breasted Chats, Summer
      Tanagers, and Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Wood-pewee, a single
      Brown-crested Flycatcher, and among the numerous Lazuli Buntings a
      single Indigo Bunting showing no apparent hybridization. In the creek
      bed we did find some bear tracks. Outside of our own count area we did
      find Rock Wren and Warbling Vireo.

      At the official count gathering we learned of a single Black Swift found
      at the Cane Creek Preserve, and American Bittern along the creek at the
      eastern part of the main preserve, a Ring-billed Gull at the
      south-eastern corner of Isabella Lake, and an Eastern Kingbird....yes,
      an Eastern Kingbird. I had reported finding two Eastern Kingbirds on
      June 16, 2001 at the south portion of the South Fork Preserve. The one
      found on the official count was only about 1000 feet from where I had
      found the two on June 16, 2001. I have not heard whether the Eastern
      Kingbird had been refound since then. During the count gathering a male
      Rufous Hummingbird showed up at one of the feeders, and a Yellow-billed
      Cuckoo called several times.

      After the count gathering I easily refound the American Bittern which I
      needed for the county; I had already had Least Bittern for the county
      from Prince's Pond which is the traditional location for this species.
      I joined others in trying to refind the Eastern Kingbird, but none of us
      succeeded in tracking down the kingbird within this large area.
      Afterwards, I headed down old Paterson Road which parallels the south
      side of the South Fork Preserve and State Route 178 from the preserve's
      entrance to the west past the field where the Eastern Kingbird was found
      just past the "No Overnight Camping" sign. I followed this road to its
      end at the east end of Isabella Lake. Here I scoped the flock of about
      30 California Gulls finding the Ring-billed Gull. Overhead I found a
      soaring Peregrine Falcon which was missed on the count. In the snags
      were about 30 Tricolored Blackbirds.

      Then I headed up to to Greenhorn Park west via State Route 155 from the
      town of Wolfford Heights (Southern California DeLorme, page 50, C2). I
      had learned from John Trochet that he had encountered some Cassin's
      Vireos the evening before here at the campground. Here there were
      Western Tanagers, Band-tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Western
      Wood-peewee, Mountian Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned
      Kinglet, MacGillivray's Warbler (new county bird), and Purple Finch.
      But Cassin's Vireos were nowhere to be found. The short drive up to the
      Shirley Meadows Ski Area provided little new in the range of species

      The next morning I drove out to the Crane Brake Preserve which is 0.7
      mile east of MP 66.0 on State Route 178 or at the eastern-most Joshua
      Tree east of MP 66.0. The entrance is at the north side of the road.
      Be sure to take along your bug spray. Here there were both Summer
      Tanagers and Yellow-breasted Chats among other species. There was no
      sign of the Black Swift or for that matter any swift species at all.

      Next I headed over to Cerro Coso College Campus in Ridgecrest (Southern
      California DeLorme, page 52, D2). From China Lake Blvd. near Walmart
      head south on College Heights Blvd. to the campus. There had been a
      pair of Red Crossbills reported from here several weeks ago. There was
      no sign of the crossbills, but the eastern end of the parking lot had
      Rufous Hummingbirds, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Verdin (new county

      Check out the Kern River Preserve's web site at

      Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County
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