October 20, 2019

St. John's Cemetery: Birds

Sat., Oct. 19: Right at 5:00 PDT, I walked into St. John's Cemetery, San Mateo. Weather: mostly sunny with some high clouds as well as high fog visible to the north and west; west winds 4-7 mph; approx. 60 deg. F. (at 4:56 SFO reported 62 deg., 73% humidity, WSW 11 mph). My goal was to see and photograph birds; I stayed in the southern two acres of the cemetery, which tends to see a fair amount of bird activity in the hour or two before sundown. I had to wait 10 minutes for a dogwalker to leave, then had the cemetery to myself.

As usual, there were quite a few American Robins. I counted approx. 20, but but was difficult to count accurately because they were in almost constant motion. The Am. Robins moved back and forth from the trees around the edge of the cemetery to the lawns, sometimes taking shelter in the few trees that grow in the middle of the cemetery; I did not see any birds feeding. Also as usual, there were a number of American Crows; I counted approx. 8, though I heard others in the area.

A female Northern Flicker was kind enough to land on the lawn where I could photograph her. 2 Black Phoebes were active, one perching on a funerary sculpture, and the other working from the Coast Live Oaks near the caretaker's cottage. A small flock of about 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers were active in these same oak trees. 3 House Finches perched in the top of the linden tree next to the parking lot.

2 Dark-eyed Juncos were active along the edge of the gravel drive through the cemetery; it looked like they were getting something from the weeds along the edge of the drive (seeds?). I saw perhaps 6-8 other Dark-eyed Juncos in the trees along the edges of the cemetery.

Since I was primarily photographing, I did not keep an accurate list or count of birds. In addition to the species mentioned above, I also heard: Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Steller's Jay.

At about 5:45, high fog to the west began blocking the sun. Bird activity also dropped at this time (except for the robins and crows). I left by 5:55.

Posted on October 20, 2019 14:11 by danlharp danlharp | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Archives