I spent 30 minutes of my lunch hour at Rancho San Rafael, mainly between the
arboretum and Hermann's Pond.
The first birds I saw were a flock of about 12 Cedar Waxwings, in the trees
between the building nearest to Sierra Street and the parking lot. If you have
good hearing, you may be able to hear them--they are quite the chatterboxes.
There were dozens of very handsome Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon) scattered
about. I tend to take them for granted, until I see a male in his spring
plumage, and realize I had forgotten how beautiful they are. Many silly little
Lesser Goldfinch were also scattered about, but what surprised me were the
American Goldfinch, mostly in the brush just below Hermann's Pond. That area is
off limits, so I could only count the ones around the edges, and came up with
24. It wouldn't surprise me if there were 2 or 3 times as many as that, they
were making such a racket.
The pond itself held a few Mallards and American Coots, 1 Common Merganser, 2
Ring-necked Ducks, and a pair of Canada Geese with 3 goslings.
In the arboretum, I saw a couple of Mountain Chickadees, a singing Ruby-Crowned
Kinglet, a Downy Woodpecker, and just as I was leaving (late again!) I found at
least 8 Evening Grosbeaks, right behind the ranch buildings.
Other birds in the area were Song Sparrows, House Finches, Western Scrub-jays,
Stellar's Jays, White-crowned Sparrows, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds,
Mourning Doves, Brewer's Blackbirds, and a heard-only Northern Mockingbird (and
yes, Starlings and House Sparrows).
Rancho San Rafael is in north Reno, in the southwest corner between North
Virginia and McCarran (accessed from Sierra Street).
Beautiful day for a walk!