KERN COUNTY DESERT OASES

                                                             © Callyn Yorke

The Silver Saddle Resort (Galileo Hill)  viewing north from Galileo Hill, Kern County, California   15 May, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Index Links to Bird Surveys

 

Galileo Hill (September 23, 2017)

Galileo Hill (May 16, 2015)

Galileo Hill (April 26, 2015)

Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest (October 10, 2013)

California City Park and Galileo Hill (September 7, 2013)

Galileo Hill (June 3, 2013)

California City Park and Galileo Hill (April 25, 2013)

Garlock, Ridgecrest and Galileo Hill (November 2, 2012)

Galileo Hill (October 18, 2012)                                       

California City Central Park (Sept. 21, 2012)

California City and Galileo Hill (Sept. 3, 2012)

Galileo Hill (May 15, 2012)

California City and Galileo Hill  (May 11, 2012)

Butterbredt Spring and Kern River Preserve  (May 4, 2012)                      

Cerro Coso College (November 12, 2011)

Galileo Hill (2010- 2011)

 

 

 

September 23, 2017  Galileo Hill Silver Saddle Resort (47 Species)

 

Weather: Fair; 55F to 73F; wind WNW 0- 7 mph (max. 0750hrs; min. 1200 hrs.)

Time: 0750- 1207 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked the perimeter and through most of the interior of the resort, taking a 20-minute break at 1010 hrs.. Increasing numbers of visitors (including) several birders arrived by 0900 hrs. Conditions were generally quiet and undisturbed until about 1000 hrs., when there was a series of shotgun blasts at the skeet range. A couple of dirt bikers were riding desert trails bordering the northeastern section of the resort.

 

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today were,Townsend's Solitaire, six species of warbler, including Northern Waterthrush (1) and eight species of sparrow.  Unseen addtional species reported here by others today, included, Palm Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and White-throated Sparrow.

 

BIRDS NOTED

 

 

Cinnamon Teal  1  flushed from south shore of main lake.

Great Blue Heron  1 vocal when in flight;  flushed from edge of main lake.

Turkey Vulture  1  soaring low over nw corner of the resort and desert.

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1  chasing a Black Phoebe unsuccessfully over an open section of lawn, n-central.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  circling on thermals, s.

American Coot  4  swimming in main lake.

Feral Rock Pigeon  6  flying over nw section.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4  flying over central section.

Mourning Dove  2  flying over creosote scrub, n.

Belted Kingfisher  1 (m) vocal; flying over ponds and lakes, n.

Downy Woodpecker 1 (unseen) vocal, cottonwoods, ne.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1 (f) vocal; foraging on limb bud clusters in cottonwoods, s (photo).

 

 

Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris) Galileo Hill, Kern County CA  23 September 2017

                                                                                                                 © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Northern Flicker  1 in shade on edge of pond, central.

Western Wood Pewee  4   sallying from cottonwood branches, central, e (photo).

 

 

Western Wood Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) Galileo Hill, Kern County CA  23 Sept. 2017

                                                                                                         © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Willow Flycatcher  3  sallying from low cottonwood and giant reed perches ( 2- 5 ft. agl) near water, central, e (photo)

 

                                          Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii) , Galileo Hill Kern County CA  23 September 2017

                              

                                                                                                                                                                                    © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Black Phoebe  4   sallying from low perches throughout, often near water.

Say's Phoebe   3  voca; perched on creosote bushes at edge of resort and desert; e, s.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1 (unseen) calls, edge of resort/desert, se.

Common Raven  6  vocal; flying over resort.

Horned Lark  25 gregarious;  a large flock visiting the greens of the miniature golf course, nw.

Verdin  4  vocal; foraging in cottonwoods, edges of the resort/desert.

Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 (unseen) vocal in large pine next to stables, central.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5 foraging in outer edges of cottonwoods, often with OCWA.

Townsend's Solitaire  1  in cottonwoods, sallying to lawn in shady picnic area, central (photo).

 

Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) Galileo Hill Kern CO CA 23 Sept 2017

                                                                                                                © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Swainson's Thrush  1  in shady garden next to stables, central.

Phainopepla  1 (m) bathing at edge of pond; flying to and from willows, sw (photo).

 

 

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Galileo Hill, Kern CO CA  23 September 2017

                                                                                                                    © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Orange-crowned Warbler   15  gregarious, ubiquitous; foraging at all height levels in a large variety of vegetation, including Ambrosia, Salsola, Larrea, Populus.

Yellow Warbler 1 (f) with OCWA in cottonwood outer foliage, central.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler 1 (f) low in cottonwoods near water, central.

Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (m) foraging low in cottonwoods near water, central.

Northern Waterthrush  1 moving quickly around edge of pond adjacent to main parking area; reports of NOWA at GH over the past two weeks, nw (photo).

 

Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) Galileo Hill, Kern CO CA  23 September 2017

                                                                                                                       © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Common Yellowthroat  2 (m,f) in marsh at edge of main pond, central.

Black-throated Sparrow 5  gregarious; on edge of resort/desert in creosote scub, ne, se (photo).

 

 

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) Galileo Hill, Kern CO CA  23 September 2017

                                                                                                             © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Bell's Sparrow  1 (showing very pale malar stripe, suggesting Sagebrush Sparrow), creosote scrub, se.

Savannah Sparrow  4 gregarious; foraging on bare ground and lawns, s (photo).

 

 

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) Galileo Hill, Kern CO CA  23 Sept 2017

                                                                                                          © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Fox Sparrow  2  foraging on ground in shady gardens, n, central (photo).

 

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) Galileo Hill Kern CO CA  23 September 2017

                                                                                                                     © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Lincoln's Sparrow   12  gregarious (often in pairs), ubiquitous; foraging on ground near dense shrub cover (photo).

 

Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) Galileo Hill Kern CO CA 23 Sept 2017

                                                                                                       © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

White-crowned Sparrow  30  (ad, imm) gregarious; foraging with SASP and GCSP, on ground; in shrubs and edge of lawns, s. (photo).

Golden-crowned Sparrow  1  foraging on ground with WCSP, s (photo).

 

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and White-crowned Sparrow (Z. leucophrys), GH, Kern CO CA  23 Sept 2017

        

                                                                                                                           © 2017 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Dark-eyed Junco  1 (f) edge of pond beneath willow, swc.

Western Tanager 1 (f) in cottonwood, then going down to lawn to take a large, green grasshopper, central.

Red-winged Blackbird 4 (m) gregarious, vocal; marsh at edge of main pond; flying over resort, central.

Brewer's Blackbird  4 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; flying over resort, nw.

Great-tailed Grackle  8 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; around pond next to main parking area.

House Finch 8 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, central.

Lesser Goldfinch 4  vocal, gregarious, central.

House Sparrow 25  vocal, gregarious; mainly around stables, central.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2015 Galileo Hill Silver Saddle Resort (36 Species)

 

 

Weather: Fair; 51F to 68F; wind WSW 2 mph.

Time: 0703-1240 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Birds of Southern California class (9 students) and I.  Several other individuals and small groups of birders were met for brief updates on bird sightings.

Area Covered:   After everyone signed in with the resort manager at the main lodge (I briefly reviewed the birding log book), we walked slowly and quietly through most of the resort, including the interior and edges of the desert, excluding residential and recreational areas. We walked slowly on paths, roadways and across lawns, surveying about 100 acres. There were many other non-birders (e.g. picnickers, cyclists, boaters, equestrians, skeet-range and archery range users) present during our visit. A recent Pacific Southwest frontal system passed through the region during the previous 48 hours. Current fair weather conditions created optimal conditions for finding and identifying landbird migrants. A relatively high diversity and abundance of Tyrant Flycatchers (e.g Empidonax spp.) was observed.

 

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, a possible Nuttall's x Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), Olive-sided Flycatcher (1),  Hammond's Flycatcher (12), Willow Flycatcher (2), Dusky Flycatcher (1), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (8), Cassin's Vireo (1), Swainson's Thrush (14), Ovenbird (1), Wilson's Warbler (80) and Lawrence's Goldfinch (4).

 

 

BIRDS NOTED

 

 

Great Blue Heron  1  flying at about 70 ft. agl over the resort, s.

Accipter sp.  flushed from the edge of the lake, central.

American Coot  3  swimming in main lake.

Killdeer  2  a vocal pair on ground, central.

Spotted Sandpiper  2   foraging on lawn next to lake, central.

Feral Rock Pigeon    3  flying over stables, sw.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4  vocal pairs in cottonwoods, central.

Mourning Dove   3   flying low through the resort.

Hummingbird sp. 1 (unseen) calls sounded like a Black-chinned Hummingbird, s.

 

Nuttall's x Ladder-backed Woodpecker ?  2  (m,f) a pair staying close;   ID: intermediate amount of white on face of both male and female; female with buffy lores and sides (photo); repeated calls with a harsh, raspy end-note sounding more like Ladder-backed than Nuttall's. The pair was vocalizing in the same cottonwood, central.

 

 

A Possible Nuttall's (Picoides nuttallii)x Ladder-backed Woodpecker (P. scalaris): A female showing a relatively white face and buffy lores. Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                                                

                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1 ID: relatively large size with heavy bill; gray streaked sides contrasting with white breast and belly (c.f. Western Wood Pewee); perched on outer branches of a cottonwood on the edge of the resort; flying a short distance to an adjacent perch (photo), nw.

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                

                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Western Wood Pewee   12  vocal, ubiquitous; ID: variable plumage coloration - olive brown to gray; upright posture; large bill with orange-based mandible; inconspicuous eye-ring; white throat and long wings and notched tail; sallying from medium to low perches in trees and shrubs (photo).

 

 

Western Wood Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

               

                                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

Willow Flycatcher   2   ID: a relatively large Empidonax with a long bill (pale lower mandible) and inconspicuous eye-ring;  in low to medium-height perches in shrubs and cottonwoods, s. 

                                      

Hammond's Flycatcher  12  ID: a small, compact Empidonax with a tiny, dark bill and slight posteriorly expanded, narrow eye-ring;  the most common Empidonax throughout the park, sallying from low branches of cottonwoods.

 

 

 

Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) Galileo Hill  Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                                                                                     © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

 

Dusky Flycatcher    1 ID; very similar to E. hammondii but note slightly larger, orange-based bill and longer tail;  low perch in cottonwood, central.

 

 

Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

Pacific- slope Flycatcher   8  ID:  rich greenish-brown upperparts; assymetrical, broken eye-ring, posteriorly expanded; broad-based, orange mandible; ubiquitous; sallying from shrubs and trees (photo).

 

 

Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

     .

                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Say's Phoebe   2  sallying from low perches at edges of the resort, n, e.

Cassin's Vireo  1  foraging in subcanopy and middle level of cottonwood, central (photo).

 

 

 

Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii) Galileo Hill  Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Common Raven   2   flying low over the resort, central.

Horned Lark    5   flushed from edge of entrance road next to miniature golf course, nw.

Swainson's Thrush   14   individuals and pairs foraging on ground throughout the park.

European Starling   3   foraging on lawns, central.

Yellow Warbler  1 (f ?)  cottonwoods overhanging stream near the main lodge parking area, nw (BK).

 

Ovenbird  1   repeatedly giving loud song from cottonwoods; later found by Andrew Howe foraging on lawn next to tennis courts, central; reportedly present at this location for at least six days (photos).

 

 

                                Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) same bird in both images; Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

 

                                                                                          © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

Wilson's Warbler  80 (m,f) gregarious, sometimes vocal, ubiquitous and abundant; foraging at all foliage-height levels, ground to canopy.

Black-throated Sparrow  2  repeated song from creosote bushes on hillside with rock outcrops; responding to song playback recordings by coming in a a few yards closer to our group, s (photo).

 

 

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  16 May 2015

                    

                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke

                        

 

 

 

 

Western Tanager  4 (m) in and around cottonwoods throughout the resort.

Black-headed Grosbeak    12  (m,f) foraging on Japanese plums; flying around resort; alighting in mature cottonwoods

Red-winged Blackbird  5  repeated song from concealed locations in marsh of main lake, central.

Brewer's Blackbird   10  (m,f) gregarious; foraging on ground and lawns, central.

Great-tailed Grackle  30 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; most numerous in and around marsh and streams, central.

Bullock's Oriole 1 (unseen) vocalizing from stand of mature cottonwoods, central.

House Finch  30  (m,f) gregarious, vocal, ubiquitous.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  4  (f, imm)  gregarious; edge of gian reed patch; low perches in cottonwoods, e.

Lesser Goldfinch  1  seen by others.

House Sparrow   10  vocal, gregarious, around stables and other buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 26, 2015  Galileo Hill, Silver Saddle Resort (42 Species)

 

 

 

Weather: Fair; 60F to 68F; wind WNW 5 mph.

Time: 0930-1222 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked pathways and roadways throughout the resort, surveying all habitats, including creosote scrub, gardens, lawns, parkland, ruderal fields, riparian patches, artificial ponds and streams. At least 100 visitors were present at the resort during my survey; many people were enjoying recreation on bicycles; paddle boats, motorbikes and horseback. Frequent blasts from shotguns at the skeet range echoed across the resort. No other birders were encountered; no recent bird reports were found at the clubhouse front desk.  Many fallen and broken tree limbs indicated recent high winds at the resort, resulting from cold front moving through the region during the past 48 hrs. Conditions were fair for finding birds and identifying their vocalizations. Landbird migrants were moderately diverse, widely distributed and low in numbers. Migrant waterbirds were scarce.

 

 

BIRDS NOTED

 

 

Great Egret  1  on lawn near pond and pavilion, s.

Green Heron  1 (ad) at edge of pond in fallen branch foliage.

American Coot  25  widespread in wet areas and ponds.

Killdeer   6 in sparsely vegetated fields and corrals around the resort.

Spotted Sandpiper  3 (alt. and bsc. plmg.)    two foraging separately at the edge of the main pond; one on the edge of the clubhouse pond.

Feral Rock Pigeon  2  on a barn roof.

Eurasian Collared Dove    12  pairs active and vocal throughout.

Mourning Dove   16  pairs flying throughout the resort.

White-throated Swift  2 + (?) seen and heard briefly as they flew east across the resort.

Black-chinned Hummingbird   2 (m,f) vocal; active in understory of cottonwoods, w.

Belted Kingfisher  1  fly, call, main pond.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (f) foraging in cottonwoods, w.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1  seen briefly perched then sallying from tall snag near clubhouse.

Western Wood Pewee    2   sallying from middle and lower branches of cottonwoods, w, s. (photo).

Hammond's Flycatcher    4   sallying from lower levels of deciduous trees throughout the resort (photo).

 

 

Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  26 April 2015

 

                                                                                   © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

 

 

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1   sallying from low branches of cottonwoods to near the ground in a flowering creosote bush, w (photo).

 

 

Pacific Slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) Galileo Hill Kern County CA  26 April 2015

            

                                                                      © 2015 Callyn Yorke

 

 

 

Say's Phoebe  2  sallying from fences and low shrubs, e, s.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  vocalized repeatedly (unseen) edge of resort in creosote scrub, w.

Western Kingbird  1  bathing in pond near clubhouse.

Cassin's Vireo  1  foraging in lower and middle level of sapling cottonwoods, se.

Common Raven    2  vocal; flying over resort; soaring high (200 ft. agl) over adjacent hills.

Verdin  1  repeated vocalizations (unseen) edge of the resort, w.

House Wren  1  flushed from parkland into patch of giant reed near petting zoo, s.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet    2   a pair vocalizing and foraging in same group of cottonwoods next to clubhouse parking area.

Hermit Thrush  1  foraging on uncut lawn in front of caretakers house, w.

American Robin  1  repeated calls (unseen) large cottonwood, central.

European Starling  12  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  calls; foraging in middle level of cottonwood next to main pond.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3  calls; foraging in cottonwoods, w.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1 (m) caught a small lepidopteran in stand of sapling cottonwoods, se.

Wilson's Warbler  8  (m,f) foraging at all foliage height levels throughout the park.

Lincoln's Sparrow   3  foraging in shrubs and in sapling cottonwoods at edge of park and gardens, se.

Western Tanager  3 (m,f) in cottonwoods, w, sw.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1  repeated song in cottonwoods (unseen), s.

Red-winged Blackbird  3  (m,f) vocal; in and around marsh at main pond.

Brewer's Blackbird  4  (m,f) on lawns beneath cottonwoods, central.

Great-tailed Grackle  20 (m,f)   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, nesting in marsh next to main pond.

Bullock's Oriole  2  (m,f) vocal, gregarious in cottonwoods, s.

House Finch  30   (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   15 (m,f)   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  10 (m,f)   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; often near LEGO.

House Sparrow  25  (m,f), vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, esp. near stables, central.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 10, 2013  Cerro Coso Community College, Ridgecrest (31 Species)

Weather: Fair; 56F to 64F; wind W, WSW 2 -5 mph.

Time: 0958-1320 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We surveyed the sculpture garden and a small grove of dying pines (SG), including ruderal understory and roadside areas. Continuing on foot northward, we surveyed the picnic area (PA) with healthy pines and deciduous trees. Walking west, we proceeded on the north border of the physical education buildings and along the pathway leading to the baseball and track fields, surveying birds on lawns and adjacent ornamental plantings (PE). About 10 acres were surveyed. Classes were in session with a moderate amount of vehicular traffic on the main road and in the southeast parking lot. Someone began operating a riding lawn mower in the picnic area at 1310 hrs, just before our departure from the campus.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-breasted Sapsucker (1), Golden-crowned Sparrow (2), Spotted Towhee (1), and Slate-colored Junco (1).

BIRDS NOTED

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) garden tree perch, PE (photo).

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) Cerro Coso College, Kern County CA  10 Oct. 2013

                                                                                                               © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Killdeer  1  calls, playing field area, PE.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls; gardens with tall deciduous trees, PE.

Red-breasted Sapsucker 1 (m) with limited red coloring on breast; flushed from pines, PA (photo).

Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) Cerro Coso College, Kern County CA  10 Oct 2013

                                

                                                                         © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Northern Flicker  3  ubiquitous; fly, calls.

Black Phoebe  1  sallying to lawn, PA.

Say's Phoebe  1  on dugout wall, PE.

Warbling Vireo  1 in pines, SG.

Common Raven  6   ubiquitous; fly, call.

Verdin  calls (unseen) edge of parking lot, SG.

Bushtit  1 ?   see briefly carrying a small piece of cotton-like material, in pines, PA.

Bewick's Wren  1  calls, garden at edge of parking area, PA.

House Wren  4  calls; active in gardens throughout.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   8  ubiquitous in gardens and trees.

Hermit Thrush  6  ubiquitous in shaded areas.

American Robin  1  flushed from pines to deciduous trees, SG.

Northern Mockingbird  1 calls; active around fruiting pyracantha, PE.

Orange-crowned Warbler  6  ubiquitous, often in pairs; all foliage types and heights.

Yellow Warbler  2  dull, female types; calls; staying low in ruderal patches, SG.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  20 (m,f)   ubiquitous; foraging on ground and in trees; often in small flocks.

Townsend's Warbler 1  foraging on ground beneath pines with YRWA; SG, PA.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1  staying concealed in garden; WCSP flock nearby on lawn, PE.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls; ascending pine tree in garden, PE (photo).

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) Cerro Coso College, Kern County, CA  10 Oct 2013

                                                                                     © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Chipping Sparrow  8  pairs foraging on l awn at edge of garden and beneath pines, PE, SG, PA.

Spizella sp. ?  1 (c.f. passerina or pallida)   noticably smaller than nearby WCSP; showing whtish forehead and narrow eyebrow, finely streaked crown, distinct auriculars, pale lores, gray collar; two white wing bars and pale grayish-buff ventral coloration; (photo).

 

Spizella sp.?  (front) Cerro Coso College, Kern County CA  10 October 2013

                                                                                         © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Lincoln's Sparrow  8   ubiquitous; foraging with WCSP on lawns; alone in shady, ruderal areas.

White-crowned Sparrow  26  small flocks in ruderal areas and gardens; immatures foraging together on lawn, PE.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  2  (imm) foraging together on lawn with WCSP, PE (photo).

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) Cerro Coso College, Kern County CA  10 October 2013

        

                                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco 1   foraging with one Slate-colored Junco under pines, PA.

House Finch  4  calls; garden and trees, PE.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  calls (unseen) garden with tall deciduous trees, PE.

 

 

September 7, 2013  California City Park and Galileo Hill (44 Species)

Weather: Fair; 80F to 100F. Wind WSW 2 -5 mph.

Time: 0743 - 1330 hrs.

Observers: B Kitto, D.K. Anderson and I. Other birders present upon our arrival at GH, included Tom Wurster and Liga Auzins.

Areas Covered:  1) Par 3 golf course at the southeast corner of California City Park (CCP). We walked along the northern edge of the course between the clubhouse (where we obtained permission for entry) and hole # 17, surveying mowed fairways, greens, scattered pines and deciduous trees; a dense riparian strip with willow, Russian Olive, junipers and pines bordering the CCP lake. Only one golfer was present on the course during our survey. Conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations. Relatively large numbers of western migrant landbirds were found in the riparian strip bordering the CCP lake (0743-0923 hrs.).  2) Silver Saddle Resort at Galileo Hill (GH). After registering at the main clubhouse, we walked a zig-zag route through the resort, concentrating our efforts in areas with aboundant vegetative cover, e.g. the picnic area next to the clubhouse, stables, gardens and pavillion. Migrants were not especially abundant, though we added several bird species to our day-list, including White-faced Ibis, Mourning Dove, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Nashville Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler and Lark Sparrow, Tom Wurster reported a Northern Waterthrush and an unspecified number of Lazuli Buntings, in addition to a few other bird species we did not find at GH today (0944-1330 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, White-faced Ibis (1 - GH), Phainopepla (1 - GH), Blue Grosbeak (1- CCP), and a possible Evening Grosbeak (1 GH).

BIRDS NOTED

Canada Goose   5 foraging together on lawn, CCP.

Gray-lag Goose (domestic & hybrid)  12  foraging on lawn; receiving food from a park visitor, CCP.

Mallard  2  CCP;  6 (GH).

Double-crested Cormorant  1  perched in dead tree next to the lake; a DCCO carcass was at the top of the same tree, CCP.

Great Egret   4  flying over lake, CCP.

Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (imm) shady edge of lake, CCP.

White-faced Ibis  1 on shore of main ne lake, GH (photo).

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) Galileo Hill, Kern County CA  7 September 2013

   

                                                                                                   © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

American Kestrel  1? calls (unseen) , CCP.

American Coot   5  swimming around lake, CCP;  1  edge o main lake, GH.

Killdeer  1  calls (unseen) CCP.

Rock Pigeon 1  flying over main lake, GH.

Mourning Dove  2  foraging on lawn, GH.

Hummingbird sp. (possibly RUHU)  flying toward a willow, GH.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1 (f) moving up main trunk and branches of willows, GH.

Western Wood Pewee   2   perched on tall snag over lake; also low perch over fairway, CCP;  1 8 ft. high branch in cottonwood, GH.

Willow Flycatcher  8   vocal; sallying to lawn and shrubs from low perches on exterior limbs of shrubs and trees, CCP;  5 outer branches of pines and other trees, GH.                                                                                                                                   

Black Phoebe   3  edge of riparian strip, CCP;  6  ubiquitous in cottonwoods, GH.

Say's Phoebe  1  riparian strip, CCP;  1 low branch on cottonwood, GH.

Warbling Vireo  7  foraging for insect larva on foliage of deciduous and evergreen trees, CCP (photo);  4  in cottonwoods, often with WIWA, GH.

 

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) California City Park  Kern County CA  7 September 2013

                                                                                                                     © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Common Raven  2  on lawn; flying, calls, GH.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  flying low, back and forth over lake, CCP.

Verdin  1  repeated calls from oleanders and other shrubs in the garden, GH.

House Wren  1  scold calls in dense shrubs, riparian strip, CCP;   1 (imm) calls; in dense cluster of garden shrubs, GH.

European Starling  2  flying over park, GH.

Cedar Waxwing  2  flying, calls, vicinity of fruiting Russian Olive tree, CCP.

Phainopepla  1 (f)  foraging on fruits of Russian Olive tree, GH  (photo).

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Galileo Hill, Kern County CA  7 September 2013

                                                                                                                                                     © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Orange-crowned Warbler    6  foraging in a variety of shrubs and trees, CCP;  5  mostly in cottonwoods, GH.

Nashville Warbler  1  foraging low, almost at ground-level in garden understory shrubs, GH (photo).

 

Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) Galileo Hill  Kern County, CA  7 September  2013

                                                                                                          © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Yellow Warbler  3  foraging in a variety of shrubs and trees in riparian strip, CCP; 4  mostly in cottonwoods, GH.

Black-throated Gray Warbler  2 (m,f) foraging in middle to lower levels of cottonwoods, GH.

Common Yellowthroat  3  (m,f) calls; usually concealed in riparian strip, CCP.

MacGillivray's Warbler  2  calls from shady, concealed junipers near hole #17, CCP.

Wilson's Warbler  14  (m,f) calls; foraging in a variety of shrubs and trees at a full range of height levels, CCP;  25 same behavior as seen in CCP, GH.

Lark Sparrow  2  song , repeated; concealed in garden trees, GH.

Western Tanager  5 (f) vocal;  in fruiting Russian Olive tree and other trees, CCP;  4 (f)  vocal in cottonwoods and Russian Olive, GH.

Black-headed Grosbeak  4 (f; imm)  calls; in pines and other tall trees, CCP;  3 (f; imm) in cottonwoods and other trees, GH.

Blue Grosbeak  1 (f) seen clearly from 25 ft. by BK and I in shrubs at outer edge of riparian strip near hole # 17, CCP.

Red-winged Blackbird  10  vocal, flying over lake and marsh, CCP.

Western Meadowlark  1  distant song, CCP.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  fly, call, CCP.

House Finch   6  (m,f) in a variety of shrubs and trees, CCP;  12  mostly in cottonwoods, GH.

Lesser Goldfinch  calls (unseen) eucalyptus in garden area near stables, GH.

Evening Grosbeak 1 (m) ? DKA: seen briefly in a cottonwood described as a relatively large yellow finch, black wing markings and a very large, whitish beak. @ 1145 hrs. in picnic area next to stream and main clubhouse parking area. No vocalizations heard. This bird could not be located again by DKA and was unseen by the rest of us, GH.

House Sparrow   15  vocal, around stables, GH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 3, 2013  Silver Saddle Resort, Galileo Hill (34 Species)

Weather: Fair with a thin smoky haze, presumably originating from the Powerhouse Fire in the southwestern Antelope Valley; 64F to 80F; winds calm.

Time: 0750 - 1140 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I. Spoke briefly with Jim Moore at the main lake.

Area Covered: After registering at the Silver Saddle clubhouse, we walked the perimeter of the resort, including the central area. A maintenance worker was operating a riding-style lawnmower in the central area of the resort. Otherwise there was little human disturbance and conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Black-necked Stilt (2), Black and White Warbler (2). Relatively few migrant warblers and no vireos were found today.

BIRDS NOTED

 

Snowy Egret   2   foraging separately in the shallows at the grassy shoreline of main lake.

American Coot   3  edge of the main lake.

Killdeer  2   vocal; on the miniature golf course.

Black-necked Stilt  2  flushed by the mower, edge of main lake.

Mourning Dove   5  vocal; flying low throughout the park.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  2  vocal,  desert garden-riparian edge, s, w.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 1  vocal;  cottonwoods, nw.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker   4   vocal, foraging on dead branches in cottonwoods throughout.

Western Wood Pewee     5   vocal, flycatching from low branches throughout.

Willow Flycatcher  2  vocal, low branches in cottonwoods; edge of small pond, n, sw.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher    4   relatively mesic, shaded areas, cottonwoods and willows, w.

Black Phoebe  1 vocal,  n.

Say's Phoebe  2  vocal,  going down to lawn for insects, n, s..

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  repeated calls from exposed perch, archery range.

Western Kingbird  3  vocal; interacting on lawns around cottonwoods, e.

Loggerhead Shrile  1  on utility wire over creosote desert scrub, e.

Common Raven  4  fly, call.

Verdin   1  repeated calls, cactus garden, nw.

Swainson's Thrush   25   ubiquitous on lawns and beneath shrubs.

American Robin   2  vocal; foraging on lawn, nw.

Northern Mockingbird  1  song, n-central.

European Starling  30  vocal, ubiquitous.

Yellow Warbler   4  vocal, cottonwoods and willows, n.

Black and White Warbler  2  (m,f))  contact calls and song; foraging on separate but nearby cottonwoods, central (photo).

 

Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) female (same individual in both photos) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  3 June 2013

 

                                                                                  © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

 

Wilson's Warbler  4  (m,f) foraging in cottonwoods, n, n-central.

Lark Sparrow  2  foraging on lawn, n-central.

Black-throated Sparrow  2  vocal, active in cactus garden, nw (photo).

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  3 June 2013

             

                                                                      © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Black-headed Grosbeak  1  calls, top of cottonwood, sw.

Red-winged Blackbird   5  vocal; on lawns, w.

Brewer's Blackbird     10  vocal, on lawns throughout.

Great-tailed Grackle   12   vocal, ubiquitous, esp. near water.

House Finch  25  vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   vocal; tops of tall cottonwoods, nw.

House Sparrow   30  vocal, ubiquitous, esp. around stables.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                 

 

   

 

 

April 25, 2013  California City Park and Silver Saddle Resort, Galileo Hill (56 Species)

Weather: Fair; 57F to 80F. wind W, WNW  2 - 5 mph.

Time: 0752 - 1300 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) California City Park, Par 3 Golf Course (CCP): After obtaining permission at the clubhouse, I walked along the north boundary of the golf course to hole #17 and back. I surveyed fairways, scattered deciduous trees, pines and junipers along the embankment next to the park pond. No golfers were present during my survey; conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations (0752-0915 hrs.).  2) Silver Saddle Resort, Galileo Hill (GH). After signing in at the clubhouse, I walked the perimeter of the resort, surveying lawns, planted deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, poinds and the adjacent desert, dominated by creosote bush. A few other birders were present during the first hour of my survey (0940-1300 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-breasted Nuthatch (3) and Waterthrush sp.(1)..

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose  13 (domestic and hybrid)  CCP.

Mallard  8  (m,f) CCP.

Ruddy Duck  5 males in alt. plmg. CCP

Great Egret  1   edge of east pond, GH.

Black-crowned Night Heron  5  (ad, imm) call, fly, CCP.

White-faced Ibis  1  edge of pond, CCP.

Turkey Vulture    8  flying low, e  CCP.

American Coot    10  CCP;  5  GH.

Spotted Sandpiper   1  beneath waterfall, CCP;  8 together on drainage culvert, e pond, GH

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA 25 April 2013

                                                                                                                                                                             © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Least Sandpiper  2  foraging on shore of pond, CCP.

Eurasian Collared Dove    8  fly, call, CCP.

Mourning Dove   6   CCP.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  2  (m,f)   fem. foraging on creosote bush flowers, GH (photo).

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  25 April 2013

                                                                                                                       © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Belted Kingfisher   1  fly, call, e pond, GH.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, cottonwoods, e GH.

Northern (RS) Flicker  1  on lawn beneath cottonwood, GH.

Western Wood Pewee  2   10-15 ft. in cottonwoods, GH.

Gray Flycatcher  1   low branch in cottonwood, GH.

Dusky Flycatcher   1   riparian thickets, CCP.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher   2  CCP;  5  GH.

Say's Phoebe  1  sallying from low perch in cottonwood, se, GH.

Ash-thoated Flycatcher  1  calls, near paviillion, GH.

Western Kingbird   5  fly, call; interacting, GH.

Warbling Vireo   3  in cottowoods and willows, GH.

Cassin's Vireo  1  with large insect, pavillion shrubs, GH.

Common Raven  2  GH.

Verdin   2  calls, edge of desert, GH.

House Wren  1 scold calls, riparian, CCP;  2  calls, stand of young cottonwoods next to dripping faucet, se, GH.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5  vocal, active in pines, GH.

Hermit Thrush    2  undergrowth and lower branches of pines, CCP;  4 on lawns under cottonwoods, w GH.(photo).

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  25 April, 2013

                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

European Starling    3  CCP;  5  around petting zoo, GH.

Orange-crowned Warbler   1  foraging in deciduous trees, CCP;  2  in pines and deciduous trees, GH.

Yellow Warbler   1 (f) in crown of elm, se GH.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  15  (m,f) foraging at all foliage height levels, CCP;  18  vocal, ubiquitous, GH,

Black-throated Gray Warbler   1 (f)  foraging in pines, CCP (photo).

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)  California City Park, Kern County, CA  25 April 2013

       

                                                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Townsend's Warbler    1  in pines, CCP;  2 (m)   in willows and pines, GH (photo).

Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  25 April 2013

                                                                                            © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Hermit Warbler   1 (m) in pines, CCP.

Waterthrush sp. 1   calls (loud chip) repeated rapidly; noted broad white supercilium. buffy lores, light throat and buffy flanks; pink tarsi (in good light); briefly appeared along stream between stables and main clubhouse, GH (photos A. B, C & D). One reviewer of these photos judged this bird to be a Northern Waterthrush based on: a) organized black streaks on breast, b) relatively small bill, and  c) relatively pale legs. Another birder reported a Northern Waterthrush earlier this morning at the same location.

 (A) Waterthrush (Seiurus sp. c.f. S.noveboracensis and  S. motacilla)   same individual in all photos                (B)

    

(C)                                                                                                               (D)

    

                                                                                         © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

MacGillivray's Warbler    2  in shady undergrowth, CCP;; 6  in cottonwoods, on lawns, GH (photo).

MacGillivray's Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  25 April  2013

                                                                                                                                             © 2013 Callyn Yorke

 

Common Yellowthroat   4  calls in wet gardens with pampas grass, GH.

Wilson's Warbler    16  vocal, ubiquitous in trees and shrubs, CCP;   40  vocal, ubiquitous, GH.

Savannah Sparrow  1   flushed from edge of lawn and desert, GH.

Fox Sparrow (slate-colored) 1  scratching in wet ground beneath a creosote bush, nw  GH.

Lincoln's Sparrow    3   edge of lawns and desert; moist areas, GH.

White-crowned Sparrow   5  (ad)  foraging in shady moist areas, GH.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco  2  foraging in tall grass near the petting zoo, GH

Western Tanager   3  (2 m)  in pines and drinking from pond, GH.

Black-headed Grosbeak   1  calls, deciduous tress, CCP;   3  calls, cottonwoods and willows, GH.

Red-winged Blackbird    10  vocal, active in marsh and riparian, CCP;  5  calls, e GH.

Yellow-headed Blackbird   5  vocal, active in marsh, CCP.

Brewer's Blackbird  5    (m,f) foraging on ground in petting zoo, GH.

Great-tailed Grackle     10  vocal, active around marsh and on golf course, CCP;  5  (one male showing relatively short, broad tail) pet. soo, GH.

Bullock's Oriole   calls, CCP.

House Finch     8  (m,f) calls, active around pines, CCP;  12  vocal, active in deciduous and evergreen trees, GH.

Lesser Goldfinch   2  calls, cottonwoods, e.

House Sparrow    8  vocal, active on ground around stables, GH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

November 2, 2012: Garlock, Ridgecrest (Cerro Coso CC; Desert Memorial Cemetery, and Galileo Hill (44 Species)

Weather: Fair; 52F to 75F; wind WSW 0 - 1 mph.

Time: 0725 - 1345 hrs.

Observers: Charles Hood and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Garlock (GLK): We stopped briefly on the roadside to walk around a clump of tamarisk surrounding an abandoned set of buildings (0725 - 0738 hrs.).  2) Cerro Coso Community College (CC): We walked west to the baseball and track field, then northeast through the wooded areas of the campus. Relatively few people were present and auto traffic was light. One individual with an unleashed dog was a mild annoyance at the baseball field (0805 -1022 hrs.)..   3) Desert Memorial Cemetery, east Ridgecrest (DMC): Following Bob Barnes' directions we arrived and birded the cemetery, searching specifically for a Harris's Sparrow reported here a few days ago (not found today: 1050 -1121 hrs.). 4) Galileo Hill, Silver Saddle Resort (GH):  After signing in at the clubhouse, we made a relatively brief bird survey, walking to the main lake, then to the petting zoo and pavillion (1240 - 1345 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-breasted Nuthatch (12), Mountain Chickadee (2), Varied Thrush (1), Golden-crowned Kinglet (2), Brown Creeper (1), and Evening Grosbeak (1).

BIRDS NOTED

Gadwall  1 (f) on the main lake, GH.

Mallard  2 (m,f) on the main lake, GH.

Bufflehead  2 (m,f) on the main lake, GH.

Double-crested Cormorant  3  on the main lake, GH.

Great Blue Heron  1  at the edge of the main lake, GH.

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1  dove on something (unsuccessfully) on the lawn near the pavillion, GH.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) on a light pole at the tennis courts, CC.

American Kestrel  1  edge of the baseball field, CC.

American Coot   6  in the main lake, GH.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  flushed from a tamarisk, GLK.

Mourning Dove   6  flying low, GH.

Sapsucker (Syraphicus sp.)  seen briefly in a pine tree, DMC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  calls; in cottonwoods, GH.

Northern Flicker  3  CC;  8  foraging on lawns, GH.

Black Phoebe  1  CC;  1 DMC;  1 GH.

Say's Phoebe  1  outside of playing fields, e CC.

Common Raven   2  fly, call CC;  2  GH.

Horned Lark   180  a tight flock on the baseball field, CC.

Mountain Chickadee  1 calls, CC;   2  calls, GH.

Verdin  3  calls, active in ornamental trees and shrubs, CC.

Red-breasted Nuthatch   4  calls, in conifers, CC;  5  in pines, DMC;   3   calls, GH.

Brown Creeper  1-2  working deciduous and evergreen trees, CC (photos).

Brown Creeper (Certhia ameriicana ssp.)  same individual; Cerro Coso Community College, Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA  2 Nov. 2012

 

                                                                                 © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet   2  foraging on and near the ground, CC;  1  foraging in tall grass and herbs, GH.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   4  vocal, active in a variety of trees and shrubs, CC; 2 DMC;   5  calls, active in deciduous and evergreen trees, GH.

American Robin    8  active in pyracantha shrubs and adjacent trees, CC;  4  on lawns, GH.

Varied Thrush  1  on lawn with AMRO; flushed to roadway near main lake, GH (photo).

Varied Thrush (Ixoreus navius)  same individual;  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  2 November, 2012

  

                                                                                © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Northern Mockingbird  2  vocal, near fruiting pyracantha, CC.

LeConte's Thrasher  1  calls,  desert scrub adjacent to settlement, GLK.

European Starling   5  fly, call, CC.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler    50  ubiquitous; calls, foraging at all height levels and in many veg. types; most numerous at DMC and GH.

Black-throated Gray Warbler  1 (f) foraging on lawn, GH.

Common Yellowthroat   1  calls, garden shrubs at equestrian center, GH.

Sage Sparrow  2  in shrubs, GLK;  1 foraging on lawn with WCSP, CC.

Song Sparrow  1  flushed from weedy area to fence, GH (photo).

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  2 Nov. 2012

                                                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Lincoln's Sparrow  2  edge of shrubs in wet areas, CC.

White-crowned Sparrow   30   (1 oriantha type)  CC;  5  DMC;  3  GH.

Dark-eyed Junco (J. hyemalis hyemalis - 2 (photo); J. h. thurberi - 20 (photo); J.h. mearnsi - 1) CC;  15 (thurberi) DMC;  20  (thurberi) GH.

 (L) Slate-colored Junco (Junco hyemalis hyemalis);   (R) Oregon Junco (J. h. thurberi) Cerro Coso CC, Ridgecrest, Kern Co, CA  2 Nov, 2012

  

                                                                          © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Bunting (Passerina ciris?) 1 (f)  bunting profile showing a uniform dull greenish color; call a rapid series of  loud, thin chips (c.f  Indigo Bunting) given while concealed in giant rye next to petting zoo; seen for a few seconds in tall weeds of a small dry pond at a distance of about 30 ft. WCSP, SOSP nearby, GH..

Red-winged Blackbird  2 (m,f) perched on scoreboard at baseball diamond, CC.

Great-tailed Grackle  1  fly, call, near lake, GH.

House Finch   50  (m,f) ubiquitous (except GLK).

Lesser Goldfinch  2  on lawn with DEJU, CC.

Evening Grosbeak  1 (mHY) repeated loud distinctive disyllabic vocalization (first syllable a slurred note, followed by a chirp) given while perched high in cottonwoods next to gymnasium, then flew to leafless Populus, continuing to call but now monosyllabic chirp (photos).

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) male HY(same individual)   Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA  2 Nov. 2012  

                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

House Sparrow  10  around stables and equestrian center, GH.

 

 

 

 

 

Galileo Hill  October 18, 2012 (34 Species)

Weather: Fair: 65f to 85F; wind WSW 0 -2mph.

Time: 0845 - 1322 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked through most of the Silver Saddle resort covering all of the major habitats (cactus gardens, riparian plantings and lawns, ponds, creosote bush scrub and ruderal fields and roadsides. Three other birders were present during my survey (Ken and Brenda Kyle; Lee Jones). Lee Jones and I birded the northwest section of the resort from about 1040 - 1140 hrs. in an unsuccessful effort to locate a Magnolia Warbler reported here at around 1015 hrs. by Ken and Brenda Kyle. I was alone for the remainder of the time for the survey. Conditions were very good for identifying bird vocalizations.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Mountain Chickadee (2), Red-breasted Nuthatch (5) Brown Creeper (1), Golden-crowned Kinglet (1), Townsend's Solitaire (1), and White-throated Sparrow (1-2), In addition, three subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco were found (Junco. hyemalis. hyemalis, J.h. mearnsi and J.h. thurberi)

BIRDS NOTED

Great Blue Heron  1 edge of main pond,

Cooper's Hawk  1 flushed from cottonwoods, nw.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (imm)  vocal; perched in cottonwood, e.

Rock Pigeon   2  flying over resort.

American Coot   10  pairs swimming in ponds,

Northern (RS) Flicker  5  vocal, foraging on lawns; flying around the resort.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (m) near top of tall cottonwood, sw.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  calls (distinctive drawl on last syllable), near petting zoo.

Black Phoebe    6   vocal; low perches around the ponds and wet areas.

Common Raven  2  edge of the resort, n.

Mountain Chickadee  2  vocal, active in pines, nw.

Red-breasted Nuthatch   5  vocal  often in mixed species flocks; active in a variety of trees around the resort.

Brown Creeper  1  moving up a large cottonwood near the stables.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   25  vocal, ubiquitous in a variety of trees and shrubs.

Golden-crowned Kinglet   1  foraging quickly on lawn, nw (photo).

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  18 Oct. 2012

                                                                                         ©  2012 Callyn Yorke  

American Robin   5  in trees and on lawns, w.

Hermit Thrush   6   calls; pairs in shady areas on lawns (photo).

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  18 Oct. 2012

                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Townsend's Solitaire  1  flushed from lawn into cottonwood, n (photo).

Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  18 Oct. 2012

                                                                                                                      © 2012 Callyn Yorke

LeConte's Thrasher  1  song, creosote scrub, nw (LJ).

European Starling  3   vocal, around stables, w.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  foraging in flowering rosemary, sw.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  30  ubiquitous in a variety of vegetation and levels.

Black-throated Gray Warbler  1 (m) foraging in a creosote bush, nw.

Common Yellowthroat  1  calls, flowering rosemary, sw.

Chipping Sparrow  2  foraging on lawn in mixed species sparrow flock, n-central.

Savannah Sparrow  3  calls, dense shrubs and grasses at edge of resort, s.

Lincoln's Sparrow   10   ubiquitous, calls; foraging on lawns in mixed species sparrow flocks.

White-throated Sparrow  1-2  foraging on lawns with other sparrows (photo)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  18 October, 2012

                                                                                          © 2012 Callyn Yorke

White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's)  30  ubiquitous, all levels, especially on lawns with other sparrows.

Dark-eyed Junco (thurberi: 25; hyemalis:1-2; mearnsi:1)  foraging in fairly cohesive flocks on lawns around the resort (photo).

Slate-colored Junco (Junco h. hyemalis) both photos; far right J.h. thurberi   Galileo Hill, Kern Co. CA 18 Oct , 2012

   

                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Brewer's Blackbird   3 (m,f) around petting zoo.

House Finch   3  fly, call, w.

Lesser Goldfinch  10  fly, call around cottonwoods, w.

House Sparrow   20  around stables.

 

         

 

 

 

September 21, 2012  California City Central Park (47 Species)

Weather: Fair; 60f to 100F; wind wnw 0 - 7 mph.

Time: 0756 - 1310 hrs.

Area Covered:  1) The par 3 golf course between the clubhouse and hole #18 (P3)   After checking in with the manager at the clubhouse, I surveyed fairways with scattered trees, riparian, shoreline and open water of the lake. Only one golfer appeared in this area during the survey. Two other birders (Ken and Brenda) arrived as I was returning to the parking lot (0756 - 0917 hrs).   2) California City Central Park (CP)  I walked through the picnic area with lawns and mature trees, then up a ramp to the top of the waterfall. Continuing ne, I surveyed the lake, shoreline, riparian and evergreen plantings between the parking lot and the abandoned hotel (0923 - 1310 hrs). Most of the park was quiet and had less than ten visitors. Bird life was scattered through the park with the biggest concentrations of warblers and other insectivorous birds in the eucalyptus, pines and assorted deciduous shrubs and trees near the abandoned hotel.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Anna's Hummingbird (4), Red-breasted Nuthatch (3), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Gray Flycatcher (1), Olive-sided Flycatcher (1), American Redstart (1) and Yellow-breasted Chat (1).

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose   15 (domestics, including hybrids) P3, CP.

Mallard  55 ( wild type, domestic & hybrid)  P3, CP.

Pied-billed Grebe   2 (ad, imm) P3, CP.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  swimming, resting in lake, P3.

Great Blue Heron  2  fly, call, P3, CP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2  call, fly, P3.

Turkey Vulture  35   in trees around golf course, P3.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad)  concealed in understory of pines and tamarisk, CP.

American Coot   10  swimming, P3, CP; one with unusual frontal shield and no white rump feathers (photo).

American Coot (Fulica americana)  male  California City Central Park, Kern County, CA  21 Sep. 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                           © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Killdeer   2  fly, call, P3.

Mourning Dove   4  flying over park, CP.

Barn Owl  1  in eucalyptus above wooden bridge with abundant scat and castings, CP (photo).

Barn Owl (Tyto alba) California City Central Park, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Anna's Hummingbird  4  (m,f)  vocal, aerial hawking from branches of pines and othe trees, P3, CP (photo).

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) female CCCP, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                         © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, flying between pines, CP.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1 (ad) sally-flycatching from exposed perch near top of pine tree, CP.

Western Wood Pewee  2   two birds showing territoriality briefly; sally-flycatching and snatch-gleaning from lawn, CP.

Willow Flycatcher  1  in dense riparian-marsh; P3.

Gray Flycatcher  1   noted gray upperparts with faint eye ring, white underparts and long, bobbing tail;  briefly on partially exposed perch in riparian strip, P3 (photo).

Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii) Par 3 course, CC, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

         

                                                                © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Black Phoebe   10  ubiquitous,  vocal, often near water.

Warbling Vireo  10   calls; foraging actively in pines and deciduous trees, P3, CP (photo).

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) California City Central Park, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Common Raven  4  fly, call; perched in pines, P3, CP.

Verdin  1  vocal, active in tamarisk at edge of pond, CP.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  calls, pines, P3.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  3  vocal, foraging in a loose flock in pines and deciduous trees, P3 (photo).

Red-breasted Nuthatch ( Sitta canadensis) par 3 course, CCP, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke

House Wren  2  scold calls,  a pair interacting in dense undergrowth beneath pine tree, P3.

Marsh Wren  8  vocal, active in small patches of marsh, P3, CP.

European Starling   10 vocal atop trees, P3, CP.

Orange-crowned Warbler   12  calls; active in a variety of vegetation types at all levels, P3, CP.

Yellow Warbler  15 (m,f)  calls; ubiquitous in tall shrubs and trees.

MacGillivray's Warbler  2  calls, skulking in junipers near #18, P3; CP

Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (m)  calls; foraging near WAVI in terminal clusters of needles in a tall pine, CP.

American Redstart  1 (f) flycatching and snatch-gleaning  low in pines and deciduous trees; fanning tail; calls. (photo), CP.

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) female  CCCP, Kern County, CA 21 Sep 2012

              

                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Common Yellowthroat   10 (m,f)    ubiquitous, vocal, active in riparian-marsh.

Wilson's Warbler   25 (m,f)  ubiquitous, calls. foraging in a variety of vegetation types, often with other warblers.

Yellow-breasted Chat  1  active, though silent in pines and deciduous shrubs near the lake and waterfall, CP (photo).

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)  California City Central Park, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

               

                                                                                                      © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Vesper Sparrow  1  seen briefly in a tree near #17, P3.

Lark Sparrow  5  on lawn then up to a nearby pine, CP.

Savannah Sparrow  1  foraging on edge of fairway, P3 (photo).

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) par 3 course CCP, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                                                   © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Song Sparrow   18  vocal, active in riparian-marsh around the lake.

White-crowned Sparrow (Z. l. gambelii)  3   calls; (2 imm, 1 ad)  in trees around the lake

Western Tanager  3  (f)  two birds staying close in deciduous trees next #17, P3 (photo)

Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) par 3 course, CCP, Kern County, CA  21 Sep 2012

                                                                       © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Black-headed Grosbeak  2 (f) together in tamarisk, CP.

Red-winged Blackbird  25  (m,f) vocal, fly, foraging on lawns; in marshes everywhere, P3, CP.

Brewer's Blackbird  5 (m,f) vocal, flying; foraging on lawns, CP.

House Finch   20 (m,f)  vocal, ubiquitous in trees.

Lesser Goldfinch  5  vocal, in pines and deciduous trees, P3, CP.

House Sparrow  5  vocal, near buildings at edge of suburb, CP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 3, 2012  California City and Galileo Hill (62 Species)

Weather: Fair; 72F to 94F; no wind.

Time: 0750 - 1333 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1) The par three golf course in the southeast corner of California City Park, near the intersection of California City Blvd. and 20 Mule Team Rd.(CCP). We introduced ourselves to Jean, the resident manager of the golf course, obtaining her permission to bird with caution on the course. Jean mentioned that the tame geese (Gray-lag, Cackling, Snow and Ross's) near the clubhouse had been there for at least eight years, though she didn't know the specific identities of the birds. She showed us an unidentified photo taken of another long-time avian resident (Tundra Swan), which was reportedly very tame and disappeared from the area about two years ago. We birded only the riparian strip between the clubhouse and hole #18, including parts of the lake and shoreline.The remainder of the golf course and California City Park was not surveyed. Only a few golfers were present during our survey; conditions were very good for identifying bird vocalizations. Most of the bird species found today were in dense cover between the golf course and the lake (0750 - 1000 hrs). 

2) Silver Saddle Resort, Galileo Hill (GH). After signing in at the clubhouse, we met Tom Wurster, whom had evidently been birding GH  alone during the cooler hours (low 60's?) this morning. Tom reported finding a Northern Parula today in addition to two other warbler species (Black-throated Gray and MacGillivray's Warbler) which we also missed. His list had reached 45 bird species when we arrived at GH. We walked a zig-zag route through the resort, all of the areas except for the nwc and surrounding creosote bush scrub. Several groups of visitors were in the resort for the Labor Day weekend; a few were in the camping area near the petting zoo. Bird activity was relatively depressed when we arrived at the park and continued to decline as the air temperature climbed rapidly into the mid 90's. Our survey of GH resulted in a eleven additions to our day-list: White-faced Ibis (25), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Belted Kingfisher (1), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (2), Western Kingbird (1), Barn Swallow (1), Verdin (1), Black-throated Sparrow (1), Lazuli Bunting (5), Great-tailed Grackle (1) and House Sparrow (10)  We used 10x40 binoculars and a DSLR camera for our bird survey today (1019-1333 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Cackling Goose (1 -cont.), Snow Goose (1 - cont.), Ross's Goose (2 -cont.), Red shouldered Hawk (1), Northern Flicker (1)  Anna's Hummingbird (2) and White-breasted Nuthatch (2).

As an addendum to our sightings, I learned the following day from a posting on the Kern County list serve by Tom Wurster, that at about 2:30 PM on Sept. 3, 2012, he had found a Louisana Waterthrush on the shoreline of the par three golf course in California City. Several other birders reportedly confirmed the identification subsequent to Tom's discovery.

 

BIRDS NOTED

Cackling Goose 1 - continuing; rather scruffy appearance; on lawn with GLGO, ROGO and SNGO; CCP (photo).

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  California City, Kern County, CA  3 Sept. 2012

                                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Snow Goose 1-cont.;  on lawn with ROGO, CAGO and GLGO, CCP(photo).

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) California City, Kern County, CA  3 Sept. 2012

                                                                                                            © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Ross's Goose   2- cont.; on lawn with SNGO, CAGO and GLGO, CCP (photo).

Ross's Goose (Chen rossii) California City, Kern CO CA  3 Sept 2012

                                                                 © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Gray-lag Goose  20  domesticated, including albinistics) three separate groups; eagerly accepting food from visitors, CCP.

Mallard (wild-type)  35  in and around the lake; flighty, CCP.

Mallard (domestic and hybrid)  50  scattered around the edge of the golf course and lake; following golfers and others, CCP..

Pied-billed Grebe   4  in lake; calls, CCP.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  with outstretched wings on a snag in the lake, CCP.

Great Blue Heron  1  flying low over the lake, CCP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 calls, CCP.

Turkey Vulture  3  perched atop pines at the edge of the lake, CCP.

White-faced Ibis  25  flying south at an altitude of about 400 ft.over the resort, GH.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) flushed from the riparian strip by the lake, CCP.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (ad)   in a riparian patch at the east end of the main lake, GH.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) atop a large pine by the lake, CCP.

American Coot   10  around the edges of the lake, CCP.

Killdeer  1 calls, CCP.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  foraging together on the  lake shore; fly, call, CCP.

Eurasian Collard Dove  4  on ground and in trees, CCP.

Rock Pigeon  6  flying over, CCP.

Mourning Dove   5  on bare ground at edge of course, CCP.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls, flying, in the dense riparian strip, CCP.

Selasphorus sp.  1 (imm m)  seen and heard briefly above the riparian strip, CCP.

Belted Kingfisher  1 call, fly, main lake, GH.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (f) calls, CCP; one foraging in deciduous trees (e.g. Populus sp.) at east end of lake; calls; a male LBWO  calling nearby, GH (photo).  Note: Because at least three individuals of two similar Picoides sp. were active and vocal in the same area of GH, I was initially unable to assign them to their respective identities prior to examining my photographs.

Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) female  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  3 September, 2012

                                                                                                                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Ladder-backed Woodpecker   2  (m,f) (noted slurred call note, predominantly white face and anterior red crown) , vocal, momentarily in  the same tree with NUWO, very active foraging on trunks and large branches of deciduous trees at east end of main lake, GH See comments above for NUWO (photo).

Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA 3 September, 2012

                    .

                                                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Northern Flicker   1 calls, CCP.

Western Wood Pewee  1  sally-flycatching silently between tall trees (no tail flicking observed, c.f. WIFL), CCP; 1, same behavior in weeping willow tree, swc, GH.                                                                                               

Willow Flycatcher    5  actively flycatching (tail flicking; occasional calls) from low perches at edge of riparian strip, CCP (photo); 10 same behavior, GH.

Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)  California City, Kern CO CA  3 Sept 2012

                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Pacific Slope Flycatcher    1   vocal, in lower branches of large pines of riparian strip near hole #17, CCP

Empidonax sp.  1  complete eyering, suggesting E. hammondi; shady riparian strip, CCP.

Black Phoebe   4  edge of lake and riparian strip, CCP;  7 throughout the resort, GH.

Say's Phoebe  1  sally-flycatching from low perches at the edge of the course, CCP;  open areas, swc, GH.

Western Kingbird   1  sally-flycatching from weeping willow, swc GH (photo).

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) Galileo Hill, CA 3 Sept. 2012

  

                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Warbling Vireo  2  actively foraging in pines, CCP.

Common Raven   2  fly, call, CCP;  2  flying over, GH.

Horned Lark  2  fly, call, CCP;  2 +  fly, call, GH.

Barn Swallow  1  flew in and made two low passes over small pavillion pond, swc, GH.

Verdin 1  vocal, active in lower-middle level of large deciduous tree, e GH.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  calls, CCP;  1 calls, GH.

Bewick's Wren  2  vocal, active in riparian strip and edge, CCP;  2  scold calls, edge of resort, swc, GH.

House Wren 1  calls beneath large pine, hole #17, CCP.

Marsh Wren  1  vocal in cattails at edge s edge of lake, CCP.

European Starling   45  ubiquitous, CCP;   20   vocal, flying, on ground, GH.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3  vocal, active in lower levels of deciduous trees and shrubs, CCP.

Yellow Warbler    5  active in many types of vegetation at all levels, CCP;  3 in cottonwoods, GH.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1 calls (unseen) dense, shady understory of riparian strip, CCP.

Common Yellowthroat  2  calls (unseen) marsh and edge of riparian, CCP.

Wilson's Warbler  1 (m)  active in understory and lower levels of riparian vegetation, CCP.

Lark Sparrow   3  calls from deciduous trees at edge of golf course, CCP.

Black-throated Sparrow  1  flushed from cactus-deciduous garden by the equestrian center, GH (photo).

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)  Galileo Hill, Kern Co CA  3 Sept 2012

     

                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Song Sparrow  5  vocal, active in marsh and riparian, CCP.

Western Tanager  1(f)   subcanopy of deciduous trees, CCP;  1(f)   in weeping willow, swc GH.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1  calls (unseen) , tall deciduous trees, CCP.

Lazuli Bunting  5  (f; imm)  vocal,  a small, loose flock active in savannah-like area next to petting zoo, GH (photo).

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) Galileo Hill, CA  3 Sept 2012

                                                 © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Red-winged Blackbird   5  calls, flying around edge of lake, CCP.

Western Meadowlark  1  calls, CCP.

Brewer's Blackbird   60 (m,f) foraging on lawns and bare ground, CCP;  8  on lawns, GH.

Great-tailed Grackle  1 (f) with BRBL and HOFI  at petting zoo, GH.

Brown-headed Cowbird    3  foraging on bare ground with BRBL, CCP; 6 (ad, imm) with BRBL, near petting zoo (photo).

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) immature  Galileo Hill, CA  3 Sept 2012

             

                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Bullock's Oriole  2 (f)   vocal, edge of riparian strip, CCP;  1(m) vocal in deciduous trees, swc, GH.

House Finch   10  vocal, active in riparian strip and edge, CCP;  10  around petting zoo animals, GH.

House Sparrow  10  around animals in petting zoo, GH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                         ©

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

May 15, 2012  Galileo Hill (44 Species)

Weather: Fair; 61F to 80F. Winds W 2 -7 mph.

Time: 0717 - 1223 hrs.

Area Covered: After registering at the main clubhouse, I surveyed most of the Silver Saddle Resort on foot, including the summit of Galileo Hill.  Except for a few maintenance personnel, the resort was largely vacant and quiet. Two other birders arrived about the time I was leaving. Birdlife was scattered throughout the park with most activity in the northern half. Compared with the previous survey of May 11, 2012, both numbers and diversity of birds appeared to be significantly lower. Although most of the species found on May 11 at GH were present again today (waterbirds generally being the notable exception), several additional species were encountered, including,  Rock Wren, Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and Lazuli Bunting..

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today, included Blue-winged Teal (1 - cont.), Nuttall's Woodpecker (1 -cont.) Northern Waterthrush (1) and Oregon Dark-eyed Junco (1).

BIRDS NOTED

Blue-winged Teal  1 (m) -cont. dabbling in a pond by the bungalows.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) - cont.   perched in a willow on the east side of the lake (photo).

Cooper's Hawk (immature)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  15 May, 2012

                                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

American Coot   4  foraging at the edge of the lake.

Spotted Sandpiper  5 (alt. plmg.)   edge of ponds and lake around the park.

Mourning Dove  4  fly, call, n.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  fly, calls, nw.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (cont.)  calls, flying between cottonwoods, n.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1  tree-top, sallying out and back, s.

Western Wood Pewee   8   calls, sallying from 10 - 20 ft. perches in trees around the resort.

Hammond's Flycatcher   4  8 -12 ft. perches in deciduous trees around the resort.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1 (note broken eyering and pale mandible)   flying back and forth in the pavillion garden with deciduous and conifers, sw (photo).

Pacific Slope Flycatcher   Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  15 May 2012

                                                         © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Black Phoebe  2 sally-flycatching from low perches near water, n.

Say's Phoebe   2  sally-flycatching from 6-10 ft. perches, e, ne.

Western Kingbird  3   calls, flying and chasing, cottonwood picnic area, e.

Vireo sp. (probably V. cassini) 1  seen briefly in willow next to stables, w.

Common Raven  2  flying over resort, n.

Horned Lark  30  a large flock in and around the miniature golf course, nw.

Verdin  1  calling repeatedly in pavillion garden, sw.

Rock Wren  1 song, rocky slope of GH, sw.

Swainson's Thrush   12  foraging on lawns throughout the resort.

Hermit Thrush  2  foraging on lawns with SWTH, nw.

Townsend's Solitaire  1  sally-gleaning from low perch to lawn near pavillion, sw.

European Starling  20  foraging on lawns throughout the resort.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  in cotonwood near stables, w.

Oreothlypis sp.  1 (f)  not seen well but noted small whitish wingbars in one blurry photo; foraging in cottonwood near stable (photo)

Oreothylpis sp.  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  15 May, 2012

                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Yellow Warbler  1 (f) foraging in cottonwoods and then on ground near stables, w.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   6 (m,f)  sally-flycatching and gleaning in cottonwoods and on lawns, nw.

Townsend's Warbler  2  (m,f)  foraging with WIWA on lawns near stables and pavillion.

Northern Waterthrush  1  foragng on lawn beneath cottonwoods near stables, w (photo).

Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  15 May, 2012

                                                                                                 © 2012 Callyn Yorke

MacGillivray's Warbler  4  foraging on lawns with WIWA in shady areas around the resort, esp. near stables, w.

Common Yellowthroat  1(m) in a shrub next to the lake, central.

Wilson's Warbler   60  (m,f) ubiquitous  in tress, shrubs and foraging on lawns.

Black-throated Sparrow  3  foraging beneath creosote bushes; song, desert slope of GH, sw.

Song Sparrow  1 foraging in shade of sprinkler box near pavillion, sw.

Oregon Dark-eyed Junco  1 foraging on lawn near pavillion, sw.

Western Tanager  1 (m) in pavillion garden, sw,

Black-headed Grosbeak   6 (m,f)  song; in cottonwoods, nw, central, sw.

Lazuli Bunting 1 (f)  in bungalow garden, nw.

Red-winged Blackbird    5   (m,f)  vocal;  males displaying around pond next to Pavillion, sw.

Brewer's Blackbird  20  (m,f)   foraging on lawns throughout, esp. nw.

Great-tailed Grackle   6  (m,f)  vocal; around main lake, east-central.

Bullock's Oriole   2  (m,f)  vocal in cottonwoods, nw, sw.

House Finch   10  vocal; active in cactus gardens, nw, sw.

House Sparrow   20  around stables, w.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California City Park and Galileo Hill  May 11, 2012 (67 Species)

Weather: Fair; 65F to 86F; wind W  0 - 1 mph.

Time: 0730 - 1420 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1) California City Park (CCP): We walked along the edge of the lake on the golf course, surveying a riparian strip, lawns, shoreline and open water in the northeast section of California City Park. A mixture of planted conifers and deciduous trees along the shore provided good habitat for many migratory landbirds; a few waterbirds were around the edges of the lake. Earlier this week (5/8), Dave Goodward reported a vagrant Hooded Warbler in this area, which we re-found and photographed this morning. In addition, we found (no photo) a vagrant Northern Waterthrush on the edge of shady shore adjacent to the 18th tee (0730 - 0900; 1400-1415 hrs.).   2) After registering at the visitor's center, we surveyed most of the Silver Saddle Resort at Galileo Hill (GH) by walking a zig-zag route  from the main parking lot. Most of the birds were found in the groves of cottonwoods and other trees near the clubhouse, cabanas and stables. However, additional species (e.g. Blue-winged Teal, Townsend's Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, White-crowned Sparow, Chipping Sparrow) were added to our list from the peripheral areas, e.g. archery range, lake and pavillion (0920 -1335 hrs.). Northern Parula and Ovenbird were reported at GH by other birders today and during the previous week but we did not observe either of those species.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Snow Goose (1 CCP), Ross's Goose 1 CCP), Cackling Goose (1 CCP),  Blue-winged Teal  (1  GH), Redhead (3 CCP), White-faced Ibis (5 CCP), Nuttall's Woodpecker (1 GH), Townsend's Solitaire (2  GH), Northern Waterthrush (1 CCP), Hooded Warbler  (1 GH), Green-tailed Towhee (1 GH), White-crowned Sparrow (1 GH), Vesper Sparrow (2 GH).

BIRDS NOTED

Snow Goose  1 (probably a resident retired migrant)   on edge of golf course with CKGO, ROGO, GLGO and SPSA, CCP (photo)

Ross's Goose  1 ("   ")  with other birds noted above, CCP (photo).

Cackling Goose  1 (note: small size, white neck ring and darkish breast ("         "), CCP (photo).

Gray-lag Goose   (including hybrids)  12  with SNGO, ROGO as noted above, CCP

Left to right: Cackling Goose, Ross's Goose, Snow Goose and Spotted Sandpiper,  California City Park, Kern Co, CA  11 May 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Mallard   30 (wild-type and domestic)  CCP;  12 (mostly domestic, m,f) GH.

Blue-winged Teal  1 (m) flushed from edge of west edge of lake GH (photo).

 Blue-winged Teal  (male) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA 11 May 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                            © 2012 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                                        

 

Redhead   3 (2 m, f)  CCP 

Pied-billed Grebe   2  CCP.

Double-crested Cormorant  4  perched on snag, CCP.

Great Egret  1  edge of lake, GH.

Snowy Egret  1  edge of lake, CCP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) on snag with DCCO, CCP.

White-faced Ibis  5 (alt plmg.)   on golf course, CCP (photo).

White-faced Ibis   California City Park, Kern County, CA  11 May, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Turkey Vulture  3  flushed from pines, CCP.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 on utility pole, 20-mule Team Parkway

Cooper's Hawk 1(imm)  perched low in a cottonwood (photo); chasing a thrush between the lake and stables, GH.

Cooper's Hawk (immature) Galileo Hill, Kern Co CA  11 May, 2012

                                                         © 2012 Callyn Yorke

American Coot   15  CCP;  7 swimming together in lake, GH.

Killdeer  1  archery range, GH.

Spotted Sandpiper   3 (alt. plmg.) CCP (photo);  4 (alt. plmg.)   edge of lake, GH.

California Gull  1 (trans. alt. plumage)  resting on shore of lake, GH.

Rock Pigeon   2  CCP.

Eurasian Collared Dove  6  CCP;  2 GH.

Mourning Dove   2  GH.

Great Horned Owl  1 (imm) about 15 ft. from ground in cottonwood, GH (photo)

Great Horned Owl (immature) Galileo Hill, Kern Co. 11 May 2012

                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f)  GH.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  1  fly, call, garden by stables, GH.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (m) calls, flying between deciduous trees; foraging at base of trunks, GH (photo).

Nuttall's Woodpecker  (male) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  11 May 2012

                                                                                                                         © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Western Wood Pewee   4  outer and inner branches of large trees, CCP;  10 sally-flycatching in groves of deciduous trees, GH.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1 sally-flycatching from leafless branches atop tall deciduous trees, CCP (photo);  3  GH

Olive-sided Flycatcher  Calif. City Park, Kern Co CA  11 May 2012

                                                    © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  6  6 - 10 ft. perches in mature trees around the resort, GH.

Hammond's Flycatcher  5   6-12 ft. perches in mostly deciduous trees around the park, GH (photo).

Hammond's Flycatcher  Galileo Hill, Kern Co CA 11 May 2012

                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Say's Phoebe  2   archery range area, GH.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of lake, GH.

Western Kingbird  1  CCP;  2  GH.

Warbling Vireo   1  CCP;  2  GH.

Cassin's Vireo  1  foraging in cottonwood, GH.

Common Raven   3  GH.

Horned Lark  80  large flock on ground around miniature golf area, GH.

Verdin  1(m)  calls, moving upward in a cottonwood, GH (photo).

Verdin (male)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  11 May 2012

                                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Hermit Thrush  1  CCP;  12  foraging on and in shady gardens   GH (photo).

Hermit Thrush  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  11 May 2012

                                                                                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Swainson's Thrush   5  on ground and lawns in shady areas, esp. around stables, GH (photo).

Swainson's Thrush     Galileo Hill,  Kern County, CA  11 May, 2012

                                                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Townsend's Solitaire  2  on lawns and lower branches of deciduous trees, GH.

European Starling   5  flying; on lawns, GH.

Yellow Warbler  1 (m) moving quickly through deciduous trees, CCP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler    2  CCP;  30 (m,f)   several sally-flycatching among deciduous trees near bungalows, GH.

Townsend's Warbler  1 (m) foraging on lawn near pavillion, GH.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1  undergrowth, CCP;  4  shady areas and lawns, GH (photo).

MacGillivray's Warbler (m)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  11 May 2012

                                                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina) 1 (f ) Iinitially found by Dave Goodward on 5/8/12)  Flitting tail and wings, foraging quickly on ground at edge of riparian woods and lawn near tee # 16, CCP (photo: 0850 hrs).

Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina)  female.  California City Park, Kern Co, CA  11 May 2012

                                                                                                                   © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Common Yellowthroat   2  singing at edge of riparian-marsh, CCP.

Wilson's Warbler   20  vocal, active in tree, shrubs and on ground, CCP;  50 (m,f)  vocal, ubiquitous, GH.

Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) 1 ( 0830 hrs.) Noted narrow, light supercilium with faint yellow on streaked underparts. Flushed from edge of shady corner of lake adjacent  to a small marsh and fenced yard of condominiums. The bird landed a few feet from us and began walking, quickly and bobbing its tail on a narrow shoreline amongst tangled tree roots. Observed for several seconds before it flushed again and flew out of sight. We failed to relocate this bird immediately thereafter (much of the shoreline is concealed, flooded and inacessible in this area), and during a second, brief visit this afternoon (1400-1415 hrs.). I mentioned the find to two other birders at Galileo Hill today.

Green-tailed Towhee  1  on ground in cactus garden at main entrance, GH.

Savannah Sparrow  3 grassy edge of lake, GH.

'Song Sparrow  1  in undergrowth at edge of lake, CCP.

Vesper Sparrow  2  on bare ground with WCSP, next to archery range, GH.

Chipping Sparrow  2   flushed from lawn and into cottonwood next to the lake; calls, GH.

White-crowned Sparrow  1 (Z. l. gambelii)  on ground with VESP next to archery ranbe, GH.

Western Tanager   2 (m) riparian area, CCP;  8 (m,f) in cottonwoods and other trees, GH.

Black-headed Grosbeak   1  calls, riparian, CCP;  6 (m,f) vocal in cottonwoods, on lawns, GH.

Red-winged Blackbird   2  vocal, marsh-riparian, CCP;  2  on lawn,  GH.

Yellow-headed Blackbird   2 singing, marsh, CCP.

Brewer's Blackbird  4  (m,f) on lawns, GH.

Great-tailed Grackle   20 (m,f)  ubiquitous, CCP;  10 (m,f) GH.

Brown-headed Cowbird   2  vocal, on lawns, CCP.

Bullock's Oriole  3  (m,f)  in cottonwoods, vocal, GH.

House Finch   6 (m,f)  around buildings and cottonwoods, GH.

House Sparrow  6  around buildings and cactus garden, GH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   

 

 

 

Butterbredt Spring and Kern River Preserve, May 4, 2012 (67 Species)

Weather: Fair, 62F; winds WSW, WNW 5 - 25  mph.

Time: 0740 -1514 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Jawbone Canyon Road (JCR). Driving northwest through Jawbone Canyon, we stopped at the fenced DWP yard and maintenance worker's home. Sprinklers were active on the lawns; a mixture of mature deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. The roadside area along the western fence line features saltbush (Atriplex canescens) and Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata).  I birded the fence line and part of the yard visible from the road. The site had a relatively high diversity of migrants, including, Pacific Slope and Hammond's Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush and Lazuli Bunting. Proceeding north on JCR, we turned right just before the security gate for a wind farm project (a few Chukar crossed the roadway here) and proceeded 5.6 miles northward on a well-maintained dirt road leading to turn-off to  Butterbredt Spring (BS). 2)  Several other birders were present when we arrived at BS. We surveyed the perimeter of the riparian habitat (cottowood, willow and mulefat), which had only a small puddle of standing water near a dry marsh, though soils throughout the shady riparian grove were damp. Surrounding vegetation consisted of Joshua tree - saltbush desert scrub on rocky hillsides (elev. about 4,000 ft.). Persistent WSW  winds blowing down the canyon shifted to WNW later in our survey. An abundance of western migrants were present in what appears to be the largest riparian patch in the region, though occupying no more than 2 acres. The other birders reported dawn movements of birds up the canyon, numbering in the hundreds, perhaps thousands today. Earlier reports of a vagrant Hooded Warbler were not confirmed by these folks or by our observations during the survey (0900-1100 hrs.).  3) Continuing northward through Butterbredt Canyon (BCR) on a narrow sandy track (high clearance 2WD), we passed through large, dense stands of relatively short, scraggly Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia herberti ?) together with saltbush (Atriplex spp. ) and a diverse assemblage of high-desert vegetation characterstic of the western Mojave Desert. Just before reaching the intersection of Kelso Creek Road, we encountered Scott's Oriole, the only individual of this species found during our survey today. This route also produced a few other species we had not seen earlier, including Red-tailed Hawk, Barn Swallow, Brewer's Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow. 4) Driving west then south on Kelso Valley Road (KVR), we encountered a young biologist named Aaron, surveying birds and interested in finding Bendire's Thrasher within the desert scrub along the east side of the roadway. He reported no luck with the aforementioned species, which is known to have occupied this particular area in recent years. He also reported no sightings of Black-chinned Sparrow, another species which apparently once occurred in this area (Axelson, K. In Schram, B. A 2007.  A Birder's Guide to Southern California. pp 141-47), which we also did not encounter today. We stopped at a pair of small, fenced off farm ponds on the east side of the roadway adjacent to a large meadow. Here we added Mallard, White-faced Ibis, Killdeer and Red-winged Blackbird to our day-list.  5) Turning west on a dirt track just south of the large meadow, we ascended into a pine-oak woodland and chaparral (POW) to an elevation of about 5,500 ft., turned around and headed back downhill. A blanket of fog at higher elevations, combined with strong downslope winds, reduced bird activity. We added only two species, Western Scrub-jay and Acorn Woodpecker to our day list (1230 - 1300 hrs.).  6) Our last stop was at the Kern River Preserve in Weldon, near the intersection of Kelso Valley Road and HWY 178 (KRP). We visually surveyed about 100 acres as we walked the entire nature trail perimeter, through an extensive riparian woodland bordering marsh , saltbush-sage habitats, and the South Fork Kern River, encompassing a total area of 2,987acres. Only one other person (walking a leashed dog) was present on the trail during our survey. The entire nature preserve (including the visitor center) was quiet, allowing identification of bird vocalizations. Bird feeders attracted a few species next to the visitor center. Several additional species were found here, including, Nuttall's Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Spotted Towhee and Summer Tanager (1355 - 1514 hrs.).  We used binoculars (10x40) and a DSLR camera for the survey. Note: This was the first day of a three-day America's Birdiest County event in Kern County.

BIRDS NOTED

Mallard  2 (m,f) at edge of small farm pond, KVR.

California Quail  8  outer edge of fenced yard, JCR.

Chukar  7 (m,f) crossing the road near the wind farm security gate, JCR (photo).

Chukar (adult female) Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA    4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                    © 2012 Callyn Yorke

White-faced Ibis  30 (alt. plmg.) foraging at edge of a small farm pond, KVR.

Turkey Vulture  1 flying low, fighting the wind, BCR; one flying over fields, KRP.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  flushed from a Joshua Tree near the road, BCR.

Killdeer  1 flushed from a clearing near a small pond, KVR.

Mourning Dove   2  JCR;  3 BS; 2 BCR.

Vaux's Swift   3  flying about 50 ft. over oak woodland, POW.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) around salt bushes, JCR;  1 BS.

Costa's Hummingbird  1 (m)  perched on mulefat; displayed gorget, BS.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  calling repeatedly (unseen), BS.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, flying among cottonwoods, KRP.

Acorn Woodpecker  1  flying across road in pine-oak woodland, POW.

Black Phoebe  2  edge of riparian streams, KRP.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1 hawking insects successfully from an exposed perch atop a cottonwood, BS.

Western Wood Pewee  1  hawking insects from a patch of mulefat; edge of riparian, BS (photo).

Western Wood Pewee    Butterbredt Spring, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                            © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  2  understory, BS.

Dusky Flycatcher  1 about 8 ft. in a deciduous tree inside the DWP yard, JCR (photo).

Dusky Flycatcher  Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA   4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                            © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Hammond's Flycatcher  1 perched on a saltbush next to the DWP yard, JCR (photo).

Hammond's Flycatcher  Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Western Kingbird   8  on fences around pastures, KVR.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  3  fences and tall shrubs at entrance, BS (photo);   4  desert scrub, Joshua Trees, BCR.

Ash-throated Flycatcher   Butterbredt Spring, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Loggerhead Shrike  1  flying through a patch of Joshua Trees, BCR.

Warbling Vireo  1  in saltbush outside of DWP yard, JCR (photo);  2 in and around riparian patch, BS.

Warbling Vireo  Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern Co., CA  4 May 2012

                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Cassin's Vireo   1  foraging in subcanopy of cottonwoods, KRP.

Common Raven  2  flying up the canyon, BS.  2 flying over trees, KRP.

Western Scrub-jay   3  flying across road, POW.

Horned Lark  20  small flocks flushed from dry, short-grass fields along road, KVR.

Barn Swallow  1  flying up the canyon, BCR.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow   2 flying near tops of cottonwoods, KRP.

Tree Swallow  10  flying back and forth at the edge of riparian woodland and marsh, KRP.

Verdin  1(m)  in saltbush next to DWP yard; calls, JCR.

Bushtit  3 -5  active, vocal in cottonwoods at edge of field, KRP.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  foraging on trunk and large branches of cottonwoods, KRP.

Bewick's Wren  1 singing in undergrowth near HOWR, BS..

House Wren  2 vocal, active in undergrowth, twigs, BS   20  vocal, active at edge of riparian areas, KRP (photo).

House Wren  Kern River Preserve, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Western Bluebird   8 (m,f)   one female flushed from nest box along trail, KRP.

Swainson's Thrush  1  on ground beneath mature deciduous tree in DWP yard, JCR; 1 on ground in riparian patch, BS.

Hermit Thrush  1  on ground under mulefat, BS.

European Starling  2  in DWP yard, JCR;  4  feeding on ground, KRP.

Yellow Warbler  2 (m,f) in canopy and subcanopy of cottonwoods; calls, BS.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1  on ground beneath mulefat, BS.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  foraging in subcanopy and lower levels of cottonwoods, BS.

Townsend's Warbler  1 (m)  foraging low in willow, KRP.

Wilson's Warbler   1(m) foraging in creosote bush from ground, JCR (photo);  15 (m,f) ubiquitous, vocal, BS;  20 KRP.

Wilson's Warbler (male)   Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA   4 May, 2012

                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

 

Common Yellowthroat  1 song, marsh-riparian edge, KRP.

Spotted  Towhee  1   on ground under feeder, KRP.

California Towhee  2  calls, on ground and in low shrubs, BS.

Sage Sparrow  10  flushed from low bushes, JCR; 2  BS;  5  BSR.

Black-throated Sparrow  1  in tall shrubs bordering riparian patch, BS.

Chipping Sparrow  1 on ground in open, grassy area, BS.  5 flushed from open grassy area in desert scrub, BCR.

Brewer's Sparrow  4  desert scrub, BSR.

Song Sparrow   10  singing in marsh-riparian areas throughout, KRP.

White-crowned Sparrow  1  on ground in open area near entrance, BS;  5  edge of grassy field, KRP.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  3  on ground and in bushes, riparian patch and edge, BS.

Dark-eyed Junco  1  flew across road, POW.

Western Tanager  12 (m,f)  in willows, JCR (photo); cottonwoods, willows;  10 BS. An abundant migrant in the region.

Western Tanager (male)  Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                       © 2012 Callyn Yorke      

Summer Tanager  1 (f)  subcanopy of cottonwoods, KRP (photo).

Summer Tanager (female)  Kern River Preserve, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                         ©  2012 Callyn Yorke

Black-headed Grosbeak  20  (m,f) flying between shrubs and trees in canyon oases, JCR;  15 (m,f)  pairs and trios moving through  desert shrubs (photo), canopy, calls, song, BS. 10 BCR;   10 vocal, active in canopy, KRP. One of the most abundant migrants.

Black-headed Grosbeak (males)  Butterbredt Spring, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Lazuli Bunting 2 (m)   a pair of males flew to fence at DWP yard, JCR (photo).

Lazuli Bunting (male)   Jawbone Canyon Road, Kern County, CA  4 May, 2012

                                                                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Red-winged Blackbird   5 (m,f)    vocal, active in small patch of marsh next to farm ponds, KVR.

Brewer's Blackbird  3   open pastureland with cattle next to road, POW.

Bullock's Oriole   5  active at all levels in riparian patch, BS;  10 (m,f) vocal, active in riparian areas, KRP.

Scott's Oriole  1 (m) flushed from Joshua Tree, BCR.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2  vocal, active on ground and in trees in DWP yard, JCR;  4  around feeders, KRP.

House Finch   4  vocal, active on ground and in trees in DWP yard, JCR;  4  calls, song, riparian and edge, BS;  10, KRP.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  foraging in tall grasses and herbs at edge of riparian patch, BS.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

Cerro Coso Community College, Ridgecrest, CA

November 12, 2011 (26 Species)

Weather: Overcast; 53F winds WNW 5 mph.

Time: 1040 - 1250 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: From the main parking adjacent to the physical education facilities, we walked through central portions and around the perimeter  of the campus surveying a total area of perhaps 100 acres, which included gardens, mowed, well-watered playing fields, creosote bush scrub, and assorted plantings of mature conifers (e.g. Aleppo Pine) deciduous and evergreen ornamental trees (e.g. Poplar) and shrubs (e.g. Pyracantha). Birds were concentrated mostly in the northwestern sections near good cover provided by ornamental shrubs and trees, adjacent to foraging opportunities on adjacent playing fields. The attractively xeric and mesic-landscaped campus is set on a north-facing bajada at about 3,000 feet in elevation. Surrounding land is hilly, and supports an extensive and apparently ecologically intact Creosote Bush community, characteristic of the  Western Mojave Desert. The campus was quiet and largely unihabited during most of our survey. We observed and documented birds using a 10x42 binocular, DSLR camera and field notebook. Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Long-eared Owl (3), Flicker sp. ( 1 - possibly Gilded), Townsend's Solitaire (1), Spotted Towhee (1) and Rusty Blackbird (1).

BIRDS NOTED

California Quail  10   edge of the desert, southwest side.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) perched on light pole, sw.

Eurasian Collared Dove  15  foraging on the west edge of the baseball field, w.

Mourning Dove   10  foraging with EUCD on the baseball field; one caught and killed by a COHA.

Greater Roadrunner  1  crossing College Heights Rd.

Long-eared Owl   3   All in relatively small (mature) Aleppo Pines in front of the campus main entrance and parking lot; two birds in one tree; one in another about 50 feet to the east. The roosts, apparently in use for some time, were easily found due to conspicuous uric acid stains and pellets at the base of the trees. All three owls allowed us to approach to within 10 feet and did not move during the few minutes spent observing and them (using natural light only - photos below).

Long-eared Owl ( same bird in both photos )  Cerro Coso College, Kern County, CA, November 12, 2011

    

                                                                          © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Flicker sp. (Colaptes chrysoides) ?  1  noted pale gray dorsum and face; yellowish base of rectrices, narrow barring on back;  cinnamon forecrown. The bird was found on the lawn adjacent to the track field,close to ornamental shrubs and trees, nw (photo). When flushed, yellowish feather shafts were seen.

Colaptes sp.  nw Cerro Coso College, Ridgegrest, Kern County, CA  November 21, 2011

                                                                                                                                © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Say's Phoebe  1  perched on small tree next to open landscaping, s-central.

Common Raven  3  fly, call.

Horned Lark  30  a tight flock foraging on edge of baseball field and dirt parking area, w.

Verdin  1 (m)   active, vocal in pyracantha shrub, w.

Bewick's Wren   3  calls, active around edges of the campus in desert scrub.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  calls, mixed tree plantings, central-east.

American Robin   20  foraging on baseball field and in pyracantha berries (photo).

American Robin (adult)  nw Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA  November 12, 2011

                                                                                                                                                   © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Townsend's Solitaire  1  perched on barbed-wire fence next to picnic area (photo); going to ground briefly then changing perch.

Townsend's Solitaire  (adult) Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest, CA  Nov 12, 2011

                                                                                                                    © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Northern Mockingbird   3  around fruiting pyracantha throughout the campus.

European Starling  3  foraging on baseball field, nw.

Phainopepla  1  calls (unseen),  in tall poplars, ne.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  1  call, fly, ornamental trees, w.

Spotted Towhee  1 (unseen)   calling repeatedly from dense pyracantha, w.

White-crowned Sparrow: Two subspecies represented, dominated by Z. leucophrys gambelii.   30 (ad, imm);  West Taiga (Z .l. orianthe ?) 2 (photo) foraging on lawns, open ground; bathing in puddles. Note very wide, white crown stripes and dark orange bill. The two subspecies were often side-by side allowing close comparisons. Also noted qualitatively different (relatively high-pitched and slurred) song of one West Taiga individual.

 

West Taiga White-crowned Sparrow  (Z. l. orianthe?)  Cerro Coso College

Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA  November 12, 2011                 ©  2011 Callyn Yorke

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco   20  (Junco hyemalis thurberi); 1 Slate-colored (J.h.hyemalis)  foraging with WCSP on edge of baseball field; calls; in pines.

Red-winged Blackbird  1 (imm male) foraging on edge of baseball field, nw.

Western Meadowlark  1   foraging near EUCD and MODO on edge of baseball field, nw.

Rusty Blackbird  1 (male - basic plmg.) foraging on edge of baseball field, nw. Pulled up a worm from the lawn (photo).This bird was initially found here by Tom Wurster about 8 days ago and evidently is staying on or near the playing fields. A casual vagrant to Eastern Kern County with only six previous records of RUBL in Kern County, prior to 1999 (Heindel, 2000).

 

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)  male;   northwest Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest, Kern County, CA  November 12, 2011

  

                                                                          © 2011 Callyn Yorke

House Finch   12  (m,f) foraging on baseball field, shrubs and trees, w.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GALILEO HILL (SILVER SADDLE), KERN COUNTY, CA

BIRD SURVEYS

September 11, 2011

September 4, 2011

May 30, 2011

March 25, 2011

October 6, 2010

September 22, 2010

September 18, 2010

August 28, 2010

 

SEPTEMBER 11, 2011 (58 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 64F to 85F; winds WNW 2 -5 mph

Time: 0715 - 1320 hrs.

Observers: Dan Byrne and I. Several other birders, including Stan Gray and Tom Wurster.

Area Covered: We covered most of the park (except the nw bungalos and apartments) by walking the perimeter and through the central areas. Binoculars and a DSLR camera were used for the survey. Relatively few park visitors were in the survey area; conditions were good for finding and identifying birds. Rarities found today included Northern Waterthrush (2) and American Redstart (2) and Summer Tanager (1). Other birders reported seeing, Gray Flycatcher (1) , Hammond's Flycathcher (1) , Pinyon Jay (1), Red-eyed Vireo (1), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Brewer's Sparrow (2) and Lark Bunting (1) yesterday and/or today, but we did not encounter those species. Diversity and abundance of western migrant landbirds was significantly higher today than during our last survey of September 4, 2011.

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose  1 (domestic) on shore of main lake.

Cinnamon Teal   8 (f) a tight flock in the main lake.

Great Blue Heron  2  edge of main lake and perched on boulder in adjacent creosote bush scrub (photo).

Great Blue Heron (immature)   west Galileo Hill, 11 September 2011.       © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) flying over pond next to main club house.

Turkey Vulture    4  on utility line, flying s.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (ad) flying over edge of park, w.

Red-tailed Hawk  2 (ad - dark morph; imm - light morph)  edge of park, e. (photo).

Red-tailed Hawk (dark morph)  soaring above east Galileo Park,  September 11, 2011

                                                                                                                     © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Spotted Sandpiper   2   a pair flew onto the edge of the main lake, e.

Rock Pigeon  1 (white morph) on the ground in the garden by the stables.

Mourning Dove  2  flying from deciduous trees, central.

Barn Owl  1  flying through a grove of cottonwoods and willows near clubhouse.

Great Horned Owl  1  calls, n.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  flying around flowering oleanders near stables.

Belted Kingfisher  1 (m)  fly, call, main lake.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2 (m,f)  foraging in willows, cottonwoods; calls, central (photo)

Ladder-backed Woodpecker (f) Galileo Park,  Sept. 11, 2011.

                                                            © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1 (imm)  on utility lines, sw (photo).

OSFL (immature) sw Galileo Park, September 11, 2011

                                                                          © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Western Wood Pewee   3   aerial hawking from exposed perches in cottonwoods and willows throughout.

Willow Flycatcher  2   aerial hawking from low, shady perches in deciduous trees, central.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher   3  medium to low perches in shady areas, central, eastern.

Black Phoebe  4  low perches near water throughout the park; calls.

Say's Phoebe   6  low perches bordering open areas throughout the park; calls.

Western Kingbird  1  on utility line, w.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  calls, se.

Cassin's Vireo  1  in canopy of cottonwoods, central.

Warbling Vireo   12  active in canopy of deciduous and evergreen trees throughout the park.

Common Raven  12  a flock soaring above the park, sw.

Horned Lark   20  flocks flying, vocalizing at the edges of the park.

Barn Swallow  3  flying over pond, sw.

Verdin  2  calls repeated, garden and tall cottonwoods near stables.

White-breasted Nuthatch   1  calls, working cottonwoods near petting zoo (photo).

White-breasted Nuthatch 1   west-central Galileo Park,  September 11, 2011.   © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch  1  in willows near main clubhouse.

Rock Wren  2  on boulders, hillside, sw.

House Wren  1  scolding mockingbirds in garden, sw.

Northern Mockingbird  2  in garden undergrowth, sw.

European Starlng    10  on utility lines and in cottonwoods, eucalyptus.

Phainopepla  1 (m)  in canopy of cottonwoods, calls.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  foraging in cottonwoods, central.

Nashville Warbler   2  foraging low in cottonwoods, central (photo).

Nashville Warbler (m)  central Galileo Park,  September 11, 2011           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Yellow Warbler    10  foraging, calls, cottonwoods and willows, throughout the park (photo).

Yellow Warbler (m)  Galileo Park,  September 11, 2011    © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Townsend's Warbler   1 (f)  foraging in cottonwoods, central (photo).

Townsend's Warbler (female)   Galileo Hill, September 11, 2011

                                                                                                                    © 2011 Callyn Yorke

American Redstart  2 (f)  foraging quickly in subcanopy of cottonwoods and willows, central (photo).

American Redstart (f)   central Galileo Park,  11 September 2011.                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Northern Waterthrush  1  staying well concealed in garden by stables; calls.

MacGillivray's Warbler   1 (m)  calls from dense undergrowth in garden, sw.

Wilson's Warbler   5 (ad, imm)  foraging in cottonwoods throughout.

Chipping Sparrow   1  in cottonwoods and willows over stream, central.

Lark Sparrow  1  in cottonwood by tennis courts.

Savannah Sparrow  1  in willow and on lawn, sw.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  in cottonwoods and on lawn, central (photo).

Lincoln's Sparrow   central Galileo Park,  11 September 2011.   

                                                                                                                     © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Black-throated Sparrow  2   in cactus garden, calls, sw.

Summer Tanager  1   calls repeated from cottonwood grove, central.

Western Tanager   5  (f) foraging in cottonwoods and eucalyptus, central, sw.'

Black-headed Grosbeak    12 (f; imm)  canopy of cottonwoods, calls (photo).

 

Black-headed Grosbeak (imm),  Galileo Park, September 11, 2011

                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Lazuli Bunting   7  (6 f)  small flocks of females in grassy areas (photo); also in eucalyptus.

Lazuli Buntings   Galileo Park, 11 September, 2011.                       © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Brewer's Blackbird  2  flying over park, calls, n.

Brown-headed Cowbird    8 (imm) foraging in ruderal field, central-east (photo).

Brown-headed Cowbird (immature)    Galileo Park, 11 September 2011.              © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Bullock's Oriole  2  (f)  in cottonwood canopy, central.

House Finch   20 (m,f)   ubiquitous in trees, shrubs, gardens.

Lesser Goldfinch   4  in canopy of eucalytptus; calls, central .

House Sparrow    20  (m,f) in gardens and trees around stables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 (51 Species)

Weather: Fair to partly cloudy. 67F to 94F; winds WSW 0-2 mph.

Time: 0750 - 1300 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: After signing in at the Silver Saddle clubhouse, we walked around most of the park, surveying all habitats (see previous survey notes for habitat descriptions). Many people were in the park today, walking, horseback riding, cycling, kayaking, etc. Conditions were otherwise good for finding and identifying birds. Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Northern Shoveler (1) Blue-winged Teal (2), Chukar (20), Great Egret (1), Black-crowned Night Heron (1), Willow Flycatcher (1), Pacific Slope Flycatcher (3), Western Wood Pewee (3), Yellow-breasted Chat (1) Lazuli Bunting (3).

BIRDS NOTED

Gray lag Goose 1 (domestic) main lake.

Mallard   4 (f - domestic)  edge of lake and ponds.

Northern Shoveler  1 (f) flew into main lake with CITE and BWTE (photo).

Cinnamon Teal  2 (f note plain face, large black, shoveler-like bill)  with BWTE and NOSH (photo).

Blue-winged Teal  1 (f - dark eyeline, white in front of short bill) with CITE and NOSH (photo).

Left to Right ( all  females): Cinnamon Teal (2), Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shoveler. Galileo Hill Park, Kern Co, CA Sept. 4, 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                       © 2011 Callyn Yorke

California Quail  10  calls, active in undergrowth, sw pavilion.

Chukar   20   (ad, imm) running on dirt road next to soccer field, nw.

Great Blue Heron  2  edge of ponds and lake.

Great Egret  1  edge of pond near main clubhouse.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) edge of pond; flushed into trees (photp).

Black-crowned Night Heron (immature) Galileo Hill Park, Kern Co. CA September 4, 2011   © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Turkey Vulture   6  soaring high above the park, sw.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) flying between trees, landed (photo).

COHA (imm)   Galileo Hill Park, Kern Co, CA Sept. 4, 2011

                                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke

American Coot  1 (ad) swimming in main lake with NOSH, CITE and BWTE.

Least Sandpiper  1 flying low over pond; called, sw.

Mourning Dove  20 (ad, imm) on utility wires, flying.

Barn Owl   1  flushed from cottonwoods near the clubhouse (photo). Many owl pellet clusters beneath cottonwoods throughout the park.

Barn Owl (adult)  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA September 4, 2011.                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Great Horned Owl  1  flying between pines and cottonwoods, sw.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  calls, fly,  w.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1 (m)  foraging in cottonwood; calls (photo).

Ladder-backed Woodpecker (male)  Galileo Hill, Kern Co., CA September 4, 2011. 

                                                                                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Western Wood Pewee    2   perched on bare branches; sally-flycatching. silent. (photo).

WWPE  Galileo Hill, Kern Co., CA September 4, 2011

                                                      © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Contopus sp. (possibly Olive-sided Flycatcher)  1  seen briefly perched then flying from low cottonwood branch next to pavilion teepee, sw. Noted nearly uniform dark upperparts with white underparts, except for dark flanks. Flight direct, fast. not refound.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher   3  low cottonwood and pine branches (photo).

Pacific Slope Flycatcher,   Galileo Hill,  Kern Co., CA, September 4, 2011    © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Willow Flycatcher  1   sally-flycatching from low branch, sw.

Black Phoebe    3  sally-flycatching from very low perches near ponds, s, sw.

Say's Phoebe   2  low perches in cottonwoods (photo).

Say's Phoebe,   Galileo Hill,  Kern County, CA  September 4, 2011             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Western Kingbird  1  on utility line, sw.

Warbling Vireo  3  foraging in pines, sw (photo).

Warbling Vireo  Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA  September 4, 2011          © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Common Raven   2  foraging on lawn, fly, call, sw.

Horned Lark  30  edge of park in desert; flock staying together; calls.

Verdin  2  calls, repeated. Riparian gardens, central and edge of park, s.

Catharus sp. (possibly ustulatus  noted brown back and tail)  1  flushed from oleanders next to equestrian center; not refound.

Northern Mockingbird  1  flying, near main clubhouse.

European Starling     40 (ad, imm)   foraging in corrals and on lawns; in fruiting eucalyptus, calls.

Phainopepla  1 (m) aerial-hawking from crown of deciduous trees; calls, sw.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3   bathing in artificial stream near clubhouse; foraging in eucalyptus and cottonwoods,

Yellow Warbler  20 (m,f) ubiquitous in mature deciduous trees, eucalyptus, pines; calls.

MacGillivray's Warbler  1  staying well concealed in dense juniper shrubs at pavilion; calls.

Yellow-breasted Chat  1  called 2-3 times - a brief, loud chatter, dense undergrowth at pavilion.

Common Yellowthroat  1  in garden in front of equestrian center; calls.

Western Tanager   3 (f)  in rocky stream next to clubhouse parking lot; in pines, pavilion, sw.

Chipping Sparrow 1  adjacent to stream with WETA.

Lark Sparrow   10  riaparian edge of park; calls, foraging on lawns.

Sage Sparrow   12   edge of park in desert scrub; drinking from drip lines for trees.

Black-throated Sparrow  4   two pair in cactus garden, w, sw; calls (photo).

Black-throated Sparrow,  Galileo Hill, Kern Co., CA  September 4, 2011

                                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Lazuli Bunting  3 (m, 2f)   foraging on lawns near petting zoo (photo).

Lazuli Bunting (m,f)  Galileo Hill, Kern Co. CA  Sept. 4, 2011

                                                                                       © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Black-headed Grosbeak   12 (m,f) ubiquitous; foraging in decidous trees, pines, eucalyptus; calls.

Brewer's Blackbird   6 (m,f) foraging on lawn near clubhouse.

Bullock's Oriole   2  calls, tall deciduous trees, central, sw.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  fly, call, nw.

House Finch    10 (m,f)   ubiquitous in trees and on lawns; calls.

House Sparrow  20  around buildings, equestrian center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY 30, 2011 (41 Species)

Weather: Fair. 51F to 72F; winds W 2 - 5mph.

Time: 0705 - 1330 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I. A group of about 14 birders from SWBSC, led by Jim Abernathy; two other independant birders.

Area Covered:  Beginning in the parking lot at the main Silver Saddle clubhouse, we walked roughly a clockwise route around the entire park, surveying lawns, gardens, mature Cottonwoods, Alder, Aleppo pines, Eucalyptus, Chinese Elm, and other plantings; lakes, ponds and adjacent Creosote Bush and rocky hillsides. Conditions were very good for finding and identifying birds. Other than about 20 birders and a few maintenance personnel, the park was largely quiet and undisturbed by human activities. Flycatchers were represented by several western migratory species; warblers were scarce. No vagrants were found during our survey. Reptiles noted included Western Whiptail Lizard and Desert Spiny Lizard (photo) .

Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister) Galileo Hill, Kern County, CA   May 30, 2011  

                                                                                                                                                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

 

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose (domestic)  1 on the shore of the main lake near several TUVU.

Mallard  7 (m,f)  one domestic f with young ducklings in the main lake.

California Quail  2 (m,f) brushy area, se.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1(ad) edge of cactus garden and lawn, sw

Turkey Vulture  10  in Cottonwoods near stables; on lawn at edge of lake.

Red-tailed Hawk   3  (ad, imm) circling above the park.

Spotted Sandpiper  3 (alt. plmg.)   edge of main lake and small pond.

Mourning Dove  12  pairs in riparian plantings and edge of desert.

Anna's Hummingbird  4  f with nest material; foraging in Creosote Bush, sw.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  calls, near main clubhouse.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  2  medium low perch in Cottonwoods and shady edge of desert (photo).

                                                                                © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 

Western Wood Pewee  10  in Cottonwoods and other trees throughout the park (photo); calls.

                                                    © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Willow Flycatcher  1  low perch near stables.

Hammond's Flycatcher   2  low branches in Cottonwoods (photo), se, e.

                                                                                                      © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  2  low branches in Willows and Cottonwoods, nw, w.

Dusky Flycatcher   1  low branches of Cottonwood near stables.

Gray Flycatcher  1  medium and low height in Cottonwood near petting zoo.

Black Phoebe  3  low perches in Cottonwood and tall shrubs.

Say's Phoebe  1  flying low across sw lawn.

Western Kingbird  4   pairs vocalizing, staying together in tops of Cottonwoods, sw, ne.

Common Raven  4   a pair with young in a tall Cottonwood next to skeet range.

Verdin  2   1 with nest 15 ft. in deciduous tree near petting zoo; another calling at edge of cactus garden, sw.

Swainson's Thrush  20  ubiquitous beneath trees and shrubs (photo).

                                                                                                                                                            © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Hermit Thrush  1 (dark form with faint reddish contrast on tail)  1 around tennis courts.

Varied Thrush 1-2 (f)   first seen on roadway next to petting zoo; possibly a second individual in and around poplars at skeet range (photo).

   

© 2011 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                                                                                      © 2011 Callyn Yorke

European Starling  15  foraging on lawns, n.

Phainopepla  1  calls, sw.

Nashville Warbler  1 (f)  flushed from shrubs into Cottonwoods, se.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (A)   2  (m)  in Cottonwoods near stables (photo).

                                                                                                                                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Wilson's Warbler  15  ubiquitous in shrubs, trees and on lawns.

Black-throated Sparrow  1  Creosote Bush at edge of cactus garden sw.

Lazuli Bunting  1 (f)  on lawn with yellow wildflowers, e (photo).

                                              © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Indigo Bunting  1 (f)  sw pond (seen by others but not by me).

Brewer's Blackbird  20  foraging on lawns and edges of ponds.

Great-tailed Grackle  5   on lawns, e.

Brown-headed Cowbird  1 (imm) in tall Cottonwood near stables.

House Finch  50 (m,f)  ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  3  tall Cottonwoods with dead branches; calls and song.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  2  flying low through Creosote scrub at edge of lawns, sw; song.

Black-headed Grosbeak  4  (m,f)  foraging on Eucalyptus flower parts (photo) in crowns of tallest trees; calls.

                                                                                             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

House Sparrow  20  around stables.

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 25, 2011 (30 Species)

Weather:  Partly cloudy; 47F to 54F; winds WSW 10 -20 mph; snow covering Tehachapi Mountains.

Time: 0855 - 1140 hrs.

Area Covered: After signing in at the Silver Saddle clubhouse, I walked a clockwise route around the entire property, including interior roads. No other birders were seen during my survey. Maintenance personnel were working near the clubhouse and main lake. Except for persistent winds, conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Most birdlife was concentrated on the lee side of buildings, tall trees and hillsides. Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest included: Blue-winged Teal (1); Wilson's Snipe (2); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Rufous Hummingbird (4).

BIRDS NOTED

Mallard (wild type)   5 (m,f) edge of ponds, se and e.

Blue-winged Teal  1 (m) with mallards in se pond (photo); flew off with mallards as I approached.

                                                                                                                             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Wilson's Snipe  2  flushed from wet, grassy area between stables and main pond, e.

Killdeer  8  on edge of grassy areas, n, e.

Mourning Dove  5  flushed from edge of grassy field, e-central.

Rufous-hummingbird  4  (m, f)  in clumps of rosemary near stables; rosemary hillside, se; calls and chasing.

Selasphorus sp.   around RUHU in rosemary and oleanders; calls sounded like Allen's.

Anna's Hummingbird  2   rosemary hillside, se; calls.

Hairy Woodpecker  1   distinctive loud, harsh call, leafless deciduous trees by tennis courts (unseen).

Picoides sp.   1  call - a faint, high pitched peep, like DOWO.  In same area as HAWO (unseen).

Northern (RS) Flicker  1  in deciduous tree at n edge of park.

Say's Phoebe  2   flying low between trees and buildings, se and n; calls.

Black Phoebe  5   in trees near ponds and wet lawns; calls.

Common Raven   6  flying over the n side of the park.

House Wren   2  singing at edge of park, se, e.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   6  foraging in deciduous trees throughout the park; calls.

American Robin  12  foraging on lawns near tennis courts.

European Starling 8  on utility lines and in tall trees; calls and song.

Orange-crowned Warbler   4  staying low  in shrubs and trees in gardens around corral and buildings, c-north; calls.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  3   foraging on lawns near AMRO.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  in rosemary, se.

White-crowned Sparrow   2  in rosemary, se.

Dark-eyed Junco  10  under deciduous trees; foraging on lawns near tennis courts.

Red-winged Blackbird  2  concealed in marsh near archery range, e; calls.

Great-tailed Grackle   4  (m) fly, call near stables.

House Finch  50 (m,f) ubiquitous in tall trees and shrubs.

Lesser Goldfinch  30 (m,f)  ubiquitous in budding Cottonwoods; calls and song.

American Goldfinch  1 (f)  in budding Cottonwood near clubhouse, with LEGO.

Lawrence's Goldfinch   12   small flocks in deciduous trees throughout the park; calls & song.

House Sparrow  10  around the stables.

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 6, 2010 (38 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy with increasing cloudiness; showers to the south and west (e.g. Mojave, Antelope Valley). 56F to 62F; winds WSW 2-5 mph.

Time: 0824 - 1120 hrs.

Observers: Midway through my survey, met other birders ( Don Ryan, Andrew and Vernon Howe, and Liga), who had covered the north end of the property earlier this morning. We later converged on the riparian grove around the bungalows to watch a mixed species flock of vireos and warblers.

Area Covered: The entire property, including adjacent Creosote scrub-covered hillsides (ca 80 acres). Conditions were good for finding birds and identifying vocalizations (except for a couple of window-rattling sonic breaches by low-flying jets). Mixed species flocks of warblers, kinglets and vireos were found in deciduous and evergreen trees. Sparrows seemed less abundant than in my September surveys. Notable birds found today included, Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker, three species of vireo: Plumbeous, Red-eyed, Warbling Vireo and American Redstart. Species reported by other birders today but that were not found by me, included, Dark-eyed Junco (1) and Red-naped Sapsucker (1).

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose (domestic) 3 SE shore of main lake.

Ring-necked Duck  1 (m)  SE edge of main lake.

Great Blue Heron  2  edge of main lake.

Red-shouldered Hawk 1  flushed from riparian area, NE.

American Kestrel  1  fly, call, N edge of desert.

Mourning Dove  2  on lawn, E.

Belted Kingfisher  2  fly, call; main lake and ponds.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calling in Cottonwoods.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1 (m) on tall snag, NW; calls.

Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker  1 calls, NW edge of desert; seen and identified by other birders.

Black Phoebe  4  riparian edge around the property; calls; sally-gleaning off lawn.

Horned Lark  60  large flock at edge of desert, N.

Common Raven  8  small flocks of 4-5 birds around the property; calls.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  1  foraging in Aleppo Pine, NW; calls.

Rock Wren  1  calls from rocky hillside, SE.

House Wren 1  in dense cover at edge of Pavillion,

Marsh Wren  1  calls in dry cattails at edge of pond by archery range.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  20+  ubiquitous in MSF with YRWA, OCWA and others; decidous and evergreen trees and shrubs; calls.

Hermit Thrush  6  shady gardens around the property.

European Starling  2  calls from area around stables.

Plumbeous Vireo  1  foraging in mature Aleppo Pine near stables.

Warbling Vireo  3  foraging in MSF of YRWA, OCWA and RCKI; Cottonwoods and Salt Cedar.

Red-eyed Vireo  1  foraging in MSF of YRWA, OCWA and RCKI; Cottonwoods around bungalows; no photo op.

Orange-crowned Warbler  20  in MSF around the property; calls.

Yellow Warbler  1  in ornamental shrubs and trees at the pavillion; call.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  50  ubiquitous; often in MSF; calls.

American Redstart  1 (imm ) covering large areas of the N and NE edges of the property, gleaning insects from foliage of Cottonwoods in MSF with YRWA, OCWA, RCKI. No photo op.

Common Yellowthroat  2  calls from dense Giant Reed at N edge of main lake.

Wilson's Warbler  2  (m,f) moving quickly in grape vines at pavillion; calls; low in Salt Cedar at skeet range.

Western Tanager  1 (f) in Cottonwood, N.

Lark Sparrow  3  calls from Cottonwoods, SE.

Sage Sparrow  5  calls from edge of desert, SE.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  calls from edge of desert SE, NE.

Brewer's Blackbird  6 (m,f) on lawn and flying over; calls.

Brown-headed Cowbird  1 calls from area around stables.

House Finch  25  ubiquitous in shrubs and trees.

Lesser Goldfinch  6  fly, call; Cottonwoods at edge of desert, S.

House Sparrow  10 in trees and shrubs around stables and petting zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 (30 Species)

Weather: Fair, 58F to 72F; winds WSW 2-15 mph, increasing.

Time: 0825 - 1105 hrs.

Area Covered:  From the Silver Saddle Clubhouse parking lot, I walked a clockwise, then counter-clockwise route around the property (ca 80 acres), surveying parklands, artificial streams, fountains and ponds, ornamental plantings around buildings and adjacent Creosote Bush scrub. Three other birders were in the area during the survey.  Birding conditions deteriorated due to increasing winds throughout the morning. Relatively few migratory landbird species were found during the survey. Most of the birdlife was concentrated in ornamental shrubs (e.g. Oleander) near buildings in the north and southwestern sections of the property. Another relatively busy spot was the small, weedy pond next to the archery range.

BIRDS NOTED

Mallard  1 (m) in a pond next to the main parking lot.

Great Blue Heron  2 (ad, imm) around the edges of ponds and the main lake.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  flying over the trees along the northern border.

Prairie Falcon  1  flying over open desert along 20 Mule Team Rd.'

Killdeer  2  on the lawn at the skeet range.

Mourning Dove  12  flying around the tall Cottonwoods, S.

Western Wood Pewee  3  sally-flycatching and aerial-hawking in tall Cottonwoods.

Willow Flycatcher  2  aerial-flycatching from 8-12 ft. on outer branches of Cottonwoods and Willows and Oleanders (photo).

                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1  aerial-flycatching from 8-12 ft. heights in Cottonwoods, SW.

Black Phoebe  4  sally-flycatching from low perches near ponds.

Say's Phoebe  6  singles and pairs interacting in trees and on light poles in parking lot, central, S and N.

Common Raven  4  flying around the property.

Horned Lark  200  flocks around the desert edges of the property; especially, NW.

European Starling  7  foraging on lawns with BRBL.

Orange-crowned Warbler   2  ornamental shrubs, N and SW; calls.

Yellow Warbler  6  in ornamental shrubs, Cottonwoods and other trees throughout the area; calls.

Common Yellowthroat  1 (f) in ornamental shrub next to cabanas, NW.

Wilson's Warbler  2 (m,f)   foraging in ornamental shrubs, SW corner.

Brewer's Sparrow  1 flushed from weedy shore of pond, SE.

Savannah Sparrow  3  flushed from weedy shore of pond, SE.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  in cactus garden with BLTS; ornamental shrubs, NW.

Lincoln's Sparrow  4  foraging on ground beneath ornamental shrubs, central, NW; calls.

Western Tanager  2 (f) flushed from trees, SW corner.

Lazuli Bunting  1 (f) on ground with WCSP, flew into desert scrub, SW corner.

Red-winged Blackbird  1 (f) foraging on seeded plants around pond, SE.

Brewer's Blackbird  10 (m,f)  foraging on lawn near  main clubhouse.

Western Meadowlark  1  on lawn at skeet range, NE.

House Finch  20  in trees, on lawns, around ornamental shrubs throughout.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  fly, call, camping area, SE.

House Sparrow  8  on driveway, central area near stables.

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 (41 Species)

Weather: Fair, 59F to 80F; winds WSW 0-2 mph.

Time: 0755 - 1200 hrs.

Observers:  Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered:  We walked around the entire Galileo Hill, Silver Saddle property (ca 80 acres) surveying well-watered lawns, gardens, ponds, fountains and the surrounding edges of Creosote scrub, using binoculars and a DSLR camera. We met several other birders (Stan Gray, Tom Miko, Nick Freeman - with a group from L.A. Audubon Soc.) and combined efforts briefly near the end of our survey to identify a sapsucker (see notes below) foraging in the willows adjacent to the clubhouse parking lot. Merissa and I signed in at about 0900 hrs. when the clubhouse opened, receiving from the manager, a bird checklist for the property and a parking permit. The staff at Silver Saddle was very polite and helpful. Conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations, but the diversity and abundance of migrant landbirds was relatively low this morning.  One eastern vagrant, an immature Magnolia Warbler, was found and photographed during our survey, though reportedly missed by other birders this morning. Besides birders, few visitors were seen on the property during our survey.

BIRDS NOTED

Gray-lag Goose  (domestic) 3  on shore of main lake.

Great Blue Heron  1  on lawn at edge of pond near main parking lot.

White-faced Ibis  1  on shore of main lake; flew in circles, calls.

Turkey Vulture  6  flushed from roost in tall poplars near tennis courts.

Cooper's Hawk  1 flushed from trees, SW corner.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  flying around N edge, calls.

Red-tailed Hawk,  flushed from tall poplars, N.

Prairie Falcon  1  flying over highway (20 Mule Team Rd.) leading to GH.

Mourning Dove   4  flying over central area.

Great-horned Owl  2  flushed from tall Cottonwoods next to main lake (photo).

                                                                                       © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) garden near pool.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1(f)  foraging in Cottonwood; calls repeated (photo).

                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Red-naped Sapsucker  1 (m imm) foraging on Willows over stream next to main parking area. I spent some time studying and photographing this bird, which initially appeared a possible YBS. However, this individual had a faint red "t" marking on its nape and did not have distinct crossbars on its back. Further, the bird was well into post-juvenile molt, which is usually much later in the year for YBS, according to Nick Freeman.

               

                                                                       © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Belted KIngfisher  1  fly, call, main lake.

Western Wood Pewee  1  aerial forays from high perch on Willow near main parkinglot.

Willow Flycatcher  3  sally-glean to lawn; medium to low perches in Cottonwoods and Willows (photo).

                                                          © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Black Phoebe  3  low perches near water around the property.

Say's Phoebe  6  flying, chasing, aerial sallies; drinking in puddle (photo).

                                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Warbling Vireo  2  foraging together in pine near stables.

Common Raven  4  fly, call, central.

Horned Lark  200 +  large, vocal flocks around edge of property in desert; one injured bird on lawn bordering main lake.

Verdin   1  calls in ornamental shrubs next to stables.

Red-breasted Nuthatch   3  calls, flying between pines and Cottonwoods.

House Wren  1  rose bushes and adjacent plantings near pool.

European Starling  10  foraging on lawn near main parkinglot.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5  foraging in ornamental shrubs around the property.

Yellow Warbler  5 (m,f)   foraging in pines and Cottonwoods.

MacGillivray's Warbler   1 foraging in shady, low tangle of ornamental shrub near clubhouse; calls.

Common Yellowthoat  2 (m,f) foraging at edge of flooded lawn and giant reed.

Wilson's Warbler  1 (m) foraging in ornamental shrubs and trees at SW corner.

Magnolia Warbler  1 (imm) foraging with OCW, low in ornamental shrubs lining the parking lot behind the clubhouse-restaurant (photos).

  

                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Black-throated Sparrow   6   cactus garden and Creosote scrub; individuals drinking from drip-line puddle at base of young tree, S.

White-crowned Sparrow  1 ? called once from ornamental shrubs, SW corner.

Sage Sparrow  8  edge of property; cactus garden and drinking with BTS.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  in rose bushes and ornamental plantings near pool (photo).

                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Western Tanager  1 (f) in ornamental trees, SW corner.

Brewer's Blackbird   4 (m,f) foraging on lawn with ES, near main parkinglot.

Brown-headed Cowbird  1  perched atop tall Cottonwood, S.

House Finch   30  ubiquitous in trees and shrubs.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  calls from tall Cottonwoods, S.

House Sparrow   15  around buildings, stables, foraging in ornamental trees with berries.

 

 

AUGUST 28, 2010 (30 Species)

Weather: Fair, 74 to 80F; winds WSW 10-15mph.

Time: 0940 - 1200 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered:  We checked in at the clubhouse and walked around the park, surveying well-watered lawns, mature Alder-Sycamore-Cottonwood and other riparian plantings, artificial ponds, fountains and streams; dry ponds at the old petting zoo; creosote bush scrub at the edge of the park; oleanders and other ornamental shrubs. Several people were in the campground; rather surprisingly, no other birders were seen during our survey. Conditions were fair for finding birds; steady WSW winds made observations difficult due to movement of foliage in cottonwoods and other tall trees. The park is under new management and except for the abandoned petting zoo and mostly dry ponds around that area, is lush and attractive to migrants crossing the vast expanse of the surrounding Mojave Desert. Several species of migratory birds were found today, notably,  Solitary Sandpiper, Willow Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Western Tanager and Lazuli Bunting.

 

BIRDS NOTED

 

Gray-Lag Goose  (domestic)  3  on N lawn next to pond.

Great Blue Heron  1 preening on north lawn next to pond.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) perched in Cottonwood, SW section near petting zoo (photo).

                                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

 

Red-shouldered Hawk 1 (ad) calling and flying near tennis courts.

Killdeer  1 calls from central corral area.

Spotted Sandpiper  1 (bsc. plmg.)  edge of NE pond.

Solitary Sandpiper  1 (bsc. plmg.) pond with plastic liner and some water, S (photo).

                                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Rock Pigeon 3  flying around the park.

Mourning Dove  4  flying around the entrance of the park.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2 (m,f) foraging in Cottonwoods near clubhouse; calls.

Willow Flycatcher  1  riparian trees near clubhouse.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of pond near clubhouse.

Say's Phoebe  1  edge of dry pond near petting zoo.

Western Kingbird  2 flying into park from NE.

Warbling Vireo 1  in creosote bush, cactus garden near clubhouse.

Common Raven  4  flying around the park.

Horned Lark  30  flocks on ground near entrance.

Northern Mockingbird  1  near corrals.

European Starling  20  flying around clubhouse and corrals.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1 foraging on lawn next to stream near clubhouse parkinglot.

Western Tanager  2 (m,f) in cottonwoods near clubhouse.

Lark Sparrow   21  in cottonwood and on ground near petting zoo.

Sage Sparrow  4  foraging on ground in cactus garden near clubhouse.

Black-throated Sparrow  1  in creosote bush, cactus garden near clubhouse.

House Finch  13  Cottonwoods and cactus garden.

Lazuli Bunting  2 (m,f) in dry pond and in trees around petting zoo.

Brewer's Blackbird   10  on ground around miniature golf course at entrance.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2 (f   imm.)  on road near corrals; soccer field.

Lesser Goldfinch  3  in Cottonwoods near clubhouse; calls.

House Sparrow 10 around corrals.

 

 

 

                                                               

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