Band-tailed Pigeons, Steller’s Jays, Varied Thrushes, and Pine Siskins continued in high numbers into the New Year, breaking some local CBC records. Among the interesting waterfowl were the continuing Falcated Duck at Colusa NWR that remained into February and a male Eurasian Green-winged Teal photographed at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) north of Desmond Rd on 1/29. The female Red-breasted Merganser below the Nimbus Hatchery continued on 1/1-4, with one female reported at Folsom Lake on 1/9. A male Red-breasted Merganser near the Gristmill access of the American River Parkway was reported from 1/22 into February, often displaying to a female Common Merganser (www.flickr.com/photos/conardc/15736297803). A Surf Scoter was found off Sherman Island in the San Joaquin River on 1/1, with six on 1/19. The Red-throated Loon continued on Folsom Lake through the month and a Red-necked Grebe was reported there on 1/9.
The most interesting raptor report was of a light morph Harlan’s Hawk near Yolo County Rds 97 and 25A on 1/30. Mountain Plovers are rare away from their regular haunts in Solano County south of Dixon, so 18 found along County Line Rd at the Yolo-Colusa boundary west of I-5 on 1/29 were a nice surprise. An adult Iceland Gull (a state review species) photographed downstream of Nimbus Hatchery on 1/2 would be a first confirmed record for Sacramento County if accepted by the CBRC. The only Glaucous Gull reported in January was an adult at the Davis WTP on 1/4.
A Long-eared Owl was found in CRP’s Tall Forest on 1/2 and the long-staying male Costa’s Hummingbird in South Sacramento was last reported on the same date. A Red-naped Sapsucker was a nice find at Lake Solano on 1/28. A Hairy Woodpecker along Lake Natoma between Young Wo Circle and Parkshore Drive from 1/27 into February, when two were reported on several occasions, was a good find for Sacramento County.
A Hammond’s Flycatcher was reported at Babel Slough on 1/1, the continuing Hammond’s Flycatcher at William Land Park was present through at least 1/2, and a “Western” (Pacific-slope/Cordilleran) Flycatcher was found at the SRWTP Bufferlands on 1/5. A Canyon Wren reported along upper Lake Natoma below the Folsom Rodeo Grounds on 1/4 was one of just a few reports for the location, and a Townsend’s Solitaire at Gates Canyon in Solano County on 1/4-5 was unexpected. The Black-and-white Warbler found on 12/27 along Babel Slough Rd was reported through 1/24 (http://naturestoc.smugmug.com/Birds/Birdrarities/i-JNKC3qK/A). Interesting sparrow reports included two Vesper Sparrows along Meiss Rd on 1/30, a Swamp Sparrow at the Lost Slough Wetlands of CRP on 1/5, and another Swamp Sparrow at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area from 1/23 into February. A Cassin’s Finch in north Davis from 1/3-7 was a nice surprise, as was a Red Crossbill flying over Don Nottoli Park in Elk Grove on 1/20, a male Lawrence’s Goldfinch at Sutter’s Landing north of downtown Sacramento along the American River on 1/18, and an Evening Grosbeak in Woodland on 1/16.
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, Dan Airola, Brent Campos, Ashley Casey, Terry Colborn, Lyann Comrack, Lily Douglas, Chris Dunford, Ken Ealy, Leo Edson, Andy Engilis, Gil Ewing, Cory Gregory, David and Denise Hamilton, Steve Hampton, John Harris, Cliff Hawley, Jim Holmes, Clay Kemf, Dan Kopp, Alan Krakauer, Jeri Langham, Jolie Lipsig, Ed Pandolfino, Michael Perrone, Ron Pozzi, Steve Scott, Charles Smith, John Sterling, Kirk Swenson, Craig Swolgaard, John Trochet, Bruce Webb, Deb Weston, and Sharon Wisecarver. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.