Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Santa Cruz birding

After much needed rest, I finally got around to writing up a report on my trip to California. Since I haven’t birded the west coast before, I added quite a few lifers – 27 to be exact.

After flying into San Jose, I met up with my friend, Oscar Johnson and continued to Santa Cruz – my home for the weekend.

Saturday was spent birding around town at the UCSC campus, Arboretum, Natural Bridges Beach State Park and nearby Monterey County.

Here’s what Santa Cruz looks like where I had the majority of my lifers. Birds such as Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants, Rhinoceros Auklet and Rock Sandpiper were added to my list. Rock Sandpiper is a really good bird this far south and our bird is most likely the most southern known bird in the world right now.

Elsewhere around town we had other west coast specialties including Chestnut-backed Chickadee, California Quail, California Towhee, California Thrasher (seeing a pattern here?) Wrentit and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

For the rest of the day we birded northern Monterey County around Moss Landing (above). Highlights there included a Barrow’s Goldeneye and this mixed flock containing Tricolored Blackbirds.

Sunday was spent chasing a couple birds we missed and Yellow-billed Magpies. We started off at a county park in San Jose were we easily bagged a Nuttall’s Woodpecker and Red-breasted Sapsucker. We continued up the foothills near Joseph D. Grant County Park eventually finding two Yellow-billed Magpies, my last new bird of the trip.

Within an hour I was already in the airport waiting to board my plane.
Here are a few more photos from the weekend:

California Sea Lions with cormorants and Western Gulls

Bobcat at the Arboretum

Near Joseph D. Grant County Park


Hope Batcheller said...

Nice, sounds like a sweet trip! Congrats on the lifers.

Also, check the YBMA caption....

trumbullbirder said...

Yeah, it was an awesome trip. Thanks for the heads up on the caption. I guess that's what happens when you try to rush...