Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Birding: Panoche Peewee

Happy Thanksgiving, Birders,

Hope you didn't eat too much turkey, yesterday. Together with my friend, Donna Kirsacko, we spent the day birding in Panoche Valley. We were searching for the nearly 1000 Mountain Bluebirds previously reported by Clay Kempf and Earl LeBow. Although we did find one flock of 90 Mountain Bluebirds near the McCullough ranch orchard, a search throughout the valley did not turn up any other large flocks— only scattered, small groups of 4-12. We searched Panoche Road, all the way to Jackass Pass; Little Panoche Road almost to Interstate 5, and the BLM Panoche Hills to the far side where the Spanish Daggers grow. Donna spotted a Roadrunner in Panoche Hills, while I spotted one in a ditch near Spanish Cattle Ranch homes. A Rock Wren was near the microwave facility in Panoche Hills. Lots of Lark and Savannah Sparrows, as well as a large flock of Horned Larks were found on Little Panoche Road. Eighteen Long-billed Curlews were just beyond McCullough's orchard in the field.

The best find of the day was a WESTERN WOOD PEEWEE. This seems like a very late record.
Debi Shearwater