moderated Salt Ponds - Common Loon, Redheads, Greater White-fronted Geese


I started out this morning with a plan to walk up on the landfill by the Sunnyvale WPCP and scan the Yahoo marsh and the WPCP ponds, but as I got up a little ways I decided to scope back towards A4.  I found a COMMON LOON diving on A4 and there seemed to be more birds and variety on A4 that what I could quickly glimpse on the WPCP ponds so I decided to go back and check out A4 from the Bay Trail instead.  Once I got there, I found lots of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, SCAUP, and BUFFLEHEAD, but unfortunately never could find the loon again.  Right where the trail begins to directly border A4 there is a little marshy area that had a bunch of blackbirds.  I found a few TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS and a bunch of GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES.  This spot, in fact, seems to be about the most reliable place to see the grackles in the county now... They were hard to count as they kept moving around but at one point I was able to count 22 visible at one time, so probably many more around.  A little later a MERLIN flew by chasing some stilts.  I eventually made it back to the landfill but nothing of much interest there other than a nice PEREGRINE FALCON on one of the towers.  

From Sunnyvale I moved on to the EEC in Alviso and took a quick look at A16.  Not much notable there, but on the way out I stopped near the maintenance shed to scope over to A18 and there I saw hundreds of REDHEADS in the southwest most portion of A18.  As I was walking back to the car I heard GREATER-WHITE FRONTED GEESE calling overhead and eventually found a flock of about 20-25 flying high to the east, eventually disappearing into a low cloud.

Steve Tracey
San Jose

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