Monday (21 Nov 2005) Lark and I found the [male] BELL'S BELL'S VIREO
in Golden Gate Park at its "usual" location since late October. I
will post a page of pix on Friday. It [he] fed mostly in Evening
Primrose (Oenothera biennis [?]) and Blackberry, and was VERY
cooperative for anyone with patience, a good camera, tripod, and
wishing photos that could be published. However, plumage is "ratty"
as it is in a molt condition -- tail nearly stripped of structure and
feathers about to fall out, and head and body feathers in need of
renewal as well. Best to wait until January for "emaculate" plumage
photos! The breast was smudged with spots (black), something got from
some a plant nearby. There were TONS of Fox Sparrows around. We did
not attempt the Swamp Sparrow reported earlier in month, as we
misplaced notes in truck, and did not remember where to look!
At Bolinas Lagoon on Tuesday (22 Nov 2005) along north side Hwy 1, we
found a pair [male/female] of EURASIAN WIGEONS among many AmWi at low
tide in vicinity mile-post 13.50 [which may have been male we saw
later in day at entrance to Audubon Ranch]; later we saw, near
Audubon Ranch [about MP 16.50?], a male and female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
(also seen by others earlier in day). The Lagoon was FULL of Pintail
and American Wigeon, with a dozen or so COMMON Goldeneye for
comparison when we were finally able to find and get looks at the
Barrow's. The crescent on male Barrow's face, and nearly vertical
stripes on upper wing were evident at distances of 150-200 meters
through binoculars, but a scope is recommended.
We had no luck on the Clay-colored or White-throated sparrows at the
Bolinas Museum, but it is worth the trek to see the Fox Sparrows
feeding in the open, and one may yet score them if timed right!
Look for "sun-burned" Harbor Seal in middle of Lagoon -- we decided
to call it "Rusty".
In Bothin (NOT Bolten) Marsh in Mill Valley on Wednesday (23 Nov
2005), we saw only a couple of American Wigeon (no Eurasians) and a
few Mallards and Ruddies. There were many Avocets, some stilts, many
Black-bellied plovers, and a large flock of Dunlin (mixed with Least
peeps) that moved about the area. We were blessed with excellent
looks at (and heard another) CLAPPER RAIL at end of a foot path that
heads north and then westward into the middle of the marsh, just
after the second bridge from south (along Multi-use Trail -- not bike
path as previously described), which we followed to where it skirts
south edge of water then heads towards high tension tower, but which
we could not reach due to channel in way) -- the bird was foraging at
low tide "beneath" the overhanging Salicornia on opposite bank, then
popped into open to walk away from us, but not before we got a series
of diagnostic photos, closest from about 75 feet in full sun!
We will post shots of some "trophies" from our T-giving week outings.
Jim and Lark
Santa Barbara CA