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Tricolored Blackbirds in San Ramon

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  • maggiemacg@netzero.net
    Hi There were four tri-colored blackbirds at Windemere Ranch Middle School in San Ramon this morning. These are only the seconds ones I ve seen in eleven years
    Message 1 of 3 , May 20, 2007
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      Hi

      There were four tri-colored blackbirds at Windemere Ranch Middle School
      in San Ramon this morning.

      These are only the seconds ones I've seen in eleven years of living in
      the area.

      Maggie
      San Ramon
    • Nick & Mary Freeman
      Hi Birders Nick and I have just returned from spending a three-day weekend in China Ranch, Inyo County, a few miles from Tecopa Hot Springs. It was our first
      Message 2 of 3 , May 20, 2007
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        Hi Birders

        Nick and I have just returned from spending a three-day weekend in
        China Ranch, Inyo County, a few miles from Tecopa Hot Springs.

        It was our first time visiting this beautiful oasis and we were quite
        excited and lucky to have found some great birds. The weekend's
        highlight was the great find of this morning's beautiful breeding
        plumaged male KENTUCKY WARBLER just outside the dining room of the
        Ranch House Inn B&B. As we were chatting with the innkeeper Cynthia,
        and I was finishing up my bagel, I heard an out of the ordinary chip
        note, "tsup". I looked out the window, and there was the Kentucky
        Warbler foraging on the base of a cottonwood. Nick and I ran out and
        watched it for one hour as it foraged on the lawn. I took some
        digiphotos of the warbler. At one time it appeared to have bathed as
        we saw it preening its soaked plumage. It continued feeding on the
        lawn. We searched the lawn later in the morning and found a sharp
        looking WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (white striped) feeding next to the
        abandoned pool. Yesterday morning, Nick found a male ROSE-BREASTED
        GROSBEAK feeding on fig trees just outside the Inn. We continued to
        come across it today and it was singing. I took digiphotos of the
        sparrow and grosbeak. A pair of BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS were seen
        on the grounds yesterday and today. They were calling and that's
        what caught my attention during yesterday's first bird walk. Friday
        evening when we arrived I heard the song of a tanager and Saturday
        morning I finally confirmed it was a SUMMER TANAGER.

        BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS and WESTERN TANAGERS were quite abundant
        feeding in the fig trees. Five CEDAR WAXWINGS were still hanging
        around. We came across four BELL'S VIREO along the mesquite-covered
        Amargosa River course. I heard a single YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT calling
        from the same area. We took a short hike on the "Crack Trail". The
        late morning heat made us turn back and we came across ASH-THROATED
        FLYCATCHERS and LUCY'S WARBLER which we also saw near the Inn. Also
        abundant were WILSON'S WARBLERS with some YELLOW WARBLERS as well.
        Early Friday evening we watched AMERICAN KESTRELS darting after
        bats. After dinner in Tecopa, we came across LESSER NIGHTHAWKS
        feeding under the street lights.

        Other birds present were stunning HOODED ORIOLES, a couple of
        BULLOCK'S ORIOLE and a young male SCOTT'S ORIOLE flew in but we never
        relocated it after the first sighting. A male GAMBEL'S QUAIL chased
        a GREATER ROADRUNNER as the Roadrunner was carrying a whiptail lizard
        in its bill. Today we finally got to see a male BLUE GROSBEAK as all
        I had heard was its call. A single WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Oriantha)
        was present Saturday morning. Empidonax flycatchers consisted of
        several PACIFIC-SLOPE and a single HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER. Several
        WESTERN WOOD PEWEES were around. A single LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER
        was making visits around the Inn. Friday evening when we arrived, I
        heard and saw a singing WHITE-WINGED DOVE. We had a high count of 27
        TURKEY VULTURES. Along the road to the Inn we came across a nesting
        colony of WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS on a cliff side. We watched as they
        zoomed about and touched the nest site. We could hear chatter coming
        out of the crack on the cliff wall. SAY'S PHOEBES were around too.

        Outside our sleeping quarters close to Tecopa we heard the bleating
        calls of Woodhouse's Toads, several of which were seen. A California
        King Snake was found slithering down the big cottonwood outside of
        the dining area and we also saw a few Desert Iguanas and Desert Spiny
        Lizards.

        Saturday afternoon we made a quick visit to Horsethief Springs. We
        made a brief stop at Dove Springs where at a water trickle we had
        Western Tanagers, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and several BLACK-THROATED
        SPARROWS on the ground. At Beck Spring, we saw a HERMIT THRUSH and a
        CHUKAR. At Horsethief Springs we spent only a little time there as
        we were in a hurry to get back to our dinner at the Inn. Observed
        were AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, five more Chukars, and Hammond's and
        Pacific-slope Flycatchers.

        The Innkeeper Cynthia welcomes birders to the Ranch House Inn B&B
        (www.ranchhousein.com). There is a small giftshop here, and they
        seem very happy to see birders. We truly had a wonderful time birding
        this lush desert oasis for our first time.

        Happy Birding!

        Mary & Nick Freeman
        Glendale, CA
      • Nick & Mary Freeman
        Hi Birders I d like to make a correction to the link of the Ranch House Inn at China Ranch that Doug Shaw and Janet Cupples so kindly pointed out to me, it s:
        Message 3 of 3 , May 22, 2007
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          Hi Birders

          I'd like to make a correction to the link of the Ranch House Inn at
          China Ranch that Doug Shaw and Janet Cupples so kindly pointed out to
          me, it's:

          www.ranchhouseinn.com

          Happy Warblering!

          Mary Freeman
          Glendale, CA
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