Impressions of the Sierra Valley, June 2016
This essay summarizes some of my thoughts on the Sierra Valley from a tour I made last June. We traveled to many areas, through the sagebrush prairies and of course the great valley marshes. And we traveled through the mountains that rise several thousand feet around the perimeter of the valley also. When birders say “Sierra Valley,” they generally include the mountains, great forests and sky-blue lakes that surround the valley also.
We saw many exciting birds, of course, like Bald eagles, osprey, Yellow-headed blackbirds, Horned larks, Cinnamon teal, White-headed woodpeckers, Mountain bluebirds and perhaps 60 others. Details are below. For me a Red fox early one morning was a rare sighting and very special. The scent of the air itself was memorable, as were the constant great, open blue skies. Not to mention endless varieties of beautiful wildflowers tucked away in the woodlands and meadows. There was so much to see, and much of it so impressive, it’s difficult to summarize in a few pages.
For some pretty impressive pictures and films of the area, you can google websites of several conservation groups active in the area. Try the Feather River Land Trust website—they have a good facebook page too. This group has worked for a long time to preserve the lands in and around the valley. Plumas Audubon has info about the birds and ecology of the area too. These sites can give you a good visual overview. I’ve done my best in writing this essay, but photos add another dimension.
The Sierra Valley is a small part – a very small part — of the great Sierra chain that stretches 500 or so miles from Mt. Lassen in the north to Bakersfield in the south; it is perhaps the most dramatic geological feature of the state. The Sierras are of course known to one and all, at least on the surface, because of Yosemite and Tahoe. But within this mountain chain is an encyclopedia of natural history unknown to many.
I’ve been fortunate to visit the mountains 20 -25 times since my wife and I crossed over from Reno in June 1990 on our cross-country journey to California. I saw the mountains up close for the first time during this drive. She was four months pregnant with our first child, and waited in the car when we reached a rest area on I80 near Tahoe. I had just driven 2,800 miles, and I was glad to get out. I walked around the edge of the lot, and came back in 20 minutes with two “lifers.” I excitedly told her I had seen a MacGillivray’s warbler in the shadows under some scrub, and also heard what turned out to be a Mt. Chickadee. This chickadee is almost always present in the mountains, whispering his wheezy little greeting to all and sundry. It was a delightful greeting for me during my first moments in California.
The Sierras never let me down in the next 25 years — from Mt. Lassen in the north to Yosemite and Tahoe in the south. Or the world of Mono Lake and June Lake on the east side of the mountains. I’ve explored the Crystal Basin area, Ice House Road and Wright’s Lake above Kyburz and Strawberry; more wonderful territory for birds. All provided new and impressive sights, as well as Western tanagers, Townsend’s solitaires, Pygmy nuthatches, Black-back woodpeckers, Pine grosbeaks, Black-billed magpies, Evening grosbeaks, sapsuckers, phalaropes, kinglets and 100 others.
All these birds and mountains have added new chapters to my understanding of American natural history. The mountains are now a part of my personal history, as much as the Maine boreal forests, the swamps of Florida or the deserts and mountains of Arizona. So our recent visit to the Sierra Valley sampled only a very small region of the great mountain chain. But it is one that has an unusual variety of habitats – and thus an unusual variety of birds and mammals also.
When I go to the mountains I try to do so with John Muir’s spirit; he always has the right attitude, he knows he’s off to God’s country. It’s all one vast cathedral to him, from beginning to end. If we read his stories of his time in the mountains, we find he loved them with a passion and marveled at all he saw. You can see that he felt virtually every tree, flower, bird and stream spoke to him, often as a symbol of divine power. He speaks with constant joy, optimism and wonder. To a modern man, his philosophic views are almost unimaginable, even inconceivable. But when I go to the mountains I try to remember I’m walking in the footsteps of giants like this simple Scottish immigrant, this man called John Muir. Next to Thoreau, he’s my personal favorite.
On my journeys I try to take all that comes with the same openness of spirit, with a sense of joy and expectation each time the road turns. These experiences will vary and will be determined by the mountains themselves, but will always be a vivid expression of nature’s power and beauty. To see with John Muir’s eyes will allow me to see more, and I will probably even hear more. And in the end, I think, I will even be more. For the mountains, next to our own eyes and ears, he is our best guide.
Below are a few notes recounting where we travelled and what we saw.
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The Sierra Valley: Where and Why
The Sierra Valley, as the name implies, is part of the great Sierra mountain chain, even if a relatively little-known part. It is literally a valley, a vast and roughly circular area 25 miles or so in diameter. It is just north of I80 and Lake Tahoe. Compared to Tahoe and Yosemite, it is little known among Sierra travelers. Often when I try to explain to friends where it is, I have difficulty making myself understood, because they’ve never heard of it.
There has been no rush to develop the valley, and it is mostly pristine. Try to imagine a great open rangeland composed of sagebrush prairie. Within this prairie are extensive marshes along a series of intersecting creeks. These marshes are lined with rushes and reeds that are very high and intensely green. The marshes and rangeland have very little sign of human habitation and stretch on for miles and miles. Only a few narrow roads bisect the area.
The valley is bowl shaped and bordered along the edges by hills and great conifer forests. The valley itself is about 4,500 feet elevation, and more or less circular. Just above the valley, where the mountains rise to 6-7000 feet, there are several little towns and villages, mostly on the west side, such as Sierraville, Blairsden, Graeagle and Portola. Sierraville and Loyalton are on the southern and eastern edges of the great open, flat valley. It is on the eastern side of the Sierra crest, and the Nevada border and H395 are close by. Reno is just on the other side of the state line a few miles away.
In addition to the dramatic and wild scenery, another great thing about the area is the light: the blue sky is immense and stretches from one side of the valley to the other, perfectly blue and dotted with cumulus clouds.
Perhaps the most famous physical feature of the local mountains are the Sierra buttes, mountain spires reaching 7-8,000 feet (at the west edge of the valley) and sporting snow around their peaks even in summer. The buttes have mountain lakes at their base, small bodies of water surrounded by cottonwoods, willow thickets and great conifer woodlands. This area is idyllic, beautiful and popular with summer tourists. A friend of mine reserves a cabin there every year, often a year in advance.
The valley is enormous, about the size of Lake Tahoe, and has a mixture of marshes, creeks and sagebrush prairie. Due to its size and warm climate during the summer, it is a paradise for birds of all kinds, and thus birders. Birds as diverse as Sandhill cranes, Horned larks, Sage Thrashers, Cinnamon Teal, Ruddy ducks, White pelicans, Avocets, Harriers, Redhead (ducks), Western Kingbirds, Cliff swallows, Black terns, Snipe, Willet and Brewer’s sparrows, and more than a 100 others, can be found here in the valley’s vast expanse.
As mentioned earlier, surrounding the valley are little towns such as Sierraville, Blairsden, Portola and Calpine. They are generally very rural, small and friendly, often no more than villages. And beyond the settlements, mountain slopes covered in conifer forests rise to 7000 feet, with numerous lakes, mixtures of willow and cottonwood wetlands, and the Sierra Buttes. To the north is Quincy, and to the south, if you follow H49 to the west down the slopes, Sierra City and Downieville.
The different areas of the valley, if we include lakes and woodlands on the margins in addition to the marshes and prairies, have very different bird populations. These include many species of songbirds, woodpeckers, owls, nighthawks and other species. Ideal breeding conditions in the summer allow many birds to use these resources to create the next generation of flycatchers, kinglets and warblers. Birds that will visit us in the Bay Area in the fall. It is a land of milk and honey for these creatures, at least for three months until fall arrives. In this sense it plays the same role as Alaska does for millions of avian species such as sandpipers and raptors from late May/early June to August, the breeding season.
The “why” of the valley is pretty dramatic, if we can believe the geologists. This is not my field, but if I remember correctly from my reading, it resulted from a cataclysmic event in the “orogeny” (mountain building) of the Sierras in the distant past – as in 50,000,000 years ago. As the mountains were being pushed up – tectonic plates and volcanic forces probably involved somewhere, given we’re at the edge of the continent – the Sierras reached their current heights in the 7-12,000 range. (This is the general altitude, but of course Mt. Whitney reaches 14,505’). However, for some reason that escapes me now, the area presently known as the Sierra Valley collapsed in the process, and left a gaping caldera several thousand feet deep. Over millennia the awe-inspiring crater (had any humans been present to see it) filled in with several thousand feet of sediment from the surrounding mountains. Add rain and snow over additional millenia and you have a vast valley of sagebrush, creeks and marshes, abounding with wildlife. A fascinating story, and geologists apparently believe that Lake Tahoe was a product of a similar event. So there is a remarkable geological history to this valley.
Previous Visits to the Valley
Given the valley’s great natural beauty and diversity of birdlife, it was one of my goals to set up a class and fieldtrip to the area. Finally, early this month (June, 2016) I led a small group of birders to explore the area. Of course we wanted to see the flowers, forests and geological features also.
I have visited the area 4-5 times over the last 15 years, and have seen almost 100 species of birds, not to mention many wonderful wildflowers, small mammals and butterflies. I’m familiar with 10-15 sites around the valley and nearby mountain forests, such as Lake Davis, the Iron Bridge marshes, Frenchman’s Lake, the Loyalton Sewage Ponds, Plumas-Eureka State park, Yuba Pass and a number of others. There’s always more to see.
The area has a grandeur and power that I find only in the mountains. Even the mountain air itself has a special quality– I suppose from the oils wafting from the immense conifer forests, scenting the air with that outdoor, wilderness smell. Of course the air is generally much cleaner at 4 -7000 feet.
Highlights of the Birds We Found
A few of the highlights of the more than 60 species of birds we saw– at Lake Davis (about 7 miles north of Portola, at the north end of the valley) the high, circling Bald eagles were quite a sight– one of the best views I’ve ever seen. Right over us, they made not a flap– just soared, effortlessly. You could really feel the magic of these powerful birds, as they circled over us effortlessly, again and again, with their immense 8 foot wingspans at full sail. I always remember a comment I heard referring to Golden eagles once long ago on Mines Road, said by another birder, referring to the eagles: “flying coffee tables.” Once you think of it, it’s very appropriate.
Flying White pelicans aren’t bad either and about as big as the eagles. We saw clouds of them flying in vast circles in the sky. We saw them over Lake Davis and over the marshes too.
The bluebirds at the lake – we were high enough to see Mt. Bluebirds, not Western — were the color of the sky itself, a soft, iridescent blue – another amazing sight. Also patrolling the lake were occasional osprey, searching for their favorite food – fish.
We didn’t get as good a look at the Spotted sandpipers at the lake as I wished. Indeed, most members of the group didn’t see them at all. I only saw them out of the corner of my eye as they flew off when we surprised them rounding one of the little coves. I recognized them because of their size and flight style; they have a series of fast clipped wingbeats that are found among some sandpipers.
The mountain lakes are their breeding territory, and usually they’re walking up and down the shoreline, their rumps bobbing continuously. On most previous visits to the Sierras, I’ve seen fair numbers of them around the lakes, especially Lake Davis. They are, however, a kind of solitary sandpiper, and not found in large flocks like most others. So “large numbers” would be 5-10. When they migrate down to the Bay Area for the winter their breeding plumage is of course gone. So you might say in the winter they are “spotless,” although their behavior – patrolling the shorelines—is still the same. So I was hoping for some very spotted little sandpipers for everyone, but it was not to be this time.
The Common mergansers were stunning to see with their elegant, deep green heads and gleaming white bodies. I always think of them as small swans or geese, because of their great size. A pair swam very close to us, not far from the eagle’s nest. Their bills, long, pointy and serrated, are nothing like the “other” ducks, whose bills are usually flat and spatulate. The mergansers are a sub-group of ducks that have bills adapted to catch fish, and are long and narrow.
No cougars or coyotes, but you can’t have everything, they say. The Killdeer were very noisy, but gratifying. Their calls were always in the background in the valley. At the Sierra marshes, there was another array of wildlife, very different. Not everyone saw the Sandhill cranes, but they certainly were there. They are one of my favorite birds, so magisterial and impressive. Cranes are so elegant and deliberate in the tall, deep green marsh grasses. Aldo Leopold calls them part of the spirit of the land; they inspire strong emotion. A very good man to read; a great poet of nature.
Highlights of the Iron Bridge Marsh
On the first day up, at the Iron Bridge (in the middle of the marshes) I thought I might have seen — very far away — some Black terns, a bird I’ve wanted to see for years and years. They are small, but elegant, mostly black, and breed near fresh water. They breed in the valley (not every year apparently), but are hard to find. The colonies are small and the marshes vast. Not sure these small dark flying birds were Black terns; after all, eyes – and high hopes — can play tricks on you. But it seemed like a distinct possibility as I trained my binoculars over the vibrant green sea of marsh grass far to the south of the Iron Bridge.
The Yellow-headed blackbirds were everywhere, very conspicuous and noisy. (They are also known informally as “bananaheads” in birders’ lingo.) They kind of stole the show with their extraordinary gleaming golden heads and their non-stop calls –screeching and squawking, like rusty gates swinging back and forth. There were quite a few of them perched everywhere on fences and wires along the road. Between their size (large), appearance and behavior, they can entertain you for hours! And a vast “cloud” of Cliff swallows, hundreds of them, were flying in wild circles when we reached the Iron Bridge (where they seemed to breed, under the bridge). This seemed to be a result of several Ravens flying nearby, on the prowl, perhaps, for nestlings. It was remarkable to see so many of them flying in wild abandon.
The small river flowing under the Iron Bridge, in the center of the marshes, was a great contrast to the miles of dry sagebrush flats that surrounded them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a color blue as deep and perfect at that water. It was blueness itself, the “spirit” of the color blue, Plato’s archetype, the color God imagined when he thought “blue.” It was so deep it went from blue to indigo. Nice to see perfection for once, what the deity intended when the world was created. Occasionally this happens, but it’s rare — to see perfection. The creeks were bordered by dense thickets of grasses and rushes of a deep emerald color, which made the contrast with the water even more intense.
The various ducks at the marsh, like the Redheads, the perfect breeding Ruddy duck (all ruddy red and bright blue bill) and the Gadwall, were also fun to see, unexpected, somehow, in this setting. The occasional willets were pretty nice, as were the flocks of White-faced ibis. When the light was right we could see the whole spectrum of the often elusive colors of its plumage. These colors varied from a deep, deep bronze fading into a light, metallic green. Amazing to see them as they shimmered in metallic splendor. The Cinnamon teal weren’t bad either, bright red in the sun. Marcia picked the teal out, I didn’t notice it, I was so captivated by the White-faced Ibis (several of them) and the their “coat of many colors.”
Driving through the marshes and rangeland, quite a few other birds were flying here and there. The Sage thrashers were just about everywhere, and we could hear the Brewer’s sparrows from time to time. Meadowlarks sang all the time, –auditory perfume — making the rangeland what it was meant to be. (They say the rangeland is incomplete without its song).
The male harrier skimming the sagebrush across the road wasn’t bad, and the Western kingbirds we saw were impressive, so elegant in their subtle grays and soft yellow bellies, very spiffy. The more I think of it, the more they seem to remind me of Hercule Poirot. Edwardian England in the middle of the wilderness; god bless my imagination!
As I mentioned, the day before everyone arrived, my friend Barbara and I saw a Willet and meadowlark sitting on the viewing platform at Maddelena Ranch (in the sagebrush rangeland at the north side of the valley, on A23). They refused to leave until we were only about 6 feet away. It was one of the best looks I ever got of a Willet– you could see all the details of his plumage. They reluctantly gave up their perches on the platform for us, but the Willet waited til the last moment. Horned larks were also popping up everywhere, with their high-fashion, art deco designs of black and yellow on their foreheads. They were another special sight of the rangeland. I love these tiny, colorful little songsters with their elaborate hair-dos.
Diving Dippers at Plumas-Eureka State Park
We were fairly successful in the surrounding woodlands too. At Plumas-Eureka State Park, even with a high wind, we had some luck: White-headed woodpeckers, a Red-breasted sapsucker and even Dippers nesting under the bridge over the river. Our sights of them were long and detailed. There were a pair of them, wading in the water and dipping under the surface to find inset larva. Then they flew up to the underside of the bridge to feed their babies in the nest. They kept this behavior up, very close to us, for 10 minutes. It was one of my great moments of watching birds in 30 years. Only one other time did I have such a great look at a Dipper– that was at Yosemite, in the early spring, next to the raging Merced River. This little guy was singing on the shore, before taking repeated dips in the foaming , turbulent waters.
Hard to believe these tiny improbable creatures can exist, given their strange, perilous life style. But it works, somehow. Muir has a famous, wonderful essay on this bird called “The Hummingbird of the California Water-falls.” Written 1878, it made him famous; like any fledgling author, he sent it to a national magazine (Scribner’s). Try to find a copy to read; he has a quality about him, his devotion to nature, the innocence, the beneficence, of his observations– nothing like him. You’ll learn a lot about Dippers too. He saw them all the time, and gave a great account of their amazing lives.
The Red-breasted sapsucker, deep in the conifer forests at Plumas-Eureka, not to mention the White-headed woodpecker, even if very high up circling a huge conifer. A Flicker wasn’t bad, and a Hairy at Lake Davis rounds out our history of woodpeckers. All fun to see. The little “garden” at the entrance to the Plumas-Eureka campground was amazingly beautiful, as if it was all planted in wildflowers, at the base of a rocky slope 1000 feet high. The sun came out, the wind died down, and the whole scene, birds, flowers and a “garden” of wildflowers at the base of the slope seemed like a paradise. We didn’t want to go, but it was getting late and time for dinner.
Wildflowers were another part of the whole experience, all different kinds, of every color and design, everywhere we looked. It was still spring up in the mountains. Lupines, fringed water plaintain, snowplant, cornflowers, daisies, you name it. A delight to see, nestled in the deep grasses or the dark floor of the woodlands. Tiny bursts of color in the darkness, of every shape. They really delight the eye with their infinite variety. Barbara Doe has made a spreadsheet with 15-20 or so of them listed there.
I’m always impressed by the big swathes of California Corn lilies that blanket the wet meadows. These are poisonous plants, 4-5 feet high, and look vaguely like a field of slightly stunted corn. They have wide, bright green, crinkled leaves a foot long, and completely fill wet meadows with hundreds of plants. They’re very conspicuous. I seem to remember a very similar plant from my days tramping through New York swamps in the early 80’s.
Home on the Range: Sleepy Pines in Portola
The whole group had decided to stay at the Sleepy Pines Motel in Portola, at the north-east corner of the valley. This made travel and coordination much easier. This was our home for the next few days after we arrived mid-week. The motel is really a series of small rustic cabins about a mile west of the town, on the way to Blairsden and Graeagle. There were woodlands up a hill to the back of the cabins and willow thickets and the Feather River across the road. The cabins were nestled among 100-foot conifers, so you still felt you were in the country, even on the outskirts of the little town.
Even here, at the end of the day, it was hard to relax and put my feet up on the bed. Too much going on. Luckily everyone was tired by the end of the day and I didn’t have to do any tours of our little settlement. Swallows, blackbirds, a few raptors, flycatchers, bluebirds, juncos – many different birds, all outside our doors. Swallows included Barn, Tree and I think Cliff. They were everywhere, nesting in the boxes the owners had put up on every horizontal surface, birdhouses of every design. I had a Barn swallow sitting on a house in the doorway of my cabin. He didn’t seem to regard my head 4 feet away as a threat, because he never budged. Of course he was there before I was, so he kind of “owned” it. I never saw such detail on a Barn swallow—amazingly colorful.
I heard House wrens in the woods behind the cabins on one of my jaunts. One morning, at least, I also heard marsh wrens in the great stands of Cat-tails along the Feather River, which was right across the road from our cabins.
I think I saw the (Western wood) Peewee once, but we could hear their calls all day, wheezy, short notes, one of the most common calls of the mountain woodlands. Not much to listen to (flycatchers are not great singers in general), but a sound-signal that you’re in the mountains. You might even say they’re the sound-track of the mountains. Across the street the willow thickets along the Feather River contained great numbers of Yellow warblers, active and singing through the early morning.
Supremely adapted to human presence and not shy, there was a great noisy colony of Brewer’s blackbirds also living at Sleepy Pines. They were everywhere, flying, squawking, parading around the grounds like they owned the place. They ignored us as they squabbled over territory and foraging rights. They wandered through the parking lot totally oblivious and unconcerned about the paying guests. With their wide staring yellow eyes and vaguely military strut they made me imagine avian storm-troopers. Not a pleasant image, but they were more comical than threatening (only 12 inches long). But it makes you wonder what could have happened if evolution had gone a little differently after the great dinosaur “extinction event” 65 million years ago.
On my late-afternoon wanderings around the grounds I happened to see Ravens– all over— and a Pygmy nuthatch. Of course we could hear Ravens croaking frequently as we traveled through the mountains. A Red-tail surprised me too one evening, flying out of the woods. Can’t recall seeing or hearing crows, however, which must be a first.
In the early morning one day about 7am a beautiful male Kestrel surprised me as he flew along the cliff face near the forests by the cabins. He hovered here and there, hunting for insects and small mammals (mice, voles). A few moments earlier I had seen a fox trotting along on the other side of the Feather River. I thought at first he was a lost dog, but not so. With his golden-orange fur, he trotted along, nonchalant as could be.
The nesting Western bluebirds, perched on one of the little birdhouses near the parking lot, were fun to see. They were not more than 20 away, and their young ones flew all over the grounds too, searching for insects.
The Graeagle Mill Pond On the way to Plums-Eureka State Park we stopped at the millpond in Graeagle, a very small town not far from Portola. This walk gave us some songbirds, such as a Spotted towhee, several robins and swallows, even a Double-crested cormorant. A special sight there was a nesting empid, I think either a Pacific slope flycatcher or a Hammond’s. It was deep in the shadows in the trees, and she sat quietly in her tiny nest. The nest was a little bigger than a hummingbird’s, tiny. Her head and shoulders just peeked out, in the dark shadows of the deep foliage, quietly. I have zero idea of how I found her. You could see the eye-ring and wing bars, but not much else. A three-foot (Garter snake?) colored gray and tan slithering across the trail was nice to see, but he got to the pond before I got to him, so my impressions are not clear.
Scouting Out the Valley a Day Early
On my tours I like to arrive a little early and scout the area for locations, roads and driving distances, not to mention the atmosphere and weather. My traveling companion Barbara Doe and I therefore arrived a day early. Exploring the valley on our first day we saw some very desirable birds, such as Avocets and number of Sandhill cranes in the great marshes. Several Black-billed magpies flew through the rangeland near Sierraville. With their colorful and elaborate plumage they always excite me. Exploring the Carmen Valley, at the south-west side of the valley, we heard the classic Olive-sided flycatcher call, “Quick- three beers!” You could tell this one a mile away, it was so clear. The call was clear as a recording. We’ll explore this area more next year.
A Few Birds We Didn’t See
Collectively, over the time we were there, we saw thousands of birds of many kinds. But I could write another story about the birds we didn’t see — experienced pros could mention birds like Night-hawks, Snipe, Nashville warblers, Green-tailed towhees, Calliope hummers — the list is enormous —- but I don’t see the point. I’ve seen them all in or around the valley before, and many others. But this is due to repeated visits and more time in the field.
No matter how many wonderful parts of nature we do observe on a trip, the “list” of what we didn’t see (I would never make such a list, but you could look them up) will always be greater than what we do see. This is obvious, of course, and should not be a source of dismay — rather joy. Joy that nature has an almost infinite number of forms of life, too many to see in one lifetime or one visit.
Tiny Stars in the Firmament
Naturally we only perceive tiny parts of nature, even if we’re out in the wilds year after year. You need a lifetime. And even after a lifetime, for most of us, most of the world will still be personally unexplored, except through PBS wildlife documentaries. We have David Attenborough and his heirs to thank for this—seeing birds of paradise in New Guinea, for example, something most of us will never get to see in person. But still our perception and experience, however extraordinary, is comparable to a gnat on an elephant.
The continuum of nature is too vast for any one individual to perceive or comprehend. This is a cliché of course, but a moment’s thought will confirm its truth. But if we have been observant, we will have gleaned the essence: that we live in a world of mystery, marvels and beauty. Marvels unexpected even in our imagination. And most importantly, that we are part of this creation, not separate from it. The greatest perception is the feeling of being part of this extraordinary world. That’s my perspective after several decades of tramping through field and forest, trying to observe all I could see.
For the Sierra Valley itself — next spring — we’ll have quite a few areas to visit, new birds to find, and amazing sights to see. It’s only a few seasons away, and I’m wondering what adventures the next trip will bring.
Birds Observed: Sierra Valley, California
June 9-12, 2016
Areas of observation: Sierra valley marshes and rangeland, Maddelena Ranch, Sierraville environs, Carmen Valley, Lake Davis, SFSU field station, Plumas-Eureka State Park, Portola environs, Feather River (middle fork at Portola), Graeagle environs.
Black tern (poss)
Cranes, Rails, Coots
Eurasian collared dove
Olive-sided flycatcher (H)
Hammond’s/Pacific slope flycatcher (poss)
House (H, P)
Sparrows and Allies