Date: 1/7/18 11:12 am
From: Kent Forward <kforward...> [peninsula-birding] <peninsula-birding-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [pen-bird] Vesper and Lark sparrows, Ferruginous Hawk - Lwr La Honda OSP 1-6-2018
Hi All,
I must have just missed Sonny and Garth there yesterday, but wanted to fully concur with them about what a special place this is!  I took the full 9 mile out and back including the far back loop and it was truly spectacular, views from high out over the redwood valleys one way, and a peek at the ocean the other way, not to mention all the open grassland / pasture land all along the way - raptor heaven! 
A few additional notes was a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE about 1 mile up the trail (photo in the checklist), as well as the bubbly chatter of CALIFORNIA THRASHERS heard at various points along the way (I managed to capture an audio which is also in my checklist):

On a side note for those interested, it is also excellent for mammal watching, I saw and photographed a BOBCAT as well as three COYOTES.  A ranger I spoke with said she frequently sees Bobcats there.
Good Birding,Kent ForwardEl Granada
On Sunday, January 7, 2018, 9:22:04 AM PST, Adam Dudley <adam.dudley...> [peninsula-birding] <peninsula-birding-noreply...> wrote:

Hi folks, just a short note that 2 Lark and 3 Vesper Sparrows are still present today at La Honda OSP along the main trail. They are about 500yds from the parking lot. Still present at 9:20am.

Good birding,

Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 7, 2018, at 6:27 AM, <flycatcher...> [peninsula-birding] <peninsula-birding-noreply...> wrote:


Hi All,


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.


Happy New Year,

Garth Harwood, Pescadero

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