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SBT Today: Pacific Loon & Great-tailed Grackles

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  • Debra Shearwater
    Howdy, Birders, After being at sea in the western Pacific for 45 days, it was wonderful to come home and do some land birding in San Benito County. I saw many
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2010
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      Howdy, Birders,

      After being at sea in the western Pacific for 45 days, it was
      wonderful to come home and do some land birding in San Benito County.
      I saw many of the usual migrants (first of the season for me), in
      addition to the "regular" resident birds. Highlights were: 1 PACIFIC
      LOON at Paicines Reservoir. To my knowledge, this is only the 5th
      county record. Four of those records have been at Paicines, with the
      last two records on April 26, 2006 and May 17, 1998.

      Also at Paicines Reservoir today, 6 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES (5 adult
      males, one sub-adult male/female) made an appearance. They flew in,
      calling, and touched down, briefly in the small willow tree on the
      west side. But, they took off, heading west rather quickly. To my
      knowledge, this is the highest count of grackles for the county, and
      only the second record for the reservoir. (The other record for
      Paicines was May 8, 2005 of one individual).

      Also at Paicines were: 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 1 CASSIN'S KINGBIRD, 2
      GADWALL and 1 CLARK'S GREBE. The water is as high as I have ever seen
      it. The single willow tree surrounded by water may well play host to
      nesting Green Herons, as in past years, if the level remains high.

      Other highlights of the day included finding one brown headed BALD
      EAGLE chick in the only known nest in San Benito County. The female
      flew in and spent a lot of time feeding the chick. On John Smith
      Road at the Guerra Vineyard, I found a Loggerhead Shrike feeding two
      dependent, fluffy youngsters who were hiding in the olive tree.

      I spent most of the day on Comstock Road, off of Fairview Road. This
      road dead ends in 5 miles but contains a good array of habitats:
      small vineyard, ornamental plantings, open hilly grasslands, several
      ponds, a running stream along an oak woodland canyon with sycamores.
      It is an overall good birding road for many of the "usual suspects."
      One can only bird from the road, however, as all land is private.
      Arriving migrants included: BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, LAZULI BUNTING, BLACK-
      HEADED GROSBEAK, HOUSE WREN, WARBLING VIREO, PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER
      and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER. A Eurasian Collared Dove was carrying
      nesting material.

      Happy trails to you,
      Debi


      Debra Shearwater
      Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831.637.8527
      debi@...
      www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com

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







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