Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Birds I'm Watching: Ellis Creek Water Treatment Ponds

Just to report a sighting yesterday of a Swamp Sparrow at the Ellis Creek water treatment ponds, in Petaluma, California. It was my first visit. I hadn't realized how much space is there--easily as big as Shollenberger Park, next door. Turns out the Swamp Sparrow is a moderately rare bird in the state. My report of it has caused a bit of a buzz among local birders. Adding the Swamp Sparrow to my list gives me 127 species in Sonoma County, about 31% of all the species that have ever been recorded here (438)--although that total includes a fair number of extremely rare and unlikely-to-be-repeated sightings. I'm hoping to get to around 150 over the winter.

[Update: As of Jaunary 12, 2010, I'm already at 160 for the county. Based on subsequent research, it sounds like 375 birds are regulars in Sonoma--or at least not so rare that there is little hope of ever seeing them here.]

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