Cook’s Landing 4/25/2011

After dropping Sam off at school, I headed to Cook’s Landing to get some birding in before the predicted thunderstorms arrived.  There are lots of Canada Goslings around if you want to see.

I wanted to walk the River Trail and Pfeiffer Loop Trail but decided to start at that little peninsula that extends downstream from the dam.  That was fortuitous because as soon as I started down this finger of land, I encountered a FOS Spotted Sandpiper and then another.  About the same time I was encircled by a cloud of mixed swallows, mainly Cliff & Barn, looking for a meal.  Besides being cool in its own right, I paused for a bit and then heard a even steady trill that cried out “warbler”.   I found a FOS Palm Warbler in the low brush on the NLR side of the peninsula.  Before leaving the peninsula I spotted a single FOS Caspian Tern looking for a meal over the river on the LR side.

Getting back to the River Trail I found the most productive area to be the first quarter mile east of the Big Dam Bridge parking area.  Besides the more common fare, there was a FOS Yellow Warbler,  a Warbling Vireo, a Yellow-breasted Chat, several Baltimore Oriole, an Indigo Bunting, and at mile marker 7.0 in a plum bush there was a singing male Painted Bunting, another first of season.

On the way back, along Pfieffer Loop Trail in the rain that had started I heard a single Swainson’s Thrush. This loop ought to be very good for thrush, I’ve encountered  Hermit Thrush there many times but probably due to the rain, just the one not so rare right now Swainson’s Thrush was it.

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