Heather Farm birds


Not a whole lot has changed in Heather Farm Park, which is why I have not reported.  We are seeing fairly regularly up to three Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Herons and Green Herons, but for me today it was only one Night-Heron.

More than 100 Canada Geese were on the ball field closest to Ygnacio Valley Road today; they move around depending on the mowing of the grass.

Today only one Red-shouldered Hawk was behind the owl box, sometimes one is there and one in a tree up the slope.

There must not have been any river otter activity, because the 60+ Mallards were scattered all over the large, mostly natural pond.  Just over a week ago, the City had a crew using a machine to skim the scum from the pond.

The Anna's Hummingbirds like to hawk small gnat-like insects and I saw that activity again today.

Yesterday I heard a Downy Woodpecker, today I heard a Nuttall's.  Also heard Crows and Scrub-Jays. 

The eucalyptus trees between the boat ramp and chin-up bars had lots of Bushtits high, House Finches and at least one Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  I also found a Song Sparrow for the first time since July 22.  I am sure they are around, they are quiet, now, and much harder to find.  In the same area were some Lesser Goldfinches.  I counted about 25 House Finches on the ground near the chin-up bars this morning.

Swallow activity is way down, too, but I had a couple of Barn and a couple of Cliff Swallows today.

The CA Towhees had been very active for quite a while, then were quiet like the Song Sparrows.  The last couple of days I saw them again near the wooden railing.  Yesterday 4 of them nearly crashed my bike as I watched them chasing and fussing on the grass.  When they finally landed on the sidewalk, they were joined by a fifth.  Today, one of them turned out to be a young Cowbird begging and being attended by an adult Towhee. 

On the other side of the ridge from the park, Fred Safier has recently had Western Tanagers, so I have been watching and listening, especially around the eucalyptus trees.  Not yet for me.

Hugh B.Harvey
Walnut Creek