Thanks to everyone who replied to my earlier post with suggestions and
tips. There were too many of you to thank individually, but all of your
contributions were extremely useful, and Mike and I thank you all. Our
week-long birding adventure has begun.
My friend Mike arrived about noon in San Jose. We birded the
Sunol-Ohlone Regional Park for an hour and got him 4 of his lifers. They
were California Tohee, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee,
and Warbling Vireo. The biggest disappointment was not seeing
Yellow-billed Magpie. We also saw a family or families of wild Turkeys
with poults of varying sizes, too.
Then we went up to Livermore and drove Mines Road most of the remainder
of the afternoon. We planned to drive to the intersection of San Antonio
and Del Puerto Roads, but got the target bird, Lawrence's Goldfinch,
earlier. Mike also added Oak Titmouse and California Quail to his life
list on Mines Road. I pointed out Wrentit calls at a chaparral area, and
thought we had a California Thrasher there for a while, but it turned out
to be a California Towhee. Mike wouldn't count a "heard only" bird, so
he didn't add the Wrentit. On the way back, just outside Livermore, he
added his life Yellow-billed Magpie. Birding in the middle of the day,
we hit the midday doldrums, but still tallied about 45 species. In
addition, we also saw a Coyote and four Blacktail Deer.
Best non-lifers were 10 Great-tailed Grackles at the Shell Oil Spill
Mitigation Site in Martinez, SE of the Marina Vista exit off I-680
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