Posted by: atowhee | May 26, 2014

HOMEWARD BOUND

After selling a few FREEWAY BIRDING books at San Francisco Costco yesterday I headed home. A couple of interesting birds on the way.
At the northbound Maxwell Rest Area, there was only water in one of four irrigation ponds just outside the perimeter fence. But that bit of water attracted insects and two foraging flycatchers: a Tree Swallow and a Black Tern:B-TERN GUD (1280x1017)

B-TERN-GUD2
btern-best
Records indicate that Black Tern is seen in the area occasionally in spring. The Sacramento Wildlife Refuge (only a few miles north of the rest stop) official checklist does not show the species as breeding locally though historically the Central Valley would have had breeding colonies. EBird shows records in the area for spring and again at the end of summer.
It was over 90 degrees there in Glenn County and the dragonflies were all resting on the chain link fence with tails in the air. Ventilation? Or just staying away from the Black Tern and trying to look like part of the fence?
d-fly

Much further north along Louie Road in Siskiyou County there was a foraging Willet, apparently breeding in the wet meadows there among the cattle.
wllt-louie (1280x835)

GADW-HIDN (1280x630)This pair of Gadwall were hiding in the deep grass not far from the Willet.

Birding at Maxwell Rest Area and along Louie Road is described in my FREEWAY BIRDING book; you can click here for more info. I have yet to see another birder at either location and both are right along the freeway with easy access.


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