A friend and I had a pleasant walk at Almaden Quicksilver Regional Park in South San Jose and while no real surprises showed up, there was an abundance of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, as well as a few Black-headed Grosbeaks, House Wrens, Wrentits, Hutton's Vireos and Warbling Vireos. We even came across a Gopher Snake sleeping right on the trail and I was able to touch it. It then awoke and proceeded to hiss and shake its tail menacingly in an attempt to make us believe it was a Rattlesnake!

A similar complement of birds was encountered off of Old Pagemill Road which leads up toward the Stanford Dish.


On a nice lunch time stroll along the San Francisquito Creek in Menlo Park today I came across a large flock of Cedar Waxwings, a Belted Kingfisher, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Bewick's Wren, Violet-green and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Also there was a singing male Black-headed Grosbeak which was the target bird for my lunch hour. The area is located at the corner of University Drive and Creek Drive on the north side of the creek; just across from the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot. I like to visit this spot every couple of weeks, especially now, since it was last year that at this time that the first Solitary Sandpiper to be seen in Palo Alto (ever, I believe) was found. Other regular birds include Hooded and Bullock's Orioles and Western Tanager but not today...


At Ed Levin Park this afternoon the Blue Grosbeak, which was reported earlier in the week on the RBA, continues in the small sycamore grove on the hillside above the lake. The bird was first seen below the trail in the fennel and then moved up into the sycamores before going back down the slope. As well there were at least four Lazuli Buntings and a Rufous-crowned Sparrow present. White-throated Swift appeared briefly among the many swallows. Two Selasphorus hummers buzzed through the eucalyptus trees near the horse corral.

Earlier in the day, those of you who were able to attend our trip to Joseph D. Grant County Park were treated to a pair of Lawrence's Goldfinches drinking from the small stream near the dribble pond by the farm house. Other birds from this trip are listed on the full trip report