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10149Poppoff Today - Birds on the Move

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  • gadzooks58
    Aug 7, 2014
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      The walk started rather slowly today - not many birds despite the cooler morning. It didn't take us long to reach the turnoff to the first river overlook, where things changed. We saw 35 species today, and 28 of those species were seen on the way to, from, or at the first river overlook. Our first pleasant surprise of the day was seeing 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches. We watched them for quite awhile, enjoying their antics. As we walked down the trail, we added Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird, Yellow warbler, Nashville warbler and Western Tanager to our list (among others), and also noted a bumper crop of Bewick's Wren's. I tallied 19 total, and I think that was conservative. Lots of fledgling wrens added to the fun.

      Once we reached the river, a Greater Yellowlegs was there to greet us, along with a Spotted Sandpiper. A Red-tailed hawk was dining on something tasty on a stump along the river, and we stopped to watch the action there for awhile, too.

      On the way back from the river, we added Wilson's warbler to the list. I saw two, but think there was a third present as well. While watching the warblers, Joe and I noticed a small flycatcher fly into the tree. There are quite a few Western Wood Pewees along the Poppoff (7 total for this trip), so we thought this would be another one, but a closer look showed not a Pewee, but a Hammond's flycatcher! Quite an unexpected find.

      As we walked to the second river overlook, we spotted an American Kestrel atop a snag along the trail. A very nice adult male. At the river, we didn't add any new species, but we did note that the Osprey platform to the east of the river was now unoccupied. The chick must have fledged.

      Notably absent today were California Quail, Great-blue Heron and any members of the Corvid family.
      It seems that the warblers are moving, and the Flycatcher was unexpected. We saw two Tanagers last week and one this week, which isn't all that unusual, but we got to wondering if the fires up north are part of the reason for some of the birds? Perhaps it is just post-breeding dispersal? Whatever the reason, it was fun to see them.

      Karen Zook, on behalf of the Poppoff walkers

      Our list:

      35 species
      Wood Duck  31
      Mallard  18
      Double-crested Cormorant  1
      Osprey  5
      Red-tailed Hawk  3
      Killdeer  1
      Spotted Sandpiper  3
      Greater Yellowlegs  1
      Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  1
      Mourning Dove  5
      Belted Kingfisher  1
      Downy Woodpecker  5
      Northern Flicker  1
      American Kestrel  1
      Western Wood-Pewee  7
      Hammond's Flycatcher  1
      Tree Swallow  25
      Barn Swallow  1
      Black-capped Chickadee  8
      Red-breasted Nuthatch  4
      Bewick's Wren  19
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
      American Robin  6
      Gray Catbird  6
      European Starling  15
      Cedar Waxwing  16
      Nashville Warbler  1
      Yellow Warbler  8
      Wilson's Warbler  2
      Song Sparrow  4
      Western Tanager  1
      Red-winged Blackbird  1
      Brown-headed Cowbird  1
      House Finch  12
      American Goldfinch  20