Mococo Pond Friday January 8
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