Cricket and I toured Del Puerto Canyon and Mines Road today. Highlight was the continuing Evening Grosbeak at the Frank Raines campground. The bird, an adult male originally found by JulietteBryson on May 21. We refound it along the creek between campsite #31 and the entrance to the off-road trails. After paying the $5 day-use fee, we drove a few yards toward the creek and then to the right to the "lower loop". There is a "do not enter" sign because of the one-way campground traffic and a chain link enclosure to help locate the spot where we found the bird. It was foraging in the cottonwood tree for about 20 minutes during which time we heard it call
occasionally. It seemed to be keeping company with a female Black-headed Grosbeak ...
Other birds of interest during our tour of Del Puerto Canyon were most of the traditional targets: an immature Blue Grosbeak at MP 1 where there is a small ditch and some standing water, Horned Larks in this area as well, Costa's Hummingbird at MP 3.0, graffiti rock and Owl Canyon, all of which feature its favorite yellow tobacco flower, Rufous-crowned Sparrows most places where scrubby hillsides and exposed rocks prevailed, Phainopepla a female at the campground, Rock Wren at Owl Canyon. Poor weather early afternoon made birding difficult between MP 22 where we have found Sage Sparrow in the past, and the Tricolored Blackbird pond was birdless. We were also impressed with how low the water was at the traditional Wood Duck
pond just before the junction... We found one female later in a shallow pond south of the junction with Mines Road. Lewis's Woodpeckers were easy to see just one mile south of the Junction. At the summit, as we headed back toward Livermore, a single singing Sage Sparrow was heard. Also in this area were several Orange-crowned Warbler, a Western Tanager and a Black-headed Grosbeak. Golden Eagle was seen on the downhill slope as we neared the bridge. Throughout the day we saw Western Kingbirds and even a nest at the campground... and Ash-throated Flycatcher, heard one Pacific-slope Flycatcher and a few Western Wood Pewee. A great day, despite the rain and cool temperatures.
This morning there were two Western Tanagers calling in the eucalyptus trees above our Mountain View driveway. Late afternoon, returning from a class outing a Black-headed Grosbeak was calling across the street. My own neighborhood is proving to be pretty good birding...
Yesterday morning we had a Western Tanager and a Warbling Vireo (new for our home) in our back yard. Both were singing. Not rare by any means, but still awfully nice to have right outside our window. The Chestnut-backed Chickadee young should emerge from the nest box any day by the sound of things.