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Mendocino Big Day - A New Record

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Sat, 30 Apr 2005 -- Yesterday (Sat) the team of Bob Keiffer, Chuck Vaughn, Jerry White, and I did a Big Day in Mendocino County. This is the 15th consecutive
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2005
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      Sat, 30 Apr 2005 -- Yesterday (Sat) the team of Bob Keiffer, Chuck Vaughn,
      Jerry White, and I did a Big Day in Mendocino County. This is the 15th
      consecutive year that this "sporting" event has been done in the spring.
      In past years we have sometimes had an excellent morning in the interior -
      only to have a windy or otherwise unproductive afternoon on the coast. Some
      years it has been the reverse, and some years both areas have been slow.
      This year all of the elements combined for an excellent day of birding: It
      was mostly overcast, and neither cold, rainy, nor windy. On the coast the
      ocean was glassy with low waves and good seeing conditions.
      We changed the route slightly: instead of going from Ukiah to the
      coast via Boonville and Navarro, a route which is faster but usually does
      not provide us with any new species, we crossed Orr Springs Road and picked
      up a handfull of species which are difficult elsewhere or which we had
      missed earlier. This year we found six species which had not been seen in
      the previous 14 years: Ross's Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser,
      Spotted Owl, N. Saw-Whet Owl, and Gray Jay. We missed Northern Harrier
      (for the first time), Wandering Tatler, and six other species which I had
      seen in the same locations in the previous three days.
      For me the day began with a 02:30 alarm. The team met up in Hopland
      at 03:45 and the first bird of the day was a Barn Owl carrying a mouse into
      the Keiffers' water tower. Sunrise was on top of the ridge at the Hopland
      Field Station listening to Common Poorwills, N. Pygmy-Owl, and picking the
      voices out of a rather lusty dawn chorus. Chuck and Jerry acted as whips to
      keep us in the "tick and run" mode throughout the day - no time to stop and
      enjoy a Lazuli Bunting or Hermit Warbler. At about 5:30 pm we broke the
      old record of 161 species with a Brant at Ten-Mile River on the coast. We
      managed to pick up three more species after that with difficulty. Then we
      had a leisurely dinner before dark (a first!) before plunging back into the
      darkness of Jackson State Forest to listen for some more owls. When a
      Spotted Owl spoke up about 9:30, the cheer of "166!" went up, and fifteen
      minutes later, when a N. Saw-Whet Owl began tooting, "167!" That was our
      last new bird of the day. I got home to Potter Valley at 11:20 where I fell
      asleep listening to a Western Screech-Owl calling outside the window.

      George Chaniot
      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
      Full List

      Red-throated Loon
      Pacific Loon
      Common Loon
      Pied-billed Grebe
      Red-necked Grebe
      Eared Grebe
      Western Grebe
      Clark's Grebe
      Sooty Shearwater
      Brown Pelican
      Double-crested Cormorant
      Brandt's Cormorant
      Pelagic Cormorant
      Great Blue Heron
      Green Heron
      Turkey Vulture
      Greater White-fronted Goose
      Ross's Goose
      Canada Goose
      Cackling Goose
      Wood Duck
      Blue-winged Teal
      Cinnamon Teal
      Ring-necked Duck
      Greater Scaup
      Harlequin Duck
      Black Scoter
      Surf Scoter
      Hooded Merganser
      Common Merganser
      Ruddy Duck
      White-tailed Kite
      Red-shouldered Hawk
      Red-tailed Hawk
      Golden Eagle
      American Kestrel
      Wild Turkey
      California Quail
      Mountain Quail
      Virginia Rail
      American Coot
      Black-bellied Plover
      Semipalmated Plover
      Black Oystercatcher
      Greater Yellowlegs
      Spotted Sandpiper
      Black Turnstone
      Western Sandpiper
      Least Sandpiper
      Bonaparte's Gull
      California Gull
      Herring Gull
      Western Gull
      Glaucous-winged Gull
      Caspian Tern
      Common Murre
      Pigeon Guillemot
      Rhinoceros Auklet
      Rock Pigeon
      Band-tailed Pigeon
      Mourning Dove
      Barn Owl
      Western Screech-Owl
      Great Horned Owl
      Northern Pygmy-Owl
      Spotted Owl
      Northern Saw-whet Owl
      Common Poor-will
      Vaux's Swift
      Anna's Hummingbird
      Allen's Hummingbird
      Belted Kingfisher
      Lewis's Woodpecker
      Acorn Woodpecker
      Nuttall's Woodpecker
      Downy Woodpecker
      Hairy Woodpecker
      Northern Flicker
      Pileated Woodpecker
      Western Wood-Pewee
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher
      Black Phoebe
      Ash-throated Flycatcher
      Western Kingbird
      Cassin's Vireo
      Hutton's Vireo
      Warbling Vireo
      Gray Jay
      Steller's Jay
      Western Scrub-Jay
      American Crow
      Common Raven
      Purple Martin
      Tree Swallow
      Violet-green Swallow
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow
      Cliff Swallow
      Barn Swallow
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee
      Oak Titmouse
      Red-breasted Nuthatch
      White-breasted Nuthatch
      Pygmy Nuthatch
      Brown Creeper
      Bewick's Wren
      House Wren
      Winter Wren
      Marsh Wren
      American Dipper
      Golden-crowned Kinglet
      Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
      Western Bluebird
      Swainson's Thrush
      American Robin
      Northern Mockingbird
      California Thrasher
      European Starling
      Cedar Waxwing
      Orange-crowned Warbler
      Nashville Warbler
      Yellow Warbler
      Yellow-rumped Warbler
      Black-throated Gray Warbler
      Townsend's Warbler
      Hermit Warbler
      Common Yellowthroat
      Wilson's Warbler
      Yellow-breasted Chat
      Western Tanager
      Spotted Towhee
      California Towhee
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow
      Chipping Sparrow
      Lark Sparrow
      Sage Sparrow
      Savannah Sparrow
      Grasshopper Sparrow
      Song Sparrow
      Golden-crowned Sparrow
      White-crowned Sparrow
      Dark-eyed Junco
      Black-headed Grosbeak
      Lazuli Bunting
      Red-winged Blackbird
      Tricolored Blackbird
      Western Meadowlark
      Brewer's Blackbird
      Brown-headed Cowbird
      Hooded Oriole
      Bullock's Oriole
      Purple Finch
      House Finch
      Lesser Goldfinch
      American Goldfinch
      House Sparrow
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