Date: 11/25/18 2:42 pm From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Coyote Valley OSP 11/25
I was able to head out and spend some time in Coyote Valley today.
First stop was Laguna which was pretty quiet. No sign of the mountain bluebirds. I did run into the flock of pipits, which as at least 35 birds and maybe as high as 50. That just seems strange, especially there. Otehr than that it was a couple of kestrels, a shrike and a mixed flock of Brewer's Blackbirds and Starlings.
I then headed down to Coyote Valley OSP and hung out for an hour in the lot, where I also ran into a couple of others who read SBB on and off (waves hi). We were initially greeted by a kestrel that had found about a foot long snake and had it for lunch, and a logger head shrike that was hunting and caught at least one grasshopper.
Raptor activity was not massive but we had good numbers and a variety of species. highlight was a pair of golden eagles we saw two or three times soaring to the south, and a red-tailed hawk and a white-tailed kite that got into a tussle mid-air.
Highlight: while looking at a couple of soaring hawks overhead in the binoculars, I started seeing flashes of white and black behind them. Scanning the sky, I found a flock of white-throated swifts hunting. They were at some altitude, above the hawks, and actively flying around in a loose flock. My counting tries ultimately found 13 birds but there might have been more. At one point we heard them overhead chittering as they flew.
a magpie came in and demanded we take it's picture, and so we did, but most of them stayed at distance.