I led my Palo Alto Adult School advanced birding class through Del Puerto Canyon yesterday. The morning and early afternoon was spent in Stanislaus County, followed by mid afternoon in Santa Clara County, and finally a brief stop in Alameda County on the way home. Sal Salerno was nice enough to join us for the Stanislaus portion, and sat with us during lunch at Frank Raines.
While the weather was nicer than last week's field trip, yesterday was somewhat less birdy. We were not able to relocate last week's Grasshopper Sparrows across from the grassland section orchards. Nor could we find the Yellow-breasted Chat at MP 17. Still, it was a great day with some species not seen previous week. Particularly exciting was an unexpected Bell's Sparrow at Frank Raine's (Stanislaus), a pair of Lewis's Woodpeckers (Santa Clara) and a Willow Flycatcher (Alameda). The flowers are STILL beautiful, and several Odes were located at appropriate stops. Highlights below.
BLUE GROSBEAK—2 in orchards
GOLDEN EAGLE—2 on power towers
Graffiti Rock/Owl Canyon:
PRAIRIE FALCON—1 over ridge
BARN OWL—3 in caves
COMMON RAVEN—nest with chicks
WESTERN WOOD PEWEE
Frank Raines picnic area:
PHAINOPEPLA: 2 above restrooms
LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH—4-6 in campground entrance
BELL'S SPARROW—singing male, photographed along road across from entrance to Frank Raines picnic area. Detected first by voice, then viewed at close range.
Adobe Spring (Dragonfly and Damselfly stop):
AMERICAN RUBY SPOT
RED ROCK SKIMMER
Upper Canyon, near Santa Clara County border:
LAZULI BUNTING—1 singing male
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK—2 singing males
SANTA CLARA COUNTY:
Del Puerto Road:
TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS—colony, with many fledgelings
BELL'S SPARROW—2 singing males on chamise hillside before the Junction
San Antonio Valley Road:
GOLDEN EAGLE—2 over ridge
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER—2 seen at large pond south of Junction
Dragons seen at pond….
COMMON GREEN DARNER
BLUE-EYED DARNER (?)
Creek crossing at base of Mines Road hill:
WILLOW FLYCATCHER—well seen and heard in willows along creek
Mountain View, CA