Date: 12/29/20 2:25 pm
From: Dani Christensen <danichristensen1128...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Coyote Valley Sector Summary - Calero-Morgan Hill CBC
Hello all!

On Saturday 12/26, Team Coyote Valley birded from sunrise to sunset as part
of the Calero-Morgan Hill Christmas Bird Count. It rained the previous
night and dense fog hung around through the morning, eventually giving way
to a beautiful, mild winter day with only a smattering of sprinkles. We had
4 folks in two socially-distant teams covering 31 total miles over 1246
minutes! We found *79 species* and saw *3,453 individual birds*. This is my
second year leading this sector; last year we had 76 total species, so we
were up this year. Score!

Erin Fisher and Tricia Gardner hiked the Arrowhead loop trail at Coyote
Valley Open Space Preserve, and also walked Palm Ave (west). They counted
52 species, including *2* *adult* *Golden Eagles*, *Merlin*, *Sharp-shinned
Hawk*, *Loggerhead Shrike*, *Hutton’s Vireo*, *Yellow-billed Magpie*, and *Rock
Wren*! They also found a suite of woodpeckers: *Northern Flickers,
Nuttall’s, Downy, Hairy, *and* Acorn Woodpeckers*.

Equipped with walkie-talkies, Laura Coatney and I caravanned in separate
cars across the valley floor, starting with owling at North Coyote Valley
OSP (closed preserve). We had one heard-only *Barn Owl* just as the
nocturnal rains dissipated. On Fisher Creek, we had *Marsh Wren *and *Greater
Yellowlegs* but dipped on other waterbirds like Snipe & Sora. We scoped the
Laguna Seca wetland, but we were up against dense fog and backlighting and
couldn’t make out more than some *Northern* *Shovelers*. This sector is
excellent for blackbirds: large numbers of *Red-winged Blackbirds* moved
from the Preserve to Bailey Ave Ponds, where they joined a large flock
of *Brewer’s
Blackbirds*. Unfortunately, the gate to the Bailey campus was closed, so we
didn't get great looks at the field or the ponds, but picked out some
*Canvasback* from the road. Two *Red-tailed Hawks* were hanging around
together, one carrying a stick to an oak with an old nest in it, and one
later seen perched on the nest. We picked out a few *Tricolored Blackbirds*
in each of these locations, but the most impressive numbers of Trikes were
*>200* at the corner of Palm and Hale, where we stopped for a lunch break.
On Laguna Ave we had 1 juv *Ferruginous Hawk* fly overhead then land and
cough up a big pellet (yum, wish I could hop the fence and dissect that!),
and later found a different individual in its favorite tree at the east end
of Palm Ave. Back on Laguna, we also scoped *3* *Cackling Geese* in the
fields amongst the *Canadas*, 100 more Trikes, ~60 *American Pipits*,
and 2 *Peregrine

Some bummer misses, like surprisingly we found no House Sparrows (!?), no
Rufous-crowned, Bald Eagles, Grackles, and no other geese besides the
honkers & 3 cacklers. For me, the highlight was seeing the 2 Ferruginous
Hawks and *312* Tricolored Blackbirds. 2 photos inline below.

Happy New Year!

Dani Christensen

South San Jose

[image: 2020-12-26-7180edited.jpg]
[image: 2020-12-26-7323edited.jpg]

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