Heather Farm Wood ducks and Gallinule

Alan Bade

This afternoon we had errands in Walnut Creek, so I walked around the mostly natural pond at Heather Farm Park. There were two juvenile males and one beautiful adult male Wood duck out on the pond in full easy viewing. Also in full view was a Common gallinule on the rocks of the eastern shore of the island. An adult Black crowned night heron was on the western shore. https://ebird.org/checklist/S95450339

Unfortunately also in full view were two male teenagers illegally fishing. One had climbed over the fence where a no fishing sign is prominently placed at the northern outlet. The other one had two poles and was first fishing from the eastern viewing platform, then from the western side with the bench. Both of these locations have large no fishing signs.

These seem to be the same characters that I've spoken to before (politely) who seem to think the regulations don't apply to them. Only a small percentage of HFP is a natural area, plus there is another pond of similar size that allows fishing.

Last time one told me his uncle is a WC policeman, so they won't do anything (I don't believe it). I called the non-emergency police number 925-935-6400 that is posted next to the no fishing signs and reported them. The dispatcher was quite pleasant and said she'd tell their officers. Hopefully some action will be taken.

Quite a few members of MDAS have helped unwind fishing lines from ducks and other birds, some drowned from the lines. So, if you see illegal fishing, I encourage calling the police to report it. Also note it on your eBird report in the comments, making these incidents easier to track.

I must admit, I don't bird HFP as often as I used to as it seems like I encounter this behavior often, and it's upsetting. Sorry about the rant, but the Wood ducks and the Gallinule were great to see!
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

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