Raptor heavy day at Valle Vista


don_quixote72
 

Yesterday the reservoir at Valle Vista was extremely low. I’m not sure why or how this happens, but the ducks and winter birds certainly seem to move out further away in the reservoir where there’s more water. So, none of the usual winter ducks were really visible

However, for some reason, it was a very raptor heavy day

3 Cooper’s Hawks
2 White-tailed Kites
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
Some other birders reported 2 soaring Golden Eagles but they were too far away for me to be sure. I know they have been seen there before, and I have reported Bald Eagle myself, so it certainly could have been

Also of note:
Northern Flicker
Belted Kingfisher (near the bridge)


gabikirk@...
 

I had another raptor success story on Dec 23 at Valle Vista. After feeling I had struck out on both wood ducks and the snipes, standing at the end of the reservoir path right before it turns left and heads up hill I saw the wood ducks on the far bank of the creek channel that has emerged due to low water levels. I was also watching the parade of 75 coots or so walking from the creek up along the mud flats. Suddenly a golden eagle came SCREAMING in — swooped down and picked off a coot, while the rest scattered! Just as quickly, two red tailed hawks appeared screaming as well, and chased the eagle, causing it to drop its prey (I did not see if it recovered it). Later I saw the red taileds soaring and they were being chased and hassled by the two white tailed kites!! Lots of dinosaur-on-dinosaur violence out there...

Thanks to the kind birders that day (I sensed they were regulars, but I did not get their names, I'm sorry) who alerted me also to some other beautiful birds. I saw a red-bellied sapsucker (my first) in the trees on the reservoir path between the bridge and the horse stable, on the right-hand side when facing the stables. A few trees over I saw a Nuttall's woodpecker. I also have this listserv to thank for the Valle Vista recommendation in the first place!

Ebird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77899644


Take care,
Gabi Kirk
Oakland


John H. Maurer
 

Actually that sequence makes a lot of sense. Generally smaller birds are more agile than larger birds. so if a smaller bird feels threatened or if it thinks its nest is threatened by a larger bird it will mob the larger bird. Happens all the time.

John

On 1/3/21 2:19 PM, gabikirk@... wrote:
I had another raptor success story on Dec 23 at Valle Vista. After feeling I had struck out on both wood ducks and the snipes, standing at the end of the reservoir path right before it turns left and heads up hill I saw the wood ducks on the far bank of the creek channel that has emerged due to low water levels. I was also watching the parade of 75 coots or so walking from the creek up along the mud flats. Suddenly a golden eagle came SCREAMING in — swooped down and picked off a coot, while the rest scattered! Just as quickly, two red tailed hawks appeared screaming as well, and chased the eagle, causing it to drop its prey (I did not see if it recovered it). Later I saw the red taileds soaring and they were being chased and hassled by the two white tailed kites!! Lots of dinosaur-on-dinosaur violence out there...

Thanks to the kind birders that day (I sensed they were regulars, but I did not get their names, I'm sorry) who alerted me also to some other beautiful birds. I saw a red-bellied sapsucker (my first) in the trees on the reservoir path between the bridge and the horse stable, on the right-hand side when facing the stables. A few trees over I saw a Nuttall's woodpecker. I also have this listserv to thank for the Valle Vista recommendation in the first place!

Ebird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77899644 


Take care, 
Gabi Kirk
Oakland





John H. Maurer
 

I've been thinking a little more about this. Of course it doesn't include birds of prey who hunt other birds. But there are instances where there are large numbers of much smaller birds that can't protect their nests from larger birds. There was an instance some time ago where there was flock of Swallows who built their nests on the foundation of a house and then built upwards on the wall of the building. Then a flock of Grackles came along and harvested the eggs and chicks. I didn't see this happen but I came upon it a few days later and had it explained to me.

John

Actually that sequence makes a lot of sense. Generally smaller birds are more agile than larger birds. so if a smaller bird feels threatened or if it thinks its nest is threatened by a larger bird it will mob the larger bird. Happens all the time.

John

On 1/3/21 2:19 PM, gabikirk@... wrote:
I had another raptor success story on Dec 23 at Valle Vista. After feeling I had struck out on both wood ducks and the snipes, standing at the end of the reservoir path right before it turns left and heads up hill I saw the wood ducks on the far bank of the creek channel that has emerged due to low water levels. I was also watching the parade of 75 coots or so walking from the creek up along the mud flats. Suddenly a golden eagle came SCREAMING in — swooped down and picked off a coot, while the rest scattered! Just as quickly, two red tailed hawks appeared screaming as well, and chased the eagle, causing it to drop its prey (I did not see if it recovered it). Later I saw the red taileds soaring and they were being chased and hassled by the two white tailed kites!! Lots of dinosaur-on-dinosaur violence out there...

Thanks to the kind birders that day (I sensed they were regulars, but I did not get their names, I'm sorry) who alerted me also to some other beautiful birds. I saw a red-bellied sapsucker (my first) in the trees on the reservoir path between the bridge and the horse stable, on the right-hand side when facing the stables. A few trees over I saw a Nuttall's woodpecker. I also have this listserv to thank for the Valle Vista recommendation in the first place!

Ebird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77899644 


Take care, 
Gabi Kirk
Oakland