February is already winding down and, at least here in the Central Valley, you can definitely tell spring is on the way. It's getting light earlier and staying light later, more species are in full song, and many of the trees are in bloom. Where I grew up, this weather is more befitting of April. But considering my summers as of late have been chilly and drizzly, I won't complain about the warmth and the oddity of an early spring.
Although it's gotten warmer, that doesn't necessarily mean that the species composition has changed a whole lot. Because of that, I haven't done that much birding in the past week or so. However, one species has drawn me in a couple of times; the HAIRY WOODPECKER that continues to be seen along the shore of Lake Natoma. Although I had already seen and gotten documentation pictures of this very rare Sacramento County woodpecker, I returned recently to see if it still was around. It didn't take long and I soon traced the call notes down to the bird:
I did end up keeping a list of birds though; I ended up with 41 species in 39 minutes (checklist here). I came across a pair of BUSHTITS attending their newly-made nest which was fun to watch. The sock-like nest drooped down nearly a foot. Here's a picture of the nest and, if you can spot it, the head of a BUSHTIT: