Jim Chiropolos

I biked Mines Road today - and the highlight was a tarantula crossing the road! What amazing creatures they are - 4 inches in diameter and hairy!

Uh-oh - Aaron says I will be on probation if this post has nothing about birds. Hmnn...

Lots of Yellow-billed magpies mile marker 3 to 5 - maybe 12. I watched a group of three, for five minutes squawking loudly, play a game of what appeared to be tag flying back and forth from several trees. Food did not appear to be an issue and it did not appear to be about territory as two other magpies quietly watched. I have only seen ravens of other passerines behave this way. Fun!

6 Phainopepla were by the pumpkin patch by mile marker 2.5 or so. Five were together - I did not know they formed groups.

No raptors aside from Kestrels after mile marker 5. A very low count....

A Townsends Solitaire about 1.5 miles into Santa Clara but it seemed to be moving through and not feeding on berries.

Here’s hoping the forecast deluge revives the drought-striken food chain for insects and rodents and resulting in benefits for passerines and raptors. Maybe some of our seasonal ponds at Berkeley Meadows and Garretson Point/Arrowhead area will fill!

Good Birding
Jim Chiropolos