Birded before and after other obligations in Bakersfield yesterday
I find Kern River County Park to be birdy and rewarding virtually
year round (a bit slower and of course much hotter in summer!). A
personal FOS (first of spring) BULLOCK'S ORIOLE was singing and
showing itself at the top of a Eucalyptus tree at the edge of the
Kern River Group Picnic Area found at the end of the road running in
the upriver between Lake Ming and Kern River Golf Course.
Kern Sanitation Authority is perhaps the most reliable publicly
viewable locations for BLUE-WINGED TEAL in Kern County. Two males
were observed there yesterday morning along with eight other duck
species, egrets, and several shorebird species.
In addition to four SPOTTED DOVES and numerous ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS,
an adult male BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER flew into the low branches
of a large tree right overhead and presented itself exquisitely in
full sunshine. Since up to several Black-throated Gray Warblers have
wintered in Bakersfield in prior years, this may have been a
wintering individual using the magnificent neighborhood of very large
trees and accompanying large homes and large yards with lots of
vegetation found off the northwest corner of Beale Park from the
junction of Dracena and Oleander. If Paul Lehman were to visit or
live in Bakersfield, I imagine this neighborhood being on his list of
suburban sites to check for rarer to rare wintering birds. It sure
would be great to have access to the yards! Regardless, viewing the
inside from the outside will have to do.
A rather late female HOODED MERGANSER and six getting late COMMON
MERGANSERS were found on a new birding location for me - the
Arvin-Edison Water Storage District Balancing Reservoir alongside the
north side of Muller Road just east of S Edison Road. It is easy to
view virtually all of the rip-rapped reservoir from outside the
fence. Also present early afternoon yesterday were Green Heron, five
other duck species, American Avocet, 504 gulls (all California as far
as I could tell despite wanting to put other names on them), lots of
swallows, and the usual suspects (e.g.: American Coots and Killdeer).
As this "new" site is just south to left on Muller from CA Hwy 58, it
is now on the list of brief, but must ones to check on trips over the
Tehachapis to Bakersfield and/or the rest of the San Joaquin Valley
portion of Kern County.
Continued Happy & Productive Birding,
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA
24/7 Cellular Phone Number: 760-382-1260
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