Sunday, August 16, 2009

San Benito County: Black Tern

Hello, Birders,

I spent my Sunday morning with a latte at PAICINES RESERVOIR. Highlights included an adult BLACK TERN and a pair of BALD EAGLES perched in the oaks on the western side of the reservoir. According to my notes, this is only the second fall record of a Black Tern in San Benito County, and only the ninth county record, in total: 4 records are from Paicines Reservoir, 2 from San Felipe Lake, and 3 from Hollister Sewage Ponds. The water level in the reservoir is very good for shorebirds, with mudflats present. 

Returning home along Quien Sabe Road, I found a BALD EAGLE drinking from a water trough and a GOLDEN EAGLE doing the same thing at another water trough. 

Below is my eBird list from Paicines Reservoir: 

Location:     Paicines Reservoir
Observation date:     8/16/09
Notes:     It was a sunny morning, very light winds; haze from the Bonny Doon fires. 65-80F. Water level in the reservoir is excellent for shorebirds, with good mudflats. I observed a single coyote.
Number of species:     34

Canada Goose     128
Mallard     100
Cinnamon Teal     28
Pied-billed Grebe     6
American White Pelican     4
Great Blue Heron     6
Great Egret     4
Turkey Vulture     4
Bald Eagle     2     This pair was sitting in the oak trees on the west side of the reservoir, on the same limb. The female flew off to the northeast (toward the only known nest in the county) after an hour, circling high. Later, I stopped by the nest area. A 1st plumage, adult bald eagle was sitting on the cattle trough, drinking from it.
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Kestrel     1
American Coot     2
Killdeer     8
Black-necked Stilt     1
Greater Yellowlegs     2
Lesser Yellowlegs     1
Least Sandpiper     11
Long-billed Dowitcher     1
Black Tern     1     This adult Black Tern was hawking over excellent habitat, as the water level appears to be just right. According to my notes, this is only the 2nd fall record of this species, the other being on Sep 28, 1998 at Paicines Res. (D. Suddjian). Most county records are for the spring period. All are from Paicines, HSP, & San Felipe Lake.
Mourning Dove     40
Anna's Hummingbird     1
Black Phoebe     3
Western Kingbird     4
Loggerhead Shrike     1
Western Scrub-Jay     1
American Crow     2
Violet-green Swallow     6
Cliff Swallow     4
Barn Swallow     14
Western Bluebird     2
European Starling     50
Red-winged Blackbird (Bicolored)     20
Brewer's Blackbird     250
House Finch     40

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

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