Yesterday and Today, including a Stanislaus RUDDY TURNSTONE


This morning Harold Reeve and I did a bird survey at the restricted access Modesto Water Control Facility (view this LINK for details on entry to the facility) and we had several good birds. We had two Peregrine Falcons, a Whimbrel, two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, a Warbling Vireo and a Red-breasted Nuthatch, plus a few Orange-crowned, several Yellow, two Black-throated Gray and a Wilson's Warbler, but the bird of the day was an immature RUDDY TURNSTONE. The Pecs and nuthatch were in areas not accessible to the public even on the public day, and the TURNSTONE was seen between 37.523178, -121.082841 and 37.523224, -121.073664, which is also not accessible to the public, but it might be visible from the road along the south edge of the facility (between 37.522358, -121.082173 and 37.522282, -121.073308).

Before going to the water control facility I went be Vivian and Fulkerth to try for Least Bittern again for the year. I didn't get the bittern but I did see a flock of 46 Long-billed Curlews in the field to the NE and just before I left I spotted a female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD in the reeds.

And lastly, yesterday I led a Stanislaus Audubon field trip to Basalt Campgrounds and San Luis Day Use Area at San Luis Reservoir SRA. We turned up a few migrants and assorted other goodies there. At Basalt we had one Barn Owl, a Pac-slope Flycatcher, a Warbling Vireo, four Catharus thrushes, one of which was definitely a Swainson's (the others probably were too but we did not get good enough looks at them to be sure), three Yellow, two Black-throated Gray and four Wilson's Warblers and one Western Tanager.

From the tip of Fisherman's Point we saw a flock of at least 60 Red-necked Phalaropes and a near adult Bald Eagle. At the San Luis Reservoir boat launch we saw two more Barn Owls, a Great Horned Owl and two Cassin's Kingbirds. At San Luis Creek Day Use we saw another, younger, Bald Eagle, another Barn Owl, a Red-breasted Nuthatch (it looks like it might be a good year for them in the Valley!), FIVE Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, two more Wilson's Warblers and two more Western Tanagers.

Ralph Baker, Riverbank