Saturday, June 28, 2008


Hello, Birders,

After Shearwater Journeys' Monterey Bay pelagic trip yesterday, we headed to Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing for some great fish dinners. Returning to Hollister with my friends, Claudio Vidal and Rodrigo Bustamante from Chile, we made a couple of brief birding stops in San Benito County at the end of the day. On Quien Sabe Road, we saw an adult GOLDEN EAGLE hunting ground squirrels on a grassy hill, several LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES, BLACK PHOEBES, and one CASSIN'S KINGBIRD. On Santa Anita Road, I was shocked to see a BADGER scurrying down the road, and up the hillside! Now, I ask you — How often does one see a HORNED PUFFIN and a BADGER in the same day — a live badger, at that? Not road-killed. My Patagonian friends jumped out of the car for some quick photographs. Continuing down the road, we had some nice views of newly fledged YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES and numerous ACORN WOODPECKERS on the fence post, and in the road, and several WESTERN KINGBIRD, BUSHTIT, ROCK WRENS, CALIFORNIA TOWHEE, and WESTERN BLUEBIRD families. A full grown, but still dependent GREAT-HORNED OWL chick sat in an oak tree with its parent nearby. We also saw a WHITE-TAILED KITE.

After a coffee stop at Starbuck's this morning, we headed to Paicines Reservoir where two adult BALD EAGLES,  a male & female, were perched in the small oak tree on the levee. The water level is dropping rapidly. We did not see anything else of note. On Quien Sabe Road, two GOLDEN EAGLES (1 adult, 1 sub-adult), were hunting ground squirrels. On Lone Tree Road, we found male and female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, male LAZULI BUNTING, CALIFORNIA QUAIL with young, WILD TURKEY with young, TURKEY VULTURES, AMERICAN KESTREL, MOURNING DOVES, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS, ACORN WOODPECKER, WESTERN KINGBIRDS, WESTERN SCRUB JAYS, YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES, AMERICAN CROW, RAVEN, heard HUTTON'S VIREO and STELLER'S JAYS, TREE & VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, OAK TITMOUSE, HOUSE FINCH, LESSER GOLDFINCH, and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS. Real highlights were families of newly fledged GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS (8), LARK SPARROWS (6), and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS. I also saw DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and heard SPOTTED TOWHEES. A young COYOTE ran across the road! 

All in all, for only a couple of hours' worth of birding, it was very productive!

Sparrows forever,

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

*Antarctica, South Georgia, & The Falkland Islands, January 5-24, 2010* 
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