Flannery / Robinson Rds: Mountain Plovers

Matthew Dodder

On Sunday January 16, after an overnight in the Gray Lodge, Sacramento NWR
areas, my Palo Alto Adult School birding class stopped along Flannery and
Robinson Roads to search for a few remaining targets. Beginning on Robinson, and
about two kilometers in from Hwy 113, and on the long north-south section, we
found our only FERRUGINOUS HAWK for the day. It was a juvenile bird that posed
nicely on a fencepost. LARK SPARROWS were found in the fruit trees near the old
farm near the next corner. At least four LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES were seen along our
way primarily near the barn. As we reached the far end of Robinson, we paused to
search for Mountain Plovers in the traditional field. We found none there,
however a flock of about 20 HORNED LARKS flew high over us and landed too far
away for us to study, or even see. Among them we heard a LONGSPUR sp. giving a
rattling flight call but were not able to locate any of these birds on the
ground. At the corner of Flannery and Robinson there was a pair of BURROWING
OWLS close to the fence on a small mound. Here we met another birder here who
alerted us to 3 MOUNTAIN PLOVERS 1.1 miles west of the corner of Flannery and
Robinson. We went to the area immediately and found the three birds sitting very
still in a field on the south side of the road.

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, CA

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