The Calero-Morgan Hill CBC was held this past Saturday, Dec 30. The weather was well appreciated - sunny and calm. The lack of rain so far this year was apparent in many very dry areas. The southwestern area of the circle was parched and waterfowl were sparse. Overall, however, the diversity of species reported was still high of average for this inland circle, at 149.
There is no doubt regarding the best bird found during this year’s count - that would be the beautiful male Vermilion Flycatcher found by Ryan Phillips and team in Coyote Valley. This is a first Santa Clara county record, and the bird is continuing to delight birders daily. Will it overwinter here? Also found in Coyote Valley were the continuing immature Snow Goose and Cackling Geese.
On Coyote Ridge, Rick Herder’s team found Burrowing Owls, Grasshopper Sparrows, Tree Swallows, and a single Glaucous Gull picked out of the thousands of gulls at the landfill, by Steve Rottenborn. Hugh McDevitt spotted a Greater Roadrunner at the Almaden Research Center.
Two Phainopepla were found in this year’s count - the continuing male at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, and a female newly discovered by Janna Pauser in Almaden Quicksilver Park.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were found on the Stiles Ranch Trail by Bill Bousman, and at the Calero Reservoir by Marion Farber and her team.
The continuing Red-naped Sapsucker was located at Almaden Lake by Bruce Barrett’s team.
In Morgan Hill, Dennis Porter’s team found both a Ross’s Goose and a female Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker, both birds near the Anderson Dam.
The 3 continuing Lewis’s Woodpeckers were refound at Chesbro Reservoir by my team, and a fourth bird was found at Las Animas Road by Mike Rogers.
(Most of these rare bird reports still need to be reviewed)
Many many thanks to the 76 people that participated in this count - it does not happen without you! Kudos to Janna and Lee Pauser for organizing and serving the countdown dinner! Thank you, Mike Rogers, for keeping us honest with our rare bird reports! And continuing thanks to Ann Verdi, the soul of this circle.