San Mateo County, California
Field Trip Report
August 25, 2016
Leader: Jennifer Rycenga
Over twenty birders gathered for a delightful early evening walk and owl prowl at Stulsaft Park in Redwood City. This underbirded location, though small, contains a running creek, a tributary to Redwood Creek called Arroyo Ojo de Agua. With mixed oak woodlands and serpentine grasslands combined in this small neighborhood location, Stulsaft creates some of the best habitat for oak species in San Mateo county. Most of the participants on the August 25th SAS field trip had not explored this location before, or alternately were from the neighborhood but had not looked at the park with birder's eyes before.
We explored the steep path to the Arroyo ravine, seeing and hearing birds like Anna's Hummingbird, Oak Titmouse, and Chestnut-backed Chickadee. With dusk approaching, we sat down near the river and awaited our main target bird. At about 8:00 pm, without having used any playback, we heard a single Western Screech-Owl. While we could have wished for more, including an appearance, we decided to leave the owl in peace. On our way back up the hills, we did some amateur astronomy and gazed at the planetary wanderers of the night!
To hear the Screech-Owl we heard, check out Jennifer Rycenga's tape recording posted to iNaturalist here (http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3964535) or the eBird list frm the trip posted here (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31253291).
House Finch, Stulsaft Park, August 25, 2016
Birders awaiting twilight at Stulsaft Park, August 25, 2016
The best way to await an owl!