Grasshopper Sparrow + Say's Phoebe in Tilden Today

Zac Denning

Hello birders, 

This is my first post - though I've been enjoying the group emails for a while. 

On my weekly early morning trail run in Tilden today, along which I bird (mostly) by ear, I found a few notable birds. Heading East on the Conlon Trail from Wildcat Canyon Trail, I heard a Grasshopper Sparrow singing - and made a brief recording of it. I never saw the bird (it was windy and I wasn't able to stop long). Ebird list with recording:

A little further East on Conlon Trail, maybe a 100-150 yards West of the cattle gate, I was surprised to see a Say's Phoebe fly by, with that typical phoebe buoyant flight pattern. Although I didn't have bins, I got a clear look at the uniformly dusty brown head, wings and back, with contrasting dark tail, flared in flight - before it sailed over the edge of the hill. I didn't see the orange-tinted underparts from the angle I was at, but I'm fairly confident in the ID. Being on a run of course, I wasn't able to spend more time pursuing it. 

For perhaps the 3rd week in a row, I heard a MacGillivray's Warbler singing along the Meadow Canyon trail. See the ebird list for a recording of the song.

Along the way, I also heard 3 different Lazuli Buntings singing, a few Western Wood Pewees, Pacific-Slope Flycatchers and Swainson's Thrushes, and the usual assortment of Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers, Bewick's Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees feeding young, and more. A number of House Wrens are still singing away in the Eucalyptus grove along Nimitz Way. Birds I often hear along this route that were missing today were Olive-sided Flycatcher and California Thrasher. 

In case anyone's interested, here are locations / directions:

Grasshopper Sparrow: 
Along the Conlon Trail, not far from Nimitz Way, at roughly GPS location 37.928000, -122.275444. It's about a 2.6 mile hike from the Little Farm area. Google Map directions from the Little Farm:

Say's Phoebe
Along the Conlon Trail, not far from the junction with Nimitz Way, at approximately GPS location 37.923504, -122.268031. It's about a 2.1 mile hike from the Tilden Little Farm area. Google Map directions:

MacGillivray's Warbler:
The bird was singing along the Meadow Canyon Trail, 1.2 miles from the Little Farm area, at about GPS location: 37.907528, -122.253139. Google Map directions from the Tilden Little Farm:

Happy birding,

Zac Denning