9-10-06

I made a morning stop in Alviso and had good looks at one of the two Ruffs along the train tracks. I saw the bird at a distance in the second pond and eventually something startled it and it flew toward me and landed quite close. Eventually it flew toward the corner by the main road and foraged for a while there, only to reappear a few
minutes later in the first pond north of the tracks where most people have seen it. While other birders reported two individuals this morning, I believe I was looking at the same individual three times. It was not the individual with the limp, in other words and the coloration was the same. I continued looking for a while, but never
did see the second bird.

Back at the EEC another birder and I had two Willow Flycatchers and several dozen Vaux's Swifts as well as a few White-throated Swifts. The trees by the channel had several Yellow Warbler and two Orange-crowned Warbler. Vaux's Swifts were positively swirling by the hundreds over by the marina, and I'd like to say I saw a Chimney among them... but they just move so darn fast I was lucky to get any in my binocs! Swallows were also staging on the wires along the road in large, generally segregated groups of Barn and Violet-green. A handful of Trees were among them, but they were clearly out numbered. Other people have reported Bank and Northern Rough-winged in this flock, but I did not see any for sure. Loggerhead Shrikes were seen both at State and Spreckles and by the marina.

I also went to Charleston Marsh (across from 1225 Charleston Road off of Shoreline Blvd). As I got out of my car I heard a very loud "chick!" call, reminiscent of a California Towhee, but more liquid. It had none of the rough static shock quality of a Common Yellowthroat which were calling from the same area. This was much louder and very different. My immediate thought was that it might be a Waterthrush. A moment or two I located the source of the sound in the reeds near par course marker #2. It was a indeed a Waterthrush, presumably Northern Waterthrush. As soon as I got my glasses on it however, it moved into deep cover near marker #4 and I could not coax it out. This was the same area the bird was seen last fall/winter so perhaps it is the same individual...





09-02-06

Kelly and I met Leonie along Gazos Creek Road this morning and she told us then about the Yellow-breasted Chat she had just seen. We went looking for it after lunch but could not refind it. We did however find a Spotted Sandpiper and 4 Baird's Sandpipers at the lagoon, as well as 5 Semipalmpated Plovers and a Red-necked Phalarope. A Swainson's Thrush was briefly visible in the underbrush. Many Elegant Terns were flying off shore and a Caspian Tern was bathing along side Heerman's, California and Western Gulls. Gazos Creek Road was fairly quiet with only a handful of Townsend's, Yellow and Wilson's Warblers . Several Warbling Vireos were present, and near the bridge at Cloverdale Road we spotted a dull MacGillivray's Warbler and a House Wren.