Date: 1/10/21 1:46 pm From: Eve Meier <eve.m.meier...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Stile Ranch Trail - Horned Lark
This morning I birded the Stile Ranch Trail. Overall, the birds were quiet but I did find a *Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (heard only)*, 2 *California Thrashers*, and a *Rufous-crowned Sparrow* at the start of the trail. Further up the hill, past the rock wall, I decided to watch for birds while sitting on a rock. That's when I heard a tinkling call from the grasses. I was pretty sure it was a *Horned Lark* but I needed to see the bird to be certain. Eventually I found it on top of a low rock. Soon afterwards, a large flock of about 30 Horned Lark flew in and settled in the grasses where I couldn't see any of them. I continued a little further up the hill to see a Rufous-crowned Sparrow briefly show itself and then dive back into the rock wall. A *Rock Wren* was also present, bobbing on a low rock. While making my way back down the trail, a *Northern Harrier* flew over the Horned Larks sending them all into the air once again to settle in another location.
A word of caution: the trail is very rocky and you'll have to watch your step. Also, there are lots of mountain bikers on this trail. Fortunately, they can't pick up a lot of speed because of the switchbacks and rocks.
I've included a photo of the Horned Lark location. They like the grassy hillside to the left of the tree.
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