First Year: Christmas Bird Count

At the last minute I contacted one of the area leaders, David Berman (who was an instructor for my naturalist course) and he allowed me to join his group in area 15 of Western Sonoma County. We met in Duncan's Mills (got delicious coffee!) and left to meet up again at Russia House. The staff came out and helped us bird right there at the Jenner Bridge. It was wonderful to meet everyone and see how passionate they were about this job! Loved it! Even as a novice birder, each person took time to teach me something special, and I was sure to hang out with the other beginners so that everyone was included. But boy was it COLD! We walked a lot today and I think some people wouldn't have been able to handle it. We had a lot of ground to cover and yet, we spent sufficient time each place that we went. I was amazed how many species we saw. As usual, the only camera I had on me was my phone which was next to useless for birding but I took a couple shots of the gorgeous surroundings. Also, I only added observations that I personally witnessed and actually saw/heard. There were many others that I wasn't there for or that I "heard" we had tallied on our list, but I didn't want to include those here. I wanted to make sure I added this to mark my first year and to keep practicing these particular birds. What a fun way to spent a holiday Sunday!!

Posted by bjoelle bjoelle, December 28, 2015 03:59

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Cormorants and Shags Family Phalacrocoracidae

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Cormorants

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Lots of these although we only counted them until 11am

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Merlin Falco columbarius

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

I found this one at the end of Willow Creek road way in the distance at the top of a redwood. We originally thought this was a Cooper's Hawk but I got an email from the group after the hike with photos showing this had been a Merlin.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

several of these seen all day, including a juvenile perched over a field at the end of the day

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Kestrel Falco sparverius

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

On our way out of the canyon flying from a telephone pole

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Typical Falcons Genus Falco

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Saw it flying straight over my head. Others argued which species it could be, so we decided to make it falco spp.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Coot Fulica americana

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Finally learned this bird. Saw several.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Gull Larus occidentalis

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

learned how to ID these from other gulls

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

debated over this one for several minutes then saw it fly dramatically over our heads

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Heard them all day, never saw a single one. But they must have been everywhere around us!

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Saw many of these today. I watched some interesting behaviors including flycatching and digging around on the ground

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Saw three of these in a Douglas Fir flycatching.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

heard these mostly and caught glimpses.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

California Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

saw several of these early in the morning in and around coyote brush and flying to fence posts

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Common Raven Corvus corax

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Many of these were out, flying in groups up high and shouting their loud call. We didn't see a single crow all day.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

saw these in a "great spot" because according to the other birders they are often hard to see in the bushes. These were on exposed branches of the brush and easy to watch and listen to.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Started the day not knowing this bird very well and started spotting them everywhere...

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Wrentit Chamaea fasciata

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

I've finally learned this bird - even through its song which I don't even have to think about anymore

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Saw three at the ranch out on fence posts at the end of Willow Creek road

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Another new bird (for me) learned. Started the day not knowing anything about these and finally was picking them out each time. Favorite moment: when a hermit thrush was digging through the grass looking for bugs/worms and suddenly a gopher underneath pulled at the grass it was standing on. It flew outta there so fast!

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Saw so many of these you could just lose count. And we did! But we did our best to estimate them each time

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

Learned a lot about these little guys today - common.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

saw lots of these sparrows as well. very common

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

another common bird, that I can I.D. easily even by sound

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

a group of these sitting at the top of a redwood tree on the boundary of the ranch at the end of Willow Creek

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

saw two of these in a large alder stand along Willow Creek. They were hard to see but I stayed with it. The color wasn't purple as I expected but Richard explained that they appeared "stained" like by raspberry juice

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Pine Siskin Spinus pinus

Observer

bjoelle

Date

December 27, 2015

Description

saw two separate groups of these flying together -- how pretty!!

Comments

Thumb

Awesome! :)

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago (Flag)

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