2000: Lake Cunningham, San Jose

Red-breasted Sapsucker

A trip to what I considered an unbirdy site, way over at the eastern edge of town, on December 23 yielded 34 species. It also shot my Santa Clara county list up by four to 181.

“I checked out the lesser black-backed gull and snow goose at Lake Cunningham this afternoon. I later decided I had also seen the reported Ross’s goose there. Rather more thrilling was a red-breasted sapsucker, a species that has eluded me all year.

“Finally I watched something that was behaving remarkably like a barn swallow and it looked remarkably like a barn swallow through the binoculars. But I’m sure I was hallucinating.”

I may not have been. I did get one Santa Clara sighting late February next year and one in a January but much further south, at Crystal Cove State Park.

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