11-17-02

Today, Brian Christman and I birded the Palo Alto Flood Control Basin on Frontage Road between San Antonio and Embarcadero. We were able to find a drake Eurasian Wigeon easily among the group of American Wigeons but the trip required knee-high rubber boots to cross a stream along the way. The bird was in a large pool on the right quite far out. As well, we came across a group of four Blue-winged Teal that were resting in the second pond on the left as we took the trail out toward the Bay. The week prior we had found Wilson's Snipe in the same area, but none were seen today. Waterfowl numbers were pretty good and included many other common species such as Canada Geese and White Pelican.

Not far from there, at the end of Geng Road in Palo Alto, we found a group of Hooded Mergansers in the pond by the golf course which included two males and eight females. They seemed to be foraging on crayfish.

A short trip to Coyote Point failed to locate the Harlequin Duck reported along the rock jetty, but we did find 8 Black Oystercatchers and a large group of Black Turnstones, both uncommon within the Bay. We found a single female Red-breasted Merganser, many Bufflehead, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Surf Scoter, Ruddy Duck, Common Goldeneye and a four species of Grebe (Horned, Eared, Western and Clark's).