Local birding, at least at certain locations, may have increased under the COVID shutdown, allowing many to enjoy the start of spring migration. The highlight was the county’s first ever Virginia’s Warbler, well-described on Apr 26 from the last stand of trees below the crossroads at the summit of Rayhouse Rd (AH). This is a 4 ½ mile hike from Hwy 16, illustrating birding while physical distancing. Virginia’s Warblers showed up across much of Colorado and Utah within days of this report.
On the same day, the first Red-breasted Merganser in five years was found at the Woodland/Davis Clean Water Facility (KD, LW). Like many spring migrants, both of these were one day wonders.
Spring shorebird migration has been limited due to poor water levels, but a Stilt Sandpiper Apr 14 at Woodlands Wastewater Treatment Plant was the cream of the crop (BW). A Least Bittern was heard at Cache Creek near Wild Wings Park on Apr 12 (WH), where one has been recorded in the past. More than a few Calliope Hummingbird reports is notable. Finally, a Plumbeous Vireo was reported from Willowbank Ditch on Apr 15 (MP).
An update on site closures: The Putah Creek Fishing Accesses, Grasslands Regional Park, and several other county parks have re-opened. Lake Solano Park and Campground remain closed.
Thanks to the following for their reports: Konshau Duman (KD), Adrian Hinkle (AH), Will Hemstrom (WH), Michael Perrone (MP), Bart Wickel (BW), Lynette Williams (LW).
Checklists with Photos:
Red-breasted Merganser: https://ebird.org/checklist/S67876132
Stilt Sandpiper: https://ebird.org/checklist/S67221428
Calliope Hummingbird: https://ebird.org/checklist/S67384169
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA