We met a bit after 0700 in the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center parking lot and made our way out to the Blue Lake area to look for some of their needed birds like: Band-tailed Pigeon, Cassin's Vireo, Vaux's Swift, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Black-throated Gray Warbler, McGillivray's Warbler, and Lazuli Bunting. We started at the Blue Lake Cottonwoods, one of the best locations in Humboldt County for for neotropical migrants that breed and migrate through, like some of the ones mentioned above.
We started off looking at the Mad River opposite of the Cottonwoods and had SPOTTED SANDPIPER fly by and had at least 3 LAZULI BUNTINGS singing on the other side of the river but, despite much scanning, couldn't get any looks at the birds. We then went into the Cottonwoods and worked on deciphering some of the birds singing like our lutescens ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and BEWICK'S WREN, before picking up the first "lifer" for Bruce and Jean, CASSIN'S VIREO! A pair of CASSIN'S came down nice and low in response to my pishing and provided really nice and close views at eye level. While enjoying the CASSIN'S we also had some looks at a WARBLING VIREO and heard a migrant WESTERN TANAGER singing a bit to the east. While enjoying the Cassin's I heard a male BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER singing a bit to the west of us and after a bit of work we tracked it down for a couple of decent looks. After enjoying the Black-throated Gray for a bit we continued on, enjoying some other birds along the way with decent looks at some male ALLEN'S and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS, a couple of "singing" male "RED-SHAFTED" FLICKERS, a couple of CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, and flushed a male CALIFORNIA QUAIL.