Topics

moderated Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13

 

I dropped by the Oka Lane ponds today to see about adding a few missing ducks to my 2020 lists. I was able to find the continuing  ring-necked ducks as well as the common mergansers, but the hooded mergansers that I saw there in December eluded me. A small Canada goose flock was there, but the cackling goose wasn’t there, so I headed to the other entrance to the park off Dell, where I found a larger CAGO flock, and immediately found the Cackling goose in the water near the path. To me it looks good for Aleutian.

 

I did run into this really weird looking “it’s kinda like a Bufflehead but wrong” bird in the south eastern most pond off Oka Lane. I pass it along for your amusement and thoughts; to me, while I hesitate to yell HYBRID early in the ID phase, really seems like Bufflehead X something (maybe mallard?). Bird seemed more coot sized than bufflehead sized, bigger than a bufflehead by a bit.

 

A duck swimming in a body of water

Description automatically generated

 

 

Visiting Oka Ponds (aka Oka Lane, aka Los Gatos Creek County Park)

 

I have gotten two requests for info on the Oka ponds today from various people, since we’ve been talking a lot more about it this winter (why not? I had a visit in December where I logged ten duck species in a quick 30 minute walk). The Southern ponds off Oka lane seem like the best place to reliably see ring-necked this winter, and today had five common mergansers. The hooded merganser pair being seen there was hiding, though.

 

What we call Oka ponds (or Oka Lane) is also known as Los Gatos Creek County Park. There are two access points. On the north side, take San Tomas to Hacienda and go east, then turn left on Dell, the entrance is on your right (parking is $6 or county park pass). 

the Oka lane entrance on the south, Lark Avenue to Oka road, take Oka road north under the freeway to Mozart, hang a left, then a quick right onto Oka lane. at the end of the road are gates with an access space to get onto the paths for the northern ponds. Parking on the street and limited, you're in a residential neighborhood. 

 

They interconnect via the Los Gatos Creek Trail that travels long the creek that’s in the middle of the park here (but carries on N and S). This is a good place for ducks, grebes, and often has a large gull population that can be fun to sort through. There are two belted kingfishers here in different parts of the park, I found one today in the tree in the island near the Dell (northern) entrance. Also tends to have some egrets and great blue herons hanging about.

 

The southern entrance is a good place if you want to walk the creek, or bring a bike and bike along the levee.

 

My visit today got me two geese (Canada and Cackling), seven ducks (Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, ruddy) and two grebes (pied billed and western) in 40 minutes with two stops and < a mile of flat walking. If you’re trying to fill out your duck bingo card, winter here seems kind of awesome…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)

 

Update:

 

Alvaro and a couple of others suggested this was good for female bufflehead. My thought was that the female white patch was thicker and more irregular and that’s why it looked wrong. After they suggested this, I went back into my files and found this bird (also from Las Gatos Creek park back in 2010, which more or less matches this new bird. So I’m agreeing with Alvaro now, that my “weird” bird is a female bufflehead, and while I still think that straight stripe looks weird to me, it’s pretty clearly within conformance for a female bufflehead, and I see it now.  What I think tripped me up was this new bird’s white looks painted on with a ruler and less organic than I expect to see buffleheads, but with some more research, it clearly is a bufflead.

 

Thanks all!

 

(2010 bird)

A duck floating in a body of water

Description automatically generated

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)

 

From: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io> on behalf of "Chuq Von Rospach via Groups.Io" <chuqui@...>
Reply-To: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@...>
Date: Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7:02 PM
To: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Cc: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13

 

I did run into this really weird looking “it’s kinda like a Bufflehead but wrong” bird in the south eastern most pond off Oka Lane. I pass it along for your amusement and thoughts; to me, while I hesitate to yell HYBRID early in the ID phase, really seems like Bufflehead X something (maybe mallard?). Bird seemed more coot sized than bufflehead sized, bigger than a bufflehead by a bit. 



 

I get to correct myself one final (I hope) time – I said “female bufflehead” even as I looked at the email from Alvaro suggesting young/immature MALE bufflehead, the straight vs more splotchy white line being an indicator it’s a younger male.

 

As I said to someone else today, this is the sort of thing that makes me love birding, the crazy, complicated and subtle nuances that make what seem simple IDs a challenge. Because if it was easy, we’d get bored and go do something else instead…. (grin).

 

I certainly understand Buffleheads more this evening than I did this morning, hopefully by sharing and (eventually) getting it right you do, too.

 

Chuq

 

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)

 

From: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io> on behalf of "Chuq Von Rospach via Groups.Io" <chuqui@...>
Reply-To: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@...>
Date: Monday, January 13, 2020 at 8:13 PM
To: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Cc: "southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io" <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [southbaybirds] Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13

 

Alvaro and a couple of others suggested this was good for female bufflehead. 

Kent
 

When I visited on the afternoon of 8 January a pair of Hooded Mergansers were in the creek south of the pedestrian bridge, easily visible from it.

-- Kent Johnson



From: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io> on behalf of Chuq Von Rospach via Groups.Io <chuqui@...>
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2020 7:02 PM
To: southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Cc: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13
 

I dropped by the Oka Lane ponds today to see about adding a few missing ducks to my 2020 lists. I was able to find the continuing  ring-necked ducks as well as the common mergansers, but the hooded mergansers that I saw there in December eluded me. A small Canada goose flock was there, but the cackling goose wasn’t there, so I headed to the other entrance to the park off Dell, where I found a larger CAGO flock, and immediately found the Cackling goose in the water near the path. To me it looks good for Aleutian.

 

I did run into this really weird looking “it’s kinda like a Bufflehead but wrong” bird in the south eastern most pond off Oka Lane. I pass it along for your amusement and thoughts; to me, while I hesitate to yell HYBRID early in the ID phase, really seems like Bufflehead X something (maybe mallard?). Bird seemed more coot sized than bufflehead sized, bigger than a bufflehead by a bit.

 

A duck swimming in a body of water

Description automatically generated

 

 

Visiting Oka Ponds (aka Oka Lane, aka Los Gatos Creek County Park)

 

I have gotten two requests for info on the Oka ponds today from various people, since we’ve been talking a lot more about it this winter (why not? I had a visit in December where I logged ten duck species in a quick 30 minute walk). The Southern ponds off Oka lane seem like the best place to reliably see ring-necked this winter, and today had five common mergansers. The hooded merganser pair being seen there was hiding, though.

 

What we call Oka ponds (or Oka Lane) is also known as Los Gatos Creek County Park. There are two access points. On the north side, take San Tomas to Hacienda and go east, then turn left on Dell, the entrance is on your right (parking is $6 or county park pass). 

the Oka lane entrance on the south, Lark Avenue to Oka road, take Oka road north under the freeway to Mozart, hang a left, then a quick right onto Oka lane. at the end of the road are gates with an access space to get onto the paths for the northern ponds. Parking on the street and limited, you're in a residential neighborhood. 

 

They interconnect via the Los Gatos Creek Trail that travels long the creek that’s in the middle of the park here (but carries on N and S). This is a good place for ducks, grebes, and often has a large gull population that can be fun to sort through. There are two belted kingfishers here in different parts of the park, I found one today in the tree in the island near the Dell (northern) entrance. Also tends to have some egrets and great blue herons hanging about.

 

The southern entrance is a good place if you want to walk the creek, or bring a bike and bike along the levee.

 

My visit today got me two geese (Canada and Cackling), seven ducks (Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, ruddy) and two grebes (pied billed and western) in 40 minutes with two stops and < a mile of flat walking. If you’re trying to fill out your duck bingo card, winter here seems kind of awesome…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)

Mike Voydanoff
 

The Cackling Goose is still here right now at the Dell entrance. Also a Green Heron, and a Belted Kingfisher in a bare tree in an island close to the entrance. 

On Jan 14, 2020, at 12:20 AM, Kent <kentjohnson@...> wrote:


When I visited on the afternoon of 8 January a pair of Hooded Mergansers were in the creek south of the pedestrian bridge, easily visible from it.

-- Kent Johnson



From: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io> on behalf of Chuq Von Rospach via Groups.Io <chuqui@...>
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2020 7:02 PM
To: southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Cc: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13
 

I dropped by the Oka Lane ponds today to see about adding a few missing ducks to my 2020 lists. I was able to find the continuing  ring-necked ducks as well as the common mergansers, but the hooded mergansers that I saw there in December eluded me. A small Canada goose flock was there, but the cackling goose wasn’t there, so I headed to the other entrance to the park off Dell, where I found a larger CAGO flock, and immediately found the Cackling goose in the water near the path. To me it looks good for Aleutian.

 

I did run into this really weird looking “it’s kinda like a Bufflehead but wrong” bird in the south eastern most pond off Oka Lane. I pass it along for your amusement and thoughts; to me, while I hesitate to yell HYBRID early in the ID phase, really seems like Bufflehead X something (maybe mallard?). Bird seemed more coot sized than bufflehead sized, bigger than a bufflehead by a bit.

 

<image001.png>

 

 

Visiting Oka Ponds (aka Oka Lane, aka Los Gatos Creek County Park)

 

I have gotten two requests for info on the Oka ponds today from various people, since we’ve been talking a lot more about it this winter (why not? I had a visit in December where I logged ten duck species in a quick 30 minute walk). The Southern ponds off Oka lane seem like the best place to reliably see ring-necked this winter, and today had five common mergansers. The hooded merganser pair being seen there was hiding, though.

 

What we call Oka ponds (or Oka Lane) is also known as Los Gatos Creek County Park. There are two access points. On the north side, take San Tomas to Hacienda and go east, then turn left on Dell, the entrance is on your right (parking is $6 or county park pass). 

the Oka lane entrance on the south, Lark Avenue to Oka road, take Oka road north under the freeway to Mozart, hang a left, then a quick right onto Oka lane. at the end of the road are gates with an access space to get onto the paths for the northern ponds. Parking on the street and limited, you're in a residential neighborhood. 

 

They interconnect via the Los Gatos Creek Trail that travels long the creek that’s in the middle of the park here (but carries on N and S). This is a good place for ducks, grebes, and often has a large gull population that can be fun to sort through. There are two belted kingfishers here in different parts of the park, I found one today in the tree in the island near the Dell (northern) entrance. Also tends to have some egrets and great blue herons hanging about.

 

The southern entrance is a good place if you want to walk the creek, or bring a bike and bike along the levee.

 

My visit today got me two geese (Canada and Cackling), seven ducks (Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, ruddy) and two grebes (pied billed and western) in 40 minutes with two stops and < a mile of flat walking. If you’re trying to fill out your duck bingo card, winter here seems kind of awesome…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)

Lisa Myers
 

I know this is past info, but on Jan. 4 we also found a solo Greater White Fronted Goose in the big pond at the main entrance off Dell. It was on the island. 

Lisa Myers
Los Gatos Birdwatcher/Let’s Go Birding

i

On Jan 14, 2020, at 7:47 AM, Mike Voydanoff <mike@...> wrote:

The Cackling Goose is still here right now at the Dell entrance. Also a Green Heron, and a Belted Kingfisher in a bare tree in an island close to the entrance. 

On Jan 14, 2020, at 12:20 AM, Kent <kentjohnson@...> wrote:


When I visited on the afternoon of 8 January a pair of Hooded Mergansers were in the creek south of the pedestrian bridge, easily visible from it.

-- Kent Johnson



From: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io> on behalf of Chuq Von Rospach via Groups.Io <chuqui@...>
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2020 7:02 PM
To: southbaybirds@groups.io southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Cc: southbaybirds@groups.io <southbaybirds@groups.io>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Los Gatos Creek Park/Oka Ponds 1/13
 

I dropped by the Oka Lane ponds today to see about adding a few missing ducks to my 2020 lists. I was able to find the continuing  ring-necked ducks as well as the common mergansers, but the hooded mergansers that I saw there in December eluded me. A small Canada goose flock was there, but the cackling goose wasn’t there, so I headed to the other entrance to the park off Dell, where I found a larger CAGO flock, and immediately found the Cackling goose in the water near the path. To me it looks good for Aleutian.

 

I did run into this really weird looking “it’s kinda like a Bufflehead but wrong” bird in the south eastern most pond off Oka Lane. I pass it along for your amusement and thoughts; to me, while I hesitate to yell HYBRID early in the ID phase, really seems like Bufflehead X something (maybe mallard?). Bird seemed more coot sized than bufflehead sized, bigger than a bufflehead by a bit.

 

<image001.png>

 

 

Visiting Oka Ponds (aka Oka Lane, aka Los Gatos Creek County Park)

 

I have gotten two requests for info on the Oka ponds today from various people, since we’ve been talking a lot more about it this winter (why not? I had a visit in December where I logged ten duck species in a quick 30 minute walk). The Southern ponds off Oka lane seem like the best place to reliably see ring-necked this winter, and today had five common mergansers. The hooded merganser pair being seen there was hiding, though.

 

What we call Oka ponds (or Oka Lane) is also known as Los Gatos Creek County Park. There are two access points. On the north side, take San Tomas to Hacienda and go east, then turn left on Dell, the entrance is on your right (parking is $6 or county park pass). 

the Oka lane entrance on the south, Lark Avenue to Oka road, take Oka road north under the freeway to Mozart, hang a left, then a quick right onto Oka lane. at the end of the road are gates with an access space to get onto the paths for the northern ponds. Parking on the street and limited, you're in a residential neighborhood. 

 

They interconnect via the Los Gatos Creek Trail that travels long the creek that’s in the middle of the park here (but carries on N and S). This is a good place for ducks, grebes, and often has a large gull population that can be fun to sort through. There are two belted kingfishers here in different parts of the park, I found one today in the tree in the island near the Dell (northern) entrance. Also tends to have some egrets and great blue herons hanging about.

 

The southern entrance is a good place if you want to walk the creek, or bring a bike and bike along the levee.

 

My visit today got me two geese (Canada and Cackling), seven ducks (Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, ruddy) and two grebes (pied billed and western) in 40 minutes with two stops and < a mile of flat walking. If you’re trying to fill out your duck bingo card, winter here seems kind of awesome…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


---------------------------------------

Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuqui.com
Email: chuqui@...
Twitter: @chuq
Silicon Valley, California

(formerly chuqvr@.... Same me, less google)