Extremely wet weather continued and many local sites were partially or completely flooded, limiting access to popular birding area such as the Cosumnes River Preserve, portions of the American River Parkway, and the Yolo Bypass. The male Tufted Duck first found on 1/29 from the San Joaquin River Levee Rd at Sherman Island continued on and off through at least 2/20. What was apparently a second male Tufted Duck was found and photographed miles upsteam off of Brannan Island (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34314165) on 2/11. The two White-winged Scoters also continued into February, with at least one through reported through 2/19. A Surf Scoter was found in the same area from 2/11-18, with others reported at the Winters WTP (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34131056), beginning on 2/3, and Lake Berryessa on 2/28.
A Common Loon was found at the Deep Water Channel in West Sacramento from 2/6-21 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34209049), with two at Lake Solano on 2/27-28, and a single below Monticello Dam on 2/28. An adult Brown Pelican on Lake Natoma on 2/18 was a surprise for the season (most Brown Pelican records for the Valley have been in the summer and fall). A pair of Bald Eagles began nesting at Lake Natoma this season, reflecting the further expansion of this species in the area. A light-morph Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk was an interesting find in El Dorado Hill from 2/19 through at least 2/26. An adult Glaucous Gull was found at Rd 104 just south of Rd 155 along the flooded Yolo Bypass from 2/11-15 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34310224).
Apparently the same banded male Costa's Hummingbird that has been present on and off for over three years continued along Putah Creek between Davis and Winters this month. A Hammond's Flycatcher photographed in Village Homes, Davis, was also reported for much of the month. A Tropical Kingbird found at Brannan Island SRA on 2/11 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34414610) was the first photographed in Sacramento County. The Townsend's Solitaire initially found at Lower Cache Creek Regional Park 1/15 continued through at least 2/13. The Sage Thrasher, first reported on 1/27 near Rds 25A and 96B, continued through at least mid-month (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34235812) and another Sage Thrasher was found on the eastern portion of Meiss Rd on 2/12. A wintering Wilson's Warbler continued near Spanos Court, along the American River Parkway (ARP), and was seen sporadically throughout the month. Finally, the Red Fox Sparrow (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34524515) found along theARP between Howe and Watt continued to be reported almost daily into March.
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: Dan Airola, Stuart Angerer, Keith Bailey, Terry Colborn, Lily Douglas, Leo Edson, Gil Ewing, Tracy Farrington, Stephan Fettig, Frank Fogarty, Lindy Fung, Gil Ewing, Steve Hampton, Cliff Hawley, Terry Hodapp, James Holmes, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Sami LaRocca,Tim Manolis, Bruce Mast, Dave Quady, Jason Riggio, Sonia Santa Ana, Michelle Swarthout, Kirk Swenson, John Trochet, and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.