Re: High number of wood ducks @ Valle Vista it’s a.m.

Fred Werner

Does anyone have info on why the Upper San Leandro Reservoir has been lowered so much, why EBMUD is cutting so many trees in the Valle Vista area, and what their plans are?  Went to Valle Vista today and was shocked to see the reservoir doesn't even reach there at the moment.  The only water was restricted to the old creek, carving a deep channel through the broad desolate mudflats, with channel banks so steep you can't see the water (let alone the few birds) in most of it.  Very few waterbirds, no grebes or geese, the few ducks and coots mostly confined to the stretch around the farthest bend visible in the distance from the main trail.

Similarly, the creek as it runs under the bridge is very shallow with steep barren banks on both sides.  First time I've been there and not seen a single bird from the bridge in either direction.

Also, lots of trees have been cut along the trials as mentioned earlier.  Even if they're non-native, it seems like another habitat disruption. Would be great to hear some explanation of EBMUD's plans around this normally fabulous spot.

- Fred Werner

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 9:29 AM <rudebuschj@...> wrote:

This morning around 9:00 I counted 16 wood ducks at Valle Vista, the highest by far I’ve seen here. The caveat being that a spotting scope is almost certainly required because of how distant they are in that main water channel. The four canvasback also continue, as well as some other mixed waterfowl (again, quite far out).

Other than that and the varied thrush I heard from the parking lot, the overall diversity and quantity here continues to be lower than average. Just one line RTHA as far as raptors go. Water levels in the res are very low. Trails are a little muddy but not bad, and there’s been some tree work done recently. Large oak has toppled over on the Riche Loop but someone has cut a path around it through the brush.

I will have a complete eBird list you can find under my name I’m the hotspot but I don’t have the link at the time of writing this.

Happy birding,

Jane in Orinda, CA

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