Wednesday I had to decide if I wanted to chase some Snow Geese that had been spotted with some Canada Geese near Fort Bragg High School or go after a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that had been seen at the Rose Memorial Cemetery. This was while I waited for a Lodge resident. Because of my bus ride through Fort Bragg, I knew where most of the Canada Geese hide out early in the morning. I decided to try for the Snow Geese. Found them at Dana Gray Elementary School right where I thought they would be. There was one adult and a first year goose.
I found them so fast that I was able to get to the cemetery for about a half hour. Found some rare Winter birds but not the sapsucker. One was a Nashville Warbler that is getting to be regular during our Winters.
The other was a Bullock’s Oriole which is also getting to be regular during the Winter at the cemetery. There is at least two of them currently at the cemetery.
It’s only been recently discovered that the cemetery is a Winter hotspot. The reason for that are the Banksia Trees. According to Wikipedia, “Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting “cones” and heads…Heavy producers of nectar, banksias form a vital part of the food chain in the Australian bush. They are an important food source for all sorts of nectarrific animals, including birds, bats, rats, possums, stingless bees and a host of invertebrates.” It’s the nectar that attracts orioles (had Mendocino County’s first and only Baltimore Oriole during the Winter of 2012), hummingbirds, warblers, sapsuckers and tanagers.
I’ve always wondered what John and Lottie thinks about all this activity. They are right next to one of the trees.
There is always lot’s of history in an old cemetery. Just ask Sarah.
Snow Geese were number 248 for the year.