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Lake County Big Day, Jan 11 2004

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  • Dave Quady
    Hello all: Kris Olson, Bob Lewis and I thought it would be fun to tackle a county big day again . . . . but where, and when? The where was settled when I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2004
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      Hello all:

      Kris Olson, Bob Lewis and I thought it would be fun to tackle a county
      big day again . . . . but where, and when? The 'where' was settled when
      I suggested we take on the nearest county where none of us had recorded
      any birds previously. January 11 was the first time after the idea
      arose that we all had a free day, so that set the 'when.'

      Oh, and we agreed we wouldn't do any scouting beforehand . . . .

      Happily, there were many posts on these and other mailing lists that
      helped us plot a tentative route. And, thankfully, John Luther, Dave
      Woodward and Jerry White were kind enough to offer helpful comments on
      our plan, suggestions of other locations to check, and notes on birds we
      might expect.

      Our route began at 4 am with owling between Cobb and Kelseyville,
      continued after dawn with an hour at Clear Lake State Park, then
      comprised a slow counter-clockwise circle around Clear Lake and
      environs, including a detour up High Valley Road. We ended at Library
      Park in Lakeport shortly before sunset, then high-tailed it back to
      Berkeley, trying in vain to spot some geese at Hidden Valley Country
      Club along the way.

      We lucked out with the weather, being hampered only by dense fog during
      our time at Clear Lake SP and some late afternoon glare as we scoped the
      lake from SR 20. Despite our unfamiliarity with the county we lost only
      about 15 minutes to driving miscues. We did adjust our itinerary during
      the day by dropping a few hoped-for stops in order to stick to our
      overall schedule, but overall our plan worked pretty well.

      We ended up recording 92 species, listed below, and saw all of these but
      the non-Tyto owls. We called in a Barn Owl before dawn, and, fittingly,
      ended the day by enjoying a pair of Barn Owls cuddling together in
      Library Park.

      We have no way to calibrate this result, but do feel very good about
      it. We had dreamed of 100 species -- and can see how that could have
      been reached -- but in our hearts were quite ready to settle for 75,
      considering our nearly complete ignorance about the county. (We figured
      out during our drive up that none of us had even BEEN in Lake County
      before.) Beyond the species count, we had a lot of fun, and learned a
      bit about Lake County.

      We'll be back.

      Dave Quady
      Berkeley, California

      PS: I will send our itinerary (a Word document) and/or our schedule (an
      Excel document) to anyone who requests them.

      Here's our list:

      Pied-billed Grebe
      Horned Grebe
      Eared Grebe
      Western Grebe
      Clark's Grebe
      American White Pelican
      Double-crested Cormorant
      Great Blue Heron
      Great Egret
      Snowy Egret
      Black-crowned Night-Heron
      Turkey Vulture
      Snow Goose
      American Wigeon
      Northern Shoveler
      Ring-necked Duck
      Greater Scaup
      Lesser Scaup
      Common Goldeneye
      Hooded Merganser
      Common Merganser
      Ruddy Duck
      White-tailed Kite
      Northern Harrier
      Sharp-shinned Hawk
      Red-shouldered Hawk
      Red-tailed Hawk
      Ferruginous Hawk
      Golden Eagle
      American Kestrel
      Prairie Falcon
      California Quail
      American Coot
      Bonaparte's Gull
      Mew Gull
      Ring-billed Gull
      California Gull
      Herring Gull
      Rock Pigeon
      Mourning Dove
      Barn Owl
      Western Screech-Owl
      Great Horned Owl
      Northern Saw-whet Owl
      Belted Kingfisher
      Acorn Woodpecker
      Nuttall's Woodpecker
      Downy Woodpecker
      Northern Flicker
      Black Phoebe
      Say's Phoebe
      Steller's Jay
      Western Scrub-Jay
      Yellow-billed Magpie
      American Crow
      Common Raven
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee
      Oak Titmouse
      White-breasted Nuthatch
      Brown Creeper
      Bewick's Wren
      Marsh Wren
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet
      Western Bluebird
      Hermit Thrush
      American Robin
      Northern Mockingbird
      European Starling
      Yellow-rumped Warbler
      Spotted Towhee
      California Towhee
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow
      Savannah Sparrow
      Song Sparrow
      White-crowned Sparrow
      Golden-crowned Sparrow
      Dark-eyed Junco
      Red-winged Blackbird
      Western Meadowlark
      Brewer's Blackbird
      Purple Finch
      House Finch
      Pine Siskin
      Lesser Goldfinch
      House Sparrow
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