Bradford Island today (6/1) and a little bit of some other places.

Ethan Monk <z.querula@...>

Birded the delta from about 7:30am to 2pm with sharp, young birder Lucas "I have really good eyes" Stephenson.
Conducted a Christmas Bird Count-style census of Bradford Island, walking most of the island and keeping running tallies of all birds.

While waiting for the ferry to depart, we heard singing from the willows to our right a single Chat and Blue Grosbeak. Not much else.

BRADFORD 8am-12pm. (
Circumnavigated the island counterclockwise. From ferry, we proceeded North along the levee road. Halfway up the island, we turned to the West, driving about ¾ of a mile into the middle of the island before turning North. Drove until reconnected with levee road. Proceeded to the left, counterclockwise until the ferry. Along the Central Road and East levee road, we walked most of the distance along the side of the willows. Notable sightings:

1 BELL’S VIREO heard singing was possibly a returning bird, although it was singing along the North end of the Island’s central road, as opposed to the two Bell’s that resided right next to the levee last year. If this is a returning bird, it has moved about 1.5 miles from where it was previously. I highly encourage everyone to check the original location (38.0690643, -121.6493793) for vireos in the following days to confirm if this singing bird is a different individual.

*Possible REDSTART chipping and seen briefly here: (38.0802946, -121.6636102). We only saw this bird once for a fraction of a second before it disappeared into the willows, so I don’t feel certain calling it, but I am not certain as to what else it could be. A warbler flipping a seemingly long tail, calls like a Yellow. I could make out no colors or patterning, and I just saw the bird's tail end.

18 YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT is a new county high count (the previous count was 8, I believe). This was a very careful and meticulous count of the island’s chats. In three separate spots we had 3 easily detectable at once. We saw 8, maybe 9, the rest were singing non-stop. Chat song was ubiquitous this morning. Some of these birds might be migrants.

3 Willow Flycatcher. 1 along levee road (in old Bell’s vireo spot) and 2 along the Central road in the willows. Should be investigated as a possible breeder.
1 Tricolored Blackbird. Flyover male.
2 Allen’s Hummingbirds. Small colony like on Bethel on North side of Island.
3 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 2 males and 1 female were at different locations around the island.
4 Western Wood-Pewee. Apparently the first hotspot record. Very vocal.
6 Blue Grosbeak
5 Ash-throated Flycatchers
1 Swainson's Thrush
2 Pac-slopes
10 Yellow, 1 Wilson's and 1 Orange-crowned Warbler

To access island, buy $7.50 ticket at Oakley Valero. Ferry times posted online, just do a search for Bradford Island Ferry. (If you decide to bird here, be careful. Few people will bother you if you stay on the levees but be careful with where you point your camera. Walk off the levee at your own risk.)

PIPER SLOUGH 12:30pm-2pm. (
Walked the willows at Piper Slough. Fairly quiet.
1 Pewee, 1 Willow Fly, 1 Yellow, 2 Blue and 3 Black-headed Grosbeak, 1 Ash-throat, 1 Warbling Vireo, in terms of migrants. We also had several kettles of Swainson’s Hawks pass over head, totaling to a counted 43 birds.

Good birding,
Ethan Monk

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