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Etsel Ridge, May 19

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Sat, 19 May 2001 -- Today, after completing a Breeding Bird Census on Covelo Road, Chuck Vaughn and I continued up Mexico Ridge and Etsel Ridge to the high
    Message 1 of 1 , May 19, 2001
      Sat, 19 May 2001 -- Today, after completing a Breeding Bird Census on
      Covelo Road, Chuck Vaughn and I continued up Mexico Ridge and Etsel Ridge
      to the high country of Mendocino Co. This is the first time that we have
      birded this region this early in the spring. (Has anyone out there ever
      birded this area before May 19?) The roads M1 and M61 were in good shape
      and recently graded.(Low-clearance vehicles OK) On M1 south of Bald
      Mountain we encountered increasing snow.(High clearance 4WD advised).
      Probably we could have continued as far as Windy Gap, but we turned back at
      Spruce Grove and exited via M61 by Calamese Rock and the State Game Refuge
      in Glenn and Lake Counties.
      We found about 8 DUSKY FLYCATCHERS at 8 locations from Grizzly Flat
      to the Glenn Co. line. We saw at least one HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER at Spruce
      Grove. FOX SPARROWS were singing in many locations, and all seemed to be
      the type we tenatively call _brevicauda_ (gray head and back, large bill,
      horn-colored upper and lower mandibles, dark lores, sparse breast spotting
      with central spot). Most of the high montane species seemed to be in place
      at this date except Green-tailed Towhee, Hermit Warbler, and Lincoln's
      Sparrow. We were unable to find these birds in areas where we know they can
      be found in June and July. Green-tailed Towhee seems to arrive very late,
      and from what staging areas? They are almost never seen at lower
      elevations. Lincoln's Sparrows are a bit of a puzzle, since they are
      already several weeks departed from lower elevations where they are fairly
      common in winter.
      Exiting the high country via Lake Pilsbury and the logging road ,
      we found the logging road on the south side of the Eel River to be recently
      graded and very fast. MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER was easy to find west of
      Bucknell Creek, but there were no Purple Martins at the Pioneer Bridge.
      In Potter Valley we stopped on Eel River Road at the site where
      White-faced Ibises have been seen recently and were unable to find them. We
      talked to the owner, who is now aware of them (and our interest), and he
      says they were around on May 17 and May 18, but not today. The pastures
      were flooded on May 17 and 18, but not today. After we left that area, we
      found a flock of 23 WHITE-_FACED_ IBISES in the air near the intersection
      of East Road and Mid Mountain Road (5:15 PM). They circled up in a thermal,
      then glided out to the WNW and then to the north. When we lost sight of
      them, they had spread out into a line and were heading north at high
      altitude.
      So, this is Day 3 of the "Ibis Event" in Potter Valley. They seem
      to be attracted to flooded hay fields, but 80 birds can disappear into
      two-foot high grass very easily. They are most easily spotted when they are
      in the air: So, Eyes Up! All observations so far are between 10:30 AM and
      7:00 PM. (Speculation: more WFIB have been seen in Potter Valley in the
      last three days than all previous history in Mendocino County. 45+10+80+23
      = 158 [unknown repeats]) -- George Chaniot

      19 May 2001 M1 from Grizzly Flat to Spruce Grove, and M61 to Glenn Co. Line
      =========== ===============================================================
      Mostly over 5000 feet

      Turkey Vulture
      Red-tailed Hawk
      Cooper's Hawk
      Mountain Quail s
      Band-tailed Pigeon
      Mourning Dove
      hummingbird sp
      Acorn Woodpecker
      Red-breasted Sapsucker
      White-headed Woodpecker
      Northern Flicker
      Olive-sided Flycatcher s
      Western Wood-Pewee s
      HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER s
      DUSKY FLYCATCHER s
      Steller's Jay
      W. Scrub-Jay
      Common Raven
      Mountain Chickadee many, many locations
      Brown Creeper s Coffee Mill Flats
      House Wren s
      Golden-crowned Kinglet s Grizzly Flats, Spruce Grove
      Western Bluebird
      Townsend's Solitaire s ( note to MM: Look at Forest Service map: Blue
      Banks, Haydon Rock, Spruce Grove, Hell's Half Acre, Tar Flats)
      American Robin s
      Wrentit
      Cassin's Vireo s
      Hutton's Vireo s
      Nashville Warbler s many, many locations
      Audubon's Y-r Warbler s
      Western Tanager s
      Black-headed Grosbeak s
      Lazuli Bunting s
      Chipping Sparrow s
      Fox Sparrow s Grizzly Flats to Millsap Cabin Site
      Oregon D-e Junco s
      Purple Finch s
      Cassin's Finch s
      Pine Siskin
      Lesser Goldfinch
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