With a Bingo card in hand showing the names of 16 species of sparrows, 13 birders set out on a beautiful October day. We ended up with 11 species of sparrows, 72 bird species overall, all of them in a few mile stretch between Winters and Fishing Access #3 in Putah Creek Canyon. The first stop, “Vesper Sparrow Corner”, the first bend in Highway 128 west of Winters, produced a rare late fall Grasshopper Sparrow, along with three Vesper Sparrows. Our next stop, in Putah Creek Canyon, produced four Rufous-crowned Sparrows. These have become easier to find lately, probably due to the County Fire, which likely displaced a lot birds along the Blue Ridge. The canyon also produced Golden Eagle, a flock of Band-tailed Pigeons, and a Pileated Woodpecker that flew slowly past at eye level while calling repeatedly. It took some searching, but Horseshoe Lane near Winters produced a few Chipping Sparrows, as well as an adult Ferruginous Hawk that did circles over our heads. For the record, the final sparrow list was: White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Rufous-crowned, Song, Fox, Lincoln’s, Lark, Savannah, Vesper, Chipping, and Grasshopper.
Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Hampton