Mount Diablo Audubon had the annual late in the day high tide trip to Frank's Dump last evening. We had some good sightings of shorebirds with the sun at our backs. Within a few minutes of our arrival at the southwest corner, a Peregrine Falcon flew low across the back of the flats and scattered every bird out there. It took a while, but they finally settled again and we walked farther north so we could see them better.
The only larger shorebird was a fly-by Marbled Godwit. About 1500 Western Sandpipers were out there, Black-bellied Plovers with black bellies, some Red Knots, Short-billed Dowitchers, Snowy Plovers way in the back, and a few Wilson's Phalaropes. Patience is required to separate the Knots from the Dowitchers, but when they lift there heads it becomes very clear which is which.
A Least Tern flew past us over the flats, and before we left a Caspian Tern came in to roost. A photograph later showed a Semi-palmated Plover near the tern. Barn Swallows flew back and forth in front of us, and a Cliff Swallow and Tree Swallow were also seen by some.
The group split on the return, and those who returned south of the slough added a female Mallard, an Anna's Hummingbird, female Hooded Oriole, Back Phoebe and Lesser Goldfinch. We had a total of 31 species.
Hugh B. Harvey