Derek Hines and I birded and biked Mines road to mile 19. The recent fire borders the road beginning at mile 17. I do not know if the fires bordering the road were back fires or the “fire” but many of the blue oaks survived and the fire was likely beneficial as not all trees were killed as the underbrush and floor burned. The fire did not appear to be superhot damaging the soil. That was a big positive! Hopefully this winter will be a good rain year and the wildflowers will be good on this stretch next spring....
In term of birds, we had fantastic looks by the coral at a roadrunner at mile 17.5 which is a hotspot with water drawing many birds.
We also had looks at the immature yellow-bellied Sapsucker found by Aaron Maizlish and photographed by Alex Henry. We had multiple looks at this bird from mile 13.69 to 13.77 or so - this bird is very shy and probably will require a stakeout to see - we only saw it in the stream side of the road...
Jim Chiropolos, Orinda