Friday I did my SOS Survey. It has been very slow at Virgin Creek this month. I was able to find 2 of the 3 Killdeer chicks I found last week. The third chick may have been there because they are hard to spot. They have grown. For the first time this year I wasn’t able to find a Whimbrel along the coast.
I went up to Lake Cleone for my apple and trail mix lunch. Found a Greater Scaup on the lake. At least I hope it’s a “Greater”. A Lesser Scaup had been reported two days earlier on Ebird. The chances that there were two different Scaups on the lake during the Summer are small so I’m thinking it’s the same bird. We will test my Scaupability talents:) (UPDATE:I have been assured by the local Ebird reviewer that it was a Lesser Scaup seen earlier (photo reviewed) so it seems that that just adds to our strange Summer as mention below.)
Birders in Mendocino are finding ducks that don’t normally spend the Summer here. There have been and still are Northern Pintails, Ring-necked Ducks, Buffleheads, and American Wigeon at the Ukiah Waste Treatment Plant (along with continuing White-faced Ibis). There has been a Hooded Merganser with 2 young at the Willit’s Waste Treatment Plant (along with a female Great-tailed Grackle feeding two fledglings). A Blue-winged Teal was seen at Virgin Creek. It’s been an unusual Summer so far.
As for the title of this post– behind my northern most bus stop in Fort Bragg is Holmes Fred Lumberyard. They seem to put out feed everyday that attract many Rock Pigeons, Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Starlings, House Sparrows, Eurasian Collared-Doves and White-crowned Sparrows. Last year there were Tricolored Blackbirds in the flock. I always take a look both coming from and going to my bus stop. I’ve alway thought that I would find something rare one of these days. On the way back from my survey I did just that. I spotted a very disheveled White-winged Dove with a flock of Rock Pigeons. The picture is not a great one. I was shooting from behind a chain-link fence from a distance. It was a Mendo first bird for me and the 218th year bird. Currently I have saved over 1412 car miles. It proves that you can find good birds during a “green” year.
After posting I realized that I had another picture to add to this day of birding. There were hundreds of these red dragonflies in the Lake Cleone area of MacKerricher SP. I believe they are Red Skimmers. If I’m wrong please comment.