As always hoped for in September, there was a nice smattering of rarities among good numbers of common migrants. Signs of the coming fall grew stronger, with building numbers of waterfowl and the arrival of Sandhill Cranes by mid-month. Good shorebird reports continued, especially early in the month. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48231946) found at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) on 8/31 was seen by many through 9/2. Other notable shorebirds included a Baird's Sandpiper at Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) on 9/3, with one to two at YBWA in the first week of the month, and one to two at Lincoln's WTP from 9/4-11. Three Pectoral Sandpipers were found at CRP on 9/3, one was at the Davis WTP on 9/13-16, and one to two were found at YBWA from 9/1-3 and again from 9/23-29. Solitary Sandpiper reports included two at CRP on 9/2, a single there on 9/8, one at E Catlett Rd west of Lincoln on 9/6, and one at YBWA on 9/8. A Franklin's Gull was a nice surprise at the Woodland WTP on 9/20-21, and apparently a different bird was found at the Davis WTP on 9/20.
Common Poorwills are always a nice surprise on the Valley floor, and one was found at the Wood Duck Lakes (Bee Lakes) south of West Sacramento on 9/20. An Eastern Kingbird was photographed along Putah Creek downstream of Pedrick Rd on 9/3, and a Western Kingbird was seen in Davis at the Wildhorse Ag Buffer on the late date of 9/27. A Gray Flycatcher, especially rare in fall, was photographed at YBWA on 9/23 (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48699145), and a Townsend's Solitaire was a nice surprise at the Wood Duck Ponds on 9/19 and 9/21. A Gray Catbird (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48461859) was seen by many along Babel Slough Rd and continued from 9/9-18. The same location produced reports of a Dusky Flycatcher, a Green-tailed Towhee, and two Yellow-breasted Chats. A Sage Thrasher was a nice find at the Folsom Point access to Folsom Lake on 9/8 and 9/13.
An impressive 50 Lawrence's Goldfinches were reported along Folsom Lake near Sweetwater Creek on 9/28, and single Brewer's Sparrows were found at the YBWA on 9/8 and the William B Pond access to the American River Parkway (ARP) on 9/15. Among the rare warbler reports was a female-type American Redstart found at the Wood Duck Ponds on 9/13. A Chestnut-sided Warbler was a nice find at Ancil Hoffman (along ARP) on 9/5, and another was found on a field trip to Del Paso Park on 9/15 and seen again on 9/16. A Blackpoll Warbler was seen by many from 9/21-29 along Putah Creek near Hopkins Rd, and a Canada Warbler at William Land Park on 9/23 was one of just a handful of records for Sacramento County. The Summer Tanager continued along Putah Creek, downstream of Pedrick Rd, through at least 9/20, while another was found at Lake Solano on 9/2, and a third was photographed at Reichmuth Park (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48376358) on 9/8.
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: Holly Coates, Matt Davis, Lily Douglas, Chris Dunford, Leo Edson, Gil Ewing, Stephen Fettig, Frank Fogarty, Robert Furrow, Steve Hampton, Cliff Hawley, Terry Hodapp, James Holmes, Joan Humphrey, Scott Hoppe, Dan Kopp, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Andrew Lee, Mark Martucci, Sarah Newton-Scott, Frances Oliver, Michael Perrone, Deren Ross, Mark Sawyer, Steve Scott, John Sterling, Craig Swolgaard, John Trochet, and Dan Williams. Thanks to everyone for their reports—without them, this column would not be possible.