Date: 1/5/20 7:58 pm From: Matthew Dodder <mdodder...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Birding the New Year
Having zeroed-out 2019 and faced with a fresh (but empty) list for 2020, my friends Ken Petersen and Eric Goodill dodged around around the county on Jan 1 trying to build our 2020 list. We started first in downtown Los Altos, then Palo Alto Baylands, Shoreline Park (The Lake and Pond A1), McClellan Ranch, Stevens Creek Park (Cooley, Chestnut, etc), and Picchetti Ranch before calling it quits. We ended up with 100 species, which wasn’t our goal when we began, but it was nice to get there. Mostly we focused on rare or seasonal birds we knew would be departing soon, so we didn’t work hard to find resident species. Still, we found a few of both.
Highlights were 6 EVENING GROSBEAKS at in Los Altos, a RIDGWAY’S RAIL, and a BLUE-WINGED TEAL in the Palo Alto Baylands, 3 EURASIAN WIGEON, tons of REDHEAD and both SCAUP on A1. We admired 2 WESTERN SCREECH-OWL at the Ranch, and limped along searching for Sapsuckers with no luck the rest of the day.
On January 4, Cricket and I continued the New Year by seeing 4 SNOW GEESE and 4 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at the Kite Flying lot of Shoreline Park. The lake produced the BARROW’S GOLDENEYE female, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a BALD EAGLE. We then dashed up to Sanborn Park (John Nicholas Trail) and had a flock of RED CROSSBILL, 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, a VARIED THRUSH, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and a PACIFIC WREN.
Today, Cricket and I searched for the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER with the help of Carlos Marquez and had all had great views at the Santa Clara Water District. Later we tracked down a flock of 8 CHIPPING SPARROWS at TJ Martin Park.
And toward the end of the day I moved to the east hills to find a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER at Spring Valley area of Ed Levin in the tamarisk trees. Marsh Road was quiet except for the squawking of YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES, but I also had a GOLDEN EAGLE perched high on the ridge.
It sounds like a wonderful new year so far, but I haven’t mentioned the many birds we DIDN’T find...