Contra Costa county 8/30/14


Logan Kahle
 

Hi all,
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:
Northern Pintail-2
Green-winged Teal-2
Ridgeway's Rail-3 including one seen
Black Turnstone-5
Belted Kingfisher-1
HORNED LARK-1 heard flying over. Very odd site record.

We headed to Point Isabel, which was fairly slow. However, highlights included:
Northern Pintail-1
Osprey-1
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Yellow Warbler-1

On to Canal Boulevard, we found these birds of interest roosting on Brooks Island:
BRANT-3 continuing birds
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Caspian Tern-20 (they'll be gone pretty soon)

Sandpiper Spit held:
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Black Turnstone-3
Yellow Warbler-1

Miller/Knox was our most productive bayside spot, and it had quite a few migrants. Notables included:
Black-bellied Plover-6
Ring-billed Gull-2
Belted Kingfisher-2
Willow Flycatcher-1 A long overdue county bird for me
Barn Swallow-1
Yellow Warbler-11
Lazuli Bunting-1
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:
Pelagic Cormorant-1
Semipalmated Plover-6
Osprey-2
Belted Kingfisher-2
Townsend's Warbler-2

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:
Band-tailed Pigeon-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Brown Creeper-4
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH-1
Yellow Warbler-4
Black-throated Gray Warbler-2
Townsend's Warbler-7
Hermit Warbler-1
Wilson's Warbler-8
Western Tanager-1
Black-headed Grosbeak-1


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:
Cinnamon Teal-2
Northern Harrier-2
Virginia Rail-4
Red-necked Phalarope-6
Loggerhead Shrike-1
House Wren-1
Yellow Warbler-2
Bullock's Oriole-1


Continuing east, we headed to Bethel Island, which in a brief search revealed:
Red-shouldered Hawk-1
American Robin-1
Yellow Warbler-2
California Towhee-1 (a recent colonist of east county)

Piper Slough, at the end of the road, held:
California Quail-1
Green Heron-1
Black-chinned Hummingbird-1
Western Wood-Pewee-1
Willow Flycatcher-2
House Wren-1
American Robin-1
Common Yellowthroat-5
Orange-crowned Warbler-5
Yellow Warbler-7
California Towhee-1
Lazuli Bunting-1
Bullock's Oriole-1

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:
Spotted Sandpiper-1
LESSER YELLOWLEGS-1 (only my third in Contra Costa)
Western Sandpiper-1
Least Sandpiper-1
Long-billed Dowitcher-3
Red-necked Phalarope-8


All in all, another fine day in Contra Costa county. 123 species total.

Good birding,
Logan

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