September might be the most interesting month on the local bird calendar. Shorebirds are still excellent, though perhaps slightly down in numbers from July and August (assuming good conditions can be found) and it is peak time for warblers and other songbird migrants. In addition, wintering and migrating waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, and raptors are moving in, along with wintering sparrows. There is even turnover in open country flycatchers, as we say goodbye to the last of the Western Kingbirds and hello to Say's Phoebes.
Interesting shorebird reports continued from August, with a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (https://ebird.org/checklist/S60186779) at the Woodland WTP on 9/28 leading the pack. On 9/1 at Sherman Island, two Baird's Sandpipers were reported along with 19 Marbled Godwits. Two Baird's Sandpipers were also at the Sacramento Regional WTP on 9/3, and two Baird's Sandpipers were at the Woodland WTP on 9/20 along with a Pectoral Sandpiper. Two Sanderlings were a nice surprise at the Winters WTP on 9/9, and a Solitary Sandpiper was found at North Pond in Davis on 9/7. A Franklin's Gull was found at the Woodland WTP on 9/20, and a Long-tailed Jaeger was found and photographed at Beals Point, Folsom Lake, on 9/12-13 (https://ebird.org/checklist/S59713080).
There was a big region-wide movement of Lewis's Woodpeckers on 9/21: 8-10 were reported moving over North Pond in Davis, with a similar number flying upriver at Ancil Hoffman, plus at least 80 moving south in Auburn, about 500 feet up, along with Turkey Vultures! A major highlight for the month was a Wood Thrush along Putah Creek, west of Mace Blvd in Solano County, on 9/15-19 (audio (calls) https://ebird.org/checklist/S59866197). A Green-tailed Towhee was found in a Fair Oaks yard on 9/1, while another was found at the Wood Thrush location west of Mace Blvd on 9/16 (https://ebird.org/checklist/S59858117); also at the latter site was a Northern Waterthrush on 9/15-16 (https://ebird.org/checklist/S59842224). A Tennessee Warbler was a nice find at Yolo County Grasslands Park on 9/27. During a period of a few days with excellent warbler numbers, the Tall Forest and vicinity at Cosumnes River Preserve on 9/29 produced a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Blackpoll Warbler, and at least 85 Black-throated Gray Warblers. Blackpoll Warblers were also found at Upper Sunrise on the American River Parkway on 9/17 and William Land Park on 9/22. Flyover Evening Grosbeaks were reported over Davis on 9/21 and 9/26, and over Putah Creek at Mace Blvd on 9/27
The Sacramento Area is roughly defined as lying between Hwy 20 to the north, Hwy 12 to the south, and the 1000-foot 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: Dan Airola, Jean Broadhvest, Max Brodie, Holly Coates, Chris Dunford, Gil Ewing, Stephen Fettig, Steve Hampton, Cliff Hawley, James Holmes, Scott Hoppe, Emmett Iverson, Manfred Kusch, Jeri Langham, Andrew Lee, Mark Martucci, Roger Muskat, Michael Perrone, Ron Pozzi, Deren Ross, Steve Scott, John Sterling, Kirk Swenson, Kevin Thomas, John Trochet, and Bart Wickel. Thanks to everyone for their reports--without them, this column would not be possible.