Try a stroll at Ellis Creek with a pair of binoculars and a mask in the next week or so if you want to see some cool birds. On Saturday, November 28, Andy LaCasse led the monthly nature walk there. A hardy few were rewarded with a number of close views of birds including the American Bittern just off the main road near the first curve beyond the entrance kiosk.It appeared to be waiting for a gopher or smaller critter. Pond D had a couple of Black Crowned Night Herons attempting to hide in the tules, as well as the usual Pied-billed Grebes, a Common Gallinule, and several Song Sparrows.Then on the east side of the pond, a Wilson’s Snipe, only a few feet off the trail, caught Andy’s eye, and eventually, the rest of us, as well as a few other folks passing by. Shortly after, Andy calls out-” An Accipter, a Falcon…Peregrine Falcon!” Definitely moving like the fastest bird on the planet on its way southwest toward the Petaluma Slough or Gray’s Marsh. Both ponds B and C with water now, and several different species including Coots, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Canvasback Ducks, Buffleheads, and Ruddy Ducks. Another highlight was the very secretive small rail, the Sora, along the edge of pond A. Finally, a White-tailed Kite stooping to have lunch and carry it to one of the willows near the valley oak. Likely a vole as viewed through the spotting scope we had with us. A pretty fair sampling of the more than forty different species the group encountered on a clear sunny morning. Check it out and invite a friend.     

by John Richards

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