I couldn't really remember how to get there but had a rough idea so I hit the road while lighting was still good. Some 40+ miles later I was heading south on 113 from Dixon. Red-tailed Hawks were VERY numerous here, along with Northern Harriers and an occasional Red-shouldered Hawk.
My first planned stop was at Clark Road to look for the reported Northern Shrike (a local rarity and one I see very infrequently these years). It didn't take long to see the bird and I was able to add the bird to my digiscoped lifelist as well. WOOT! Note the long bill, barred breast, and brownish back on this Northern. Loggerheads are much cleaner over all with stark white breast (lacking barring), more pronounced black mask, smaller bill, and uniform gray mantle.
Yellow-billed Magpie - digiscoped w/ Leica D-Lux3 camera through APO Televid spotting scope.
Yet another digiscoping lifer! This local Yellow-billed Magpie posed beautifully for me. Above sat an adult male Merlin of the light "Prairie" race (Falco columbarius richardsoni). I was torn as to which I should photograph first but the YB Mag won out in the end. Unfortunately, the Merlin zipped off as I took my pic, but you can't catch them all.
Between the numerous Red-tailed Hawks and Northern Harriers, I saw at least two Ferruginous Hawks and two different light morph Rough-legged Hawks along Flannery Road. A Prairie Falcon sat on dirt mounds in the middle of a field here as well.
Mountain Plover flock
The second Ferruginous Hawk sat in a field just beyond the intersection of Robinson Road. When I pulled off to see the chesty buteo, I saw oodles of warm brown "lumps" in the short grass field. I counted just under 200 in all in the warm evening light. Sleepy Mountain Plovers were scattered in a loose line disecting the field.
I watched the plovers tuck their heads in one by one in the fading light and finally, turned my car back toward Vallejo. I drove back fullfilled after a few hours of birding and as always I was happy I discovered birding!