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KRV YB Cuckoo Update - 31 Jul 05

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  • Bob Barnes
    South Fork Wildlife Area, Weldon, Kern County 5:40am-6:40am, Sunday, 31 July 2005 Observer: Bob Barnes For those of you who need/want Yellow-billed Cuckoo for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
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      South Fork Wildlife Area, Weldon, Kern County
      5:40am-6:40am, Sunday, 31 July 2005
      Observer: Bob Barnes

      For those of you who need/want Yellow-billed Cuckoo for your life, state,
      year,
      or county lists, or who "want more experience with the species,"...

      During a very short investigation this morning, two Yellow-billed Cuckoos were
      heard "kalping" (no "cooing" or "cueing") in the South Fork Wildlife Area
      behind the KOA Kampground east of the east end of Isabella Reservoir. My first
      of the year. A complete bird list of observations is found at the end of this
      message.

      To reach this location, where local southwestern Willow Flycatcher Researchers
      have found one nest and believe there are three nests...

      ***Park on the 35'40' wide Hwy. 178 right-of way just outside the west end of
      the wall at the KOA Kampground in Weldon. Highway mile marker 54.50 is located
      right there. There is also an official/formal "Bus Stop" sign for Kern Valley
      Transit right next to the mile marker sign.

      ***Right behind the "Bus Stop" sign is a metal pipe, walk through stile onto
      South Fork Wildlife Area property. Go through the stile and turn right and
      walk
      toward the forest along the 15'-18' wide firebreak outside the fence marking
      the west boundary of the KOA.

      ***At the end of the fence (northwest end), the firebreak turns east and a
      3'-4' wide clear bare trail proceeds straight ahead.

      ***Go down the trail for 100 yards to the first row of trees coming to the
      edge
      of the trail from the left. The trail splits here, with the main trail clearly
      going straight ahead and a smaller trail bearing off to the left. From this
      junction (I left a pile of branches there that I hope will be left by other
      passers by.), proceed 15 feet farther down the main trail to a small trail
      leading of to the right (east) at a right angle along the edge of the forest
      and parallel to the back fence of the KOA.

      ***Turn right (east) and proceed along the trail as it takes you along the
      edge
      of the forest and then into it. The first cuckoo was heard at 5:55am right
      after the trail enters the forest.

      ***Proceed a fee hundred yards farther into the forest until coming to white
      flagging with polka dots on it. The flagging seems to mark a Willow
      Flycatcher
      territory as there was a bird giving the "fitz-bew" call there this morning.

      ***Please stay on the trail wherever flagging with polka dots is found so the
      Willow Flycatchers received minimum disturbance and the researchers do not get
      concerned/upset (Three researchers came upon me there this morning.).

      ***The second YB Cuckoo was heard quite a ways farther ahead on the trail at
      6:05am.

      ***One of the researchers stated to me that they thought there were three
      pairs
      in the area and that if a person spent an hour birding the area they would
      almost surely hear cuckoos and have a good chance of seeing one. If one is
      heard, head in its direction, keep listening ,etc., until you see one.

      ***The researchers said bird song pretty much stops among the birds by 8am-
      9am
      at this time of the nesting season.

      ***Western Wood-Pewees and Yellow Warblers appeared to be abundant in this
      location and I HIGHLY ADVISE mosquito repellent as the reservoir receded from
      here within the last two weeks and the mosquitos have taken a liking to the
      area.

      ***Although I did not detect any this morning, the mature forest reached by
      continuing to head into the heart of the forest ahead is the stronghold of the
      South Fork Valley's nesting Brown-crested Flycatcher population.

      5:40am-6:40am Observations (includes the walk from and back to the parked
      car):
      California Quail 2, Great Blue Heron 2, Turkey Vulture 12 (roosting), Cooper's
      Hawk 1, Mourning Dove 4, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2, Northern Flicker 1, Western
      Wood-Pewee (5-10), Willow Flycatcher 1-2, Ash-throated Flycatcher 2, Common
      Raven 2, Oak Titmouse 1, Bewick's Wren 1, Yellow Warbler 5-10, Common
      Yellowthroat 3, Song Sparrow 6, Blue Grosbeak 1, Brown-headed Cowbird 1
      female,
      House Finch 4, Lesser Goldfinch 6,...

      Happy & Productive Birding,

      Bob Barnes
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