This evening, 2/10, I went for a walk on the Dish Trail. It started off cold and rather crowded with people, and remained so throughout the afternoon. To compensate, however, there were some beautiful vistas of both the snow-covered Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains enshrouded in clouds, as well as a couple species of note.
While I was watching a flock of about 20 or so WESTERN MEADOWLARKS on the green slopes west of the trail, I happened to turn around to the east side and noticed a gray bird with a crest and whitish outlines on the wings moving around low in an oak tree with several clumps of mistletoe. Upon closer inspection, it was a female PHAINOPEPLA. The bird remained sitting still for about a minute and then began moving between the mistletoe clumps. I never heard it call and it was quite difficult to locate while it was feeding, but hopefully it sticks around for a while.
A few minutes later, while passing the dense clump of forest just south of the Dish, I heard hooting from the right of the trail, and some scrub-jays making a racket. Although I couldn't find the birds after about five minutes of searching, it was clear that there were at least two GREAT HORNED OWLS hidden somewhere among the tangle of leaves and branches.