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,