Northwest Bird Blog

Monday, February 28, 2005

The Refuge This Weekend

Come down to the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (HBNWR) this weekend March 4-6th for the spectacle of the Aleutian Cackling Goose flyoff at dawn. There will be family fun all weekend and the refuge is open extra hours. There are thousands of geese and lots of other waterfowl and raptors. The visitor center and boardwalk make a great place to observe wildlife, and staff and trip leaders will be on hand to show you the birds, or make a birdhouse if you want. Friday night kicks off with an always popular talk by Dr Stan Harris on the history of Humboldt Birds, sunset with the geese and friends to talk "wildlife" with. Friday, Saturday or Sunday pay a visit, and don't forget the Audubon Banquet Saturday Night. See you there Sunday when I will lead a carpool trip around the Eel River Bottomlands. Full details available at the refuge call 733-5406.

Yours Rob

Monday, February 21, 2005

Selasphorous, death of a legend

Heard my first Selasphorous hummingbird of the year whiz by today in Arcata on my way to school.

R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson.

- Steve Tucker

Sunday, February 20, 2005

White-fronted Geese

On my way to the homebrew store in Eureka yesterday (Feb 19) I had at least 4 Greater White-fronted Geese just west of the V Street Loop in the bottoms. That field has been pretty consistent for them in late winter and spring the last few years...

Friday, February 18, 2005

NWCA bird report 2/11-2/18/05

Here is what has been reported over the past week in northwestern California. Call the Arcata birdbox at 707-822-5666 for more information and more explicit directions, and to report your own sightings. Please remember to use the star key when exiting to prevent "jamming" the birdbox.



4 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS were at the Jacoby Creek Land Trust at Old Arcata and Jacoby Creek roads on February 15 (David Fix, Tom Leskiw). 20 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS were at Cummings Road on February 17, continuing since January (Tom Leskiw).

Barrie Sauppe on February 15 from the base of the South Jetty had a 2nd year GLAUCOUS GULL in Humboldt Bay.

On February 14 Scott Kerry had a HARLAN'S RED-TAILED HAWK on Hwy 101 south of Arcata, on the first billboard south of Jacoby Creek southbound on Highway 101.

Scott Kerry on February 13 had the continuing BLUE JAY and the tame flock of WILD TURKEYS on Redwood Creek. In the Arcata Bottoms at the northwest corner of Jackson Ranch Road was a BALD EAGLE and a MERLIN. On February 12 Scott and Dave Shuford had a PARASITIC JAEGER and 3 BLACK SCOTERS off the Freshwater Lagoon Beach. On Freshwater Lagoon there was a THAYER'S GULL. Stone and Big Lagoon had 1 COMMON GOLDENEYE each. 2 PALM WARBLERS were at the Watermark Building in Arcata, but no Least Flycatcher.

Ron LeValley in Crescent City had a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE and NASHVILLE WARBLER at 1070 K St on February 13.

The BLUE JAY and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued and the Heins residence at Redwood Creek, seen by Richard G. (name hard to decipher...) on February 12.

Kristen Brown and Eric Concannon had 8 WILSON'S SNIPE and a light MERLIN in the V St area of the Arcata bottoms on February 11.

Jim Tietz on February 12 at the Mad River boat ramp had an ORESTERA ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and 21 TUNDRA SWANS fly over. 5 THAYER'S GULLS and 8 HERRING GULLS were in the big gull roost near the mouth of the river.

Tristen McKee reported that Jason Starfire on February 12 had a ZONE-TAILED HAWK near Redding on Hwy 5 fly over with some Turkey Vultures.

Good Birding,
Steve Tucker
LBJ Enterprises

Friday, February 11, 2005

Eureka Waterfront, Mid Week Walk, YBLO

Dear Hum-birders,

This past Wednesday, February 9th the mid week Audubon Walk was a great success. Not only did we have a well attended trip (12+), but we saw some great birds. We started off at the Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly wildlife area at the end of Hilficker), usual suspects were in the willows including Lesser Goldfinch and Black-capped Chickadee. The tide was in so there was limited shorebird viewing, but we did add a lone Brant out on the river channel. The pond through the fence at the treatment works had both scaup and 20 or so American Wigeon. They have cleared vegetation around the pond so viewing is good if a little de-nuded right now. The sun was coming out as we left this area to check King Salmon and Fields Landing with good morning light behind us. At King Salmon there was a particularly large flock of Surf Scoter. I've been told a Harlequin Duck was in with them, though we didn't see it. Red Necked Grebe gave us good looks and White-winged Scoters were distinguished as they flew around. The white auriculars on the grebe that forms a little arc up to the back of the neck was a good mark along with the strong yellowish bill. Horned and Western Grebes were also present for comparison.

Then onto Fields Landing where I wanted to check a new spot at the end of South Depot Street. Matt Wachs had shown me it recently and it gives a better view of south bay particularly on calm days. Well, who did we see as our car caravan pulled up, but Matt along with Barry Sauppe who were scanning the bay. We were promptly told about a probable YELLOW-BILLED LOON out in the bay with the hundreds of Brant. Using scopes (which were needed) we spied the grey ghost-like form of a large loon with its bill pointed skyward. The pale coloration was that of an Immature and when directly compared with Common Loon was pale as a Red-throated is to a Pacific Loon. The whole time it preened and kept its bill upturned which was quite obvious and at a good angle would glint pale yellow, not the cold blue of a Common Loon. Finer points were hard to discern at a distance but Matt had had closer looks, and using Barry's ED glass a strongish gonydial angle was seen, as well as a brownish tinge in the auriculars with the impression of a small eye. For me, having seen one in the fog in 1990 at Trinidad Harbor the pale form with the upturned posture was the jizz that I got along with all the other happy members of our trip. Given the good turnout I plan another mid week trip for March, join us if you can.

Yours Rob

Directions: South Depot is the last right turn in Fields Landing just beforethe southbound exit.

Robert W. Hewitt Wildlife Biologist - LBJ Enterprises
Eureka, California (w) 707-442-0339, (cell) 707-845-3189, (fax) 707-269-0632

Chairman, Godwit Days Steering Committee April 15-17, 2005

Friday, February 04, 2005