moderated Today's SCVAS field trip to Coyote Lake Park


This morning around 20 of us enjoyed nice weather, great company, and some good birds on the SCVAS field trip to Coyote Lake county park.  We started at the Mendoza Ranch parking lot where we immediately got our first highlight of a small group of LARK SPARROWS landing in the small trees right above us on the edge of the parking lot.  We proceeded to find YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, and BUFFLEHEAD along with some of the other usual suspects in the Mendoza Ranch entrance area.  As we were walking back to the cars we had a nice GOLDEN EAGLE flyover.  We then proceeded to the lake itself and were treated to large groups of AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, RINGED-NECK DUCKS, RUDDY DUCKS, CANADA GEESE, WESTERN and CLARK'S GREBES, and COMMON MERGANSERS.  We also found single or smaller numbers of HOODED MERGANSER, MALLARD, EARED GREBE, PIED-BILLED GREBE, CANVASBACK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS.  We had a nice raptor day with a really cooperative MERLIN and COOPER'S HAWK along with RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, RED-TAILED HAWKS, NORTHERN HARRIER, a few more GOLDEN EAGLES, eventually some TURKEY VULTURES and finally (and unfortunately after a few participants had left) 2 BALD EAGLES.  Additionally at the dam we found WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS, RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and one less than cooperative CANYON WREN.  In addition to the birds we had a big group of wild pigs (a lot of piglets), coyotes doing there best loon call impressions, and a small group of deer that required us to step off the dam road a bit so they could pass through.

Steve Tracey
San Jose

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