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Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Calero/Morgan Hill
Casa Loma Rd. & OSA Rancho Property, 28 December 2002
Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
We began the count just after sunrise along Casa Loma Road.
Recent rains, soggy landscape, derelict old walnut orchard.
Birds seemed to sense the impending storm and stayed under cover.
Area is a patchwork of orchards, ranches and small farms.
We scouted both sides of the road for birds.
And kept a weather eye on the brooding skies overhead expecting rain.
Birds had drilled this tree trunk full of holes looking for insects.
OSA volunteers Dave Stormont & Dave Burnham scan a creek area for birds.
Rustic footpath bridge over a rain-swollen creek.
Winter flooding can render this creek impassible to traffic.
Volunteers searched carefully for birds along a 2-3 mile stretch of road.
Continuing on, we left the paved road behind.
Entering OSA's Rancho Property, we followed a trail up a canyon.
Stepping over, around, sometimes through a creek to get to the other side.
Runoff from recent storms caused this stream to overflow its banks.
Amethyst Laccaria Acorn-studded Oak Earth Stars
We found a California Newt along the tail to Hidden Lake.
Consulting bird book for correct ID before making note of a sighting.
Poor light made it difficult to see birds along the far shore.
Scanning the lake for waterfowl.
Beyond the reservoir, the trail climbed towards a high ridge.
A Golden Eagle was sighted in this area last year.
We scanned the winter-bare oaks on both sides of the trail for birds.
Oak woodlands shelter many different bird species.
Returning downhill after birding along the summit.
Surrounding hillsides were a tapestry of colors and textures.
Winter run-off cuts a path across a meadow.
Happy volunteers at conclusion of count.

Shiny Side Down
A 9-1-1 call brought out the San Jose Fire Department.
Overturned SUV mid-creek; no sign of driver.
OSA's Pat Congdon (right) oversees SUV removal from creek bed
Local Highway Patrol also responded to the accident.
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