A cool March was typically slow for rare birds. Top of the list, however, was a Dusky Flycatcher found Mar 5 in north Davis (SH). Only the second winter record for the county, the bird remained through the month, often vocalizing. A Costa’s Hummingbird display was heard several times at the same time and place (SH).
Ten Vaux’s Swifts over the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) on Mar 8 (AE) were among the northernmost ever recorded for that date, though they have been documented twice in Humboldt County earlier. The YBWA area also provided a panoply of gulls, including Glaucous Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull, thousands of shorebirds, and hundreds of Yellow-headed Blackbirds during the month. The Swamp Sparrow also remained thru the period. On Rayhouse Rd, several pairs of Steller’s Jays appear to be resident (KD, LW, EI, ZP).
March turned surreal about halfway through, with shelter-in-place orders issued by Davis, Yolo County, and then the state of California. Birding, well suited to physical distancing, remained a local option to get out of the house. While most birding sites remain open, these are now closed:
- Putah Creek Fishing Accesses
- Grasslands Regional Park (and other county parks)
- Lake Solano Park and Campground
The UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve remains open with a warning that a closure may be implemented if visitors are unable to maintain required physical distancing. It should be assumed that the same applies to other sites as well.
Thanks to the following for their reports: Konshau Duman (KD), Andy Engilis (AE), Steve Hampton (SH), Emmett Iverson (EI), Zane Pickus (ZP), Lynette Williams (LW).
Checklist with Photos:
Dusky Flycatcher: https://ebird.org/checklist/S65913803 (and audio)
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA