Merlin, Wilson’s Phalarope, etc. at Pyramid Lake today

—–Original Message—– Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 20:04

Another very pleasant but relatively uneventful day at Pyramid Lake.

Best bird of the day was at Numana Wetlands. (I can’t remember the last time I’ve made that statement!) A Merlin was at the top of a tree. Eventually it flew, and, amazingly, was chased by a Kestrel. Every other Merlin I’ve ever seen involved in chasing was the chaser, not the chasee. This is the latest Merlin (by five days) I’ve seen in the state.

Saw my first House Wrens and first Western Kingbird of the season at Numana. Also my first of season Wilson’s Phalarope, the ONLY shorebird at The Delta other than Avocets and Killdeer. A few Forster’s Terns were present. Some of the Western Grebes on the lake were displaying, but none were doing the “rushing” display. Mostly synchronized head movements. Very cool.

The Bank Swallows have returned to their breeding cliffs at the south end of the lake.

A pair of Cassin’s Finches at the north end of The Willows gave me a moment of excitement before I got a good look — that’s where I found the Purple Finch during the winter. (Not that I don’t like Cassin’s Finches, but since I have dozens at my front window every day in Glenshire, the excitement wears off quickly.)

As others have noted, the “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warblers are at their very finest right now. Lots of them at The Willows.

Here’s a complete list:

The Willows

Canada Goose Common Merganser 12 Eared Grebe Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant 3 Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 American Coot Killdeer 2 Ring-billed Gull 3 Mourning Dove Northern Flicker 1 American Kestrel 2 Violet-green Swallow Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2 European Starling Yellow-rumped Warbler 36 Red-winged Blackbird 3 Cassin’s Finch 2 Lesser Goldfinch 4

The Delta

Gadwall Mallard Cinnamon Teal 2 Bufflehead 2 Common Merganser Eared Grebe Western Grebe Clark’s Grebe 1 American White Pelican 300 (very rough estimate) Great Blue Heron 2 White-faced Ibis 40 Northern Harrier 1 American Coot Killdeer American Avocet Wilson’s Phalarope 1 Ring-billed Gull California Gull 4 Forster’s Tern 2 Common Raven Bank Swallow American Pipit Savannah Sparrow

Numana Wetlands (along the Truckee River below Numana Fish Hatchery off highway 447)

Mallard Common Merganser 2 Mourning Dove Northern Flicker American Kestrel 1 Merlin 1 Western Kingbird 1 House Wren 6 Bewick’s Wren 1 European Starling Yellow-rumped Warbler 2

Martin ————— Martin Meyers email: Martin (…AT…) SierraBirdbum.com Photo website: http://SierraBirdbum.com Truckee, CA