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Mendo: Long-eared Owls continue near Hopland, and more

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  • Dave Quady
    Birders: Last night the fledgling Long-eared Owls again begged for food at the University Road location that Bob Keiffer described in his July 5 posting.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2008
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      Birders:

      Last night the fledgling Long-eared Owls again begged for food at the
      University Road location that Bob Keiffer described in his July 5
      posting. Beginning at 9:10 pm I heard three (I think) fledglings,
      two consistently uttering higher-pitched whines than the third
      beggar, as they moved along the far side of the canyon, from a
      hundred yards or so above the pullout down at least to the lower end
      of the pullout. They begged pretty steadily up until 10 pm, when I
      left. I didn't detect an adult either indirectly (via really excited
      begging, 'yum-yum' cries, or something else that indicated a
      youngster being fed) or directly until 9:55 pm, when I got my light
      on a silent adult as it cruised down the canyon just below the
      pullout. As a bonus, a pair of Western Screech-Owls began duetting
      just below the pullout as the Long-eared Owls began begging.

      Earlier in the day I had good luck birding Mendocino National Forest,
      following\ Kris Carter's "Etsel Ridge" trip (in A Guide to Finding
      Birds in Mendocino County). Following Etsel Ridge Road (Forest Road
      M1), I began at Grizzly Flat Station at 6:30 am, stopped also at
      Coffee Mill Flat, at the 'small hill' 1.4 miles further up the road,
      at the junction with road M6, and at the 'site that has harbored
      nesting White-headed Woodpecker' before arriving at the Spruce Grove
      campsite at 10:30 am. There I spent a couple of hours wandering that
      wooded area and the nearby meadow's willow clumps. Among those
      stops, and a couple more on my way back down, I found most of the
      mountain birds that I sought. These included: Red-breasted
      Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-headed Woodpecker, Dusky
      Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo, Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted
      Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, House Wren, Townsend's Solitaire, Orange-
      crowned Warbler (they were everywhere), Nashville Warbler, Yellow-
      rumped Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee,
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow (a surprise at the 'small hill'), Fox Sparrow,
      Lincoln's Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Cassin's Finch. I was
      unable to locate Hammond's Flycatcher or MacGillivray's Warbler.

      It was hot by the time I started back down the hill, and birding
      slowed to a near crawl. My only high (low?) lights of the afternoon
      were the opportunity to practice changing a tire on my car, and
      seeing a Eurasian Collared-Dove do a wheelie in front of my car,
      along US 101 near Ukiah. Hard to know which I enjoyed least.

      Dave Quady
      Berkeley, California
      davequady@...
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