2018 Lake Solano Field Trip
Trip Leader: Sharon Kirkpatrick Sat, Nov 3rd
A group of seven birders took a chance that Lake Solano would be much calmer than the 20+ mph winds Davis and Winters experienced that day. Luck was on our side! The day was unseasonably warm, sunny, slightly breezy with a few minor gusts of wind. Overall we saw 49 species of birds, 5 seen only at Vesper Sparrow corner. It was a lovely day to bird.
One of the target birds for this trip is the Vesper Sparrow. One Vesper Sparrow was seen at Vesper Sparrow corner along with 1 Lark Sparrow and 1 Savannah Sparrow. More sparrows could be seen in the adjacent walnut orchard but were too far away to be identified. In the distant small oak trees, we spotted a Loggerhead Shrike.
At Lake Solano, one of the target species is Phainopepla. We saw at least 8 individual Phainopepla. We were surprised by the size of the JAR of White-breasted Nuthatches, which were quite fun to watch. Among the many Northern Flickers, one was a yellow-shafted morph. The vast major of ducks were Bufflehead, but also seen were Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Wigeon and Mallard. Twice the call of a Sora or two was heard near the bridge. Only Gold-crowned Sparrows were there to represent their group while Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were in far fewer numbers than seen in previous years. The Western Screech Owl was not visible at its usual tree hole, though it was seen at least 10 days prior. Raptors seen were 1 Red-tailed hawk, 1 American Kestrel and a several Turkey Vultures. Overall, there were fewer species and numbers of birds than I expected.
Of some considerable note were the 2 native mammal sights. The most exciting was an adult BOBCAT and her ‘bobkitten’ on the opposite side of Putah Creek, near the west end of the campground. It was a brief event, with the adult drinking some water before they both simply vanished into the brush. Very exciting. A pair of river otter were seen feeding in the middle of the lake near the dock.