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San Benito County: Feb 6th Report

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  • Debra Shearwater
    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,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2010
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      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.

      Eagles forever,

      Debra Shearwater
      Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024

      South Georgia: Where No Road Goes
      October 18- November 4, 2010

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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