A bridge in the middle of upper Bidwell Park hosts an impressive group of Cliff Swallows who are now in the midst of piecing together their nests. I had never seen such a dense group of nests and was amazed by how close together they manage to frantically zoom in and out from under the bridge with no problems at all.
Pairs seem to switch back and forth on the construction of the nests
Went down to Chico to check out Bidwell Park. Happened upon some Wilson's, Townsend's, Nashville, and Orange-crowned warblers along with a few Western Tanagers and Ash-throated Flycatchers. Potluck tonight with some of the other crew, then up early(ish) tomorrow to continue with training.
Pygmy Nuthatch, my favorite nuthatch for now, as this is the first time I've really been surrounded by them
Amanda and I made an afternoon trip over to the Honey Lake Wildlife Area in order to get a peak at some birds we will likely not encounter for most of the summer, as it is sage brush country. Western Meadowlarks were everywhere and the small ponds we found were full of very skittish ducks.
My first (150 or so) White-faced Ibises
Killdeer were kicking around all over the place, nervously bobbing all the way
Loggerhead Shrike, thankfully a safe distance from my hands
Beautiful day, finding our first Fox Sparrows and Green-tailed Towhees of the year and LIFE (for the Towhee). We have the WHOLE weekend off, not sure what we'll do, but probably head down slope for for hikes and birding.
First day of training was pretty good overall. A tad rainy and cold, but we got out birding a bit and learned a lot about what lies ahead for the summer. The Sierras rule so far, so come on over for a visit!
Great Blue from the farm a couple of days ago
Black-headed Grosbeaks were singing all over the farm
We've made it to the Northern Sierras and will be staying just outside of Chester, the farthest north I've been in Cali, for the next two weeks during our training period. As we've made our way north through Cali we've seen a lot of friends, as well as birds, that we haven't in a while, and it's been grand. Thanks to the Palo folks for the visit, and Nolan for the farm fun (we fed lambs!).
White-tailed Kite at a gas station near Full Belly Farm
Red-winged Blackbirds infused the farm cover crops nicely
Back in Oakland once again, prepping for our trek NORTH to Quincy/Meadow Valley for the summer. It's fun to see these folk again, feels like a second home. Charlottesville was great, cool town and beautiful surroundings. Special thanks to Jim, Bee, Carol, and Barbara for the great visit. We made it out for some birding, and though we did not find too much due to wind, there were some species I hadn't seen for a long while.
First thing in the morning we ran into this little guy running across the road to join its mother and fellow cub. Couldn't get anything better than this:
American Redstarts were singing all over the place
Walked along the Robert Frost Trail between Depot and Juggler Meadow Road today. A few non-feeder birds: Swamp Sparrow, Palm Warbler, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pine Warbler, and an early Prairie Warbler.
A few Palms flitting around the marsh-forest edge.
The last two days of banding in Costa Rica were spectacular, with 49 birds (of 21 species) the first day and 38 birds (of 18 species) on the second, including two White-throated Spadebills, a Scintillant Hummingbird, a bunch of Fiery-throated and Magnificents, our first Northern Waterthrush, our second Streak-breasted Treehunter, and more Nightinggale Thrushes than I ever wanted to see.
This was the only picture I got of the two spadebills because both seemed ready to perish at the sight of a camera...but LOOK AT THAT BILL!
Hummingbirds will cling to anything they can get their paws on, including their own wings and bills, like this monster playing the trombone.
Me and my 2.2 gram buddy, weighting in at less than a penny.
This was our third Scintillant of the season, but our first male, distinctly different from the equally tiny Volcano by the orange gorget.
Ah yes, we also had lots of Yellow-thighed Finches. I think they look more like they're wearing capris.