Swamp Sparrow and Yellow-headed Blackbird at Sunnyvale WPCP, more highlights here and there

Adam Burnett

Hi all,

A long bike ride along the Bay Trail, then down through Sunnyvale and Cupertino yielded many highlights today. Chief among them was a SWAMP SPARROW at the Sunnyvale WPCP. Photo and location details here:

I also tracked down the continuing YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD along the Bay Trail in Sunnyvale, though it was not near the Twin Creeks fields. Instead, it was about 0.7 miles to the west along the Bay Trail, with a large flock of blackbirds and starlings at the SMaRT station, where a conveyor belt was throwing garbage into waiting trucks. Further details and a poor photo here:

At the east edge of Shoreline Park, in a ditch between the kite flying area and the Bay Trail, I was excited to find a EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Its horizontal white flank “stripes” appeared more like smudges, making me wonder if it could be an intergrade, but apparently (per this Sibley article:, the appearance of the white horizontal stripe can vary considerably based on the bird’s posture, and this bird still seems consistent with a normal Eurasian. Photos and further details here:

The four SNOW GEESE and four GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were at the kite flying area among many Canadas. A MERLIN was perched on a power tower at the east end of the kite flying area, along Stevens Creek.

Highlights along the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail included 7 COMMON MERGANSERS, a HOODED MERGANSER, a RING-NECKED DUCK, and 14 WILSON’S SNIPE. Thanks to Mark Kinsman for the recent post recommending this spot.

At Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale, the flock of MITRED PARAKEETS appeared shortly before 3 PM, along with a single RED-MASKED PARAKEET. No luck, though, with the Chipping Sparrows at Cupertino Memorial Park.

Adam Burnett