Date: 7/9/20 11:49 am From: Jean Myers <dosriosjean...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Notes from Casa Dos Rios and Goodbye
Living at Casa Dos Rios (our home near Gilroy in the Santa Cruz Mountain foothills) has been like a long dream - loaded with wildlife and exciting projects. When we first bought the property 17 years ago, my goal was to restore the 8 acres of riparian corridor to its' native state and to replace the non-native gardens with almost 2 acres of native gardens. I completed restoration on about 6 of the 8 riparian acres over the years (sometimes with the help of others), but restoring the flood plain where the two creeks merged was more than I could achieve in the years that were available to me given the limitations of my aging body. Restoration work is most comfortably achieved by the young!!! I hoped to attract breeding habitat for chaparal birds such as wrentit and thrasher and improve breeding habitat in the creek areas for species such as merganser and yellow-breasted chat (which last bred on the property in 1990). Wrentit, thrasher and merganser have since bred on the property but the closest I came to chat was a possible auditory ID a couple of years ago. The 25 next boxes were very active with the barn owl box being one of my favorites (3 chicks this year). Other wildlife documented by the wildlife cameras I placed on the property included species that bred on the property such as fox, bobcat and loads of smaller mammals. Occasional visitors were coyote, mountain lion and even one visit from a black bear (only seen). Through the years, I verified over 100 species of birds, 50 which chose to breed, although not every year . Given that my auditory ID skills are even worse than my visual ID skills, it is quite probable that the list would have been even larger had I improved. Luckily, my photography allowed me to document most of the species that were seen.
As some of you may know, last year our daughter ended up in a wheelchair, which threw our world upside down. She had established a thriving network of friends and supporters in Napa over the last 10 years, and coupled with most of our family now living in the north or east bay, we decided to sell our beautiful Casa Dos Rios and move to Napa to be near family. Even though travel and work at Casa Dos Rios kept me from spending much time with all of you over the last several years, I will miss all of my south bay birding friends who inspired me and taught me so much over the years. Casa Dos Rios will be well cared for by the new owners, who are wildlife lovers, and I will tend our new (smaller) property in the north bay.
Best wishes to all of you. Perhaps I will see you at various birding venues in the future.
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