I visited the South County Regional Wastewater Authority treatment ponds in Gilroy this morning, 11/14/18. They are letting water into one of the western Obata Ponds, otherwise the only water was in the entrance pond. The entrance pond had lots of ducks and included a single male EURASIAN WIGEON and three BLUE-WINGED TEAL, two males and a female. I saw only two LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES during my visit. I walked from the South Ponds down to Bloomfield and back along Llagas Creek and was surprised to see a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER in the riparian, the first I've seen in 55 visits. A few gnatcatchers overwinter in the county, but most of our summer residents leave in late July and early August and return in early March. Overwintering birds are found more or less regularly from September to February. Sometimes these overwintering birds are referred to as "half-hardies," but based on the Palo Alto summer and winter counts, the ratio is closer to a thousand-to-one.
Bill Bousman Menlo Park
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