May 19, 2012 - Parker Ranch, north of Beatty, Hwy 95, Nye County. Clear and warm. No fall-outs but nice diversity.
BRONZED COWBIRD - male feeding on ground in yard, shiny solid black with red eyes. It sometimes foraged with a few Brown-headed cowbirds and appeared slightly larger. Mostly it was alone. Occasionally it performed the strangest display of puffing its body feathers into a spherical shape, tail up, and fluttering its wings while singing. Once it lifted slowly off the ground straight up while doing this, then "floated" back down to the ground.
Brown-headed cowbird - a flock of 12-18.
Western tanager - 6-10.
Cassin's vireo- 3 singing simultaneously around me in honey mesquite.
Yellow warbler - many, 6-10.
Wilson warbler - 10-15 around in willows, cottonwoods, mesquite.
MacGillivray's warbler - 1
Orange-crowned warbler -2
Yellow-breasted chat - female digging and poking with bill in mud in a thicket.
Common yellowthroat - 1 singing in marsh.
Blue grosbeak- male and female.
Black-headed grosbeak - 1 singing.
Eurasian collared dove
Swainson's thrush - 1
Black-chinned hummingbird - 3-4, males and females.
Western kingbird - 10 or so around.
Western wood-pewee - 1 or 2.
Willow flycatcher -1
Say's phoebe -1
Barn swallow - 7
Lazuli bunting- 1 male, 1 female.
Indigo bunting - 1 male singing briefly on top of tall cottonwoods, then flew showing dark blue.
Western meadowlark- 1 singing in the Amargosa River meadow.
Savannah sparrow - few in river meadows, singing.
White-crowned sparrow - a late male.
Lesser nighthawk - few at sunset.
Gambel's quail- chicks.
Chukar- a single female with chicks wandered into the yard.
Spotted sandpiper - 2 on drying river pool.
Wilson's phalarope - 6-7 circling in a drying river pool.
White-faced ibis - 1 in river pools.
Mallard - few along river.
May 20 - Good time with the Red Rock Audubon West Branch group! At Parker Ranch, the Bronzed cowbird showed himself again, and Western tanagers, Yellow warblers, and Wilson's warblers were common. Most birds were similar to the previous day, although the phalaropes had left, and some new additions showed up:
White-throated swift - 1 swift in morning, a second viewed better in the afternoon.
Warbling vireo - 1 in a honey mesquite.
Lark sparrow - 1
Great-tailed grackle - 2 males, 1 female.
Phainopepla - pair, first of the year. We were trying to figure out what they might be eating up here, mistletoe does not grow on the local mesquite -- it may be too cold in the winter. The wolfberry (Lycium) bush crops in the desert failed this year due to the drought.
Turkey vulture - 1
Peregrine falcon? - A falcon was circling high by the TV, and at first I thought it was a kestrel. But looking at it closely as it circled higher, it had a solid dark hood/helmet pattern on its head, not like the kestrel bar pattern. No dark axillaries under wings. It circled up into the sun and I lost it. Difficult to judge size.
Torrance Ranch - 10 AM, becoming warm:
Vermillion flycatcher - the male gave a good show singing and doing a long display flight from a cottonwood out over the parking area and marsh.
Western tanager - 1 perching on trees and going down into the bulrush to forage.
Western kingbird - many.
Red-tailed hawk- adult sitting on nest in cottonwood.