Mojave National Preserve - Thrashers galore
- A bit delayed, since it took me a few while to join your group :-)
> I spent a fantastic morning in the Mojave National Preserve--Cima Rd. on April 13thhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sandmanindubai/
> Target birds were
> - Bendire's Thrasher
> - Gilded Flicker
> - Juniper Titmouse
> - Brewer's Sparrow
> Thanks to eBird and Schram; 'Guide to Southern California' I could do a fair bit of pre-planning.
> A good-sized flock of sparrows, including 12 Brewer's Sparrows were seen 1 mile south of Hwy 15 along the Cima Road.
> Photos can be seen here:
> At the Cima Rd--corral a pair of Bendire's Thrasher were busy feeding and singing.
> A pair of Gilded Flickers were also present, as was a pair of Sage Thrasher. Photos on the above link, as well as on Flickr
>All records on eBird of course.
> Juniper Titmouse were vocal at the Mid Hills Campground, and both Slate-coloured and Oregon Juncos were present (apparently not too numerous this winter?).
> A Crissal Thrasher was seen (but not photographed) along the Black Canyon Rd, making this my best Thrasher day ever!
> Flying for a living sure has it's benefits, and it makes up for the 16-hr long flight yesterday. And the upcoming 15-hr flight back home tomorrow.
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- There are several large Tricolored Blackbird colonies that have established in winter wheat (Triticale) in Kern, Tulare, Fresno counties, and Audubon California's Keiller Kyle who coordinates the Tricolored Blackbird Working Group and others from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game and UC Davis are tracking these colonies seeking to protect as many as possible from harvesting prior to the birds' fledging. Audubon California is negotiating several agreements to delay the harvest though in some cases producer's schedules will allow birds to fledge prior to harvest without an agreement.
For those interested in seeing a colony, one visible from public road is on a farm on Pond Rd between Jumper Ave. and Wildwood Avenue west of Delano, CA. Active colony sites are at on the west side of the dairy barns and can be seen from the public road. There are about 35,000 birds in five different colonies on this farm. The owner would have no problem with people coming to see the birds as long as they stay on public roads. Please respect private property and stay out of the way of traffic.
The current global population estimate for Tricolored Blackbird is 400,000 based on a 2008 state-wide survey. The next survey is occurring this weekend.
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