Today on my lunch time walk along the creek
I shot some digital pictures of Red-breasted Sapsucker holes
in a large Coastal Live Oak. As I focused the camera on
the hundreds of neatly lined holes I heard a soft pecking
above me. Could it be...? I hoped it would be a Sapsucker,
ready to pose. In fact, it was instead a Hairy Woodpecker,
a rather unexpected Piciform for this area. I always associate
them (perhaps incorrectly) with slightly higher elevations,
or at least less urban areas. In any case, it got away before
I could photograph it, but that brings the total Woodpecker
species for my creekside strolls up to five.
An afternoon walk along the Steven's Creek
riparian area near Crittenden Lane produced many good species,
but Northern Waterthrush was not one of them. The bird had
been reported a few days earlier and prompted Cricket's
and my visit to the area. Well seen however were Green
Heron, great numbers of Green-winged Teal, a
Cooper's Hawk, 2 Bewick's Wren, 3 Common
Yellowthroat and Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow
and no less than 6 Lincoln's Sparrows.
My birthday! Red-shouldered Hawk called
from some distance away, Downy Woodpecker, Hutton's
Vireo, Bewick's Wren, and Townsend's Warbler were
all logged while standing on one spot. Three blocks from
downtown Palo Alto doesn't seem all that bad.
At last, the first Hermit Thrush of
the season was heard along the San Francisquito Creek. (I
have to mention unless you haven't already figured it out,
that this is my typical lunch hour stroll. I never take
binoculars during this relaxing 1-hour tour so I must either
get very close to a bird or be completely certain of its
song.) A few Yellow-rumped Warblers were heard as
well and an argumentative family of 4 Bewick's Wrens
flitted in the upper branches of a small willow. I also
ran into a Phil Leighton from class near University
Avenue on his way to lunch.
As usual, the lunchtime amble around the San
Fransiquito Creek near downtown Palo Alto produced some
interesting species. Yellow-rumped Warblers were
now to be heard at several locations as well as two separate
Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a White-breasted Nuthatch.
Wintering species are arriving left and right!
Today I saw and heard my first Yellow-rumped Warbler
of the season along the San Francquito Creek loop during
lunch. Many other birds were seen and heard also, but nothing
that I haven't reported in the past week.