Field Trip: Audubon Mayacamas Sanctuary

Date: Friday April 30, 2010

Time: 6:30 AM

Trip report added 5/3/2010 (NSAS Event)


Leader: Murray Berner

Trip Report: by Murray Berner

About a dozen birders traveled the length of Pine Flat Rd, making many stops along the way. Pine Flat passes through oak woodland, grassland, riparian thickets, Douglas fir forest, and chaparral on its ~11 mile journey up to within view of the Geysers. A day’s bird list can be long. This is the beginning of the heart of migration, but migrants were not abundant. In the oak groves, we encountered a few mixed flocks of warblers and vireos. Band-tailed Pigeons flew past and Mountain Quail called from hillsides. Sue found an Anna’s Hummingbird nest. We heard several Lazuli Buntings but only saw one really well. Near the dead end we hiked a ways and all got good looks at a pair of California Thrashers. Carol, visiting from Nova Scotia, picked up many life birds; the thrasher was her favorite.

In addition to the birds, the Pine Flat plant list is long. A couple of Sonoma natives, Mike and David, pointed out the common, the rare and the unusual. The whole place burned up a few years ago and the plants, birds and butterflies continue to adjust to the ongoing regeneration of the ecosystem. A great deal of the burgeoning spring remains to unfold on Pine Flat before the heat of summer brings most activity to a halt. Get up there early and enjoy it while it lasts.

eBird Report:

Notes: NSAS field trip. Weather fair, winds 0-12 w, temp 40-70F

Number of species: 49

Wild Turkey X
Mountain Quail 3
Turkey Vulture 10
White-tailed Kite 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Western) 7
American Kestrel 1
Band-tailed Pigeon 7
Anna's Hummingbird 4
Acorn Woodpecker 20
Nuttall's Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Western Wood-Pewee 2
Pacific-slope Flycatcher X
Ash-throated Flycatcher 3
Cassin's Vireo 9
Hutton's Vireo 2
Warbling Vireo (Western) X
Steller's Jay X
Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal) X
Common Raven 5
Violet-green Swallow 10
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Oak Titmouse X
Brown Creeper 2
Bewick's Wren 3
House Wren X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 7
Western Bluebird 4
Wrentit 5
California Thrasher 4
European Starling X
Orange-crowned Warbler (lutescens) X
Black-throated Gray Warbler 4
Townsend's Warbler 2
Hermit Warbler 3
Wilson's Warbler (Pacific Coast) 6
Western Tanager 1
Spotted Towhee X
California Towhee 2
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 2
Lark Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 3
Golden-crowned Sparrow 10
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) X
Black-headed Grosbeak 7
Lazuli Bunting 8
House Finch 5
Lawrence's Goldfinch 7

This list was generated automatically by eBird

Pre-trip Description: This week it's Pine Flat Rd and Audubon's Mayacamas preserve east of Healdsburg in Sonoma Co. Purple Martin, Lazuli Bunting, Black-throated Gray Warbler, California Thrasher, and maybe Sage Sparrow will be seen among many other species. The road travels miles through a variety of habitat including oak woodland, riparian and chaparral. We will stop at several locations to look around, perhaps taking a short hike here and there. I don't know this area well; I encourage anyone that does to come along.

The Napa carpool leaves from behind Sweeney's Sport Shop in the Riverpark Shopping Center at 6:30am (click below for a map), hoping to get up there before eight. Bring lunch and water and plan for a mid-afternoon arrival back in Napa. The Napa carpool will not be stopping along the way, but I encourage upvalley residents to carpool from the St. Helena campus of Napa Valley College, meeting there at 7:00am. If the campus entrance gate is closed, meet on the street outside the entrance. Everyone will meet at the general store in Jimtown before heading up Pine Flat. Jimtown is about 1/4 mile west of the Pine Flat Rd/Hwy 128 intersection. Meet at the first store you come upon - it might be the only one - it's on the north side of the road. Jimtown is about 18 miles north of Calistoga on Hwy 128.

Read more about these trips on the Friday Bird Walks page.

Dialing in © 2009 Frank Toller Murray Berner © 2009 Frank Toller Friday Bird Walk at Long Canyon © 2010 Dave McMullen * Murray at Coast.jpg Δ

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