Arrowhead Marsh 01-23-16

Matthew Dodder


I led my Palo Alto Adult School birding class to Arrowhead Marsh today. Conditions were cool, windy and with occasional rain and drizzle. The tide was high enough to keep things interesting, but there were no real surprises. Highlights were a dozen RIDGWAY'S RAILS, at least two SORAS, a MERLIN and four GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. The usual Sparrows were located, SONG, WHITE-CROWNED, GOLDEN-CROWNED, FOX, SAVANNAH, and a LINCOLN'S.

Diving Birds included a RED-THROATED LOON, HORNED GREBES, a few WESTERN and a CLARK'S. Not as many EARED GREBES as I would have expected. COMMON GOLDENEYE, SURF SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, RUDDY DUCK. It was quite nice to see several BLUE-WINGED TEAL too.

Shorebirds gathering on the board walk kept us occupied for some time and the massive group contained WILLET, MARBLED GODWIT, a single LONG-BILLED CURLEW, BLACK TURNSTONE, 2 RUDDY TURNSTONE, 1 RED KNOT and both species of DOWITCHERS.

Before heading home we paused at the large pond beside the road where the Gulls were gathered. WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, HERRING, THAYER'S, CALIFORNIA, RING-BILLED and MEW were all present. Our only NORTHERN PINTAIL of the day was along the edges of the far shore, while AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GADWALL and GREEN-WINGED TEAL were closer to the road.

We came away with at least 78 species—not bad for a cold, rainy day!

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, CA

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