- Dear Birders,
After the lightning and rain let up this morning, I had my first
really decent day this season with south-bound song bird migrants in and
around the Tall Forest at the Cosumnes River Preserve in southern
Sacramento County. In one mixed species flock built around bushtits and
a few other resident birds were orange-crowned, black-throated gray,
Townsend's, hermit and Wilson's warblers and western tanager. Elsewhere
I had willow flycatcher, Pacific-slope flycatcher, Cassin's vireo, and
yellow warbler. The three lazuli buntings recently reported now seem to
I really envy the Yolo folks this year. Shorebirds are hard to come
by on the preserve at this time.
Today I visited the Tall Forest and vicinity. One of the summer tanagers is still present (day 19) in the woods. There was a cattle egret amongst the other egrets on the nearby rice fields, a lazuli bunting on the equipment pad where none has previously been this season, and about 35 barn swallows feeding near the pad, the first decent flock I’ve seen this “fall.”
On Independence Day I visited Orr Ranch. I went to a part of the preserve too seldom visited. This is the north arm of Deadman or Moyer Slough. I also walked part of the usual survey route of Orr Forest west from its junction with the south arm. There were a few minor things of note. The north arm had good numbers of both blue grosbeaks and lazuli buntings. A yellow warbler was singing where a least a couple of young successfully fledged three years ago. Below the junction there was an orange-crowned warbler at a spot where they’ve nested in the past. Very near there was a seemingly unattended juvenile junco. At Ronneberg Meadow I saw a female/imm. black-throated gray warbler, my first southbound woodland passerine migrant this season. Also there was my only Orr Hutton’s vireo of the day. At the southeast extremity of the forest block were four more Oregon juncoes. On the way home I stopped at the Twin Cities Unit and found the continuing solo burrowing owl.
In older news, Andy Engilis did a transect survey at Valensin Ranch on 29 June. There among a mixed assemblage of goldfinches he found two Lawrence’s goldfinches.
According to the preserve manager and the wetlands manager there will soon be more than the usual amount of flooding for shorebirds.