The report of the month came in the form of two Glossy Ibis in PlacerCounty on 2/16 along Brewer Rd, just to the north of Nicolaus Rd. This species on the California Bird Records Committee review list has been reported locally several times in the past year. The first accepted record for the state was as recent as 2000. A few dedicated birders have been looking very carefully through White-faced Ibis flocks. The wider application of high quality spotting scopes—in the hands of skilled observers—is a big factor in the increased reports. There are also many more ibis to look through in recent years. Just in the past two decades White-faced Ibis have gone from rare to abundant in our area—a little good news for a change!
Continuing on the topic of state review species, presumably the same Emperor Goose reported at the Yolo Wildlife Area (YWA) on 1/13, flying with a large flock of Snow Geese, was seen again on 2/12. Other waterfowl reports include at least five Eurasian Wigeons on 2/16 along Pleasant Grove Rd, south of Nicolaus Rd, in SutterCounty. A Eurasian Wigeon at the Sacramento County Bufferlands on 2/20 added to the handful of records for that location, and two Greater Scaup were present there on 2/22.
Two Ruff (a male and a female) were first found at YWA on 2/27, and continued into March. This rare species has been amazingly regular at this location. On 2/7, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was reported from Beal's Point at Folsom Lake. This is a state review species, but has been reported more widely in the state in recent years. It is still an outstanding find away from the coast or the Salton Sea. At least one first-year Glaucous Gull was found at the Davis Wetlands on 2/16 during the Central Valley Bird Club's winter gulls tour.
Reports of up to ten Short-eared Owls along Yolo County Rd 28H and 103 (west of the landfill) began on 2/10 and continued through the end of the month. There have been excellent totals of this species throughout the region this winter. At least one Northern Saw-whet Owl was found on private land on RyerIsland for the second year in a row. This year it was first reported on 2/18. Other interesting reports include several Bald Eagle sightings on the upper portion of the American River Parkway, a Greater Roadrunner along Yolo County Rd 95 near Zamora on 2/15, up to 200 Violet-green Swallows foraging along the American River near the Nimbus Hatchery during a break in a storm on 2/24, at least two of the Lapland Longspurs continuing through 2/9 near the corner of Brewer and Nicolaus Rds in Placer County, and a Black-headed Grosbeak found northeast of Davis on 1/21, continuing through at least 2/6, was determined to be an immature male. The male Cassin's Finch found near SlideHillPark in Davis on 1/29 continued through at least 2/1, and Lawrence's Goldfinches were found coming to feeders in Rancho Cordova and Fair Oaks.
Many of these reports first appeared on the Central Valley Bird Club Listserv. Visit www.cvbirds.org and click "Listserv" for details. With over 150 reports, it is impossible to list everyone; however, I want to thank the following for reports on the above species and for providing additional information: Steve Abbott, Roger Adamson, Dan Brown, Paul Buchanan, Subhash Chand, Todd Easterla, Andy Engilis, Gil Ewing, Maureen Geiger, Phil Gordon, Steve Hampton, Ed Harper, Cliff Hawley, Scott Hoppe, David Johnson, Jeri Langham, Robin Leong, Shawn Lockwood, Ed Pandolfino, Jim Pearce, Deren Ross, Mary Schiedt, John Sterling, Dan Tankersley, John Trochet, and Bruce Webb. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.