Re: Raptor heavy day at Valle Vista
I had another raptor success story on Dec 23 at Valle Vista. After feeling I had struck out on both wood ducks and the snipes, standing at the end of the reservoir path right before it turns left and heads up hill I saw the wood ducks on the far bank of the creek channel that has emerged due to low water levels. I was also watching the parade of 75 coots or so walking from the creek up along the mud flats. Suddenly a golden eagle came SCREAMING in — swooped down and picked off a coot, while the rest scattered! Just as quickly, two red tailed hawks appeared screaming as well, and chased the eagle, causing it to drop its prey (I did not see if it recovered it). Later I saw the red taileds soaring and they were being chased and hassled by the two white tailed kites!! Lots of dinosaur-on-dinosaur violence out there...
Thanks to the kind birders that day (I sensed they were regulars, but I did not get their names, I'm sorry) who alerted me also to some other beautiful birds. I saw a red-bellied sapsucker (my first) in the trees on the reservoir path between the bridge and the horse stable, on the right-hand side when facing the stables. A few trees over I saw a Nuttall's woodpecker. I also have this listserv to thank for the Valle Vista recommendation in the first place!
Ebird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77899644