After a very active September, things were bound to slow a bit, but not without quite a few interesting finds in this very dry October. An American Golden-Plover (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49371530) was seen and photographed at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) on 10/20 and continued through 10/27. Five Pectoral Sandpipers were found at the Lost Slough Wetlands, across from the visitor center at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 10/1. Single Pacific Loons were photographed at Beals Pt, Folsom Lake, on 10/21, and on the American River at Sutter's Landing on 10/24, where especially exceptional for the flats of the Valley away from large foothill reservoirs.
Migrating Common Poorwills included singles found at the William B. Pond access to the American River Parkway (ARP) on 10/7-8 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49099575), Michigan Bar Rd on 10/8 and 10/14, and a roadkill in Rocklin found on 10/17. A Band-tailed Pigeon was a nice surprise for the Valley floor at Yolo Grasslands County Park on 10/4. A Least Flycatcher (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49344824) was found and photographed at Wild Wings County Park northwest of Woodland on 10/21-22. Most impressive was a hatch-year female Vermilion Flycatcher found at the Davis WTP on 10/20-21, apparently a first for Yolo County. The male Vermilion Flycatcher, reported 10/22, returned for its fourth straight year to the Maxwell Cemetery in Colusa County.
An American Dipper was first reported for the season on 10/26 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49481533) at the traditional location below the Hwy 128 bridge in Putah Creek Canyon. A Townsend's Solitaire seen on 10/18 in Carmichael near the intersection of Winding Way and Garfield Ave was a nice find for a species found infrequently in the county. A Swainson's Thrush found by an experienced observer on 10/4 at the Yolo Grasslands County Park was quite late for a species much less common in fall migration than in spring. Up to three Lapland Longspurs reported at the YBWA from 10/14-15 were a nice surprise. A Clay-colored Sparrow found and photographed at the Folsom Pt access to Folsom Lake on 10/13 and 10/20 accounts for one of just a few records of this species for Sacramento County. On 10/20, a late Grasshopper Sparrow was found at "Vesper Sparrow Corner," west of Winters along Hwy 128, along with three Vesper Sparrows. A Magnolia Warbler was found dead along Mace Blvd where it crosses Putah Creek on 10/3; it now resides at the UC Davis Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology. An American Redstart was found along Rd 98A, west of Hwy 45 and north of Knight's Landing from 10/27-29. Palm Warbler reports included one near the Harrington access (ARP) on 10/10 and one to two at Folsom Pt on 10/20-21.
The Sacramento Area is roughly defined as lying between Hwy 20 to the north, Hwy 12 to the south, and the 1000’ contour to the east and west, plus all of Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Many reports first appeared on the Central Valley Bird Club listserve (cvbirds.org) and in eBird (ebird.org). It is impossible to list everyone, but I want to thank the following for their reports: Linda Angerer, Stuart Angerer, Keith Bailey, Brent Campos, Holly Coates, Craig DeMartini, Lily Douglas, Chris Dunford, Andy Engilis, Stephen Fettig, Robert Furrow, Steve Hampton, Cliff Hawley, Terry Hodapp, James Holmes, Joan Humphrey, Scott Hoppe, Emmett Iverson, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Keith Kwan, Jeri Langham, Andrew Lee, Mark Martucci, Oscar Moss, Sarah Newton-Scott, Michael Perrone, Ron Pozzi, Steve Scott, John Sterling, Jim Thomas, John Trochet, Amy Welsh, Dan Welsh, and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.