Posted by: atowhee | March 16, 2018


You got your hummers.  You got your sunbirds, bowerbirds, honeycreepers, tanagers, Australian parrots, penguins, pratincoles…the list of glamor (glamour be you Brit) birds is lengthy.  But out in the plain grasslands, where winds blow and sunlight fades the color of sky or bloom, there, with some luck, if the light be with you, stands the Horned Lark:HOLA BEAUT5HOLA-AAHOLA-AA2This fellow was at Parking Lot F in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area…even his habitat has a most non-romantic name.  But birders, don’t bypass this bypass.  Wonderful birding there mid-day today.
My birding began in early morning at Alice Hoffman Park along the American River in Carmichael.  Hermit Thrush, House Wren, flock of Lark Sparrow in the grass, Red-breasted Sapsucker:


At the Yolo Bypass a peregrine made an aerial run above sine shorebirds and the dowitchers and Dunlin circled and circled before settling back down.  Later one peregrine made a dive at another before they parted and went separate ways. The one of the big falcons passed right in front of me:PER PASSES2PER PASSES3 (2)PER PASSES3PER PASSES4PER NPASSES5

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Yolo, California, US
Mar 16, 2018. 44 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  X
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  1
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)  8
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  X
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  X
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)  10
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  12
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  40
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  20
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)  200
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Sora (Porzana carolina)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  5000
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)  75
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)  10
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  1
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  X
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Peregrine Falcon (North American) (Falco peregrinus anatum)  2
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  1
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  X
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  X
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata coronata)  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)  X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

American River Parkway–Ancil Hoffman Park, Sacramento, California, US
Mar 16, 2018.  20 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  6
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  6
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  3
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  3
Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli)  3
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
House Wren (Northern) (Troglodytes aedon [aedon Group])  1
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)  1
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)  15
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Purple Finch (Western) (Haemorhous purpureus californicus)  1



  1. Had a horned lark a few weeks ago at the south end of Emigrant Lake, which was the first horned lark I’d ever seen on this side of the Cascades.

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