El Franco Lee Park: Interesting mix of birds this week

Wednesday evening the cold front had left its mark with several Orange-crowned Warblers in the thickets and Ruby-crowned Kinglets present. Otherwise nothing of note, the usual raptors continue.

Friday afternoon was a bit more interesting. Surprising were a pair of Painted Buntings (colorful male see below) with a few Indigo Buntings.  I couldn’t turn up a feeding flock so focused my attention on the water where Northern Pintail and Gadwall were present among hundreds of Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal. I found the Common-ground Dove near the back of the wetland and found it again with dozens of Mourning Doves among the dry trees studding the dried up marsh. Numbers of shorebirds had increased with a flock of Long-billed Dowitchers harboring a single Stilts Sandpipers. Among thirty or so circling Least Sandpipers was a single Baird’s Sandpiper. Wilson’s Snipes were very common. Otherwise only the two Yellowlegs.

Sparrows have been slow so far, no more sign of the Grasshopper and just Lincoln’s lately. So overall a strange week of unexpected shorebirds, lingering migrants, and a few winter birds.

House Wrens are here in good numbers, El Franco Lee Park, Photo Stephan Lorenz

an unexpected late migrant Painted Bunting, El Franco Lee Park, Photo Stephan Lorenz

single Stilt Sandpiper among many Long-billed Dowitchers, El Franco Lee Park, Photo Stephan Lorenz

splash of color Wood Duck, El Franco Lee Park, Photo Stephan Lorenz

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