Date: 7/20/20 5:00 am
From: Eve Meier <eve.m.meier...>
Subject: Re: [southbaybirds] 2 Black Oystercatchers at San Francisquito Creek mouth
For those of you that are interested in the phalaropes but don't know how
to find the east pond at Sunnyvale WPCP, check out The July 12th entry covers that

Eve Meier (San Jose)

On Sun, Jul 19, 2020 at 11:34 PM Adam Burnett <adamburnett33...>

> This evening there were 2 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS at the San Francisquito
> Creek mouth, at the Santa Clara/San Mateo county line. I only saw them on
> the San Mateo side of the line, but they were close to the boundary and
> could easily cross it, so I figured this report would be of interest.
> Though the county line here follows San Francisquito Creek until it
> reaches the Bay, the line then takes a sharp turn southeast and extends
> eastward, so that almost all of the flats here are in San Mateo County. For
> details, see this interactive map:
> I spotted the oystercatchers shortly after my arrival at the creek mouth,
> around 5:50 PM, which was about 4 hours after high tide today. The
> oystercatchers initially were on the southeast side of the creek channel
> but far enough from shore that they were still in San Mateo County. As they
> foraged, they gradually moved northwest and eventually passed out of view
> behind the marsh vegetation and rocky debris along the San Mateo County
> shore. If these birds stick around, the best strategy for seeing them in
> Santa Clara County may be to arrive at the creek mouth sooner after high
> tide than I did today, so that the water will be higher and the birds will
> be closer to shore, and therefore more likely to be on the Santa Clara
> County side of the line. This approach worked well with the Ruddy
> Turnstones here this past spring. It’s funny how this location can bring
> out the boundary-focused aspect of birding, but I guess that’s just one of
> the many quirks of our hobby.
> A large area of flats was exposed at the creek mouth, but there were only
> limited numbers of other shorebirds, though more were flying in from the
> Palo Alto Baylands. Plenty of shorebirds remained at the Baylands,
> including a LESSER YELLOWLEGS, presumably the one reported by Steve and
> Eve. A NORTHERN PINTAIL was in the slough along the trail parallel to the
> airport runway.
> Highlights from an extended bike ride yesterday (7/18) included:
> - A flock of 31 BROWN PELICANS flying northwest over Salt Pond A2E,
> mirroring Mike Rogers’s sighting from the day before. 3 more Brown Pelicans
> were on Salt Pond A14.
> - One adult LEAST TERN perched on a post in A2E quite close to the edge of
> the Bay Trail (thanks Frank!), at the bend in the trail where Crittenden
> Marsh meets the triangular pond to the northeast. I stood here for a while,
> and eventually 15 more Least Terns materialized in a feeding frenzy near
> the trail. Looking in the other direction from this spot, there were 7
> SNOWY PLOVERS on the dry flats of Crittenden Marsh.
> - An OSPREY near the northwest corner of Salt Pond A9, flying northward
> over the adjacent marshes.
> - An estimated 480 WILSON’S PHALAROPES on the East Pond of the Sunnyvale
> Adam Burnett
> Stanford

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