Mountain Bluebird on Mines Rd.
I drove around Mines Rd. this late morning/afternoon. I birded primarily in the alameda side though I did cross over in the Santa Clara to check out the burn zones, which were really awesome. At the corral (Mile17 or something), I found a female mountain bluebird associating with a flock of westerns. The bird was overall far paler blue than the westerns, with only slight, barely visible rusty wash in the breast. The mantle was entirely drab gray-blue, while the primaries, secondaries, primary coverts and greater coverts had the characteristic bright light blue mountain color. The bill was notably slender and longer compared to western. Mountain blues aren't marked as rare on Mines, as they are a regular winterer in other areas around livermore, especially the wineries along Tesla road. However, it was unique to see a singleton in habitat that wasn't an expansive winery. Othern than the bluebird, Mines was pretty slow, with no show of the Yellow-bellied sap, roadrunners or phainopeplas.
eBird checklist with photos of the mountain bluebird is here:
- Max Laubstein