steelhead count up, singing a different tune…

Good Morning Barbara & fellow Nature Lovers,

First off I want to thank all of you, who commented on Bruce’s suggestion to re-evaluate our greeting opening to be more reader inclusive. Some of you expressed that you would welcome a reader acknowledgement cheer. Since Barbara & I write our stories for our blog readers, we’ll be investigating an enticing greeting format. Do let us you what you think of our exploration and thanks Bruce for addressing this topic.

returning steelhead to San Lorenzo River

As promised, I am back with an update of the Thursday Sept. 21st river seining: The approx. 1113 steelhead haul was biggest the biologists ever had. This unexpected amount exceeded their permit that specifies how many fish can be handled within a certain time to avoid undue stress for fish. So the biologist had to cut their monitoring, etc. short and release most of the steelhead back to the river. I bet the next permit will request for extended monitoring time. Right now there a lot of steelhead and other fish species in the lower river. A big “Hurray” to all, who worked hard on that great turn around for the steelhead population.

Golden Crown Sparrow
GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW(googled)

Yes indeed: the GOLDEN CROWN and WHITE CROWN migrating SPARROWS have arrived in full force along the river. On my levee walks they amuse me with their determined hopping attempts to reach the various seeds of high grasses that have escaped the City maintenance mower and other grass eliminations. This year the GOLDEN CROWN’s mournful song sounds differently. The songs I am hearing in my backyard and by the river don’t have that pitched mourn that I am used to. Instead I am listening to much softer notes, lacking that high pitch. Both species vary their tunes according to regions, which makes me wonder if the present GOLDEN CROWNS are from a different area than the previous ones. If that is the case then where did our sharp pitch migrants go? Are any of you hosting them? I always examine the newly arrived migrants for their appearance: weight, size and feather shine, because it tells stories about their trip and their summer hang out. Both species have arrived looking big, plumb, healthy, feathers shiny and intact. This means that their summer terrain offered a nourishing menu, that they ate well on their journey and they didn’t encounter feather battering storms. Our migratory birds testify how each region supports their environment. A big, alert, bright eyed, calm, healthy, shiny bird had a good life start, which means good habitat protection. So big thanks to you nature stewards and hopefully we send the feathered visitors back in equally good condition. BTW: have you visited Neighborhood Naturalist yet? If not I bet you’ll enjoy this is informative website.

last year's COMMON GOLDENEYE....png

As of yet there haven’t been any San Lorenzo River reports about these winter guests: EARED GREBES, who showed up last year on Sept. 16th, and the COMMON GOLDENEYE, who arrive Sept. 24th/16. According to e-bird these species aren’t frolicking on other local waterbodies either. Previously I lamented about the sparse AMERICAN COOT. So far I have counted 6 COOTS downriver, a far cry from last year’s numbers. It will be interesting to see how migration season unfolded when I return in November. Until then and thanks for keeping an eye on the river, jane

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