On Wednesday, December 11, the bird survey team met at 7 AM at Shollenberger Park for December’s Petaluma Wetlands Alliance (PWA) survey. A drizzly, wet and cold morning greeted us, but the team persevered and set out for the bird count.

Against the gloomy backdrop, a crisp white Great Egret stood out like a beacon of light.

Great Egret

[L-R] Peter, Harley, Mary, Andy, Craig, Malcolm, JJ, Miles, Judy, Teresa (not pictured – Len)

Many birds were tucked away out of the rain. We took a cue from them and kept the camera tucked away and dry. As the drizzle let up later in the morning, the birds emerged to shake off the precipitation.

Song Sparrow

Somehow, this apparently dry Golden-crowned Sparrow managed to avoid the rain entirely, perhaps hidden under a dense bush?

Golden-crowned Sparrow

This White-tailed Kite also resumed activity and hunted above the fields between bouts of sitting on its perch.

White-tailed Kite

As we wrapped up the count back at the parking lot, this lone American Coot bid us adieu.

American Coot – don’t forget to count me!

By the end of the wet morning, the team had still tallied a nice 68 species. The following day, five additional species were located by a team member returning to Ellis Creek, bringing the grand total to 73 for PWA’s December 2019 survey.

This has been your in-the-field recap of the PWA’s December bird survey. These are just one of the many ways the PWA fulfills its mission statement:

Dedicated to the stewardship, restoration, and expansion of wetlands and associated wildlife habitats.

We’re Miles and Teresa Tuffli of I’m Birding Right Now. We are PWA members and bird survey volunteers. Check back for future reports!

If you have any questions about this particular count or if you’re interested in participating in future counts, please contact the coordinator/compiler for these surveys, Len Nelson, at [email protected]

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