Osprey and Red-breasted Mergansers, Rush Creek Delta

Observers: River Gates
Email: rgates@prbo.org
Remote Name: 209.221.223.34
Date: 11/05/2003
Time: 02:53:44 PM

Sighting

Set out this morning to the Rush Creek Delta for a frosty area search. The delta was surprisingly active with about 200 ducks out in the immediate delta area. Highlights include a couple of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, with distinct crests, both a late date and a rare bird for the Lake. Also, seen splashing around in el Mono were 3 species of gulls, (CAGU, RBGU, BOGU), 5 spp of ducks (NSHO, RUDU, GADW, MALL, GWTE) a lone AMERICAN COOT and hundreds of Eared Grebes. On the shores were a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a LEAST SANDPIPER. I also spotted a very bright ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER that looks as if it is of the orestera subspecies. Definitely not the ssp we were banding here in the fall. As I was on my way back to the car, a spectacular PRAIRIE FALCON, banked on a flock of WESTERN MEADOWLARKS and sent them all flying. Without luck the PRFA was further insulted by being chased off by the local imm./female NORTHERN HARRIER. Back on the road I saw an OSPREY heading southwest from the cove west of the Rush Creek Delta. All is well in the increasingly quiet and lovely Mono Basin.