American Kestrel at the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge
There were rumors "flying" about in birding circles this week about a Brant that made an appearance at the Beckwith Road viewing platform. Well, not rumors, it was actually there. It's only the fourth appearance by this goose species ever in our county. I'm not quite to the place where I drop everything in an effort to see a single rare bird, but I was in town on errands, so I went on out to the San Joaquin NWR to see what was happening. It was early in the afternoon which is not the best time to see the birds, and my low expectations were fulfilled. The geese flock was nearly a mile away. There was not much else going on, but as I was leaving, I saw an American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) perched on the telephone wires.
It was not as skittish as they often are, and didn't fly off, so I got a couple of shots. They are colorful little falcons.
It looks like some Snow Geese and Ross's Geese have begun arriving in the valley. I could see a flock at the pond in the great distance, along with the Cackling Geese.