On June 3 I officially added my 152nd Santa Clara species:
“Nancy Teater and I spent three hours basically walking the Franciscan Loop this morning. It’s amazing how long a couple of miles can take when you’re seriously trying to ID birds!
“We started with the indigo bunting – as obliging as ever. It even perched on a telegraph wire more than halfway across Page Mill Road when we got back, which I reckon technically puts it in Santa Clara County. We also got a good view of its cousin, the lazuli, later on.
“We were accompanied everywhere by family parties of chestnut-backed chickadees. Strangely we didn’t get a single titmouse. One brown creeper scurried briefly up a trunk and disappeared into thin air. Bushtits were pretty scarce – only a couple, but we heard plenty of wrentits.
“For me a couple of lifers were black-throated grey warbler and warbling vireo [both in San Mateo County!]. However, we could certainly have done with a flycatcher and warbler song expert. We missed out on a few birds that way.
“One big surprise was a mallard calling overhead and we were pretty short on raptors – just one red-tailed hawk.
“So, big fun. We must do it again.
“PS. Because this may be important, I can confirm that the black skimmers were in the “body of water” immediately to the north of the EEC at Alviso. When you guys get a grid reference system and some decent maps, then I can be more precise.”
GPS is probably rendering this particular complaint superfluous these days.