Shell Ridge Ash-throated Flycatcher, Golden-crowned kinglet, warblers, Lazuli bunting

Alan Bade <alanbade@...>

Yesterday we went for a midday hike in Walnut Creek's Shell Ridge open space, starting at Borges Ranch (lower parking lot open, no problem social distancing). We looped around to Twin Ponds and Bullfrog pond and back. At Twin ponds, there's a small stream (water is getting low) that feeds the two ponds from the southeast with brush and trees on both sides. Here we saw; Ash-throated FC, Wilson's warbler, Orange-crowned warbler, Black-throated gray warbler, Nashville, Townsend's, a Cassin's vireo and a male Lazuli bunting. I think the Twin Ponds are a little tree-lined oasis in the grass covered hilltops of Shell ridge. While we ate lunch at Twin Ponds, a Golden-crowned Kinglet worked the oak above us. Later, near Bullfrog pond we saw another Lazuli bunting. At the start of our hike we ran into Dan Bylin (park ranger) who told us he had seen a Lazuli, so we were happy to also see them.

At Twin Ponds, we almost thought the Nashville was a MacGillivary's. We had seen MacGillivary's a lot in the eastern Sierras, so when we saw a gray headed, yellow bellied warbler with a standout white eye ring, we thought of MacGillivary's. I thought the gray hood went all around the throat and seemed a little darker than a Nashville's. But I don't know if MacGillivary's even come here or if so, much later. So I counted it as a Nashville and tricks of the understory lighting. Maybe it was a female or immature and so didn't have the fuller yellow throat. It was a pretty quick, though still full glance at the bird. Maybe I am after-the-fact imagining, but I thought the eyering was broken. Unfortunately, no photo of that bird.

List and mediocre photos here, I need a longer lens;

Has anyone seen MacGillivary's around here? Is it a later season arrival, if so? As someone whose enthusiasm exceeds my birding skills, I appreciate what I learn (and corrections) from this Sightings list!

Thanks, Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

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