24 November 2014

A Budge that didn't

As November continues to pass us by, I've continued to pass by my local patches once in a while.  One such stroll took me to the Laguna Creek Parkway Trail.  This local patch of mine is seldom visited; in fact, this was only my 4th visit.  It's a neat spot though for being so urban.

The highlight on my latest visit was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.  Here's a not-so-great documentary photo:
I was surprised to find that this species is pretty uncommon in California compared to where I lived out east.  This species is WAY less common than GOLDEN-CROWNED and WHITE-CROWNED but is much more expected than HARRIS'S.  In fact, this WTSP was my first in Sacramento County away from Cosumnes River Preserve.  Anyway, you can see the entire Laguna Creek Parkway Trail eBird list here.

We continue to bird at Don Nottoli Park in Elk Grove fairly regularly.  On our latest visit, Ash spotted this gleaming yellow thing:
Of course, this surprise of the day was a sleeping BUDGERIGAR.  Granted, these are only technically countable in parts of Florida right now and it's assumed that this bird was an escaped exotic.  It's still kinda funny to see such an odd thing in our local patch though.

We noted that we hadn't seen any FERRUGINOUS HAWKS yet this fall.  Shortly after that, we turned to see exactly that soaring over the grasslands:

One of the biggest surprises in my local birding adventures happened yesterday... without even leaving the house.  You see, there was a NNW wind the night before and when dawn broke, it was pretty clear that things were streaming by overhead, migrating south.  I started to see a couple of flocks of TUNDRA SWANS which was pretty cool... but then I started seeing more and more.  I started scoping each of the flocks and counted them carefully; I ended up with nearly 300 swans migrating by.  As a whole, I ended the day with 32 species from the yard which might have broken my one-day record.  You can see the checklist from the house here.

Just today I ventured to two other local parks; William Land Park and Sacramento City Cemetery.  The best sighting at the former was a flock of 8 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS that flew over when I first arrived.  The best sighting at the latter was a flock of 20+ PINE SISKINS.  However, I did manage a couple of species that had never been seen at the cemetery before; namely AMERICAN PIPIT and NORTHERN HARRIER (both flyovers).

I have some local patches that are relatively young and sport only short trees.  Then there are the redwoods in the city park; kinda hard to pick out a sapsucker in the top of one of these bad boys!