Flocks of Sandhill Cranes, the quintessential sound of fall in the Valley, were increasingly reported the last week of the month. There were several good shorebird and gull reports, but most notable were some excellent migrant songbirds. The biggest highlights included a Tennessee Warbler and a Chestnut-sided Warbler along Putah Creek downstream from Pedrick Rd on 9/1; both continued through 9/3, and theTennessee Warbler was last reported on 9/10. The same species pair was found along Babel Slough Rd on 9/22. A Northern Parula was reported from Cache Creek Nature Preserve west of Woodland on 9/12 and a Blackpoll Warbler was found along Putah Creek on 9/2. Likely the same adult male American Redstart found at Reichmuth Park on 8/14-16 continued on 9/6. A Summer Tanager was found at the Accidental Forest of Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 9/7, and an Orchard Oriole was reported along Putah Creek with nearby Hooded Orioles for comparison on 9/6.
Summer Tanager, Cosumnes River Preserve, 7 September 2013, by Chris Conard
A Sanderling and a Pectoral Sandpiper were found at the Granite Bay Boat Launch at Folsom Lake on 9/26 and two Pectoral Sandpipers were seen along Desmond Rd at CRP on 9/27-28. A first-cycle Franklin’s Gull at Woodland WTP on 9/30 was matched by another first-cycle Franklin’s Gull the same day at the Granite Bay Boat Launch along with an early adult Mew Gull and an early adult Thayer’s Gull. An adultWestern Gull was a nice find at the Woodland WTP on 9/25
A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was reported along Putah Creek near Pedrick Rd from 9/2-3. Single Hammond’s Flycatchers were reported in Yolo County along Babel Slough on 9/3 and Cache Creek Nature Preserve on 9/12. A Dusky Flycatcher was found at the Putah Creek Sinks portion of the Yolo Bypass on 9/5, and a Gray Flycatcher, unexpected in fall, was reported at the Gristmill Access to the American River Parkway on 9/8. Additional interesting reports included a Yellow-breasted Chat along Putah Creek on 9/5-7, a Brewer’s Sparrow at the SRCSD Bufferlands on 9/30, and single female Indigo Bunting along Babel Slough on 9/3 and Putah Creek on 9/4.
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 eBird. It is impossible to list everyone, but I want to thank the following for their reports: Dan Airola, Brent Campos, Todd Easterla, Andy Engilis, Claire Gallagher, Steve Hampton, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, John Luther, Ed Pandolfino, Michael Perrone, Ron Pozzi, Jim Rowoth, Ruth Rudesill, John Sterling, Michael Strom, Kevin Thomas, and John Trochet. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.