After getting snookered in San Francisco (too much fog, too many people and dogs on the beach, and no parking), I came back to the East Bay this afternoon and checked the easily accessible and quiet Middle Harbor Regional Park for returning shorebirds. The tide was about an hour or so past the high, and the mud flats kept revealing more birds as the water receded. An hour of birding revealed:
Least Terns-at least 6 actively feeding and calling, some quite close
Semipalmated Plovers-8, breeding and non-breeding birds
Western Sandpipers-around 10-12 birds, appeared to be worn adults
Dowitcher sp-2, very worn, appeared to be Short-billed with white bellies
The birds were all observed from the first breakwater.
Middle Harbor RP is located in the Port of Oakland; from I880 or I980, follow the signs to 7th St; follow 7th past the West Oakland BART station to the Port of Oakland; turn right into the park.