Orinda Connector, and Inspiration Trail


Paid a visit, this morning, to the Orinda Connector Trail starting at 
Bear Creek Rd. about 7:30. With the temperature around 60F, 
and clear skies, spring conditions seemed just right. And being Sunday, background
noise along Camino Pablo was at a minimum.

Descending into that old growth watershed beneath the canopy of massive Sycamores, 
gnarly oaks, and California Bay Laurel always inspires a head full of 
storybook imagery--think Sendak or the brothers Grimm. 

Not too far in a very bright WILSON'S WARBLER sang while foraging. A bit further
away, two WARBLING VIREOS added to things. A couple of STELLER'S JAYS contested
with each other, and two additional Wilson's were spotted. I then turned right on to
the Bear Creek Trail, taking it, eventually, to the foot of the Briones Dam spillway. More
Warbling Vireos were heard, a few brilliant WESTERN BLUEBIRDS seen, at least 20 
nearby, just out of sight. I would later find two more, as I had expected, in the reeds 
at the base of the spillway. Upon my return, I had a singing BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK
atop as small oak along the trail just outside a fenced area of the watershed. 

Before morning left, I wanted to head up Wildcat Canyon to Inspiration Point, and see if I 
could get a look at LAZULI BUNTINGS along Inspiration Trail, the entrance to which is just north 
of the Nimitz Trail head. This is EBMUD property and requires a permit, simply obtained online. 
Heading out, I promptly heard a WRENTIT, and moments later, an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, high
up and at a distance. The buntings are usually found ~1/4 mile walk down the trail, and right where it
makes a sharp turn just before passing beneath the high voltage lines. One bunting was singing as 
I made my approach; two others were heard in the distance, one of which flew up and perched
just ahead, affording me a nice look at this particularly attractive bird. As I was leaving the site, two
WHITE PELICANS cruised effortlessly over the San Pablo Reservoir.

Good birding and stay well, everyone.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

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