Yesterday and today Cricket and I birded a little in San Mateo County. The water treatment pond on Radio Road was active with many Shorebirds. Located were both Long and Short-billed Dowitchers, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets as well as a few Least Sandpipers. A high count of five Black Skimmers was nice and of course many adult Forster's Terns with young. We later read that a handfull of Red Knots were spotted as well, but we missed them.
We also visited Bayfront Park finding almost no Shorebird activity, but the west side of the Dumbarton Bridge was lively. Huge numbers of Marbled Godwits, Willets, Stilts and Avocets were reeling over the shallow, windy pond. We also located our first Black-bellied Plovers of the season as well as Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover, and Snowy Plover.
Today, Radio Road had much the same to offer. Perhaps more Ducks were present with Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal showing up. Again, no Knots for us...
The recently reported Black Tern, Pacific Golden Plover and Ruff were all still present this morning in Alviso on salt pond A-16 at 11:00 this morning. Also showing up now are tons of Peeps, mostly Western and Least Sandpipers, many still with noticable breeding colors, but also we spotted a Dunlin molting into basic plumage. Bonaparte's Gulls, Caspian Terns were also found on A-16, along with an increased number of American White Pelicans and a single Brown Pelican.
Kelly and I just returned from a very quick trip to Alviso where there was a Pacific Golden Plover in the New Chicago Marsh visible from the extreme west end of the levy leading out left from the EEC. Also present was the previously reported basic-plumaged Black Tern on the first Island. Two Black Skimmers, were resting on the second island, and then took off over the pond. Finally, also we managed to find a handfull of Wilson's Phalaropes among the many Red-necked Phalaropes in the shallow pools.
Also interesting was a calling Western Tanager in our back yard this morning. We never saw the bird, but the "prid-i-dick!" call was easily recognized.
Kelly and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Ecuador and decided to ease our way back into things with a short trip to Alviso this morning. Two Burrowing Owls were perched along the chainlink fence on Disk Drive and along the entrance road to the EEC we found many Peeps. Pretty evenly divided between Western and Least Sandpipers as well as several Greater Yellowlegs and a single Lesser Yellowlegs. A brightly colored Long-billed Dowitcher was present also. Pond A16 was productive as well with many Forster's Terns, a few Caspian Terns and the one previously reported molting BLACK TERN on the first island visible from the headquarters. We found only one Bonaparte's Gulls and no Wilson's Phalaropes. As we left the area an immature Peregrine Falcon passed over New Chicago Marsh, scattering hundreds of Shorebirds.