Tuesday, Jan 01, 2008 First Day of the Year

4 eBird checklists
Geng Road
eBird - Casual Observation, 0mins,
Shoreline Park--Shoreline Lake area
eBird - Casual Observation, 0mins,
Palo Alto Duck Pond
eBird - Casual Observation, 0mins,
McClellan Ranch Preserve
eBird - Casual Observation, 0mins,

FIRT NOST!* Mary and Bill went out from 8 am to 2 pm on January 1 to get a start on the county list for 2008. Starting in Palo Alto, we walked out to see the Clapper Rail at the Lucy Evans boardwalk, with nice looks at male and female Common Yellow-throats along the way. At the end of the boardwalk, we found a group of Least Sandpipers climbing the grassy banks as the tide went out and Clark's Grebes in the bay.

Next stop, a look at the yacht harbor. We found one Dunlin with the sandpipers across from the Lucy Evans parking lot. A Merlin blew past at speed, spooking the smaller shorebirds. At the the duck pond and the exposed mud yacht harbor we poked our way to 7 gull species. I'm sure there were more.

Around 10:40 we gate-crashed some sort of January 1 community fun run to check out the golf course lakes visible from the parking lot at the end of Geng Road. We found single Greater White-fronted Goose among Canada Geese, but no mergansers.

By 11:30, we had made our way to Shoreline Lake, where our first bird was a Say's Phoebe on the golf course on the west side of the lake. Scoping from the shore near the pump housing, we saw one Spotted Sandpiper fly from the near shore to the largest island. We located 3 red-throated loons on the lake, where others have reported the same species.

Last stop of the day was McClellan Ranch, where our first sighting at 12:45 was a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying in to a high perch in the bare sycamores. We walked the perimeter trail without seeing many birds. The most productive area was near the junction of the trail into the garden area, where a large tree is down. Scrub jay, 2 woodpeckers, creeper, Townsend's Warbler, California Quail, Fox Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow were all seen here, while Red-shouldered Hawk, Belted Kingfisher and Stellar's Jay were only heard.

*FIRT NOST was a typo turned into jargon for users of the PLATO computer system at the University of Illinois in the late 1970's. After the nightly system restart, the first person to post in =pad, a popular "group note" (equivalent to a news group) would excitedly declare their posting to be the "First Note" of the day. When typing quickly, First Note became "FIRT NOST" and became the standard way to announce your first-ness. This is our "FIRT NOST" birding note of 2008. Bwahaha!

93 Species
4 Locations