This was a fairly quiet month in terms of new bird reports. Multiple Eurasian Wigeons and Blue-winged Teal reports continued, and four Surf Scoters were found in the San Joaquin River off of Sherman Island, Sacramento County, on 2/23 where they are proving to be sporadic but somewhat expected in winter. A female Red-breasted Merganser was found on the American River near the Gristmill access on 2/22 and continued into March.
Rough-legged Hawks were found in low numbers in their regular grassland haunts. Mountain Plovers were harder to find than usual in Solano County south of Dixon this dry winter, so 40 off of Robinson Rd on 2/13 were notable for this year. A possible adult Kumlien’s Iceland Gull (a state review species) was reported from the landfill south of Dixon at Hwy 113 and Hay Rd on 2/7 along with an adult Slaty-backed Gull (also a state review species). An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/LesserBlack-backedGullP1150479.htm) was at the same location on 2/13, along with a pale apparent second-cycle Glaucous Gull (http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/GlaucousGullP1150489.htm). A second-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull was reported from the Yolo County Central Landfill on 2/15, and a first-cycle Glaucous Gull was at the Davis WTP on 2/14.
A Red-naped Sapsucker was reported along Yolo County Rd 20 near the entrance to the Cache Creek Nature Preserve on 2/23, but it was apparently not refound; until last winter, this species had not been confirmed in Yolo County. A male Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker was a nice find at Cosumnes River Preserve on 2/11. A “probable” Plumbeous Vireo was seen and reported singing near North Davis Pond on 2/24. Up to 15 Varied Thrushes were regularly reported in William Land Park between Funderland and the golf course pro shop; and as many as four Western Tanagers were in the surrounding neighborhood. The continuingHarris’s Sparrow in north Davis off of Cortez Ave was reported through at least 2/22, and an Evening Grosbeak was found along Putah Creek between Davis and Winters on 2/5.
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: Justin Bosler, Chris Dunford, Leo Edson, Cory Gregory, Steve Hampton, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Joseph Morlan, Roger Muskat, John Sterling, Craig Swolgaard, John Trochet, and Chris and Teri Wills. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.