Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birds I'm Watching: Spring Lake, Santa Rosa (Feb. 23, 2011)

I took a walk around Spring Lake today for the first time in a while, trying to get a little exercise and enjoying the sunny, relatively warm weather. I didn't see anything unusual, but there were a lot of birds around--36 species (which is moderate for Spring Lake, but a lot of individual birds). There were many Pied-billed Grebes (14!) and there were Yellow-rumped Warblers everywhere (I counted 22--13 of the Myrtle type, three of the Audubon's type, and six that I didn't see well enough to tell which). There were probably more than I actually counted. After a while, it's hard not to start feeling blasé about them when there are so many--still, despite being common at this time of year, they are pretty birds.

Otherwise, I saw Crows, Turkey Vulture, two Red-shouldered Hawks (which may have been a pair; one was carrying nest material. They were hanging around the tall evergreen trees at the south end of the lake. I wonder if a nest will appear there?), many House Finches, including an orange one, Steller's Jay, Oak Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Scrub Jay, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Anna's Hummingbird, Common Merganser, Coots, Canada Geese, my first Tree Swallows of the year, Double-crested Cormorant, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Common Moorhen, Buffleheads, Mallards, Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Golden-crowned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, my first Green Heron of the year, Black Phoebe, Robin, Flicker, Ring-billed Gull, Hermit Thrush, and Ruddy Duck. A fair number of usually present birds escaped me today--notably juncos and egrets. The Mallard hen in the photo posed rather obligingly.

For more information about Spring Lake and bird watching in Sonoma County generally, see my Website Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots.

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