Date: 1/2/21 7:22 am
From: Matthew Dodder <mdodder...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] January 1st birds and eBird
As many folks do on January 1st, Cricket and I set out early to get a head start on our year list. We started by heading out to re-see some of the recent rarities and less guaranteed birds—species we weren’t sure would reappear next fall and winter….

First bird out our door was a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH calling just behind our house. PINE SISKINS were also seen flying overhead.

We then drove to Geng Road to find the SUMMER TANAGER and TROPICAL KINGBIRD. We weren’t alone, though and we got great help from Bob Reiling who spotted the Kingbird high in a eucalyptus near the famed mulberry trees beside the pond. Shortly after Cricket and I moved toward the restrooms to search for the Tanager, Trisha Gardner spotted the Tanager in the eucalyptus above the locked gate leading in the same area.

Next we went to Shoreline Park via Amphitheater Parkway where we spotted a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE among a flock of about 40 Canada geese.

Once inside of Shoreline Park, we made a quick stop at the Kite Flying area where we bumped into Eve Meier who had the same idea we had. She was headed in to look for the BRANT at the lake, but a collection of CANADA GEESE needed first to be scanned. On our way into the park, we also saw Bob again who was pulling off to look at an immature BALD EAGLE on a post right above the road. To me it appeared to be a 3rd year bird with the usual “Osprey mask” facial pattern. Once at Shoreline Lake, we saw Bob and Tricia again but no Brant. We found other birds such as HORNED GREBE and a number of winter Ducks like BUFFLEHEAD, CANVASBACK, COMMON GOLDENEYE. It wasn’t until we drove to the athletic fields on the other side of the golf course that we found the BRANT… half a mile away, and now among the AMERICAN COOTS we had just been combing through.

Then we made a quick drive down to the Calero Creek Trail where we picked up RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW and a few other “new for the year” birds. Among them was the continuing GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE which was at the creek crossing. It gave a distinctive “mew” call which I don’t recall anyone else reporting. It’s a good call to know if you’re looking for the bird.

We the had a quick lunch of homemade salmon lox and onion bagels at Rancho Vicente while we looked up toward the hills. More than a few brand new Christmas bicycles on the trail… No Prairie Falcon sadly.

On our way back north, we made a detour to Laguna Avenue where we picked up TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD, and YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE. And once again, no Prairie but we did see two PEREGRINE FALCONS on the ground.

At New Chicago Marsh, where there were probably 30 cars glogging the entrance road, we found the RUFF quickly as it was right beside the road, and foraging all by herself. We had hoped to find a Glaucous Gull, and perhaps we did. We saw a large, extremely white Gull with pure white (not worn) primaries and a pink parallel edged bill. There was feather wear on the coverts, but nowhere else that we could see. The tip was not entirely black however, so it’s hard know if it was a sub adult or something else. I got a few photos that might help. There were SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and SNOWY PLOVERS closer to the intersection and a WHITE-TAILED KITE perched in a tree.

We decided to try Emily Renzel Wetlands for our last-light. We added several Ducks like GADWALL, CINNAMON TEAL, as well as COMMON GALLINULE and GREEN HERON. We could probably have continued for a little while longer, but our zoom with family was due to begin. We ended our day with 108 species, which we were happy with. At least it was a little higher than our last January 1st.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to use eBird for your sightings. It’s a great website AND mobile App that keeps your list straight. If you set up your Alerts properly, you can receive messages hourly or daily about rare birds in your area, or birds you “need” to see for your life list or county-year list. It will even show you where those birds have been spotted. Why not make 2021 the year you get serious about eBird?

Happy New Year everyone! Stay healthy.

Matthew

Matthew Dodder
Executive Director
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
22221 McClellan Rd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
408-252-3748
<director...> <mailto:<director...>
scvas.org <http://scvas.org/>





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