Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

Field Trip Report

Mines Road Scouting Trip
Thursday, April 28, 2011, 8:00am

We had a great day today on Mines Road. It was a bit nippy in the a.m. with wind following us throughout the day but ending well down Del Puerto Canyon Road, the temp was 75 - toasty!

Highlights: Definitely the most surprising bird of the day was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the tiny pond just across the road from the old Fire Station at the junction. We surprised it out the pond, but it returned only to fly out again when it saw us and then, unfortunately, gone. There were lots of Lawrence's goldfinches in several locations - mostly at the junction in the fiddlehead flowers; also chipping sparrows seen well from the picnic benches at the junction. We also had at least 3 golden eagles along Mines and Del Puerto Canyon roads. I think this is the best day I have ever had for Lawrence's.

The great horned owl chicks showed nicely as did the red-tails on the nest across from 6326 Mines Road. At MP 5.74 (the magic corner) we had singing rufous-crowned sparrows, CA thrashers and Allen's hummers in the monkey-flowers. We had green heron at the corral as well as Bullock's oriole. The Lewis's Woodpeckers are well down San Antonio road from their previous locations - past the large ranch on the left in the huge oak trees on the right of the road and before the large wood duck pond (where there were 4).

Also Frank Raines Picnic area had hermit warblers, Hammond's flycatcher (and we understand that early in the day there were lots more warblers than we saw at 3 PM). Owl Rock was devoid of owls but had a red-tail nest; the cottonwood in front of the rock however was alive - shrike, W. kingbird, Lawrence's goldfinches, lark sparrow, house finches, say's phoebe, phainopepla and bullock's oriole - all in the space of 15 minutes. Costa's hummer was in his usual location around the corner even though half of his tree has collapsed - he was still sitting on the dead branches - just a little closer to the ground!

Please join me Sunday for the "real" trip - although it should be hotter and you never know what the birds will be doing!

— Leslie Flint, San Mateo

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