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302Lake Mendocino 3/19

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Mar 19, 2002
      Tue, 19 Mar 2002 -- I spent several hours at the lake this morning looking
      into every corner. The water level is fairly high at about 740 feet. In the
      last several weeks there has been a big decrease in the number of ducks.
      The scaups have dropped from several thousand to several hundred, the
      ruddies and Buffleheads are way down, and the goldeneyes are gone. At the
      same time there seems to have been an increase in the numbers of
      Western/Clark's Grebes, maybe a thousand today rafted up on the lake.
      I walked clear across Coyote Dam, which has been reopened to
      non-terrorist activities, and found a ROCK WREN singing at marker 012,
      another singing at marker 015, and a third at 025. A very stern, adult BALD
      EAGLE was sitting in a tree on the island near the dam.
      Incubation seems to be in progress at the AMERICAN DIPPER nest on
      Potter Valley Road. On the 16th I saw a bird enter the nest and remain for
      a long time. Today I could see the white eyelids blinking on a dipper
      sitting deep in the domed-over nest. I keep mentioning this nest because
      dippers can be difficult to find in Mendocino County, and this is a pretty
      easy place to see them. They should be findable here in the near future,
      but you may have to be satisfied with blinking, white eyelids. To look for
      these birds, turn off of Route 20 onto Potter Valley Road. In about 0.2
      miles you will see the old bridge on the left with a "Bridge Closed" sign.
      There is ample parking space. The nest can be seen from trails down to the
      bank on either side of the bridge. If you take the paved path on the left
      side and look up under the bridge, you can see directly into the nest
      opening with binoculars or scope. The nest is on a ledge of the second
      piling well out of sight of predators and with little danger of disturbance
      by fishermen or birders.

      Lake Mendocino
      Pied-billed Grebe 3
      Western & Clark's Grebes 1000
      Double-crested Cormorant 1
      Canada Goose 8
      Mallard 50
      Greater & Lesser Scaup 200
      Bufflehead 2
      Hooded Merganser 1
      Ruddy Duck 15
      Turkey Vulture 5
      Osprey 1
      Bald Eagle 1 adult
      Cooper's Hawk 1
      Red-shouldered Hawk 1
      American Coot 400
      Killdeer 2
      California Quail 1
      Mourning Dove 2 singing
      Anna's Hummingbird 2
      Acorn Woodpecker 5
      Northern Flicker 1
      Black Phoebe 1
      Tree Swallow 3
      Violet-green Swallow 15
      W. Scrub-Jay 2
      American Crow 10
      Common Raven 5
      Oak Titmouse 2 singing
      Bushtit 2
      Rock Wren 3 singing
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 singing
      Hermit Thrush 1
      American Robin 1
      Golden-crowned Sparrow 2
      Oregon D-e Junco 4
      House Finch 2 singing