Friday in Heather Farm


Walt D and I met in the park this morning and he had a 5-heron day, for me it was 4, and together we had a 2-merganser day.  It was the common waders seen by Walt; he had a Great Blue Heron, in the concrete pond near the private Seven Hills School, while approaching the park entrance over the Contra Costa Canal.  When we looked later together, it was no longer present.  And while I saw the Green Heron, Walt only heard it.

We were near the big oak with the green bench on the west side of the large, mostly natural pond, when another birder showed us a photo of a male Common Merganser.  This bird was located in the concrete pond near the community building.  We more or less raced our bikes in that direction and there it was.

While we were looking in the other concrete pond for the by then absent Great Blue Heron, we found a male Hooded Merganser.

There has been lots of activity this week, with widely varying numbers of birds.  At one point I counted 141 adult gulls on the north ball field, today it was about a dozen on the farthest south field.  They seem to be pretty evenly mixed between Ring-billed and Short-billed Gulls.  The numbers of Canada Geese also varies widely from more than 100 to around 20. 

The ducks are doing the same.  One day I had a pair of female Common Goldeneyes, another day a single Ring-necked Duck.  Today it was the mergansers.

A new year and new birding adventures . . . .

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

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