February 2018 Yellowbill

31 Jan February 2018 Yellowbill


President’s Message

This month’s speaker will be Gary Lindquist from Tulare Audubon. If you’ve ever birded with Gary you know what a great birder he is, but you may not be aware of his photography, which is also excellent. I hope you will be able to attend on Tuesday February 13 to learn about the colors and functions of feathers. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm. There will be a no-host pre-meeting dinner with Gary at the Old Spaghetti Factory, 1610 E Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93710, at 5:00 pm. Please respond to admin@fresnoaudubon.org with the number in your party if you are interested in joining.

We have three great field trips this month, and two of them are outside the local area.  The first is to Sycamore Island on the San Joaquin River with George Folsom Wednesday February 14th where we will explore the riparian habitat. Then its off to Yokohl Valley with Penny Stewart to bird oak woodlands on Saturday February 17th. Finally on Wednesday February 28th Judy Johnson will lead a trip south to the Kern National Wildlife Refuge for a day of waterfowl and others.

Mea culpa: In the last issue I wrongly identified Nancy Gilmore as a member of the Fresno Audubon Society board. I meant to say Nancy Griesser. I apologize for the error.

Robert Snow, President


February Meeting
Creation of Colors, Structure and Function of Feathers
with Gary Lindquist
Tuesday 13 February 2018, 7:00 pm
UC Center

Gary Lindquist
Dr. Gary Lindquist

Gary A. Lindquist, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) has been an avid bird watcher (before it was birding and birder) since 7th grade.  He grew up in the hills of Arkansas during the 60’s before birding was cool.
Gary’s interests in birding are more than just identifying and listing the birds he sees.  He tries to discover what makes each species or family of birds unique.  He strives to portray their special adaptations and to depict the niche they fill through the photographs he takes.
Gary has been a member of the Tulare County Audubon Society for 25 years and was a field trip coordinator and co-leader for twelve of those years. He has been married to his wife, Marietta, since 1975.   They have two grown children and 3 grandchildren. Gary graduated from the University of Missouri, School of Veterinary Medicine in 1975.  He practiced small animal medicine in San Leandro and Visalia, California for forty years.  He is now retired.
Gary loves wildlife photography and has a special interest in avian photography.  He enjoys speaking and giving PowerPoint presentations to gardening clubs, social groups and Audubon societies.  Other interests include pen and ink drawings and woodworking.

The presentation he has prepared for the Fresno Audubon Society will be on the creation of colors, structure, and functions of feathers.

The meeting will be held at UC Center, UC Center, 550 E Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93710.


Field Trips

Fresno Audubon offers field trips on Wednesdays (twice per month) and Saturdays (once per month) from September through June. Our website has a great calendar that allows you to see all the details of an upcoming trip as they become finalized. Included in the details is a map showing the meeting point for the trip. The calendar is subscribable, which allows you to integrate it into whatever electronic calendar you use. Updates to events will appear as they are made. We encourage you to subscribe.

February Field Trips

Wednesday 14 February 2018. Sycamore Island with George Folsom

Sycamore Island in Madera County, just across the river from Fresno, has excellent bird habitat.  Uplands, wetlands, ponds, riparian areas and oak groves all are found on this preserve of several hundred acres.  It is a part of the San Joaquin River Parkway.  Cormorants, ducks, mergansers, grebes, Raptors, sparrows, finches, quail, gnatcatchers and many others can be found there.
There are restrooms and picnic tables on this property.  We will walk a mile or more on dirt roads, but most of the area is drivable for those who prefer driving.  Please meet at the Target in the River Park Shopping Center near Highway 41 and East El Paso Ave at 7:45 am.  We plan to be finished by noon and have lunch on the site.  The gate to the property automatically opens when you exit so those who want to leave early can do so.
Checklist: binoculars, scope, field guide, snacks, lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, radios

Map of meeting location:

Saturday 17 February 2018. Yokohl Valley with Penny Stewart

Join Penny Stewart for a trip through Yokohl Valley in the foothill east of Exeter searching for oak woodland birds. Meet on the west side of the Walmart at Blackstone and Ashlan at 6:45 am for a 7:00 am departure.

Checklist: binoculars, scope, field guide, snacks, lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, radios

Map to meeting location:

Wednesday 28 February 2018. Kern NWR with Judy Johnson

Join leader Judy Johnson at 7:45 am for a 8:00 am departure at the Walmart, corner of Ashlan and Blackstone. The group will visit the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, one of the best spots in the Central Valley for canvasbacks, redheads and gallinules. If time allows, we will stop near Pixley to see burrowing owls. This will be a full day of birding so plan accordingly.

Checklist: binoculars, scope, field guide, snacks, lunch, water, hat, radios

Map to meeting location:


by Jeff Davis
photos by Gary Woods
Including reports for the period of
December 16, 2017 to January 15, 2018

A Horned Grebe at Millerton Lake January 8 (ph. GF) and another at Annadale Avenue ponds east

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

of Sanger January 14 (CR, DJ) were the first reported this season; we average about two per winter. Representing the second record for Fresno County, three Common Ground-Doves along Flum

Common Ground Dove

Common Ground Dove

Ditch northeast of Biola January 9+ (ph. GW; ph. m.ob.) were at the same location were one was found August 2. The female Costa’s Hummingbird first detected in a northwest Fresno

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbird

neighborhood November 3 continued there through the period. A flock of 120 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches near Kaiser Peak, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet, January 1 (JT) established our first winter record of this species. Although this finch is known to be largely resident in the high Sierra, snow usually precludes access to areas where it occurs. Not this year. Lawrence’s Goldfinch is typically absent from our area November through January. However, two birds west of

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

Coarsegold January 3 (FY) established our second record during this period. Adding to a rapidly growing number of records for our area in general, two Sagebrush Sparrows were in the Panoche

Sagebrush Sparrow

Sagebrush Sparrow

Hills December 29 (ph. CC, ph. RL). A Western Tanager, a female, in north Fresno December 23

Western Tanager (female)

Western Tanager (female)

(PW) provided a rare winter record; we average about one every three winters.

Cited Observers: Christine Carino, George Folsom, Daniel Jeffcoach, Robert Lewis, Chris Rempel, Jim Tietz, Preston Whitehead, Gary Woods, Franklin Yancey. m.ob. = many observers, ph. = photographed by.

If you make an interesting observation, we’d love to hear about it. We are especially interested in birds listed as casual or rare on the Fresno Audubon checklist and those found out of season, out of normal habitat, or in unusually large numbers. Please submit reports to Jeff Davis (246-3272, jndavis@ucsc.edu), the Fresno County Birders e-mail list, or eBird.

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