Continuing Alameda rarities + more

Logan Kahle

Hi all,
Today Jeff Miller and I did a run through Alameda county in hopes of finding some of the previously reported vagrants.

Coyote Hills:

While driving near the fields, we were able to find a few Cackling Geese mixed in with the Canadas. As we continued, I heard a bizarre Phoebe-like call which intrigued me. We quickly pulled over and started pishing. After a short while, sure enough, a SWAMP SPARROW flew out of a nearby bush. It was quite fun to have both a Swamp Sparrow and a genuine Black Phoebe in ear-shot at one time.

As we continued to the main boardwalk we saw more of the common species. We then walked to an overlook where we were able to see one of the continuing WHITE-FACED IBIS. On our walk back to the car, we saw a Merlin fly over.

Pacific Commons Linear Park:

Shortly after arriving, we noticed the huge (primarily Tricolored) Blackbird flock. After following the flock, we came across an opening with a few birds. We were soon able to find the continuing YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD feeding amongst the swarm. Jeff was able to show me two Tree Swallows foraging above the ponds.

Arrowhead Marsh:

Arriving a little after 10:30, the tide was on our side. I was quite shocked by the sheer number of Common Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens, as they seemed to occupy every bush! However, after intensive searching for about 20 minutes, I was able to relocate the NELSON'S (sharp-tailed) SPARROW, who offered amazing views. There was also one Clapper Rail (low count?).

Unfortunately, at subsequent stops, the birding deteriorated with the weather.

Oyster Bay:

Despite searching pretty hard for the sparrow, we failed to find anything more than White- and Golden-crowns.

Berkley Aquatic Park:

Surprisingly, we missed all of the rarities. Crummy weather was certainly a factor, though. We were forced to be satisfied with Forester's Terns.

Vincent Park:

For some reason, people haven't been reporting from here recently, we decided to give it a shot. The rocks/beach contained the following shorebirds:
~20 Dunlin
~10 Sanderling
~5 Black Turnstones
3 Western Sandpipers
3 Least Sandpipers
2 Black Oystercatchers
1 Long-billed Curlew
1 Spotted Sandpiper
1 Black-bellied Plover

I was shocked to only find one Surf Scoter, and we had no luck with either the Black Scoters of the Long-tailed Ducks.

Good birding,
Logan Kahle
San Francisco

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