If you don't check my Flickr page, many of these images from the last week will be new to you.
Last weekend we took a hike up along Cache Creek in Yolo County. Pretty neat country! We heard/saw things like VARIED THRUSH, CALIFORNIA THRASHER, and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS.
In addition, we had great looks (which aren't all that common) of a WRENTIT:
The common CALIFORNIA TOWHEES were abundant. This one perched in nice light for a few seconds:
Later in the day we spun down through Solano County to look for various open-country birds. Our best sighting was this ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK which was my first of the fall:
If you spend much time in the Delta, pishing at most thickets will pull out GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS:
Another bird that is hard to miss are the many SANDHILL CRANES. Here is a particularly tame one:
NORTHERN HARRIERS seem to be the most common raptor where I spend my time working. Here is one that was soaring around me:
RED-TAILED HAWKS are also common. This one was being pestered by a PEREGRINE FALCON which resulted in some pretty amusing interaction poses:
I've really enjoyed being around shorebirds this late in the winter. I've essentially lived my whole life in places that had no winter shorebirds. One day this past week I tallied 11 species of shorebirds including this WILSON'S SNIPE:
... and this LEAST SANDPIPER:
The many canals around here host many AMERICAN COOTS and various grebes. This is a HORNED GREBE:
By far the most common winter warbler here are YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS:
Not entirely abundant but not all that rare either are COMMON GALLINULES:
The biggest highlight for us this month so far was seeing the FALCATED DUCK up at Colusa NWR in Colusa County. This ABA Code-4 bird was a lifer for both of us and would represent the 3rd state record for California (pending acceptance). The looks were very distant and the pictures are of a very poor quality (the duck is the sleeping bird in the back with the silver mantle):
Working around here near dusk provides some nice photo opportunities. Of course, this is only taken with my phone, nothing fancier: