Today I met the TINS naturalists Will and Sarah and a few others for a birding tour around the Boca Reservoir, north of I-80 near Truckee. We started near the Boca dam, and observed some waterfowl from quite a distance. One new bird I saw was the Western Grebe. Luckily Will had the spotting scope, or we wouldn’t have been able to identify it. We also noted some small sparrows in that location, and we identified both White-crowned Sparrows and a Golden-crowned Sparrow in the low-growing brush. Another location we tried to the northeast of the reservoir had a number of bluebirds, both Western and Mountain Bluebirds, but they did not allow us to come too near. A third location near the Little Truckee River inlet to the reservoir, allowed us to look down on the mud flats. This area was a shallow area of the lake, and the water level was down a lot since I was last here in July. We observed a number of gulls, including a new one for me, the Ring-billed Gull. It’s smaller than the California gulls and has yellower legs. On the stream banks, we saw a number of Northern Flickers, and we observed a Belted Kingfisher. It was far off, even for the scope, and after some lively discussion, it was determined to be a male.
Not a wonderful day for photography, but I added 4 species to my TBY list!