Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

Field Trip Report

Pinnacles National Monument
January 29, 2012
Laurie Graham & Jeff Fairclough, leaders

The day after Leslie Flint's trip to Panoche Valley, we led a trip from Hollister to the Pinnacles. Our target birds were eagles and Ferruginous Hawks anywhere, and California Condors at Pinnacles. We began at Paicines Reservoir at 7:50 AM, where the birding was similar to the previous day. Once again we had the SPOTTED SANDPIPER in the same area. We watched as a juvenile BALD EAGLE made lazy passes over the water before landing on an American Coot, held it underwater for a minute, then flew with it into a tree, and ate it. There was a guest appearance by Debi Shearwater.

We arrived at Pinnacles National Monument around 8:45 and birded the entrance road, where we had many CALIFORNIA QUAIL, and a CALIFORNIA THRASHER singing from a bush. From the Visitor's Center, we took the Bear Gulch Trail through the caves to the Bear Gulch Reservoir, returning via the Rim Trail. Along this hike we had wonderful birds including CALIFORNIA CONDOR, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, CANYON AND BEWICK'S WREN, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, and VARIED THRUSH.

We returned to Hollister along backroads, netting our GOLDEN EAGLES (12-18 depending on who was counting) and FERRUGINOUS HAWKS. Two FEHA were light morph adults, one perched, one flying; one was an adult in a dark grey color, which had a very interesting hunting technique of lying down next to burrow entrances, where he would vanish from our sight due to his coloration. Debi Shearwater reappeared and led us up Santa Ana Valley Road to the EASTERN PHOEBE.

63 species seen or heard: I apologize for them not being in taxonomic order.

California Quail

Turkey Vulture

California Condor

Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk (California)

Red-tailed Hawk (Western)

American Kestrel

American Coot

Mourning Dove

Anna's Hummingbird

Acorn Woodpecker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Black Phoebe

Hutton's Vireo

Steller's Jay

Western Scrub-Jay

Yellow-billed Magpie

Common Raven

Oak Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific)

Canyon Wren

Bewick's Wren

Western Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

Varied Thrush

California Thrasher

European Starling

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted Towhee

California Towhee

Fox Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)

Cackling Goose

Canada Goose



Ring-necked Duck

Common Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Great Blue Heron

Western Meadowlark

Red-winged Blackbird (California Bicolored)

Brewer's Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird


Clark's Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Golden Eagle

House Finch

Loggerhead Shrike

Ferruginous Hawk


Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eastern Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

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