2/22/18: Long-tailed Ducks at Point San Pablo, Richmond; and other Shoreline sightings

Patricia Mahoney

Location: 1900 Stenmark Dr, Richmond US-CA (37.9636,-122.4191), Contra Costa County, California, US

Yesterday, 2/22/18, 1 PM, I visited Point San Pablo's harbor area for the first time, inspired by Teri and Chris Wills' ebird report and Tony Brake's subsequent EBB report (thanks all around!). It's a rustic area and the last stretch of road to the harbor is up and over and unpaved. I scoped the Bay from the end of the harbor, past the houseboats. It was cold and windy (gloves and layers helped) but after a few minutes of scanning the long raft of mostly Surf Scoters farthest from shore, I found the two female-type Long-tailed Ducks swimming close to each other. I found them a few times before they flew off together into the wind, over the line of scoters and out of sight. The male Long-tailed Duck was bobbing solo and preening near the end of the scoter flock. A raft of 1000+ Scaup was between the line of Scoters and the shore. Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and Eared Grebes were out there, as were gulls and large gatherings of Coots. Beautiful birds- and lots fun watching them brave the elements!

What an interesting place and special part of San Francisco Bay- the locals I spoke with called it "Paradise"!

On the way out, I pulled over to watch a pair of Osprey in a roadside platform nest... and hundreds of American Wigeon in a sheltered area closer to shore.

Later, during a brisk walk before the wind blew me back to my car at Richmond Marina Bay/Vincent Park: a Spotted Sandpiper was in a corner, on rocks bordering the water and a Red-necked Grebe was swimming near the yachts.

Pat Mahoney

On Feb 20, 2018, at 8:20 PM, 'Tony Brake' tonybrake@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

Yesterday I saw what were presumably the same 3 Long-tailed Ducks from the road leading to the Pt. San Pablo Harbor. They were among several thousand Surf Scoters and thousands of Scaup between Pt. San Pablo and Pt. Pinole. There were many, but smaller numbers of American Coots, Bufflehead, American Wigeon and gulls. It seems unusual to me that these birds have not exploited recent herring spawns (https://cdfwherring.wordpress.com/)  as much as in previous years.

Tony Brake
Pt. Richmond

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