Sonoma County Common Grackle, Emperor Goose continue, etc.
- North-Bay-Birders, CALBIRDSers:
The male Common Grackle first found and reported on December 23rd by
Peter Pyle still continues at the Safeway parking lot in the town of
Guerneville in Sonoma County. When I first arrived yesterday at 9:30 AM
on 27 December 2001 there was no sign of any blackbirds. However, I did
find a large flock of Brewer's Blackbirds on the telephone wires behind
the gas station across the street at Third Street and Mill Street.
Among the perched blackbirds was the sought-after male Common Grackle.
After about 10 minutes of viewing the entire flock moved to the row of
trees at the north end of the Safeway parking lot where I was able to
refind the grackle. Then the flock flew to the spilled birdseed at the
northwest corner of the parking lot (the original reports stated the
seed was across the street?). At this point I had the best view
possible of the male Common Grackle. Then the flock moved on again to
the east of Safeway at the intersection of First Street and Mill Street
where I viewed the Common Grackle pulling on weeds growing in a crack in
The best way for out-of-towners to reach Guerneville is to take Highway
12 west from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol and Highway 116 from Sebastopol to
Guerneville. See http://www.coastalconservancy.ca.gov/sonoma.htm As
you enter the town, you will cross over the bridge over the Russian
River and then turn left onto Main Street. This is still Highway 116.
Several blocks later on the left you will find the Safeway parking lot.
From here I made it to the mouth of the Russian River at Jenner where I
found one female Black Scoter.
From here I headed back to the Bridgehaven Bridge (this is where Highway
1 and Highway 116 meet). Some of you may recognize the location: in
September 1992 this location hosted California's only Fork-tailed
Flycatcher. There is a pull-out along the west side of the road just
before the bridge. This in MP 20.0. I parked here and walked across
the road where I found on the open field the three Snow Geese (two
adults and one immature) and a remaining single Greater White-fronted
Goose reported earlier over the birdbox by Rich Stallcup.
The Emperor Goose reported on the 23rd by Dave DeSante was on the rocks
about 300 meters north of the boat ramp at Westside Park along the west
shore of Bodega Bay. Shortly thereafter the goose flew east over the
bay and disappeared. I estimate the count of Brant on the bay between
300 and 400.
There was no sign of the Ruff reported earlier at pond at the entrance
to Doran Park at the east side of Bodega Bay. The tide was out
somewhat. I paid the $3 fee and parked at the first pull-out west of
the entrance kiosk. Scanning across the mudflats yielded no Ruff, but I
was able to refind the Emperor Goose here on the mudflats at least 4
See http://audubon.sonoma.net/birding/bodega_bay.html for a map of
Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County