Date: 1/7/18 6:28 am From: <flycatcher...> [peninsula-birding] <peninsula-birding-noreply...> Subject: [pen-bird] Vesper and Lark sparrows, Ferruginous Hawk - Lwr La Honda OSP 1-6-2018
In addition to the other rarities mentioned by Sonny Mencher that were observed at Lower La Honda OSP yesterday 1-6-2018, I encountered a group of three Vesper Sparrows keeping to themselves in the grasslands that the (only) trail passes through for the first mile (there are also Savannah Sparrows in this section so study up before you go; the differences are mostly subtle). The Lark Sparrows were also in this section. The Ferruginous Hawk is a dark form individual so quite different-looking from most of those I've seen in the county.
There was also an odd color variant of Dark-eyed Junco that could easily be taken for a 'pink-sided' bird, as it is significantly paler across the body - I'd call it a warm honey color - with pinkish flanks and a soft gray head - but its primaries and tail feathers are almost completely white, where a pink-sided bird would be dark instead. Truly a beautiful bird however.
There is an ebird hotspot for Lower La Honda so if you go, please consider adding your data there as we begin to gain an idea of the birdlife at this wonderful new gem in the local greenbelt system. I will have pictures of these rarities up on ebird soon.