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2000: American Bittern, Sunnyvale

American Bittern

And now an inexplicable gap to December 22 when I was certainly not inactive: my Santa Clara list had gone up to 176, largely thanks to Alviso. Perhaps moving from Los Altos Hills to Cupertino mid-September stopped me from posting.

“Walking round the eastern edge of Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) east pond at lunch-time my reverie was rudely interrupted by a scrabbling in the reeds. I immediately thought that a fox was responsible even though I have never seen one there. I have also never seen an American bittern (anywhere), one of which appeared out of the reeds and proceeded to flap gently past me with a soft squawk.

“A little further on as I was approaching a perched northern harrier, a snipe flew up from the water’s edge and landed at a good binocular distance from me. A couple of American white pelicans had flown over previously. I didn’t think that they wintered here.

“Preceding all that an American pipit became the 100th species that I have seen in the Sunnyvale Baylands/WPCP area.”

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