I got up around 6:30 am and was out the door by 7:30 to head out with friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne to Tanzanite Park in the Natomas area of Sacramento. We’d never been there before, but were going to see if we could find the Vermilion Flycatcher that’s been visiting the park over the past month or more.
Weather: Super foggy then clearing to sunny skies
Total Hours in the field (includes travel time): 3.5 hours
Start Time: 8:30 am
End Time: 11:30 am
Start Temperature: 44º F
End Temperature: 59º F
Miles Walked: 1.5
We first had a leisurely breakfast at Hot Off the Griddle, and then headed over to the park. We were hoping the fog would have lifted a bit by then, but no… It took another 90 minutes or so for the fog to rise and dissipate. We didn’t see the Vermilion Flycatcher, but did meet another pair of birders who were looking for it, too.
And we got the chance to walk almost the full length of the park and keep a look out for other birds. The first things we saw were crows, geese and gulls. I actually think that some of the geese we saw were Cackling Geese (smaller kind-of twins of the Canada Geese, they have a shorter bill).
It was foggy to begin with, so a lot of my initial photos were through the fog and focusing on the dew on some of the plants and spiderwebs. Once it started to clear a bit, I was able to get better photos of the birds. Some of them were so far away or so elusive that it was still a little difficult to get the images I wanted sometimes. Some of the dew images turned out to be rather interesting, though, so I couldn’t complain.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
We were both surprised by the number of Audubon’s Warblers we saw all over the park. They seemed to be everywhere. Roxanne got to see her first Belted Kingfisher. It was flying back and forth across the pond, and sometimes chased Green Herons from the trees.
It worried me that there piles and tins filled with rotting moldy bread set out for the birds. Some of the crows and geese were eating the stuff; it couldn’t possibly have been good for them. I wanted to create an interpretive sign for the park telling people what kind of HEALTHY food they can put out for the birds, and why bread (especially moldy bread) is horribly bad for them. I wonder if I can get a grant for that?
Being so close to residences, too, it was upsetting to see the amount of trash in the water: plastic bottles, plastic bags, shopping carts. Humans are such pigs. It’s embarrassing.
We walked for about 2 hours and then headed back home.
- American Coot, Fulica Americana
- Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides
- Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii
- California Gull, Larus delawarensis [dark eye, red spot on bill, yellow legs]
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Common Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Common Juniper, Juniperus communis
- Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
- Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica
- Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
- Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto [heard]
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Green Heron, Butorides virescens
- Jeffrey Pine, Pinus jeffreyi
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- London Plane Tree, Platanus × acerifolia
- Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Seven-Spot Ladybeetle, Coccinella septempunctata [Introduced Species]
- Sheet Weaver Spiders, Family: Linyphiidae [webs]
- Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White Sweetclover, Melilotus albus
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli