Springtime at Crowley and McGee

Observers: Michael Bogan
Email: bogan@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Remote Name:
Date: 04/11/2006
Time: 12:42 AM -0400


On sunday, near the Crowley Marina, I saw my first breeding plumage Eared Grebes of the season- also many White Pelicans with breeding tubercles (?). Near the Hilton Creek 'delta', there was a single Great Egret, with all black legs and feet, GBH-sized. The alkali ponds along Benton Crossing Road were chock-full of birds, with Pintails, Gadwalls, Cinnamon Teals, Mallards, Canada Geese, Buffleheads, American Wigeons, Greater Yellowlegs, and Killdeer abundant, among others. At my house on McGee Creek, also on Sunday, there was a single Hermit Thrush feeding in the sagebrush on the moraine (!), digging worms and insects out very Robin-like. Also, there were at least 80 Ruby-Crowned Kinglets within a hundred meter or so stretch of creek. These guys were abundant in the fall, and uncommon to common through the winter, but recently I've seen 1 or so per day (until yesterday). Does anyone know if there is a wave of these birds migrating through now or if this is a normal occurrence? It was great as the normal winter residents don't show thier crown, but most of these new arrivals were doing so.