Date: 5/19/24 8:34 am
From: Ann Hepenstal via groups.io <annhep...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] SCVAS Thurs field trip to West Valley College, Saratoga
Around 20 people enjoyed a special SCVAS field trip to the campus of West Valley College in Saratoga, organized by me and led by Professor Leticia Gallardo. I was surprised by the size of the campus and the many wonderful native habitats there--we had a lovely morning and views of birds.  Leticia shared her knowledge of the campus, flora, fauna, habitats and ecology--participants learned about the life cycle of our native oak trees, the importance of deadwood, and so much more.  :-)
We enjoyed...   families of Acorn Woodpeckers in several different spotsMultiple views of Red-Shouldered Hawk(s), including a wonderful overflight of RSH carrying a lizard in its talons (which Leticia identified as Western Fence Lizard!)Cliff Swallows hunting for insects and swooping back to their nests in a known spot on a campus building (a sizeable colony)White-breasted Nuthatchesand more.  :-)
Since this is an underbirded location with multiple distinct habitats, I kept multiple eBird checklists in order to scout for new eBird hotspots.  You can view the checklists here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S174939572  Vasona Creek along science buildings
https://ebird.org/checklist/S174940049  Creekside to feeder
https://ebird.org/checklist/S174940433  North Walk near Cliff Swallows nesting spot
https://ebird.org/checklist/S174940304  Downed heritage oak
https://ebird.org/checklist/S174940642   Riparian corridor - creekside to PE building
https://ebird.org/checklist/S174940798   Wetland observation platform
good birding!Ann


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