Virginia Lake, Reno, Washoe Co (3/3/09)
Highlights today were a single Tree Swallow (FOS & a welcome
sign of spring) & a Bald Eagle. The latter (an adult) was
flying over the lake when I got out of the car (11:30am).
The gulls & pigeons rose briefly in response to its presence,
but soon settled down again as it became apparent that the
eagle was just passing through.
The Double-crested Cormorant colony on the island has been
building up nicely. There were 24 birds on territory this
morning, mostly in pairs & mostly in vigorous display.
Common Goldeneye--1 female*
Hooded Merganser--21 (lots of display)
Black-crowned Night Heron--1 immature**
Northern Mockingbird--1 in the trees on the W side (the
first mocker I've ever seen at the lake)
*The goldeneye is almost certainly the same bird as the
juvenile female that's been hanging around the lake since
last November. The bill was originally mottled dull-yellow
& blackish, but now the mottling is mostly gone & a yellow
tip has started to develop
**The same bird that's been at the lake since early last
month. Very tame & the focus of lots of attention from
passers-by ("Are you a bird watcher? What's that brown bird
with the long bill?") & much photographed, with its picture
even appearing in the RGJ some weeks ago.
The Mew Gull (which I last saw on 2/19) was gone again today
& seems to have departed for good. The 2 White-fronted Geese
were also among the missing this morning, though I've been
seeing them regularly at VL including on my last visit 2 days
ago. On February 25th, they were feeding with Canadas at
Idlewild, on the lawn adjoining the rose garden.