Brown Shrike and Redwoods

We arrived at the McKinleyville Vista Point north of Arcata before 8:00 AM and our spirits were high in anticipation of finding the Brown Shrike. We worked our way down the cliff then south to the south pond where we noticed two birders from Tennessee, Tommie and Ron Rogers.  They’d seen the bird 20 minutes earlier but lost it when it dove to the ground.   Two minutes later, Tommie had it in her scope from 180 yards. She’s a sharp cookie and a damn good spotter. Gary Matthews and I watched it, a lifer for both of us, for half an hour while Tommie told a couple of very funny stories.

Brown Shrike-McKinleyville Vista Point (Photo by Gary Mathews)

After that the year birds began to fall like mighty Redwoods under the assault of a razor sharp saw!  Wrentits at the Vista Point, then Pacific Wrens, a Varied Thrush and four more FOY species as well at Trinidad State Beach.  Arcata Marsh added Greater Scaup and we ended the day with Black Turnstones at the Eureka pier. I now stand at 2011 totals of 325 bird species and 341 total species (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians).

Tomorrow, we drive the road to the Tall Tree Grove in Redwood National Park looking for grouse.  The road ends at a magnificent grove of primeval Redwoods.  If the FOY birds begin to fall…..I’ll use a different metaphor.

Pacific Wren-Trinidad State Beach (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

Wrentit-McKinleyville Vista Point (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

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3 Responses to Brown Shrike and Redwoods

  1. Jim McCarty says:

    John: Wow! You are really doing it and we are all reveling in your sightings via your blog. Keep it up & good luck! Jim

  2. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    Great pictures-congratulations on the shrike! What is the Pacific Wren? Is that a split from the Winter Wren?


  3. Alison Quinn says:

    What a remarkable photo of the wrentit (among many other great photos)! I’m really enjoying following your travels. Thanks for updating so frequently. Alison

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