Yesterday I led my Palo Alto Adult School master birding class through Del Puerto Canyon. Beginning outside of Patterson, we worked our way west toward the Junction and Santa Clara County.
In Stanislaus County we had great encounters with 6 LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES, 3 BLUE GROSBEAK near the orchards, ROCK and CANYON WREN beginning at around MP 3.0.
Graffiti Rock produced one female COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD, numerous RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, a PHAINOPEPLA, a surprise adult BALD EAGLE and another BLUE GROSBEAK and a WILSON'S WARBLER. WESTERN KINGBIRDS and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS were difficult to miss, as were BULLOCK'S ORIOLES.
At Owl Canyon we had another PHAINOPEPLA, another pair of ROCK WREN, nesting WHITE-THROATED SWIFT and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW and a pair of BARN OWL.
As we climbed into the higher canyon before Frank Raines Park, we had a male HERMIT WARBLER, 2 TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS. At Frank Raine's campground we had small number of LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES, another pair of PHAINOPEPLA and just after the campground we had at least 3 LAZULI BUNTING along the creek.
Adobe Springs was product I've for Butterflies and Odes, American Rubyspot, Grappletail and Pacific Spiketail were especially nice. We heard the distinctive "cheewb" call of a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. Also present was the one SONG SPARROW of our trip.
In Santa Clara County, the TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD colony before the junction was active and noisy with nesting adults, and presumably young bird hidden in the reeds. There were also juvenile RED-WOMNGED BLACKBIRDS, PIED-BILLED GREBES, but little else.
The Junction was actually not very productive, with WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, VIOLET-GREEN and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS. We saw NO Lewis's Woodpeckers anywhere in San Antonio Valley, which was disappointing. But we did hear one singing BELL'S SPARROW near the cattle guard just north of the Junction.
In Alameda County, the concrete bridge near the beginning of Mines Road had YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIE, PHAINOPEPLA.