The new year featured several returning birds. On Jan 3, last winter’s Garganey was re-found at Bridgeway Island Pond in West Sacramento (LS, MS). The male is currently in eclipse plumage, but should molt as the winter progresses.
On Jan 9, December’s Barred Owl made another appearance on Instagram, photographed in a backyard along Willowbank Ditch (fide EI). The bird then made several more appearances in the area over the next few days, becoming a local celebrity among neighbors for its confiding behavior. Finally, on Jan 12, the bird was found roosting above a bike path and was enjoyed by many birders (SS). That night, the owl became entangled in netting over a backyard pond, requiring rescue and rehabilitation by the UC Davis Raptor Center. State and federal authorities then intervened, preventing its release due to its threat to the endangered Spotted Owl. The Barred Owl thus remains at the Raptor Center and will be used for educational purposes.
New finds included an adult Slaty-backed Gull near the Yolo County Landfill on Jan 31, the first in many years (SH), and a Red-naped Sapsucker at UC Davis’s Russell Ranch on Jan 24 (JR). A Eurasian Green-winged Teal discovered at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) on Jan 29 is always a good find (EH). A Greater Roadrunner was photographed just south of south Davis in December and was either in Yolo or Solano County (fide EI).
Elsewhere in south Davis, last winter’s Costa’s Hummingbird returned and continued through the month (BT), as did the Worm-eating Warbler. Likewise, the Swamp Sparrow remains reliable at YBWA. Winters’s Plumbeous Vireo continues, and another was found at UC Davis on Jan 29 (KD).
More expected winter specialties included Mountain Bluebirds in the Dunnigan Hills (SL, EI) and an Evening Grosbeak in Guinda (ES).
Thanks to the following for their reports: Konshau Duman (KD), Steve Hampton (SH), Ed Harper (EH), Emmett Iverson (EI), Sami LaRocca (SL), Jason Riggio (JR), Sean Smith (SS), Elliot Schoenig (ES), Lucas Stephenson (LS), Mark Stephenson (MS).
Checklists with Photos:
Barred Owl: https://ebird.org/checklist/S63342997
Slaty-backed Gull: https://ebird.org/checklist/S63984955
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA