Sunday 21 November 2010

Shoreline at Mountain View. Palo Alto, SanFrancisco, California, USA

Continuing my day in San Francisco that began on the previous post, I turned off the 101 taking Shoreline at Mountain View. This is a renowned area for finding Burrowing Owls and I couldn’t resist a quick look while I was close by. I might have been more successful earlier in the day, but the tide was at 06.00 and I wanted to look for rails from the boardwalk at the end of Embarcadero Rd. This picture is from a previous trip.
Shoreline Trail that leads from the car park took me past a tidal marsh where Song Sparrows teased me by skulking through the cover. By a platform overlooking the marsh, a small flock contained White-crowned Sparrows. I pished them to see if they would sit up for a photo, but attracted a Lincoln’s Sparrow instead.
The path is at the top of a bank and a good view can be had down onto the water. Hundreds of Ruddy Ducks were dozing with a few Western/Clark’s Grebes feeding between them. I think Clark’s on balance as they seemed quite pale, but they were back-lit and too distant to see the bill or eye well enough. On the downslope of the bank a large flock of Bushtits were picking insects from some tall weeds.
The White-crowned Sparrows were more amenable on the return journey with the immature ones being the boldest.
A last scan of the Burrowing Owls favoured area revealed a few California Ground Squirrels which can look tantalizingly owl-like from a distance when they stand up outside their burrows. 

 Bird species; 24

Pied-billed Grebe 2, Great Blue Heron 1, Snowy Egret 2, Canada Goose 60, American Wigeon 4, Northern Shoveler 120, Ruddy Duck 1000, Turkey Vulture 3, Red-tailed Hawk 1, American Kestrel 2, American Coot 20, Anna’s Hummingbird 3, Bewick’s Wren 2, Northern Mockingbird 2, Western Bluebird 8, Bushtit 35, American Crow 4, House Finch 2, Lesser Goldfinch 6, Common Yellowthroat 2, California Towhee 1, Song Sparrow 5, Lincoln’s Sparrow 1, White-crowned Sparrow 25.

For other visits to Shoreline and the Palo Alto area try;

Otherwise consult the America and Canada page for posts from California and USA.

Purisma Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is on Route 35, Skyline Boulevard. I had to take Highway 92 across the ridge to get to Half Moon Bay for the afternoon and popped into the preserve very quickly to record the following.

Bird species; 7

Acorn Woodpecker 2, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1, Chestnut-backed Chickadee 12, Pygmy Nuthatch 2, Stellar’s Jay 4, Townsend’s Warbler 2, Dark-eyed Junco 5.

Shoreline at Mountain View. Palo Alto, SanFrancisco, California, USA.

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