Diane and I had a bet as to how many members would show up today, given the Atmospheric River was on its way. I guessed a dozen .Diane guessed fifteen. Well, turned out there were twenty-three hearty souls prepared for what turned out to be an absolutely beautiful morning. In total we counted 54 species. Here is the link for the complete listing: https://ebird.org/checklist/S160554086 . Thank you Steve Ellis! And thanks to the photographers for the wonderful photos.
Birding was slow at the get-go. The Peacock on the top of a snag entertained for a while, but other good birds, like the Roadrunner shied away. It was difficult to say we were actually a group, since some lagged while others advanced. It seemed there was a lot of necessary catching up to do (and that’s okay in PAS). Our longest break was our Coffee Break at the other side of the park, which conveniently also provided a P Break. A couple of California Thrashers there gave us up close and personal looks. Neither were singing their call. Since they had already found each other, there was no need.
A path closure on the South side of the creek meant there were some good birds we surely missed out on, probable 30 additional species (I won’t name them here, since we didn’t see them). As we neared the lake from the North side of the creek, someone spotted a Peregrine Falcon. After a while it was more accurately described as a Prairie Falcon. Then, finally, after everyone had had a good look at him and reference books were all rifled through, the consensus was it was a Merlin. But, what the heck, these are all in the same family, and families are what count. He was a fair distance away so size was deceptive, his markings, however, determined it could be none other. He was extremely patient with us since he ate continuously his recently caught meal as we watched on.
A number of Black-crowned Night Herons were positioned on the Island and on the far shore, all waiting for an unsuspecting fish or frog to swim by. Of interest too were the two Candycorn-beaked Rails whose name has changed a couple of times, so it is best to call them by their physical attributes.
To wind up our successful event, a fair number of this convivial group dined at In-N-Out afterwards to review the days findings and to hopefully pick up a Gull.
So, I am signing off now and relinquishing my field trip leading to others. Beth Pearson has already volunteered for leading Trips and we think Mary Jo Hayes might be interested as well. Any other “volunteers”? If so, let Jim Beckman know.