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ABA's Birding News >> CA - South Bay

CA - South Bay bird news by date

Updated on April 15, 2021, 5:20 am

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15 Apr: @ 05:11:55 
Re: For Those Missing a Robin [allisonfluty via groups.io]
15 Apr: @ 03:05:59 
Sabine's Gull seen by Don Edwards [Audry Nicklin]
15 Apr: @ 02:12:05 
New Almaden birds [janna pauser]
14 Apr: @ 23:50:41 
An Addendum To All Of My Postings To This Site. [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
14 Apr: @ 20:32:14 
Re: For Those Missing a Robin [Mike Voydanoff]
14 Apr: @ 20:29:56 
Re: For Those Missing a Robin [Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io]
14 Apr: @ 19:49:36 
For Those Missing a Robin [Larry Spivak via groups.io]
14 Apr: @ 18:05:19 
Some Birding at Shoreline Park on 4/14/2021 [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
13 Apr: @ 23:24:39 
Hummingbird ID [Oliver Zhang]
13 Apr: @ 21:24:20 
Continuing Cassin's Kingbird at Harvey Bear Ranch [Bob Bolles]
13 Apr: @ 21:24:20 
Continuing Cassin's Kingbird at Harvey Bear Ranch [Bob Bolles]
13 Apr: @ 21:17:28 
Forster's Terns At Shoreline Lake [Oliver Zhang]
13 Apr: @ 03:17:51 
Re: Which sightings are worth reporting? [Michelle Nelson]
13 Apr: @ 02:12:23 
Re: Which sightings are worth reporting? [Dan Bloch]
12 Apr: @ 23:29:59 
Re: Which sightings are worth reporting? [Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io]
12 Apr: @ 22:09:11 
Smith Creek - Morning of 12-April [Brooke Miller via groups.io]
12 Apr: @ 21:59:58 
Black-chinned Hummingbird - First of Year - Willow Glen - 12-Apr [Brooke Miller via groups.io]
12 Apr: @ 18:00:19 
Which sightings are worth reporting? [Luca]
12 Apr: @ 14:35:36 
Female Costa's Hummingbird? at Cuesta Park on 4/11/2021 [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
12 Apr: @ 00:33:20 
Byxbee Park [Bill Bousman]
12 Apr: @ 00:13:26 
Solitary Sandpiper at Smith Creek This Morning [Carter Gasiorowski]
11 Apr: @ 22:19:54 
Smith Creek (04-11-21) [Matthew Dodder]
11 Apr: @ 16:53:40 
Lean Green Birding Machine Birdathon [Steve Patt]
11 Apr: @ 06:55:58 
Re: Help with ID at Palo Alto Baylands [Alvaro Jaramillo]
11 Apr: @ 04:56:16 
Help with ID at Palo Alto Baylands [Luca]
11 Apr: @ 02:33:26 
Smiths Creek Fire Station - 4/10/2021 [m_m_rogers]
10 Apr: @ 23:09:30 
Harvey Bear Ranch (04-10-21) [Matthew Dodder]
10 Apr: @ 22:55:16 
Santa Teresa Park (04-10-21) [Matthew Dodder]
10 Apr: @ 21:08:13 
Osprey at SCVWD [Eve Meier]
10 Apr: @ 05:27:11 
Grant Ranch [Michelle Nelson]
10 Apr: @ 04:46:07 
Recent Birds [Bill Bousman]
10 Apr: @ 00:32:27 
Re: Spring Migrants at Live Oak Picnic Area and continuing Lawrence's Goldfinches at Harvey Bear [Eve Meier]
10 Apr: @ 00:25:30 
Joseph P. Grant Lake County Park, continuing male Vermilion Flycatcher 9 April 2021 [Mike Feighner]
09 Apr: @ 22:48:33 
Spring Migrants at Live Oak Picnic Area and continuing Lawrence's Goldfinches at Harvey Bear [Eve Meier]
09 Apr: @ 20:26:40 
Duetting? Hutton's Vireos at Santa Teresa on 4/9/2021 [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
09 Apr: @ 19:06:11 
Red Crossbills Contnue at Santa Teresa on 4/9/2021 [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
09 Apr: @ 02:06:01 
Red Crossbills continue at Santa Teresa CP [Michael Mammoser]
09 Apr: @ 00:33:28 
Fartlek Falcons Birdathon report [Steve Patt]
08 Apr: @ 23:07:30 
Lonesome Dove Big Day (SCVAS birdathon fund-raiser) results [Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io]
08 Apr: @ 22:27:57 
Vermillion Fly Catcher [cplatero1112usa via groups.io]
08 Apr: @ 22:27:28 
Continuing Santa Teresa County Park Red Crossbills [Bob Reiling]
08 Apr: @ 03:41:36 
Wilson's snipe, Sora, Gallinule at Coast Casey Forebay [Emilie Danna]
08 Apr: @ 03:39:58 
Shoreline and Charleston Slough 04-07-21 [Matthew Dodder]
08 Apr: @ 03:30:08 
Blue-winged teal at Don Edwards NWR [Emilie Danna]
08 Apr: @ 00:26:54 
Six Lawrence's Goldfinches at Ed Levin on 4/6 [Carter Gasiorowski]
07 Apr: @ 23:04:34 
Red Crossbill at Santa Teresa County Park [Michael Mammoser]
07 Apr: @ 22:41:59 
Ash-throated Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo at Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, Wednesday, April 7 [MaryAnn Allan]
07 Apr: @ 22:36:09 
La Rinconada Park in Los Gatos [Eve Meier]
07 Apr: @ 18:20:57 
Some Birding at Geng Rd on 4/7/2021 [Frank Vanslager via groups.io]
07 Apr: @ 16:52:04 
Lawrence’s Goldfinch at Lake Cunningham [William Pelletier via groups.io]





Subject: For Those Missing a Robin
Date: Thu Apr 15 2021 5:11 am
From: allisonfluty=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
There have been robins in the trees along the parking lot at the hospital I work at in Santa Clara all winter too. Yesterday two were in the golden raintree next to the lunch table I sit at and then they both flew to the grass to forage.


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Subject: Sabine's Gull seen by Don Edwards
Date: Thu Apr 15 2021 3:05 am
From: amnicklin AT gmail.com
 
Hi everyone,

This evening Connor and I went to Don Edwards to look at the CASPIAN TERNS. It was pretty windy, so I was able to count 26 while my eyes were watering. There may have been more, but it was hard to keep my eyes open. There were also a fair number of CLARK'S and WESTERN GREBES on A16 as well. They kindly were near each other and close to shore, so we got some good looks.

We walked all the way back to our car at the dirt lot when I saw a small tern-like bird fly overhead. I thought it was a Forster's Tern at first, but when I got my binoculars on it I realized its head was entirely black. Connor got good look as well. We didn't see any white on its head or black on its wing tips, ruling out a Franklin's Gull. The wing shape was too sharp and angled for a Bonaparte's Gull. Connor thought the bill looked short, but decided that he couldn't see the yellow tip very well, so it only appeared short. We concluded we must have seen a SABINE'S GULL! Unfortunately by the time I thought to get picture, it was too far away and into the sun. Maybe next time. It was 6:30PM when we saw it flying north into the bay. It may have been coming from the dump.

-Audry


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Subject: New Almaden birds
Date: Thu Apr 15 2021 2:12 am
From: jannapauser AT gmail.com
 
Birding in New Almaden today I made several stops and found the
following birds.
Alamitos Road> 3 Black-headed Grosbeak, 2 House Wren, 2 Pacific-slope
Flycatcher, Bullocks Oriole and Hooded Oriole, all but Hooded heard only.
Mt. Umunhum Road to Bald Mt trailhead> 3 Black-throated Gray Warblers
heard only
Sierra Azul Woods trail> 2 Black-throated Gray Warblers one seen well.
Also here were 5 Orange crowned Warblers, Warbling Vireo Hutton's Vireo
and Purple Finch.
Rancho San Vicente Almaden Road entrance> Western Bluebird pair, Brown
Creeper, Ash throated Flycatcher, House Wren all seen.

Janna Pauser
Almaden Valley


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Subject: An Addendum To All Of My Postings To This Site.
Date: Wed Apr 14 2021 23:50 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

All of my postings are for intermediate or beginning birders who live in, or are visiting, Santa Clara County, California.  So the place names, or other descriptions, are only large enough to indicate, in my opinion, where or what I'm talking about.  I assume that people can consult other sites, or Wikipedia, to get further information.

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: For Those Missing a Robin
Date: Wed Apr 14 2021 20:32 pm
From: mike AT voydanoff.net
 
I’ve had Robins in my yard all winter. Up in the Santa Cruz Mountains Christmas Tree Farm District, south of Los Gatos.

> On Apr 14, 2021, at 1:29 PM, Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io wrote:
>
> Larry isn't alone. I've documented for many years that sometime in the spring, we end up with dozens to hundreds of Robins on our street for a few days as they move from their wintering to summering grounds, so we go from zero robins to all the robins to the summer numbers over about a week.
>
> This year, that never happened, and we still have no robins on our street. I'd been meaning to mention it because this was regular like clockwork as the season changed, but not this year. I have no idea why, but it's curious. And it doesn't seem like we've had a major die off, since there are many in places like Live Oak. But the behavior is different this year.
>
> Maybe the ongoing cooler than normal weather? I dunno, but it caught my eye.
>
>
> ---------------------------------------
>
> Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me
> Email: chuqui@mac.com
> Twitter: @chuq
> Silicon Valley, California
> On Apr 14, 2021, 12:49 PM -0700, larry8141@yahoo.com, wrote:
>>
>> I have had a very difficult time finding a Robin for my year list until today. I am assuming there are a few other people out there in the same circumstance.
>
>



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Subject: For Those Missing a Robin
Date: Wed Apr 14 2021 20:29 pm
From: chuqui=mac.com AT groups.io
 
Larry isn't alone. I've documented for many years that sometime in the spring, we end up with dozens to hundreds of Robins on our street for a few days as they move from their wintering to summering grounds, so we go from zero robins to all the robins to the summer numbers over about a week.

This year, that never happened, and we still have no robins on our street. I'd been meaning to mention it because this was regular like clockwork as the season changed, but not this year. I have no idea why, but it's curious. And it doesn't seem like we've had a major die off, since there are many in places like Live Oak. But the behavior is different this year.

Maybe the ongoing cooler than normal weather? I dunno, but it caught my eye.


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me
Email: chuqui@mac.com
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California
On Apr 14, 2021, 12:49 PM -0700, larry8141@yahoo.com, wrote:
>
> I have had a very difficult time finding a Robin for my year list until today. I am assuming there are a few other people out there in the same circumstance.


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Subject: For Those Missing a Robin
Date: Wed Apr 14 2021 19:49 pm
From: larry8141=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Hello All
I have had a very difficult time finding a Robin for my year list until today. I am assuming there are a few other people out there in the same circumstance. Due to a message from Chuq about another matter, I went down to Morgan Hill and visited the Live Oak Picnic Area of Anderson Lake County Park. There are plenty of AMERICAN ROBINS for any one there. Take Cochrane Road off 101 and go East. Stay in the left lane until you see the park to your left. Pull into the parking area, park, go across the bridge and look around. Even at 11:00 AM they were busy.
It is an E-Bird hotspot. EnjoyLarry


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Subject: Some Birding at Shoreline Park on 4/14/2021
Date: Wed Apr 14 2021 18:05 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

Now that the Burrowing Owls have sensibly moved their burrows to behind a secure chain-linked fence, I thought I would see how the two pairs that I previously saw from my car were doing.  So I parked my car at the Kite Flying area at Shoreline Park and walked north on the Bike Trail.

Fairly quickly I found the first ones at a reasonable binocular-viewing distance.  See the first photo.  The second pair were further along and much harder to find.  They were both out walking around, but at quite a distance.  See the second photo.  They were walking on both sides of that white posted object, but at a scoping distance.

I continued walking out to the lake and found that the Brant continues.  See the third photo.

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: Hummingbird ID
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 23:24 pm
From: BLACKROCKARTSTUDIO AT gmail.com
 
Hi Birders

Last Saturday I was walking along the Bay Trails, this Hummingbird flew in front of me, I only had a few seconds to grab some blurry shots.

I wonder if this is just a regular immature Anna's Hummingbird, given the lack of iridescent head feathers; also, there are not many colorful feathers around the neck, no streaks of other colors below the eyes. It was flying in the back light, I looked into my book, there is no exact match. Can anybody help me out? Thanks

Happy birding.

Oliver


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Subject: Continuing Cassin's Kingbird at Harvey Bear Ranch
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 21:24 pm
From: robertcbolles AT gmail.com
 
All ...
This morning I saw a Cassin's Kingbird twice, once walking east on the
Willow Springs Trail and once returning to the parking lot. The first time
I saw it flying and landing on top of an oak tree near (37.100688,
-121.571046). The second time it was sitting on top of a tree near (37.100936,
-121.569250). My two checklists are
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
Joyous birding!
... Bob


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Subject: Continuing Cassin's Kingbird at Harvey Bear Ranch
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 21:24 pm
From: robertcbolles AT gmail.com
 
All ...
This morning I saw a Cassin's Kingbird twice, once walking east on the
Willow Springs Trail and once returning to the parking lot. The first time
I saw it flying and landing on top of an oak tree near (37.100688,
-121.571046). The second time it was sitting on top of a tree near (37.100936,
-121.569250). My two checklists are
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
Joyous birding!
... Bob


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Subject: Forster's Terns At Shoreline Lake
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 21:17 pm
From: BLACKROCKARTSTUDIO AT gmail.com
 
Hi birders.

The Forster's Terns are back at Shoreline Lake, Mountain View. OTOH, I just realized all these years I misidentified it: it's always the Foster's Tern, the different appearance is due to the life stage: breeding adult, non-breeding adult, immature, etc. I feel so silly.

The photos were taken on Saturday, A1 pond.

Happy birding.

Oliver


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Subject: Which sightings are worth reporting?
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 3:17 am
From: mmnelson57 AT gmail.com
 
Luca,

I have only seen 3 Bullock's Orioles so far this year, and am interested in
seeing more, so I appreciate the heads up.

Michelle Nelson

On Mon, Apr 12, 2021, 11:00 AM Luca wrote:

> Dear All,
>
> I follow here your reports of sightings with much interest, but so far I
> have posted none of mine.
> This because I don't want to bore everyone... and so I would like to ask:
> what are the sightings that are of interest to report? Are there
> guidelines on what you'd like to see on this list?
> Strictly only Santa Clara County or more general South Bay, also?
>
> For example, yesterday after a mountain bike ride in Ed Levin park, at
> Sandy Wood Lake, I went looking around and there were many incredibly
> beautiful Bullock's Oriole. Would they be worth reporting? No because
> they are supposed to be common now? Yes because in fact I hadn't seen them
> so far in the South Bay, so perhaps they are not all that common? No
> because out of Santa Clara County? Yes because beautiful? No because
> they are often there and known (to you, not to me!) to be there?
>
> Many thanks, and sorry for the beginner's question.
>
> Luca
>
>
>


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Subject: Which sightings are worth reporting?
Date: Tue Apr 13 2021 2:12 am
From: danbloch AT mindspring.com
 
There was a simple guideline for this question posted ( https://groups.io/g/southbaybi... ) by the list administrator Jim Dehnert a couple of weeks ago: "Ask yourself whether your report will be interesting to other birders at your level of experience, to go see the bird for themselves."

Sightings should be in Santa Clara County.  (Which Ed Levin Park is.)

Dan


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Subject: Which sightings are worth reporting?
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 23:29 pm
From: chuqui=mac.com AT groups.io
 
I think ultimately the answer is "it depends", but here is gererally what I do:

Every time I bird I submit one or more eBird reports to cover the birding -- unless I visit a location that's absolutely worthless (I don't bother submitting a report with only something like House Sparrows or Rock Pigeons).

I will also post a note here on SBB if there is something interesting. That can mean many things, but if eBird flags a species as uncommon or not reported, that's interesting (well, rock pigeons are shown as not reported in many places, but... okay, life is complicated). If a bird is of special note to me, or if I saw some behavior I think will be interesting, or something unusual happened, then I'll write that up.

As an example, here's a report I did NOT make this weekend: I went to Live Oak looking for Wood Ducks and failed, because the place was extremely (and wonderfully) busy, and the ducks seem to have gone to quieter places. Did see Mallards, and one Acorn Woodpecker, and about four zillion Robins, who were flying around and chasing each other -- fun to watch, but really, nothing interesting here to the list.

I also went out to Calero (and scored an annual pass, thankfully) but it was also pretty busy - but I finally got really good looks at a Violet-Green Swallow, so I can stop complaining about it. But on balance, other than reporting something like "I finally nailed that nemisis bird! Gotcha!" it was a nice afternoon of birding that had me run into basically nothing of interest to anyone but me... So I decided not to report in.

For the same reason, I don't report feederwatches regularly, but do if some interesting/unusual species shows, like a first of season Hoodie. Which so far, I haven't seen (but I think we've had one or two hit the feeder when I was elsewhere, given the fast drop in nectar levels).

It is, if you want to, fairly easy to find interesting things to talk about here -- because there are things that made the trip enjoyable (or miserable), and you can build stories about that and those species. I always love acorn woodpeckers, so I will often figure out ways to express that enjoyment here.

It's pretty much up to you what you define as interesting. We all define it somewhat differently.


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me
Email: chuqui@mac.com
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California
On Apr 12, 2021, 11:00 AM -0700, Luca , wrote:
>
> I follow here your reports of sightings with much interest, but so far I have posted none of mine.
> This because I don't want to bore everyone... and so I would like to ask: what are the sightings that are of interest to report?  Are there guidelines on what you'd like to see on this list?


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Subject: Smith Creek - Morning of 12-April
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 22:09 pm
From: idbirds=me.com AT groups.io
 
This morning I arrived at Smith Creek at 7:45.  It was nippy up there.  There was a lot of song down in the trees of the creek - Black-headed Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, a Cassin’s Vireo, Wilson’s Warblers, etc.  I thought I heard the voice of a Hammond’s on my way on the trail towards the creek crossing, but was unable to find it.  A bit later on the way back, Mike Mammoser got his binocs on it, but it moved and took me a few minutes to find it.  But I did.  I missed Hammond’s Flycatcher last year, so am happy to get it again this year.

Behind the fire station there was a pair of LAWRENCE’S GOLDFINCHES. Just past the gate at the bottom of the hill, there was bird activity including two CALIFORNIA THRASHERS, at least one HERMIT THRUSH, and several YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS (including a couple of the Myrtle’s variety). I heard a NASHVILLE WARBLER song on the other side of the firebreak(?) that parallels the dirt road, but I never got my binoculars or camera on it. There is a seep here where some birds were drinking and bathing.

Good birding,
Brooke Miller

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Subject: Black-chinned Hummingbird - First of Year - Willow Glen - 12-Apr
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 21:59 pm
From: idbirds=me.com AT groups.io
 
I just had my first BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD at my backyard feeder in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose.  It was a female.  This is the latest arrival date in the 8 years I’ve lived here.

Good birding,
Brooke Miller

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Subject: Which sightings are worth reporting?
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 18:00 pm
From: luucaa AT gmail.com
 
Dear All,

I follow here your reports of sightings with much interest, but so far I
have posted none of mine.
This because I don't want to bore everyone... and so I would like to ask:
what are the sightings that are of interest to report? Are there
guidelines on what you'd like to see on this list?
Strictly only Santa Clara County or more general South Bay, also?

For example, yesterday after a mountain bike ride in Ed Levin park, at
Sandy Wood Lake, I went looking around and there were many incredibly
beautiful Bullock's Oriole. Would they be worth reporting? No because
they are supposed to be common now? Yes because in fact I hadn't seen them
so far in the South Bay, so perhaps they are not all that common? No
because out of Santa Clara County? Yes because beautiful? No because
they are often there and known (to you, not to me!) to be there?

Many thanks, and sorry for the beginner's question.

Luca


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Subject: Female Costa's Hummingbird? at Cuesta Park on 4/11/2021
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 14:35 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

At 10:02 on Sunday I took this photo (the bird is near the left edge) of a hummingbird in the white-blossomed tree near the northwest corner of Cuesta Park.  Compare this photo (blown up) with the drawing on page 298 of Sibley (or the computer version).  The note says "completely pale supercilium isolates pale gray auriculars."  I didn't really know what I was looking at.  I told a questioner that I was looking at a female Black-chinned Hummingbird.  When the bird moved on, I moved on.  I wanted to bird a bit before, as a former golfer, going home to watch the Masters.

After that I looked at my pictures on my Desktop Screen.  After that I rushed back to Cuesta, but there was a family having a party at the base of the tree, so I found nothing.  Now, Monday, I'm going back to see if this desert bird is hanging around.  (Pete Dunne states that "Often feeds with the tail unmoving and angled down."

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: Byxbee Park
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 0:33 am
From: barlowi AT earthlink.net
 
Folks:

This morning, 4/11/21, I walked a loop at Byxbee Park with Billie, as we
often do on Sundays.  For the last three weeks (or more) there has been
a "largish" CACKLING GOOSE there (and two on 4 Apr).  The color pattern
is more or less typical of an Aleutian and it has a distinct white neck
ring as expected.  The bill seems quite distinct in shape from the large
Canadas it was grazing with, and it appeared to have a darker breast
than those birds (and darker than most Aleutian's I've seen).  Alvaro
has suggested that the Cackling Goose subspecies taverneri may be the
goose equivalent of Kumlien's Gull, so I won't go there.

Another puzzle is an increase in Am. Crows and Common Ravens in the last
few weeks.  Compared with the last four years there are four-to-six
times the number as in 2017 to 2020.  Part of the puzzle is what they
are eating.  All of them are actively foraging in the grasses on the
plateau, but they are digging in the soil for something, not grazing
like the geese.  They would not be there unless there was something good
to eat.  The other part of the puzzle is that I would have thought both
species would be nesting by now, rather than flocking.  Maybe the second
year of drought are changing things.  Or maybe some organism thrives on
the methane seeping from the land fill.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park


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Subject: Solitary Sandpiper at Smith Creek This Morning
Date: Mon Apr 12 2021 0:13 am
From: carter.gasiorowski AT gmail.com
 
Today, my dad and I arrived at the Smith Creek Fire Station on Mt. Hamilton
just after 7 am, and were lucky enough to run into several
other mask-wearing birders who were also on the hunt for all of Mike
Rogers' excellent finds. In addition to the wonderful birds that Matthew
mentioned in his posting, we saw an additional HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER about
1/3 mile up the Bonhoff trail from the 4-way trail junction, a male
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER 300 yards up the Manzanita Trail, and a
SOLITARY SANDPIPER in the cattle pond near the 4-way trail junction. Sam
mentioned to us that there was a single sandpiper in the pond, so we went
to check it out and were amazed to see that it was a Solitary Sandpiper!
Unfortunately, the Solitary flew off in the direction of the creek around
8:00am, and did not return.

Other birds of note included HOUSE WREN, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, CALIFORNIA
THRASHER, and six NORTHERN FLICKERS.

Overall it was an amazing day of birding with 55 species, 5.5 miles walked,
and 3 lifers for me! (Hammond's Flycatcher, Nashville Warbler and Solitary
Sandpiper)

More details and some poor photos are on my eBird list:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Happy Birding!
Carter


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Subject: Smith Creek (04-11-21)
Date: Sun Apr 11 2021 22:19 pm
From: mdodder AT sbcglobal.net
 
Several like-minded birders showed up at Smith Creek Fire Station this morning, inspired by Mike’s impressive report yesterday. Mary Ann, Audrey, Conner, Carter, Ed, Sam, Dave, Cricket and I retraced Mike’s steps for the most part and found many of the same birds—almost all new for our year lists.
The area was quiet at first, but as it warmed and the sun illuminated the trees, we had more activity and bird song. We heard BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK in the oaks above the Fire Station and continued to add individuals later in our walk along the creek. Carter was the first to spot a NASHVILLE WARBLER in the willows along the narrow creek trail shortly after the step-over gate. After crossing the creek (slippery rocks!) we had CASSIN’S VIREO (and a small family of Scorpions—another story). Carter was again the first to spot a HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER  on return walk that was foraging across the water but Dave and I located another Flycatcher, presumably a Hammond’s, closer to the parking lot. Fleeting looks, but distinctive call. A COMMON MERGANSER flew over the road just as we wre leaving.
Sponsor or Join our Birdathon Team “DeDUCKtions" (April 15)https://scvas.org/spring-birda... me for details fo the day, and the Zoom wrap-up after our “big day”
Matthew
Matthew DodderExecutive DirectorSanta Clara Valley Audubon Society22221 McClellan Rd.Cupertino, CA 95014408-252-3748director@scvas.orgscvas.org


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Subject: Lean Green Birding Machine Birdathon
Date: Sun Apr 11 2021 16:53 pm
From: stevenpatt AT hotmail.com
 
Earlier this week I wrote about my trip with the "Fartlek Falcons" birdathon, seeing 54 species of birds and raising money for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society in the course of a (slow) run through Arastradero Preserve and Foothills Park.

Yesterday I participated in the continuation of another long birdathon tradition, a biking birdathon. This one started nine years ago, led by expert birder Rob Furrow, and was called the "Mean Green Birding Machine". In the era of COVID we needed to trim down the team size, but long-time MGBM participants Bill Walker and Mary Wiznewski joined me yesterday as the renamed "Lean Green Birding Machine", as we made our way from just south (Pond A4 for the technically-minded) of the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP or weepy seepy to local birders) northwards along the San Francisco Bay Trail to Shoreline Lake in Mountain View, a distance of 9 miles with a whopping 66 feet of elevation gain.

We ended up with a very respectable 85 species for the 4-hour effort, below the high of 99 we achieved with the MGBM in 2013 but still very satisfying. The last minutes of the 4-hour period were spent scouring Charleston Slough and adjacent Adobe Creek for last-minute additions, with American Wigeon finally spotted with 4 minutes to go and a lone Dunlin with less than a minute on the clock.

Best birds of the day included an unexpected Horned Grebe in breeding plumage which popped up in the channel by the Moffett Field Golf Club, and a Western Kingbird (which thoughtfully appeared after I ordered it up) on the fence by the Moffett Field runway. A close third was a Peregrine Falcon, for which we are in debt to Carter Gasiorowski, who spotted it flying overhead just as we ran into him and his father at the entrance to the Charleston Road Marsh.

Other "good birds" were two Cinnamon Teal and two Blue-winged Teal in "Lockheed Marsh", a Burrowing Owl near the end of the Kite-flying area at Shoreline, and our first Bullock's Oriole of the year along the Shoreline maintenance road (across from the Kite-flying area).

We had multiple Common Gallinules during the trip (often one is all you get). Common Yellowthroats were literally everywhere from start to finish; arguably the "trash bird" of the day. Also seen in higher numbers than usual were Great-tailed Grackles. Other than that the day went pretty much as expected. Some misses, as is always the case, but a good time was had by all.

To sponsor the team, and help support the SCVAS' youth education programs, go here: https://scvas.z2systems.com/np... Any amount is appreciated.

Steve Patt


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Subject: Help with ID at Palo Alto Baylands
Date: Sun Apr 11 2021 6:55 am
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Luca

Rather than blurting out an answer, maybe I can help with lines of thought. First, there are at least four species in this photo. So there is a lot going on here! The most straight forward are the largest one and the one with a black belly. The latter is almost a giveaway if you look through the book for sandpipers with black bellies in breeding plumage. The big one towering over all others, well there are not that many big sandpipers. Have a look at the big ones in the book, and which are gray like this, and have a dark bill. Then once you figure out the black belly one, the majority of the sandpipers are smaller than that one. Look for color, as they are in breeding plumage now. Sometimes in a group of birds, it is good to start with the easier ones and proceed from there, using relative sizes, shapes and colors of the known birds (once you figure them out) to aid in sorting out the others. Sort of like a crossword puzzle once you have a few letters down on the paper to help you with the missing words.

Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com



From: southbaybirds@groups.io On Behalf Of Luca
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2021 9:56 PM
To: southbaybirds@groups.io
Subject: [southbaybirds] Help with ID at Palo Alto Baylands



I need help with an ID at the Palo Alto Baylands.

What are these birds? I am quite undecided (my knowledge of shorebirds is quite weak). Marbled godwit? Least sandpiper?



In sad news, I had a pair of Oak Titmouse nesting in a nestbox in my garden, and today a Cooper Hawk killed the (I think) male. I am afraid the female will be unable now to raise the brood -- I think they had eggs in the nest.



Many thanks for the ID help,



Luca









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Subject: Help with ID at Palo Alto Baylands
Date: Sun Apr 11 2021 4:56 am
From: luucaa AT gmail.com
 
I need help with an ID at the Palo Alto Baylands.
What are these birds? I am quite undecided (my knowledge of shorebirds is
quite weak). Marbled godwit? Least sandpiper?

In sad news, I had a pair of Oak Titmouse nesting in a nestbox in my
garden, and today a Cooper Hawk killed the (I think) male. I am afraid the
female will be unable now to raise the brood -- I think they had eggs in
the nest.

Many thanks for the ID help,

Luca

[image: 2021-04-10_13-04-36_P4100580 1.jpg]


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Subject: Smiths Creek Fire Station - 4/10/2021
Date: Sun Apr 11 2021 2:33 am
From: m.m.rogers AT comcast.net
 
All,

Hoping that the warming trend might bring some migrants, I spent 2.5 hours this morning at the Smiths Creek Fire Station in Grant Ranch County Park. Migrants were indeed about! I found 4 HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS (all vocal), 5 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, 3 NASHVILLE WARBLERS (2 singing), 2 singing HERMIT WARBLERS, and two singing WILSON'S WARBLERS. Other recently arrived breeders included 1 CASSIN'S VIREO, 2 WARBLING VIREOS, and 2 BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS. Lingering winter birds were still about with 54 GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, 13 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 1 singing WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 6 HERMIT THRUSHES, 6 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, and 7 PINE SISKINS.

Full ebird checklist is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Mike Rogers
Sunnyvale, CA


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Subject: Harvey Bear Ranch (04-10-21)
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 23:09 pm
From: mdodder AT sbcglobal.net
 
Upon reading Eve Meier's excellent report from Harvey Bear Ranch, the northern entrance to Coyote Lake Park, Cricket and I decided to visit and have our lunch at the picnic tables. This was our first experience in this portion of the park, so we didn't know what to expect. After our bagel-and-lox lunch, we hiked a couple of miles along the Willow Springs Trail beside the creek before doubling back. It was somewhat crowded, but that seems to happen everywhere on weekends. We saw no other birders though so when we saw a pair of CASSIN'S KINGBIRDS, we had no one to share the experience with. We also had a couple WESTERN KINGBIRDS, YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES,  a pair of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES, a RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, 4 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and a single CHIPPING SPARROW.
SCVAS Special Event: An Evening with Richard Prum APRIL 21 (via zoom)
Author of New York Times’ Bestseller, and winner of the prized "One of the Best Books of the Year" award... "The Evolution of Beauty" An Evening with Richard Prum | Buy Tickets | Ticketbud

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An Evening with Richard Prum | Buy Tickets | Ticketbud

An Evening with Richard Prum - April 21, 2021 at Online. Find event and ticket information on Ticketbud.
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Matthew DodderExecutive DirectorSanta Clara Valley Audubon Society22221 McClellan Rd.Cupertino, CA 95014408-252-3748director@scvas.orgscvas.org


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Subject: Santa Teresa Park (04-10-21)
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 22:55 pm
From: mdodder AT sbcglobal.net
 
Cricket and I saw 7 RED CROSSBILLS along the main entrance road to Santa Teresa Park this morning. Best views were had from the Pueblo Picnic area as the birds called repeatedly and flew from pine to pine. They also alighted briefly on the flowering eucalyptus, which seemed completely out of character. We first hiked down the Mine Trail and explored three different creek crossings along the way. We found several RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER and a number of other birds bathing, but returned without the Crossbills until we were almost ready to leave.
SCVAS Special Event: An Evening with Richard Prum APRIL 21 (via zoom)
Author of New York Times’ Bestseller, and winner of the prized "One of the Best Books of the Year" award... "The Evolution of Beauty" An Evening with Richard Prum | Buy Tickets | Ticketbud

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An Evening with Richard Prum - April 21, 2021 at Online. Find event and ticket information on Ticketbud.
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Matthew DodderExecutive DirectorSanta Clara Valley Audubon Society22221 McClellan Rd.Cupertino, CA 95014408-252-3748director@scvas.orgscvas.org


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Subject: Osprey at SCVWD
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 21:08 pm
From: eve.m.meier AT gmail.com
 
Hi Everyone,

The Osprey is in the large snag by the dam at the SCVWD right now

Guide here: https://scvas.org/self-guided-...

Eve Meier
San Jose

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Subject: Grant Ranch
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 5:27 am
From: mmnelson57 AT gmail.com
 
I was late getting to Grant Ranch today, so I missed the Vermilion
Flycatcher again.
I did manage to catch a Bullock's Oriole, some Lark Sparrows, and 2
Lawrence's Goldfinches. (The goldfinch turned his head just as I was taking
his picture, but I'm pretty sure on the ID).

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

I also enjoyed watching a coyote play with a dozen or so turkey vultures
and their shadows. The Canada Goose was not amused.

Michelle Nelson


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Subject: Recent Birds
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 4:46 am
From: barlowi AT earthlink.net
 
Folks:

Yesterday, I walked around Pond A16.  Many shorebirds are starting to
show their breeding plumage, most obviously Dunlins.  A male BLUE-WINGED
TEAL was asleep on a strip island off island #9.

This morning, I counted shorebirds in the Palo Alto estuary on a rising
tide, then went to Charleston Slough.  The bright sun at the estuary
make identifying shorebirds harder at the start, but as they moved up
the estuary with the tide, the views got better.  Most of the dowitchers
were quiet, but two SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS called. While at Charleston
Slough, I stopped by the south pond in the forebay and saw the  male
"EURASIAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL there.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park


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Subject: Spring Migrants at Live Oak Picnic Area and continuing Lawrence's Goldfinches at Harvey Bear
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 0:32 am
From: eve.m.meier AT gmail.com
 
Hi Everyone,

I just got confirmation that I had two *Cassin's Kingbirds* at Harvey
Bear. (I had the field marks but wasn't sure because the views were
distant and lighting was bad but I was able to record their calls and
Matthew confirmed id for me). These birds were seen in the largest
eucalyptus that you can see from the parking lot. There was also one *Western
Kingbird* in the area. Here's my ebird list for that location:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8... If you try to see these birds, bring
a scope.

p.s. Harvey Bear is the northernmost entrance to Coyote Lake County Park.

On Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 3:48 PM Eve Meier wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
>
> Today I checked out a few of my favorite locations. The Live Oak Picnic
> Area
>
> of Anderson County Park was busy with spring migrants! *Bullock's
> Orioles*, *Black-headed Grosbeaks* and 1 *Cassin's Vireo* were found.
> Plus *Wood Ducks*, of course. The Rosendin Area
> of Anderson was
> quiet except for 1 *Orange-crowned Warbler* and 3 *Western Kingbirds*. I
> also checked out the Harvey-Bear entrance to Coyote Lake (no self-guided
> field trip yet) where 2 *Lawrence's Goldfinches* were found at the start
> of the trailhead (about here: 37.100121, -121.575208). These birds had
> been previously reported on ebird. I also had at least 4 *Western
> Kingbirds*.
>
> ebird for Live Oak: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8... and
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
> ebird for Rosendin: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
> ebird for Harvey Bear - not submitted yet, waiting for confirmation on an
> id, keep you posted
>
> Happy Birding!
> Eve Meier (San Jose)
>


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Subject: Joseph P. Grant Lake County Park, continuing male Vermilion Flycatcher 9 April 2021
Date: Sat Apr 10 2021 0:25 am
From: feinerVogel94551 AT comcast.net
 
5 of us observed from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM the continuing adult male
Vermilion Flycatcher handing out along the barbed-wire fence along the Hotel
Trail near the water trough and in the adjacent trees. A parr of Tree
Swallows are occupying the nest box here. A pair of Lawrence's Goldfinches
made a brief appearance on the barbed-wire fence. At least 2 Wild Turkeys
roamed the meadow to the north of the parking lot.



The $6 fee was to go into effect on 5 April 2021, but the permit dispenser
out of order.



This is the Ranch House Area in the southern part of the park , south of Mt.
Hamilton Road.



On the way home, 2 miles to the west of the park, we saw a single Bobcat
cross Mt. Hamilton Road.



eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...





--

Mike Correll-Feichtner (Formery Mike Feighner)

Livermore, California, Alameda County




http://www.linkedIn.com/in/mic...



https://www.facebook.com/micha...



--

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot
drive out hate; only love can do that." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.





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Subject: Spring Migrants at Live Oak Picnic Area and continuing Lawrence's Goldfinches at Harvey Bear
Date: Fri Apr 9 2021 22:48 pm
From: eve.m.meier AT gmail.com
 
Hi Everyone,

Today I checked out a few of my favorite locations. The Live Oak Picnic Area

of Anderson County Park was busy with spring migrants! *Bullock's Orioles*,
*Black-headed Grosbeaks* and 1 *Cassin's Vireo* were found. Plus *Wood
Ducks*, of course. The Rosendin Area
of Anderson was
quiet except for 1 *Orange-crowned Warbler* and 3 *Western Kingbirds*. I
also checked out the Harvey-Bear entrance to Coyote Lake (no self-guided
field trip yet) where 2 *Lawrence's Goldfinches* were found at the start of
the trailhead (about here: 37.100121, -121.575208). These birds had been
previously reported on ebird. I also had at least 4 *Western Kingbirds*.

ebird for Live Oak: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8... and
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
ebird for Rosendin: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...
ebird for Harvey Bear - not submitted yet, waiting for confirmation on an
id, keep you posted

Happy Birding!
Eve Meier (San Jose)


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Subject: Duetting? Hutton's Vireos at Santa Teresa on 4/9/2021
Date: Fri Apr 9 2021 20:26 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

At 9:40 I was a short ways up on the Hidden Springs Trail when I stopped to photograph a singing House Wren (a FOY bird for me).  At the same time I heard a strange-sounding Hutton's Vireo right close by.  I went about 5 yards further up the trail, and spotted a perched Hutton's Vireo.  In my image-stabilized binos I could see his whole body pulse as he gave his call every second or so.  But the sound I heard was not a Johnny one-note call but more like a Johnny one-and-a-half-note call!

I watched his body closely and he didn't seem to be giving that softer note, which seemed to be louder in my left ear.  If anybody else, birder or not, had come by I would have had them tell me if they could distinctly tell that the song was coming from two different directions.  The photo is of the House Wren.  I tried, but missed, the Vireo.

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: Red Crossbills Contnue at Santa Teresa on 4/9/2021
Date: Fri Apr 9 2021 19:06 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

Just short of the first entrance to the first parking lot, there is a circle of 3 pine-cone-containing trees.  At about 8 I checked these out pretty strongly before leaving the parking lot area to do a 2 hour circuit on the trails.  Then, at about 10:30 I was back at those trees when a couple of birds silently flew into their tops.  With my binos I could see that at least one was a Red Crossbill.  I took a dozen or so useless photos before one of the birds flew down and perched on a cone, silhouetted against the meadow. 

The first 2 photos show a bit of yellowish color on the bird's rump -- whatever that means.  The 3rd photo shows the bird as it was leaving the area.  I didn't hear them say anything.

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: Red Crossbills continue at Santa Teresa CP
Date: Fri Apr 9 2021 2:06 am
From: mmammoser AT att.net
 
On 8 Apr 2021, I returned to Santa Teresa County Park, at the Pueblo day use area. At about 1:50 pm I was standing on the Mine Trail, when a calling RED CROSSBILL flew overhead. The calls stopped after the bird crossed the trail, and I imagined that it had landed in the trees, as the bird from yesterday did. I walked towards the small creek that intersects the trail, and suddenly the bird flew up from the creek bed and called as it flew towards the pavilion. This bird was quite red, showing it to be a male, and a different bird than the one I had seen the day before. 
About 15 minutes later, Melissa Johnson arrived, looking for crossbills. We were chatting in the small parking lot, when a crossbill flew over, calling loudly. Melissa found the bird sitting in the top of the same valley oak tree that had held yesterday's bird. Once again, I was able to get my scope out of the car and on the bird, giving us both decent views while it sat. It was a nice red male. As I was looking at this bird through the scope, another flew overhead calling. Melissa saw this one land in the same tree, but before I could get on it, It flew down towards the creek, quickly followed by the male. 
Crossbills are known to eat clay, a compound that helps to neutralize the resins in their pine seed diet. I'm beginning to wonder if these birds are using the mud in the creek bed to serve this purpose, explaining why they continue to show up at this location.
Michael Mammoser


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Subject: Fartlek Falcons Birdathon report
Date: Fri Apr 9 2021 0:33 am
From: stevenpatt AT hotmail.com
 
NOTE: A description of a "green" birdathon follows. If you're interested in joining another one, a small group will be riding bikes on Saturday morning from the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant along the San Francisco Bay Trail to Shoreline Lake, a 7-ish mile route which has in the past produced as many as 100 species. If you want to join the "Lean Green Birding Machine", indicate so in the comments and we'll get in touch.
Now read on...

Every year the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society has as its major fundraiser a "birdathon", in which people go out to try to see as many species of birds as they can in a day in order to call attention to the work of SCVAS. In particular, this year's birdathon is dedicated to raising money for the chapter's education programs, through which thousands of area children, with an emphasis on children of disadvantaged families, learn about birds and nature in general, and hopefully develop a greater appreciation for the world around them. A description of the first of my three birdathons this year follows. If you want to support the work of SCVAS, and honor my efforts, you can do so here; SCVAS is a non-profit so any donation is appreciated: https://scvas.z2systems.com/np...

In an attempt to continue a long-time tradition of a long-distance birdathon by foot, last year I scouted out a Fartlek* Falcons birdathon route through Arastradero Preserve and Foothills Park. Alas, thanks to COVID the actual birdathon never took place. This year I recruited fellow double-vaxxer Chuck Wilson to join me on the first official running of this birdathon.
We started at the Arastradero parking lot at 7:15 on Wednesday and, as usual in birdathons, quickly picked up a number of common and expected species. One lucky surprise there were a lone ROCK PIGEON sitting on top of one of the buildings; not a species we were expecting. A "trash bird" in general; but in a birdathon every species counts! Entering the preserve we headed up the Wild Rye trail which is always a sure spot for HOUSE WRENS. It was today as well, though we never did see one. Fifteen minutes after we had started a WHITE-TAILED KITE appeared in front of us, kiting. Remember this for later.
Dropping down to Arastradero Lake we were hoping for an Egret or Heron but found neither. Heading up the Arastradero Creek Trail we continued picking up species, mostly by ear, including our lone PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER.
Entering Foothills Park we followed the Coyote Trail and the Panorama Trail up to Vista Hill, where we had a lone BAND-TAILED PIGEON fly by, along with both VIOLET-GREEN and TREE SWALLOWS. As we headed down towards Boronda Lake, we spotted a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK perched on a distant snag; again, remember this. Boronda Lake added many hoped-for species, among them noisy RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and multiple GADWALL and AMERICAN WIGEON, as well as AMERICAN ROBIN and SONG SPARROW around the perimeter.
We had two special target species for the lake, which I had seen several weeks before - GREEN HERON and Belted Kingfisher. At one point we flushed something from the shore which *might* have been the Heron, but we both thought it was too small. We had almost finished the clockwise circumnavigation of the lake when Chuck spotted the Heron hiding behind a rock in the small cove at the back. It flew almost immediately, but was unmistakeable. No Kingfisher unfortunately.
As we re-entered Arastradero, with about an hour to go, we realized that, since our early spotting of the Kite, we had yet to see a single raptor in the sky. No Red-tails, not even a Turkey Vulture (TV). With a half hour to go, we reached our target of 50 species with an AMERICAN KESTREL ? perched. Finally, at 10:49 a.m., more than three hours after we had seen our first raptor in the sky, there it was ? RED-TAILED HAWK! In the sky! Soaring! Still no TV. Ten minutes later, as we were heading up the ridge on the north side of Arastradero Rd., another candidate. A TV? Nope, Red-tail.
At the top of the ridge, a special treat, as a COYOTE posed for us on the other side of the fence. 11:09, six minutes to go, two more raptors in the sky. Both Red-tails! Now we're heading down to the parking lot with two minutes to go, looking for a TV, and also looking for, believe it or not, a Black Phoebe, which hasn't made our list yet. No luck.
Arriving in the parking lot with 30 seconds to go, I headed over towards the fence to try for the Phoebe. No go. But then, with 7 seconds to go, look up! A TURKEY VULTURE! Hooray! 54 species, and all in all a very satisfactory outing. 9.5 miles with 1420' of elevation gain (and loss) in exactly four hours.

*"Fartlek" is a Swedish word meaning "speedplay", and is a running training method in which fast running is alternated with slow running in a semi-random fashion (as opposed to "intervals" which do so in a methodic manner). In our case, the "fast" portion was actually a trot and the "slow" portion was fully stopped, looking at birds, but "fartlek" still seemed an appropriate description.

Steve Patt


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Subject: Lonesome Dove Big Day (SCVAS birdathon fund-raiser) results
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 23:07 pm
From: chuqui=mac.com AT groups.io
 
This week I participated in my first of two Birdathon events to support Santa Clara Valley Audubon. My goal is to try to raise $1500 for the birdathon this year. It's not too late to help: you can this outing at https://scvas.org/spring-birda... or donate to my second outing on 4/21: https://scvas.org/spring-birda... I'm donating $250 to each event myself, plus I'm matching the first $250 of donations to each of these events, so if you've ever wanted to spend my money on a good cause, now is your chance.

This week's outing was Lonesome Dove, a 24 hour big day, where I set a goal of 100 species for the day. This is my first formal big day, since in general I don't enjoy competitive birding against others or against a clock, but because we can't do my normal group sits and my schedule didn't allow for my to organize virtual groups, I decided this birdathon was a good reason to finally pull off a big day.

TL;DR: I still am not a huge fan of big days, but I'm really satisfied with the results.

My original plan was to start about 9AM, since I have morning obligations at my real job. As it turned out, I had a last minute other complication which had me parked in Cupertino for a while waiting for my cockatoo to finish her quarterly visit to her vet, so I didn't actually start the big day until 10:30AM.

I had mapped out a route that covered the locations in a fairly efficient way, trying to minmimize driving time and maximizing birding time, and of course this threw a wrench in those plans, so I found myself scrambling the rest of the day to try to re-organize the outing. I think I ended up losing about an hour of time due to extra driving from my original plans, which was sad but necessary.

What I ended up doing was slicing off the morning stops (my time in Coyote Valley) and deferring them, so at 10:30 I started the day up in Steven's Creek Park at the Cooley Picnic Area. I think this is an under-birded location that can sometimes be magical and at other times be junco's and jays. The trick to Cooley is to catch it in migration, and when there aren't others there. Once you start getting people at the area it dies off, so I find morning weekdays best.

Cooley Picnic Area is, I think, the spring equivalent to Pichetti's magic persimmon tree in fall: when it kicks in, it's magic. For me, that's what happened.

I drove up and parked, and as I got out of the car, I had a spotted towhee fly by and dive into the brush past me. A rather auspicious start. It sat there hidden, calling much of my visit. I was immediately adopted by a couple of Steller's Jays, one of whom spent much of my visit following me around and yelling at me for trespassing on their turf. I ended up spending just under an hour at Cooley and logged 20 species, but some really special ones, including a solo fly-by Band-Tailed Pigeon seen through a hole in the tree canopy, the spotted towhee, Steller's Jays, three woodpeckers (Acorn: a family of at least six active along the stream; Hairy and Nuttall's) and three different warblers (Orange-Crowned, A couple of really bright and colorful Townsend's males, and to my delight, a beautiful Wilson's). Also seen were a pair of chickadee's copulating, and heard nearby was an enthusiastic red-shouldered hawk.

I'll note Cooley is, I believe the most reliable place for Steller's Jay in the county. I've noticed, over the last decade or so, many places where I used to see this species now host Scrub Jays instead, so it looks like the Steller's Jay loses that territory fight most of the time. Here, there almost always seems to be a few within hearing and often they'll come in and see what mischief they can cause for you.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Anna's Hummingbird
Red-shouldered Hawk
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
European Starling
American Robin
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
California Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

I left Cooley's with 19 species for the day list.

After Cooley I decided to check out Gates of Heaven cemetary, which was a wash; I didn't bother to open a list. The pond was empty, there was one active funeral and two other setups for pending ones, and I simply felt that wasn't a place to be birding, so I drove in, circled around and back out.

I then drove to McClellan Ranch, which had a full lot and no feeders (of course). At that point the vet called that my bird was ready, so I headed to pick her up and take her home. By this time it's noon and I'm sweating bullets on time. I grabbed a quick lunch, and headed back out, now to Ed Levin and the east bay hills region.

I finally started birding again at 1:45PM at Ed Levin. I found out they had run out of annual pass forms (hopefully back in stock next week, this seems to be a problem at most parks because they didn't plan for a surge of requests). I birded starting at the dog park area and around Sandy Wool, then headed off to the Elm picnic area. Since last time I visited there most of the trees along the fence by the golf course have come been taken down, which changed that area for me a lot Still, there were some nice birds. I (of course) didn't research where the great horned owl nest was and didn't find it, because I'm an idiot. But I spent 45 minutes at Ed Levin for 25 species, of which 22 added to the day list.

Highlight bird because it was so unexpected: a single male Bufflehead, which shouldn't still be here. I failed (again) at seeing a Violet-Green Swallow, but did see tree, northern rough-winged and a few barn. I admit to now taking their hiding from me personally, and I vow to add them to my year list soon (or else). Also of interest was one, possibly a pair, of great-tailed grackles, with the male wandering the edge of Sandy Wool at the waterline, and later flying off and being joined by a possible female.

It was incredibly windy at Ed Levin, and a stiff breeze dogged me the rest of the day.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Ed Levin:

Mallard
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
American Coot
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
California Scrub-Jay
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Western Bluebird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Yellow-rumped Warbler


I then felt like I was way behind schedule and needed to make some choices. I decided to skip Spring Valley area in favor of Marsh Road. If you read Carter's report on birding Spring Valley, I made the wrong choice, since Marsh Road was quiet, giving me only two new species for 20 minutes of birding (plus another 20 or so of driving). But Marsh Road is emotionally an important location for me in the county, so I regret nothing. It was also, with no Coyote Valley stops, the most likely place to see Yellow-Billed Magpie, which of course was nowhere to be found. Also, I felt, the best place for Wild turkey (nope) and California Quail (nope) on my agenda.

Marsh Road

Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

On the way out of Milpitas I did a literal drive-by of the Milpitas nest, got lucky and tagged Bald eagle (and two mourning doves) in a < 5 minute stop.

Curtner Elementary

Bald Eagle

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Next up was EEC in Alviso, which nicely opened its gates this week, for which my knees thanked them. It is after 3:30 and I felt a lot of time pressure here, so I decided not to carry my scope so I walked out to A16 and back. In retrospect -- I should have spent
another 15 minutes here, carried the scope and looked through the gulls for Herring and Iceland and also for terns. Bad call on my part.

That said, there were three eared grebes close to shore, I got my first Canada Goose of the day, and Cinnamon Teal in the slough, as well as many marsh wrens.

EEC

Canada Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Eared Grebe
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
American White Pelican
Snowy Egret
Common Raven
Bushtit
Marsh Wren
White-crowned Sparrow

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

I cut my planned stop at the Alviso Marina park due to time, and scurried off to Shoreline Lake. I went to the boat launch area, found a parking spot and walked across the grass. The light was terrible, the wind was worse (it blew over the tripod three times -- yes, I had the scope now), adn there were > 12 wind surfers on the lake. I quickly decided to speed date this stop and look for the specialty birds. Much to my amazement I found the Brant with my first look, in among more CAGO eating the golf course, and a number of Black Skimmers on the island. I also saw a couple of Common Goldeneye and two Surf Scoters, but it's now 4:30, the lake is full of boats not birds, and I decided to spend more time at Baylands instead of trying to find birds among the whitecaps (it was REALLY windy). I decided to cut terminal road and charleston slough out due to time, which was sad.

Shoreline

Brant
Surf Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Ring-billed Gull
Black Skimmer

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

My last stop for the afternoon was Palo Alto Baylands. The wind did not magically stop. that said, it did a good job of filling out my duck dance card and handed me both green-winged teal and Canvasback, both expected. NOT so expected were a single American Wigeon and also a single Gadwall. I finally started ticking off shorebirds not named Avocet and Stilt. I spent about 30 minutes at Baylands, finishing up a bit before 5:30. My hard stop was 6, so I didn't follow up at Byxbee, Emily Renzell or Geng road but I had them as options if I'd had time. Still,seven more species to the day list on this last stop.

Baylands

Gadwall
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Willet
Great Egret

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

After I got home, I did an impromptu "my feeders are down and my yard is boring" watch, but it gave me two more for the day list, Bewick's Wren and House Sparrow.

No-Feeders Watch

Bewick's Wren
House Sparrow

I was really regretting having to slice off Coyote Valley due to my time conflicts, and I simply couldn't see my big day list being complete without a Magpie or three. On the way home from Baylands, I realized that if I didn't start birding until 10:45AM and the event was a 24 event, it meant if I got out early I could take in a bit of Coyote Valley and still be within both the letter and spirit of the rules. I have a daily required meeting at work every morning at 8:30, but once that was done, I marked myself out of the office and hauled butt out to Coyote Valley OSP. I arrived right at 10AM, giving myself 45 minutes for a mini big sit in the parking lot.

It was well worth it. the Rock Wren immediately jumped up on a favorite rock, and I had a few fly-by magpies. While searching with increasing desperation for orioles and kingbirds, I had two male Bullock's get in a territory argument and explode out of a tree, one chasing the other -- straight at me. They finally noticed I was in the way, but they came within 10 feet of me. I did ultimately find 2, possibly 3 male and one female bullock's there. I saw zero kingbirds. Also a nice plus was my first northern harrier of the big day, soaring along the top of the ridge in the distance -- and then being chased by a flock of blackbirds. There was one specific tree along the ridge top they seemed to be protecting, as the harrier, a red-tail and later a turkey vulture all found out the hard way. Amusingly, the red-tail's response was to land IN the tree and pretend to ignore them for a while as they madly dive-bombed it, then take off again and leave, still pretending none of them were chasing him or pulling feathers. My attempt to conjure a golden eagle out of nothing failed.

Coyote Valley OSP

Northern Harrier
Yellow-billed Magpie
Rock Wren
Western Meadowlark
Bullock's Oriole

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

at 10:45 exactly I closed my eBird report, got in the car, and came home. I didn't get a chance to look for the Swainson's, for the Cassin's Kingbird or Lawrence's goldfinch near 152, or along Laguna road, but I still pulled out five final species to end my big day.

I will warn visitors to Coyote Valley OSP there are two mockingbirds in full bellow there right now, and one of them does a rather impressive Yellow-Billed Magpie. Be wary of ear birding that species there for a few weeks.

My end result: 77 species. Not the 100 I hoped for but I always saw that as a real stretch. 8 of those were year birds, none were lifer or county birds.

Probably the biggest missed location for me was Ulistac, which I regret. Second was Charleston Slough. If I were do to it again (Hey, I will be, but with a camera) I'd delete Marsh road and Gates of Heaven in favor of finding time for both places, even if Ulistac is "only" a sit near the artificial stream for 30-40 minutes. I'd definitely add Spring valley in while I'm near Ed levin for 45 minutes of birding.

I believe I had one too many stops on my planned list even before my schedule chaos, and I have to think that through. That said, to cover the wide diversity of habitats and species in the county, you have to cover a lot of territory -- Coyote Valley OSP, Ed Levin, Ulistac, EEC, Shoreline and Baylands seems to be the bare minimum to try to get a broad coverage of what's available.

I think the wilson's warbler was the best bird, or at least most unexpected.

Notable misses: White-breasted Nuthatch, where the McClellan Ranch feeders being down hurt. Golden Eagle. Northern Flicker. Scaups. Long-Billed Curlew. Herring Gull.

I had fun, and I'm tired but it was worth it and for a good cause. Will I do it again? Yes, in a couple of weeks, and I could use a few more sponsors. (grin)



This week I participated in my first of two Birdathon events to support Santa Clara Valley Audubon. My goal is to try to raise $1500 for the birdathon this year. It's not too late to help: you can this outing at https://scvas.org/spring-birda... or donate to my second outing on 4/21: https://scvas.org/spring-birda... I'm donating $250 to each event myself, plus I'm matching the first $250 of donations to each of these events, so if you've ever wanted to spend my money on a good cause, now is your chance.

This week's outing was Lonesome Dove, a 24 hour big day, where I set a goal of 100 species for the day. This is my first formal big day, since in general I don't enjoy competitive birding against others or against a clock, but because we can't do my normal group sits and my schedule didn't allow for my to organize virtual groups, I decided this birdathon was a good reason to finally pull off a big day.

TL;DR: I still am not a huge fan of big days, but I'm really satisfied with the results.

My original plan was to start about 9AM, since I have morning obligations at my real job. As it turned out, I had a last minute other complication which had me parked in Cupertino for a while waiting for my cockatoo to finish her quarterly visit to her vet, so I didn't actually start the big day until 10:30AM.

I had mapped out a route that covered the locations in a fairly efficient way, trying to minmimize driving time and maximizing birding time, and of course this threw a wrench in those plans, so I found myself scrambling the rest of the day to try to re-organize the outing. I think I ended up losing about an hour of time due to extra driving from my original plans, which was sad but necessary.

What I ended up doing was slicing off the morning stops (my time in Coyote Valley) and deferring them, so at 10:30 I started the day up in Steven's Creek Park at the Cooley Picnic Area. I think this is an under-birded location that can sometimes be magical and at other times be junco's and jays. The trick to Cooley is to catch it in migration, and when there aren't others there. Once you start getting people at the area it dies off, so I find morning weekdays best.

Cooley Picnic Area is, I think, the spring equivalent to Pichetti's magic persimmon tree in fall: when it kicks in, it's magic. For me, that's what happened.

I drove up and parked, and as I got out of the car, I had a spotted towhee fly by and dive into the brush past me. A rather auspicious start. It sat there hidden, calling much of my visit. I was immediately adopted by a couple of Steller's Jays, one of whom spent much of my visit following me around and yelling at me for trespassing on their turf. I ended up spending just under an hour at Cooley and logged 20 species, but some really special ones, including a solo fly-by Band-Tailed Pigeon seen through a hole in the tree canopy, the spotted towhee, Steller's Jays, three woodpeckers (Acorn: a family of at least six active along the stream; Hairy and Nuttall's) and three different warblers (Orange-Crowned, A couple of really bright and colorful Townsend's males, and to my delight, a beautiful Wilson's). Also seen were a pair of chickadee's copulating, and heard nearby was an enthusiastic red-shouldered hawk.

I'll note Cooley is, I believe the most reliable place for Steller's Jay in the county. I've noticed, over the last decade or so, many places where I used to see this species now host Scrub Jays instead, so it looks like the Steller's Jay loses that territory fight most of the time. Here, there almost always seems to be a few within hearing and often they'll come in and see what mischief they can cause for you.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Anna's Hummingbird
Red-shouldered Hawk
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
European Starling
American Robin
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
California Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

I left Cooley's with 19 species for the day list.

After Cooley I decided to check out Gates of Heaven cemetary, which was a wash; I didn't bother to open a list. The pond was empty, there was one active funeral and two other setups for pending ones, and I simply felt that wasn't a place to be birding, so I drove in, circled around and back out.

I then drove to McClellan Ranch, which had a full lot and no feeders (of course). At that point the vet called that my bird was ready, so I headed to pick her up and take her home. By this time it's noon and I'm sweating bullets on time. I grabbed a quick lunch, and headed back out, now to Ed Levin and the east bay hills region.

I finally started birding again at 1:45PM at Ed Levin. I found out they had run out of annual pass forms (hopefully back in stock next week, this seems to be a problem at most parks because they didn't plan for a surge of requests). I birded starting at the dog park area and around Sandy Wool, then headed off to the Elm picnic area. Since last time I visited there most of the trees along the fence by the golf course have come been taken down, which changed that area for me a lot Still, there were some nice birds. I (of course) didn't research where the great horned owl nest was and didn't find it, because I'm an idiot. But I spent 45 minutes at Ed Levin for 25 species, of which 22 added to the day list.

Highlight bird because it was so unexpected: a single male Bufflehead, which shouldn't still be here. I failed (again) at seeing a Violet-Green Swallow, but did see tree, northern rough-winged and a few barn. I admit to now taking their hiding from me personally, and I vow to add them to my year list soon (or else). Also of interest was one, possibly a pair, of great-tailed grackles, with the male wandering the edge of Sandy Wool at the waterline, and later flying off and being joined by a possible female.

It was incredibly windy at Ed Levin, and a stiff breeze dogged me the rest of the day.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Ed Levin:

Mallard
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
American Coot
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
California Scrub-Jay
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Western Bluebird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Yellow-rumped Warbler


I then felt like I was way behind schedule and needed to make some choices. I decided to skip Spring Valley area in favor of Marsh Road. If you read Carter's report on birding Spring Valley, I made the wrong choice, since Marsh Road was quiet, giving me only two new species for 20 minutes of birding (plus another 20 or so of driving). But Marsh Road is emotionally an important location for me in the county, so I regret nothing. It was also, with no Coyote Valley stops, the most likely place to see Yellow-Billed Magpie, which of course was nowhere to be found. Also, I felt, the best place for Wild turkey (nope) and California Quail (nope) on my agenda.

Marsh Road

Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

On the way out of Milpitas I did a literal drive-by of the Milpitas nest, got lucky and tagged Bald eagle (and two mourning doves) in a < 5 minute stop.

Curtner Elementary

Bald Eagle

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Next up was EEC in Alviso, which nicely opened its gates this week, for which my knees thanked them. It is after 3:30 and I felt a lot of time pressure here, so I decided not to carry my scope so I walked out to A16 and back. In retrospect -- I should have spent
another 15 minutes here, carried the scope and looked through the gulls for Herring and Iceland and also for terns. Bad call on my part.

That said, there were three eared grebes close to shore, I got my first Canada Goose of the day, and Cinnamon Teal in the slough, as well as many marsh wrens.

EEC

Canada Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Eared Grebe
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
American White Pelican
Snowy Egret
Common Raven
Bushtit
Marsh Wren
White-crowned Sparrow

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

I cut my planned stop at the Alviso Marina park due to time, and scurried off to Shoreline Lake. I went to the boat launch area, found a parking spot and walked across the grass. The light was terrible, the wind was worse (it blew over the tripod three times -- yes, I had the scope now), adn there were > 12 wind surfers on the lake. I quickly decided to speed date this stop and look for the specialty birds. Much to my amazement I found the Brant with my first look, in among more CAGO eating the golf course, and a number of Black Skimmers on the island. I also saw a couple of Common Goldeneye and two Surf Scoters, but it's now 4:30, the lake is full of boats not birds, and I decided to spend more time at Baylands instead of trying to find birds among the whitecaps (it was REALLY windy). I decided to cut terminal road and charleston slough out due to time, which was sad.

Shoreline

Brant
Surf Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Ring-billed Gull
Black Skimmer

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

My last stop for the afternoon was Palo Alto Baylands. The wind did not magically stop. that said, it did a good job of filling out my duck dance card and handed me both green-winged teal and Canvasback, both expected. NOT so expected were a single American Wigeon and also a single Gadwall. I finally started ticking off shorebirds not named Avocet and Stilt. I spent about 30 minutes at Baylands, finishing up a bit before 5:30. My hard stop was 6, so I didn't follow up at Byxbee, Emily Renzell or Geng road but I had them as options if I'd had time. Still,seven more species to the day list on this last stop.

Baylands

Gadwall
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Willet
Great Egret

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

After I got home, I did an impromptu "my feeders are down and my yard is boring" watch, but it gave me two more for the day list, Bewick's Wren and House Sparrow.

No-Feeders Watch

Bewick's Wren
House Sparrow

I was really regretting having to slice off Coyote Valley due to my time conflicts, and I simply couldn't see my big day list being complete without a Magpie or three. On the way home from Baylands, I realized that if I didn't start birding until 10:45AM and the event was a 24 event, it meant if I got out early I could take in a bit of Coyote Valley and still be within both the letter and spirit of the rules. I have a daily required meeting at work every morning at 8:30, but once that was done, I marked myself out of the office and hauled butt out to Coyote Valley OSP. I arrived right at 10AM, giving myself 45 minutes for a mini big sit in the parking lot.

It was well worth it. the Rock Wren immediately jumped up on a favorite rock, and I had a few fly-by magpies. While searching with increasing desperation for orioles and kingbirds, I had two male Bullock's get in a territory argument and explode out of a tree, one chasing the other -- straight at me. They finally noticed I was in the way, but they came within 10 feet of me. I did ultimately find 2, possibly 3 male and one female bullock's there. I saw zero kingbirds. Also a nice plus was my first northern harrier of the big day, soaring along the top of the ridge in the distance -- and then being chased by a flock of blackbirds. There was one specific tree along the ridge top they seemed to be protecting, as the harrier, a red-tail and later a turkey vulture all found out the hard way. Amusingly, the red-tail's response was to land IN the tree and pretend to ignore them for a while as they madly dive-bombed it, then take off again and leave, still pretending none of them were chasing him or pulling feathers. My attempt to conjure a golden eagle out of nothing failed.

Coyote Valley OSP

Northern Harrier
Yellow-billed Magpie
Rock Wren
Western Meadowlark
Bullock's Oriole

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

at 10:45 exactly I closed my eBird report, got in the car, and came home. I didn't get a chance to look for the Swainson's, for the Cassin's Kingbird or Lawrence's goldfinch near 152, or along Laguna road, but I still pulled out five final species to end my big day.

I will warn visitors to Coyote Valley OSP there are two mockingbirds in full bellow there right now, and one of them does a rather impressive Yellow-Billed Magpie. Be wary of ear birding that species there for a few weeks.

My end result: 77 species. Not the 100 I hoped for but I always saw that as a real stretch. 8 of those were year birds, none were lifer or county birds.

Probably the biggest missed location for me was Ulistac, which I regret. Second was Charleston Slough. If I were do to it again (Hey, I will be, but with a camera) I'd delete Marsh road and Gates of Heaven in favor of finding time for both places, even if Ulistac is "only" a sit near the artificial stream for 30-40 minutes. I'd definitely add Spring valley in while I'm near Ed levin for 45 minutes of birding.

I believe I had one too many stops on my planned list even before my schedule chaos, and I have to think that through. That said, to cover the wide diversity of habitats and species in the county, you have to cover a lot of territory -- Coyote Valley OSP, Ed Levin, Ulistac, EEC, Shoreline and Baylands seems to be the bare minimum to try to get a broad coverage of what's available.

I think the wilson's warbler was the best bird, or at least most unexpected.

Notable misses: White-breasted Nuthatch, where the McClellan Ranch feeders being down hurt. Golden Eagle. Northern Flicker. Scaups. Long-Billed Curlew. Herring Gull.

I had fun, and I'm tired but it was worth it and for a good cause. Will I do it again? Yes, in a couple of weeks, and I could use a few more sponsors. (grin)


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me
Email: chuqui@mac.com
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California


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Subject: Vermillion Fly Catcher
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 22:27 pm
From: cplatero1112usa=yahoo.es AT groups.io
 
Today I was able to find and enjoy, from a safe distance, the Vermillion Fly Catcher at the known location in the Joseph D Grant CP at 11:55 am.
There was no one  around this time bothering this beautiful creature.


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South Bay Birds is managed and supported by Santa Clara Valley Audubon (https://scvas.org) and its volunteers.
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Subject: Continuing Santa Teresa County Park Red Crossbills
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 22:27 pm
From: rreiling2 AT comcast.net
 
All,
My first stop this morning (4/8) at La Rinconada Park was very slow birding (to early, no sun) so I decided to go to Santa Teresa County Park on my fourth try for the Red Crossbills. I stopped in the same parking lot from which Mike Mammoser saw the bird on 4/7 (first large lot near the entrance to the Hidden Springs Trail) and started scanning the trees with my binos and scope. Shortly before 9 I saw two RED CROSSBILLS in the top of a tree to the West near the center eastern portion of the Pueblo Day Use Area. One Crossbill was red with dark wings (I assume an adult male) and the other was yellow wi th dark wings (possibly an adult female but I was unable to verity). Both birds had large bills. Unfortunately instead of taking a very distant photo (about 300 yards) I opted to cross the Day Use Area (rough ground) to get a better photo and while half way there with my eyes on the ground the birds disappeared (no calls). There are perhaps a dozen conifers near where the birds were perched (in a yellow blooming Eucalyptus tree) and I spent the next 2.5 hours trying but failing to re-find them. Other Birds seen included a LARK SPARROW and a HOUSE WREN.
Take care,
Bob Reiling


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Subject: Wilson's snipe, Sora, Gallinule at Coast Casey Forebay
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 3:41 am
From: emilie.danna AT gmail.com
 
Continuing today's adventures...

To finish the day, my son and I went to our favorite evening spot at
"Charleston Slough/Coast Casey Forebay". The small pond just north of the
parking lot on Terminal Blvd often has interesting birds in late afternoon
/ early evening.

As soon as we arrived, we saw a *Sora* with its bright yellow bill, but it
disappeared quickly in the reeds before I could take a photo. Conversely,
we were lucky to get very good looks of two *Common Gallinules* that were
swimming in the same spot. While we were enjoying the rest of the birds, a
well-camouflaged bird caught our eye. It was hiding in the clumps of dried
vegetation, emerging once in a while. We guess it was a *Wilson's snipe*
(very long bill, streaks on the back, striped head). Please take a look at
the photos and let us know what you think. Thank you!

Checklist with photos: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...


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Subject: Shoreline and Charleston Slough 04-07-21
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 3:39 am
From: mdodder AT sbcglobal.net
 
I spent the morning drawing birds for Team Birdcassos as part of the SCVAS Birdathon today. I managed too draw 45 species in a 4-hour period—all with a number 2 pencil. A real challenge to draw that many, especially with no time refine or correct... I don’t know what our team total is yet, but since some team mates did their work at Montebello, and others toured Stevens Creek Park, I think we’ll have a pretty good total. Some participants used water color, others used colored pencils or digital paint.
At Shoreline, I was happy to find 25 BLACK SKIMMERS on the island, both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, breeding-plumaged EARED GREBE and lingering COMMON GOLDENEYE. The RUDDY DUCKS are beautifully blue-billed now. I did not see the Brant or the Greater White-fronted Geese today, but the sprinklers were on, so maybe they were foraging elsewhere. When I approached Charleston Slough, there were two CASPIAN TERNS on the Forebay and I heard a WHIMBREL nearby but was not able to find it when I reached the platform.
Matthew

SCVAS Special Event: An Evening with Richard Prum APRIL 21 (via zoom)
Author of New York Times’ Bestseller, and winner of the prized "One of the Best Books of the Year" award... "The Evolution of Beauty"An Evening with Richard Prum | Buy Tickets | Ticketbud


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An Evening with Richard Prum | Buy Tickets | Ticketbud

An Evening with Richard Prum - April 21, 2021 at Online. Find event and ticket information on Ticketbud.
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Subject: Blue-winged teal at Don Edwards NWR
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 3:30 am
From: emilie.danna AT gmail.com
 
Hello,

This afternoon, my son and I toured Don Edwards NWR. We were looking at a
group of Cinnamon Teals and on the side, two lighter colored ducks were
hiding their heads in their wings. After some time, one of them raised its
head and we saw for a short time its characteristic white crescent on its
face.
Also of note: 6 Common Gallinules and our first Wilson's Warbler.
Checklist with photos: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...


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Subject: Six Lawrence's Goldfinches at Ed Levin on 4/6
Date: Thu Apr 8 2021 0:26 am
From: carter.gasiorowski AT gmail.com
 
Yesterday. 4-7-21, my mom and I arrived at the Spring Valley area of Ed
Levin County Park around noon. By the pond, there was one each of GREAT
EGRET, SNOWY EGRET, and GREAT BLUE HERON, as well as at least one BULLOCK'S
ORIOLE. In the eucalyptus trees above the parking lots, a male ALLEN'S
HUMMINGBIRD was displaying as a few unidentified Rufous/Allen's
Hummingbirds flew around. Along the Spring Valley trail, many TREE
SWALLOWS were arguing over the nest boxes, as well as 3 male WILD TURKEYS
who ran across the trail. There were plenty of raptors, with 7 RED-TAILED
HAWKS (six seemed to be paired up, plus one juvenile that would fly around
near the adults), 2 WHITE-TAILED KITES perched in a tree near the parking
lot, one immature COOPER'S HAWK, and 2 GOLDEN EAGLES, one of which made a
low pass over the parking lot. Two HUTTON'S VIREOS sang from the oaks, two
WESTERN KINGBIRDS perched to the east of the ranger station, and one VAUX'S
SWIFT whizzed over our heads.

After getting somewhat distracted by all the amazing birds, we headed to
the area where Dave Weber found the Lawrence's Goldfinches on 4/5. Before
long, I saw a male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH sitting in a leafless tree feeding
a female. They flew, but my mom got onto them, and spotted a second male
Lawrence's Goldfinch. We then ran into a very nice birder, Manny, and then
yet another Lawrence's Goldfinch joined the three already present. After
Manny left, a group of five Lawrence's Goldfinches flew over, and the
flyover photo shows four of them being males, and another photo I took
earlier shows 2 females next to each other, so there were at least six
Lawrence's Goldfinches present! They were flying around quite a bit
in-between the Spring Valley Group Picnic Area and the ranger station,
mostly landing in the pine trees. The males were singing, which made it
easier to locate them in the foliage. The females also seemed to be
checking out the kind of places that goldfinches like to build their nests
as the males followed them around.

We then headed to the Sandy Wool area, where I saw my FOY male RUFOUS
HUMMINGbiRD above the dog park. There were also 9 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES
screaming and displaying together on top of the picnic tables, which was
quite comical to watch. As we were sitting in the car getting ready to
leave, we watched a GOLDEN EAGLE hunt the ridgeline.

Overall a very nice day with 50 species at the Spring Valley area alone,
and some nice rarities!

Full species list and photos: https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Happy Birding!
Carter


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Subject: Red Crossbill at Santa Teresa County Park
Date: Wed Apr 7 2021 23:04 pm
From: mmammoser AT att.net
 
I visited Santa Teresa County Park on 7 Apr 2021, in mid afternoon, and spent about 45 minutes there. At about 3:00 pm I was walking the road between the large parking lot at the Hidden Springs/Mine trail junction and the small pocket lot just past it, when a RED CROSSBILL flew over, loudly calling "kip kip kip". I got my binoculars on it and followed it as it landed in the top of a valley oak tree up the slope from the road, above the Mine Trail. It sat there for a couple minutes, allowing me to get to my car in the pocket lot, and get my scope out. I got a very satisfying view of the bird for about a minute or so. When it left the tree, it angled down and to the left, possibly heading to the small creek up there, for a drink and/or bath.
Michael Mammoser


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Subject: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo at Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, Wednesday, April 7
Date: Wed Apr 7 2021 22:41 pm
From: maallan AT comcast.net
 
I was up at Monte Bello Open Space this morning as part of the Birdcasso's SCVAS birdathon team. A slow, cold start turned into a warm productive day. I had 2 Cassin's Vireos near Gate 5, one bird was well-seen and singing its classic question-answer song. At the main parking lot a Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher was calling from the small tree behind the restroom. And on the Canyon Trail just south of the sag pond, I had an Ash-throated Flycatcher. I believe this is an early arrival for this bird at this location. Other notables include Lincoln Sparrow, CA Quail, displaying turkeys, and at the pond below gate 5 when many Purple Finch, Red-winged Blackbirds, one American Coot and one female Bufflehead. You can see my 3 eBird lists, including photos of the ATFY, at https://ebird.org/checklist/S8... ; https://ebird.org/checklist/S8... ; https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...


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Subject: La Rinconada Park in Los Gatos
Date: Wed Apr 7 2021 22:36 pm
From: eve.m.meier AT gmail.com
 
Hi Everyone,

Today Patricia Lynch and I birded La Rinconada Park in Los Gatos. This is a
quiet little park with a large lawn and about 1/2 mile of trails alongside
through the oaks. There's a very small creek that currently has water.
It's a touch early for spring migrants but we spotted one *Pacific-slope
Flycatcher* and a *Vaux's Swift* flew overhead. The best birds were a *Brown
Creeper* with nesting material visiting its nest and several *American
Goldfinches*. Other birds included *White-breasted Nuthatch*, *Oak
Titmouse*, *Spotted Towhee*, *Hairy Woodpecker* and *Yellow-rumped Warbler*.
For more information on this park see Lisa Myers self-guided field trip
.

Happy Birding!
Eve Meier (San Jose)

https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...


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Subject: Some Birding at Geng Rd on 4/7/2021
Date: Wed Apr 7 2021 18:20 pm
From: Vanslagerf=aol.com AT groups.io
 
All:

Out on the levee alongside the golf course, I saw a Raptor landing on a dead tree, and generating a little bird activity.  I took 2 quick pictures for later confirmation.  When I got in the darkness of my car and used my glasses, the 2 photos seem to show a Barn Swallow harassing a male Merlin.  I went back out with the Questar for further looks.

Frank Vanslager


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Subject: Lawrence’s Goldfinch at Lake Cunningham
Date: Wed Apr 7 2021 16:52 pm
From: wrpelletier=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Folks,

After a month on the east coast (Maine) it is amazing to see the change in our area.

Kitty and I decided to bird our local hotspot at Lake Cunningham and we found the continuing Greater White-fronted Geese (4) swimming on the lake.

Our big surprise was a pair of Lawrence’s Goldfinch gleaning bugs from a fence post chain. After checking eBird this seems to be the first report at this location. Our eBird Checklist is at:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S8...

Enjoy,
Bill & Kitty

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