A warm and completely dry February allowed birders plenty of time in the field. The biggest surprise came on the first morning of the month with the discovery of a Lark Bunting in a large sparrow flock north of Capay along Rd 86 (SH, MP). The bird has delighted birders through the month.
With no rain, shorebirds were concentrated at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA), with a remarkable 465 American Avocets and thousands of Long-billed Dowitchers and Dunlin. Highlights included a rare winter Whimbrel on Feb 19 (Digibirdtrek), a Marbled Godwit on Feb 23 (SH), and a Ruff on Feb 27 (JC, CD, MR). A Eurasian Green-winged Teal found on Feb 22 (JL) was later seen by many.
Elsewhere in the county, last winter’s Red-naped x Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was re-found in north Davis on Feb 8 (ZP), this time as a full adult; the identification verdict remains the same. Winter records of Cassin’s Vireos are increasing, but the discovery of two on the same day, Feb 26, one in north Davis (DC) and one in east Davis (MP), was still noteworthy. Four Mountain Bluebirds were seen at Wildhorse Gold Course in Davis on Feb 13 (MP).
The month was filled with continuing highlights from last month. Birders obtained excellent flight shots of the well-marked adult Slaty-backed Gull (KS, BW). Possibly two different adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were encountered. A fairly white Kumlien’s Iceland Gull accompanied a Glaucous and Nelson’s Gull (Herring x Glaucous) at YBWA.
The Costa’s Hummingbird and Worm-eating Warbler in south Davis, Harris’s Sparrow in Winters, Swamp Sparrow at YBWA, and Plumbeous Vireo in Winters were all seen thru the end of February. The Garganey was last seen Jan 31; interestingly, it or another was later found in Colusa County.
Thanks to the following for their reports: Joe Clemens (JC), Dan Cook (DC), Chris Dunford (CD), Steve Hampton (SH), Jeri Langham (JL), Sami LaRocca (SL), Michael Perrone (MP), Zane Pickus (ZP), Mike Reinhart (MR).
Checklists with Photos:
Lark Bunting: https://ebird.org/checklist/S64008558
Kumlien’s Iceland Gull: https://ebird.org/checklist/S65229032
Harris’s Sparrow: https://ebird.org/checklist/S64648528
Red-naped x Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: https://ebird.org/checklist/S64805795
Slaty-backed Gull: https://ebird.org/checklist/S64544859
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA