Mococo Pond Friday January 8


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After meeting another MDAS member below the egret/heron rookery trees at Mococo Pond, we birded maybe 1 hour 40 minutes.  This location is just east of I-680 and north of the RR below.  Cross the tracks and drive under the freeway and park along the entry road to EcoServices.  Some large eucalyptus trees here host a rookery in the spring--quite a sight.

We saw lots of ducks tonight in the pond,Gree-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck and Common Goldeneye.  Also in the pond were Mute Swans, Coots and Pied-billed Grebes.

We had two Red-tailed Hawks, one of which carried a stick into the trees even closer to the toll plaza.  An American Kestrel was on a wooden power pole farther east and across from McNabney Marsh.

The best of the night, though, was right about 4:30.  We had 100-150 White-throated Swifts suddenly appear almost directly above us.  They stayed a bit, disappeared, and then returned a short time later.  I am quite certain they nest under the overpass over the railroad and auto road, but maybe they roost there year-round?  We did not see that tonight, so I cannot say.

As soon as the sun disappeared behind the freeway, it became cold very quickly.  While standing near a gate just past our cars and the white concrete barriers to the side, it was windy, too.  I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a furnace for heat.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek