After two months with an amazing number of unusual birds, things quieted down a little in November, but there were still plenty of notable reports. The Falcated Duck first reported from Colusa NWR on 10/30 continued into December, though some days it was absent from the pond near the observation deck. A Eurasian Green-winged Teal (or “Common Teal”) was reported at the Davis Wetlands on 11/9, and it or another was photographed at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20552438) on 11/14. Two female Greater Scaupwere found on the American River near Sailor Bar on 11/17. A flyover Marbled Godwit along the River Walk at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 11/3 was very unusual for the date. A Franklin's Gull was found just west of I-5 at Turner Rd, north of Lodi, on 11/22; two were seen the morning of 11/23 in addition to a few Mew Gulls. On 11/21, a second-cycle Glaucous Gull was found at the Davis WTP.
Band-tailed Pigeons continued throughout the month in many Valley locations, with some totals approaching 100 birds. A Northern Saw-whet Owl photographed (https://www.flickr.com/photos/10148394@N04/15711614915/) in a Natomas neighborhood was a nice surprise on 11/4 (two were reported from Lower Sunrise along the American River Parkway on 10/20). The two male Costa's Hummingbirds (one along Putah Creek between Davis and Winters and the other in South Sacramento) continued throughout the month. Lewis’s Woodpeckers were widespread, but along Latrobe Rd in eastern Sacramento County (Deer Creek Hills) several observers noted concentrations greater than they had ever recorded (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20486387). An impressive series of Lewis’s Woodpecker photos was taken along Putah Creek (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10203399354928073.1073741836.1337955149&type=1&l=486ad12051). A Red-breasted Sapsucker at Fishing Access #1 along Putah Creek west of Winters appeared to be of the northern subspecies ruber. On 11/29, a female Williamson’s Sapsucker was found in the Tall Forest at CRP for a first Sacramento County record. A “Western” (presumably Pacific-slope) Flycatcherwas found nearby the same day. Steller’s Jays were widely reported around Folsom and the eastern portion of Sacramento County, along the American River downstream to the Gristmill access, with one along the River Walk at CRP on 11/2, regularly in the Putah Creek Canyon west of Winters, and in Davis on 11/27.
Late Yellow Warblers were reported from North Pond in Davis on 11/1 and Lost Slough at CRP on 11/2. A Prothonotary Wabler was reported from Colusa NWR on 11/26, but it apparently was not refound. Single Vesper Sparrows were found along Meiss Rd from 11/1-19 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20521244) as well as north of the Cosumnes River at Michigan Bar on 11/11. A Red Fox Sparrow was found 11/4-7 in a Folsom yard (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117249375@N05/15569459620/) and the Harris’s Sparrowcontinued in North Davis. Western Tanagers appear to be wintering again (2-4 individuals) in Land Park. Pine Siskins were widespread, but most notable was a report of over 100 on 11/28 from the Willow Creek East neighborhood of Folsom. Evening Grosbeaks reports included 20 at the Folsom Rodeo Grounds on 11/1, one over the River Walk at CRP on 11/3, six from Fair Oaks on 11/4, and four in William Land Park on 11/23.
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: Steve Abbott, Elizabeth Bredberg, Lyann Comrack, Jann Dorothy, Chris Dunford, Leo Edson, Gil Ewing, Cory Gregory, Steve Hampton, Ed Harper, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Phil Lutz, Ed Pandolfino, Michael Perrone, Alison Sheehey, Steve Stump, Craig Swolgaard, John Trochet, Amy Welsh, Dan Welsh, Deb Weston, and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.