SPRING 2001

Charleston Slough 03-31-01 POSTED
Arastradero Open Space Preserve 04-07-01 POSTED
Joseph D. Grant County Park 04-14-01 POSTED
Ano Nuevo State Reserve 04-21-01 POSTED
Coyote Hills Regional Park 04-28-01 POSTED
Stevens Creek Park 05-05-01 POSTED
Mines Road 05-12-01 POSTED

Note: The trip reports below are organized in reverse chronological order (more recent report first).



Mines Road 05-12-01

Our small group of 12 made the lengthy journey along Mines Road in beautful mild weather and were rewarded with many uncommon birds and much beautiful scenery. Highlights along this varied habitat included an indescribably blue Lazuli Bunting male, a Greater Roadrunner capturing and eating a lizard just yards from one of our cars, highly cooperative Lark Sparrows and fantastic looks at a pair of Lewis' Woodpecker exploring a possible nest hole. We also had good looks at a male Western Tanagers early on the trail and I can't remember how many Bullock's Orioles we saw... The previous week we encounted a single Swainson's Hawk along I-5, but today we returned the way we came and found Rufous-crowned Sparrow and my first ever Rattle Snake! The one great disappointment was that the birds we heard in the sage bushes above the Junction were indeed Sage Sparrows, but fatigue and the temptation of finding Lewis' Woodpecker prevented us from actually seeing the sparrows. Oh, well...

Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Wood Duck
Mallard
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle (previous week)
Red-tailed Hawk
Swainson's Hawk (previous week)
American Kestrel
Wild Turkey
California Quail
American Coot
Killdeer
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Anna's Hummingbird
Selasphorus species (previous week)
Belted Kingfisher
Lewis' Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttalls' Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Oak Titmouse (previous week)
Chestnut-backed Chicadee
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit (heard only)
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher (heard only)
Cedar Waxwing
Phainopepla
European Starling
Warbling Vireo
Orange-crowned Wabler
Wilson's Warbler
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak (previous week)
Lazuli Bunting
Spotted Towhee (heard only)
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (car-1 only)
Lark Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Purple Finch (seen by two members of group)
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch (previous week)
Lawrence's Goldfinch (previous week)
House Sparrow



Stevens Creek Park 05-05-01

This first trip to the park for our group was a huge success. The weather was beautiful and birds practically had to stand in line to be identified... We had many lifers for members of our group including Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Hooded Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, but we also had a spring-time treat of several nests. The six nests we found (or were directed to) were White-breasted Nuthatch, Black Phoebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, Anna's Hummingbird, American Robin and Nuttall's Woodpecker. This beautiful park not only offered a pleasant walk, but may colorful spring birds and will definately be a permanent fixture on our Spring field trip itinerary.

Double-crested Cormorant
Mallard
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (while leaving park(
California Quail (heard)
Caspian Tern
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Selasphorus Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood Pewee
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow (seen by one member of group)
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren (heard only)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
Warbling Vireo
Orange-crowned Warbler (heard only)
Yellow Warbler
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow (seen by one member of group)
Dark-eyed Junco
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Hooded Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
Purple Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch



Coyote Hills Regional Park 04-28-01

Beautiful weather was our companion on this marvelous walk. Highlights included Red-tailed Hawk in courtship flight with an exchange of a small ritual gift and Great Horned Owl on the nest.

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
Canada Goose
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Gadwall
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-necked Pheasant
California Quail
American Coot
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
White-throated Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Bushtit
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Wilson's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird (seen by two members of group)
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
Purple Finch (heard only)
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow



Ano Nuevo State Reserve 04-21-01

This was the first time I had taken our group to this beautiful spot. The weather was absolutely perfect despite the two days of rain and clouds before. While the reserve offered many possiblities of unusual birds, only a few of them were logged as our 1.5 mile out walk to the point was blocked by numerous Elephant Seals. Rangers gave us some interesting insights into the lives of these amazing animals and showed us some of the fur and whiskers the seals have been molting while relaxing on the beach. Most of our finds were concentrated around the pond and first beach with it's nearby willows and thick reed beds. Highlights included a singing Wilson's Warbler, many hundreds of Bank Swallows and a large group of Pigeon Guillemots off shore. On the way out of the park our car also had an immature Golden Eagle and at least 100 Band-tailed Pigeons. Next time we will probably spend more time in the area near the farmhouse where more trees could produce some interesting species.

Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Western Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Mallard
Surf Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser (female)
American Coot
Killdeer
Whimbrel
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Caspian Tern
Pigeon Guillemot
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle (imm. on way out of the reserve)
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
California Quail
Rock Dove
Band-tailed Pigeon (near entrance of reserve)
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker (heard near entrance)
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Steller's Jay (near entrance)
Western Scrub Jay
Common Raven
Wrentit (heard)
Bushtit
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
American Robin
California Thrasher
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler (heard near entrance)
Common Yellowthroat (heard at pond)
Wilson's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow (seen by two members of group)
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (by entrance)
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird (by entrance)
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch



Joseph D. Grant County Park 04-14-01

Our trip to Grant Ranch was a real success! The weather started out cool with some frost (making me question my judgment in wearing shorts...) but soon warmed up and became lovely, sunny and warm. Many of the songbirds remained hidden but were singing loudly, giving us opportunities to study a few songs. Highlights included many stunning views of male Bullock's Orioles defending their territory. In retrospect it seems odd there were only two Bullock's females seen during our walk... Lincoln's Sparrows, which should be leaving the area soon, have remained long enough for us to find five individuals. The star of the day was a lone male Lawrence's Goldfinch which we saw briefly in the huge oak tree near the Farm House. The lake produced a surprising variety of waterfowl, including a very late Ring-necked Duck. We found three Western Kingbirds as well, not to mention an immature Golden Eagle which Mike Mammoser pointed out for us as we prepared to leave the park. Once again, Grant Ranch proves itself to be a wonderful spot for spring birding!

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Gadwall
Cinnamon Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle (imm.)
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
California Quail
American Coot
Sora (heard only)
Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs
Caspian Tern (HWY 101 at Alum Rock exit)
Mourning Dove
Rock Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker (heard only)
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicer
Black Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Yellow-billed Magpie
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit (heard only)
California Thrasher (heard only)
European Starling
Warbling Vireo (heard on Mt. Hamilton Road)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Kenneth saw)
Orange-crowned Warbler (heard only)
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch
Lawrence's Goldfinch
House Sparrow



Arastradero Open Space Preserve 04-07-01

Despite dismal weather predictions, our walk at Arastradero was wonderful, warm and sunny. We began in the parking area where Western Bluebirds allowed us to observe them closely and compare the subtle earthy colors of the females with the brilliant shiny blues of the males. It was obvious that Spring has most definately arrived, bringing with it colorful Bullock's Orioles and curious Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Other highlights included swarms of foraging Swallows and a nest box occupied by House Wrens. We witnessed dramatic aerial dogfights between a nesting pair of White-tailed Kites and a Common Raven who approached the pair too closely. We also heard the raucous calls of nesting Red-shouldered Hawks in the trees above the pond. We did not see the Green Heron that had been at the pond, but apparently missed it by just moments. Soon, we can expect the Ash-throated Flycatchers to arrive, but apparently it is still a bit early.

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Mallard
Bufflehead (female)
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Accipiter (species)
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
American Kestrel
California Quail
American Coot
Vaux's Swift
White-throated Swift
Mourning Dove
Rock Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicer (heard only)
Black Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (heard only)
Blue-gray Gnatchatcher
Western Bluebird
American Robin
Wrentit (heard only)
California Thrasher (heard only)
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
Wilson's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Purple Finch (heard only)
American Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch
Pine Siskin
House Sparrow



Charleston Slough 03-31-01

Our first trip of the Spring term was a big success! The weather was clear, sunny and warm with "lifers" for many members of the group. We concentrated on swimming birds such as Dabbling and Diving Ducks and Grebes but found quite a few Shorebirds to identify as well, including a seasonally uncommon Common Snipe. Flocks of Bonaparte's Gulls included shome individuals showing full breeding plumage were a nice treat as well as 12 Black Skimmers (my favorite) on their usual island roost. Perhaps the nicest encounter was with the colony of Cliff Swallows at the pumphouse. These birds were almost evicted from their traditional nesting spot when the city of Mountain View decided to place a metal fence on the building's eaves. Community birders were so vocal in their protest that the fences were removed and the birds are now allowed to set up their mud nests again.

Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Gadwall
Canvasback
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead (female)
Hooded Merganser (female)
Ruddy Duck
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-necked Pheasant (heard only)
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Marbled Godwit
Least Sandpiper
Dowitcher (species)
Common Snipe
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Forster's Tern
Black Skimmer
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Bushtit
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird (heard only)
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee (heard only)
Savannah Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow