Panoche Valley - Birds and birders
- Birds - Not a great variety of birds at Panoche this past Saturday, Jan. 24, as measured by past experience, but several Golden Eagles, at least one Bald Eagle, Hooded Mergansers in a new roadside pond, Tri-colored Blackbirds, and Merlin plus Prairie Falcon were nice. Mountain Plovers were also reported, but guess we were looking in the opposite direction when we passed them. Notably missing from our list were Phainopepla, Roadrunner, and Chukar.
Birders - In speaking with the locals we were made acutely aware of their impressions that birders were directing binoculars toward private residences, and also that birders tend to wander across and stand in the middle of the road without due attention to local traffic. The road seems empty, but locals admit that they tend to drive at a lively clip, and are concerned about road safety for everybody. I'm not saying that any birders are actually being rude, but simply want everyone to know how sensitive some folks are to our presence as strangers in their neighborhood. I think it behooves all of us to make special efforts to consider the feelings of these locals, and to be ultra careful to avoid offending these folks whom we want for allies.
Panoche Valley is a beautiful isolated, agricultural valley in San Benito County. Take Rd J-1 (Panoche Road) east out of Paicines. J-1 becomes Little Panoche Road at a sharp 90o turn north, and continues out to I-5 just south of the Fresno County, Merced County line.
Betty Burridge - Santa Rosa
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