Posted by: atowhee | March 30, 2013

FROM MARYLAND TO MT. HAMILTON

I spent Friday birding with a pair of visitors from Maryland. It was a twelve-year-old girl and her father. She was the real birder. It was her first trip to California, but she was ready. Her two most desired target birds were the Yellow-billed Magpie and Lewis’s Woodpecker. So I met them at their inn in Half Moon Bay at 7AM. Before we returned we’d found 60 birds including her magpie, the Lewis’s and several other California specialties. It all began in dense fog at Pillar Point and the Princeton Harbor just north of Half Moon Bay. The visitors saw every bird we found there except the Short-eared Owl that had been on the airport fence when I drove past abokut 645AM.
This young birder had prepared. She had cut out picgtures of some target birds and written short descriptions: Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Towhee, et al.. And she took notes on each new bird as well as keeping a list.
“We have 48 species already,” she said in late morning. She seemed especially pleased wehn we hit 60. And she was patient as we drove all the way to Livermore then up Mines Road more than 30 miles to the Lewis’s Woodpeckers on Mt. Hamilton inside Santa Clara County.
Her keen eyes aided by the energy of youth were combined with an already-sharp sense of what a bird should look like. Swifts over a freeway underpess she immediately spotted & recognized. Of course, they were White-throated, not the Chimney Swifts she knows from back home in Maryland. Our best views of the species were later at the bridge in Lake Del Valle Park off Mines Road. There she got pictures of both jay species in the picnic area there. Cliff Swallows were busy gathering mud from the shore of Del Valle Reservoir.
On oower Nines Road I saw my first pair of Western Kingbirds of the season and the yokung birder got good pictures of a juvenile Golden Eagle soaring right over our heads on the road into Murrieta’s Well Vineyard, a great spot to bird.
Most of the species we found she captured with her camera. Here are a few of my pictures from the day.
YB MAG--FENCE

TB MNAG LKS
yb mag--Mines Rd
LEWO--MT HAM
ACWOK-DEL VALLE

CAQU-FG

COLO--PILLAR.PT

POPPY

RTL X 3
Red-throated Loons at Princeton Harbor.
RTL--PAIR

SOSP--FOG

WEGU.CRAB
Thie Western Gull had just caught a good-sized crab.
WHIMB.BK

WHIMB-PROFILE

WILLET--TWO

WRENTIT-FGMARCH 29, 2013: BAY AREA BIRDING
Pillar Point Harbor, San Mateo, US-CA. Mar 29, 2013 7:20 AM. 45 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 12
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) 4
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 30
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 4
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 3
California Quail (Callipepla californica) 6
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 4
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 3
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 4
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 50
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 16
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 1
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) 2
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 12
Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) 2
Willet (Tringa semipalmata) 15
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 2
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) 45
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 50
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 15
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 6
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) 1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 2
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 6
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 25
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 2
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 5
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 25
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 12
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 10
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) 1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 4
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 10
Murrieta’s Well Winery, Alameda, US-CA. Mar 29, 2013 10:45 AM. 23 species.
Ring-necked Pheasant
California Quail (Callipepla californica)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 6
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) 1
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) 1
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 2
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 4
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 2
Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli) 1
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 1
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 12
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 1
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 2
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 4
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 2
Mines Rd. (ALA Co.), Alameda, US-CA. Mar 29, 2013 10:45 AM. 27 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
California Quail (Callipepla californica) X
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli) X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) X
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X
Lake Del Valle SRA, Alameda, US-CA. Mar 29, 2013 11:50 AM. 22 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 6
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 12
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) 1
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 15
California Quail (Callipepla californica) X
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 75
Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 10
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 6
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 2
American Coot (Fulica americana) 30
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 2
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis) 6
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 15
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) 25
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 6
San Antonio Valley Rd., Santa Clara, US-CA. Mar 29, 2013 2:30 PM. 17 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
American Coot (Fulica americana) X
Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) X
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) X
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X


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