I walked along the De Anza Trail (Atascadero Mutual Water Company portion) along the Salinas River yesterday (Sunday). There was moderate bird activity of the usual suspects. The Salinas in this area has a live stream, but it is about the size of a stream. There is a large pond formed just north of the Hwy. 41 bridge over the riverbed. The pond held a couple MALLARDS, six BUFFLEHEADS (male & females), and a male and female pair of COMMON MERGANSERS.
Above the pond was a cloud of several hundred swallows with five species represented - CLIFF, NORTHER ROUGH WINGED, TREE, VIOLET GREEN and BARN...mixed in were numerous WHITE THROATED SWIFTS. It was a great opportunity to study differences in species including markings, shape, size and flight. The trail is elevated above the pond so there was opportunity to watch the swallows from above, eye level, and below. Cliff swallows have begun nest building at the bridge abutments.
At Atascadero Lake, the duck composition has changes with the large group of RING NECKED DUCKS apparently have departed, and I have not observed the REDHEAD for the last couple days. The EURASIAN WIDGEON