We had at least 100 people attend this popular event yesterday including many parents with children. They were treated to some up close views of a pair of very calm rehab Swainson's hawks from the Davis Raptor Center and then those that went out on the nature walk afterwards enjoyed good looks at a pair of Swainson's hawks soaring overhead as they prepared for another nesting season in the area. Another highlight was spotting a flock of American pelicans soaring up in the clouds as they were likely headed into the Great Basin. A bright sunny spring day with good company and lots of important information from local groups including Audubon, SARA, and more. It was a treat to meet Phil Isenberg and his wife Marilyn who often spend time along the river at this location. They seemed to enjoy the large turnout and nature walk too.
A few folks stayed around to scan for the suspected Swainson's hawk nest in the area and they were rewarded with some good scope views of the pair adding to an existing nest in a slightly different location. In the next 10 days we expect the hawks to complete their nest work and hopefully start another successful season at Sutter's Landing. Stay tuned for more info on this.
Today I returned to do some scouting and I saw the pair still soaring over the nest tree seen yesterday.
There was some unexpected excitement today as I encountered a group on the river firing an air rifle near where our nature walk yesterday. I reported this to the County Parks hotline and talked to the ranger dispatched quickly who went down to enforce the regulations against such activities. Meanwhile, I biked across the river to get a closer look at the nesting site. I was able to locate the tree and nest but the hawks were not seen while I was there. We'll provide more information on the nesting activities at Sutter's Landing Park through this spring.
I bicycled over to the see what was going on at the park and river this afternoon . The dog park was very active and there was a pick-up basketball game at the nearby court. Beyond there was a very quiet model airplane being flown over the asphalt area by someone who had bicycled up and had the vast area to himself. The skateboard park was quiet but there was a party of a dozen or more young people gathering along the river near the tire swing. Bicyclists, joggers, dog walkers, kayakers and more were all out at various locations along the river area today. The warm afternoon brought many people down the the park and river. It was certainly a great spring day to enjoy at Sutter's Landing Park.
The real news of the day was the two pairs of Swainson's hawks I saw soaring overhead. One pair circled above the grassy mound while a third Swainson's hawk circled higher over the river. Farther upstream another pair circled over the freeway near the triangle parcel. Perhaps they were scouting the habitat below to be restored? In any case they included some aerial courtship moves while slowly circling above the busy freeway below. As I glassed down the river from my location I could watch all 5 Swainson's hawks at once for a treat on this easter sunday.
The park and river were the place to be today and certainly enjoyed by all there.
The late season and much needed rains have raised the river and covered much of the beach area now. Things are green and blooming and there is much wildlife activity to enjoy. This Saturday is the 4th FORB/FOSH Swainson's Hawk program and a great chance to see this amazing bird return again to nest along the river. There will also be great opportunities to learn more about raptors in general too. As always, there will be a walk along the river so come out and enjoy our great Sutter's Landing Park!
While you are out there you might want to look for a new addition and take a few moments to relax and enjoy the river flowing by.
Swainson's Hawk from the Raptor Center and 2011 FORB/FOSH event
New river bench appeared!