Rancho San Rafael, Reno, Washoe Co (3/18/09)
I birded the lower part of the park today (S of McCarran).
It was very quiet, the best bird being a Black Phoebe (FOS)
at Herman's Pond. There were also a few Tree Swallows
foraging over the pond & dog pasture.
When I last visited the park some days ago (3/12) there was
fresh greenery on the rim of the big Cooper's Hawk nest in
Kleiner Oak Grove but no green showed there today. The nest
was originally constructed in 2006 but has never been used,
the hawks breeding that year in an alternate nest (now
reduced to almost nothing) along Evans Creek below the ranch
buildings. Since then there's usually been a pair about
early in the season showing interest in one or both of the
old nests, but there's been no actual nesting.
Another sign of spring was 3 big sliders hauled out on one of
flower (?) platforms at Herman's Pond this morning. They're
right on schedule, mid-March being when I've first seen them
at the RSR ponds in previous years.