The Deer Were Just Lovely, 12-16-20

I got up around 6:30 this morning and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk, hoping to see lots of lichen and the first fungi of the season. I was disappointed to see that all of my favorite haunts in the park had been “bulldozed” and “razed”: fallen trees and limbs removed (along with the fungi and micro-critters were making their home on and under them), grasses mowed down, plants pulled out, some fields overturned (decimating the earthstars)… Soooo sad. Stupid humans. There were gigantic blue trash bin everywhere that interfered with the view in some spots.

The photo of this Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, doe is ruined by the sight of the big blue dumpster in the background.

When I drove into the horse-trailer area, I found that the fallen trees that are usually a great source of Witches’ Butter jelly fungus were all cut up and carried away. *Sigh* — But I did get a glimpse of a large, fat Black-tailed Jackrabbit bounding away from me through the grass.

It was foggy when I first got there, but the fog burned off after the sun had been up for a little while.


As bummed out as I was about not seeing the regular fungus and lichen stuff, I was very happy to see a small herd of deer which included several does, two bucks (3- and 4-pointers) and a young spike buck. I was able to get some buck-and-doe together photos, as well as single shots. They were such lovely creatures!

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

Looking more closely at my photos, I could see that one of the bucks was sporting wounds from a recent fight. A spot behind one of his antlers was torn open and there was dried blood in his hair, running down his neck. The injury didn’t seem to impair him; he was standing tall by the does, and staring down the other buck nearby. Sometimes jousts can be ugly.

Head injury to a 4-pointer Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, buck

Then when I was walking along the trail that overlooks the river, I saw a Great Blue Heron, a male/female pair of Common Mergansers, a tiny Spotted Sandpiper and a Belted Kingfisher.  The water in the river is real low right now (for the spawning salmon) so there are a lot of exposed rocks for the waterfowl to sit on.

CLICK HERE for the full album of today’s photos.

On some rocks next to where the heron was, there was a pair of Common Mergansers, a male and female. A second female approached them, wanting to sit on the rocks, too, but the first one tried to scare her off by gaping at her. The second female just found a different nearby rock to sit on.

Female Common Merganser, Mergus merganser.

Male and female Common Mergansers a are good example of sexual dimorphism: their coloration and feathering is totally different. Females are a dirty buff-color with a white breast, and they have a crested rusty-red head. Males are black and white with a dirty buff-colored tail and a dark iridescent greenish head.

Common Mergansers, Mergus merganser: female on the left, male on the right.

As I headed back to my car, I saw some Western Bluebirds and a Red-Breasted Sapsucker (which I hardly ever get to see).

Red-Breasted Sap Sucker, Sphyrapicus ruber

I ended up walking for about 3½ hours.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Barometer Earthstar fungus, Astraeus hygrometricus
  3. Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
  4. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  5. Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
  6. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  7. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  8. Brown Jelly Fungus, Jelly Leaf, Tremella foliacea
  9. Bryum Moss, Bryum capillare
  10. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  11. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  12. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  13. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  14. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  15. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  16. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  17. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  18. Crust fungus, Byssomerulius corium
  19. Dead Man’s Foot Fungus, Pisolithus arhizus
  20. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  21. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  22. False Turkey Tail fungus, Crowded Parchment Fungus, Stereum complicatum
  23. False Turkey Tail fungus, Hairy Curtain Crust, Stereum hirsutum
  24. Farinose Cartilage Lichen,  Ramalina farinacea [like Oakmoss but very thin branches]
  25. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  26. Giraffe’s Spots Fungus, Peniophora albobadia
  27. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  28. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  29. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  30. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  31. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  32. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  33. London Plane Tree, Platanus × acerifolia
  34. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  35. Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  36. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  37. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  38. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  39. Red-Breasted Sap Sucker, Sphyrapicus ruber
  40. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  41. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  42. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  43. Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
  44. Star Moss, Syntrichia ruralis
  45. Star Rosette Lichen, Physcia stellaris [on wood, hoary colored, black apothecia]
  46. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  47. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  48. Tree-skirt Moss, Pseudanomodon attenuatus
  49. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  50. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  51. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  52. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  53. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

Looking for Spider’s Webs, 12-14-20

I got up around 8:00 am to a very foggy morning, and decided to gout to the Cosumnes River Preserve in the hopes of finding fog-enhanced spider’s webs along their River Trail. I got there around 9:30 and ended up walking for 4 hours (!). I went from the nature center to the edge of the river and back again (about 3 miles).  There’s a truss bridge for the railroad at the end of the trail that crosses over the Cosumnes River where it meets the Mokelumne River.

Union Pacific Railroad truss bridge at the confluence of the Cosumnes and Mokelumne Rivers.

I didn’t see many webs at all – and it made me wonder if there really were fewer spiders out in the summer, as I suspected. I suppose the rain from yesterday could have wiped them out, but then… why didn’t effect ALL of them? No, I really believe we didn’t see as many spiders this year as we have in years past.

Orb-weaver web

And Nature pretty much played “keep away” from me all during my walk. Less than a handful of spider webs, unable to get photos of birds when I saw them including a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet with his red crown flashing and Spotted Towhees, and an otter. Yeah. I saw an otter. It was sitting on the side of the trail near a shadow-covered pool, and as soon as I lifted my camera to get a photo of it, it slipped into the dark water and disappeared.  In another area, a hawk flew right out at me from a tangle of branches alongside the trail, and ducked in behind a tree, so I could only make it out in silhouette. Grrrrr!

I did get quite a few lichen photos, though, and some photos of Fox Sparrows and a Great Blue Heron.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The stand-out moment for the day was being able to see this little Fox Squirrel adding leaves to her nest (“drey”). She didn’t get leaves from the ground, she took them from the tree so they weren’t wet and mushy. She’d place them in her mouth horizontally, and carry them up to the drey to carefully place them inside.

Squirrel drey

 This was all I could get on video. The rest of the tree had lots of crossing stickery branches that made it impossible for the camera to see through them. I liked this bit, though, especially when she looks up over the rim of the drey.

“…The squirrel begins by roughly weaving a platform of live green twigs. On top of this, soft, compressible materials like moss and leaves are added. Then an outer skeleton of twigs and vines is built around the insulated core, and finally, additional material fills in and strengthens the shell…” — NY Times

“…Dreys must protect against the environment, and require constant upkeep to remain water and predator-resistant. Squirrels often build more than one in a season, as reserve nests, lest the primary drey be disturbed by predators or overrun by fleas or lice. Some dreys have been observed in use for more than a decade by multiple generations of squirrels, although the average drey may be used only a year or two before being abandoned. If used repeatedly, squirrels must constantly maintain their drey, replenishing twigs and leaves as necessary. Remnants of an abandoned nest may be visible for years…” — Wikipedia

The easiest way to tell a drey from a bird’s nest is to look for the leaves. Squirrels use a lot of them; birds tend not to use them at all.

All of the other squirrels I saw today were either chasing each other or eating.

Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger, eating an acorn

I was frustrated by the photo-taking but appreciated the exercise… even though I was totally exhausted by the time I made it make to the car. I had been breathing cold air all morning, during my exertion, so my voice was shot for a couple of hours until my vocal cords warmed up enough again.

I got home around 2:30 pm – in need of lunch and my pain meds.

Species List:

  1. American Bugleweed, Water Horehound, Lycopus americanus
  2. American Coot, Fulica americana
  3. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  4. Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Brown Jelly Fungus, Jelly Leaf, Tremella foliacea
  7. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [hoary with black or brown apothecia]
  8. Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
  9. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  10. California Blackberry, Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus
  11. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  12. California Pore Lichen, Pertusaria californica
  13. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  14. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  15. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  16. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  17. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  18. Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis [ootheca]
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus [tracks]
  20. Common Pillbug, Woodlouse, Armadillidium vulgare
  21. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  22. Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
  23. Crisped Pincushion Moss, Ulota crispa
  24. Crystal Brain Fungus, Granular Jelly Roll, Myxarium nucleatum
  25. Dark-Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
  26. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  27. Fishbone Beard Lichen, Usnea filipendula
  28. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  29. Fox Sparrow, Passerella iliaca
  30. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  31. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  32. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  33. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  34. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  35. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  36. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  37. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus  bifrons [white flowers]
  38. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  39. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  40. Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
  41. Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  42. Netted Crust Fungus, Byssomerulius corium
  43. Non-Biting Midge, Cricotopus sp.
  44. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  45. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  46. Orb-Weaver Spider, Neoscona sp. [web]
  47. Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus
  48. Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa
  49. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  50. Raccoon, Procyon lotor [tracks]
  51. River Otter, North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis
  52. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  53. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  54. Sheet Weaver Spiders, Family: Linyphiidae
  55. Shield Lichen, Parmelia sulcata [gray foliose, on trees]
  56. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  57. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  58. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  59. Star Moss, Syntrichia ruralis
  60. Star Rosette Lichen, Physcia stellaris [on wood, hoary colored, black apothecia]
  61. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  62. Tree-skirt Moss, Pseudanomodon attenuatus
  63. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  64. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  65. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  66. Water Hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes
  67. White Ash Tree, Fraxinus americana
  68. Yellow Orb Sac Fungus, Orbilia sp.

Eagles, Flycatchers and Cormorants, 12-11-20

I got up around 5:30 this morning so I could head out to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge with my friend Roxanne – and my dog Esteban! —  at 6:00 am.  We put Esteban in the back seat in his soft crate, and it seemed to fit just fine.

We stopped first for coffee and a breakfast sammich and then were on the freeway. When he wasn’t napping on his pillow in his crate, Esteban was whining… You can probably hear him in the background of every video snippet I took.

When we got to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, the sun was just coming up over the Sutter Buttes, all fiery red and orange, and Roxanne said it looked like Mordor. Hah! I tried to get a photo, but the image doesn’t do the scene justice.

Sunrise over the Sutter Buttes, AKA “Mordor”

Because the air was relatively calm for the most part and there was an overcast, the reflection of things off the water was lovely.  And we didn’t have to deal with harsh shadows or too much light. We stopped at the park-and-stretch areas to let Esteban out for potty.

Along the route, we saw lots of raptors: Red-Tailed Hawks, Red-Shouldered Hawks, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers… and Bald Eagles! We saw one in the “eagle tree”, and then Rox spotted another one in a eucalyptus tree just as we were exiting the auto tour route. The one in the “eagle tree” was almost in its full adult color, but it still had some dark streaks in its “hair”.  I guessed that it was probably about 3½ years old, and Cornell agreed:

“…The head undergoes changes with progressive molts, from dark brown in juvenile to white in adult. Older immature (i.e., 3.5 yr. old) may have a largely white head with brown-gray flecking extending posterior from the eye, giving the appearance of having an eye-stripe…”

Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus

What was kind of funny-gross about that one was while I was taking photos of it, it bent forward and pooped out onto the road. So much for being “majestic”. Hah! 

Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus.When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from the SNWR.

There were lots of Coots out, of course, but we had one who stepped away from his buddies in the water, came upon a berm next to the road and walked right out toward the car. It stopped to rub its bill on the ground and, we think, take in some of the dirt and gravel with side-bill bites at the ground. I’d never seen that behavior before and I tried to get some video of it. Coots, like many birds, have crops and gizzards, and often eat fine gravel to help these organs “chew up” and process their food. That might have been what we were seeing – I just thought the side-bill scoop was unusual. We also used this opportunity to get some photos of the coot’s wonderful feet with those big lobed toes.

In the part of the slough nearest to the gate that opens onto the extension loop (which is now closed) we saw more Coots, several immature Common Gallinules, a Pied-Billed Grebe, a pair of Gadwalls… and a Sora! We were hoping to see some Bitterns, but no such luck.

We saw some small flocks of Lesser Goldfinches flitting through the weeds and thistles along the side of the auto tour route. They were quite adept at cracking off the spines on the Yellow Starthistles and teasels to get to the fluff and seeds.

As I was trying to get some video of them, Rox let me know that there was a giant truck coming up behind us on the narrow road carrying a load of porta-potties. She pulled the car off the road as far as she could, but it was still a pretty tight squeeze. We later saw the same truck trying to turn around at the viewing platform, but it didn’t drop any of its cargo as far as we could tell.

Further along the route, we saw some Red-Winged Blackbirds flitting up into a nearby tree with the burrs from the cocklebur plants. It amazes me how adept these birds are at getting what they want out of the hardest thorniest places.

 As we went along, we came across lots of Northern Shovelers, including several pairs that were doing the “vortex” thing.  They’d swim in tight circles on the surface of the water, churning up goodies from the bottom in little swirling tornado of water then feed.

Among the flocks of Snow Geese – which numbered in the thousands — we saw several juveniles, and some dark morph “Blue Geese” ones that have dark bodies and a white head.

We also found a small herd of Columbian Black-Tailed Deer. We stopped to get some photos of them, and noticed one of the park attendant’s trucks coming at a speed we thought was way too fast. The deer were at a bend in the road, and we were afraid the driver wouldn’t see them and might hit one of them, so both Rox and I yelled as loudly as we could out the open windows of the car, “STOP! LOOK OUT!” 

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

The gal driving the truck slammed on her brakes and ended up parallel to Rox’s car. She was so startled an apologetic, we kind of felt sorry for having yelled at her. We told her about the deer, and she understood our concern… and continued forward on the road going much slower.

Around 11 o’clock, we stopped in the refuge parking lot and had some lunch, before heading over to the Maxwell Cemetery in the little town of Maxwell. We’d been over there a couple of times before looking for the famous little Vermilion Flycatcher that lives there. The previous times, we had no luck at all, but today we were able to see quite a bit of him. Rox spotted him first, sitting on top of one of tombstones.

Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus obscurus

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from Maxwell and Colusa.

These gorgeous little guys are normally only seen in Central and South America, and there are a few in Southern California, so to see one up this far north is a real treat. This little guy has been around for a few years now, and is probably one of the most-photographed birds on Facebook. I think we saw a female one, too, but I’m not experienced enough to really tell them from Say’s Phoebes.  I believe it was a Say’s… it looked “too dark” to be a Vermilion flycatcher to me, but who knows.

The bird at the cemetery is bright red and black, but very small, and very fast, so it was sometimes difficult to keep track of him. He exhibited the “flycatcher” behavior we’ve come to recognize in the Black Phoebes: perching, then flitting to the ground, then flitting up back to the perch again. When we lost track of him, a gal who was out there with her boyfriend pointed the bird out to us again.

When I posted photos of the little bugger on Facebook I was surprised it got over 475 hits in just one day, and 14 shares within a few hours.  There were also these stand-out comments:

Rachael C: Were you there? I must have just missed you!  [She’s the former volunteer coordinator at Effie Yeaw.]

Cassie C: I saw you two today, I was the person who pointed out this little cutie! What a great day for birding! Beautiful photos

Tiffany W: How funny! I was there on the same day. I stopped by once in the morning with no luck but I did briefly see a barn owl. I stopped by again in the afternoon and the caretaker actually pointed him out on a tombstone. He must be used to all the crazy birders showing up all the time 😁

Tiffany mentioned the barn owl.  I’d heard he was out there, too, day-roosting in the cedar trees. I looked for him, but didn’t find him. Timing is everything, I guess.  It drizzled a little bit while we were there, but we’d stayed pretty much ahead of the rain that was predicted for the afternoon.

After about an hour there, we headed over to the Colusa Wildlife Refuge, our last stop of the day.  Among the usual ducks and geese, we also saw a couple of deer, a blue-billed Ruddy Duck (at a distance), and a Turkey Vulture that had found a good carcass to eat from. While it ate, a second vulture flew in to try to join in the feast. When the first vulture shooed him away, the second vulture kept trying to sneak up to grab some leftovers.  

In the long agricultural ditch along the auto tour route, we saw a Double Crested Cormorant swallowing down a fish. I lamented that I hadn’t gotten any photos of it. Then just a few seconds later, the same cormorant appeared in the same place with a second larger fish! Here’s what I was able to get… Rox was driving and was backing up the car to try to keep pace with the bird while I filmed it. She did great!       

What a great fisherman that bird was… I think he was eating a carp. And I couldn’t believe he got that thing down his throat!

We also saw a Great Blue Heron, several hawks and a pheasant along the side of the same ditch.  In another area, we saw a second Great Blue Heron but he was all hunched down and sitting in the water. He looked so cold!

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias

The large flock of Black-Crowned Night Herons was back at the end of the auto tour route, after being absent for a couple of months. There must’ve been a couple of hundreds of them, juveniles and adults. It was nice to see them all back again – even though they were all asleep.

In one pond, we were watching some Pintails trying to feed from the bottom of one of the ponds.  Pintails are dabbling ducks, not diving ducks, so we were impressed by those that dove right in and fully submerged. One of them was trying to dive further, but was too buoyant, and he sat, tipped butt-up on the surface, kicking at the water. Hah!

It was starting to get colder and darker by the time we finished the tour. We stopped near the exit to reaffix our seatbelts, take a potty break, and bring Esteban up into the front seat with me. I laid the seat back a bit, so he could sit on my chest instead of me painful thigh. (I had to take pain meds twice while we were out, but didn’t mind because the trip was so much fun.)

What we didn’t see today that we expected and normally do see were a lot of the little shorebirds, like the Greater Yellowlegs, and the turtles. We even saw far fewer Killdeer than we normally see.

In the late afternoon, it started to rain in earnest and we drove through that all the way home, arriving at the house in the dark around 6:30 pm. That was a long day for us, about 13 hours — and over 1400 photos taken!  Thanks for being my chauffeur, Roxanne!

Species List:

  1. American Coot, Fulica americana
  2. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  3. American Wigeon, Anas Americana
  4. Arundo, Giant Reed, Arundo donax
  5. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  6. Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  8. Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  9. Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  10. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  11. Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
  12. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  13. Broadleaf Cattail, Bullrush, Typha latifolia
  14. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  15. Bullock’s Oriole, Icterus bullockii [nest]
  16. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  17. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  18. Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  20. Common Gallinule, Gallinula galeata
  21. Common Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum
  22. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  23. Floating Water Primrose, Ludwigia peploides ssp. Peploides
  24. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  25. Gadwall duck, Mareca Strepera
  26. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  27. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  28. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  29. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  30. Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
  31. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  32. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus 
  33. House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
  34. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  35. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  36. Lincoln’s Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii
  37. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  38. Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
  39. Narrowleaf Cattail, Cattail, Typha angustifolia
  40. Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
  41. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  42. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  43. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  44. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  45. Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  46. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  47. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  48. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  49. Ring-Necked Duck, Aythya collaris
  50. Ring-Necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
  51. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  52. Ross’s Goose, Chen rossii
  53. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  54. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  55. Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis
  56. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  57. Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya
  58. Smartweed, Persicaria lapathifolia [white]
  59. Snow Goose, Chen caerulescens
  60. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  61. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  62. Sora, Porzana Carolina
  63. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  64. Tumbleweed, Salsola tragus
  65. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  66. Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus obscurus
  67. Western Kingbird, Tyrant Flycatcher, Tyrannus verticalis [nest]
  68. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  69. White Ash Tree, Fraxinus americana
  70. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  71. White-Faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
  72. Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis

Deer, Squirrels and Fighting Turkeys, 12-09-20

I felt like I wasn’t getting any kind of exercise at all lately (because of The Poltergeist), so I got my carcass up around 6:30 this morning and headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk. It was about 34° when I got to the river, but it warmed up to about 63° by the time I left. There were clouds, but they seemed more “decorative”, not really organized.

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular today, so I was more open to seeing whatever Nature wanted to show me. It seemed to be all squirrels, deer, and fighting turkeys.  I didn’t see any of the larger bucks, but I did see several 2-pointers and spike bucks chasing does around.  No sparring, though. The big boys usually show themselves later in December when the rut is full on.

Among the spike bucks, I saw one with mismatched tines, one long and one short. I watched that youngster as he walked around and I seemed to me he had a slight limp in one of his hind legs. “…Usually, but not always, the deformed antler will appear on the side opposite of the leg that suffered the nerve damage. So, nerve damage in the right hind leg may show up, through systemic influence, as a deformed left antler…” CLICK HERE for my article on deer antlers.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

At one point, I was amid several small groups of the deer and they all stopped perfectly still, and looked in the same direction, pricking their ears as though listening for something. I wondered if there were coyotes nearby.  Whatever it was, the collective action freaked me out a little bit. The deer could hear something I couldn’t.

I noticed, as I was taking photos, that in some areas the deer stopped at places where it was obvious the larger bucks had been scraping their antlers (and leaving scent) on the trees. The bark was rubbed completely off in some places on the younger trees.

The turkeys are going through setting up their hierarchies for the season and there was a lot of very loud fighting throughout the preserve. Males are battling males and females are battling females. What I saw today was the “pre-fighting” – jumping and kicking with their spurred feet. When the battles get really serious, one bird will grab the face or beak of the other bird, and neck-wrestle him to the ground. The kick-boxing fights got so loud and aggressive that they frighted some of the other nearby noncombative turkeys, who then flew up into the trees all around me. One of them was a leucistic female, and her white-ish feathers really showed up in the high branches.

Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia

According to Cornell: “…Snood of submissive bird retracts and bird moves away. Winner may follow with snood extended, head held high, threatening or pecking submissive bird; winner, if male, may shift to courtship. Males fight more vigorously than females but pattern is the same in both sexes… Gobbling elicits gobbling in other individual males in reflex-like fashion so that whenever one male of a group gobbles, other males join in, with a delay of 100–800 msec…”

There was lots of gobbling, and snoods retracting or flopping around everywhere today.  Hah! One of the fights progressed down the trail right next to me, and I was afraid for a moment that I’d be caught in the middle of it. The brawl moved by so swiftly though, I don’t know if the birds even knew I was there. I did have to watch my head, though, when the turkeys in the trees decided to come down. They’re not the most graceful of flyers and kind drop like stones.

Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia, in a tree

As for the squirrels, it seemed like the Eastern Fox Squirrels were just totally wired. They were chasing each other all over the place, and even the ones that were sitting and eating acorns looked like they were on speed. They all gave me a chuckle.

As I was heading out of the preserve, I came across a Ground Squirrel who was busy trying to dig up goodies from under the leaf litter and eating shard of green grass. As he was digging, the squirrel would taste things he came across and throw away those things that didn’t interest his palate.

Of course, this time of year means a lot of leaf litter on the ground, so as I was leaving, I stopped to get photos of those leaf-collections that seemed prettiest to me. And then I got the extra bonus of seeing some Lesser Goldfinches and an Oak Titmouse flitting among the tules in the demonstration pond.

Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria, male

I was a little stiff, and my hip complained a tiny bit, but I still managed to walk for 3 hours. My sister Monica suggested I call my pain syndrome “Methuselah” instead of “The Poltergeist”.  Hah! That’s probably more appropriate.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  4. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  5. Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  6. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  9. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  10. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  11. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  12. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  13. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  14. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  15. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  16. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  17. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  18. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  19. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  20. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  21. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  22. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  23. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  24. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  25. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  26. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  27. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  28. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  29. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

So Much Life Today, 12-03-20

I got up around 6:00 this morning, and was out the door by 6:30 to go out to the Mather Lake Regional Park for a walk with my friend Roxanne. It was about 37° when we got to the lake, clear and “crisp”. It was a super-fun, super busy wildlife day. There were actually times when we were telling Mother Nature, “Wait a minute, I want to get photos of this before you show me that!” Hah!

As we were stalking a Great Egret on the side of the lake, we noticed movement on the water beside us. Inside a little hidey-hole we saw a muskrat eating his breakfast. Right near him was a Green Heron trying to eat a “huge” fish. And then a Black Phoebe flew in…

The whole morning was like that — so much life everywhere.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

We could see Belted King Fishers flying and face-planting in the water after fish. They move sooooo fast! One of them parked itself on the telephone wire over where the muskrat and friends were found, and I was able to get a so-so photo of it.

And in the same area as the Great Egret on the bank, we saw a pair of Great Blue Herons. We couldn’t tell if their behavior was aggressive or courtship-like, but they kept in close proximity to one another. When one flew to a different part of the bank, the other flew onto a nearby trail so it could keep an eye on the first one. Then when that one flew to a different part of the bank, the other flew into a tree nearby. It was like they were “stalking” each other, getting close but not too close. I tried looking up the behavior in Cornell, but couldn’t really find anything that corresponded to what we were seeing.

I came across the cottonwood tree that was further “excavated” by a beaver (we could see the teeth-marks in the wood), and was surprised to see it blooming with clusters of oyster mushrooms, some black ants, and outcroppings of that Cytospora Canker I just learned to identify yesterday!

I really think that given another week or so, that beaver will have that tree felled and in the water. I also think we spotted the beaver den today, too.

Beaver’s den?

On the lake was the lone Tundra Swan among the Mute Swans, Roxanne found a Fox Sparrow, and I found a Western Bluebird that looked almost sooty-dark.

There were LOADS of Double-Crested Cormorants in the water and in the trees along the edge, grayish juveniles and dark adults. In the water, we also saw a few Buffleheads (!). Then we were surprised by the appearance of a single otter. She poked her head up a few times before swimming off.

There was just so much to see today. I was VERY pleased with the visit.

At one point, while we were heading back to the car, we came across a spot where tree roots were clogging up the trail and I didn’t think I could walk over them. So, I opted instead to walk along the edge of the trail under the branches of a willow tree. As I was ducking under them and moving along, a blackberry vine got wrapped up around my shoe, tripping me, and I fell forward against the tree. Now, for me, that’s “near fatal” because once I’m down, I can’t get back up onto my feet by myself (a combination of muscle weakness and pain in my left hip caused by arthritis and a pinched nerve). Luckily, Rox was with me. She stepped in behind me and lifted me upon to my feet while I used the narrow tree trunk like a handicapped bar to pull myself up. Between the two of us, we got me back up onto my feet. The fall tweaked out my hip joint a bit, but I was still able to walk the rest of the way back to the car. Phew! Thanks, again, Rox for being there and being such a good friend!

We took the scenic route back home, following Zinfandel down toward the vernal pool area where the road is no longer paved all the way to where it intersected with Jackson and other recognizable roads…

Species List:

  1. American Bugleweed, Water Horehound, Lycopus americanus
  2. American Coot, Fulica americana
  3. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius [in flight]
  4. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  5. Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [pink flowers]
  6. Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis [sign and den]
  7. Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
  8. Black Garden Ant, Common Black Ant, Lasius niger
  9. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  10. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  11. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  12. California Quail, Callipepla californica
  13. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  14. Callery Pear, Pyrus calleryana
  15. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  16. Chinese Pistache, Pistacia chinensis
  17. Chinese Willow, Curly Willow, Salix matsudana
  18. Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas
  19. Coyote Brush Stem Gall moth, Gnorimoschema baccharisella
  20. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  21. Cytospora Canker, Cytospora chrysosperma [bright orange fruiting body, looks like frozen dodder]
  22. Dog, Canis lupus familiaris
  23. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  24. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  25. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  26. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  27. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  28. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  29. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  30. Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
  31. Green Heron, Butorides virescens
  32. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  33. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  34. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  35. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  36. Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
  37. Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
  38. Narrowleaf Cattail, Cattail, Typha angustifolia
  39. Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
  40. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  41. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius [in flight]
  42. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  43. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  44. Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus
  45. Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  46. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  47. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  48. River Otter, North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis
  49. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  50. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  51. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  52. Smallmouth Bass, Micropterus dolomieu
  53. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  54. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  55. Tundra Swan, Cygnus columbianus
  56. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  57. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  58. Western Gull, Larus occidentalis [spot on bill, pink legs, orange circle around eye]
  59. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  60. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  61. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys

Snipe! 11-28-20

I got up around 6:30 this morning.  It was another cool autumnal day; about 37° in the morning with a high of about 64° in the late afternoon.  My friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne, and I headed over to the Cosumnes River Preserve to see how things were looking there.

Along Bruceville and Desmond Roads we saw lots of Greater White-Fronted Geese, some in flocks of hundreds of birds. They were all really chatty, so there was noise all around us. Here and there, there were also some Great Egrets.  The surprise was to see a female Northern Harrier sitting on the ground near an area where Pintails were gathered. I don’t know if she was stalking her breakfast or just resting. In the distance in the same field there were Northern Shovelers, American Wigeons and a few Green-Winged Teals.

Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius, sitting on a berm checking out the nearby Pintails.

In other fields were small flocks of Canada Geese, and clutches of Killdeer.  In among the Killdeer were some tiny Least Sandpipers and an occasional American Pippet.

When we got to the preserve itself, we saw a few birds in the lead wetland areas. The last time I was there, they were just starting to fill the wetland area and the pond by the boardwalk was bone dry. Today, there was a lot more water on the ground and the pond had a little bit of water, too. That was nice to see.  My goal today was to find a Wilson’s Snipe.

Right off the bat, we saw a group of feeding ducks, and were surprised to realize that all three species of “teals” were right there: Cinnamon Teals, Green-Winged Teals and a couple of Blue-Winged Teals.  Even though they were relatively close, it was hard to get decent photos of the birds because they were so focused on eating. These are “dabbling ducks”, who feed with their faces down in the water. They would come up for air only briefly, and Rox and I found that there was an annoying lag between when the ducks raised their heads to take a breath, and our fingers pushed on the shutter button of our cameras… so we ended up with a LOT of blurry photos and photos of the ducks’ backs. Hah!

On some of the shallow up-thrusts of mud and weeds, we saw a few Killdeer, a few Greater Yellowlegs, and some resting Pintails.  In the tules, there were blackbirds and a variety of Sparrows and Marsh Wrens. 

We saw several Black Phoebes, an Audubon’s Warbler, and also caught sight of a Loggerhead Shrike – my first sighting of the year. Yay!

Also affectionately called “Murder Birds”, Shrikes are “songbirds with the soul of a raptor”. According to Cornell:

“…This shrike, like others, is a small avian predator that hunts from perches and impales its prey on sharp objects such as thorns and barbed-wire fences. Although such predatory behavior mimics that of some raptors, impaling behavior represents a unique adaptation to the problem of eating large prey without benefit of the stronger feet and talons of raptors. In addition, the hooked bill, flanked by horny tomial projections and functionally similar to the notched upper bill of falcons, further sets shrikes apart as distinctive in the order Passeriformes. Being both passerines and top-level predators, these birds occupy a unique position in the food chain…”

Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus. “Murder Bird”

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

At the viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk, we got to see small flocks of Coots, and some Northern Shovelers.  Some of the Coots were walking up on the edge of the little island directly out from the viewing platform, and I tried to get photos of their incredible feet, but didn’t do too well. I got some pix of them lifting their feet and some pix of the back of their feet, but not a nice photo of them standing flat on their feet.  Unlike many other waterfowl, the Coots have lobed toes on their big yellow and blue-green feet. I just love them, and always try to get photos of them when I see these birds.

One pair of the Shovelers was doing the “vortex” movement on the surface of water, swimming in a tight circle together to whirl up the nibbles into a mini water-funnel that they can feed from. The female seemed to be doing all of the eating, though. Hah! I tried to get video of the movement, but, of course, the camera decided to focus on a twig in front of the ducks instead of the ducks themselves, so I got 38 seconds of blurry ducks swimming in a circle. Sigh.

Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata

Another pair of the Shovelers, were feeding really close to the viewing platform, so I was able to clearly see their feet and their dabbling beaks under the surface of the water.  And the water was remarkably clear. The male in this pair was in his eclipse plumage.

On the way back from the viewing platform to the car, we saw the Shrike several times, moving from tree to tree, and also caught sight of a White-Tailed Kite “kiting” in the air. I got video of the Kite, and was amazed by how still it could keep its head while its wings were flapping so vigorously. Then it dropped straight down onto the ground, disappearing into the weeds. When they dive, they move sooooo fast, I always worry that their brakes won’t work and they’ll crash face-first into the dirt.

As we were just leaving the boardwalk, we came across a gentleman who told us he had just starting birding – since the pandemic. It was exciting to him, he said, to discover all of the life around him that he’d never noticed before. Every new bird was electrifying. I asked him if he’d ever been to Staten Island Road, and he said no, so we gave him directions. He gave us an “elbow bump” before heading back to his car.

Rox and I walked for a little while longer and then headed over to Staten Island Road ourselves. Along that road there weren’t as many Sandhill Cranes as there were the last time I was there, but we still got to see and hear some of them, and got a few photos. The immediate stand-outs along the road, though, were a female Kestrel who seemed to be leading us from one telephone line to another up the road, and the phoebes. We saw both Black Phoebes and Say’s Phoebes. Rox had trouble getting photos of the Say’s on our way in down the road – they kept flitting away, or her camera kept fighting her on the focus – but on the way out of the preserve, she got a great show of one with an appetizer in its mouth: what looked like a Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Score!

Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya. Photo by Roxanne Moger.

As we were going along the road, a driver stopped in his car next to us and told us there were swans and Canvasbacks in the fields along the dirt part of the road. We thanked him and kept heading that way. Many of the fields were filled with Cackling Geese that were really cackling – so much noise! The fence lines were decorated with House Finches and uncooperative Meadowlarks, and we saw the occasional Great Egret or Great Blue Heron in among the cattle in the fields.

There was one Red-Tailed Hawk sitting on top of a telephone pole. He almost blended into the wood, so it took me a minute to realize he was there.  I got some video of him eyeing me before he made the decision to fly off.

Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis

We also saw some Northern Harriers in flight, including a “gray ghost”, a male. The females and juveniles are brown, and they’re the ones I usually see, but the adult males are a soft dove-gray and I hardly ever get to see them, so it’s always exciting for me to see one, even if I just get a glimpse like I did today.

We also saw a smaller, darker bird kiting over a field and diving into the ground, then saw it land on a distant fence with some kind of small prey. Looking at it through my camera, I thought it might be an immature kite, but once I got my camera home and looked at the images, I could (almost) tell it was a kestrel. It had caught something small and juicy (maybe a small mouse) but I couldn’t tell what it was – the image was too pixelated.

When we got to the flooded field by the dirt road, we did get to see a pair of Tundra Swans fairly close by and some Canvasback ducks.  Along the edge were Killdeer, Least Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, and American Pippits.  And…. Drumroll… a WILSON’S SNIPE! Yes!

The Snipe was practically under our feet, and was very cooperative. It just walked along calmly in front of us, poking at the mud, sucking up goodies. I got lots of photos and a few video snippets of it. So cool!  Made my day.

On the way out, we saw some gulls fighting over something that some Turkey Vultures were also interested in. They were pretty far away from us in a field, so it was hard to tell what all of the excitement was about, but I think they found the remains of a dead Coot.

Herring Gulls, Larus argentatus

We also passed the guy we’d met at the Cosumnes Preserve. He was so excited and happy about all the birds he’d seen that he was literally hopping in his driver’s seat. He thanked us again for telling him about the place. We’d made his day. That felt so good.

We headed back home around 11 o’clock, after having seen about 40 different species.  I found the bird I wanted, spent time with a friend, and made a stranger happy. It was a fun day.

Species List:

  1. American Coot, Fulica americana
  2. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  3. American Pipit, Anthus rubescens
  4. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  5. Black Angus Cattle, Bos Taurus var. Black Angus
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  7. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  8. Blue-Winged Teal, Anas discors
  9. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  10. Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii
  11. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  12. Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria
  13. Charolais Cattle, Bos Taurus var. Charolais
  14. Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera
  15. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  16. Giant Mullein, Broussa Mullein, Verbascum bombyciferum
  17. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  18. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  19. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  20. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  21. Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
  22. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  23. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  24. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus [spot on bill, gray legs, pale eye]
  25. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  26. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  27. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  28. Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
  29. Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus
  30. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  31. Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
  32. Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
  33. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  34. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  35. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  36. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  37. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  38. Ring-Billed Gull, Larus delawarensis [ black ring, light eye, yellow legs]
  39. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  40. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  41. Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya
  42. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  43. Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata
  44. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  45. Tundra Swan, Cygnus columbianus
  46. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  47. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  48. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  49. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  50. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  51. Wilson’s Snipe, Gallinago delicata

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist