Several highlights from the local CBCs topped the list for January.A Red-throated Loon found on the 1/3 Folsom CBC was a first for the count, a first for the lake since 1999, and the first for Sacramento County in many years.The loon was reported through at least 1/10 at the Mormon Island access near the Sacramento/El Dorado County line and was found again in February.Another highlight from count day was a juvenile Northern Shrike at Beal’s Point.
The Red-throated Loon and Northern Shrike were found the day after the Folsom CBC and nicely photographed by Daniel Lee Brown on 4 January 2010. Additional CBC highlight shots can be found here:
Standouts from the 1/5 Rio Cosumnes Count include a Western Flycatcher and a Nashville Warbler from the Tall Forest portion of Cosumnes River Preserve.A young male Lark Bunting (seen through 1/18 on Riley Rd, south of Dillard Rd) and a Chestnut-collared Longspur were found at the Valensin portion of CRP.Additional highlights were reported in last month’s CBC summary.
Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawks are getting more scrutiny from local birders, with the bird near Thornton continuing into January, and at least two reported in Yolo County:one north of Davis from 1/2 into February and another near Zamora on 1/8.A 1/15 raptor survey in southeastern Sacramento County produced a Rough-legged Hawk, five Ferruginous Hawks, a Merlin, and seven Prairie Falcons.A Long-eared Owl found on 1/16 at Yolo Grasslands Park south of Davis continued into February.
Other interesting finds include a male Tufted Duck at the Davis Wetlands on 1/16 and a 3rd-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull at the nearby Yolo County Landfill.A Common Loon, rare for Yolo County, was found at the Port of Sacramento on 1/22 and continued through at least 1/25.An outing along Putah Creek on 1/22 to the west of Winters produced some nice finds, including a Hairy Woodpecker and two American Dippers.A Hammond’s Flycatcher found in N Davis on 1/2 continued into February.Two Western Kingbirds at the Prairie City State Vehicle Rec. Area were a big surprise for the early date of 1/21.A McCown’s Longspur along County Line Rd in extreme northern Yolo County was an excellent find on 1/22. A Western Tanager was good for winter at CRP on 1/7.A California Thrasher, rare in Sacramento County, was heard singing across the river from the Gristmill access well into February.
Many of these reports first appeared on the Central Valley Bird Club Listserv. Visit www.cvbirds.org and click "Listserv" for details. With over 100 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: Dan Brown, Chris Dunford, Todd Easterla, Andy Engilis, Steve Hampton, Ed Harper, Jeri Langham, Ed Pandolfino, Linda Pittman, Zack Smith, Brian Sullivan, Craig Swolgaard, John Trochet, Ed Whisler and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.