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Farren Raod

Florence Sanchez
 

I hiked Farren Road this morning early before the wind came up.  It was a beautiful hike.  Though not very birdy, there were some nice sightings, the best probably being a Loggerhead Shrike.  I found this bird sitting on the cross-arm of the utility pole at the parking area at the top of the first hill.  From there it flew into the eucalyptus trees and I eventually lost sight of it.  It was also nice to find about 10 Meadowlarks in the lowest field.

I found a few Swallows (Violet Green and Rough-winged) but not the flocks that one sometimes finds near the reservoir.  I heard a Roadrunner calling from the avocado grove just uphill from the reservoir, but did not see it. I also did not see or hear any Common Ground Doves.  A male Allen's Hummer in the lower stretches was nice.  Not much in the way of waterfowl on the reservoir--looked like about 5 coots.  No sign of Hooded Orioles yet at the end of the road.

The hills are very green and there is abundant grass; however, I did not see much mustard coming up.  These fields were grazed earlier this winter and thus the mustard plants may have been eaten.  At any rate, I suspect the lack of mustard and other tall weeds may mean that this are will not be as great for Lazuli Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks as it can in some years.

This is not a big wildflower area; however, I found Lupine coming up along the roadside in places, a nice clump of Blue-eyed grass under an oak, and the roadcut in the oak woodland section had a very early Calochortus in bloom and some Indian Paintbrush.

Florence Sanchez