Date: 4/1/21 8:53 am
From: Eve Meier <eve.m.meier...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Palo Alto Baylands
Yesterday, The Bayside Ramblers, a socially-distant 4-hour Birdathon team of 2, headed to the Palo Alto Baylands area. We met at Byxbee Park, set our timer for four hours, and we were off. Stop 1 was the garden area surrounding the Palo Alto Water Treatment Plant where we picked up Bonaparte’s Gull, Cedar Waxwing and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Stop 2 was the hills of Byxbee Park for a Western Kingbird and American Kestrel. From the top of the hill, we scanned Mayfield Slough spotting many ducks and a Northern Harrier. On to Stop 4 - the area around the Lucy Evans Center. We scanned the mudflats for Least Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, and more ducks. We checked the duck pond and the plants around the rangers house finding Common Yellowthroat and Black-crowned Night Heron. For Stop 5, we headed out to the end of the boardwalk where the tide was unexpectedly low but found White Pelicans, Caspian Tern and Double-crested Cormorant. Stop 6 was the sailing dock where we counted many Willets. But, most birds were too far out for us so moved on quickly. We only had 20 minutes to spare and our bird count was low so we settled on Geng Rd for Stop 7. We joked about how we hadn’t even seen a Turkey Vulture or House Sparrow. We arrived at our last stop with only 8 minutes to spare but heard a House Sparrow calling as soon as we got out of our cars. Then bam, bam, bam - we had many new birds to add to our list in short succession - Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bullock’s Oriole and Fox Sparrow! My timer went off and we were done! 65 species tallied!

I encourage everyone to participate in the Birdathon by creating a team, joining a team or sponsoring a team. This year all participants (not sponsors) receive access to Cornell’s Be a Better Birder: Size and Shape course. Visit scvas.org/birdathon for details.

Happy Birding!
Eve Meier (San Jose)

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