Tuesday Dec. 29 in Heather Farm


These crisp and clear mornings remind me of some of my fall visits to Japan while sailing for American President Lines or Sealand Services.  Anyway, I had to wear extra heavy gloves today because it was so cold. 

I am not sure if it is the clear air, fog, colder temperatures or rain, but the duck numbers vary greatly here from day to day.  This morning, I counted over 70 Ring-necked Ducks.  There were no Killdeers on the ball fields for the second day.  Canada Goose numbers were way down, but I did not check the south ball fields.

There were two female Hooded Mergansers in the pond at the private Seven Hills School, but they left while I was looking over the fence.  A female Wood Duck was also there, as well as one female Common Merganser.

Yesterday a Red-shouldered Hawk was hoofing it on the north ball field, but I did not even hear one today.  I was wondering what it might find by walking around such a wide-open lawn area.

I found two Lark Sparrows in the trees up the slope and just west of the New Sparrow Corner, the bend in the gravel maintenance road south of the equestrian rings.  They have been around since November, but are not as easy to find as the other sparrows.  I did, however, miss the Lincoln's and Fox Sparrows this morning.

Some Lesser Goldfinches came around the trail on the west side of the big pond, and American Goldfinches were in some Sycamore trees near the swimming pool. 

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek