Oh what a magical place the San Rafael Valley is! Reports have been coming in of Baird's Sparrows, Short-eared Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, McCown's Longspurs and White-tailed Kites, so I certainly wasn't sour over the fact that our "work" took us right in the middle of it all. In fact, we saw all these birds, and most of them on our surveys!
The Short-eared Owls stole the show. After our first transect, upon returning back to our vehicle, I was tickled to see a Short-eared Owl hunting the field opposite the one I just came from! And this was at 9am!
A little further up the road, 2 more were hunting and doing some acrobatic dives towards prey. Then, on my next transect, I flushed another from 2 meters! Throw in the numerous White-tailed Kites, Northern Harriers, Kestrils, Prairie Falcons and Red-tails and you have a great day of surveys!