16 March 2014

Michigan Bar birds

We decided to enjoy the 82 degree spring day with a trip up to Michigan Bar Road in eastern Sacramento County.  The trip up the road wasn't overly productive but we did see 4 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS amongst the oaks and a young GOLDEN EAGLE near the top of the grasslands.  On our way down, though, we stumbled onto an early WESTERN KINGBIRD:

This turns out to be tied for the third-earliest arrival date ever for Sacramento County (according to eBird).  This particular kingbird was feeding west of Michigan Bar Road, about 0.8 miles north from Hwy 16/Jackson Road.

Even closer to Hwy 16, we found a pair of MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS feeding on both sides of the road (this was only 0.1 mile north of Hwy 16).  Here's a crummy picture of the male (left) with a Say's Phoebe (right):

And here's the female:

Earlier in the day we birded at Sailor Bar along the American River in Sacramento.  Our goal there was to find BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER for the year and we luckily succeeded in finding two.  It was difficult to ignore the butterflies though; there were probably hundreds of PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAILS swarming the hillsides.  Included was this SILVERY BLUE:

... and this distant ANISE SWALLOWTAIL:

Now stop reading and get outside!