Cosumnes birds- 01 VIII 08, etc.
- Dear Birders,
This morning I visited the Tall Forest and vicinity at the Cosumnes River Preserve in southern Sacramento County. Almost all of the migrant songbirds present the last few days seem to have moved on. I found only two Wilson's warblers left over (presumably), But I found one interesting passerine today, a hermit thrush of one of the western montane forms. I also got a poor look at a scolding solitary vireo that looked probably Cassin's-ish. But in that light, the titmouses and bushtits also looked greenish, so I am unsure.
Shorebirds were present in better numbers and variety compared to yesterday. This morning's better finds included eight black-bellied plovers, 12 semipalmated plovers, a lesser yellowlegs, and, best of all, a semipalmated sandpiper. Gone from yesterday's assemblage were American avocet, long-billed curlew and Wilson's phalrope, so there is substantial turnover from day to day. Even from the pre-dawn scan to the one at mid-morning, actually. Wednesday's shorebirds included a willet and a Wilson's snipe.
Yesterday at Wendell's Levee I found a whitting Empidonax, seen only in silhouette through some intervening willows. There were lots of Pac-slope/ western flycatchers moving through. I also found a few to a handful each of orange-crowned, yellow, black-throated gray (one of these), and Wilson's warblers, several western tanagers and a lazuli bunting.
The locally breeding species that are now missing or down to one or two individuals include western kingbird, black-headed grosbeak, blue grosbeak and Bullock's oriole. On the other hand, there were 110 or so yellow-billed magpies coming out of the roost over the toxic waste dump at sunrise. This is more than I have seen there in many, many years, since well before West Nile Virus spread to California.
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