California Thrashers, Mendo Rock Rd and Fire
- I went over Mendo Rock Rd yesterday. I recorded 5 Calif Thrashers in Lake County and 3 in Mendocino County. I had no Sage Sparrows or Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. There were several Hermit Thrushes. There were many more Scrub Jays and very few Steller's Jays which I would attribute to the fire.
There has been a drastic change to the environment because of the fire. Most of the road was burnt on both sides or at least one side. The Lake County portion lost thousands of acres of conifers and prime Red-breasted Nuthatch habitat. Usually I see dozens of RB Nuthatches up there this time of year. It made me think that part of the reason we are seeing so many RB Nuthatches in different places this year is because of the fires in Mendocino and Siskiyou. Just a theory. The main reason could be an irruption due to food. But, their habitat is gone for at least a few years.
Most of the birds I saw in Lake were at mm 8 (the CDF water tank) where there is a small creek. The fire did not reach there partially because it burned a few years ago and there is not as much fuel.
This is the area where we usually get some of the aforementioned species on the CBC. I think that it will be necessary to go to South Cow Mt for these species now. Are you listening Jack?
Mendo Rock Rd is in BLM Cow Mt area. It is accessed off of Mill Creek Rd, about 3 miles up from Old River Rd out of Talmage.