Field Trip: Skyline Park

Date: Friday February 21, 2014

Time: 8:00 AM

Trip report added on 3/13/2014 (NSAS Event)


Leader: Murray Berner

Trip Report: by Murray Berner
Surprisingly, it was spring at Skyline Park on February 21st. Leafy buckeye and budding black oak, blossoming ceanothus and hounds tongue. Birds included nesting pairs of the resident Red-shouldered Hawk and Oak Titmouse, plus singing Huttonís Vireo and Oregon Junco. New spring arrivals were Orange-crowned Warbler and Violet-green Swallow. It is still winter, however, told by the two White-throated Sparrows, Hermit Thrush and Red-breasted Sapsucker. We heard three N. Pygmy-Owls and after ten minutes of looking we walked away from the one that stared us down at the trail side. Entertaining encounters with several mixed flocks of songbirds highlighted the three miles hike. A feral male Mandarin Duck among the Woodies on Lake Camille created a flurry of excitement. Rumors are that it is a vagrant from the planet Mars. Unlikely, but an entertaining notion. Following a winterís worth of field trips looking at ducks and raptors, this Friday's abundance of songbirds really hit the spot.

Bird List:
Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima) (Branta canadensis moffitti/maxima) 3
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) 1 male with WODUs on L. Camille. Possibly first local record.
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 12
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 6
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 5
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 18
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) 1 To the ne outside park.
Red-shouldered Hawk (California) (Buteo lineatus elegans) 3 Usu pair at L. Louise. Ragged molting juv high o'head at ne part.
Red-tailed Hawk (Western) (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) 4
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) 3 One along L. Marie Rd's ne bend. One well up s. beyond fig tree. 3rd e. of ne part of Manzanita Trail. All in response.
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis) 10
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 15
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 20
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) 3
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 3
Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) 1
Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) 2
Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 4
Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal) (Aphelocoma californica [californica Group]) 15
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 4
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 2
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) 1 'FOS'
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) 4
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 15
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 4
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) 1
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 3
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 6
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 7
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) 8
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 20
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 10
Orange-crowned Warbler (lutescens) (Oreothlypis celata lutescens) 5 FOS. 3 singing males and a couple of others.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) 25
Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) 1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 15
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 7
Fox Sparrow (Sooty) (Passerella iliaca [unalaschcensis Group]) 6 5 at thickets n. adj to L. Louise.
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 2 White-striped immatures gaining bright plumage in thicket n. adj to L. Louise.
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 20
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group]) 20
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 5
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 15

View this checklist online at

Pre-trip Description: A walk through Skyline Park in Napa is the Friday plan. We'll hike a loop between the lower lakes Camille and Louise to the base of the L. Marie trail and back the other way, sampling various woodlands, brush and streamsides. Winter birds typical of these habitats including Bewick's Wren, Varied Thrush, pygmy owl and Wood Duck. Three miles on sometimes rocky trails but mostly well groomed; the occasional modest grade.

Sturdy hiking shoes recommended. Bring water, hat, dress in layers.

Napa carpool leaves at 8:00 am from the east side of Sweeney's sport shop in Riverpark shopping center. Riverpark is off Imola between Jefferson and Coombs Sts. Skyline Park is a couple of miles due east of Riverpark at the corner of Imola Ave and 4th Ave. A $5 fee/car.

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

Lunch break on Friday Bird Walk © 2010 Dave McMullen Friday Bird Walk at Long Canyon © 2010 Dave McMullen NSAS Viewing Station at SF Bay Flyway Festival © 2008 Dave McMullen Murray Berner © 2009 Frank Toller

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