San Mateo County, California
Field Trip Report
Las Gallinas Report
February 7, 2018 by Donna Pomeroy
Las Gallinas wastewater ponds in San Rafael was the site of Donna Pomeroy's First Wednesday walk in February. We started the morning with picture perfect weather, cooperative birds, and a great group of birders. Marsh Wrens were singing their hearts out in the warm sunshine, while we sorted through a nice assortment of ducks and geese. Las Gallinas is well-known for rails and we heard both Soras and Virginia Rails calling. Common Gallinules were easily seen, and the presence of many Coots made it a four-rail morning.
Waterfowl were just one of the many highlights of the morning, with great looks at Mute Swans, two subspecies of Cackling Goose in the same field as their larger cousins, the Canada Goose, and absolutely spectacular looks at Common Mergansers. Raptors did not disappoint with two pairs of White-tailed Kites putting on a great show, a gorgeous male Northern Harrier and several other species.
In addition to the 53 species of birds we saw, there were good views of the resident River Otters and a Muskrat. The presence of otters here makes Las Gallinas a favorite destination for nature viewing.
For a full species list and additional photographs see our eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42569920.
Photos by Donna Pomeroy