I'm back from icy-cold Montana where a week of touring the
Northwestern secton of the state produced few birds. Bad
weather in Glacier NP closed Logan Pass so my chances at
White-tailed Ptarmigan and Black Rosy Finch were dashed.
The best birds of the trip were 3 Blue Grouse which
fed calmly beside the car, oblivious to our presence, Ruffed
Grouse, a single immature Bald Eagle, Rough-legged
Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Black-billed Magpie,
and Black-capped Chickadee. Large mammals were actually
the best part of the trip with many Bison, Elk, Pronghorn
and Mountain Goats seen in both the National Bison Range
and Glacier NP. What a beautiful place!!
More locally, this afternoon, Brian Christman and I visited
Byxbee Park at the end of Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto.
At the intersection of Embarcadero and the road leading
into the dump there was a Palm Warbler foraging in
the annis on the ground among White-crowned Sparrows.
We observed the bird for a few minutes and it remained in
the area after we left. At the park proper we found a group
of about 15 American Pipits and a single Burrowing
At the Palo Alto Flood Control Basin we found four drake
Blue-winged Teal among a large group of Northern
Shovelers in the second pond on the left as the trail
leads out toward the Bay.
Earlier this morning a short trip to Charleston Slough
produced an American Bittern near the bleachers along
the Adobe Creek. It was foraging along the near shore and
flushed across the water and remained in view for some time.
As well, on one of the small mud islands, a pair of Common
Snipe were clearly visible among a group of Dowitchers.
No interesting ducks were seen, but two Virginia Rails
and a two Soras were along the creek and in the Mountain
View Forebay. There were 16 Black Skimmers on their
island near the new platform and two Lincoln's Sparrows
were along the freshwater-in close to Shoreline Lake.