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Thursday in Heather Farm Park July 16


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What seemed fairly quiet turned out to be a pleasant morning.  Ted Robertson and I arrived about the same time and quickly saw one adult and two younger Killdeer on the north ball fields.  The kids are almost as big as the adults, but they are not quite as colorful.

We rode around the large, mostly natural pond in a clockwise direction, but Ted was somewhat limited in time due to work.  We made our way over to the corner at the entrance to the private Seven Hills School, where we saw 4 Rough-winged Swallows over that pond and a Mockingbird up the grassy hill of the Hale property.  Otherwise, it was very quiet.

As we separated, Ted was on his way home, I started around the pond in a clockwise direction.  Partway along the west side, Bob Dunn was walking.  I then joined him and turned around to walk in the clockwise direction, again.  While we were at the wooden railing, he suddenly saw a Spotted Sandpiper.  We both watched it land on a muddy section beyond the gravel boat ramp.  It flew the length of the pond several times, landing in a couple of different places.  The pond does not have a lot of shoreline suitable for sandpipers.  Sorry, Ted, it was fun to watch.

While we were there, a Black-crowned Night-Heron flew across the pond and landed in the tree which fell last winter.  The tree mostly blocks the channel which goes around the north side of the island.  The heron was still there when some other park regulars came and also saw it.

We had a young Red-shouldered Hawk land on a snag on the island, three species of swallow, Rough-winged, Barn and Cliff, and Western Bluebirds were hawking insects on the lawn at the railing.

By the time I was home, I realized it had been two hours.  A man working for PG&E was finally finishing the neighborhood check for gas leaks at all the meters, and I was ready for breakfast.

You can look for Bob and Ted's eBird reports at:  https://ebird.org/region/US-CA-013/activity?yr=all&m=

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek