On Friday March 25th, Diane Wong-Kone led a field trip at Verdi Nature Trail, assisted by Laura Whitenack. The following text is here trip report:
The day started off cool at 42°F, but the temperatures warmed to about 60°F by late morning with very light breezes, making for a very nice bird walk. Fifteen birders joined Lauren and me on this trip. With the arrival of spring, the birds are starting to sing. I was worried that we might not get to see the SPOTTED TOWHEE singing away in the shrubs, but a few towhees were very cooperative and popped out into the open. PYGMY NUTHATCHES were heard chattering and folks had a chance to see the tiny birds in the big trees, though it wasn’t easy. A BLACK PHOEBE and a TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE perched in the trees for a bit and a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD also came and sang briefly. By the Verdi Bridge, we had nice looks at a pair of TREE SWALLOWS and a pair of WESTERN BLUEBIRDS near tree cavities in the cottonwoods. Woodpeckers included a RED-SHAFTED FLICKER and DOWNY WOODPECKER, though the Downy was heard and not seen. A little farther along the trail, we were all treated to the sun shining off the red head of a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER. More chatter from both the STELLER’S JAYS and CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAYS. At least one STELLER’S JAY appeared to be carrying nesting material. Although not seen by many, we also had singing BEWICK’S WRENS AND SONG SPARROWS. A GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW and YELLOW-RUMPED (AUDUBON’S) WARBLER briefly popped up out of the willows too. Up in the sky, occasional TURKEY VULTURES soared as a COOPER’S HAWK and a GREAT BLUE HERON flew lower by the river. Along the river, we saw CANADA GOOSE, COMMON MERGANSER, and COMMON GOLDENEYE. Urban birds included cooing MOURNING DOVES, HOUSE FINCHES, EUROPEAN STARLINGS, and LESSER GOLDFINCH. Toward the end of the walk, everyone was treated to a beautiful adult RED-TAILED HAWK circling lazily over our heads. In total, 35 species were seen by our group.
To see the full species list and photos from the day, visit the eBird Field Trip Report below: