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Wilson Canyon Field Trip, 5 April 2014

April 7, 2014

It was cold when we started, but right from the parking lot we saw two Lewis’ Woodpeckers – one of the more difficult-to-find woodpeckers. Warmed by early success we took the right-hand path beyond the “Authorized Vehicles Only” sign and tramped up a canyon looking for our target Rufous-crowned Sparrow. It didn’t take long before we had a really great view of an adult. It hung around long enough that we regretted nobody had brought a camera on the trip.

We heard singing titmice, towhees and both “crowned” sparrows. Even with the small amount of rain, green grass was coming up beside the trail and a few wildflowers (yerba santa, deer weed, checkerbloom wishbone bush) as well.

Back down in the oak forests, which are extensive here, we found many Yellow-rumped Warblers, most of whom were still in drab winter plumage. The Orange-crowned Warblers were as bright as they can be, so somebody is confused about springtime. We found more Lewis’ Woodpeckers (or the original two were following us around), and Nashville and Black-throated Gray Warbler. The biggest concentration of hummingbirds was around a grove of tree tobacco (exotic) because, we assume, they were in full bloom.

Back at the parking area we saw White-throated (correction from first posting) Swifts flying at eye level and close up. All in all, a very nice walk, even though it’s obvious that the drought has affected the canyon.

Trip List:

Red-tailed Hawk.
American Kestrel.
Band-tailed Pigeon.
Mourning Dove.
White-throated Swift.
Anna’s Hummingbird.
Rufous Hummingbird.
Allen’s Hummingbird.
Lewis’s Woodpecker.
Acorn woodpecker.
Nuttall’s Woodpecker.
Pacific-slope Flycatcher.
Black Phoebe.
Ash-throated Flycatcher.
Western Kingbird.
Western Scrub-Jay.
Common Raven.
Hutton’s Vireo.
Bewick’s Wren.
House Wren.
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher.
Violet-green Swallow.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Oak Titmouse.
Lesser Goldfinch.
House Finch.
Orange-crowned Warbler.
Nashville Warbler.
Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Black-throated Grey Warbler.
Common Yellowthroat.
Song Sparrow.
White-crowned Sparrow.
Rufous-crowned Sparrow.
Spotted Towhee.
California Towhee.
Hooded Oriole.

Total: 38

  1. C Day permalink
    April 9, 2014 10:19 pm

    Hi, Chuck.

    Thanks for this report. I still haven’t found out what that pretty white shrub was in the bottom of the canyon. The plant I initially identified as checkerbloom turned out to be Wishbone bush.

    Question: Did we not see a rufous male? I thought we did.




    • April 10, 2014 8:56 am

      Yes, we did see a Rufous HB – it’s been added to the list on the blog but only the first posting goes to email.


  2. Mary Prismon permalink
    April 7, 2014 10:33 am

    Sounds as though you had a great trip. Sorry I was not able to join you. Black-throated Swift? Have I missed something, or are you perhaps just checking to see who is paying attention? Checking new Sibley! MP


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