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!