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Roadrunners and Phainopeplas – mission half accomplished.

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  • ghantsbarger
    On September 10 I posted a request for advice on where to find Greater Roadrunners and Phainopeplas in the general area of San Francisco. I got too many
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2004
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      On September 10 I posted a request for advice on where to find
      Greater Roadrunners and Phainopeplas in the general area of San
      Francisco. I got too many responses for me to thank everyone
      personally, so thank you to everyone who sent their advice.
      Unfortunately, I was in Illinois the next two weekends and I was
      unable to follow up on the alert about a roadrunner at Alviso Marina
      County Park.

      The consensus of the responders was that I should try the Panoche
      Valley in San Benito County. So on Sunday, September 26 I drove
      along county road J1 from Paicines to Interstate 5, with a side trip
      off towards New Idrias. I never did find a Roadrunner, but I did see
      a Phainopepla near Summit Ranch, exactly where Bill Bousman said it
      would be. As a consolation prize for not finding the Roadrunner, I
      saw two other life-list species: Loggerhead Shrikes (about half a
      dozen) and Lark Sparrows (twenty or thirty). I also saw some species
      which I had only seen once or twice before (Merlin, Rufous Crowned
      Sparrow, Nutall's Woodpecker) and one that I hadn't seen in years
      (Horned Lark). I also saw a couple of Peafowl near the Paicines end
      of the road, but I assume that was somebody's livestock and not a
      fourth life-list bird. The Shrikes all by themselves would have made
      the whole trip worthwhile. What a beautiful bird! All in all, it
      was a very good day.

      Thanks again.

      Gary Hantsbarger
      San Mateo, California and Lincolnshire, Illinos
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