I had a very pleasant day of birding in the Washoe Valley area. I spent
about three hours wandering around Davis Creek Park. Clouds moved over
periodically, with even a little tiny bit of rain. The temperature was
comfortable and wind was not an issue.
The male Calliope Hummingbird was in his usual spot on the nature trail
near the pond. I now have a record for a Calliope at that spot for
5/11/96, 5/10/97, 5/3/03, 4/19/11, and today. There was another male in
the willows above the campground.
A male White-headed Woodpecker flew into the bottom of the willows at
the group picnic area and disappeared in there for a minute or so.
Numerous Warbling Vireos were singing, and a couple of them posed for
nice photos at the group picnic area. Also present was one Cassin's
Lots of Western Wood-Pewees but no Olive-sided Flycatchers (although I
might have heard one call in the distance.) Only one Empidonax
flycatcher, a "Western"-type.
There were a few Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeaks. I can
usually tell the songs of those two apart, but I can't tell either one
of them from a Robin much of time!
My favorite birds there were a few RED CROSSBILLS calling in the pines
near the group picnic area. First ones I've encountered this year. I
tried to get a recording of the calls, using my camera's video mode.
Haven't yet checked to see if I got anything usable to try to determine
Several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were in the willows above the campground.
One appeared to be carrying nesting material.
A walk up Deadman's Creek revealed baby Long-eared Owls, as reported
previously by others.
I paid a fairly short visit to the main area of Washoe Lake State Park
for last part of my day. It's amazing how many Bullock's Orioles inhabit
that park! I might have gotten a couple of decent photos. The big
surprise was a singing (if you can call it that) YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.
This is only my second Chat in Washoe County, the other from seventeen
years ago at Hardscrabble Creek (Pyramid Lake.)
Here are complete lists for Davis Creek and Washoe Lake State Park:
Davis Creek Regional Park:
Calliope Hummingbird 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
White-headed Woodpecker 1
Western Wood-Pewee 5
"Western" Flycatcher 1
Cassin's Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Wilson's Warbler 4
Western Tanager 2
Black-headed Grosbeak 3
Lesser Goldfinch 2
Washoe Lake State Park:
Western Kingbird 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 1
Western Tanager 1
Bullock's Oriole 14
email: Martin (...AT...) SierraBirdbum.com
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