From February 4th through the 6th, former LAS vice-president Alan Gubanich led a birding class to the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Wildlife refuges on the California/Oregon border. This field trip was hosted through Truckee Meadows Community College. The goal of this class was to view the wintering species at the refuges, including Bald Eagles, Tundra Swans, and Snow Geese. The diversity at the refuges was impressive, as participants observed Great-horned Owls, Sandhill Cranes, Common Mergansers, and too many Bald Eagles and Snow Geese to count!
Our staff was along for the ride, at this adventure! We were able to keep eBird lists of the species, which were summarized in the trip report below. We also captured a video of Snow Geese flocks in flight, to show how impressively big the truly are. Click on the buttons below to view either.
A huge thank you to Alan for organizing this event and sharing his passion for birding with the greater community!
Photographs were taken by Alan and Parker Flickinger.
On January 21st, Jeff Bleam led a field trip exploring Damonte Ranch Wetlands. He kept an eBird checklist of the many different species he observed on his walk.
On Friday, January 7th, Jeff Bleam led our first field trip of 2022, visiting Diamond Creek Pond. Below are his field trip report and several photos he submitted from his checklist.
On Friday, November 19th, Kath Giel led a birding field trip starting at Idlewild Park and walking upstream along the Truckee River for about a mile. There were 12 enthusiastic birders on the trip, newcomers to Reno as well as long term residents, many who had never been to this delightful birding area. Valerie Andersen compiled an eBird checklist. Below is the summary and highlights of the event:
Idlewild Park is a lovely park along the Truckee River near downtown Reno. It has two small ponds, and in addition to the perennial MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE on these ponds, we saw HOODED MERGANSERS, COMMON MERGANSERS, and a pair of WOOD DUCK. There was a HAIRY WOODPECKER in a tree near one pond. As we strolled upstream along the Truckee River, we were delighted with a number of DOWNY WOODPECKERS in the trees We also noted a few FLICKERS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES, SONG SPARROWS and ROBINS. A few people spotted a MERLIN on the other side of the river. We also saw a JUVENILE SNOW GOOSE in the river with some CANADA GEESE and then on the way back to our cars we were thrilled with a JUVENILE RED-TAILED HAWK that was fearless and perched just above the ground on a tree stump along the river path (photo above by Emma Wynn). We enjoyed the two hours of birding on a beautiful day, enjoying our birding and making new friends.
We still have spaces available on both our Costa Rica Field trips in 2022! The first field trip happens from February 8th to 18th, and the second from February 19th to March 5th. Ornithologist, Mario Cordoba will be your guide through the Costa Rican forests. To meet Mario and learn about the environment and wildlife of Costa Rica, please check out his previous monthly member meeting below. Also check out the Costa Rica Field Trip Flyer below or contact our field trip coordinator, Kath Giel, for more details.
On Friday, November 11th, Jeff Bleam lead a birding field trip at the Silver Saddle Ranch Area outside of Carson City. As usual, he kept notes, an eBird checklist, and had his camera by his side. Below is his summary and highlights of the event:
Silver Saddle Ranch and the Carson River Park is SE of downtown Carson City and the trail runs along the Carson River. As the group gathered, there was a large flock of BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES and if you look closely you can see a gray bird, which was a COOPER'S HAWK. There were numerous FLICKERS, many CANADA GEESE, JUNCOS, and WC SPARROWS. There was also a large flight PINYON JAYS, a flock of RC KINGLETS, a MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, and on the way to the dam we found HERMIT THRUSH, DOWNY WOODPECKER, and 5 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE. I played the Solitaire call and song for someone that wasn't familiar with their song and a Solitaire flew in within 5 feet of us and responded with a call then he started to sing. Like the Davis Creek walk a couple of weeks ago it was more birdy on the way to the dam but very quiet on the way back. We ended the walk with 25 species.
To celebrate Nevada Day, we hosted a field trip at Davis Creek regional park lead by Jeff Bleam. Although our group did not observe our State bird (the Mountain Bluebird), we had a wonderful adventure nonetheless. Below are Jeff's field notes:
Friday's Field Trip was to Davis Creek Regional Park located at the base of the Sierra's in the Washow Valley. As we gathered in the parking lot, we heard CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS, STELLER'S JAYS, FLICKER, and MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES. We walked north to take advantage of the warm morning sun and saw a CASSIN'S FINCH, PYGMY and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a large flock of RUBY-CROWNED NUTHATCHES. Walking through the campground, we heard more Pygmy and WB Nuthatches plus a calling RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. It was quiet on the way to the group camp area but we did find a male WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER in the parking area and there were only 3 MALLARDS on the half filled pond. We ended the walk with 23 species.
ebird cklst - https://ebird.org/checklist/S96851895
DCRP Album - https://flic.kr/s/aHskmWcCJU
We are excited to announce the return of October Big Day, on Saturday, October 9th. Big Day is an unofficial "holiday" (similar to Earth Day) encouraging birding around the world. Birding statistics are collected and published by eBird and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on their websites. Some people try to hit as many birding hotspots as they can in a day (as our staff member Parker Flickinger did last year), while other people just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching the birds in their neighborhood. Click the photo above to learn more about October Big Day, or click the button below to see the Big Day statistics collected in real time!
In honor of this holiday, we are hosting our own local October Big Day celebration, including several walks on Big Day, and 2 instructional webinars on some tools to improve your birding abilities. As always, these events are free and open to everyone, you just have to register through our website. The details for our current October Big Day events are listed below and more bird walks are being added every day, so check back in with our website calendar and social media pages.
We also encourage you to go out birding yourselves on Big Day. If you keep birding checklists on your walk, you can share them with our Lahontan Audubon eBird account. If you want to learn more about how to maintain birding lists on eBird, check out our eBird webinar on October 7th (details below). If you do not want an eBird account, but want to contribute to Big Day, you can email us your bird checklist via our Contact Us tab, and we will add it to our daily tally.
Last October Big Day, our community observed 50 species. Click below to see last year's Big Day records. Let's see if we can break our record this year!
October Big Day 2021 events
Click on an event's button to see more information and register.
Leader: Jeff Bleam
Date: Friday, 9/24/2021
Field Trip Report: Fall was in the air and I had to put on a second layer, which was the first time since spring. Jays can always be found here at Oxbow NSA, which is along the Truckee River in Reno. We walked to the pond and heard the kikik, kikik call of the VIRGINIA RAIL and the call was a first for me. On the pond there were MALLARDS and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. Along the trails we found only 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, BEWICK'S WRENS, many ROBINS, FLICKERS, and of course the STELLER'S and CA SCRUB JAYS. On the river we found COMMON MERGANSERS, an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON and we heard a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. It was a little late for migrants and a little early for our wintering birds so the species count was only 25.
ebird cklst - https://ebird.org/checklist/S95136115
Oxbow Album - https://flic.kr/s/aHskQyBuNV