- Thu Jul 1, 2010--This morning I met up with Jerry White to do some mountain birding. We met at the intersection of M1 and M61 and immediately found a TOWNSEND SOLITAIRE. We found at least 4 of these birds with the others being near Hull Mtn. At Spruce Grove (my first visit there)at least 3 HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS were briefly seen but well heard. There were numerous WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS at this location as well as other places along our route. GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES (we saw or heard 8-10)were numerous with the first being around the wet meadow at the entrance to Spruce Grove. DUSKY FLYCATCHERS (we had at least 3) were first found at Windy Gap. CASSIN'S FINCH were the hardest to locate. We finally heard one or two near Hull Mtn. Other birds of interest was a OSPREY flying over "Brushy Point" and at least one but likely two MACGILLVAY'S WARBLERS at "Windy Gap". Jerry said that he had never seen these birds at these locations. He also said to mention that we saw 2 RED-BRESTED SAPSUCKERS because he knew someone who didn't have them on their Mendo List. For how to get to these places see the Peregrine Audubon Society Website under "Birding Hot Spots" Mendocino National Forest.
M1 from it's intersection with M61 to Hull Mtn is open but rough going in spots. You can get to the top of Hull Mtn with 4 wheel drive. Thanks to Chuck and George (they cleared some down trees) you can get to Spruce Grove.
As a side note--the light in the radio in my truck has not worked for years. I could never see which channel the radio was on. After a day on M1 and other local roads up there, when I went to turn it on, the light worked. I do have a few more rattles.
Jerry said numerous times that the birds weren't singing like they were just 6 days ago. I left him still searching for a Black-chinned Sparrow. He was going to do an over nighter at Spruce Grove to listen for a Flammulated Owl. He will have to report on that effort.
- 09 July 2010
Covelo, M1, Spruce Grove
Jim & Karen Havlena and I headed up to the mountains via Covelo and had a very successful outing.
We met at Willits at 7a and drove to Covelo stopping along the way at the favorite bridge of the WHITE-THROATED SWIFT near Dos Rios on 162. The first swift was seen within a couple minutes and at least 2 birds were present. We then headed up towards the mountains stopping along the way to check for CANYON WREN along the middle fork of the EEL River near the Eel River Campground. And, just as Jerry reported, we heard a single bird calling to the north across the river from the end of the trail. It took about 15 minutes to finally hear the bird.
Our first stop on the way up M1 was prompted by a small bird flitting across the road. It ended up being unidentifiable but we did find a DUSKY FLYCATCHER right next to the road. We continued on up and again stopped for a flying bird that ended up being the first of several WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS. Also, on our way up we saw and heard at least 2 GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES.
At Spruce Grove Campground we finally saw and heard MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES which were unusually scarce on the way up. Around the campground area we saw 2 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES, a CASSIN'S FINCH, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, and 2 HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS. WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKERS were common and active at the campground.
On our way down we were stoked to have a young (first or second year probably) Black Bear directly in front of us in the middle of the road. Evidently Jerry doesn't have exclusivity on bear adventures and, unlike Jerry, we were not intimidated as we neared the bear. OK, we were in a car. Whatever.
Rich and Karen and Jim