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Heading to Panoche Valley?

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  • Debra Shearwater
    Hello, Birders, Fall and winter are the months when many birders head to Panoche Valley to find the specialty birds of the grasslands, including Mountain
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2011
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      Hello, Birders,

      Fall and winter are the months when many birders head to Panoche
      Valley to find the specialty birds of the grasslands, including
      Mountain Plover, Mountain Bluebird, Prairie Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk,
      Greater Roadrunner, Chukar, Sage Sparrow and more.

      If you are birder who uses eBird, and I hope you are, please note
      that a number of new public locations have been added for reporting
      your bird records. This is an important update.

      Previously, birders, especially those on long field trips, simply
      dumped all of the records under one location for San Benito (SBT)
      County, "Panoche Valley." However, upon review, it was found that
      this dumping included birds seen at Paicines Reservoir, Mercy Hot
      Springs, etc.

      When you enter a checklist in eBird, you are encouraged to be as
      precise as possible when you plot your location. This has now been
      made easier with the new public locations, covering the entire
      Panoche Valley. Precise locations allow eBird to accurately link the
      location with datasets.

      Some special considerations:

      COUNTY LINES; Please enter data for the correct county! On Little
      Panoche Road the Fresno (FRE) County sign is posted, beyond Shotgun
      Pass. There is no San Benito County sign! Mercy Hot Springs (and
      therefore, all Long-eared Owl records), is in Fresno County. Panoche
      Hills BLM lands are mostly in Fresno County. There is a new sign at
      the kiosk with county lines on it. On Panoche Road, beyond Silver
      Creek Ranch, the road turns to dirt, or mud, if wet. Panoche Road
      leads to I-5. At the top of the pass, Jackass Pass, there is a Fresno
      County sign, but no San Benito County sign. Please pay attention to
      the county lines when entering data.

      MOUNTAIN PLOVERS: Due to the serious conservation status of this
      species, exact counts should be made. Estimates should not be made.

      NEW PUBLIC LOCATIONS are numerous. Please use the location that is
      most accurate. It might be helpful to look at the map beforehand.
      Some of the new locations include:

      Panoche Hills-BLM-Public Lands- the actual BLM lands. This list
      should include any birds inside of the entrance to the BLM area.
      Panoche Hills -overlook- this is the new kiosk area where you will
      find a map, toilet & picnic table. This list should include the birds
      seen along the road up to the kiosk, after turning off Little Panoche
      Panoche Road- Jackass Pass-FRE County
      Panoche Road- Jackass Pass-SBT County
      Panoche Road- Red Rock- this is the area where many birders stop at
      the large red rock, before entering the valley.
      Panoche Road- Summit Pond- the small pond near the Summit, and Summit
      Panoche Road- MP 6.71- where many birders stop to look for Rufous-
      crowned Sparrow
      Panoche Valley-Griswold Hills - marked by the BLM sign, new kiosk,
      toilet & picnic table.
      Panoche Valley & Little Panoche Road south of Shotgun Pass- this is
      the Panoche Inn store area.
      Panoche Valley-New Idria- the area along New Idria Road, beyond the
      Griswold Hills
      Panoche Valley- Recalde Road- this is the unmarked dirt road.
      Formerly it had a road sign.
      Panoche Valley-Shotgun Pass- the pass itself, where chukar is
      frequently seen.
      Panoche Valley- Silver Creek- the area where mountain plovers have
      most consistently been found.

      This does make for a quite a few checklists! If you have any
      questions, please contact me off the list. I hope to see you in
      Panoche Valley! It is one heck of a birding place, as well as a
      recognized IBA, Important Bird Area of global significance. As such,
      it deserves all of the detailed attention it can garner.

      Happy Trails,
      Debi Shearwater
      San Benito County Birding

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

      SVALBARD: High Arctic Seabirds & Polar Bears, Walrus: 28 June-8 July,

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