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.