Date: 1/13/18 1:02 pm From: Michael Mammoser <mmammoser...> [south-bay-birds] <south-bay-birds-noreply...> Subject: [SBB] Coyote Valley
I made a visit to Coyote Valley today, 13 Jan 2018, with an initial stop at the Coyote Valley OSP at the west end of Palm Dr. I ran into David Diller, who told me of a pair of Snow Geese along Laguna Ave. So, I headed over there.
At Laguna (west) I quickly refound the 2 adult SNOW GEESE in the flooded strip by the back fence, north of the road. I ran into David and Melissa Johnson, and Al Eisner. We also saw a BURROWING OWL by the back fence, not too far from the geese. As we stood and watched for some time, as little groups of CANADA GEESE flew in. Then Melissa saw a white goose flying, and we were all able to get on the bird; me with my scope, that showed a ROSS'S GOOSE with a small bill, no black grin line, and a greenish basal color. This bird finally landed after some amount of circling, but did so out towards Santa Teresa Blvd. We all jumped in our cars and drove over, finding the bird in the field north of Laguna on the east side of Santa Teresa. Good scope looks confirmed my initial ID as a Ross's. This bird was mostly white, but had some dusky coloration on the crown and nape, indicating it as an immature bird.
I then drove back down to the OSP, hoping to find a Ferruginous Hawk, which I needed for my year list. I quickly saw an adult GOLDEN EAGLE being harassed by a lesser raptor. It was only in view briefly before disappearing behind a hill. A couple ROCK WRENS made appearances on the hillside behind the bathroom. A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was perched on a telephone wire, as was a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Al Eisner showed up and we watched together for a while. Without seeing a Ferruginous, I left to go back to Laguna.
Arriving back at Laguna about an hour after having left it, I saw that all 3 white geese were gone. I set up my scope about halfway down the road and began scanning. Eventually, I found a FERRUGINOUS HAWK soaring over the hills behind the IBM facility at Bailey Ave. It was a light morph bird, not the dark morph that some people have been seeing in this area recently. I decided to leave at that point and drove to the end of Laguna to turn around. As I drove back, I suddenly noticed a white spot in the field north of the road. A scope view showed that it was the ROSS'S GOOSE. It must have flown in just as I was driving to the turn around point.