Katherine and I return to Joseph P. Grant County Park and I return to Kathy Hawk’s Bird and Photo Blog!

Camping and blogging activities were severely curtailed this winter and spring as I took three classes at the local junior college. That was much more work than I expected! But, now I’ve finished so…

…Katherine and I joined our friends, Mark and Robin, for a few days of camping at beautiful Joseph D. Grant Park in Santa Clara County. The water levels were high and we saw all kinds of flowers and wildlife.

Here are some highlights…

On our first day, in the middle of the morning, Katherine spotted a young bobcat slinking around in the undergrowth of the campsite next to ours. This was the only photo I was able to take of it before it disappeared.

There are always many birds around the campsites but this year, we saw a lot of Ash-throated Flycatchers. Many of them seemed to be either paired up or in the process of pairing up with lots of chasing each other around.

Every morning, Katherine and I would take Sam on a walk before anyone else was up. We always see deer but this time, we also saw several jackrabbits.

This young fawn was bounding alongside its mother as they headed across the grasses.

A beautiful young coyote.

Joseph D. Grant has so many ground squirrels.

A Western Fence Lizard who’s had a tough life!

Near the water we saw several types of dragonflies, including Flame Skimmer, Common Whitetail and Tule Bluet.


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The Northern Flickers were seen on the ground (the only woodpeckers to feed from the ground) and perched. This one allowed me to add to my collection of “pooping birds.”

Acorn Woodpeckers are always abundant around the campsites. This one was seen on the road to the parking lot. We’ve seen them using this utility pole as housing and a granary in previous years, too.

A White-breasted Nuthatch busily looking for bugs in the oaks.

Katherine spotted this Anna’s Hummingbird gathering webs and watched as it returned with them to its nest.

We had heard that the Vermillion Flycatcher had been seen this year again at Joseph D. Grant. We were excited to spot it!

Bullock’s Orioles rival the Vermillion Flycatcher in beauty!

My Merlin app kept telling me that there was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the trees. This one was bopping around so much it was hard to get a photo.

Merlin also alerted me to the presence of a Lark Sparrow. I had last seen one in Aromas during the Christmas Bird Count.

Iridescent Tree Swallows having a conversation.

A pair of California Quail posing for their official portrait. :0

Despite seeing the Vermillion Flycatcher again this year, the highlight for me was the baby American Coots. I’d been hoping to see a baby ever since I saw a picture of one a few months ago. They look SO different than their parents, I would never have guessed they were coots.

(I’m surprised I’ve never seen any at Antonelli Pond since American Coots are always found there.) We saw at least two sets of coots with juveniles.

The video below has a “Lady and the Tramp” moment between the adult and one of the babies!

With all the different kinds of creatures we saw, Katherine and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip!

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