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6335Clear Lake

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  • Floyd Hayes
    Sep 3, 2014
      I've been remiss in reporting some bird sightings the past few weeks, nearly all seen in places accessible only by boat, by myself, Bryan McIntosh and Nathan Zimmerlee:

      On 2 September we saw a female BUFFLEHEAD, a BLACK-NECKED STILT, an AMERICAN AVOCET, two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, and a probable MERLIN at the northwest end of Clear Lake (area south of Rodman Slough), an early AMERICAN WIGEON (female) and an early WESTERN GULL (adult) at Willow Point (Lakeport), and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at Rumsey Slough.

      On 28 August we saw two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at Rodman Slough, a BLACK-NECKED STILT and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at the northwest end of Clear Lake, a probable CATTLE EGRET (flyby) at Tule Island, and 76 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at Borax Lake.

      On 26 August we saw two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at Rodman Slough, eight BLACK-NECKED STILTS at the northwest end of Clear Lake, two female BUFFLEHEADS at Quercus Point, and three AMERICAN AVOCETS at Kelsey Creek.

      On 21 August we saw four MARBLED GODWITS at Manning Creek and a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER at Rumsey Slough.

      On 14 August we saw two MINK (mammals, not an acronym for a bird) at Rodman Slough, eight VIRGINIA RAILS and a juvenile SORA east of Tule Island, two WILSON'S PHALAROPES at Lafferty Lane in Lakeport, and a MARBLED GODWIT at Rumsey Slough.

      Tragically, more than 1000 WESTERN GREBE and CLARK'S GREBE nests with perhaps 5000 eggs were blown ashore by strong winds at the north end of Clear Lake between 10 and 14 August. I haven't finished tallying our results yet but I think we're near 5,000 nesting attempts for the season. Because of the very low water levels this year, all grebe nests have been built in open water (rather than in shoreline vegetation) where they are more susceptible to predators (CALIFORNIA GULL, RING-BILLED GULL and AMERICAN CROW documented this year) and strong winds.

      Floyd Hayes
      Angwin, CA

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