Today Oct 19, Jerry Ting and I led an Ohlone Audubon Field Trip at Coyote Hills RP.
The morning started out with the Tule fog just lifting off the dry marsh and then a very sunny pleasant day. Around the Visitor center were the usual Spotted Towhee's, Hermit Thrush's, Fox Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos along with the now numerous Crowned Sparrows, Golden and White. We first heard a Northern Flicker and then spotted one on the Pine trees behind the Visitor Center.
The highlight of the day were numerous Golden-crowned Kinglets making their high pitched call in the pine trees in front of the Visitor center.
It was a great day for Raptors and we saw many interacting. A Coopers Hawk chased a Northern Flicker. An American Kestrel was dive bombing a Northern Harrier. A pair of White-tailed Kites were chasing each other and a Peregrine Falcon made a quick pass behind a Coopers Hawk. Later in the day a Sharp-shinned Hawk streaked through the Oaks next to the Nectar Garden.
We walked the no-name trail out to the bay and saw both White and Brown Pelicans. The tide was about half way in and we saw Least Sandpipers, Dunlin, a Western Sandpiper and numerous Greater Yellow-legs with Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets. There was a good showing of Herons and Egrets, Great Blue, Black-crowned Night, Great and Snowy Egrets. A first of fall for many were Eared Grebes and Northern Pintails. In the distance was a single Elegant Tern on a post.
A lone Blue-gray Gnatcatcher buzzed from the hillside by the Quarry and hopefully more will soon join him at their over-wintering site.
The fennel by the Bayview trail was quieter than it has been the last week. Only a few Warblers, Orange-crowned and Yellow and Yellow-rumped, but it is always great to see a warbler. The Ruby-crowned kinglets and Savannah and Lincoln Sparrows are here for the season.
Our total count was 63 species, but we did not have time to explore the Dust trail which is part of the marsh that still has water.