Cesar Chavez Park (11/21/2021)

Today I had a mission. To see the Burrowing Owl recently observed at Cesar Chavez Park. Now, I had tried some years ago to see them there before, but they were not out or there at the time. So, I was pretty excited to finally/hopefully see them there. I’ve seen Burrowing Owls before in San Jose, where there were a couple of them and very unobstructed. And, I saw one’s head yesterday at Hayward Regional Shoreline. But, the burrows at Cesar Chavez Park are very close to the trail, so that was a draw indeed.

And, one was out there! I brought Carol + Dan, Tammy Stellanova, and Todd with me. And, I was relieved the Burrowing Owl was there. It’d been reported on iNaturalist the past two days, but you NEVER KNOW.

It was a crazy clear day today, just like yesterday. So, the views were great, and the bay looked incredible. We walked straight out to the Burrowing Owl spot, and someone coming the other direction saw our binoculars and let us know that an owl was ahead. Yay! It was out!!

On our walk there, we saw Buffleheads and scaups and grebes. And, MANY a California Ground Squirrel. Wayyyy more than we saw at Hayward Regional Shoreline yesterday. All were pretty fattened up and adorable.

We approached the spot at the Northeast corner, and a small group of people were standing near each other taking photos or looking through their binoculars. And, the celebrity of late was just sitting there, giving all his fans great looks as he stared out in our direction most of the time. Gah, are they cute.

Nearby, an American Pipit was wandering around close to a California Ground Squirrel that was casually eating about five feet (?) near the Burrowing Owl. We saw the pipit again once we started heading out from the Burrowing Owl spot, but it was soon chased off by a California Towhee.

We continued on the main loop, seeing more scaups and grebes and squirrels. As we neared the Northwest corner, I saw a group of Western Meadowlarks hanging out on the grass. Neat to see both pipits and meadowlarks here and way more up close than the ones we saw yesterday. Familiar faces in Eastbaysia this weekend!

And, right about there, the views of SF and all three bridges could not likely have been any more perfectly clear. What a glorious day to be outside!

Rounding that corner, Tammy spotted a Horned Grebe. Life Bird for me! Looking at pictures of it in its breeding plumage makes me so want to see that someday, wow!

We ended our walk with a number of life birds for most, if not all (?), of us. And, I got some decent photos of the same three birds I saw (and didn’t get any photos of) yesterday. Not too shabby!

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