Virginia Lake, Reno, Washoe Co (March 22nd, 2009)
I met up with the first swallow swarm of the season at
VL this cold & windy morning (10:45am-11:30). Numbers were
low for the most part with never more than about 50 swallows
at any one time, periodically dwindling to few or none as
birds came & went. There were at least 4 species (Violet-green,
Tree, Northern Rough-wing, Barn), with sometimes one,
sometimes another predominating.
There were lots of gulls (though nothing unusual) with the
Ring-bills & Californias starting to look their best--sleek
feathering, red orbital rings, bright saturated colors on the
bills & legs Also much long calling & other pre-breeding
display particularly on the part of the Ring-bills which will
doubtless soon be leaving for their nesting grounds. There
were 2 or 3 "pink" Ring-bills.
The cormorant colony on the island continues to expand, there
being between 65-70 birds on territory today. Judging by
previous years, the colony probably won't get much larger.
Hooded Merganser--c.10 (still)