In strictly avian terms, the biggest regional news was of typically pelagic Red Phalaropes turning up in many inland locations, including the Central Valley. The other notable theme was the lack of montane and northern irruptive species that characterized the past two winters. So far this season, there have been very few reports of Red-breasted Nuthatches and Pine Siskins, relatively few Lewis's Woodpeckers and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and very few Varied Thrushes. Among waterfowl reports, Blue-winged Teal numbers continue a steady climb, most impressively with 177 at Bridgeway Island Pond on 11/6. Inland Surf Scoter reports included one at the Marysville Sewage Ponds from 11/6-21 and one at the out-of-the-way Frog Pond off of Rayhouse Rd in Cache Creek Canyon on 11/13-14 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32521980).
The fields near Plainfield School at Yolo County Rds 25 and 96 have hosted good numbers of Ferruginous Hawks in recent fall and winter seasons. On 11/6, three were reported, including one dark morph. Rough-legged Hawk reports included singles at Yolo County Rd 28H between Rds 103 and 104 on 11/5, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) on 11/15, Scott Rd on 11/22, and Meiss Rd on 11/27. The inland invasion of Red Phalaropes in our region was represented by up to four at Colusa NWR seen from Able Rd on 11/18-23 and one at the YBWA on 11/27 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32813889). Two Marbled Godwits were reported from Colusa NWR on 11/25.
The only reports of Short-eared Owls came from Yolo County Rd 30, with one on 11/15 and two on 11/29, and a Northern Saw-whet Owl was a nice surprise in a Roseville yard on 11/16. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was photographed along Rd 78A in the Capay Valley on 11/5 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32387374). The male Costa's Hummingbird that was banded as a hatch-year in September 2013 and has spent much of its life on private property along Putah Creek between Winters and Davis was seen on 11/16 after an absence of months. A late Hammond's Flycatcher was found at Cosumnes River Preserve's Tall Forest on 11/12 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32505222) and aCassin's Vireo was photographed at Bobelaine Sanctuary on 11/27 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32749280). A Plumbeous Vireo in the Covell Park area of North Davis from 11/5 through most of the month (https://radamson.smugmug.com/Birds/Plumbeous-Vireo-in-Davis-2016) was a nice find for the region. An American Dipper was found at the traditional location downstream from the Hwy 128 Bridge in the Putah Creek Canyon from 11/14-25 and a Sage Thrasher was an excellent find near the Michigan Bar Bridge, south of the Cosumnes River, on 11/20-21.
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: Roger Adamson, Stuart Angerer, Keith Bailey, Ted Beedy, Ken Britten, Elliot Chasin, Dan Cook, Kathy DeFay, Chris Dunford, Gil Ewing, Ian Gledhill, Steve Hampton, Darlene Hecomovich, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Sami LaRocca, Eric LoPresti, Calvin Lou, David Nickerson, Frances Oliver, Muriel Parker, Linda Pittman, Jim Rowoth, Shannon Skalos, Kirk Swenson, Linda and Scott Terrill, Charley Walker, and Rick Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.