SCVAS Field Trip, Gilroy's Christmas Hill Park and Uvas Creek trail, Sat., Dec. 18

Rick Herder

Some wondered if our 8 o'clock start was too early, it was chilly!  But the first few hours were productive for 8 birders, and we ended with a total of 51 species.  We didn't spend too much time on the Christmas Hill Park side with it's largely non-native plantings (and non-native birds) but did find Townsends Warblers and Pine Siskins.  The siskins were working at cones in one redwood tree.  Upstream from the park, across Miller Avenue, we found many active birds along Uvas Creek.  Best birds were a single bright red Fox Sparrow and an Osprey slowly cruising upstream toward Santa Teresa Boulevard.  This stretch of Uvas Creek is a great place to compare Purple and House Finches.  The turnaround point for this walk is usually the small ponds on the golf course across Santa Teresa Avenue.  Unfortunately the ponds are completely covered with a layer of plants (duckweed?) that only Coots seemed to love.