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Central Calif Part 18: Hennessey & Berryessa Revisited

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Had a scare when I started up the computer at the motel and got the dreaded blue screen : evidently the wireless card driver wanted to crash the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2006
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      Hi, all!

      Had a scare when I started up the computer at the motel and got the dreaded
      "blue screen": evidently the wireless card driver wanted to crash the
      computer, but thankfully the computer "fixed" itself after I yanked the thing out
      and uninstalled the driver, so any web updates will have to wait till I'm home,
      I'm afraid (or I happen to land at a place with an ethernet access)...

      Anyway, wanted to clean up Lake Hennessey today, and thankfully the weather
      held (although it was overcast most of the day)! Started out along Howell
      Mnt Road from St. Helena and picked up Golden-crowned Kinglets in the pines
      along with the more common Rubycrowns! Missed the turnoff to Conn Valley, but
      it was just as well as the remainder of Howell Mnt was a GREAT birding road,
      with lots of Varied Thrushes and even a fat little Hermit! Finding Conn
      Valley again, picked up a pair of Downy Woodpeckers for the county down where you
      first start encountering water. Dipped on the Hooded Mergansers we found
      there a couple of weeks ago, but there was a road crew there, so I wasn't
      surprised. But I DID hike a little of the trail at the end of the road, and it
      was a great little trail (nice and flat), where a pair of Flickers played tag
      and picked up a number of dickeys, including both towhees and Lincoln's
      Sparrow. Still didn't find the albino grebe...

      Swinging around to the main part of the lake I again stopped at the boat
      launch, where the Clark's Grebe and Greater Scaup were still hanging around (a
      little further out). I hiked that trail until it dumped out on the main road,
      and while I was sitting I heard this wail that sounded like an Eared Grebe
      on steroids, and across the way were a pair of Bald Eagles! That was a nice
      treat! Stopping along Chiles Valley where the lake starts turning into marsh,
      there were a few pines on either side of the road, and a Pileated Woodpecker
      called from one side while what could have been its mate drummed loudly from
      the other! Wish I could have spotted them!

      Road-birded up Pope Valley Road after that, where I ran into a tremendous
      flock of blackbirds in a pasture, so dragging the scope out and sifting through
      them paid off, as there were two male Tricoloreds in with them, even doing a
      little fighting! Chiles Creek looked as though it should have been good for
      Dippers, but couldn't find any. So since I got Hennessey done I decided to
      get a head start on the lower part of Berryessa, so I swung up and over on
      Pope Canyon Road to the lake and started heading south. Another look over the
      lake added another pair of Bald Eagles lumbering by in the distance!

      There were several picnic areas, and one even had a lovely trail called
      Smittle Creek which was technically closed (for "restoration and maintenance"),
      but the first part of it was still accessible, so I poked down it to the part
      that was obviously in need of "restoration and maintenance" where it had
      eroded away from the storms! The highlight of this trail was a Common Loon in
      the creek! Over at the next big picnic area (the name of which I forgot to
      write down) there was a mini-trail called Shale Point that was a spit of land
      out in the lake (there were several at this place), affording great views;
      there was even a little island out there that looked as though the sides had
      fallen down into the lake! Four Common Mergansers made haste as I made my way to
      the end, and after sitting a few minutes I heard a racket and noticed two
      Clark's Grebes starting their bowing movements, and was excited about the
      prospect of seeing a good dance, but they soon lost interest in the game and went
      their separate ways... :-( There were plenty of Canada Geese grazing around,
      just like they were when the Hamiltons and I swung by a couple of weeks ago!

      Poked more around the lake until it was time to start heading back to Napa;
      a Red-breasted Sapsucker mewed at one stop, and picked up a pair of Ospreys
      near the south end. Bird list:

      Common Loon Gavia immer
      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Canada Goose Branta canadensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Greater Scaup Aythya marila
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Common Merganser Mergus merganser
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      Osprey Pandion haliaetus
      Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Rock Pigeon Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Red-breasted Sapsucker Sphyrapicus ruber
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
      PILEATED WOODPECKER Dryocopus pileatus
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      American Robin Turdus migratorius
      Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens
      Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
      White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
      Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
      Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
      Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Tricolored Blackbird Agelaius tricolor
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

      67 SPECIES
      So far: 190 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA
      MiriamEagl@...
      www.miriameaglemon.com
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