Date: 3/20/17 6:27 pm
From: William Pelletier <wrpelletier...> [south-bay-birds] <south-bay-birds-noreply...>
Subject: [SBB] Big weekend - Spring has sprung!
Folks,
In an effort to prep for the upcoming SCVAS bird-a-thon, we decided to do a big day on Saturday with my Birding by Ear (BBE) team: The Sharpies.
The day began at 6:30am outside Ed Levin Spring Valley area where we immediately heard a Great Horned Owl. We got the Red Breasted Sapsucker but dipped on the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker in the dirt lot. Matthew Dodder and his class were there and had just seen the bird, but we were on a tight schedule and kept moving without this bird that we knew would not turn up again during the day. The location coughed up 40 birds in as many minutes, as you can see on eBird link as follows:http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271180
Next stop Sandy Wool area where we got two Bald Eagle, two Bullock's Oriole and started in on the Swallows. We didn't go up the Aqua trail to get Rufous Crowned or Grasshoper Sparrow on consideration of time. Those Eagles changed our plans, as we were thinking to swing by Curtner Elementary on the way to Alviso, but instead went straight to Don Edwards.http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271198
Alviso produced in big numbers for us from the get-go. Burrowing Owl http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271015on Disk Drive on the way in and boom, we made a short jaunt out to the viewing platform and back. I didn't get the Glaucus Gull that I saw yesterday but we still bagged 49 species in 88 minutes.http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35268881
We then stopped by Gold & Elizabeth where we netted 7 species and spent a little too much time trying to evaluate Lesser vs Greater Yellowlegs, as you will see from the picture, it has a little bit lighter base on the bill but everything else says Lesser to me.eBird Checklist – Gold St. at Elizabeth St., California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 7 species


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eBird Checklist – Gold St. at Elizabeth St., California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 ...
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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On the way to shoreline we nabbed the Ring Necked Pheasant at Harvey MarsheBird Checklist – Harvey Marsh, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species
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eBird Checklist – Harvey Marsh, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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3Shoreline targets were Wilson's Snipe and Surf Scoter and we went two out of three missing the Great Tailed Grackles. We didn't catch the Bittern this time but we got to see it on our last field trip to this location, so we didn't cry bittern tears of rage ;)http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35270898 and I made a separate list for Charleston Slough even though we walked over and could see many of the birds from the lake as well. The area around the lake delivered 28 species in as many minutes, while Charleston Slough gave up two Wilson's Snipe and a Eurasian Wigeon. By this point we were getting hungry and slowed down a bit, landing 47 species in just under an hour. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35270898We ate our lunches on the picnic tables at Palo Alto Baylands, where we got a lot of the shorebirds we were missing, like Whimbrel, Curlew, Short Billed Dowitcher, Willet and a Dunlin. These 31 species cost us over an hour, but it was well worth the delay to eat and get some final bay shore birding in before we head back to the hills.eBird Checklist – Palo Alto Baylands, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 31 species

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eBird Checklist – Palo Alto Baylands, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 31 sp...
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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White Throated Swifts were seen at the underpass just before we exited for Arastradero. Folks,
In an effort to prep for the upcoming SCVAS bird-a-thon, we decided to do a big day on Saturday with my Birding by Ear (BBE) team: The Sharpies.
The day began at 6:30am outside Ed Levin Spring Valley area where we immediately heard a Great Horned Owl. We got the Red Breasted Sapsucker but dipped on the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker in the dirt lot. Matthew Dodder and his class were there and had just seen the bird, but we were on a tight schedule and kept moving without this bird that we knew would not turn up again during the day. The location coughed up 40 birds in as many minutes, as you can see on eBird link as follows:http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271180
Next stop Sandy Wool area where we got two Bald Eagle, two Bullock's Oriole and started in on the Swallows. We didn't go up the Aqua trail to get Rufous Crowned or Grasshoper Sparrow on consideration of time. Those Eagles changed our plans, as we were thinking to swing by Curtner Elementary on the way to Alviso, but instead went straight to Don Edwards.http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271198
Alviso produced in big numbers for us from the get-go. Burrowing Owl http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271015on Disk Drive on the way in and boom, we made a short jaunt out to the viewing platform and back. I didn't get the Glaucus Gull that I saw yesterday but we still bagged 49 species in 88 minutes.http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35268881
We then stopped by Gold & Elizabeth where we netted 7 species and spent a little too much time trying to evaluate Lesser vs Greater Yellowlegs, as you will see from the picture, it has a little bit lighter base on the bill but everything else says Lesser to me.eBird Checklist – Gold St. at Elizabeth St., California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 7 species


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eBird Checklist – Gold St. at Elizabeth St., California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 ...
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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On the way to shoreline we nabbed the Ring Necked Pheasant at Harvey MarsheBird Checklist – Harvey Marsh, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species
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eBird Checklist – Harvey Marsh, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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3Shoreline targets were Wilson's Snipe and Surf Scoter and we went two out of three missing the Great Tailed Grackles. We didn't catch the Bittern this time but we got to see it on our last field trip to this location, so we didn't cry bittern tears of rage ;)http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35270898 and I made a separate list for Charleston Slough even though we walked over and could see many of the birds from the lake as well. The area around the lake delivered 28 species in as many minutes, while Charleston Slough gave up two Wilson's Snipe and a Eurasian Wigeon. By this point we were getting hungry and slowed down a bit, landing 47 species in just under an hour. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35270898We ate our lunches on the picnic tables at Palo Alto Baylands, where we got a lot of the shorebirds we were missing, like Whimbrel, Curlew, Short Billed Dowitcher, Willet and a Dunlin. These 31 species cost us over an hour, but it was well worth the delay to eat and get some final bay shore birding in before we head back to the hills.eBird Checklist – Palo Alto Baylands, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 31 species

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eBird Checklist – Palo Alto Baylands, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 31 sp...
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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We saw White Throated Swifts at the underpass on 280 just before we exited for Arastradero. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271096 at this point we had to reduce cars down to one since there is never parking at Arastradero and there wasn't. We wasted a lot of time on logistics at this point, which cost us a handful of birds on the day. We got Merlin, House Wren, Green Heron, White Tailed Kite (1 only) and our first of day Violent Green Swallow. 39 birds in 1 1/2 hours is a slow day for this location.eBird Checklist – Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 39 species

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eBird Checklist – Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 39 species
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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We dropped by Gate of Heaven to catch Hooded Merganser:http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35269075 We were lucky to snag a first of day Northern Rough Winged Swallow.
Los Capitancillos was basically a bust, save for FOD Ring Necked Duck, Cedar Waxwing and a small flock of Cackling Goose that were playing football on the field ;)eBird Checklist – Los Capitancillos Ponds, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 18 species (+1 other taxa)

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eBird Checklist – Los Capitancillos Ponds, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – ...
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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If you are still reading this, you will be glad to know that we stopped short and headed over to Lake Almaden to try for Sapsuckers but struck out. Between these two stops we wasted what should have been time landing new birds at Stevens Creek Park or even McClellan Ranch.
We then drove to Morgan Hill where we scored a whole new kind of birds from the farm lands down there. A drive by Bailey Ave didn't take long, but didn't yield anything new. Laguna Ave brought back memories for all of us, except Gail Cheeseman who had never been there before. We got Tri-Color Blackbird using our BBE skills and totaled 7 species and rested for several minutes in a row :-)http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35269444
Coyote Valley OSP produced Brown Headed Cowbird, Yellow Billed Magpie and a pair of Rock Wrens posing for Garrett to get some quality photographs. We dipped on Loggerhead Shrike all day ... they may have migrated :(We got 18 species and some really great birds indeed ... ROWR!http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271131
After some Mexican food for dinner in Morgan Hill we drove back to Arastradero to retrieve the cars, but I made one pass up the hill for Owls and landed a Barn Owl just past the main parking. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35271545Then we got an amazing view of a Great Horned Owl on the road up Mt. Hamilton ... perched for a while then flew in my brights for a spectacular look, but I'm to slow with the camera still to have gotten a picture.eBird Checklist – 13400 Clayton, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species

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eBird Checklist – 13400 Clayton, California – Sat Mar 18, 2017 – 1 species
The premier destination for birding on the Web. | |

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All in all we could have done better but ended up with 126 species from midnight to midnight of March the 18th 2017. We went casually birding yesterday and got only 102 species at fewer locations, so teamwork pays off big time! My weekend total stands at 147 species with a few that we are still researching, like Iceland Gull and Lesser Yellowlegs.
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.Thanks,Bill <Pelletierwrpelletier...>
Meet "The Sharpies"Bill Pelletier - Bus DriverKitty O'Neil - Navigator, bird list & birding by ear aceGarrett Lau - PhotographerKate Finn - eBird data analystPatricia Lynch - Cowbird repellent Sergio Perez - SpotterGail Cheeseman - CFOShelley Gordon - Birder


 
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