What an exciting time to be in the field. Some days can be uncomfortably hot, for sure, but others, mornings in particular, can seem magical when birds materialize in what only yesterday were quiet trees. A report of 42 migrants on the morning of 8/28, 19 of which were Black-throated Gray Warblers, in remnant oaks in a West Sacramento suburb is just one example of what we might hope to find any morning during the protracted “fall” migration period (roughly July-October).
Up to two Least Bitterns continued at Mather Lake from the previous month, while an adult Glossy Ibis near the Tall Forest of Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 8/16 appears to be a first record for Sacramento County. A high of four Snowy Plovers, perhaps continuing from July, were reported at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) from 8/10-17; four were also at the Sacramento Regional WTP (SRWTP) on 8/11. ASolitary Sandpiper was found at CRP on 8/6, and a Willet and a Marbled Godwitwere reported by several observers along Desmond Rd at CRP on 8/3. Four Willetswere at the Woodland WTP on 8/4. A Stilt Sandpiper on 8/20 at YBWA was an excellent report. A Sanderling (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19484467) was found on 8/16 at SRWTP, and a Baird’s Sandpiper (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19581830) was at the same site on 8/26-27; a Baird’s was also at Folsom Lake near Beals Point on 8/23.
The male Costa’s Hummingbird continued at a south Sacramento yard from 5/31 into September, while another was reported in early August visiting a feeder in Fair Oaks. The Costa’s banded in its hatch year last September along Putah Creek between Davis and Winters returned in late July and continued into September. A female or immature Calliope Hummingbird visited a feeder in Fair Oaks on 8/12. AGray Flycatcher at Sailor Bar along the ARP on 8/31 was a rare report for the fall. Perhaps in response to dry conditions elsewhere, large concentrations ofPhainopeplas (a high near 30) were found along the upper American River Parkway. A juvenile Black-throated Sparrow (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19412036) was a first for the Bufferlands on 8/11. The Summer Tanagerthat stayed all of July near the Tall Forest was last seen on 8/6 and the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak found at the entrance to Rossmoor Bar on 7/26 continued through at least 8/1. Two Lawrence’s Goldfinches along Putah Creek near Pedrick Rd on 8/30 were unusual for that location on the Valley floor.
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. It is impossible to list everyone, but I want to thank the following for their reports: Dan Airola, Ashley Casey, Terry Colborn, Todd Easterla, Gil Ewing, Steve Hampton, Scott Hoppe, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Mark Martucci, Ron Pozzi, Mark Sawyer, John Sterling, Michael Strom, Jim Thomas, John Trochet, and Sharon Wisecarver. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.