Friday, August 26, 2011

CRP Round 2 Ponds

Nancy and I surveyed the CRP Round 2 ponds yesterday and found that all 10 of the new ponds were in poor shape. The three ponds of B6 each had about 30% water coverage but we were unable to find any new water entering these ponds - maybe it's there and we just didn't see it, but I don't think so - and very few shorebirds. The 7 ponds of C7 were bone dry except for the west end of pond C074. The only shorebirds we saw in any of the C7 ponds were 5 Killdeer in C074.

A note on the B6 ponds. These ponds were surveyed last year and the east-west levee road along the south side of the ponds remains in miserable shape - you are well-advised to leave your car at the southwest corner of B6 and walk along the road to do your surveys.

Jim Dunn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yolo 61

Hi All,

I was at Yolo today to check water depths at Field 61. Of note, I saw a snipe and three juvenile black-crowned night herons. Two juvy herons were foraging snails in the flooded fallow field and one was roosting on the internal levy. Lots of long-billed dowitchers, least sandpipers and a few westerns mixed in there.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kickoff of FFSS 2011!

Thank you to all the new and returning volunteers for joining us at the trainingon July 9, 2011 at the Yolo Wildlife Area. It was great to get out in the field with you and to check out those sandpipers! Here is some additional information regarding logistics and scheduling.

1. Sign up so you can add to this Blog and check it out often! Khara and I will be posting interesting information here and it is a great way for you to communicate with the FFSS team about the exciting things you encounter in the field. In addition, this is where you will find links to important items such as the Calendar, datasheets, and additional resources.

2. Don’t forget to sign-up for CADC if you do not have an account. Those of you with a CADC account will need to add the FFSS project if it does not appear on your list. For instructions, go to the FFSS blog and on the right hand side under Volunteer Resources, click the link for FFSS Documents then download the “FFSS_CADC_Data entry protocol_2011.pdf”

3. Visit the FFSS Calendar where we posted a live, interactive version of the schedule we created on Saturday. This can also be accessed from the blog on the right hand side under Volunteer Resources, click FFSS Calendar.

For more details about how to use and edit this calendar, please look under ‘Volunteer Resources’ where you will find a link to FFSS Documents which includes a 'How To Use the Google Calendar' document.

4. If you did not make it to the training session and need documents or you have not signed the waivers (all four of them!), please download them on the blog: Under ‘Volunteer Resources’ you will find a link to FFSS Documents, which will take you to a list of documents including the Audubon, PRBO, Yolo, and Cosumnes Volunteer Waivers. Please sign them and send them to:

Monica Iglecia
c/o Audubon CA
765 University Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825

Thank you to Darrell and Kathy for starting out the field season today with the bird counts at Field 68 at Yolo! Happy Birding!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Greetings FFSS Citizen Scientists-

As you know, last week was the last week of fallow field surveys at Yolo Wildlife Area and Cosumnes River Preserve and our surveys have now concluded. We truly appreciate all of the hard work you have put into making this project a reality.

Here are a few fun facts about this season; we’ll follow up with a complete update once all the data is entered.
1) Total number of shorebirds seen CRP: 8941 Yolo: 11323
2) Total number of shorebird species seen CRP: 14 Yolo: 12
3) Most abundant shorebird CRP: Dowitcher species (5564)
Yolo: Least Sandpiper (4605)
4) Acres surveyed CRP: 81 Yolo: 125
5) High count CRP: 800 Dowitchers Yolo: 760 Dowitchers
If there are specific things you would like summarized in the update, please send me an email and I will do my best to accommodate.

Remember to sign up for your one-year complimentary membership to PRBO Conservation Science by filling out the membership application in your training packet or visit To join Audubon CA visit

Follow us on Facebook!

Stay Involved! If you enjoyed surveying shorebirds in fallow fields, why not think about surveying shorebirds for the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey (PFSS)? The PFSS is a coordinated multi-partner monitoring program designed to guide the management and conservation of wintering shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway. This is the first year of a long term project and we are looking for dedicated volunteers who are willing to survey a route in the Sacramento Valley annually. For more information visit the PFSS website at or if you already know you are interested, take our online interest survey

Thanks again!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Week of Surveys

This week marks the end of surveys on our fallow fields at the Yolo Wildlife Area and Cosumnes River Preserve. It seems that the fields held out just long enough to get in this week’s surveys. Thanks for hanging in there and continuing to conduct surveys even as the water levels dropped and the vegetation increased. Your data still informs how shorebirds use these fields! We’ll be in touch shortly with more information about what to do with your datasheets, a summary of observations and how you can stay involved. Thanks again for all of your hard work and dedication!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yolo mostly grasslands now

Yolo field 61 is now all but entirely drained of water. Grasses have filled in the northwest third of the field. In the southeast, there remain large sections of exposed soil, but the ground was mostly dry and apparently not attractive to shorebirds as I failed to come up with even a single target species. Savannah Sparrows and Horned Larks were the only birds making regular use of the field.