The summer doldrums in our area fully break in August, with good movement of migrant shorebirds and songbirds. This August produced a few highlights in both categories. Summering waterfowl included two Redheads and a Lesser Scaup at the Woodland WTP, a Canvasback at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 8/14, and the continuingSnow Goose at CRP. The Glossy Ibis found last month at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) was reported through 8/1. Ed Whisler noted a remarkable occurrence on 8/4: a Peregrine Falcon flushed a roosting Double-crested Cormorant, killed it in midair, and carried the much larger bird to a willow tree. Two other cormorants, obviously disturbed by the incident, left the roost and flew very close to the falcon.
Shorebird highlights included a Snowy Plover at Sac Reg. WTP on 8/23 and singleSolitary Sandpipers at the Davis Wetlands on 8/7 and CRP on 8/3. A Willet was found at CRP on 8/17, with two in the same field the following day, and one was at the Davis WTP on 8/31. Two Marbled Godwits were reported at the Davis WTP on 8/27. A Dunlin found on 8/20 at YBWA, still in breeding plumage, was at least a month early (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14970705). Semipalmated Sandpiperswere reported at YBWA on 8/6 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14873968) and 8/20, and Pectoral Sandpipers were at the Davis WTP on 8/10, YBWA on 8/20 and 8/25, and the Davis WTP on 8/31. A first cycle Franklin’s Gull was a nice surprise at the Davis WTP on 8/27, and a juvenile Western Gull was there the following day.
A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was heard and then seen near the Pedrick Rd bridge along Putah Creek on 8/16. There were two reports of heard-only Yellow-billed Cuckoosalong the American River on 8/18: one across the river from Paradise Beach and the other at William B. Pond Rec. Area. There was a somewhat early report of twoLewis’s Woodpeckers in Capay near the Cache Creek bridge on 8/31. After last winter’s sparse showing, perhaps this species will winter in higher numbers this coming season.
Songbird highlights included an adult male American Redstart at Reichmuth on 8/14-16, with what is likely the same bird found in September. Another adult male American Redstart was found at the SRCSD Bufferlands from 8/16-19, and an adult maleBaltimore Oriole was photographed at the Sacramento Bypass, accessed from Yolo County Rd 126 on 8/19.
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 eBird. It is impossible to list everyone, but I want to thank the following for their reports: Mark Ackerman, Gil Ewing, Claire Gallagher, Steve Hampton, Ed Harper, Scott Hoppe, Dan Kopp, Jeri Langham, Ed Pandolfino, Michael Perrone, William Rockey, Jim Rowoth, John Sterling, Kevin Thomas, John Trochet, Ed Whisler, Brian Williams, and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.