Today, over Hwy 280 near El Monte Road I saw a Vaux's Swift. The bird was moving east rapidly, but the small frame and jerky flight pattern was clearly swift-like. In the same area I saw a Cooper's Hawk chasing a Red-winged Blackbird over the speeding traffic.


My friend Jesse Conklin and I birded the Mines Road area today, and after entering Santa Clara County from the north we encountered three Lewis' Woodpeckers at the Del Puerto Canyon Road junction and a few miles further south, near the turn up toward Mount Hamilton, we had a large flock of aprox 45-50 Lawrence's Goldfinches! I have to say, I've never seen that many LAGOs at one time and it was pretty exciting. Other highlights were a family of six Wood Ducks at the first pond on Del Puerto Canyon Road and two Sharp-shinned Hawks. There were also lot's of Chipping Sparrows on the summit of Mt. Hamilton.


I walked from Charleston Slough to Byxbee Park with a friend today and ended up near the Matero Creek mouth. We had great looks at Green Heron near the SPCA on frontage road and an adult Peregrine Falcon circling over the Charleston Slough pumphouse! A flock of no less than 60 White Pelicans soared overhead near the Byxbee damn.


The weekend field trips seem to be going on without the class! On this, the first informal walk, organized by Ken Lillis and Jo-Ann Ely, the group had a pleasant walk around Stanford Campus. Among the expected birds were White-throated Swift, Cliff, Barn, and Violet-green Swallows, as well as a lone Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Other birds included White-breasted Nuthatch, Western Bluebird, Bullock's and Hooded Orioles. Nuttall's, Downey, and Acorn Woodpeckers were also seen as well as Brown-headed Cowbird, and a high-flying Great Blue Heron. I look forward to hearing of future plans to get the group together and bird the local areas. Other possible destinations include Arastradero OSP, Old Pagemill Road and portions of Skyline Blvd. Keep me posted!