I decided to drive up to the Bonham Ranch described by Greg a couple of
days ago. Pretty neat little spot -- not big, but quite a few birds.
I'll definitely do it again. But no Prarie Warbler. Oh well, didn't
really expect it to hang around. I've never seen so many Warbling
Vireos in one spot. I saw twelve at once on one side of the road,
turned around an saw another 10 on the other side. And meanwhile, there
were more flitting about all around me. Many were very bright yellow
underneath, typical of fall birds. Nice assortment of warblers, although
nothing rare. Yellows, Yellow-rumps (Audubon's), Common Yellowthroats,
Wilson's, Orange-crowns, and one Townsend's. Virginia Rails called
from both sides of the road. One Loggerhead Shrike, one photogenic
House Wren, several Say's Phoebes, and a single Cliff Swallow. Sparrows
included White-crowns (all white-lored), Savannah, Lark Sparrow,
Lincoln's, and one interior (Slate-colored) Fox Sparrow. Coyotes
singing vigorously not too far away added to the experience.
The Willows at Pyramid produced very few birds -- one Olive-sided
Flycatcher, one Western Wood-Pewee, a bunch of Lesser Goldfinches, a few
Yellow Warblers, two Western Tanagers, and few American Robins.
Offshore were thousands of American Coots, two hundred or so
Double-crested Cormorants, and the usual assortment of ducks, grebes,
American White Pelicans, Canada Geese.
Nothing much at various pullout on the way south, but one unnamed
pullout south of Sutcliff had my first RED-BREASTED MERGANSER of the
season (female-type). A juvenile Caspian Tern and an Osprey flew by
while I was stopped there. At the south end, I observed eight COMMON
TERNS from Popcorn Rock (right on schedule.) One Black Tern was flying
with them for a little while. Another Caspian Tern was down there (this
one an adult), and a male Northern Harrier flew up the middle of the
The Delta was pretty weird. Not counting Killdeers, the entire
shorebird population consisted of one BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, six Least
Sandpipers,and a small flock of Red-necked Phalaropes. There was a
PEREGRINE FALCON sitting on a bush about halfway up toward the river
mouth -- I suppose that might account for the lack of shorebirds, but
I've worked through thousands of shorebirds on mudflats with multiple
Peregrines sitting around and buzzing them occasionally. The shorebirds
pretty much always return after flying wildly around. So I really don't
know where all the other shorebirds were today. Of course, lots of
ducks, geese, coots, and White Pelicans.
email: Martin (...AT...) SierraBirdbum.com
Photo website: http://SierraBirdbum.com