Mines, San Antonio V, Del Puerto Cyn, Patterson Pass


Matthew Dodder
 

All,

I led my Palo Alto Adult School birding class through Mines Road and
Del Puerto Canyon today.

ALAMEDA COUNTY:
We began at Murietta's Well where we found two GREAT HORNED OWLS in
the eucalyptus above the farmhouse. Also present here were several
EURASIAN COLLARED DOVES along the creek and a tree full of BAND-
TAILED PIGEONS on the far side of the vineyard.

The bridge just beyond the junction with Del Valle was unproductive
for the most part. We continued up hill toward the summit, where we
found a particularly productive monkey-flower and oak hillside that
provided us with at least 6 PHAINOPEPLAS, all males. RUFOUS-CROWNED
SPAROW and LAZULI BUNTING were also present as well as ASH-THROATED
FLYCATCHER.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY:
The summit brought us face to face wth two brilliant male LAZULI
BUNTINGS, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK and
CALIFORNIA THRASHER were heard but not seen. Best bird at the cattle
guard near the new firehouse was a CHIPPING SPARROW and three WESTERN
TANAGERS in a large tree beside the new fire station. We were also
successful at finding 2-3 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS south of the junction
along San Antonio Valley Road.

Heading down Del Puerto Canyon Road, we stopped at the left hand pond
to see the colony of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS, but also got RED-WINGED
BLACKBIRD, GREEN HERON, BELTED KINFISHER, juvenile PIED-BILLED GREBES
and juvenile AMERICAN COOTS. It was getting quite hot by early
afternoon, and we made very few additional stops.

STANISLAUS COUNTY:
Frank Raines campground was thrilling because as we walked the road
and explored the willows we heard a NORTHERN PYGMY OWL somewhere near
the restrooms. After some crisscrossing of the parking area and
playing field we heard the bird change locations, and finally located
the calling bird in the trees beside the field along the stone wall
along the road. We watched it call for 10 minutes or so, and many
photos were taken. We also had a second Pygmy Owl calling further up
the road, but it was not seen. WILD TURKEY strolled across the
parking area.

At Owl Rock we had nesting RED-TAILED HAWK, SAYS'S PHOEBE, ROCK WREN,
but now Owls. A little ways down the road at Graffiti Rock we found
our target COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD, as well as another pair of ROCK WREN.
WESTERN KINGBIRDS and many ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS were easily seen
throughout the day.

ALAMEDA COUNTY:
After most folks split off to head home, our car made a tour of West
Patterson Pass (from Hwy 580). We found a total of 4 BLUE GROSBEAK,
beginning with one immature male in the deep gully where others had
reported Western Tanager. Then two birds standing on the road and
flying to the fence. BURROWING OWL was standing on a post as well.
Four LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES were found along the road in various places.
At exactly 6.3 miles up from the gas station on Hwy 580 we had a
brilliant adult male BLUE GROSBEAK and a surprise MACGILLIVRAY'S
WARBLER in the underbrush beside the road. As we made our way toward
Livermore, we spotted an additional PHAINOPEPLA.

. . .

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, CA
http://www.birdguy.net
http://www.zazzle.com/mdodder

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