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NVBIRDS  September 2012

NVBIRDS September 2012

Subject:

Soda Lake and Carson Lake (Churchill) and Pyramid Delta (Washoe) 9/1/12

From:

Martin Meyers <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 1 Sep 2012 21:09:01 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (118 lines)

Today, I birded Soda Lake and Carson Lake (Churchill) and the Delta at
Pyramid Lake (Washoe).  Nothing really exceptional but a nice day of
birding.

Soda Lake had nothing of interest, as has, unfortunately, been the case
for quite some time.  Still quite a few Red-necked Phalaropes around. 
Interestingly, I did have seven Western Sandpipers fly by me and circle
all the way up to the north end of the lake, at which time they
disappeared. Presumably they landed up there.  If any of you get out
there with some extra time, it might be worth getting to the north side
and seeing whether there is any habitat being used by shorebirds -- they
certainly have not been using the "usual" area at the southwest corner.

Carson Lake was pretty much as it was the last time I reported.  The
only good concentration of shorebirds was near the west end of the Lott
Freeway.  (The east end is still totally dry except for a tiny pond
which had one Semipalmated Plover and a Spotted Sandpiper.)  The west
end spot had a bunch of dowitchers, of which I was able to pick out two
Short-billed juveniles.  Several Greater Yellowlegs.  No peeps visible.
The wetland by the Holmes Dike tower had some more dowitchers and
Greater Yellowlegs.  It also had my first BONAPARTE'S GULL of the
season.

Driving from I-80 up to the Pyramid Delta was a "scenic" experience --
lots of very interesting, very dust-covered vehicles of all types coming
out of the Black Rock Desert.

The Delta at Pyramid Lake was excellent.  Quite a few more peeps than my
last visit (8/29). However, no new species since that last trip.  There
were three Baird's Sandpipers (only one on 8/29) and two Sanderlings,
one in full basic plumage, the other transitioning (only the
transitional one on 8/29.)  Three Semipalmated Plovers (two on 8/29).
Very high numbers of Western and Least Sandpipers.  Two Short-billed
Dowitcher juveniles (down from five on 8/29.)  One other dowitcher --
kind of an interesting study, but no conclusions.  It was clearly
associating with one of the two Short-bills and feeding side-by-side.  I
was pretty close and got very good looks for about twenty minutes.  It
seemed to match the Short-bill almost perfectly in terms of size, shape,
posture, proportions, etc. Plumage seemed more like juvenile Long-bill.
(It definitely did not have any internal markings on the tertials.
Scapulars had thin buffy edges, and wing coverts had off-white edges.) 
If it was, indeed, a Long-bill, then I completely give up on trying to
learn to identify these critters by shape, as has been suggested by a
number of experts.


Here's a complete list from Carson Lake.  (List from Pyramid follows.)

Canada Goose	
Gadwall	
Mallard	
Northern Shoveler	
Eared Grebe	
American White Pelican	
Great Blue Heron	
Great Egret	
Snowy Egret	
Cattle Egret	
Black-crowned Night-Heron	3
White-faced Ibis	
Turkey Vulture	
Northern Harrier	
Red-tailed Hawk	
Virginia Rail	(heard)
Sora		(heard)
American Coot	
Semipalmated Plover	1
American Avocet	
Spotted Sandpiper	2
Greater Yellowlegs	2
Short-billed Dowitcher	2
Long-billed Dowitcher	
Red-necked Phalarope	
Bonaparte's Gull	1
Ring-billed Gull	120 flying around at south end of Holmes Dike
Horned Lark	
Barn Swallow	



Pyramid Lake Delta:

Canada Goose	
Gadwall	
Green-winged Teal	
Western Grebe	
Clark's Grebe	1
American White Pelican	
Double-crested Cormorant	
Great Egret	
Osprey	1
American Coot	
Semipalmated Plover	3
Killdeer	
Greater Yellowlegs	5
Willet	1
Sanderling	2
Western Sandpiper	
Least Sandpiper	
Baird's Sandpiper	3
Short-billed Dowitcher	2
Red-necked Phalarope	40
Ring-billed Gull	
Mourning Dove	
Barn Swallow	
European Starling	
Brewer's Blackbird	
Brown-headed Cowbird	15

Martin

---------------
 Martin Meyers
 email: Martin  (...AT...) SierraBirdbum.com
 Photo website: http://SierraBirdbum.com
 Truckee, CA

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