Date: 3/29/21 7:18 pm From: ag lee <aglarpc8...> Subject: [southbaybirds] What about ,,, (see below)
County Bird Sightings - Digest #1093
What about humming bird feeders in an area not frequented by other birds?
From: <southbaybirds...> <southbaybirds...> on behalf of <southbaybirds...> <digestnoreply...>
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2021 6:40 PM
To: <aglarpc8...> <aglarpc8...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] South Bay Birds: Santa Clara County Bird Sightings - Digest #1093
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Topics in this digest:
1. FOY Hooded Oriole in Cupertino (2)
2. Pine Siskins (5)
3. Rancho San Antonio - Hilltop Tail loop
4. Continuing Cassin's Kingbirds
5. Raptor and woodpecker morning at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve
6. Vermilion Flycatcher and FOS Bullock's Oriole at Grant Ranch today (2)
FOY Hooded Oriole in Cupertino
From: David Zittin<mailto:<dzittin...>?subject=Re:%20FOY%20Hooded%20Oriole%20in%20Cupertino> Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2021 08:26:24 PDT
A bright male Hooded Oriole briefly came to feed at our jelly feeder this morning.
I have my fingers crossed because the nearby palm tree was removed last year. This is a good omen.
This week I have neither heard nor seen any Pine Siskins in our Mountain View neighborhood. Have others seen/heard them in the county this past week? Is it possible they have finally migrated? Let me know where you've seen them recently.
Floy and I did our Hilltop Trail Loop starting at the norther parking lot, service road, Hilltop Trail and then down the PG&E road back to our car.
- Several Orange-crowned Warblers either seen or heard singing including a quiet pair foraging on an oak tree.
- Our FOS House Wrens, three all singing, two seen.
- Tom Turkeys with large portions of their tail fans missing. Intra-species fighting? Coyote or bobcat encounters?
- Large flock of Pine Siskins foraging on an oak tree
Shortly before 10 this morning (3/28) I heard a softly calling and occasionally singing CASSIN'S KINGBIRD among the grape vines somewhere East of San Felipe Road between the first and second Eucalyptus trees from Hwy 152. I eventually found the bird some distance away but my auto-focusing camera had focusing problems because of the massive number of poles, wires and vines. The attached photo is a diagnostic rear view of the CAKI in that one can see the white tip of the tail and a lack of white on the edges of the tail. Shortly before 11 I saw a second CAKI working the vineyard some distance South of the first bird, No interaction between the two CAKI that I saw and I never heard the second bird vocalize. No sign of Lawrence's Goldfinches. Earlier (about 9:20) I tried for and missed the Swainson's Hawks (saw Frank Vanslager doing the same) and I also missed them on the way home (about 11:15).
This morning, my son and I had a great time at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve. We saw (or at least we think we saw) 9 (!) different species of raptors within ~3.5 hours. I took photos of most of them... please keep us honest as we are not 100% sure of all identifications. Photos are available at https://ebird.org/checklist/S84290102. I'll correct any mistakes based on your input.
It started auspiciously with an immature Cooper's hawk (?) in a tree near the start of the De Anza trail. While I was busy taking photos of it, my son looked up and saw a Bald Eagle traversing high in the sky, unmistakable with its white head and large size. Then, we saw 2 white-tailed kites flying quite low then using the thermals to quickly gain altitude. A red-tailed hawk soon joined them (see the photos in the checklist where the red tail is nicely visible), and then a third kite also appeared on the scene. Later on, a light brown blob attracted my eye in a tree in the distance, and with binoculars it turned out to be a red-shouldered hawk (?). On the spot, while looking at my (bad) photos to try to identify it, I realized there was a second bird of the same species right next to it in the tree (!) and soon both of them flew off the tree one after the other (maybe they were a couple?). Afterwards, while trying to identify two swallows perched on a thin naked trunk, it turned out one of them was a male American Kestrel... you can see we have room for improvement in our identification skills :-) It was far, so I only took one very blurry photo, but it was easy to recognize from its small size and distinctive contrasting colors and spots. Meanwhile, a turkey vulture was circling the sky.
At the Arastradero lake, trees were full of birds, with many yellow-rumped warblers, bushtits, oak titmice, California towhees, song sparrows, etc. I gave up counting. We saw and heard >10 acorn woodpeckers, as well as two Nuttall woodpeckers and two Hairy woodpeckers.
We were having such a great time that we decided to continue the hike up Arastradero Creek Trail. Turning left on Acorn Trail, we heard weird noises multiple times, which we guessed were from Wild Turkeys. We couldn't see them though and continued on... At the turn in the trail, we finally got a visual and loudly exclaimed on our discovery (saw 7, including at least 2 males). And then, my son shouted "sharp shinned hawk!". There was indeed a small hawk perched on a branch right above my head, undisturbed by our noise (sorry). This is the first time we have ever seen one up close, so please let us know what you think: you can see some photos in the checklist (not of great quality as the sun was right in front of me).
Finally, we continued on and just as we were congratulating ourselves on such unbelievable luck with raptors, we emerged onto Meadowlark trail and saw our ninth raptor of the day: a Northern Harrier with its characteristic white rump patch.
Ken Petersen and I visited Grant Ranch starting at about 9 am hoping for the Vermilion Flycatcher. We didnít 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 theyíd 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, Iíve 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 BULLOCKíS 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 parkís map). After spending a few minutes with it, it flew off towards the open areas near the Stockmanís parking area.
So the moral of this too-long write-up is to know your target birdís vocalizations if youíre 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.
We were there from 10:30 to 2:30 starting around the north end of the park and then south to the Hotel Trail. We were at the oak trees from 1:30 to 2:30, did not see you or the Vermilion Flycatcher at the oaks or at the water trough....disappointing. Tree Swallows nesting in the nest box at the trough along the Hotel Trail.
Note: The online map does not show the Hotel Trail.
Note: $6 park-use fee goes back into effect on April 5th.
Note: 4 and 1/2 hours of hiking over 3.7 miles.
Mike and Ron Correll-Feichtner