Mines Road & Del Puerto Canyon

Mike Correll-Feichtner

FYI, of EBB Interest, at least the part covering Alameda County.

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA (Alameda County)

-----Original Message-----
From: south-bay-birds@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:south-bay-birds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lisa
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:38 PM
To: central_valley_birds@yahoogroups.com; south-bay-birds@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SBB] Mines Road & Del Puerto Canyon

Yesterday I led a trip down Mines Road and east to I-5 via Del Puerto Canyon
Road.  This was the earliest I had done this trip. Wildflowers of every
color and running water everywhere was a nice bonus I had not
previously experienced here.
I had not done this trip in many years so re-acquainting myself with the
route involved a scout trip and yesterdays adventure.
Below is a re-cap of some of the hi-lites and information for those who will
head out this way in the next month.
Murrietta Wells - We did not go into the property, but birded along the
road. We then learned that the owners prefer the birders drive onto their
property to park and then bird the property.  They prefer folks not parking
outside the gate next to their sign.  We did find nesting YELLOW BILLED
MAGPIES. A pair for TURKEY VULTURES was also behaving a little odd. Not sure
if there was food or a nest near. Also had BULLOCK'S ORIOLES and EURASIAN
Roughly 2.75 up the road we stopped for a RED-TAIL HAWK nest on the right.
One was sitting on the nest with the mate stationed near. Had both crown
SWALLOWS & NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED were here. We also spotted the just the
head of a female TURKEY looking at us through the grass. Looked like a
skinny twig that blinked! If I were to guess I'd say she was sitting on a
nest, but we could not see anything below her neck because of the tall
Between MP 8 & 10 where the road gets windy we stopped and had great views
of an adult GOLDEN EAGLE. Could also heard a BLACK HEADED GROSBEAK calling
from the canyon below. No fun sparrows to be heard from the canyon below.
We found our first nesting GREAT HORNED OWL sitting in a hollowed out tree
trunk on the right side of the road between the 15 & 16 MP. You pass a row
of mailboxes and homes for sale signs on the left and the owl is in an area
on the right side of the road. Sorry I don't have an exact mile marker.
Moving on, we also got to talk to the man living in the old fire station. 
He said they will soon be putting up a fence around the property. 
Before heading east on Del Puerto Canyon Road we drove up San Antonio Valley
Road to check out the large pond up on the left.  We had lunch at the gated
pull-out on the left just past the pond. While we ate we watched
LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS snatching bugs out of the air. We also found several
WOOD DUCKS at the back end of the pond. Also had three pairs of RING NECKED
DUCKS and one pair of AMERICA WIGEON.
Once back out onto Del Puerto Canyon Road we stopped at Frank Raines Park
and found more woodpeckers already viewed earlier in the day and added HOUSE
WREN to our list.
I am not sure exactly what the MP was but there is a large rocky outcropping
on the left. Here you will find two GREAT HORNED OWLS nesting. One is in a
shaded opening up and to the left, while the other sits on a more exposed
out cropping below and to the right.  Not a great pull-out here, but the
motorcycles were accommodating. Also had SAYS'S PHOEBE, and ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRDS. A BELTED KINGFISHER was following the creek to our right.
Continuing to MP 3.8 (Owl Rocks) we found a nesting pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS
on the cliff.  A GREAT HORNED OWL was almost invisible tucked away within a
hole. The is also a bee hive within the cliff. There were four WESTERN
KINGBIRDS here along with our second SAY'S PHOEBE. A GOLDEN EAGLE also flew
into the area and appeared to be displaying (aerial acrobats). BULLOCK's
ORIOLES were here and LARK SPARROWS were found the previous week.
We had a wonderful day, saw many more species than mentioned here, but
admittedly missed some of the target birds of the area. My personal choice
as a trip leader is to use recorded devices very sparingly and in fact only
once used it to play the Canyon Wren with no success, so if we did not hear
it or see it we missed it.
Good luck to everyone that will be heading out this way in the next month.
Lisa Myers
Campbell, CA.

I invite you to come on out & spend time in nature!

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