AUG 2014 - Eagle Rock

It was a typical summer day, a little foggy in the morning but then the sun came out and warmed us up.  We decided to head out and do the task we all love to do: brushing. While we were waiting at HQ, I was telling a story about how I changed where we were working one day to go to Ocean View to find a Dusky Flycatcher.  I did see the guy and it was a life bird for me.  There's more to that story but more on that later.  Well I was thinking that last year I saw a Black Swift at Eagle Rock so guess where we were headed.  I wanted to focus on a section right after the bridge, which seemed to be missed on the way up (must get to the top) and on the way down (after lunch nothing else to say) since it was in the middle.
Middle section being worked on
Cleared with about 3ft on each side
What's nice about the Eagle Rock Trail, in my opinion one of the toughest in the park, it has some great views into the San Lorenzo Valley to the NE, Monterey to the South, and the Pacific to the NW.
Looking toward NE towards Boulder Creek and my home
We made it to the top around noon and I got to the rock about 10 minutes before the rest and was pleasantly surprised by not only the Black Swift but 2 others the White-Throated and Vaux's Swifts.  They flew within less than a meter over our heads we could hear the wind over their wings.  Birder GEEK so cool.
White-throated Swift
Vaux's Swift
Swift in Sun Flare
Shortly before the rest of the crew arrived, a large group from Little Basin arrived.  I guess the crew struck up a conversation with the group and talked about what we did and before I knew it we were being offered melons as a token of their appreciation for our work.  Sometimes the smallest gestures are the most meaningful.

After lunch, we did some more brushing on the way down and came across a very rare Santa Cruz Cypress.
Santa Cruz Cypress (Cupressus abramsiana)
Rare in the wild, found in only five small localities in Santa Cruz County, California, and is listed as endangered.  It grows at 460-1200 m altitude.
Cone of the SC Cypress

It was another great day in the park and with a bonus of a very rare 3 Swift day, at least for me: FANTASTIC.  We put in 79 hours racking up a total of 580 hours for the year and I would like to thank Norm, Michele, Peter, Dale P., Dale S., Janette, Joan, Herman, David, and Shelly.

See you on the trails


Birds of the Day
1 California Quail Callipepla californica   
3 Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura   
4 Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata   
1 Black Swift Cypseloides niger   
3 Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi   
2 White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis   
1 Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
2 Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus   
1 Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi   
1 Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni   
1 Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri   
1 Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal) Aphelocoma californica [californica Group]   
2 Common Raven Corvus corax   
8 Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens   
6 Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus   
2 Brown Creeper Certhia americana
1 Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii   
2 Wrentit Chamaea fasciata   
1 Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus   
2 American Goldfinch Spinus tristis