Re: Mountain Plovers on Robinson Road Solano county 200+!!

Denise and David Hamilton

Hi all,

Just read Hugh's report.  David and I were out on Robinson Road at 9:30 am and saw over 200!! Mountain Plovers.  We first saw them in the field close to the huge line of eucalyptus trees seen from Robinson Rd. opposite the osage orange tree row.  We counted over 60 of them along with numerous LB Curlews.  We then drove east to the other side of the euc. trees and watched a flock fly in.  I counted over 150 of them, along with many LB Curlews.  Thinking that the must have been the ones we just saw, we drove back and looked again.  The plovers were right where we had left them. I'm guessing that there may have been even more since some were hunkered down and the heat waves were starting.  This is not an estimated count; I used my scope and started on one end of them and counted one by one.  I don't think we've ever seen so many at one time!  We believe that there were well over 200 curlews, too.  Many of them were even further off in the fields.

Had a Burrowing Owl on Flannery Rd. just east of Hwy 113.  Missed the Ferruginous Hawk and Golden Eagle. 

For Central Valley Birds:  Drove over to Staten Island Road - 100's of Sandhill Cranes and 1,000's of Cackling Geese along the road. Few ducks - a large flock of Canvasbacks and a few Coots.

Amazing day!
Happy birding, 
Denise and David Hamilton

On Monday, November 23, 2020, 03:23:23 PM PST, rosita94598 via <rosita94598@...> wrote:

Having tried by myself two weeks ago, Rosita and I went again today in search of Mountain Plovers in Solano County.  It worked.

We followed the same west-to-east route I drove previously, starting on Branscome Road east of Suisun City on Hwy 12.  We then drove Creed Road all the way to Goose Haven, south to Flannery, and east until we reached Hwy 113.  We turned north, then east on Robinson Road.  When we reached the abandoned ranch and bent to the left, we drove past the high voltage wires for a very short distance and started scoping the field to the north.  The osage orange trees are still on the right side of the road at this location.

Though it was only about 60°, at 12:30 the heat waves were horrible.  I scoped a bird which we thought might actually be a Northern Harrier on the ground, but it was not possible to tell.  As I scanned, I found a flock of about 150 Long-billed Curlews.  Rosita started looking through her scope, too. 

Something spooked the Curlews and they all flew beyond the fence line at the north edge of the field.  But then Rosita said something like, here are the Plovers.  It turns out the bird I first found was one of them, just not moving.  She counted 24 Mountain Plovers, while I easily counted 21.  They had started moving around and we could then tell what they were, despite the heat waves. 

Before we turned the last corner south toward Flannery, a Golden Eagle lifted and then landed in a different location of the same field.  It may have been disturbed by a Red-tailed Hawk which harassed an adult Ferruginous Hawk.  This was the second time we saw this behavior today, it also happened on Branscome Road before we approached the edge of Travis AFB.  Maybe the Eagle is what disturbed the Curlews, who knows?

We turned east on Flannery after not finding the resident Burrowing Owl, then followed Canright Road south to McCormack.  McCormack is being paved east toward Rio Vista and is closed temporarily.  We turned west and returned to Hwy 113, then Hwy 12 and on home.

We only saw 2 Loggerhead Shrikes, a handful of Red-tailed Hawks, 14 American Kestrels and we don't know how many hundred Western Meadowlarks. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

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