Date: 1/2/18 8:57 pm From: <willjaponicus...> [south-bay-birds] <south-bay-birds-noreply...> Subject: [SBB] Jan 2 Santa Clara County Big Day - 158 species
Today Jasen Liu and I did our annual new year Santa Clara county big day. We beat our previous record of 148 species with a total of 158 species!
We started the day with owling in Monte Bello OSP, where we got four species of owl including two NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL. We also got most of our forest species for the day in the dawn chorus.
We then did a couple of stops down to the bay where we first went to Palo Alto Baylands. Here we got WHIMBREL and other expected species. We also witnessed a Dunlin clip a powerline in flight and tumble to the water. Before we even realized what had happened a peregrine, harrier and herring gull had all swooped in to claim the free meal. The gull ended up winning out.
We then headed to shoreline were we bagged HOODED MERGANSER, BARROWS GOLDENEYE, EURASIAN WIGEON, REDHEAD, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, and WILSON'S SNIPE.
The Alviso/Don Edwards area produced LESSER YELLOWLEGS, BLUE-WINGED TEAL and SNOWY PLOVER. Unfortunately we were unable to find the Ruff. However we did get BURROWING OWLS on Disk dr.
We then left the bayside and headed to the Alamitos area. We dipped on the Snow Goose at Los Capitancillos Ponds and the Red-naped Sapsucker at Almaden Lake. However, we did get the CHIPPING SPARROW at TJ Martin park without getting out of the car and the PHAINOPEPLA at Guadalupe Oak Grove park in less than a minute.
After this we headed to Coyote Valley. First we headed to Palm and Dougherty to get the VERMILLION FLYCATCHER along with a few GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES, then Coyote Valley OSP for ROCK WREN and Laguna ave. for FERRUGINOUS HAWK, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE and TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD. At Ogier Ponds we got DOWNY WOODPECKER (a nemesis for us on these big days). Finally at Parkway Lakes we got a BALD EAGLE in fading light.
We finished up the day with some night birding. First RIDGWAY'S RAILS responded to our clapping at the Palo Alto Baylands (we even got to see one in my phone flashlight). Then we called in a BARN OWL at Gunn High School. To finish it off as I was driving Jasen home, a WESTERN SCREECH-OWL flew low through my headlights.