Rain is a grand thing. I think a needle scratching a record will be part of our collective consciousness long after the memory of its meaning passes away, a bit like a kind of sound fx needle.
Given your nature bent and geography, perhaps you could give me a bit of help. Sunday I fly to San Jose Airport. I land very late in the afternoon,like 3.30 p.m. or so, and will have a few minutes of daylight after getting my rental to find a place to watch birds. I see that Alum Rock Park is only 20 minutes from the airport,and may work for that quick get-an-hour-in of walking/watching I have in mind. Do you think the park is workable for that? I know you're somewhere up there, though I am not quite sure if your city is very nearby or a goodish way away. I have a meeting in San Jose all day Monday, and then fly out Monday evening, the latest of
a number of very short business trips I seem to be taking lately. As usual with such trips, I usually worry less about "perfect outdoors experience" than about "handy to the airport and not taxing to walk". I always read about your cool botany/bird trips, and wondered if you knew the airport area well enough to hazard a guess. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I'm just up 101 from the airport. Christine will just be back (and carrying a huge weight on her heart from visiting with her Mom), or i would love to have a meal with you.
Alum Rock park is a canyon, so light will be shorter than in an open space. It's lovely for a walk, although i've no idea whether the springs and creek will be running with this drought.
My recommendation before looking at eBird or iNaturalist, would be to go to Alviso. easy boardwalks, a couple different wetland habitats, a fascinating little town. http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspots
shows both Alum Rock and Alviso with 100 species, that's observed in the past week. You seem to be well practiced with passerines as they perch in trees, so my hesitation at birding Alum Rock is not relevant for you.
Wait, operator error. Looking at *just* January data, Alviso trumps Alum Rock. I suspect Alum is better during migratory times for song birds.http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?cmd=decisionPage&getLocations=hotspots&hotspots=L231517&yr=all&m=1
For close, Ulistac Natural Area has been on my list for a flora,trip. It might be a pleasant woodland walk, closer than Alum Rock.
That's great advice! Thank you. I had not considered either alternative you suggested,but both look a little more like what I was hunting for late afternoon walking, as each sounds like it has open grassland areas. My quick googling says that Ulistac is only 11 minutes from the airport and
that Alviso is 25 minutes away. I assume by Alviso you mean the Don Edwards N.W.R. at Alviso, but if you mean someplace else, please let me know.
It would be great to meet you in person and share a meal. I know, though, that both of you have been on the road a fair bit lately, so I understand.
I do not travel to San Jose often, but will almost certainly visit again someday, and perhaps we'll meet then.
In the meantime, I will have to figure out the best birds of Santa Clara County picture sites. I found my recent Orange County sojourns meant that I could identify most birds I saw (excluding the vagaries of hummingbirds), as it was largely things like Cassin's kingbird rather than western kingbird or black phoebe instead of eastern phoebe. Out your way, though, I think the variation will be a bit more, and it will be fun to see what I see. In the event, I'll see how quickly I land and get my car,
and go to Ulistac if it takes a long while and to Alviso if I have enough daylight left.
I've not been to the Don Edwards Center in Alviso, but i would expect it's essentially the same community of birds as you would find at the Alviso Marina County Park.
Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Blvd
Alviso, CA 95002
Alviso Marina County Park
1195 Hope St
Alviso, CA 95002
The County Park looks perfect, and google says it's just 15 minutes from the airport. Thanks! I am going to head there. I think the Edwards w.r. is pretty nearly adjacent but further away.
Sorry your back is sore. I have been a bit achy too with all the snow shoveling I have been the last two months. I have shoveled more snow this least two months than I did all last year. A warm bath with epson salts works most times.
I got 56 x 20 kilo (45 lbs) of salt today. I had to help the driver shift the two pallets and unload them by hand as his lift was broken.
Ooh, that might be just the thing.
I would argue that my back is probably sore because i haven't been using it as it was designed: you sound like you are using it!
Also, "that snow is supposed to be in the California Sierras! Give it back!" Oh, if it were only that easy. At work our break room bulletin board (which we vary on whimsical themes) is begging for rain.