05-29-10

My friend Brian and I checked in on the Bell's Vireo at Bayfront Park in Menlo Park today during lunch. As before, the bird was singing nearly constantly, and could even be heard from the parking lot. It also stopped singing and gave a repeated scolding call. Also present was Warbling Vireo for nice song comparison. And a male Canvasback in the channel beside the cars.




05-27-10

Made a lunch hour tour of Bixby Park at the end of Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. Lots of Violet-green Swallows mixed in with the Barn and Cliff. Also flying among them were 8-10 White-throated Swifts . Over the marsh a pair of Northern Harriers were doing an aerial dance. At least three Bullock's Orioles were in the trees by the restroom, and on the channel were Lesser Scaup and Cinnamon Teal.





05-23-10

I saw two immature Yellow-headed Blackbirds along the boardwalk between the Alviso EEC and the levy this morning. They then flew up to the trees along the creek and down into the reeds out of sight. Also seen was a Gray Fox along the entrance road, near the bend by the front gate. It was repeatedly dive bombed by two Northern Mockingbirds.






05-20-10

Was awaken this morning by the song of Warbling Vireo outside our bedroom window. The Wilson's Warbler seems to have moved on however, and we're still waiting for Black-headed Grosbeak. Perhaps in fall when the breeders disperse... The famous "Least" Bell's Vireo was still singing in they myoporum bushes at Bayfront Park in Menlo Park today from 12:30 to 1:00 pm. I got several very nice looks at him as he sang almost constantly. Generally though, he remained hidden from view.





05-18-10

I managed to escape my desk for an early lunch at Bayfront Park in Menlo Park. From the last parking lot, I could hear the "Least" Bell's Vireo quite easily. It sing frequently from the tall shrubs along the wide paved trail leading uphill. Seeing the bird was another matter, which took a good 20 minutes. The bird moved frequently, and quite invisibly, through the tall shrubbery, but eventually came into view once or twice.




05-17-10

After the class trip ended, our car made a tour of Patterson Pass. Our target was Blue Grosbeak which we found quickly, about halfway to the summit in one of the deep willow-lined gullies beside the road. Further up we had three more Blue Grosbeaks. A surprise MacGillivray's Warbler was a bonus at exactly 6.3 miles from the gas station where we began. Phainopepla and Loggerhead Shrike were present as well.




05-16-10

Yesterday morning at 5:45 AM as we were leaving for our class field trip, we heard a Western Tanager in the redwoods in the back yard. This date is just a few days after the bird's appearance last year.




05-10-10

We've had the Wilson's Warbler back in our yard the past three days. He's been singing up a storm and foraging for insects in the orange trees.





05-07-10

Windy conditions on the bay made observation on the Ravenswood Trail little dodgy during lunch. But I did see 4 Ruddy Turnstones, 10-12 Sanderlings, many beautiful Dunlin, Western and Least Sandpipers. There were also many Forster's and one Caspian Tern.





05-04-10

Lunch hour stop at the Ravenswood trail along eastbound Hwy 84. On the second left hand pond were several dozen Red-necked Phalaropes, while along the shores were great numbers of nearly completely alternate-plumaged Dunlin, Western and Least Sandpipers. Surprising to me were two Ruddy Turnstones. Also seen were two Semipalmated Plovers.