Yuba County, 7-1-2005
Thanks Ed Pandolfino for providing helpful hints on good birding locations
in Yuba County. It was a successful trip, although I didn't get to the area
until about 10 AM despite Ed's hints at getting to grassland areas of Yuba
County (Grasshopper Sparrow, Horned Lark, etc.) "early". I did have some
business to do in Elk Grove beforehand and did not reach the area until 10
AM, and the temperature was already in the 90s.
Some notes for future travelers to Yuba County:
The east end of Dairy Road has no sign, and at the west end someone has
turned the road signs for Dairy Road and 40-mile Road so that Dairy Road is
now 40-mile Road, and 40-mile Road is now Dairy Road.
Some may recall an old email of mine from a couple years ago about a second
Scales Road. The 2nd Scales Road is very apparent. The first old white
Scales Road sign is now replaced with a green sign with a right arrow. In
other words, Scales (not Scales Road) is in that direction. This is 0.4
mile (south of) before the real Scales Road. Scales Road has a bridge that
can carry 7 tons.
At 10 AM the temperature was already in the 90s. By noon it was over 100.
So, that put a stop on the grassland species.
Birding began at the Camp Far Dam, Bridge and Spillway. Swallow flock at
the bridge in in the hundreds. I parked at the first road to the right
north of the bridge and dam and walked back to the bridge. There is no
parking on the dam. I walked back and forth along the dam and bridge at
least a half dozen times. On the third crossing I spotted a single Rock
Wren (#149) on the dam that flew quickly to a bush just south of the
spillway and nearest the top of the dam. Here this 'bush' Rock Wren called
several times while perched at this bush.
Searching through the huge flock Cliff Swallows I was able to pick out and
refind several times one or two Bank Swallows (#150) over the bridge and
I discovered a single Black Tern (#151) at Mathews Lane and Tanabe Road and
a total of three Black Terns flying around the field east of Tanabe Road
north of where it bends to the north. From here I was able to hear a Marsh
I discovered a single large marshy pond east of Ramirez Road and north of
Fruitland Road. This pond had two Black-necked Stilts, three American White
Pelicans (#153), a single American Avocet (#154), and a Common Moorhen
Unexpectedly, there were no Tricolored Blackbirds, and expectedly no
Swainson's Hawks anywhere.
Scales Road, temperature was pleasantly in the upper 70s, had Hermit,
Yellow-rumped, and MacGillivray's Warblers, all three Vireos, Band-tailed
Pigeon, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Western
Tanager. I did hear what sounded like the call of an immature hawk but
later did hear a Red-tailed Hawk, but there were also Steller's Jays around.
I did hope for Cooper's Hawk or Purple Finch.
For those interested there was a small flock of Wild Turkeys north west of
Highway 20 and Marysville Road.
Yuba County was my last California County below 150 [nib].
Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County