- Wednesday - 30-November-2005 - This morning at 11:30 to 11:45 I watched an
adult Northern Shrike along University Road leading to the UC-Hopland
Research & Extension Center. As one follows University Road heading east
from the Old River Road, go about 3/4 mile until you come to a long
straight stretch with vineyard on both sides of the road. On the left or
north side there is a metal panel gate and lone cottonwood tree that
separates vineyard from permanent pastureland. The shrike was first seen
flying to and resting in this cottonwood tree which is right next to the
road. I was able to get a very clear view of the upper part of the bird
including the light gray crown and nape, the thin black mask that did not
broaden behind the eye, long mandible with a definite hook at the tip, and
a bright white throat and upper breast. I was unable to see the color of
the rump. From the characteristics mentioned above I am certain that the
bird is an adult Northern Shrike ... I believe the first adult that I have
seen in the county (I have only seen 3 or 4).
The bird flew south across the road to a 30 foot tall cottonwood about 200
yards away on the edge of a vineyard and a fallow vineyard (vines removed
about a year ago leaving a weedy field). The bird remained motionless in
this tree for about 10 minutes. As I drove around to approach closer (on
private property for which I have permission to venture) I lost sight of
the bird for about 2 seconds and it totally disappeared ... I have no idea
which way it headed.
I suspect that it is around this little valley somewhere. Shrikes of
either kind are very far and few between in Mendocino County. If you look
for the bird from University Road you should be able to scope in many
directions easily. If you bird along Highway 175 to the south be VERY
careful of traffic .... pull way off the road to be safe.
There was also an adult Bald Eagle in the area this morning.
Good birding. Bob Keiffer
Robert J. Keiffer
Principal Supt. of Agriculture
UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
(707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html
"It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how the
strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have done
better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
There is a Tundra Swan (Imm.) feeding just West of the Rodman Slough Island. The bird didn't seem to mind that I was only about 50 yards from it. Also, just east (20 yards)of the Rodman Slough Bridge there is a Phainopepla. This is the exact place I saw two of them earlier in the year on the North side of the road.