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Central Calif Part 20: Napa Co. Big Day

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! After plotting on the map last night all the places we had unique species, I soon realized there was no way I was gonna have time to hit all of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2006
      Hi, all!

      After plotting on the map last night all the places we had unique species, I
      soon realized there was no way I was gonna have time to hit all of them, so
      I narrowed the route to the upper Berryessa-Knoxville Road, East Side Road,
      lower Lake Hennessey, Mont LaSalle, JFK Park, and the Napa-Sonoma Marshes. I
      had originally included Skyline Park and the sewer ponds, but as the morning
      progressed I saw that I wasn't even going to have time for THEM! But as it
      was, wound up with 100 species on the nose, even with some really big misses!

      Got to the start a bit before sunrise, actually, so stopping the minute I
      heard something, was pleased to bag the California Thrasher right away! It was
      nice doing this road first thing in the morning, as I heard more Wrentits
      here than anywhere else. Picked up the usual oak woodland suspects in short
      order, as well as several buzzing Lincoln's Sparrows and a kingfisher rattling
      down the creek. A Fox Sparrow popped up that I suspect might have been a
      Fat-billed, but I didn't get a good enough look to tell for sure. Down near the
      bottom I was very pleased to pick up a hovering White-tailed Kite!

      East Side Road was both productive and disappointing, as there were several
      big misses here but also some good birds: at the cove picked up Ring-necked
      Ducks for the county as well as the expected Canada Geese (no Cacklers this
      time), wigeon, coots, and Gadwall. A single Clark's Grebe swam by, as were all
      the "Western"-type grebes I had today; I couldn't believe I couldn't pick
      out a bona fide Western! The magpies weren't around, either, and the pelicans
      had also vamoosed the joint along with many of the ducks; I managed to add
      Green-winged Teal at the end of the road, but it was pretty slim pickin's today
      in that department. One bird that DID show this time was the Lewis'
      Woodpecker, and quite close at that! On the way out a flock of Lark Sparrows landed
      on the fence, so that was nice.

      I realized I wouldn't have much time to check out Hennessey, so I pretty
      much drove straight to the launch site, pausing very briefly at the trailer park
      to check out the sparrow flock (couldn't find the White-throated). At the
      junction with Pope Valley Road a herd of Turkeys ran up the hill across the
      way, so I was glad to get them! Couldn't find the Bald Eagles at the lake, but
      at least picked up the Greater Scaup and Ruddies.

      Headed straight down to Redwood Road and Mont LaSalle, where a Steller's Jay
      obligingly called as I stepped out of the car! Nothing was in the farm pond
      except a cormorant, so I walked the road that Denise and I had done when we
      were there, and it was pretty misty and quiet. Down at the main feeders a
      couple of Townsend's Warblers were already there, chowing down on the peanut
      butter, and after awhile some Chestnut-backed Chickadees showed up. Chatted a
      little with the Brother who maintains the feeders, then headed back to the
      main garden where I ran into Brother John himself, the fellow with whom I
      talked to arrange the visit! He was quite knowledgeable regarding their birds and
      pointed me to the thistle feeder (that I couldn't seem to find) where in
      addition to all the Lesser Goldfinches, a Pine Siskin was coming in as well! An
      Anna's Hummer practically ran into us as we talked, and he was disappointed
      that I hadn't run into their Pileated Woodpecker who "likes to sit on that
      telephone pole!" Delightful man!

      I had a few minutes to poke up Redwood Road, and got the Winter Wren where I
      had him the last time, only this time he was singing! I had all but given
      up on the Varied Thrush when on the way down one flew up from the road, and
      also picked up the high "see see see" of the Golden-crowned Kinglets!

      Headed over to JFK after that where someone was already feeding the gulls;
      she left when I arrived, but I was saving a moldy piece of pita bread for just
      this occasion, and didn't notice the Mew Gull in with the throng until he
      squealed! An adult and first-year Glaucous-winged was also in among them,
      along with what was probably that funny "Olympic Gull" with the dusky wingtips I
      saw flying at a distance the first time. In the marsh the pond where the
      Brant had been was pretty shallow, and had several Marbled Godwits, Greater
      Yellowlegs, and a couple of Willets. Several Canada Geese were in the distant
      grass, and as I was scanning suddenly they all took off along with a big flock
      of ducks; scoping that flock I was able to add Shoveler to the list. Then I
      saw what was causing the commotion: a big adult Bald Eagle was soaring low
      overhead! Just before I left I noticed something different sailing in that
      turned out to be the Greater White-fronted Geese!

      Headed over to Buchli Station after that, dipping on the Sage Thrasher but
      adding a bunch of shorebirds (mostly avocets), including a new trip bird:
      Wilson's Snipe! Both Horned Lark and American Pipit called (the former turned
      out to be a new county bird), and out at the cross dikes there was a distant
      flock of female Bufflehead (not in the greatest light) with what looked to be a
      male Hooded Merganser! I struggled with that one because he was distant
      enough that he didn't look QUITE right, but the big white head patch was neatly
      outlined in black, his tail was cocked, and he had a white chest, eliminating
      Ruddy Duck (the only other thing I could think of that would show that much
      white outlined in black). A pair of Savannah Sparrows taking a bath in a
      puddle was cute, and on the way back a Virginia Rail called along with hordes of
      Marsh Wrens. Crawling along the road on the way out I still didn't see the
      thrasher, but DID spot a Merlin on top of one of the houses!

      Had just enough time to swing by Milton Road; there was a large raft of
      scaup way out there, but couldn't tell if they were Lesser or Greater. (If the
      loon was still there he was WAAAAY out there...) At the trailhead an American
      Goldfinch bounced over, and I couldn't believe I was actually gonna dip on
      House Sparrow when I finally heard one in the ecclectic neighborhood at the
      end of the road! I thought I was done and headed toward the freeway when a
      huge Golden Eagle flew right in front of me! Not a bad ending to the day!

      Bird List:

      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
      Canada Goose Branta canadensis
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
      Greater Scaup Aythya marila
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
      Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
      Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      Merlin Falco columbarius
      Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      WILSON’S SNIPE Gallinago delicata
      Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
      Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
      Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
      Mew Gull Larus canus
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Rock Pigeon Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
      Lewis' Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
      American Pipit Anthus rubescens
      Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
      Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      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
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
      Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
      Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

      100 SPECIES
      So far: 191 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA
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