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2000: Mines Road, Santa Clara

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Having read all the previous trip lists from this area, on May 29 I decided to go and fill my boots. Er, not quite.

I certainly got Lawrence’s goldfinches although they resolutely would not turn around to give me a frontal view. Yellow-billed magpies took my Santa Clara list up to 150.

I got yet another yellow-looking oriole – Bullock’s this time. Maybe I’m having trouble with orange and yellow? One flycatcher could have been either a willow or a peewee; I’m gonna have to learn the calls for this lot! Western bluebirds were escorting their young around and I was surprised by a very vocal killdeer at one river crossing.

But I was even more surprised by an osprey preening itself along San Antonio Valley Road – about as arid a habitat as you could get. It had found a pond but I bet there weren’t any fish in it.

And that was it. Personally I found the no loitering signs pretty offensive. Does birding count as loitering? I expect it does to some redneck with an itchy trigger finger. I was certainly fascinated by the number of bullet-holes in the road signs.

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