Clay-colored Sparrowfest on the Berkeley/Albany shoreline

Noah Arthur

I birded several fennel patches along the East Bay shoreline today. First I met up with the eagle-eyed, owl-eared Adrian Hinkle in the morning at Albany Bulb, where he had already spotted a Clay-colored Sparrow and a Nashville Warbler. I still needed both for the year, so after he left I poked around until I finally got good looks at the CLAY-COLORED on the path just west of the Burrowing Owl enclosure. Oh and speaking of BURROWING OWL... Adrian also spotted one flying around waaay up in the sky while we were at the Bulb -- not your typical sighting of this ground-dwelling raptor! Other migrants there included a getting-late WILLOW FLYCATCHER. 

After finishing up at the Bulb I went to the Cesar Chavez Park fennel, where the only mildly unusual bird (for an open fennel field and for this late in the season) was a female WILSON'S WARBLER. 

I had a hunch about the fennel grove just south of the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex along the Berkeley shoreline, and sure enough, there was a lot of bird activity in the blooming fennel there. Two more CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were the highlight, and warblers included a very drab ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER that may be an eastern 'celata.' 

Here are some Clay-colored photos in my ebird list from the sports complex fennel grove: (Note that the dropped pin location on the map is where I parked, to the south of where I saw the sparrows; the sparrows were immediately south of the Tom Bates Sports Complex parking lot.)

Good Birding and Go A's!

Noah Arthur (Oakland)

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