Posted by: atowhee | December 6, 2007

Down by the riverside

gadwall-male.jpgMale Gadwall in tweeds, by Louise Won.

I got to go on the monthly bird count along the Central Point section of the Bear Creek Greenway.  First, by California standards where rain is dear, Bear Creek this time of year is a small river.

Based on the locals’ experience, the lone White-tailed Kite, a White-throated Sparrow, a juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron and two Blakc Phoebe were the best (that is most uncommon) birds of the day.  We had good numbers of the usual seedeaters from Lesser Goldfinches to Fox Sparrow.

The walk along the greenway took us past four ponds, the result of gravel dredging.  And those ponds produced a decent number of ducks though the largest had the fewest birds.  Of course, the Wood Ducks were doing their best to conceal themselves behind willows but the other ducks were in clear view.  One pond was crowded with Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Coots and other water birds.   Another pond seemed specially outfitted for Gadwall, the males in their finest fall tweeds.

In the creekside brush we had two wren species: Bewick’s and Winter.  Both nothern gtowhee species: California and Spotted.  Someone had to ask: if you don’t see is it “spotted?” 

A highlight: Acorn Woodpeckers working around a granery tree, perforated withtheir acorn holding holes.  It is always great to see these gusy, even when they are abundant as they are here in the Bear Valley.  Total species for the day: fifty species.

Later I took Bridget for a short walk and we saw two Varied Thrush that were sure we did NOT see them, also a tight flock of Waxwings speeding overhead on their way to the next madrone.  Heard the Pileated far up on the mountainside, no sighting.


There’s been some national press recently about bears becoming urbanized anxd how hard it is to curtial their scavenging in suburbs that encroach on the woodlands.  These are black bears and here is an interesting slide show put together by a guy who says he’s spent a lot of time with black bears on their territory:  click here

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