The Jack Sparrows Spring Birdathon

Friday 20 April 2007

Photos from this adventure are at:

On Friday we spent a wonderful day birding from 3:30am until  

after dark, starting in the East hills and working our way westward.  

Our total for the day was 126 species. Here is a summary.

The dawn chorus was somewhat meager on account of the cold rain,  

which slowly dwindled as the morning progressed. We were in hills  

behind the fire station at Smith Creek. First bird heard was a GREAT  

HORNED OWL. First bird seen was CALIFORNIA QUAIL. On the hike back  

down, a pair of WOOD DUCKs was seen in a small pond. In a cluster of  

oak trees next to the gate for the Foothill trail we saw NASHVILLE,  

ORANGE-CROWNED and WILSON'S WARBLERs as well as all three Goldfinch  

species. The bridge over Smith Creek did not give us any flycatchers,  

but we got great looks at a HERMIT THRUSH and LINCOLN'S SPARROW.

On the drive down we found another pair of Wood Ducks at Bass Lake.  

At Grant Lake we saw a pair of CASPIAN TERNs mating. Across the road  

from the lake we heard several GRASSHOPPER SPARROWs, which we got  

glimpses of briefly near the parking area for the Hotel Trail in .

At Ed Levin we got selasphorus hummingbird (likely ALLEN'S  


LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHes and in the locust trees near the dog run a  

flock of CEDAR WAXWINGs were hawking for bugs and passing berries to  

each other. We found a GREAT HORNED OWL in a tree near the spot where  

we had seen Long-eared Owl the previous year (perhaps the Great  

Horned Owl chased away the competition?). We assume the owl had  

recently dined on turkey, given the large collection of fresh turkey  

gore and feathers directly below the roosting spot!

On the drive into Alviso several BONAPARTE'S GULLs flew over the road  

from the dump to the water treatment plant. At the Alviso EEC we saw  

a single NORTHERN PINTAIL resting on the far shore of the close salt  

pond, A16. Also at the pond were EARED GREBE, SCAUP (likely LESSER)  

and many species of gull. The BARN OWL looked at us from within its  

box in the sycamores; we were relieved as we had seen a Barn Owl  

roadkill on Zanker Road. We stopped at State & Spreckels, where the  

only highlight was a smattering of SEMIPALMATED PLOVER.

Onward to Charleston Slough and Shoreline Lake where we saw NORTHERN  

HARRIER and many expected ducks and shorebirds. Two pair of  

CANVASBACK were swimming on salt pond A1. Shoreline Lake had a  


Palo Alto Baylands, surprisingly, added only CLAPPER RAIL and RING- 

NECKED PHEASANT to our list, although we got great views of more  

Clark's Grebes and a giant flock (300+) of MARBLED GODWITs.

McClellan Ranch gave us our HOODED ORIOLE. Stevens Creek Reservoir  

had an OSPREY flying overhead. Near the Villa Maria Picnic Area we  

saw VAUX'S SWIFT and found a HUTTON'S VIREO by following its call.  

Driving up Stevens Canyon Road we found an AMERICAN DIPPER in the  

creek below one of the bridges.

We had a little bit of light left as we came back down out of the  

valley so we drove to Oka Ponds in hopes of seeing a lingering  

Wilson's Snipe, but we had no luck on our end-of-the-day "Snipe hunt."

The Jack Sparrows

Barry & Ginger Langdon-Lassagne


Species List for The Jack Sparrows Spring 2007 Birdathon

Friday 20 April 2007

Species in order of first heard or seen. (h) = heard only, never seen

Total Species: 126

Joseph D. Grant County Park (Smith Creek area)

Great Horned Owl

Wild Turkey

American Robin

Spotted Towhee

Acorn Woodpecker

Orange-crowned Warbler

Western Scrub-Jay

California Quail

Steller's Jay

California Towhee

Mourning Dove

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Wood Duck


Nuttall's Woodpecker

European Starling

Red-winged Blackbird

Western Bluebird

American Crow

Dark-eyed Junco

Lesser Goldfinch

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Black Phoebe

White-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Black-headed Grosbeak

Wilson's Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Band-tailed Pigeon

Hermit Thrush

American Goldfinch

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Common Raven

Turkey Vulture

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Lincoln's Sparrow

Western Kingbird

Western Meadowlark

Joseph D. Grant County Park (Near Grant Lake)

Yellow-billed Magpie


Red-tailed Hawk

Anna's Hummingbird

Bullock's Oriole

House Finch

Brown-headed Cowbird

Canada Goose

White-tailed Kite

White-throated Swift

Violet-green Swallow

Tree Swallow

White-crowned Sparrow

American Coot

Pied-billed Grebe

Song Sparrow

Double-crested Cormorant

Caspian Tern

Yellow-rumped Warbler


Ruddy Duck

Great Blue Heron

Cinnamon Teal

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Western Grebe

Brewer's Blackbird

California Thrasher (h)

Grasshopper Sparrow

Northern Mockingbird

Quimby Road

Rock Pigeon

Ed Levin County Park

Purple Finch (h)

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Oak Titmouse

Cliff Swallow

Cooper's Hawk


Allen's Hummingbird

Cedar Waxwing

American Kestrel

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Barn Swallow

Calaveras Road

Bewick's Wren

Zanker Road

Bonaparte's Gull


Black-necked Stilt

Snowy Egret

American Avocet

Long-billed Dowitcher

Burrowing Owl

Barn Owl

Marsh Wren (h)

Lesser Scaup

Eared Grebe

California Gull

Western Gull

Herring Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Forster's Tern

Glaucous-winged Gull

Northern Shoveler

American White Pelican

Great Egret

Northern Pintail

House Sparrow

State & Spreckels

Western Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover


Charleston Slough

Greater Yellowlegs

Green-winged Teal

Common Yellowthroat (h)

Common Moorhen

Northern Harrier

Marbled Godwit

Least Sandpiper


Shoreline Lake

Surf Scoter

Palo Alto Baylands

Short-billed Dowitcher

Savannah Sparrow

Clark's Grebe

Clapper Rail (h)

Ring-necked Pheasant (h)

McClellan Ranch Park

Hooded Oriole

Red-shouldered Hawk

Stevens Creek Reservoir


Stevens Creek Park - Villa Maria Picnic Area

Vaux's Swift

Wrentit (h)

Hutton's Vireo

Stevens Creek Canyon

American Dipper