09 December 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Oh, Fred.  Did you even know that Fred is the first name of "Mister Rogers"?  How's that for some info to groove to?

Regardless of how creepy that show looks to me now, I've kept a keen eye on what birds have been around here in my neighborhood ever since I got back from my travels (no green sweater sightings as of yet).

See, I live in an urban neighborhood south of Sacramento.  Well, not really a downtown-in-a-city setting but urban enough that I have a major boulevard running by only 30 feet from where I'm sitting.  However, I'm on the second level which gives me a bit more view of the sky (never a bad thing, I suppose).  And as many birders do, I keep close tabs on what birds I see from my yard.  Of course, since I don't have a yard, I'm basically limited to what I see out of my windows and from my patio.

I'm closing in on 100 species for this particular yard but have only seen 29 species in the 8 days I've been back (* for the most reliable species):

Canada Goose
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Long-billed Curlew
California Gull
* Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
* Anna's Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
* Northern Mockingbird
* European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
* Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
* House Finch
American Goldfinch

Not good enough for you?  Here's a sample checklist from the yard.

Venturing away from the yard a little bit, I enjoy rummaging through my "local patch" from time to time (Don Nottoli Park in Elk Grove).  My last loop through there wasn't too bad (you can see that checklist as well).

Here's a NORTHERN FLICKER.  With that red malar, it looks good for a pure "Red-shafted" male:
... or not:

See, that faint red nape crescent = no dice for a pure Red-shafted.

SAY'S PHOEBES are fairly common winter visitors here (in fact, I just added this species to my yard list).  Here's one from the park though:

I was pleased to see that FERRUGINOUS HAWKS are back and findable at the local park.  "Not a bad bird for the neighborhood," Cory proclaims.

A stack of MODOs:

This is a HOUSE WREN that was feeling less shy than normal:

Last but not least, we've checked the local urban lake once and found that the BARROW'S GOLDENEYES are wintering in the neighborhood once again (checklist).  I blogged briefly about them last year as well (see post here).