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.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S79031683

Happy Birding!
Eve Meier


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