There were quite a few interesting reports in this time of transition, with waterbird numbers building and fall migrants tapering off, but with some welcome surprises. A possible Bean-Goose sp. (perhaps Taiga Bean-Goose) was seen and heard flying over Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 10/3 with a small flock of Greater White-fronted Geese. Unfortunately this bird has not been relocated, but may turn up among the large overwintering flocks. Reports of 100+ Blue-winged Teal would be shocking if they haven't been the norm at Bridgeway Island pond in West Sacramento in recent years. Two Surf Scoters at the Lincoln WTP 10/17-19 were very nice finds for the Valley.
Reports of migrating Common Poorwills came from an office park in Roseville on 10/3, Meiss Rd on 10/14 and CRP along the River Walk on 10/21. Band-tailed Pigeon reports included singles from the American River Parkway (ARP) between Howe and Watt Aves on 10/1 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39506606), CRP on 10/13 and William Land Park on 10/27. Around Davis, there was one at Slide Hill Park on 10/19, 25 there on 10/22, and 40 on 10/26 along Putah Creek downstream of Pedrick Rd. A Red-naped Sapsucker (or perhaps a hybrid with Red-breasted) along Putah Creek upstream of Winters was found on 10/19. A Hairy Woodpecker at CRP on 10/3 was unexpected, where there are very few records for the flats of the Valley, and another from the low foothills at Michigan Bar on 10/9, though still rare anywhere in Sacramento County, was less of a surprise.
An American Dipper was found at the traditional site near the Hwy 128 bridge over Putah Creek to the west of Winters on 10/22-31. Varied Thrushes were reported in fair numbers after a near-absence the previous fall/winter. A Sage Thrasher on 10/11-13 near Pedrick Rd and Putah Creek was a nice find. Locally rare warblers included a Tennessee Warbler at Ancil Hoffman Park along the ARP on 10/9, a Chestnut-sided Warbler along Putah Creek downstream of Pedrick Rd on 10/6, and a Black-and-white Warbler on 10/7 at Ancil Hoffman Park. The female Hooded Warbler in north Davis first reported on 8/16 continued through end of the month. A "Sage Sparrow" photographed on 10/20 along Yolo County Rd 27 east of Rd 103 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40030582) was determined to be a Sagebrush Sparrow after much discussion. Red Crossbill reports included one at Babel Slough on 10/17 and a calling flyover in the Rosemont neighborhood (south of Hwy 50 and east of Watt Ave) on 10/30. An Evening Grosbeak was photographed in north Davis on 10/12 and one flew over Slide Hill Park in Davis on 10/13 (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39919227).
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, Kathy Blankenship, Lyann Comrack, Dan Cook, Andy Engilis, Gil Ewing, Stephen Fettig, Frank Fogarty, Steve Hampton, Cliff Hawley, Arav and Aranya Karighattam, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, John Luther, Mark Martucci, Michael Perrone, Jim Rowoth, Steve Scott, John Trochet, Dan Williams, and Rick Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.