Emmett Iverson here, taking over for Steve Hampton after twenty-some odd years of writing monthly reports for the Burrowing Owl. Steve will be sorely missed by the birding community, not only for the birds he finds but for the knowledge, skill and outreach he has provided for the past three decades. Don’t feel too badly for Steve though, he will be moving to the wonderful and diverse state of Washington. Neah Bay in October…oh man.
February is typically one of the slower months for birding here in the Central Valley and even slower for finding rarities but that didn’t stop Yolo birders from finding a couple goodies. A gorgeous Harris’s Sparrow was found on Feb 22 amongst a giant flock of White-crowned Sparrows along Levee Road, near the Putah Creek Riparian Preserve. (KB)
A one-day-wonder Sage Thrasher (CM) was photographed at Bridgeway Island Pond in West Sacramento on Feb 6.
Earlier in the month a Red-necked Grebe was found in Lake Solano (CW, TW), this was the second one found in the span of a few weeks. Yolo birders have been waiting for over fifteen years for one and all of a sudden we had two! I guess when it rains it pours.
A presumed female Red-naped Sapsucker was found on the Solano side of Putah (RM) on Feb 14 but was seen by birders making forays into Yolo. Sapsuckers are notorious for hybridizing but early opinions on this bird are trending towards it being pure. This would represent a fourth county record.
A few continuing rarities spending the winter here in Yolo include the Eastern Phoebe at Wild Wings Park that was last reported Feb 13 (WY). The Broad-billed Hummingbird in Davis (BT, JC) has also been treating birders to views through the end of the month.
An additional note is that I have cited the observers that have most recently reported birds that were found the previous month.
Thank you to the following observers for their checklists and reports: Kathy Blankenship (KB), Chris McAllister (CM), Chris Wills (CW), Teri Wills (TW), Roger Muskat (RM), Wentao Yang (WY), Bob Toleno (BT) and Juli Chamberlin (JC).
eBird checklists with photos:
Harris’s Sparrow: https://ebird.org/checklist/S82382174
Sage Thrasher: https://ebird.org/checklist/S80532662
Red-necked Grebe: https://ebird.org/checklist/S80289943
Red-naped Sapsucker: https://ebird.org/checklist/S81949898
Eastern Phoebe: https://ebird.org/checklist/S81497957
Broad-billed Hummingbird: https://ebird.org/checklist/S80258381
If you ever have a question or interesting sighting, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to run into you in the field soon!
Compiled by Emmett Iverson, Davis, CA