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Some Field Notes from Western Sonoma County, California

W. A. Squires
Publication Information
6 (November-December)
From Field and Study

Some Field Notes from Western Sonoma County, California

I spent the month of July, 1916, in western Sonoma County, with headquarters at Camp Meeker. Several trips were made into various parts of the county. These trips covered pretty thoroughly the territory from Santa Rosa to Cazadero, thence west to the ocean and south to the Marin County line. The following list does not contain all the birds noted; only those are mentioned whose occurrence in the territory explored seems worthy of note.

Lunda cirrhata. Tufted Puffin. One flew out from under an over-hanging rocky cliff near the mouth of the Russian River, July 17.

Oceanodroma kaedingi. Kaeding Petrel. A bird believed to be of this species, certainly a petrel, was seen to fly out of a cleft in a high rocky cliff about one mile south of the mouth of the Russian River on the same day that the puffin was seen. It is possible that a few of these birds nested there earlier in the season.

Mergus serrator. Red-breasted Merganser. A male and female seen on the Russian River about a mile from the ocean on July 17. This duck is a common winter visitant to these shores, but its occurrence in mid-July seems rather unusual.

Actitis macularia. Spotted Sandpiper. Several seen on the Russian River between Monte Rio and Duncans’ Mills, July 10. Two young not yet able to fly, but abundantly able to run, were seen.

Columba fasciata fasciata. Band-tailed Pigeon. Two were seen on Willow Creek, July 17. More were heard hooting in the redwoods along the same stream.

Pandion haliaetus carolinensis. American Osprey. One was seen about a mile from the mouth of the Russian River on July 17. It was catching fish by plunging into the river. Two others were seen a mile above Monte Rio on July 22. One nest was noted on the very tall stump of a broken redwood near Rio Campo. Bird students will doubtless be glad to know that this interesting bird is still breeding on the Russian River.

Agelaius phoeniceus caurinus. Northwestern Red-winged Blackbird. The Redwinged Blackbirds of the lower Russian River seem to me to be of this subspecies rather than Agelaius phoeniceus californicus. No specimens were taken, but it is my opinion that an examination of specimens would reveal that what I have suggested is true.

Junco oreganus thurberi. Sierra Junco. Birds of this species were seen feeding young at Camp Meeker on July 2. They have been noted at Cazadero before, but this seems to be the first time they have been found breeding as far south in Sonoma County as Camp Meeker.

Piranga ludoviciana. Western Tanager. An adult male was seen on the Russian River about a mile above Duncans’ Mills, July 10.

Hylocichla guttata slevini. Monterey Hermit Thrush. Noted twice at Camp Meeker and heard almost every evening in the redwood cailons back of the camp.

W. A. Squires

San Francisco, California

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