I visited the Bell’s Vireo on Bradford Island in Oakley, CA, this afternoon from 1:30 - 4 pm. I parked on the road shoulder near the ferry dock and walked onboard (alternatively, you can drive on to the ferry and on Bradford Island). It’s a short hop and a fun ride from Jersey Island to Bradford Island. After a half-hour stroll on the flat road I reached the aforementioned dropped-pin spot (OK cell signal) and heard the Bell’s Vireo singing! From the road, I walked down the grassy slope (a narrow birders’ “goat path” and a magenta sock tied to some grass were helpful visual aides!) to the edge of the fennel patch that’s in front of the willows and stood next to the barbed wire fence (cows are on the other side). The vireo was actively moving around the willows but sang persistently which helped me find it- and get a few good scope views, too. In between vireo sightings: Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Oriole, Bullock’s Oriole, Western Kingbird, Blue Grosbeak, Chat (several sang along the road and one flew out of the fennel and into the willows), American Goldfinch, Brewer’s Blackbird, House Finch, Raven, and Barn, Cliff and Tree Swallows... and Great Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons along the water’s edge. While I waited for the 5 pm ferry, a river otter swam by, a Caspian Tern flew over and a Northern Harrier soared overhead.
I bought a ferry ticket ($8) at Gas N Save (Valero) on E. Cypress Road. From E. Cypress Rd. take Jersey Island Rd. to its (northeast) end for the ferry dock. As Logan mentioned, the ferry is on the hour and the last one’s at 5 pm. The ferry’s dockhand asked me if I’d found The Rare Bird: Yes!
A big Thank You to Mark and Lucas for finding the special vireo- and thanks to everyone for sharing info! It was my first visit to Bradford Island and I look forward to returning.