Trip Reports 2014 to Present

~Click on photos for full sized images~

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, November 7th, 2015

River Otter

River Otter

Eight birders and a few hundred Super-hero Joggers enjoyed a beautiful fall morning at Turtle Bay. Both groups offered photo-ops to Chris Fuente, who was shooting for the Visitors’ Bureau. Additionally, the birders tallied thirty-five avian species. Yellow-rumps and a black phoebe started us off right from our meeting place at Venture Properties. Highlights included a handful of kingfishers chuttering at one another some 80 feet up over Rock Pile Pond; their loud, choppy excitement continued through both our trip out and then back. And the ducks have returned! Joining our summer mallards and common mergansers were plenty of gadwall, wigeon, buffleheads, and a few ring-necks, shovelers, and hooded mergansers, too. An osprey hunted, and a flock of cedar waxwings held court high in a cottonwood. Holding up the mammalian representation, an otter appeared, but ate the evidence it briefly showed of other vertebrates in the water.


Lewiston Lake Outing, October 24th, 2015

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Ten birders, including two visitors from England, enjoyed a beautiful fall day at Lewiston Lake and fish hatchery. The temperature ranged from 45 degrees in the morning to the 70s in the afternoon. We ended up seeing 49 species. Probably our best bird was an American Coot! In a flock of 600-700 there was one leucistic bird standing out like a flag. Other good birds were Mountain Quail, Brown Creepers (seven, at least), lots of Red Breasted Nuthatches, a Horned Grebe, and 2 Re-breasted Sapsuckers. A very birdy day!

Birds seen:

  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Merganser
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Mountain Quail
  • California Quail
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • California Gull
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Common Raven
  • Bushtit
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Marsh Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • American Dipper
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Wrentit
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • California Towhee
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Pine Siskin
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch

Local Weekday Bird Walk at Cascade Park, October 15th, 2015

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Five birders met in the parking lot of Cascade Park for a morning of birding in mild weather. None of the 37 species that we saw was rare or unusual, but we did see some interesting behaviors.

Two Belted Kingfishers (our chapter’s logo bird) interacted in an apparent territorial “discussion”; and a male Anna’s Hummingbird  repeatedly rose slowly to a great height in the air, then did a power dive down – despite the fact that this isn’t breeding season so no female would be impressed.

Co-trip leader Jeanette Carroll who lives in the neighborhood showed us the renowned beaver dam – alas, mostly destroyed by kayakers who wanted that area as a route.

Jeanette invited us to her home nearby where we joined her husband Harvey for an interesting session of seeing birds “up close and personal” at their many bird feeders.  There, we saw American and Lesser Goldfinches side by side so the differences between them were easily noted. A Nuttall’s Woodpecker displayed his handsome post-molt plumage.

Birds seen:

  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • House Finch
  • Great Egret
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • California Towhee
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Song Sparrow
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Wren sp. (by ear)
  • European Starling
  • American Crow
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Mourning Dove
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Canada Goose
  • Black Phoebe
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Common Merganser
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Mallard
  • Wood Duck
  • Killdeer
  • Northern Flicker
  • House Sparrow
  • American Goldfinch

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, October 3rd, 2015

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant Wings Spread

Hotel construction thwarted our usual Turtle Bay routing, but six adults and one youth enjoyed a pleasant morning making a loop from the Sundial Bridge. The number of birds wasn’t stunning—Jeannette Carroll tallied 25 species—but their behavior was engaging. Geese dabbled, mallards flocked, killdeer waded, an egret preened, and a yellow-rumped warbler gleaned second breakfast in a young pine. A one-legged heron stood stoically, its missing foot tucked away warm. Turkey vultures soared, and a red-shouldered hawk objected to an overhead accipiter. Cormorants sunned spread-eagle, and another wrestled with a fish snatched up from the ripples. As the fourth grader said, “I didn’t get as much bingo today, but we saw a lot.”
*Apologies to any who missed the walk because of our hotel construction displacement. With that construction ongoing, our Turtle Bay walks will now meet at Venture Properties, the first left before the Convention Center.


Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary Outing, September 26th, 2015

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Ten birders from Redding, ranging in age from 7 years to 94 years old, made the journey to the coast. Some drove over on Friday and spent the day birding, others stayed over on Saturday night and made a weekend trip of it. We joined a like number from Redwood Region Audubon for their weekly bird walk at the Arcata Marsh. Thanks to the sharp eyes and ears of our leader, Gary Bloomfield, and a young 17 year old birder from Washington, we ended up with 76 species. Best birds for the group were Northern Waterthrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and 2 Eurasion Wigeon. Plus a Red-legged Frog. Gary designed our beautiful Belted Kingfisher logo, by the way!


Local Weekday Bird Walk at Anderson River Park, September 17th, 2015

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Nuttall’s Woodpecker Juvenile

Five birders enjoyed a beautiful day after the rain the night before and spotted 41 species:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Mallard
  • Common Merganser
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Great Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Empidonax sp.
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Tree Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler
  • Song Sparrow
  • California Towhee
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, September 5th, 2015

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Portrait

Turtle Bay in September greeted ten adults and six youths with a welcome sampling of local birds.  Geese, mallards, and mergansers paddled the river and pools.  Turkey vultures soared.  Wading birds—great blue and green herons, egrets, and a couple killdeer, too—patrolled the river’s edge.  A hummingbird displayed the art of flycatching, and a phoebe made a cameo appearance.  Bushtits and nuthatches picked at leaves and branches, while a tanager and orange-crowned and yellow warblers added migrating color to the lesson on gleaning insects.  Overhead a late swirl of tree swallows cleared the air.  A family of quail scuttled from the bird-watchers, and a house wren eyed us like a prosecuting attorney.  Only the woodpeckers and seed-crackers were notably absent, and we look forward to seeing them and more ducks in the coming months.


Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, July 4th, 2015

Redding’s hotter than usual summer continued strong through the Independence Day celebrations. With the mercury pushing 90 degrees by 9am and with the promise of higher temperatures to mark our nation’s birthday, there were few people about Saturday morning and even fewer birders. There was, at least, a bonus for waiting around in the heat: bats. I had decided to wait in the shade provided by the monolith and while venturing inside, had the pleasure of appreciating scores of the winged mammals gripping the concrete walls and focused intently on their insect fueled slumbers. A closer examination of the floor suggested that this was not the first time the bats have roosted in the monolith…


Wintu Audubon Annual Picnic, June 9th, 2015

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

A severe storm warning was issued for Shasta Lake 10 minutes after I had rushed outside into severe winds and intense rain to cover up several projects that I had been working on in the yard and 30 minutes before meeting fellow picnic-ers at the Top’s parking lot on Eureka Way. After setting a record high for the day, the mercury dropped 20 then 25 then 30 degrees in a few hour’s time which, despite the constant misty drizzle, made our trip up to Camden House much more rewarding (survivable?). Rather than hiking over to the picnic area and risk more rain, we tail-gated it in the parking lot, shared stories, and news, and waited to see if the weather would cooperate long enough to allow a bird walk. It did. There wasn’t a tremendous number of birds out (not compared to the mosquitos), but the walk was pleasant and mostly an opportunity to visit as we strolled along the trails and the creeks listening to nearby birds. We found the resident Dipper, quail, song sparrows, doves, an osprey, green and blue herons, and a bunch of little yellow jobs that were always spotted where I wasn’t looking! Without elaborating further, remember to check for ticks.


Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Annual Meeting, May 28th, 2015

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

In late May I headed over to Lema Ranch to attend the annual meeting of Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation where active members of their Board and Volunteer pool presented various topics, issues, achievements and ideas for the past year and the year ahead. I especially enjoyed the compilation of, how shall I explain..?, “humorous” calls to the center. One example: A woman called to have the tadpoles removed from her pool with the expectation that the junior frogs would be raised by the center and released later. Everybody was extremely welcoming and friendly and I look forward to working with them in the future on projects that advance the quality of life for the Wildlife of the North State. In the meantime, I’d encourage everyone to contact Shasta Wildlife and become a member or a volunteer. 530-365-WILD (9453).


Lake McCumber and Manzanita Lake Outing, May 23rd, 2015

Purple Finch Male

Purple Finch Male

In year four of a drought, you wouldn’t think that rain would be on the agenda for a late May outing in Shasta County, however, after negotiating a Civic Center Memorial Day Weekend Car Extravaganza, our caravan had ample opportunities to test the wipers on our way to Lake McCumber which had had even heavier rains the night before. Luckily, once we had arrived the rain abated and soon the clouds passed to provide warm sun and extra lighting (much to the relief of the 15 birder who decided to stick it out). While we never encountered great numbers of birds at any one time (mostly ones and twos), we were able to identify 43 species. Notable birds included: Osprey, Bald Eagle, Spotted Sand Piper, Band-Tailed Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Kingfisher, Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Western Bluebird, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin. I must reiterate that the lighting and proximity provided some excellent viewing opportunities for the birders.

Around noon, about half the group headed to Lassen Park where we were greeted by more rain, sleet and hail until after lunch when we decided to bird the side of the lake nearest the park entrance where we hoped to find some woodpeckers and creepers before heading home for the day. Luckily we had no problem finding Brown Creepers, Hairy Woodpeckers, and White-Headed Woodpeckers before heading home (as far away as Los Angeles).


Burney Falls Visitor Center Grand Opening, May 17th, 2015

Black Swift Nesting

Black Swift Nesting

California State Parks and the McArthur-Burney Falls Interpretive Association presented the newly remodeled, updated and expanded visitor center to the public on Sunday the 15th. The new center is fantastic and offers an array of exhibits suitable for the entire family. Wintu Audubon arrived with scopes, binoculars, and field guides in tow to provide opportunities for visitors of the Falls to view nesting Ospreys, dipping Dippers, maniacal Stellar’s Jays and, most intriguingly, Black Swifts that circling high overhead and made regular passes near the falls themselves. Some 50-60 people stop to peer through the scopes and plenty more stopped by to learn more about the birds that were in the area. Very few knew much, if anything, about the Black Swifts and what a treat it is to have a nesting site so near to where we live. In the afternoon, we zipped up to Fall River Mills to check on the Golden Eaglets and the nesting Bank Swallows downtown before returning to Redding and work the following day.


Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, May 2nd, 2015

Killdeer Chick

Killdeer Chick (Killfawn)

A warm spring morning teased three youths and six adults with fickle spring viewing—fleet glimpses of tanagers and ash-throated flycatchers, a pair of wood ducks melting into the shoreline brush, and even the tree swallows only reluctantly showing blue.  But fickle is not consistently coy, either.  Walking the sanctuary loop we saw bushtits up close, a young eagle standing tall in its nest, plenty of rusty-faced cliff swallows—although plenty of empty monolith nests, too—and a highlight of two killdeer with four tennis-ball sized copies of themselves, those little ones just learning their mobility.  It was a morning well worth the tease!


Second Saturday Bird Walk at Shasta College, April 11th, 2015

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Eighteen lucky birders enjoyed a beautiful birding day at Shasta College. The weather was overcast with no wind, the sun peeking out between the clouds near the end of the walk. We got excellent looks at several Bullock’s Orioles, Lincoln’s Sparrows and a pair of Common Yellowthroats that were possibly getting ready to begin nesting. We observed nesting Bald Eagles and Acorn Woodpeckers as well as Cliff Swallows gathering mud to finish off their nests. Several species of waterfowl were seen at the wastewater treatment ponds on the campus as well.

A total of 65 species were seen or heard:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Bufflehead
  • Wild Turkey
  • California Quail
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downey Woodpecker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher (heard)
  • Western Kingbird
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Northern rough-winged Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • House Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Western Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, April 4th, 2015

Cliff Swallow Peeking

Cliff Swallow Peeking

Three lucky birders found plenty of spring at Turtle Bay.  Cliff swallows chortled round the monolith where nesting is in full swing; one of their mud homes had been appropriated by a pair of happy house sparrows, too.  Tree swallows swarmed over the cottonwoods, and both Myrtle’s and Audubon’s warblers smattered through the understory.  A Bullock’s oriole posed for photographs, and the effervescent song of a Bewick’s wren provided an audio track.  One of the next-generation eagles poked its fuzzy gray head above the rim of their nest, and out over the river, rough-winged and violet-green swallows joined their aerial cousins.   Even the ducks lingering on from winter—six species of them—were mostly paired.  In all, forty-five species were identified on a fine spring day.


Parkville Ranch Bird Survey, March 28th, 2015

Wild Turkey Hen

Wild Turkey Hen

Eleven birders spent a beautiful morning at Sandy Dubose’s Parkville Ranch and the Parkville Cemetery on Parkville Road. It was a little breezy and not real birdy but we did see 41 species and had a great time.

Species seen:

  • Wood Duck
  • California Quail
  • Wild Turkey
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Kingbird
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Western Scrub-jay
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Western Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Lark sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Robin
  • House Sparrow

Fall River Outing, March 28th, 2015

Tri-colored Blackbird Male

Tricolored Blackbird Male

23 of us in 11 vehicles enjoyed a spectacular day in the Fall River Valley yesterday!  Both the weather and the birds were pretty darn great even though we were a bit early for several species.  The day’s tally was a super 93 species!

First and foremost we have to thank the local pros, Ken Able and Don Marsh, for their more than able assistance on the trip.  There was a good number of very keen birders amongst our group, so we think little escaped our notice.

We started off the morning with scope views of a Golden Eagle on a nest, then a cruising Peregrine Falcon flew by, next a couple Rock Wrens were calling and hopping around on the cliffs behind us, then Violet-green Swallows were seen flying in at their cliff nest sites, and there was a brief view of an early White-throated Swift.

Breeding plumaged Common Loon, and Eared and Horned Grebes were a special treat.  Two pair of Greater Scaup were seen in our scopes.  A Kingfisher was observed working on it’s cliff nest at Fall River Lake.

During the afternoon at one time a large part of the western sky was filled with many thousands or more of Snow and Ross’s Geese above, with almost as many White-fronted Geese layered below them.  We were lucky to have close views from our vehicles of a field crammed with Snow, Ross’s and White-fronted Geese.

We had an adult Bald Eagle chasing an immature Golden Eagle at Fall River Lake.  5 pairs of Sandhill Cranes were in the fields along our route.  Over 100 Greater Yellowlegs were in the rice fields around Glenburn.  One of the rarest sightings of the day was of a pair of Pheasants on Island Road, as they are very hard to find in recent years since they now seem to mow down the hedgerows.

Our long day ended with 3 late Rough-legged Hawks and then 43 Long-billed Curlews, and some of them were calling and displaying on McArthur Swamp Road.  We were serenaded by the screeching and gurgling of Tricolored Blackbirds there also.  One of our last sightings for the few that still remained was 2 Western Grebes dancing on the river. Outstanding!

A Prairie Falcon only put in an appearance as the leaders were leaving the area.  A Single Bank Swallow was seen the day before the field trip.

Species seen and heard:

  • Common Loon
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Western Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Ross’s Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Cackling Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • American Wigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Mallard
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Greater Scaup
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Merganser
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • California Quail
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Sandhill Crane
  • American Coot
  • American Avocet
  • Killdeer
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Dunlin
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Great Horned Owl
  • White-throated Swift
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Horned Lark
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Bank Swallow
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Rock Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Marsh Wren
  • Western Bluebird
  • Townsend’s Solitaire
  • American Robin
  • Oak Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Common Raven
  • European Starling
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow    1

Local Weekday Bird Walk at Anderson River Park, March 19th, 2015

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay

Seven birders enjoyed good weather and good birding, with a total of 61 species identified. Our best sightings: Stellar’s Jay (rare this far down in the valley), Brown Creeper, Great Horned Owl, and 3 California Thrashers (one singing).
We were woefully short on Warblers though.

Species seen:

  • Bald Eagle
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Mourning Dove
  • European Starling
  • American Robin
  • Mallard
  • American Crow
  • Yellow-billed Magpie
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Tree Swallow
  • Osprey
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Song Sparrow
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Bushtit
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Great Egret
  • House Wren
  • California Thrasher
  • California Towhee
  • California Quail
  • Western Bluebird
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Stellar’s Jay
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Wild Turkey
  • American Wigeon
  • Common Merganser
  • Killdeer
  • Canada Goose
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Bufflehead
  • Wood Duck
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Golden- crowned Sparrow
  • Great-horned Owl
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker
  • Brown Creeper
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • Mute Swan
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bewick’s Wren

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, March 7th, 2015

Violet-green Swallow Male

Violet-green Swallow Male

Six seventh graders and thirteen adults enjoyed a beautiful spring morning at Turtle Bay. The birds were not uncooperative. The ducks, perhaps in the very paucity of their numbers, allowed intelligible viewing of their characteristics by species and gender. Cavity nesters—titmouse, starling, and tree swallows—displayed mildly contentious nest-hole competition. The swallows provided additional opportunity to note their varied nesting styles, cliff swallows having joined the tree swallows at the Bay; group leaders also noted a couple violet-greens and an early northern rough-winged swallow over the river. A rare (unique?) treat was a Ross’s goose who, missing its normal gregarious throng, made company with a few Canada geese in the river. Finches, titmice, and a Bewick’s wren provided previews of the music to come.


Local Weekday Bird Walk at Clover Creek, February 28th, 2015

Ten birders spent the morning and early afternoon at the Battle Creek/Coleman Wildlife Area where 72 species were observed and identified including FOS Orange-crowned Warbler, Hutton’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallow…note: it’s true Orange-crowned Warbler, Hutton’s Vireo maybe found year-round in Shasta County, however they were first of the season birds for the members of the group.

Hutton's Vireo

Hutton’s Vireo

Species seen:

  • Greater-White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Buffehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Merganser
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • California Quail
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Baled Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Virginia Rail (heard only)
  • Sora (heard only)
  • Common Gallinule
  • American Coot
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Morning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Hutton’s Vireo
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Western Shrub-Jay
  • Yellow-billed Magpie
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Marsh Wren
  • Ruby-crown Kinglet
  • Western Bluebird
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • California Thrasher
  • European Starling
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Purple Finch
  • House Sparrow

Local Weekday Bird Walk at Clover Creek, February 19th, 2015

Eight birders assembled in the parking lot of the Preserve in dense fog. The fog proved to be patchy, and later dissipated entirely, permitting the identification of 52 species. The “best bird” was a Common Gallinule, a species that none of us had sighted here before. Also of note were the large number of American Pipits, about 25 to 30. Specialty birds for this site showed up – Western Meadowlark, Great-tailed Grackle, Say’s Phoebe and Western Bluebird. What had started out as an unpromising day turned out to be quite satisfying.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

Species seen:

  • Canada Goose
  • Killdeer
  • Mallard
  • American Pipit
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Great Egret
  • Marsh Wren
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • American Coot
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Gadwall
  • Song Sparrow
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Bufflehead
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Black Phoebe
  • Common Merganser
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Flicker
  • Western Scrub Jay
  • American Robin
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Common Gallinule
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Say’s Phoebe
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Western Bluebird
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • American Kestrel
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Common Raven
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Bushtit
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Oak Titmouse
  • House Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • European Starling
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Downey Woodpecker
  • American Crow
  • California Towhee
  • Savannah Sparrow

Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, February 7th, 2015

February’s early rains sandwiched a gray but balmy first Saturday, allowing two youths and five adults to explore what Turtle Bay would present—which was low in quantity but pretty decent in quality. Gulls and turkey vultures rode the wind as an overture, and then a merlin gave us long looks from his cottonwood perch right by the 44 sidewalk.

Ring-billed Gull In Flight

Ring-billed Gull In Flight

The eagles put on a show, with Mama crowing from the nest, Papa perched nearby, and an immature floating around and about, seemingly disregarded.  Terri Lhuillier, of local eagle-watching fame, told us that the eagle-cam showed a first egg laid the afternoon before.  The river was muddy and duck numbers were down, but we did see a few mallards and gadwalls, a sprinkling of buffleheads, and a couple common goldeneyes and mergansers, one of whom came up with a fish.


Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Outing, January 24th, 2015

We picked a great day this year for the Sacramento NWR field trip, the temperature was in the high 60’s with no wind, and it was very birdy. Ten observers ended up seeing 63 species plus a possible Willet that I didn’t list. We were looking into the morning sun and the light just wasn’t good enough. To us its profile and actions cancelled out other possible shorebirds. We ended up spending over 5 hours on the auto tour route and enjoyed every minute of it.

Cinnamon Teal Drake

Cinnamon Teal Drake in the Bulrush

Species seen:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Ross’s Goose
  • Cackling Goose
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Pied-bill Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Northern Harrier
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • Killdeer
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Gull sp.
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Black Phoebe
  • Say’s Phoebe
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Marsh Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Western Bluebird
  • European Starling
  • American Pipit
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • California Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow

Local Week Day Bird Walk at Lema Ranch, January 15th, 2015

Taking advantage in the a break between storm fronts, four of us gathered at Lema Ranch for a quick (by birder standards) stroll of the McConnell Foundation campus. I suppose I often forget about how large their ponds really are because when you started counting that actual number of birds, the numbers quickly reach 20 or 30 or even 50 birds of any one species… and that’s just at one end of the lake. Earlier in the morning we had requested, and were granted, access to the areas generally off limits to visitors. The chief advantage was the ability to scan the pond, cattails, and trees from a vantage point at the top of the dam. This made counting the species below easier, even if we were exposed to a rather cool, stiff breeze.

Cackling Goose with Canada Geese

Cackling Goose with Canada Geese

Plenty of widgeons, coots, ring-necks, cormorants, and ruddies overwhelmed the handful of gadwells, common mergansers and a single canvasback. Above them, a red shouldered hawk kept an eye on things. Other highlights: western bluebirds, white-fronted geese, 10 cackling geese grazing smack-dab in the middle of a flock of canada geese, a tiny tree FILLED with goldfinches and serenaded by dozens of nearby red wing black birds. We had a great little group, eager to share field mark tips with each other and to enjoy the company of the other birders. 40 species total.


Second Saturday Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, January 10th, 2015

Six people were lucky enough to get out to Turtle Bay on a mild winter morning full of ducks and raptors. The eagle pair was very active, nest building and generally being evident all around. Briefer appearances were made by a red-tailed hawk, a merlin, a peregrine falcon, and a Cooper’s hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

All the normal ducks were on the byways or in the main channel. Insectivores included black phoebes, yellow-rumped warblers, a hermit thrush, and a western bluebird, while golden-crowned sparrows dominated the seed-eater category. Passersby appreciated views of goldeneyes and buffleheads, and reported splendid evening views of flocking robins “murmuring” like blackbirds before going to roost—best viewed from the east side of the 44 Bridge.


Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, January 3rd, 2015

Ten troopers met Saturday morning for the first club walk of the new year. The air was brrr-isk but clear and provided great lighting conditions along the path that runs alongside Highway 44. Just out of the parking lot we spotted numerous Golden Crown and White Crown Sparrows along with a couple of Western Bluebirds. Above us, throughout the day, were the frequent fly-overs of crows, gulls, starlings, and robins and the occasional Turkey Vulture. In the first pond (the small one with the dam), we had a glimpse of one of the local resident muskrats nibbling on some vegetation while near by jays and sparrows kept us busy. Nearby, we hear the clatter of a Belted Kingfisher as he flew west to east and back numerous times. It’s possible that he was concerned by the too-close-for-comfort perched Red-Shouldered Hawk rather than the twitchy antics of the Ruby Crowned Kinglets or the random Phoebe or Yellow-Rumped Warblers.

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe

Other highlights of the count included wading and shorebirds (Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, one Snowy Egret, several Killdeer, and handful of Wilson’s Snipe, and one lonely sandpiper). While the floaty, ducky birdies haven’t arrived in great numbers this year, we were treated to plenty of Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Gadwalls, Mallards, American Widgeons, Coots, Rudys, Buffleheads, Common (and two Barrows) Golden Eyes, Canada Geese, Cormorants, and a couple Lesser Scaup. Redding’s resident Bald Eagles were working on their nest and, undoubtedly, keeping a watchful eye on the circling Red-Tailed Hawks.


Youth/Beginner Mini CBC, December 6th, 2014

The second annual Youth/Beginner Mini Christmas Bird Count was held in a warm, comfortable break in a string of rainy days.  The group stayed as a single party and toured from the monolith out over the river and back.  Thirty-five species were tallied and four hundred ninety-five specimens.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Some notables: four great blue herons, the female eagle carrying sticks to the nest and arranging them while the male perched close by, an osprey, a glaucous-winged gull, a fly-over of over a hundred crows, a black phoebe hunting off the surface of puddly Rock Island Pond, close-ups of busy ruby-crowned kinglets, and plenty of coots, mallards, gadwalls, wigeons, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads, common and hooded mergansers, and two dozen common golden-eyes.  The human count was seven adults and two immatures (although that term has connotations the youths did not deserve).


Lema Ranch, November 20th, 2014

Eight birders (Chad Scott brought a box of bins which 4 participants needed & used); damp day but rain didn’t get going until 10:00 AM.

Western Scrub-Jay

Western Scrub-Jay

Species seen:

  • Canada Goose
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Ring-Necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Eared Grebe
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • American Coot
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Oak Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Western Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon)
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Purple Finch
  • European Starling

Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, November 1st, 2014

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

‘Twas the Morn After Spook-Night

by Dan Greaney

‘Twas the morn after spook-night and at Turtle Bay
Not a child was stirring, they were still on the hay.
So I hunched out alone in the chill and the fog
To see what I could on that Baskerville bog:
Some mallard-bills glowed with a pumpkin-like hue,
But mostly the marsh-haze darkened the view.
The ghost of a gull floated by in the brume,
And black and white geese sailed round in the gloom,
A merganser’s head wafted upstream,
And a coven of wigeons stirred the cold steam.
A few other phantoms—some gadwall, a snipe—
Made spectral showings, but no spirited hype.
Only the brush-birds, whose shade was extended,
Seemed glad for the day whose night had not ended:
Six species of sparrow, including white-throated,
And black-hooded executioners gloated,
Enjoying the fog that shrouded the day
And hallowed that morning at Turtle Bay.


Mary Lake, October 16th, 2014

Mary Lake and the adjacent old Catholic Cemetery were busy with birds as always. Some of the highlights were: a large flock of American Wigeon on the lake; the resident California Thrasher, vocal and showy; and the resident Red-shouldered Hawk was again perched in its favorite tree in the cemetery. All told we recorded 35 species.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk


Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, October 4th, 2014

Eight adults and three youths explored Turtle Bay for the ducks of October—and found them! In addition to mallards, the group had good views of gadwalls, wood ducks, wigeons, and glimpsed a distant common merganser. Cormorants, pied-billed grebes, and plenty of Canada geese rounded out the fowl on the water. Also present were a couple snipe, a scrub jay burying acorns, great blue herons, come-and-go flocks of bushtits, cedar waxwings, and starlings, and other passers-by to total thirty-one species. Next up? The ducks of November!

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McArthur Burney Falls State Park Outing, September 27th, 2014

Saturday’s trip to Burney Falls and Lake Britton featured a great group of eight birders and a refreshing outing following substantial rain that rolled through the north state this week. Experienced Wintu Audubon leaders, Connie and Dan, assisted new trip leader Chad guide two longtime members and several area residents to Burney Falls via Clark Creek Road. Soon after section hiking three feet of the Pacific Crest Trail, we stumbled upon the first treat of the hike: a dozen or more Band-tailed Pigeons gathered for a morning drink. Interestingly, as each pigeon finished drinking, it would fly across the creek and the next pigeon behind it would move forward for its drink. Meanwhile, a new pigeon would fly in, take position behind the other pigeons to await its turn at the water’s edge. The rotation continued like this even after we had departed.

Although the Rim Trail, parking lot, and camp areas revealed few birds at all, we were able to identify a soaring Goshawk, several Junco’s, some nearly fearless Red-Breasted Nuthatches, and a woodpecker before heading down to the water’s edge where things picked-up and we added a number of species including, Great Blue and Green Herons, Bald Eagles, Wood Ducks, Western Grebes, White Fronted Geese, and, along the shoreline, sparrows, kinglets, sandpipers, and killdeer.

Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk

We returned to the Falls along the creekside trail where we filled out our day’s sightings of woodpeckers and Brown Creepers before returning to our cars to spot the only chickadees of the day. Snack-time and a post walk group chat were held under the devious attentions and vocalizations of the local Stellar’s Jays who were determined, as always, to collect their share of whatever goodies the careless may leave behind.

Species Seen:

  • Greater White-Fronted Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Pied-Billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Western Grebe
  • Clark’s Grebe
  • Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Green Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Killdeer
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Band-Tailed Pigeon
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-Breasted, Sapsucker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • White-Headed Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • Golden-Crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-Eyed Junco
  • Red-Wing Blackbird
  • Gull (species)

Clear Creek Wastewater Treatment Ponds, September 18th, 2014

Five Birders assembled at Clear Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 8:00 AM on a cloudy and overcast day (which made the walk pleasant and cool). Harvey and Jeannette Carroll : co-leaders Only two ponds had water so terrestrial birds greatly outnumbered waterfowl; however the river contributed many water birds.

Green-winged Teal Drake

Green-winged Teal Drake

Species seen:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Common Merganser
  • California Quail
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Killdeer
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Caspian Tern
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Empidonax Flycatcher Species
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Yellow Warbler
  • California Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow

Second Saturday Bird Walk at John Reginato River Access Trail, September 13th, 2014

Nine warbler ready birders spent about four hours on the John Reginato Access Trail on Saturday morning for the Second Saturday Bird Walk. Yellow Warblers were abundant but the Peregrine Falcon proved elusive. Best bird of the day would have to be a Northern Waterthrush seen by Ed Pottmeyer in the area where the trail turns toward the river, just beyond the short trail on the left that accesses the slough.

Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

We saw or heard a total of 50 species:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Common Merganser
  • California Quail
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Killdeer
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • American Crow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • House Wren
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Western Tanager
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Northern Waterthrush

Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, August 9th, 2014

It was a muggy morning for six birders—five adults and one youth—at Turtle Bay. We found no nesting, although some young tanagers poking through the canopy and a tight flotilla of common mergansers on the river attested to recent nesting success. Our birds were mostly residents: an egret and cormorant, mallards and Canada geese, a kingfisher, Nuttall’s and downy woodpeckers, black phoebes, Bewick’s wrens, spotted and California towhees, song sparrows, and plenty of white-breasted nuthatches and oak titmice. Perhaps the raptors were most tantalizing: a buteo in low-soaring silhouette, a fly-by of a sharp-shinned hawk, and a couple of half-heard pygmy owl hoots—followed up by subsequent passers-by mentioning that they had seen a pygmy owl there on the loop a few days prior.

Belted Kingfisher Female

Belted Kingfisher Female


Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, July 12th, 2014

The Turtle Bay nests are emptied. Two female Anna’s Hummingbirds cruised a moss-covered bank, possibly gathering insects to take home, but everything else looked out of the nest. A pair of ducklings followed their Wood Duck mother to a quiet spot. Tree Swallows churned the sky lightly, but their bold blues have been replaced, or at least outnumbered, by fledgling browns. A traipsing of Titmice turned our eyes to the understory, where Ash-throated Flycatchers chattered about, family clusters of parents and beggars. A young Bullock’s Oriole seemed on its own, capable as any fledgling. Two Western Kingbirds cavorted high, but whether they were celebrating successful nesting or excited about clearing out we could not tell. Other birds seemed done for the season. A couple of Bewick’s Wrens were still in the same bush, but only a single Cliff Swallow was seen in an inauspicious fly-by, and a solitary Male Tanager foraged along the river, as did a male Oriole and some Phoebes. We’ll see if any late nesters show up next month!

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird Female


Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, June 14th, 2014

Yeah! We’ve got cavities! Ten adults and one youth toured the Turtle Bay loop this morning and were treated to a variety of cavity nesters. At the top of the list was a pair of ash-throated flycatchers, who repeatedly gave great views of their sulfur bellies and ochre tails as they perched outside their cottonwood cavity, bug in bill, before diving into the nest hole. Tree swallows, too, continued to be abundant along the river. Other cavity nesters included rough-winged swallows, titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, Bewick’s wrens, and Nuttall’s and acorn woodpeckers. A few baby cliff swallows were still peeking out their home-made cavities in the monolith, but most of this swallow horde has departed for the year. Among cup nesters, mallards and probably Canada geese and scrub jays were touring with young.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher with Grasshopper


Second Saturday Youth/Beginner Bird Walk at Turtle Bay, May 10th, 2014

Six youths and eight adults traveled the Turtle Bay Loop on our May Beginning Bird Walk. It was a beautiful morning with mild weather and a whole cornucopia of birds in nesting season song and plumage. Residents included glistening Anna’s hummingbirds, bright house finches, busy bushtits, and a small oak thoroughly decorated with cedar waxwings. Neotropical migrants included great comparison views of cliff and tree swallows, a Wilson’s warbler, an ash-throated flycatcher, black-headed grosbeaks, and a male western tanager who stood low long enough that even the kindergartener on the trip was able to see him through the spotting scope. We also spotted an unfortunate goose nest on the gravel bar below the Sundial Bridge; the parents had not anticipated a rise in the river level, and those half dozen eggs will likely be food before they are goslings.

Black-headed Grosbeak Male

Black-headed Grosbeak Male


Second Saturday Bird Walk at Shasta College, May 10th, 2014

Three birders gathered at Shasta College on Saturday and spotted 44 species on a beautiful, clear day in Shasta County.

Northern Mockingbird Displaying

Northern Mockingbird Displaying

Species seen:

  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • American Crow
  • Wild Turkey/10 poults
  • European Starling
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • House Sparrow
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher
  • Cedar Waxwing (lots)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Western Kingbird
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Western Tanager
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • American Goldfinch
  • Killdeer
  • Mallard
  • American Coot
  • California Quail
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Grebe (Species)
  • American Wigeon
  • Western Bluebird
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Canada Goose
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Common Raven
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Finch
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk

Dye Creek Preserve Outing, April 19th, 2014

Gray Davis/Dye Creek Preserve is a 37,540 acre preserve located in the foothills of Mount Lassen. The landscape is dissected dramatically by Dye Creek Canyon with its vertical cliffs, clear-water creek, and diverse riparian forests. On this pleasant April day, eleven birders traversed this gorgeous canyon where they found 60 cooperative species of birds to enjoy with their birding companions. Another 17 species were observed between the preserve and Cone Grove.

A couple of highlights were the flocks of Tricolored Blackbirds seen and heard as they foraged in the fields and flew into a local pond near the entrance to the preserve, and the Canyon Wren we found singing from the top of the canyon wall.

Dye Creek Canyon

Dye Creek Canyon

Species seen or heard at the preserve:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose (fly over)
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Wild Turkey
  • California Quail
  • American White Pelican (fly over)
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher
  • Western Kingbird
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Rock Wren
  • Canyon Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Western Bluebird
  • American robin
  • Wrentit
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Phainopepla
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch

Seen or heard from Cone Grove to the preserve:

  • Mallard
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Bald Eagle
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Yellow-billed Magpie
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • House Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • House Sparrow

Youth/Beginner Birdwalk at Turtle Bay, April 12th, 2014

The season has changed: the temperature, the birds, and the participants.  No youth made it out on their first day of spring break, so just three veterans of the walk travelled the Monolith/Sundial loop.  They found 35 species, including three late goldeneyes and plenty of nesting arrivals.  Swallows dominated the air.  Cliff swallows both swooshed about their dwindled neighborhood at the Monolith and mobbed the Sundial Bridge in a swirling flock that gathered mud and dabbed up their nests in ragtag unison.  Tree swallows soared over and through the cottonwoods, and it seemed every snag was crowned by a blue and white male while his mate gathered old grass into the hole just below him.  A couple rough-winged swallows joined the tree swallows skimming over the water below the bridge.  Other spring arrivals included an ash-throated flycatcher and a northern oriole, heard but not seen.  Other highlights included a feeding at a bushtit nest and the music of bewick’s wrens, song sparrows, nuthatches, titmice, yellowlegs, yellow-rumped warblers, and host of other cries and murmurings.

Cliff Swallow in Flight

Cliff Swallow in Flight


Regular Second Saturday Birdwalk at Shasta College, April 12th, 2014

Seven birders spent a pleasant morning birding the Shasta College campus.  The group was hoping to see their first Western Kingbird of the season and we were not disappointed as we saw at least 5 to 6 Kingbirds by the road behind the 800 Building.  We also found several Bullock’s Orioles in breeding plumage.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

In total we identified 37 species as follows:

  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bushtit
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • European Starling
  • California Quail
  • Wild Turkey
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • American Robin
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch
  • Western Bluebird
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • California Towhee
  • Spotted Towhee (heard)
  • Western Kingbird
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Red- shouldered Hawk
  • Canada Goose
  • Osprey
  • American Crow
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Black Phoebe
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bufflehead
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Wood Duck
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Mallard
  • American Coot
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • House Wren
  • Mourning Dove (heard)
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Red-tailed Hawk

Clear Creek Wastewater Treatment Ponds, Saturday, March 29th, 2014

You missed a great birding trip by being intimidated by the recent rains. Four birders weren’t intimidated and witnessed the greatest concentration of waterfowl I have ever seen on the treatment ponds—at least 500 individuals of 19 species (see below for the full tally)!! The most prevalent species was Northern Shoveler. It never rained a drop. In fact, the sun shown weakly by late morning. The highlights were two pair of Blue-winged Teal, a small group of American Avocets, a large flock (about 30) of Greater Yellowlegs, a bright male Common Yellowthroat, and a FOS, for me, Bullock’s Oriole. Fifty seven species were tallied.

American Avocet

American Avocet in Breeding Plumage

Species seen:

  • Horned Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Mute Swan
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • American Wigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Mallard
  • Northern Pintail
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Merganser
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • California Quail
  • American Coot
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Killdeer
  • American Avocet
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • California Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Marsh Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Bushtit
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Oak Titmouse
  • House Finch
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • California Towhee
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird

Clover Creek Preserve Outing, Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Seven (later joined by an 8th) birders assembled in the Clover Creek parking lot for a morning of birding under clear skies and gradually warming weather. Outstanding sightings included a White-tailed Kite seen several times – perched, flying around and hovering. The open space specialists were there: Western Meadowlark, Western Bluebird and Killdeer. A falcon zinged by overhead – consensus was that it was a Merlin. Also of note were a Greater Yellowlegs, several singing Marsh Wrens, Lark Sparrows, Great-tailed Grackles and Wilson’s Snipe.  In all, we saw 43 species.

Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Species seen:

  • Western Meadowlark
  • Mallard
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Killdeer
  • American Crow
  • Canada Goose
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • American Coot
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Gadwall
  • White-tailed Kite
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Song Sparrow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Marsh Wren
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • American Goldfinch
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Western Bluebird
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • House Finch
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Northern Flicker
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • European Starling
  • Bushtit
  • California Towhee
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Merlin

Regular Second Saturday Birdwalk at Turtle Bay, March 8th, 2014

Thirteen birders participated in Wintu’s Second Saturday Bird Walk. We birded the Turtle Bay area under mostly cloudy, but calm conditions. Spring was in the air as Ruby-crowned Kinglets sang and several Tree Swallow pairs perched near potential nesting cavities. The highlights of the day included a nesting female Anna’s Hummingbird seen from the Hwy 44 bridge. We watched as she returned to her nest and appeared to feed young. Interestingly, as we observed this little bird at her tiny nest, the Bald Eagles could be seen and heard at their massive nest in the background! Other highlights included several active Bushtit nests and a Peregrine Falcon passing overhead. Although bird numbers seemed low, we managed to tally 53 species.

Bushtit

Bushtit Female Exiting Nest

Species seen:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Merganser
  • Horned Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Bushtit
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • American Goldfinch

Anderson River Park Outing, February 20th, 2014

Twelve birders enjoyed good weather (after it warmed up) and some good birding. Of the 57 species seen, perhaps the best birds were two California Thrashers, and two adult Bald Eagles flying. And we were also able to see the eagles on their nest.

California Thrasher

California Thrasher

Species seen:

  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • American Robin
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • House Wren
  • European Starling
  • Wood Duck
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Tree Swallow
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Black Phoebe
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Bushtit
  • Mallard
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Mourning Dove
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Rock Pigeon
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Western Scrub Jay
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Oak Titmouse
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • California Thrasher
  • Bald Eagle
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Ringed-billed Gull
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Killdeer
  • Common Merganser
  • Marsh Wren
  • America Goldfinch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • American Pipit
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • American Wigeon
  • Canada Goose
  • Bufflehead
  • California Towhee
  • Green Heron
  • American Coot
  • House Sparrow
  • Yellow-billed Magpie
  • House Finch

Youth/Beginner Birdwalk at Turtle Bay, February 8th, 2014

A dozen wet-weather birders—five adults and seven youths—surprised their slightly less ducky trip leader by showing up in high spirits for a rainy day bird walk at Turtle Bay.  Under a sky that muted bright colors, we still tallied nine of them, ranging from the golden of the egret’s bill to scrub-jay blue to mallard green and several blacks, browns, and whites.  Among those last, Canada geese grazed on the mudflats where camouflaged snipe hid by simply being still; and the eagles both showed up, one on sentinel duty at the nest.  At the end of the walk a male spotted towhee buzzed a spring trill to his sweetie nearby, so spring is on the way.  –But, rainy day birding notwithstanding, we’ll hope that February showers bring March and April showers, too.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee Male Singing


Gray Lodge Outing, February 1st, 2014

Nine birders enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at Gray Lodge State Wildlife Area near Gridley. 63 species were seen, including an elusive Blue-winged Teal.

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal Drake

Species seen:

  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • American White Pelican
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Ross’s Goose
  • American Wigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Mallard
  • Northern Pintail
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Snowy Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Turkey Vulture
  • White-tailed Kite
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Common Gallinule
  • American Coot
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • Killdeer
  • Herring Gull
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Black Phoebe
  • Yellow-billed Magpie
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Marsh Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • House Wren
  • Bushtit
  • Tree Swallow
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • House Finch
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Song Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird

Redding Wastewater Treatment Plant Outing, January 16th, 2014

Five Wintu Audubon birders enjoyed another beautiful January morning birding the Redding Wastewater Treatment Plant. 54 species were seen, including a Peregrine Falcon spotted by Linda Aldrich.

Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovelers

Species seen:

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Canvasback
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • California Quail
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Black Phoebe
  • Western Scrub-jay
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • American Pipit
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Spotted Towhee
  • California Towhee
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Western meadowlark
  • Brewer’s Blackbird

Youth/Beginner Birdwalk at Turtle Bay, January 11th, 2014

The winter’s brief and only rain thus far found Turtle Bay but did not dissuade four youth and nine adult birdwatchers on the Youth/Beginner Walk. In keeping with the weather, ducks made a good showing, with a pair of ringnecks, two male pintails and a generous sprinkling of canvasbacks among the gadwalls, mallards, ruddy ducks, common golden-eyes, and buffleheads. The ducks had a scare when an eagle swooped low over them before giving us a close fly-by en route to his mate on their preferred conifer south of 44.

Canvasbacks

One Drake and two Female Canvasbacks

We totaled forty species, and by the end of the walk the rain had let up, allowing us to see without binoculars the flashing eyebrows of a perky Bewick’s wren.

An unsurprising note: the river’s bywaters were very low, with extended mudflats that hosted snipe and killdeer; almost no water in Rockpile Pond, and the river itself slow enough to attract mallards out in the main channel.