Caspian Tern Heather Farm Walnut Creek


A Caspian Tern, and sometimes two, has been seen often in Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek's Ygnacio Valley.  Sometimes it is around 7 or 7:30 AM, sometimes close to mid-day, and like today, sometimes it is late in the afternoon. 

It was before 5:30 when Rosita called and told me she was watching a Caspian Tern fishing over the large, mostly natural pond.  I jumped on my bike and rode to the park where I saw it dive, then circle and fly the length of the pond.  It then disappeared.  Rosita had seen it catch two small fish.

In his Breeding Bird Atlas, Steve Glover wrote that the only known breeding site is Brooks Island off Richmond.  That information dates to 2008 and is probably still valid, unless there is some new as yet unknown breeding colony within the county. 

I have seen a Caspian Tern many times over the years flying over the large pond, and once n the mid-80s, I saw one at Lafayette Reservoir.  It seems like a very long commute for what appears to be a relatively small reward, but they must know what they are doing if it has worked for this many years.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

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