January produced several good finds along with rarities continuing from December. A Brant at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) from 1/13-14 appears to be just the third Sacramento County record. It was found foraging and roosting with a large flock of Greater White-fronted Geese. While Trumpeter Swan has been removed from the California Bird Records Committee review list, identification is still very challenging. There were reports of singles from Yolo County near County Rds 27 and 104 from 1/12-18, while another was reported from E Levee Rd in Natomas on 1/30. A single Surf Scoter was found off of Sherman Island E Levee Rd on 1/2 and 1/23, while the cooperative male White-winged Scoter first found on 12/13 along the American River near the Nimbus Hatchery continued well into February. A Long-tailed Duck was a nice surprise at Sherman Island County Park from 1/12-26 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51746363). The Pacific Loon found near Folsom Point on 12/22 continued to the end of the month, and a Red-necked Grebe was an excellent find along Sherman Island E Levee Rd on 1/1 on the inaugural Sherman Island CBC.
Mountain Plovers have been absent most of the season from their typical haunts in Solano County south of Dixon. Finally, a single report of 18 birds photographed from Creed Rd came in on 1/12, while up to 60 continued to be found along Hwy 45 in Yolo County, just south of the Colusa County line, from 12/30 to at least 1/20. Single Semipalmated Plover reports came from the Yolo County Central Landfill on 1/12 and the Sacramento County Bufferlands on 1/22. An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was found at the Yolo County Central Landfill pond along County Rd 28H from 12/26 to at least 1/11 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51557018). An immature Glaucous Gull was reported from the same location on 1/12. The winter roost of about ten Long-eared Owls in a closed portion of CRP first found on 12/29 continued through 1/7, but flooding prevented access later on a monthly survey. The report of 54 Lewis's Woodpeckers at a private ranch in southeastern Sacramento County on 1/26 was notable because of their scarcity this season at other typical wintering sites.
A Hammond's Flycatcher was found and photographed at the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery on 1/12 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51608876) and continued through the end of the month. The Northern Shrike found near Yolo County Rds 25 and 103 on 11/15 continued in the general area through at least 1/21. A Plumbeous Vireo was a nice find in Pioneer Park, Woodland, from 1/17-22, and a Steller's Jay was found on a private ranch in southeastern Sacramento County on 1/26. A Lapland Longspur was reported by a single observer along the shore of Folsom Lake at Folsom Pt on 1/14. Unfortunately it couldn't be photographed or refound. Perhaps the highlight of the month was a bright male Tennessee Warbler photographed in a north Davis yard on 1/25. It was seen by others in the surrounding greenbelt in the vicinity of Elk Place and Kestrel Place into February (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52037286).
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: Stuart Angerer, Keith Bailey, Ralph Baker, Max Brodie, Holly Coates, Terry Colborn, Lyann Comrack, Matthew Dodder, Lily Douglas, Kris Dunlap, Leo Edson, Sid England, Gil Ewing, Stephen Fettig, Rob Fowler, Steve Hampton, John Harris, Cliff Hawley, Terry Hodapp, James Holmes, Eric Hopson, Emmett Iverson, Dan Kopp, Jeri Langham, Sami LaRocca, Andrew Lee, Tim Ludwick, Mark Martucci, Nora Papian, Michael Perrone, Karen Richardson, Jason Riggio, Steve Scott, Judy Spitler, John Sterling, Michele Swartout, Kirk Swenson, John Trochet. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.