Mimidae are the most groovy, and other marvelous birds on Rush Creek

Observers: Chris McCreedy
Email: cmccreedy@prbo.org
Remote Name:
Date: 07/05/2006
Time: 10:27 PM -0400


Early this morning I came across a singing Gray Catbird on Lower Rush Creek, in what's referred to as the Channel 4bii meadow. This bird (or another singing catbird) was present upstream (about 1km down from the Narrows) on June 23 and July 4, but it was always on the wrong side of the creek. Rush has been raging for five weeks, and if I tried to cross it back then, I would not have had lived to post catbird sightings. At 20m, I had great views of it's black cap, rusty undertail coverts, and dark grey body. It was mimicking Ash-throated Flycatchers, Willow Flycatchers, and Dusky Flycatchers back-to-back-to-back on the 23rd. Today it was moving rapidly downstream, and you may see it if you hang out around the county road ford. About 3 minutes after the catbird disappeared, while I was still standing in the same spot, I heard tanger rattling and thought, "cool, that catbird is doing a good Summer Tanager". But then a second-year Summer Tanager male popped into sight. He was rattling around Rush all morning, drifting upstream towards the good cottonwood stands 1-2km downstream from the Narrows. Then while still standing at that spot, I saw a Williamson's Sapsucker on a cottonwood, an expected bird for Mono County but a very unexpected bird for Lower Rush Creek. Then Brewer's Sparrows started scolding me and I left my spot. I've seen seven species of thrashers in California this year - they're definitely my favorite.