Yesterday Dr. Michael Park and I enjoyed a nice day birding around Contra Costa county.
We started at 6:45 at Meeker Slough in part to look for some recently reported Red Knots. While we failed to find the knots (quickly becoming a Contra Costa nemesis of mine), we did find a few species of note:
Ridgeway's Rail-3 including one seen
HORNED LARK-1 heard flying over. Very odd site record.
We headed to Point Isabel, which was fairly slow. However, highlights included:
On to Canal Boulevard, we found these birds of interest roosting on Brooks Island:
BRANT-3 continuing birds
Caspian Tern-20 (they'll be gone pretty soon)
Sandpiper Spit held:
Miller/Knox was our most productive bayside spot, and it had quite a few migrants. Notables included:
Willow Flycatcher-1 A long overdue county bird for me
Hooded Oriole-2 A Contra Costa nemesis of Mike's
The Sewage Ponds held little of note, but Point Molate had some activity, such as:
We were ready to head to east county, but then heard the news. Headed to Jewel Lake instead. We walked down the main trail to the spillway. We waited about 15 minutes, when the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH started calling. Spent another hour and a half birding the region, looking through migrant after migrant. It was a pretty nice diversity for Contra Costa county. Highlights for this spot included:
Black-throated Gray Warbler-2
Finally making it to East County by 4:00PM, we started at Iron House Sanitary District. As I expected, the shallow pond that normally holds the best birds, was dry. Still, it was diverse, as this spot often is, and held:
Continuing east, we headed to Bethel Island, which in a brief search revealed:
California Towhee-1 (a recent colonist of east county)
Piper Slough, at the end of the road, held:
We headed south, trying to go to Clifton Court forebay, but due to a navigational fluke, ended up overshooting. We then opted to go to the Byron WTP, where we found:
LESSER YELLOWLEGS-1 (only my third in Contra Costa)
All in all, another fine day in Contra Costa county. 123 species total.