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5309possible Cassin's Sparrow

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  • Robert Keiffer
    Nov 19, 2012
      18 November 2012 - (which was yesterday) - the Peregrine Audubon field trip had a great field trip day to Round Valley (Covelo) yesterday. I will not include all of the species, but highlights included: 1 adult Ross's Goose, about 8 Ferruginous Hawks, 1 Prairie Falcon (+ a couple unidentified large falcons), 1 adult Bald Eagle, and 2 Lewis's Woodpeckers. The highlight of the trip, however, was a possible CASSIN'S SPARROW along Dobie Lane .... Photos were taken, notes were written, and referencing is underway. If our identification is correct, this will be a very rare find for Northern California. Rare Birds of California (WFO 2007) reports 12 accepted records from Southeast Farallon Is. (SF), 1 from Little River (HUM), and 1 from Mono Lake (MNO) from Northern California. There may be recent records that I have not researched.

      If anyone cares to look for the bird, enter the Covelo Valley via Calif, State Route 162, shortly after you enter the valley turn right (east) onto Fairbanks, follow to the "T" and turn left (north) onto Dobie Lane. Go 0.3 to 0.4 miles and look for a yellow ribbon tied to the fence on your left (west). As you approach the yellow ribbon you will have passed a long blackberry patch along the fence, then a patch of teasel, then a short section of grass with seed heads atop .... This is where the yellow ribbon is. A poison oak patch is just beyond that point along the fence. The bird was at first on the top of the fence, perched on barbed wire, but then dropped into the weedy field to the west of the fence. The bird was coaxed to a tall weed one more time by using a Cassin's Sparrow call.

      Good birding. Bob Keiffer rjkeiffer@...<mailto:rjkeiffer@...>

      Robert J. Keiffer - Superintendent
      UC ANR, Hopland Research & Extension Center
      4070 University Rd.
      Hopland, CA 95449
      707-744-1424 ext. 112
      Office hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00

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