Contra Costa sightings


We have been seeing an adult and a young Common Gallinule at the mostly natural pond in Heather Farm Park.  This is in the Ygnacio Valley of Walnut Creek.  Also there for the last week or so are two Pied-billed Grebes, one of which is less than adult.  Most days there is some combination of waders, either Green Heron, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron or Great Blue Heron.  Up to 5 Killdeer have been seen on the ball fields across from the pond.
This afternoon at McNabney Marsh adjacent to I-680 in Martinez, the previously reported Black Skimmer was still present.  It prefers the flat, grassy island best seen from the parking lot at Waterbird Park at the northeast corner of the marsh.  A scope is helpful.
Midway south along the marsh is an Osprey platform, which was erected by Mt. View Sanitary several years ago.  Today I saw two Ospreys sitting in attendance at the platform.  This is best seen from the viewing platform along the entry road to Mt. View Sanitary at the south end of the marsh.  Also at the south end were 7 Pied-billed Grebes and 5 Killdeer.  Lots of Mallards were scattered throughout the marsh and at the north end a number of Dowitchers, Stilts and Greater Yellowlegs.
At Waterbird Pond farther east on Waterbird Way and at the entrance to Acme Landfill, I counted 54 Black-necked Stilts.  It was well over 90° when I was out there and did not realize that my tee-shirt was becoming wet with sweat until I was leaving the landfill entrance.
Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek

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