One of the dependable birds that I see on my walks along the Tuolumne River are the American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). They are certainly not as common as Starlings or Scrub Jays, but there is a pair that consistently shows up in the treetops. I'm not usually close enough for good shots, but once in awhile one of them perches in near the trail keeping an eye on me. That's how I got this shot yesterday.
I caught the Kestrel pair last August in the top of one of the huge oak trees along the river. I have no idea if they had a nest this year or not, but I'll be watching more carefully as spring rolls around.