Bradford Island


Four of us birded Bradford Island today arriving on the 9:00 AM ferry and leaving on the 1:00 PM ferry.
We heard the Bell's vireo singing on territory at the previously reported location. It also perched and return to the same perch on a bare branch fairly had in the willow. Seen well in a scope.

Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to drive the road in the middle of the island as on the southern side near the ferry landing, the gate on the road has been locked. On the northern side, there is a turn to the road near some houses; however about halfway down the island, another gate was locked and we had to turn around. The part that we did drive had high bushes on both sides so it was not that great for finding birds. It was much better on the levees.

We ran into the same person that Jeff Hoppes did and got the same message. The guy is about 60 years old and drives a red truck with a dog (border collie or Australian Shepherd type. He lives north of the vireo location past the other dock and his property is entirely enclosed with a wood fence on the right side of the road as you travel north with Eucalyptus trees near the fence. We ate lunch at that location and he drove up and said we would have to leave at first claiming the island was private. We mentioned that the levee road was public property and at first he said agreed but then claimed we were on his private property since he has an easement on the other side of the road. When I again mentioned that we had check with delta engineers, he said," Would you like to have me check that check that by me calling the sheriff." Tthat is really a idle threat as its an island and I doubt very much that the sheriff's department  are going to run out and take the ferry there to get someone off levee roads. However, to avoid further escalation we left while he stayed in his parked truck until we drove off.  He is a thoroughly unpleasant person who wants the island to be private. He mentioned that Webb Island didn't allow people to get off there and obviously wished his island was the same.

I had done some checking on the island before going. There are many parcels of land on the island, few houses and although they pay Contra Costa taxes on the properties  and a reclamation tax to keep the ferry open, this is one of the places that exists only because of tax payers keeping the levees repaired.

We also saw at least 5 Blue Grosbeaks and heard at least 4 chats.

Mary Krentz
Oakland, CA

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