Heather Farm in Walnut Creek


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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
Walnut Creek