Heather Farm in Walnut Creek
The winter is coming to a halt in my local park, with maybe less than ten Ring-necked Ducks, now. Today I only saw one female Bufflehead. Even the Double-crested Cormorants are down to a handful.
The sparrows are still plentiful, but it is mostly White-crowneds, with only some Golden-crowned Sparrows mixed in. They, though, are showing really snappy gold and black on their heads. Today I found two Lincoln's Sparrows and one Fox, so the winter is not over quite yet.
The remaining male Yellow-rumped Warblers are starting to show the black on their sides, but not yet around the front of their breasts. Yesterday there were three or four singing Ruby-crowned Kinglets, too.
The gull flocks are also thin. This morning I had nine Ring-billed Gulls and three Mew Gulls on the smaller middle athletic field. And while I did see the five Cackling Geese earlier this week, the large flocks of Canada Geese have mostly disappeared.
Tuesday we had a Red-shouldered Hawk fly across the pond in front of us, carrying breakfast. That was pretty exciting; well, not for the small mammal.
Even the Flickers have not been around lately, which happens around here every spring.
But today while riding my bike home, I saw a Merlin on top of a bare pine above our HOA swimming pool. I have only seen it twice this winter, so that was really nice.
Hugh B. Harvey