Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hello, Birders,

A surprise find at PAICINES RESERVOIR, this morning was a flock of 51 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, circling over the water while I was parking my car. As I stepped out of the car, the sounds of these beautiful geese were ringing loudly in the air. Scoping the reservoir, counting one by one, I finally tallied 245 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE! This is a record high count for San Benito County. The previous high count was 77, recorded by Sam Fitton on 8 October 2001, also at Paicines Reservoir. Part of the flock is in my image, below:

New for me at this location, was a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. A male CALIFORNIA QUAIL was standing on the fence. He joined his mate and half a dozen small chicks. I was surprised to see chicks this small so late in the season, although I have heard that they nested late this year.

On Santa Ana Valley road, a PRAIRIE FALCON was on a telephone pole. At Vista Park Hill in downtown Hollister, a single WESTERN WOOD PEEWEE was present. I could not find any Red-breasted Nuthatches. First of the fall, LINCOLN'S SPARROW was at the Hollister sewer ponds. Otherwise, the ponds were extremely dull. At the Hollister industrial ponds, 928 NORTHERN SHOVELERS were present.

A short morning of birding in San Benito County!

Speckle bellies forever,
Debi Shearwater

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