To return to the correct chronological order for my Santa Clara County journal, this is from May 6, 2001:
“Early in the morning I took a largely uneventful walk beside the reservoir at this country park. On the way back a duck flew past, making a noise I couldn’t recognise. A brief glimpse through the bins gave me a white eye-ring and white trailing edge to the wings. Was it a female wood duck?
“Well, yep, it probably was because the next bend produced an obvious male in the centre of the reservoir. I haven’t heard of the species there and wonder if they may even be attempting to breed.
“Somewhat further out of area, a recommendation took me to the Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz – a fab spot. I’m pretty sure I got Allen’s and black-chinned hummingbirds but it was heaving with much else, including pacific-slope flycatchers, Bullock’s orioles and purple finches. It’s only half an hour from Cupertino over Highway 17, if you can dodge the accidents.
“I rounded off with only my second visit to Natural Bridges for the usual brown pelicans, western gulls and Brandt’s cormorants, and less usual Vaux’s swift.”