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Lake Mendocino, 2-3 Dec

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Tue, 3 Dec 2002 -- I spent a couple of hours yesterday and today scouting Lake Mendocino for the Christmas Bird Count on the 14th, concentrating on waterbirds
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2002
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      Tue, 3 Dec 2002 -- I spent a couple of hours yesterday and today scouting
      Lake Mendocino for the Christmas Bird Count on the 14th, concentrating on
      waterbirds and shoreline birds. I walked half of the shores and scoped into
      every corner. Lake level is now 706.56 feet, inching down lower than ever
      this year. The most interesting bird I found was a Eurasian Green-winged
      Teal subspecies, a male with strong, horizontal white stripe and no
      vertical white stripe. It was resting among American Green-winged Teal
      where the Russian River inlet now makes a delta near the end of the mesa.
      The number of scaup have dropped in the last several weeks from
      several thousand to maybe 800, and they are mostly in the deep south end of
      the lake. Another group was along the west shore in the cove south of
      Grapevine Point, an area seldom covered on the count and hard to scope from
      the east shore. There are several hundred gulls on the lake now (some
      years there have been close to none). The favorite resting areas are at the
      delta in the north end, the mud near Hunter's Cove, and a new bar becoming
      exposed just south of Miti spit. I found four species, but closer
      inspection could turn up some more.
      I did not find Osprey, Bald Eagle, Wood Duck, Northern Pintail,
      Cinnamon Teal, Gadwall, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, American Pipit, or
      Savannah Sparrow. I hope others know of some places where they can be found
      along the river, at USTP, or in ponds.
      Here's an annotated list. Some people may want to make note of what
      falls in their count areas.

      Pied-billed Grebe 5
      Horned Grebe 6 Only in deep south
      end of lake
      Eared Grebe 10 widely scattered
      Western & Clark's Grebes (20:1) ~300 only in N half of lake
      Double-crested Cormorant 60 rather high number
      Great Blue Heron 5
      Great Egret 10
      Snowy Egret none found at lake, but there is currently one in
      Potter Valley on the pond near the cemetery
      Snow Goose 1
      Ross's Goose 1 Two white geese
      "alone together" on W shore near Pomo C
      Canada Goose 7 Miti spit
      American Green-winged Teal 40
      Eurasian Grwwn-winged Teal 1
      Mallard 80
      Blue-winged Teal 1 female Among GWTE near mesa
      N. Shoveller 12 Pomo A only
      American Wigeon 12 N end, mostly
      near delta
      Canvasback 3 Pomo A
      Greater & Lesser Scaup (40:60) ~800
      Common Goldeneye 8 Deep S. end, off Perry
      Creek Cove, W. shore S of Grapevine Point
      Bufflehead 50
      Hooded Merganser 10 scattered all over
      Common Merganser 21 only in deep S end
      Ruddy Duck ~800 Possibly more
      numerous than scaup
      Turkey Vulture 5
      Red-tailed Hawk 2
      American Coot 150
      Killdeer 8 At delta.
      Not easy to find, surprisingly.
      Least Sandpiper 19 Pomo A
      Dunlin 2 New bar just
      S of Miti spit. scopable from Joe Riley
      Spotted Sandpiper 1 Russian R. inlet
      road. Not easy to find.
      Ring-billed Gull 10
      California Gull ~200 mostly adults
      Herring Gull 1 adult
      Western Gull 1 Ist winter
      Rock Dove 30 Coyote Dam
      Belted Kingfisher 3
      Rock Wren 1 Coyote Dam,
      near 013 marker
      California Thrasher 2 Singing along
      Marina Drive between the lake and Calpella.

      George Chaniot
      Potter Valley, MEN, CA

      I have recently updated my Birds of Potter Valley page at
      adding new monthly occurence records for White-faced Ibis, Wood Duck,
      Common Merganser, Merlin, Blue Grouse, Western Screech-Owl, Great Horned
      Owl, Burrowing Owl, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped
      Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Purple Finch.
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