The San Benito County, California Raptor Show continues on Santa Ana Valley Road, as previously reported on this blog. Yesterday's Raptor Roundup included 14 species of raptors! Beginning with a COOPER'S HAWK that is hunting birds at the feeders in my yard, I headed north to San Felipe Lake which borders San Benito and Santa Clara Counties. "Best" birds at this location included a PEREGRINE FALCON, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, a late male WILSON'S WARBLER, two BURROWING OWLS and a small flock of CANVASBACKS. I did not see the Bald Eagle pair that nested last year near the county line, in Santa Clara County. However, the nest looks to be fully rebuilt and ready for action. A field near the intersection of Lake and Shore Roads was actively being disced. And, surprise, surprise, two FERRUGINOUS HAWKS were on the ground. This is not a safe road to stop and view raptors. Best to travel on to Santa Ana Valley Road.
GOLDEN EAGLE, above and PRAIRIE FALCON, below.As reported by Nelson Samuels: On Quien Sabe Rd there were more sparrows and two mature Golden Eagles sitting in a valley oak also three more shrikes. At the intersection of Quien Sabe and Santa Ana was a Road Runner that came right up to the Car with the door open... for a minute I thought it might jump in. On Santa Ana Valley Rd there was a large number of birders from as far away as Sonoma Co. Giant lenses and scopes. Thanks Debi. Saw six more Goldens, two immature Balds, three ferruginous one prairie and a red-shoulder. What a Raptor Gala! On the way back to Fairview Road, I spotted another ferruginous and at 2575 Mail box a Merlin. Again thanks really to Debi or is it Annie. Nelson Samuels reporting from Aromas, CA.
I ended up on Santa Ana Valley Road very late in the afternoon, bumping into my good friends, Bob and Bernadette. We enjoyed the raptors which included an adult BALD EAGLE consuming its' prey. Later, we headed to the valley where Bald Eagles nest. Sure enough, both adults were there, each one sitting on a cattle water trough, drinking and cleaning their beaks. They have completely refurbished their nest of 2004. It looks like another breeding season is well underway for them!
The list of SAN BENITO RAPTORS for NOVEMBER 2, 2011:
TURKEY VULTURE - inclusion is debatable
OSPREY was observed at Hernandez Reservoir which is at the south end of the county on October 29, 2011.
Now, if I could just find a NORTHERN GOSHAWK this Sunday!
San Benito County Birding