The Early Bird Gets the Prize

Saturday, September 18, 2004, Led by R. J. Adams (See also...)

Photos by Bill Walker

97 Species at Rural Areas of San Benito County, CA

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Snowy Egret
Seen by R. J., Joana, Michael, and Bill
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Ruff
Seen by Mary, Bill, and R. J. only. The winter plumage adult ruff was a seen at approximately 1:00. It was a medium grey/brown shorebird, evenly colored above with a small head. The clean white underside was cleanly divided from the solid colored upper parts in a smooth line. Only Bill and RJ saw it on the ground before the entire shorebird flock was spooked by a Prairie Falcon flying low over the pond. In flight, the ruff was larger than the dowitchers it flew away with and showed a distinct white pattern of white across the tail and up both sides of the rump, making a U shape.
Wilson's Snipe
Seen by R. J. only
Red-necked Phalarope
By our count, there were at least 275 Phalaropes in the ponds next to the Hollister sewage ponds, which RJ described as a surprisingly big number
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
Strigidae (Owls)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
Apodidae (Swifts)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Seen by R. J. and Mary only
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Seen by all but Mary
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Sylviidae (Sylviids, Parrotbills and Allies)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
American Robin
Seen by all but Mary
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
California Thrasher
Seen by R. J. Only
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Hermit Warbler
Seen by Mary only
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

97 Species at Rural Areas of San Benito County, CA

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Snowy Egret
Seen by R. J., Joana, Michael, and Bill
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Ruff
Seen by Mary, Bill, and R. J. only. The winter plumage adult ruff was a seen at approximately 1:00. It was a medium grey/brown shorebird, evenly colored above with a small head. The clean white underside was cleanly divided from the solid colored upper parts in a smooth line. Only Bill and RJ saw it on the ground before the entire shorebird flock was spooked by a Prairie Falcon flying low over the pond. In flight, the ruff was larger than the dowitchers it flew away with and showed a distinct white pattern of white across the tail and up both sides of the rump, making a U shape.
Wilson's Snipe
Seen by R. J. only
Red-necked Phalarope
By our count, there were at least 275 Phalaropes in the ponds next to the Hollister sewage ponds, which RJ described as a surprisingly big number
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
Strigidae (Owls)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
Apodidae (Swifts)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Seen by R. J. and Mary only
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Seen by all but Mary
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Sylviidae (Sylviids, Parrotbills and Allies)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
American Robin
Seen by all but Mary
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
California Thrasher
Seen by R. J. Only
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Hermit Warbler
Seen by Mary only
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

97 Species at Rural Areas of San Benito County, CA

Rural Areas of San Benito County
California Thrasher
Seen by R. J. Only
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Seen by R. J. and Mary only
Snowy Egret
Seen by R. J., Joana, Michael, and Bill
Red-necked Phalarope
By our count, there were at least 275 Phalaropes in the ponds next to the Hollister sewage ponds, which RJ described as a surprisingly big number
Ruff
Seen by Mary, Bill, and R. J. only. The winter plumage adult ruff was a seen at approximately 1:00. It was a medium grey/brown shorebird, evenly colored above with a small head. The clean white underside was cleanly divided from the solid colored upper parts in a smooth line. Only Bill and RJ saw it on the ground before the entire shorebird flock was spooked by a Prairie Falcon flying low over the pond. In flight, the ruff was larger than the dowitchers it flew away with and showed a distinct white pattern of white across the tail and up both sides of the rump, making a U shape.
American Robin
Seen by all but Mary
Wilson's Snipe
Seen by R. J. only
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Seen by all but Mary
Hermit Warbler
Seen by Mary only

Trip Map

Trip Notes

Most of us saw the infamous Upland Goose in Hollister. Also saw an Accipter sp. (RJ only) and Dowitcher sp., for a total count of 99 for the day.

The Early Bird Gets the Prize trip was designed by RJ Adams for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory California Fall Challenge big day contest - one of the trips for those of us who don't yet feel comfortable planning a big day. RJ, Mary, Bill, Juana, and Michael met at 4 am in San Juan Bautista and packed it in around 8:45 pm with dinner at Dona Esther's. Weather: Sunny with light clouds in the morning, overcast skies from about 11 am kept the temperatures moderate all day

Here's Mary's reconstruction from memory of where we were... times may not be accurate!
  • 4:30 Owling along county roads
  • 7:00 Fremont Peak for oak woodland species
  • 9:30 "urban" birding in San Juan Bautista
  • 11:00 San Felipe lake,
  • 12:30 Percolation ponds near Hollister sewage treatment ponds
  • 1:30 San Justo reservoir
  • 2:00 Take out Burritos from Mi Casa in Hollister
  • 2:30 Piacines Reservoir for ducks
  • 4;00 Pinacles campground for hummingbirds
  • 5:00 Pinacles National Monument
  • 8:00 A couple more owling stops, but no new species