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Continuing Alviso Ponds Bar-tailed Godwit (Update)

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  • Bill Bousman
    Nov 17, 2013 Expand Messages
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      Folks:

      This morning, 11/17/13, I saw the continuing BAR-TAILED GODWIT in
      Pond A9 from about 0925 to 1045 hr. Matthew Dodder had pointed out
      where he had last seen the godwit, about a hundred meters away, but
      most of the birds were sleeping. At about 0925 hr, the local flock
      there flushed, took a few turns around and returned. Dom Mosur rode
      up about then and we search through the flock, finding the godwit on
      the edge nearest us, giving good scope views. I watched it on and
      off over the next hour until a number of the flocks in the northeast
      corner flushed and I lost it. A new crew of five or six birders
      started scanning the re-established flock and I left on my bicycle to
      return the Alviso Marina. Two birders were scanning a nearer string
      of roosting shorebirds near the A14/A9 junction and had the
      Bar-tailed in their scope. The distance was perhaps 75 or 80 m, and
      the light was excellent. I cycled back to the other crew and all
      moved over to the new location and I expect many obtained good views
      (about 1045 hr.)

      A few birds noted on my way out included a RED KNOT in A15 (only a
      couple of dozen shorebirds there when I passed by) and a couple of
      SANDERLING in A9. Matthew has also mentioned he saw a Short-eared
      Owl adjacent to A9 and Jim and Will Brooks spotted an American
      Bittern in Triangle Marsh (adjacent to A15).

      All observations have been from the Alviso Slough Trail that starts
      from the Alviso Marina CP in Alviso (San Jose). This trail is about
      nine miles around the ponds and the observations this morning were
      near the 4-mile marker (CCW route). You can also access the location
      from the Alviso EEC, but it adds a couple of miles extra travel. A
      bike is helpful and a scope is essential. This is the third day the
      bird has been seen. On Friday and Saturday, it was found in the
      morning on A15 and then moved west into A9. This morning it was only
      in A9. As the high tide was not until about noon today and favored
      foraging grounds (which are not easily seen with current optics) do
      not uncover until later in the afternoon, there may be a fairly large
      window to observe this species. We have been fortunate that it has
      been roosting in the northeast corner of the pond, which can be
      scoped from the trail. The pond is very large and the Friday survey
      crew that found the godwit counted well over 30,000 shorebirds
      roosting on Pond A9. If you park at the Alviso Marina to go out on
      the Alviso Slough Trail, there is an information board next to the
      restrooms and you can pick up a map of the trail that identifies the
      various ponds.

      Bill Bousman
      Santa Clara County records compiler