Date: 3/27/21 8:33 pm From: Carter Gasiorowski <carter.gasiorowski...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Cassin's Kingbird, Swainson's Hawk, and Black-throated Gray Warbler Today
Today, my dad and I started out our morning of birding at 8:00 am on San Felipe Road. Not long after getting out of the car, a CASSIN'S KINGBIRD started calling from the second big eucalyptus tree south of highway 152. My dad spotted it preening high up in the tree, and the bird was nice enough to show off its dark outer tail feathers while I was digiscoping it. A second Cassin's Kingbird was calling from the third eucalyptus south of 152, but we were not able to view the bird.
We then headed north through Morgan Hill and made an impromptu stop at the Morgan Hill Community Park. We saw 21 species in 20 minutes, mostly the expected birds but a pair of AMERICAN WIGEONS seemed very out of place on the swimming pool-sized pond. As the park does not have an eBird hotspot, it was fun to feel like we were discovering a new place.
Our next stop was at the Charter School of Morgan Hill, and before even pulling into the parking lot we saw the returning SWAINSON'S HAWK found my Mike Mammoser yesterday sitting on top of its usual flat-topped pine tree between the school parking lot and Monterey Rd. The hawk was hard to see unless we were either super far away from the tree, or there was a specific spot on the sidewalk of the school where a hole in the branches allowed nice views of the bird.
We ended our morning at Santa Teresa County Park, where we ran into Audry and Connor, as well as another nice birder. We hung around the trees where the Red Crossbills have been seen recently, but the crossbills were a no-show. We then headed a short way down the Hidden Springs Trail, where we bumped into Matthew. While we were all talking, my dad spotted an unusual warbler in one of the oaks above the trail. We got onto it, and I was surprised to see that it was a beautiful male BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER! We got closer, and the warbler began singing while hopping through the trees about 10 feet above the trail. Despite it being so close, it was hard to get a clear view of the bird, as it moved through the leaves so fast, but it did perch in the open for a second, letting me get my first photo of the species! Matthew then spotted another male Black-throated Gray Warbler, and for a brief moment, both birds were singing together in the same view before they flew to more distant trees. I attached a map showing where we saw the warblers.