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Shipman's field notes, Mar 2014


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2014-03-01: NM: Belen: Taco Bell Marsh

@TBM: Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Gadwall # @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Mallard # @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Shoveler, Northern # @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Pintail, Northern # @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Teal, American Green-winged # @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh
Heron, Great Blue 1 @Belen: Taco Bell Marsh

2014-03-02: NM: Socorro County

@BdA: Bosque del Apache NWR
@FMS: San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
@MVT: Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
@SocCo: Socorro County
@road1: Luis Lopez to San Antonio
@road2: San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
1030, leave Socorro.
1045, Luis Lopez.
1105, Farm-Market Road south of US-380.
1120, San Antonio.
1135, Bosque del Apache NWR.
1230, Boardwalk, then Marsh View Trail clockwise.
Goose, white Snow 
# @Bosque del Apache NWR
# @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Goose, Ross' # @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Goose, Canada # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Gadwall # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Wigeon, American # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Mallard # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Teal, Cinnamon # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Shoveler, Northern # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Pintail, Northern # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Teal, American Green-winged # @Bosque del Apache NWR
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Duck, Ring-necked # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Scaup, Lesser # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Bufflehead # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Duck, Ruddy # @Bosque del Apache NWR
The title of that first photo is “Muddy Ruddy.”
Grebe, Eared 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Cormorant, Neotropic 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Heron, Great Blue 
1 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
One perched in a cottonwood by Farm-Market Road.
@Bosque del Apache NWR
Eagle, Bald 1a @Bosque del Apache NWR
Hawk, Red-tailed 
1a @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Rufous phase.
1i @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
1a @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Light phase.
Kestrel, American 
1♂ @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
1♀ @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Coot, American # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Dowitcher, Long-billed # @Bosque del Apache NWR
Gull, Ring-billed 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Collared-Dove, Eurasian # @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Dove, White-winged # @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Dove, Mourning 1 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Roadrunner, Greater 2 @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
Flicker, Red-shafted 
1 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
1 @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Phoebe, Say's 
# @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Shrike, Loggerhead 2 @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Crow, American # @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Raven, Chihuahuan # @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Swallow, Tree # @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Bluebird, Western 2 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Bluebird, Mountain # @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
Robin, American 1 @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
Starling, European 1 @San Antonio to Bosque del Apache
Sparrow, Savannah 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Sparrow, Song # @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Sparrow, White-crowned 
# @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
# @Bosque del Apache NWR
Junco, Gray-headed # @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
Junco, Oregon 
1 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
# @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
Junco, Pink-sided 1 @Luis Lopez to San Antonio
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR: Marsh View Trail
1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Hard by the northeast corner of the visitor center.
Finch, House # @San Antonio: Farm-Market Road south of US-380
Sparrow, House # @Luis Lopez to San Antonio

2014-03-08: NM: Socorro to Arizona line

@day: Socorro to Arizona line
@road1: Socorro to Valencia line
@road2: Valencia Co. to Cibola line
@road3: Cibola Co. to Grants
@road4: Grants to Gallup
1110, leave Socorro.
1200, Valencia County, NM-6^W.
1235, Cibola County.
1305, Grants.
1355, Gallup.
Kestrel, American 1♀ @Grants to Gallup
raven sp. 
# @Valencia Co. to Cibola line
# @Cibola Co. to Grants
Crow, American # @Socorro to Valencia line
Raven, Chihuahuan # @Valencia Co. to Cibola line

2014-03-08: AZ: I-40, NM to CA

@day: I-40, NM to CA
@road1: I-40, Holbrook to Winslow
@road2: I-40, Winslow to Flagstaff
@road3: I-40, Flagstaff to Williams
@road4: I-40, Seligman to Kingman
1415, enter Arizona.
1510–1520, pit stop in Holbrook.
1545, Winslow.
1630, Flagstaff.
1655, Williams.
1730, Seligman.
1830, arrive Kingman.
Jay, Steller's 1 @I-40, Flagstaff to Williams
raven sp. 
# @I-40, Winslow to Flagstaff
# @I-40, Seligman to Kingman
Raven, Chihuahuan # @I-40, Winslow to Flagstaff

2014-03-09: AZ: Kingman to CA line

@day: Kingman to CA line
1055, leave Kingman.
1135, leave Arizona.
Grackle, Great-tailed # @Kingman to CA line

2014-03-09: CA: Needles to Petaluma

@day: Needles to Petaluma
@road1: Needles to Daggett
@road2: Boron to Mojave
@road3: CA-99 to I-5 via CA-46^W
@road4: I-5^N, CA-46^W to Panoche Road exit
@road5: I-5^N, Panoche Road to CA-152 exit
@road6: I-5^N, CA-152 to I-580^W
1135, enter CA on I-40.
1145, Needles.
1340, Daggett.
1350, CA-58^W.
1420-1430, pitstop at x US-395, ~Boron.
1520, Tehachapi Summit.
1555, CA-99^N.
1615, CA-46^W.
1645, I-5^N.
1800-1810, pit stop at Panoche Road exit.
1840, passed CA-152 exit.
1915, turn W on I-580.
1940-2000, dinner in Livermore.
2120, arrive Petaluma.
Hawk, Red-tailed 
1 @I-5^N, Panoche Road to CA-152 exit
4 @I-5^N, CA-152 to I-580^W
Pigeon, Rock # @I-5^N, Panoche Road to CA-152 exit
Dove, Mourning # @CA-99 to I-5 via CA-46^W
raven sp. 1 @I-5^N, Panoche Road to CA-152 exit
Crow, American 
# @CA-99 to I-5 via CA-46^W
# @I-5^N, CA-46^W to Panoche Road exit
Raven, Common 
1 @Needles to Daggett
1 @I-5^N, CA-46^W to Panoche Road exit
Blackbird, Red-winged # @I-5^N, CA-152 to I-580^W
Blackbird, Brewer's 
# @Boron to Mojave
# @CA-99 to I-5 via CA-46^W
# @I-5^N, Panoche Road to CA-152 exit

2014-03-10: CA: Bodega Bay area

Notable:  Peregrine Falcon
@BodBay: Bodega Bay
@Bodega: Bodega Bay area
@Doran: Bodega Bay: Doran Park
@road1: Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
1025, leave Petaluma.
1145, arrive Doran Park.
1450, leave Doran Park for Bodega Head via Bodega Bay.
1640, leave Bodega Bay, back to Petaluma.
Brant, Black 6 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Goose, Canada # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Swan, Mute 2 [uncountable] @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Gadwall # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Wigeon, American # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Mallard # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Teal, American Green-winged # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Scaup, Lesser # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Scoter, Surf # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Bufflehead # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Merganser, Red-breasted # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Duck, Ruddy # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Loon, Pacific 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Loon, Common 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Grebe, Pied-billed 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Grebe, Horned 1 @Bodega Bay
Grebe, Clark's 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Cormorant, Double-crested # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Egret, Great # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Egret, Snowy 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Vulture, Turkey # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Harrier, Northern 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Hawk, Red-shouldered 1 @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Hawk, Red-tailed 1 @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Falcon, Peregrine 2 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
I surprised one of these falcons as it was pluming a substantial carcass, something about the size and color of a female Mallard. It dragged the carcass out of the grass and over to the edge of the water and continued pluming. The other one showed up and was edging closer for reasons I cannot tell. Was it the first bird's mate? Just a neighbor passing through hoping for leftovers? I didn't stay to find out how it was resolved. Getting two Peregrines in one frame the first day out set the tone for this highly prolific photo expedition and was one of the high points of the trip.
Coot, American # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Willet # @Bodega Bay
Godwit, Marbled # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Gull, Mew 1 @Bodega Bay
Gull, Western # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Gull, Thayer's @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Gull, Glaucous-winged 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Gull, Glaucous 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Hummingbird, Anna's 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Crow, American # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Raven, Common 1 @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Bushtit # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Towhee, California 1 @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Sparrow, Savannah # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Sparrow, Golden-crowned # @Bodega Bay: Doran Park
Blackbird, Red-winged # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Blackbird, Brewer's # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma
Finch, House # @Marin Co.: Bodega Bay to Petaluma

2014-03-11: CA: Marin County

@Lim: Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
@Marin: Marin County
@MudHol: Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
@NicRes: Nicasio Reservoir
@PRNSHQ: Point Reyes National Seashore: Visitor Center
@road1: Petaluma to Point Reyes
@road2: Olema to Petaluma
1015, Petaluma to Point Reyes, passing by Nicasio Reservoir.
1105, Point Reyes visitor center.
1125, Limantour road.
1200, Limantour beach parking lot. Brief walk to the beach (nothing going on), then a grueling hike the length of the Muddy Hollow Trail, about 4.3 miles total walking, new record since my June 2010 knee replacement. Would have been longer (and a lot more painful) except that a couple of nice ladies I met on the trail saw me trudging back up a steep slope on the paved road back to the parking lot and gave me a ride.
1630, leave Limantour parking lot, to Olema for a very nice locavore dinner at the Farm House.
1820, leave Olema, back to Petaluma.
Goose, Canada # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Gadwall # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Wigeon, American # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Mallard # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Teal, American Green-winged # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Bufflehead # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Quail, California # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Cormorant, Double-crested 1 @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Pelican, American White 2 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Didn't expect to see these inland birds this close to the ocean. They were soaring over Muddy Hollow trail near the west end.
Heron, Great Blue 1 @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Egret, Great # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Vulture, Turkey 
# @Nicasio Reservoir
1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Hawk, Red-shouldered 
1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Seen briefly perched low near the north end of the trail; flushed.
1 @Olema to Petaluma
peep sp. # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Hummingbird, Anna's 1 @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Jay, Steller's # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Scrub-Jay, Western 
# @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Raven, Common 
1 @Point Reyes National Seashore: Visitor Center
1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Swallow, Tree # @Nicasio Reservoir
Bushtit # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
The Bushtits have a rule: never give a photographer a clear shot.
Wren, Marsh # @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Another bird that never gives a photographer a break. I'm ecstatic just to get this one through the reeds.
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned # @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Wrentit 1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
In the first half-mile of the Muddy Hollow Trail as it winds back inland from the parking lot.
One of my favorite local hard-to-see birds, an immature. These birds, for some reason, never really seem to have a proper tail, just sort of a loose association of feathers. Probably gets beat to pieces regularly, skulking around in the chaparral.
Bluebird, Western 1 @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
This bird completely mystified me for some time. Because I'm used to thinking of Western Bluebird as an inhabitant of high mountains, it never occurred to me it would be here at sea level. Also this bird is rather pale.
Warbler, Audubon's # @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Towhee, Spotted 1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Sparrow, Song 1 @Point Reyes NS: Muddy Hollow Trail
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Point Reyes NS: Limantour area
Sparrow, Golden-crowned # @Point Reyes National Seashore: Visitor Center
Blackbird, Red-winged # @Petaluma to Point Reyes
Blackbird, Brewer's # @Petaluma to Point Reyes
Finch, Purple 1 @Nicasio Reservoir

2014-03-12: CA: Marin County

@BolLag: Bolinas Lagoon
@DrakesB: Point Reyes NS: Drake's Beach
@Marin: Marin County
@MendR: Point Reyes NS: Mendoza Ranch
@PRNS: Point Reyes National Seashore
@road1: Petaluma to Drake Boulevard
@road2: Inverness to Olema
@road3: Olema to Bolinas Lagoon
Mostly driving today. Drove out to Nuñez and Mendoza ranches, brief visit to Drakes Beach, then most of the way out the road to the north. Not a lot of bird action. In retrospect I should have gone back for another day at Bodega Bay.
1150, leave Petaluma.
1440, at Drake's Beach.
1505, leave Drake's Beach.
1635, arrive Inverness.
1715, Olema and Stinson Beach.
1725, Bolinas Lagoon.
Goose, Canada 
2 @Point Reyes National Seashore
# @Bolinas Lagoon
Mallard # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Teal, Cinnamon # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Teal, American Green-winged # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Scaup, Lesser # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Scoter, Surf # @Point Reyes NS: Drake's Beach
Bufflehead 1 @Point Reyes NS: Mendoza Ranch
Duck, Ruddy # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Loon, Pacific 1 @Point Reyes NS: Drake's Beach
Grebe, Pied-billed 1 @Point Reyes National Seashore
Grebe, Eared 1 @Point Reyes NS: Drake's Beach
Heron, Great Blue 1 @Point Reyes National Seashore
Egret, Great # @Bolinas Lagoon
Egret, Snowy # @Bolinas Lagoon
Vulture, Turkey 
# @Petaluma to Drake Boulevard
# @Point Reyes National Seashore
Osprey 1 @Inverness to Olema
Harrier, Northern 1a♂ @Point Reyes National Seashore
Hawk, Red-tailed 
1a @Petaluma to Drake Boulevard
3a @Point Reyes National Seashore
Breeding: Two copulating.
Do not get into a staring contest with these birds. They stare mighty heavy.
Kestrel, American 1♂ @Point Reyes National Seashore
Coot, American # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Whimbrel # @Bolinas Lagoon
Godwit, Marbled # @Inverness to Olema
Gull, Mew # @Inverness to Olema
Gull, Ring-billed # @Inverness to Olema
Gull, Western # @Point Reyes NS: Drake's Beach
Scrub-Jay, Western 
1 @Inverness to Olema
# @Olema to Bolinas Lagoon
Crow, American 
# @Petaluma to Drake Boulevard
# @Inverness to Olema
Raven, Common # @Point Reyes National Seashore
At one point someone tried to convince me that you could separate Common from Chihuahuan ravens because the latter has feathers halfway down the upper mandible. Well, these birds are a mighty long way from Chihuahuan territory, and those feathers look to me like they come just halfway down. There goes that field mark.
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Meadowlark, Western 1 @Point Reyes National Seashore
Blackbird, Brewer's 
# @Petaluma to Drake Boulevard
# @Point Reyes National Seashore
Cowbird, Brown-headed # @Point Reyes National Seashore
Finch, House # @Point Reyes National Seashore

2014-03-13: CA: Pillar Point to Pescadero Rock

@Casc: Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
GPS: 370842.9n 1222010.4w Gate to beach access on CA-1, formerly at mile marker SM 3.88 in San Mateo County.
@HMB: Half Moon Bay
@PescM: Pescadero Marsh
@PescSB: Pescadero State Beach
@PigPt: Pigeon Point
@Pillar: Pillar Point
@day: Pillar Point to Pescadero Rock
@road1: CA-1: Pomponio to Pescadero Creek
@road2: CA-1: Pescadero Creek to Cascade Creek Trail
1100, leave Sunnyvale.
1215, arrive Pillar Point.
1400, arrive at Cascade Creek Trail. Walked down to the beach, though getting down to the actual beach was a bit dicey for my mobility. Again, nothing happening on the beach.
1440, leave the beach.
1530, arrive at Pigeon Point.
1620, head north, worked Pescadero State Beach.
1730, back through Half Moon Bay.
Mallard # @CA-1: Pescadero Creek to Cascade Creek Trail
Teal, Cinnamon # @CA-1: Pescadero Creek to Cascade Creek Trail
Scoter, Surf # @Half Moon Bay
# @Half Moon Bay
# @CA-1: Pescadero Creek to Cascade Creek Trail
Merganser, Red-breasted 1 @Pigeon Point
Duck, Ruddy # @Half Moon Bay
Loon, Red-throated 1 @Pigeon Point
Loon, Pacific 
1 @Pillar Point
1 @Pigeon Point
Grebe, Horned 1 @Pillar Point
Tried to make several birds into Red-necked Grebes, but succeeded only in reminding myself how rusty I am on Horned vs. Eared.
Cormorant, Double-crested 1 @Pigeon Point
Cormorant, Pelagic # @Pigeon Point
Description: White flank patches.
Heron, Great Blue 2 @Pillar Point
Egret, Great # @Pillar Point
Vulture, Turkey 1 @Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
Hawk, Red-shouldered 1 @Half Moon Bay
Oystercatcher, Black 2 @Pescadero State Beach
One of my favorite subjects, and one of the top target birds for this trip. This rock was totally covered with oysters and must have been just about Oystercatcher Heaven. Note in the last shot how thin the bill is when viewed from above: the perfect crowbar for opening shellfish.
Whimbrel 3 @Pescadero State Beach
Sanderling 2 @Pescadero State Beach
Gull, Western # @Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
Gull, Glaucous-winged # @Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
Tern, Caspian 1 @Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
Tern, Elegant 1 @Pescadero Marsh
Bill too slender for Caspian.
Raven, Common # @Pillar Point
Sparrow, Song # @Pillar Point
I wonder what that blue spherical object is in the second frame.
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Ano Nuevo Area: Cascade Creek Trail
Blackbird, Brewer's # @CA-1: Pomponio to Pescadero Creek
Finch, House # @Pillar Point

2014-03-14: CA: Palo Alto Baylands

Notable:  Eurasian Wigeon
@MVSP: Mountain View: Shoreline Park
@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
Sadly, the viewing platform, where I had the birdwatching epiphany that got me started on the road to serious birding, is no longer open. The boardwalk out to the viewing platform is in ramshackle condition, has been closed for months, and is unlikely to open anytime soon. According the to sign at the point of closure, there is no money, and the regulatory barriers of construction in a sensitive wetland are said to be formidable. Next town over, Google money has paid to tart up the huge Shoreline complex to a fare-thee-well. Isn't there any industry money in Palo Alto any more?
@PADP: Palo Alto Duck Pond
~1100, arrive Baylands gate.
1150, worked the Palo Alto Duck Pond.
1222, on to Baylands proper, general walking around where there is still access.
1500, stop at the flood basin access at Matadero Creek.
1555, Mountain View Shoreline.
1645, back to Baylands until the light was failing.
An interpretive sign suggest that small blue butterflies here are Pigmy Blues.
Goose, Canada 
# @Palo Alto Duck Pond
# @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
# @Palo Alto Baylands
# @Palo Alto Baylands
Wigeon, Eurasian 1♂ @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Hard by the trail out to Charleston Slough.
Note in the third photo how the flanks of the Eurasian are gray, compared to the reddish flanks of the American.
Wigeon, American 
# @Palo Alto Baylands
# @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Teal, Cinnamon @Palo Alto Baylands
Shoveler, Northern # @Palo Alto Baylands
Teal, American Green-winged # @Palo Alto Baylands
Canvasback # @Palo Alto Baylands
Scaup, Greater 3♂ @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Scaup, Lesser 1♂ @Palo Alto Duck Pond
There's no better place I know than the Palo Alto Duck Pond for learning to separate the scaup species. The first photo shows the two best field marks for males: the pointy head and slightly duskier flanks of the Lesser, vs. the rounded crown and nearly immaculate flanks of the Greater. Note also how the black mark at the tip of the upper mandible is narrow in the Lesser, but much broader in the Greater.
Duck, Ruddy # @Palo Alto Baylands
Grebe, Eared 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Grebe, Western 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Grebe, Clark's 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Cormorant, Double-crested 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Egret, Great 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Egret, Snowy 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Harrier, Northern 1♂ @Palo Alto Baylands
Coot, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Stilt, Black-necked # @Palo Alto Baylands
Avocet, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
The second picture shows the scything behavior that works with the recurved bill tip.
Willet # @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Whimbrel 2 @Palo Alto Baylands
Curlew, Long-billed # @Palo Alto Baylands
Godwit, Marbled # @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Gull, Ring-billed # @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Gull, California 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Pigeon, Rock # @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Hummingbird, Anna's 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Phoebe, Black 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Crow, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Swallow, Barn # @Palo Alto Baylands
Wren, Marsh 
# @Palo Alto Baylands
# @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Mockingbird, Northern 1 @Palo Alto Duck Pond
Starling, European # @Palo Alto Baylands
Yellowthroat, Common # @Palo Alto Baylands
Vocalizations: {ka-sweet-see}^3
Towhee, California 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Sparrow, Song # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Palo Alto Baylands
Blackbird, Red-winged 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
A good photo quiz photo. I hope I've called it right! I think it's molting into adult male plumage.
Blackbird, Brewer's # @Palo Alto Baylands

2014-03-15: CA: Santa Clara County

Notable:  Black Skimmer
@MVSP: Mountain View: Shoreline Park
@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
@SClaraCo: Santa Clara County
1030, arrive Shoreline. Brief check of the freshwater lake, then walked out toward Charleston Slough, which was definitely the long way to get there, but still moderately interesting along the way.
1400, moved over to the north end of San Antonio Road and looked at Charleston Slough from there. Much closer.
1745, back to Baylands.
Goose, Canada # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Teal, American Green-winged 1♂ @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Canvasback # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Scaup, Greater # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Scaup, Lesser 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Bufflehead # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Goldeneye, Common # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Duck, Ruddy # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Grebe, Pied-billed 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Grebe, Eared # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Grebe, Clark's # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Egret, Great 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Egret, Snowy # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Night-Heron, Black-crowned 7 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Coot, American # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Killdeer # @Palo Alto Baylands
Stilt, Black-necked # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Avocet, American # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Yellowlegs, Greater 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Willet 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Thanks to the heavy foot traffic around Shoreline Lake, the few shorebirds there are relatively unwary. I had to back up several times to get this one into the frame.
Godwit, Marbled # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Sandpiper, Least # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
dowitcher sp. # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Gull, Ring-billed # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Skimmer, Black 2 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Phoebe, Black 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Crow, American # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Swallow, Barn # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Wren, Marsh 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Mockingbird, Northern 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Towhee, California # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Sparrow, Song # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Sparrow, Golden-crowned # @Palo Alto Baylands
Grackle, Great-tailed 1 @Mountain View: Shoreline Park
Finch, House # @Mountain View: Shoreline Park

2014-03-16: CA: Moss Landing to Ben Lomond

@BenL: Ben Lomond
@MossL: Moss Landing area
@day: Moss Landing to Ben Lomond
One of the high points of the whole trip was today's boat tour into Elkhorn Slough. I can recommend without reservation. The boat is low and quiet and great for photography. The route is excellent for birds and marine mammals right in the harbor and then visits the outstanding marine reserve. Lots of close encounters with sea otters, harbor seals, California sea lions, and birds, birds, birds! The captain is skilled and had a good food recommendation (Moss Landing Cafe) to boot. We also had the services of a terrific grad student to fill us in on the ecology and history.
1320, sat on a back porch of a house in Ben Lomond and observed the live oak habitat.
Scoter, Surf # @Moss Landing area
Bufflehead # @Moss Landing area
Grebe, Horned # @Moss Landing area
Grebe, Eared # @Moss Landing area
Grebe, Western # @Moss Landing area
Versus Clark's in the back.
Grebe, Clark's # @Moss Landing area
Cormorant, Brandt's 
#a @Moss Landing area
#i @Moss Landing area
Cormorant, Double-crested # @Moss Landing area
Egret, Snowy 1 @Moss Landing area
Stilt, Black-necked # @Moss Landing area
Willet # @Moss Landing area
Whimbrel # @Moss Landing area
Curlew, Long-billed # @Moss Landing area
Gull, Western # @Moss Landing area
Gull, California # @Moss Landing area
In the "Nature Red in Tooth and Claw" department, we heard that sometimes if a certain gull gets too cheeky trying to cadge scraps from the otters, the otter will submerge and pull the gull under. Reminds me of the time an elderly lady and I watched an epic battle between a a Great Blue Heron and a Norway Rat at Palo Alto Baylands during a flood tide. After the heron had dispatched the rat and finally gotten it down the hatch, the lady turned to me and said, "I didn't come out here to watch all this violence!"
Gull, Thayer's #i @Moss Landing area
Tern, Forster's # @Moss Landing area
Pigeon, Rock # @Moss Landing area
Woodpecker, Acorn # @Ben Lomond
Woodpecker, Nuttall's 1 @Ben Lomond
Chickadee, Chestnut-backed 1 @Ben Lomond
Warbler, Orange-crowned # @Ben Lomond
Junco, Oregon 1 @Ben Lomond
Blackbird, Brewer's # @Moss Landing area
Sparrow, House # @Moss Landing area

2014-03-17: CA: Moss Landing

@MossL: Moss Landing
Route 1315, arrive Moss Landing, worked good old Jetty Road, always a great place to bird. Later in the day went to Monterey and Pacific Grove. The Fishwife restaurant in PG near Asilomar Beach was phenomenal.
Mallard # @Moss Landing
See also under Long-billed Curlew.
Scaup, Greater # @Moss Landing
Scaup, Lesser # @Moss Landing
Scoter, Surf 
#♀ @Moss Landing
#♂ @Moss Landing
Bufflehead # @Moss Landing
Merganser, Red-breasted # @Moss Landing
Duck, Ruddy # @Moss Landing
Loon, Red-throated 1 @Moss Landing
Loon, Common 1 @Moss Landing
Grebe, Eared # @Moss Landing
The first photo shows the fascinating foot structure. The last one I call “Dracugrebe.”
Grebe, Western # @Moss Landing
The first photo shows the bird in the classic “tape dispenser” resting pose. I'm calling it a Western because that's what I wrote in my notes at the time, not because you can really tell without the bill color.
Cormorant, Brandt's # @Moss Landing
The last photo shows the bird's wingtip brushing the surface of the water. Klutz.
Cormorant, Double-crested # @Moss Landing
Heron, Great Blue 1 @Moss Landing
Egret, Great # @Moss Landing
Egret, Snowy # @Moss Landing
Vulture, Turkey # @Moss Landing
Plover, Black-bellied # @Moss Landing
Willet # @Moss Landing
Curlew, Long-billed # @Moss Landing
Godwit, Marbled # @Moss Landing
Sandpiper, Least # @Moss Landing
I didn't get anywhere near as much small shorebird action this trip as I was hoping. Not only did I miss one of my old favorites, Ruddy Turnstone, I didn't even see a Black Turnstone this trip. What peep action I did get was the occasional receding tide here and at Palo Baylands: a ton of birds, none of them close. I got the flight shot by the classic technique of “blaze away and sort them out later.”
Dowitcher, Short-billed @Moss Landing
Gull, Ring-billed # @Moss Landing
Gull, Western # @Moss Landing
Gull, California # @Moss Landing
Gull, Thayer's # @Moss Landing
Gull, Glaucous-winged # @Moss Landing
Pigeon, Rock # @Moss Landing
Pipit, American 1 @Moss Landing
Walking around on the rip-rap on the jetty at the end of Jetty Road.

2014-03-18: CA: Pillar Point, Pescadero Marsh, Palo Alto Baylands

@HMB: Half Moon Bay
@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
@PescM: Pescadero Marsh
@PescSB: Pescadero State Beach
@Prnc: Princeton
@day: Pillar Point, Pescadero Marsh, Palo Alto Baylands
1140, arrive Princeton.
1305, in Half Moon Bay.
1345, hike into Pescadero Marsh.
1455, rolling, back to Pescadero State Beach.
1620, leave Pescadero area. The pie at Duarte's in Pescadero was just as wonderful as back in the day when Mama Duarte ran the place. The waitress smiled when I told her that and said, "Same recipe."
1745, quick pass through Baylands.
Goose, Canada # @Pescadero Marsh
Pintail, Northern # @Palo Alto Baylands
Scoter, Surf # @Princeton
# @Princeton
# @Pescadero Marsh
Goldeneye, Common 
1♀ @Princeton
1 @Pescadero Marsh
Merganser, Red-breasted 1♂ @Princeton
Loon, Common 1 @Princeton
Grebe, Pied-billed 1 @Pescadero Marsh
Grebe, Eared 1 @Pescadero Marsh
Cormorant, Brandt's # @Pescadero State Beach
Cormorant, Double-crested # @Pescadero Marsh
Heron, Great Blue # @Pescadero Marsh
Egret, Great 1 @Pescadero Marsh
Egret, Snowy # @Pescadero Marsh
Vulture, Turkey 1 @Pescadero Marsh
Harrier, Northern 
1♂ @Pescadero Marsh
1ϕ @Pescadero Marsh
Hawk, Red-shouldered 1 @Half Moon Bay
On a wire crossing over CA-1 at about Fairway Drive.
The bird didn't seem to mind me blazing away from twenty yards, or the heavy traffic passing underneath, or me moving the car several times to get a better angle. I just love a nice cooperative unwary subject, especially when it's one of my favorite species.
Coot, American # @Princeton
Stilt, Black-necked @Palo Alto Baylands
# @Princeton
# @Palo Alto Baylands
Godwit, Marbled # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sandpiper, Least # @Palo Alto Baylands
Wren, Marsh # @Pescadero Marsh
Wrentit # @Pescadero Marsh
Starling, European # @Princeton
Yellowthroat, Common 1♂ @Pescadero Marsh
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Pescadero Marsh
Blackbird, Brewer's # @Princeton

2014-03-19: CA: Palo Alto Baylands

Notable:  Black Skimmer
@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
1100: Although it's technically part of Mountain View Shoreline, today's walk started at the north end of San Antonio road and took me along the dike most of the way to the flood basin tidal gates, which I thought was more on the Palo Alto side of things.
1450, rolling.
1610, back to Baylands until about 1650.
Goose, Canada # @Palo Alto Baylands
Wigeon, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Mallard # @Palo Alto Baylands
Shoveler, Northern # @Palo Alto Baylands
Teal, American Green-winged # @Palo Alto Baylands
Canvasback # @Palo Alto Baylands
Duck, Ruddy # @Palo Alto Baylands
Cormorant, Double-crested # @Palo Alto Baylands
Pelican, American White 3 @Palo Alto Baylands
Egret, Great # @Palo Alto Baylands
Egret, Snowy # @Palo Alto Baylands
Night-Heron, Black-crowned 
1a @Palo Alto Baylands
1i @Palo Alto Baylands
Harrier, Northern 1a♀ @Palo Alto Baylands
Coot, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Plover, Black-bellied # @Palo Alto Baylands
Killdeer 1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Stilt, Black-necked # @Palo Alto Baylands
Avocet, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Willet # @Palo Alto Baylands
Godwit, Marbled # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sandpiper, Western # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sandpiper, Least # @Palo Alto Baylands
Dowitcher, Long-billed # @Palo Alto Baylands
Gull, Bonaparte's # @Palo Alto Baylands
Gull, Ring-billed # @Palo Alto Baylands
Gull, California # @Palo Alto Baylands
Skimmer, Black 10 @Palo Alto Baylands
Hummingbird, Anna's # @Palo Alto Baylands
Crow, American # @Palo Alto Baylands
Raven, Common # @Palo Alto Baylands
The second photo shows some odd white features on the back.
Swallow, Barn # @Palo Alto Baylands
Wren, Bewick's # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sparrow, Savannah # @Palo Alto Baylands
The first photo clearly shows the bold yellow superciliary stripe. This is not always present in Savannahs, but diagnostic when present. Also note that the dark breast marks are evenly distributed around the lower margin, while a Song Sparrow would have a dark central breast spot or “stickpin”.
The last photo would be a good quiz photo. The yellow color on the lores is very pale and would look white in most light. The breast feathers are disturbed and lit in such a way that it looks like a stickpin. If I used it for a quiz, I'd lighten it so wash out the yellow tinge in the lores. But as adjusted here it looks like what I remember of this individual.
Sparrow, Song # @Palo Alto Baylands
Sparrow, Golden-crowned #1 @Palo Alto Baylands
Finch, House # @Palo Alto Baylands

2014-03-21: AZ: Kingman to NM line

@day: Kingman to NM line
@road1: Kingman to Holbrook
@road2: Holbrook to Springerville
@road3: US-60^E: Springerville to NM
1135, leave Kingman.
1440-1500, Holbrook pit stop, take US-180^E.
1630, Springerville, take US-60^E.
1640 MST, NM line.
Vulture, Turkey # @Kingman to Holbrook
Harrier, Northern 1ϕ @Holbrook to Springerville
Jay, Pinyon 1 @US-60^E: Springerville to NM
raven sp. 1 @Holbrook to Springerville
Raven, Common # @Kingman to Holbrook

2014-03-21: NM: US-60^E: AZ to Socorro

@day: US-60^E: AZ to Socorro
@road1: US-60^E: AZ to Quemado
@road2: US-60^E: Quemado to Pie Town
@road3: US-60^E: Pie Town to Datil
1740 MDT, enter NM.
1810, Quemado.
1830, Pie Town.
1850, Datil.
1950, Socorro.
Accipiter sp. 1 @US-60^E: Pie Town to Datil
raven sp. 
# @US-60^E: AZ to Quemado
# @US-60^E: Pie Town to Datil
Lark, Horned # @US-60^E: AZ to Quemado
Bluebird, Mountain 
# @US-60^E: Quemado to Pie Town
# @US-60^E: Pie Town to Datil
Mockingbird, Northern 1 @US-60^E: AZ to Quemado
meadowlark sp. # @US-60^E: Quemado to Pie Town

2014-03-25: NM: Socorro: NRAO Domenici Operations Center

@NRAO: Socorro: NRAO Domenici Operations Center
Chickadee, Mountain 1 @Socorro: NRAO Domenici Operations Center

2014-03-29: NM: Socorro County

@NF: Magdalenas: North Fork
@SocCo: Socorro County
@WC: Magdalenas: Water Canyon
@WCRd: Magdalenas: Water Canyon Road
@road1: US-60: Socorro to Water Canyon Roaad
1055, leave Socorro.
1115, Water Canyon Road.
1125, Water Canyon proper.
1145, hiked up North Fork Road well past the El Tigre Fork.
1715, rolling.
1735, out of the canyon.
All the walking I did recently in California left me in the best shape I've been since my 2010 knee replacement. This let me reach 34 01 42 n, 107 09 39 w, an altitude of about 7450', high enough to see Pygmy Nuthatches.
Great day for butterflies. Assuming I've keyed these out correctly: Mourning Cloak, Common Buckeye, Two-tailed Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Spring White, Common Checkered-Skipper, Dainty Sulphur, Question Mark, Variegated Fritillary, Echo Azure, Colorado Hairstreak, and Rocky Mountain Duskywing!
Phoebe, Say's 1 @Magdalenas: Water Canyon Road
raven sp. 2 @US-60: Socorro to Water Canyon Roaad
Chickadee, Mountain # @Magdalenas: North Fork
Nuthatch, White-breasted # @Magdalenas: Water Canyon
Nuthatch, Pygmy 1 @Magdalenas: North Fork
Creeper, Brown 1 @Magdalenas: North Fork
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned # @Magdalenas: North Fork
Junco, Gray-headed # @Magdalenas: North Fork
Junco, Oregon 2 @Magdalenas: North Fork
Junco, Pink-sided 1 @Magdalenas: North Fork
Distinguished from female Oregon by the paler throat contrasting with the darker crown, and flanks more pinkish than the browner color of Oregon flanks.

2014-03-30: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

Notable:  Juniper Titmouse
@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Titmouse, Juniper 1 @Socorro: 507 Fitch
At home, seen out my office window.

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Last updated: 2015-01-09 23:36 MST