Whelan Lake Bird Walk, today January 26. Total: 62 Species

 Vermillion Flycatcher photo by Cathie Canepa

A gorgeous day for birdwatching and forty other birders agreed, because that how many turned out. No, it was not just for the doughnuts and fruit. We identified 62 species. In addition a rock was spotted five miles away that some were certain was a Burrowing Owl. Also, eBird did not let us count Paul and Richard’s Prairie Falcon. We saw a couple of swallows, but could not identify them. eBird, I guess, does not believe we could see a Rufous Hummingbird because it would not allow us to enter it. No green anywhere!

The Cackling Goose was a rarity for this hotspot, as was the Common Goldeneye. The Vermillion Flycatcher put in an appearance at the end of the day as we were doing the count. The single Snowy Egret was the same way. I guess he wanted to be counted since he flew right over our heads just as we concluded none was seen. A coyote was seen, although he didn’t have any feathers.

The new caretakers, Chyrle and Greg Kackstettler, were very accommodating and had the gate opened by seven for any earlybirds (of which there were none, except for Diane and I). We encourage you to visit Whelan on your own. Just phone 760 722 4887 and Chyrle or Greg will see that the gate is open for you.

Here’s our list.

1 Cackling Goose – Seen through scope by 20 birders. Swimming with the 96 Canada Geese. Smaller in size, Short Neck
96 Canada Goose
10 Cinnamon Teal
250 Northern Shoveler
1 American Wigeon
8 Mallard
5 Canvasback
12 Redhead
20 Ring-necked Duck
50 Bufflehead
6 Common Goldeneye – Seen by 20 birders through scope.
100 Ruddy Duck
6 Pied-billed Grebe
12 Eared Grebe
4 Mourning Dove
1 Greater Roadrunner
4 Anna’s Hummingbird
1 Allen’s Hummingbird
1 Rufous Hummingbird – This was a Rufous Hummingbird! No green on him whatsoever
1 Ridgway’s Rail – Heard only
5 Common Gallinule
40 American Coot
5 Black-necked Stilt
1 Ring-billed Gull
9 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Egret
2 Snowy Egret
1 Green Heron
1 Black-crowned Night-Heron
2 Turkey Vulture
1 White-tailed Kite
1 Northern Harrier
2 Red-shouldered Hawk
4 Red-tailed Hawk
1 owl sp. – Spotted five miles away and probably a rock!
1 Downy Woodpecker
4 Nuttall’s Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 American Kestrel
1 Prairie falcon – Seen previously at this hotspot
2 Black Phoebe
2 Say’s Phoebe
1 Vermilion Flycatcher — Seen by 40. Cannot be mistaken
12 Cassin’s Kingbird
3 California Scrub-Jay
3 American Crow
2 swallow sp.
30 Bushtit
3 Marsh Wren
3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 California Thrasher
1 Northern Mockingbird
2 European Starling
4 House Finch
9 Lesser Goldfinch
12 White-crowned Sparrow
3 Song Sparrow
6 California Towhee
3 Spotted Towhee
2 Western Meadowlark
2 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Orange-crowned Warbler

Leader: Doug Walkley

This might be of help to Doug and others.

When eBird doesn’t list a bird for a particular location, click on the “add species” button in the upper right-hand corner of the species list, then type in the name of the bird.Add in some notes in the “details” box that help verify the identification, and check the “complete” box.  The bird will be reviewed by a local “expert” and most likely be added to your overall total.  Uploading any photos of the bird will also help.

Ken Weaver

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