Date: 6/12/18 9:45 pm
From: Kent Forward via Groups.Io <kforward=<yahoo.com...>
Subject: [pen-bird] Purple Martins at Moss Beach (Rancho Corral de Tierra) - 6/12/2018
Good Evening Folks,
Around 7:20 PM this evening while wrapping up a birding hike in Rancho Corral de Tierra in the Moss Beach area I saw 2 PURPLE MARTINs foraging above the upper pond that can be viewed from the lower section of the public Farmer Daughter's Trail (just up the hill from the Ember Ridge Equestrian center area at the end of Ranch Road - access from Etheldore Street).  Similar to my experience at this same location in April 2017 when I also saw 2 Purple Martins, there were a lot of Swallows, and also Blackbirds, including European Starlings in the area, and at first I was ever so briefly flummoxed as to why one of the "Starlings" actually "landed" on the surface of the water to drink/forage briefly like a swallow then taking off again, and as I got my binoculars on it I soon noted the forked tail, deep purple/blue sheen, dark bill etc. of a Purple Martin!  There was also a female with pale underparts.  They circled around the pond and repeated this behavior over several minutes before heading off in a northeasterly direction.  I wonder if these Martins are coming down from the nesting area back up in the water shed to forage, or if they may actually be a different set of Martins setting up some nesting closer by?  At any rate, always cool to see a Martin.
There were also some notable signs of breeding including a pair of adult PYGMY NUTHATCHES taking turns bringing food into a small hole in the side of a dead pine tree.  Also on the pond where the Martins were was a pair of RUDDY DUCK attending to 3 downy young swimming alongside.
Finally, an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was of interest as a first for me at this location.  In many areas where I frequently bird in San Mateo County there seems to be a preponderance of this species this year, much more abundant than in recent years?
Bountiful Birding,Kent ForwardEl Granada

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