Date: 3/28/21 6:00 pm
From: Eric Goodill via groups.io <ericgmac...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Vermilion Flycatcher and FOS Bullock's Oriole at Grant Ranch today
Hi,

Ken Petersen and I visited Grant Ranch starting at about 9 am hoping for the Vermilion Flycatcher. We didn’t see any other obvious birders per se, but we ran into a group of perhaps twenty photographers looking for the bird. We stayed for about two and a half hours with no luck. One person there said they’d seen if very briefly at 7:30 am at the tops of the oak trees at the T-intersection with the Hotel Trail below the ranch house. (BTW, I’ve seen several reports about the bird favoring a location near a water trough. There are two such troughs somewhat close together, so perhaps future reports mentioning the trough could distinguish which one.)

The only highlight of the trip was my FOS male BULLOCK’S ORIOLE in the oak trees over the ranch house (which is still blocked off, but the rose garden is open).

I headed up to Smith Creek (which was fairly quiet with lots of jays but no spring arrivals that I detected). Nonetheless, a gorgeous hike along the creek.

I came back to look for the VEFL again around 1:30 pm and staked out the usual oak trees. After twenty minutes or so I heard the VERMILION FLYCATCHER call some ways toward the parking lot along the trail with the bridge (it looks like the trail is called Grant Trail on the park’s map). After spending a few minutes with it, it flew off towards the open areas near the Stockman’s parking area.

So the moral of this too-long write-up is to know your target bird’s vocalizations if you’re able to hear them. I would have missed the bird otherwise.

Lastly, a sign at the entrance says all Santa Clara County park entrance fees are resuming April 5th.

Good birding, Eric Goodill
Menlo Park

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