Date: 4/7/21 5:26 pm From: Carter Gasiorowski <carter.gasiorowski...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Six Lawrence's Goldfinches at Ed Levin on 4/6
Yesterday. 4-7-21, my mom and I arrived at the Spring Valley area of Ed Levin County Park around noon. By the pond, there was one each of GREAT EGRET, SNOWY EGRET, and GREAT BLUE HERON, as well as at least one BULLOCK'S ORIOLE. In the eucalyptus trees above the parking lots, a male ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD was displaying as a few unidentified Rufous/Allen's Hummingbirds flew around. Along the Spring Valley trail, many TREE SWALLOWS were arguing over the nest boxes, as well as 3 male WILD TURKEYS who ran across the trail. There were plenty of raptors, with 7 RED-TAILED HAWKS (six seemed to be paired up, plus one juvenile that would fly around near the adults), 2 WHITE-TAILED KITES perched in a tree near the parking lot, one immature COOPER'S HAWK, and 2 GOLDEN EAGLES, one of which made a low pass over the parking lot. Two HUTTON'S VIREOS sang from the oaks, two WESTERN KINGBIRDS perched to the east of the ranger station, and one VAUX'S SWIFT whizzed over our heads.
After getting somewhat distracted by all the amazing birds, we headed to the area where Dave Weber found the Lawrence's Goldfinches on 4/5. Before long, I saw a male LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH sitting in a leafless tree feeding a female. They flew, but my mom got onto them, and spotted a second male Lawrence's Goldfinch. We then ran into a very nice birder, Manny, and then yet another Lawrence's Goldfinch joined the three already present. After Manny left, a group of five Lawrence's Goldfinches flew over, and the flyover photo shows four of them being males, and another photo I took earlier shows 2 females next to each other, so there were at least six Lawrence's Goldfinches present! They were flying around quite a bit in-between the Spring Valley Group Picnic Area and the ranger station, mostly landing in the pine trees. The males were singing, which made it easier to locate them in the foliage. The females also seemed to be checking out the kind of places that goldfinches like to build their nests as the males followed them around.
We then headed to the Sandy Wool area, where I saw my FOY male RUFOUS HUMMINGbiRD above the dog park. There were also 9 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES screaming and displaying together on top of the picnic tables, which was quite comical to watch. As we were sitting in the car getting ready to leave, we watched a GOLDEN EAGLE hunt the ridgeline.
Overall a very nice day with 50 species at the Spring Valley area alone, and some nice rarities!