Cosumnes 2010, PRBO Bird-A-Thon
UPDATE: On Sunday, 9/19/2010, John Trochet did the driving and nearly all of the logistics to make for a very enjoyable and full day for Dan Tankersley, Dan Kopp, pinch hitting for Jeri Langham, and me. We began in the dark just before 6am at the Barn Ponds and ended at the Howard Ranch gate around 9pm.
We had 120 species, though one, the Golden Eagle was just outside of Sacramento County and, hence, off the preserve as well. The bird of the day was surely the Green-tailed Towhee found by John on Saturday's Tall Forest survey and refound on Sunday morning. The first bird was a Barn Owl flying low over Desmond Road, and the last new bird was a Western Screech-Owl (among at least six calling) at the Howard Ranch among the blue oaks, though Horned Larks escorted us along the dirt track all of the way back to Twin Cities Rd.
We spent the entire day on Cosumnes River Preserve properties, though we did have our eyes open on the roads connecting the parcels east of Hwy 99. Other highlights included American white pelican, peregrine falcon, black-bellied plover still substantially in breeding plumage, lesser yellowlegs, red-necked phalarope, common poorwill, Vaux's swift, Lewis's woodpecker (perhaps 50!), olive-sided flycatcher, willow flycatcher, warbling vireo, common raven, five species of swallows, red-breasted nuthatch, blue-gray gnatcatcher, hermit thrush, phainopepla, seven species of wood warblers, western tanager, rufous-crowned sparrow, vesper sparrow, and purple finch.
This is the 33rd annual PRBO Bird-A-thon, run each fall from Sept 1 to October 15, and an important source of funding for this valuable organization. PRBO's many projects provide essential habitat information for conservation organizations throughout the western U.S. (and beyond) and solid bird-based science that provides an understanding of population status and overall habitat health. For more information, you can check their website at www.prbo.org