Nesting of some species is well underway here in the Central Valley. Here is our female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD on her nest just outside our apartment. She's been incubating for a couple of weeks now:
I added a couple of yard birds in the last week as well. A flock of fly-by RING-NECKED DUCKS was number 75. Number 74 was a DOWNY WOODPECKER. It's odd for me living in a place where NUTTALL'S are more common than DOWNYS:
I was out at Staten Island doing one of the last surveys of the winter. At one of my first points were a couple of GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS:
A different flooded field had this THAYER'S GULL, a species I hadn't seen on Staten Island before:
That brings the gull list at Staten Island this winter up to 6 species:
This strange BREWER'S BLACKBIRD definitely stood out. Poor thing.
You're probably sick of me posting pictures of SANDHILL CRANES standing out in the fields. Well, that won't be a problem anymore considering most of the cranes I saw were doing this:
(They were all kettling really high up and taking advantage of the sound winds to push them northward. I wouldn't be surprised if every crane is gone from the Delta within a week.
Overhead, many of the SNOW GEESE seemed to be heading out as well (although we know there are still many hundred in the Delta):
Here are some blue-phase SNOW GEESE, the much rarer phase here in the Central Valley:
I heard a familiar sound overhead and realized it was my first CLIFF SWALLOW of the season:
And yes, keeping in line with all my other Staten posts, I took some pictures of the RED-TAILED HAWKS in the area:
Last but not least was this BURROWING OWL, a fairly widespread valley inhabitant although never very common in this area: