Sunday, April 17, 2011


Cottonwood Creek Road above Whale Rock Reservoir. (photo - one of the many Turkey Vultures that were perched in a Sycamore Tree)

The weather could not have been finer. I was in paradise! The only sounds were the songs and tweets of many species of birds. After I turned on to Cottonwood Creek Road, crossed over the cattle guard (cattle wander freely), I stopped by a grove of huge old Oaks. A couple of House Wrens were in full mating mode, singing their beautiful song. Had no trouble seeing them as they were directly in front of me. Up the road a bit was another pair of House Wrens. I really like their cheeky nature.

Saw 30 species as I meandered about two miles up the road. Two mature Bald Eagles were perched in their usual oak tree by the water (Major Treat!).

The reservoir is about 80% full. On the water, near the reeds, were about 25 Western Grebe. Hopefully they will nest this year. The past few years the water has been too low for the Grebes to nest.

About a mile along the road is an open barn and corrals. A pair of Western Bluebird were once again nesting in an old post. An Ash-throated Flycatcher (a most fabulous bird) Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
was attempting to hang out in the same area as the Bluebirds. He/she was chased off several times by the Bluebirds. The Flycatcher finally realized, this was Bluebird territory.

List of sightings: Bald Eagle, West. Bluebird, Kingfisher, Red-winged Blackbird, Coot, Double-crested Cormorant, Calif. Quail, Say's Phoebe, Mourning Dove, Killdeer, West. Grebe, Am. Goldfinch, House Finch, Wrentit, Calif. Towhee, Wilson's Warbler, Bewick's and House Wren, White-crowned and Song Sparrow, Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier, Red-trailed Hawk, Ash-throated and Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Acorn Woodpecker, Scrub and Steller's Jay, Cliff Swallow, many Turkey Vulture. Conspicuous by its absence was Black Phoebe.

On the way home stopped by Morro Rock to get a Peregrine Falcon update. There was a biting cold wind. In the channel were Eared Grebe and Common Loon both in breeding plumage, also a pair of Surf Scoter. Bob, the Peregrine guy, said that at about day 30 the Peregrine pair abandoned their nest, mated again, and are in a new nesting site located below the first nest site. I have included a Flickr link to the location of the new nest. Peregrine Falcon Aerie #2 - | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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