Date: 3/22/21 11:09 pm From: Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io <chuqui...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Vasona Lake, Marsh Road 3/22
Today was an off day from work as well as my first dose of Moderna vaccine, and so I did some birding before and after mostly to not stress out and just enjoy a nice day. I started the morning at Vasona Lake County Park, and in the afternoon, visited Marsh Road.
By the way, the county parks are about to start charging for parking again. The change back to paid parking will be on April 5. Don't be cause unaware. I forgot to ask if they were selling annual passes again, but I'll get mine first chance.
Vasona Park was pleasant, not super birdy but fun. I spent some time at the annex staking out the trees and saw no woodpeckers, but did see another Hermit Thrush (my third in three locations this spring), as well as an interacting pair of Yellow rumps. I also had a truly gorgeous red-shouldered hawk more or less strafe my car. Pairs of Western Bluebirds were also nice to see. I also ran across a nice male Nuttall's Woodpecker on in the Riverview area
In the afternoon I made it to Marsh, intended as a first stop, but I didn't actually get there until 3PM so it was my only afternoon stop. Also not super birdy, but if you like Wild Turkeys, I found three different groups along the road, two with males displaying to small harems, a third with two younger males displaying at each other and bellowing, with more birds (either young males or females) hanging out in the shade under a tree. There was water in the stream under the bridge, and there were western bluebirds in the trees near there as I've seen for a number of years. Sparrow numbers were low (this used to be a good area for Lark Sparrows, but either they hate me and hide, or they've shifted elsewhere). I did find flocks of both White-Crowned and Golden-Crowned sparrows in the pastures.
Most interesting to me was at the end of Marsh I found a decent sized flock of swallows. It was 30-40 birds, and seemed to be about half tree swallows. I found 3-5 barn swallows in the mix, and the rest seemed to be Northern Rough-Winged. I keep looking for the green flash for the Violet-Green and not seeing it, so I get to keep trying (not complaining). No sign of swifts.
I was hoping for signs of the first spring arrivals, but both places seemed to be in that waiting state where much of the winter visitors have left but the spring visitors aren't quite here yet. It shouldn't be long....
And it's time for the annual birdathon plea: Please Help Me Support Our Birds (full blog post: https://www.chuq.me/blog/please-help-me-support-our-birds): I'm not doing any group outings this year, but I am doing two solo trips, one big day and one photo big day. I would appreciate any and all donations to SCVAS to help their educational programs as I attempt to hit 100 birds in a day for the first time ever on my big day, and 50-75 species on the photo day. I will match up to $250 in donations for both the Lonesome Dove outing and the Thank Smew photo day, so if you've ever thought to yourself "I wish I could make Chuq spend money on something" now is a chance to fulfill your dream.
Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me Email: <chuqui...>
Silicon Valley, California