I led my Palo Alto Adult School birding class to Mitchell Canyon today for a morning of birding. Conditions were challenging at first with overcast skies, wind and cool temperatures. The wind made it difficult to hear many birds, but by mid day it had become quite warm and nice, but remained breezy and activity picked up.
Our tour took us south along the Mitchell Canyon Fire Trail where we then hiked up White Canyon. We returned to the lot via the Globe Lily Trail that parallels the fire road. There were many highlights, but we could not help but be impressed by the lack of Contopus flycatchers—in other words, we did not find any Western Wood Pewees or Olive-sided Flycatchers despite earlier reports of them being present. Perhaps others had more luck today...
The birdiest sections were the north junction with the Globe Lily Trail, and the chaparral section along White Canyon. Here are a few of our favorite sightings today:
Rufous Hummingbird — (5) White Canyon and Globe Lily trails
Calliope Hummingbird — (7) White Canyon and Globe Lily trails
Hammond’s Flycatcher — (1) Globe Lily trail
Hermit Warbler — (2) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, again on White Canyon
Black-throated Gray Warbler — (3) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, again on by picnic tables
Nashville Warbler — (1) White Canyon trail along creek
MacGillivray’s Warbler — (1) White Canyon trail along creek
Hooded Oriole — (1) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road
Lazuli Bunting — (3) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, and Globe Lily Trail itself
Western Tanager — (2) along Mitchell Canyon Fire Road