San Benito County: Feb 6th Report
- Howdy, Birders,
This is a late trip report for a day of birding in San Benito County
on Saturday, February 6th with Morten Joergenson and his two friends,
Andres and Henrik, all from Denmark.
At Soap Lake, otherwise known as San Felipe Lake, in the northern
part of the county, highlights included: 5 or 6 BURROWING OWLS; one
adult and one sub-adult BALD EAGLE, sitting in the willows; five
TUNDRA SWANS, several hundreds of ducks (Mallard, Pintail, Gadwall,
American Widgeon, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Northern
Shoveler, Green-winged Teal), a dozen WHITE PELICANS; Canada Geese,
six BLACK-SHOULDERED KITES; one VIRGINIA RAIL; one SORA; and several
MARSH WRENS, along with the usual Song Sparrows.
On Quien Sabe Road, we encountered a BALD EAGLE and a GOLDEN EAGLE,
sitting together in the same oak tree. We also saw both light morph
and dark morph FERRUGINOUS HAWKS.
At Paicines Reservoir, we found another adult BALD EAGLE. In Tres
Pinos, we saw both Lesser and American Goldfinches. One adult BALD
EAGLE was near the Bear Valley Fire Station. On Gloria Road (off the
road is private property), we found a singing California Thrasher.
One BELL'S SAGE SPARROW was also present. Two Wrentits popped up. It
was raining. So, I decided to head to Panoche Valley.
On Panoche Road, near the intersection of Little Panoche Road, we
found two flocks of at least 1000 HORNED LARKS. These were
incredible, wheeling flocks! Further along on Panoche Road, near
Spanish Cattle Ranch, we stopped to watch hundreds of MOUNTAIN
BLUEBIRDS, hovering over the distant fields in the light rain. While
we were watching them, a flock of MOUNTAIN PLOVERS emerged from a
divett. Funny how they can hide in those little dips. The plovers
kept approaching the fence line. We were able to finally count 61
plovers! One VESPER SPARROW was among the bluebirds. We estimated the
bluebirds to be about 350. It was an incredible sight, as all of the
valley is brilliantly green! Along the way, we encountered at least
five PRAIRIE FALCONS. A few of these falcons provided close up views.
We stopped at the Panoche Inn for a cup of coffee to go. The Danes
thought this was quite the "cultural" experience! No coffee was
available. Beer, yes. Coffee, no. But, our hospitable hostess made a
fresh pot just for us. Hard to believe that just a couple of weeks
ago, Morten was the Expedition Leader on our successful charter
voyage to Antarctica! It's nice to be home, birding.
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024
South Georgia: Where No Road Goes
October 18- November 4, 2010
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