Date   
Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

blofbern1
 

Yesterday afternoon around 4 PM I saw a male Surf Scoter in very shallow, sheltered water just inland from the large driftwood sculptures. The time of year and the setting both seemed unusual.
Ken Berniker
El Cerrito

Topic closed

Aaron Maizlish
 

All,

No politics, no ad hominem attacks, if you have a problem with the direction a conversation is going please reach out to your moderator. I am not going to let this list go into any nasty direction, that should be a thing of the past.

I think Ethan is correct that speculation on a bird’s identity is probably best done in private communication in order to not crowd everyone else’s inboxes. What this has to do with a free society of “Trumbers” is frankly beyond me. Let’s keep this list about the joy of birds.

Meanwhile, I am at Elsie Roemer in Alameda right now admiring thousands of shorebirds.

Thank you,

Aaron Maizlish
Volunteer moderator.

On Aug 7, 2020, at 1:20 PM, Steve Taylor <s-taylor@...> wrote:

Once again this group has shown they want to police everything. This does not happen in a free society. You must be Trumbers?

locked Why

Steve Taylor
 

Once again this group has shown they want to police everything. This does not happen in a free society. You must be Trumbers?

locked Re: Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

Ethan Monk
 

Hi everyone,

I hate to be the one to send this message, but maybe it would be best if we send our ideas to Mr. h3m@... privately instead of doing a group reply? I think this is a good discussion to have but I think it would be much more productive if h3m@... follows up to the group after someone’s private email to him contains the bird that he thinks was correct. That way we see 2 emails on this topic. The question and the conclusion. 

Thanks for considering,

Ethan Monk

Ethan

On Aug 7, 2020, at 11:53 AM, Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:


Size seems a bit off, and we wouldn't expect it anyway; but the first thing that came to my mind was Pyrrhuloxia.

Kay Loughman
in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border  

Hilary Powers wrote on 8/7/2020 11:47 AM:

It's an odd time of year, but have you considered Ruby-crowned Kinglet? I've seen them with so much red it looked like they were wearing puffy red shower caps....

On 8/7/2020 5:20 AM, h3m@... wrote:
I'd enjoy hearing your comparable experiences and readings. Oh, and your ID?
Last Saturday, August 1, as I walked back to the car at Las Trampas. . . . well, I mulled forever, and finally added the following to my eBird entry:
After long thought, I’m adding this to the record.  At 10:15 a.m. there perched, at the very crown of an isolated live oak, a small, plain tan-grey bird.  In its plumage and stubby shape it made me think of an Oak Titmouse with its crest raised, except that the crest was bright scarlet.  Viewing conditions were excellent, with the sun at about 4 o’clock as I faced 12 o’clock toward the bird; clear sky, no wind.  GPS coordinates of the perch are:  37.815709, -122.047016.   The bird was in profile facing east, motionless, and appeared to be sipping or nibbling, its bill in contact with something.  I had it in my binocs for a few seconds, then fumbled for my camera.  I missed with a single shot as the bird flew northwest in a straight line at the same elevation with a rapid, steady wingbeat.  A tinge of the reddish color was still in evidence amid the pale greyish as it flew away.  It was not a hummingbird nor an Orange-crowned Warbler nor a Purple or House Finch.  Maybe an immature Cedar Waxwing picked up red pollen or juice on its head and  the crest was raised, perhaps involuntarily, as a drying or self-cleaning measure.  Location and pose were right – but the size, shape, and flight style were wrong for a Waxwing.  So, despite its unlikely locale and behavior, my guess comes back to an accidentally colorful Titmouse.

-- ~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~ ~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~ ~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~


    


locked Re: Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

Kay Loughman
 

Size seems a bit off, and we wouldn't expect it anyway; but the first thing that came to my mind was Pyrrhuloxia.

Kay Loughman
in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border  

Hilary Powers wrote on 8/7/2020 11:47 AM:

It's an odd time of year, but have you considered Ruby-crowned Kinglet? I've seen them with so much red it looked like they were wearing puffy red shower caps....

On 8/7/2020 5:20 AM, h3m@... wrote:
I'd enjoy hearing your comparable experiences and readings. Oh, and your ID?
Last Saturday, August 1, as I walked back to the car at Las Trampas. . . . well, I mulled forever, and finally added the following to my eBird entry:
After long thought, I’m adding this to the record.  At 10:15 a.m. there perched, at the very crown of an isolated live oak, a small, plain tan-grey bird.  In its plumage and stubby shape it made me think of an Oak Titmouse with its crest raised, except that the crest was bright scarlet.  Viewing conditions were excellent, with the sun at about 4 o’clock as I faced 12 o’clock toward the bird; clear sky, no wind.  GPS coordinates of the perch are:  37.815709, -122.047016.   The bird was in profile facing east, motionless, and appeared to be sipping or nibbling, its bill in contact with something.  I had it in my binocs for a few seconds, then fumbled for my camera.  I missed with a single shot as the bird flew northwest in a straight line at the same elevation with a rapid, steady wingbeat.  A tinge of the reddish color was still in evidence amid the pale greyish as it flew away.  It was not a hummingbird nor an Orange-crowned Warbler nor a Purple or House Finch.  Maybe an immature Cedar Waxwing picked up red pollen or juice on its head and  the crest was raised, perhaps involuntarily, as a drying or self-cleaning measure.  Location and pose were right – but the size, shape, and flight style were wrong for a Waxwing.  So, despite its unlikely locale and behavior, my guess comes back to an accidentally colorful Titmouse.

-- ~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~ ~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~ ~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~


    

locked Re: Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

Hilary Powers
 

It's an odd time of year, but have you considered Ruby-crowned Kinglet? I've seen them with so much red it looked like they were wearing puffy red shower caps....

On 8/7/2020 5:20 AM, h3m@... wrote:
I'd enjoy hearing your comparable experiences and readings. Oh, and your ID?
Last Saturday, August 1, as I walked back to the car at Las Trampas. . . . well, I mulled forever, and finally added the following to my eBird entry:
After long thought, I’m adding this to the record.  At 10:15 a.m. there perched, at the very crown of an isolated live oak, a small, plain tan-grey bird.  In its plumage and stubby shape it made me think of an Oak Titmouse with its crest raised, except that the crest was bright scarlet.  Viewing conditions were excellent, with the sun at about 4 o’clock as I faced 12 o’clock toward the bird; clear sky, no wind.  GPS coordinates of the perch are:  37.815709, -122.047016.   The bird was in profile facing east, motionless, and appeared to be sipping or nibbling, its bill in contact with something.  I had it in my binocs for a few seconds, then fumbled for my camera.  I missed with a single shot as the bird flew northwest in a straight line at the same elevation with a rapid, steady wingbeat.  A tinge of the reddish color was still in evidence amid the pale greyish as it flew away.  It was not a hummingbird nor an Orange-crowned Warbler nor a Purple or House Finch.  Maybe an immature Cedar Waxwing picked up red pollen or juice on its head and  the crest was raised, perhaps involuntarily, as a drying or self-cleaning measure.  Location and pose were right – but the size, shape, and flight style were wrong for a Waxwing.  So, despite its unlikely locale and behavior, my guess comes back to an accidentally colorful Titmouse.


    
-- ~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~ ~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~ ~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~

locked Re: Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

Michaela F.
 

Could it have been a Western Kingbird showing the red crown?

Michaela

On Aug 7, 2020, at 11:36 AM, Bo Forrest via groups.io <dforrest6=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Possibly a ruby-crowned kinglet?

locked Re: Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

Bo Forrest
 

Possibly a ruby-crowned kinglet?

locked Bright red crest -- any thoughts?

h3m@juno.com
 

I'd enjoy hearing your comparable experiences and readings. Oh, and your ID?
Last Saturday, August 1, as I walked back to the car at Las Trampas. . . . well, I mulled forever, and finally added the following to my eBird entry:
After long thought, I’m adding this to the record. At 10:15 a.m. there perched, at the very crown of an isolated live oak, a small, plain tan-grey bird. In its plumage and stubby shape it made me think of an Oak Titmouse with its crest raised, except that the crest was bright scarlet. Viewing conditions were excellent, with the sun at about 4 o’clock as I faced 12 o’clock toward the bird; clear sky, no wind. GPS coordinates of the perch are: 37.815709, -122.047016. The bird was in profile facing east, motionless, and appeared to be sipping or nibbling, its bill in contact with something. I had it in my binocs for a few seconds, then fumbled for my camera. I missed with a single shot as the bird flew northwest in a straight line at the same elevation with a rapid, steady wingbeat. A tinge of the reddish color was still in evidence amid the pale greyish as it flew away. It was not a hummingbird nor an Orange-crowned Warbler nor a Purple or House Finch. Maybe an immature Cedar Waxwing picked up red pollen or juice on its head and the crest was raised, perhaps involuntarily, as a drying or self-cleaning measure. Location and pose were right – but the size, shape, and flight style were wrong for a Waxwing. So, despite its unlikely locale and behavior, my guess comes back to an accidentally colorful Titmouse.

Heather Farm Thursday morning

rosita94598
 

Nothing really new, but both Ted Robertson and I separately saw a Pied-billed Grebe today.  If has been sticking around, it has certainly been very elusive.  Ted's eBird list is here:


That's it. 

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Heather Farm birds

rosita94598
 

Not a whole lot has changed in Heather Farm Park, which is why I have not reported.  We are seeing fairly regularly up to three Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night-Herons and Green Herons, but for me today it was only one Night-Heron.

More than 100 Canada Geese were on the ball field closest to Ygnacio Valley Road today; they move around depending on the mowing of the grass.

Today only one Red-shouldered Hawk was behind the owl box, sometimes one is there and one in a tree up the slope.

There must not have been any river otter activity, because the 60+ Mallards were scattered all over the large, mostly natural pond.  Just over a week ago, the City had a crew using a machine to skim the scum from the pond.

The Anna's Hummingbirds like to hawk small gnat-like insects and I saw that activity again today.

Yesterday I heard a Downy Woodpecker, today I heard a Nuttall's.  Also heard Crows and Scrub-Jays. 

The eucalyptus trees between the boat ramp and chin-up bars had lots of Bushtits high, House Finches and at least one Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  I also found a Song Sparrow for the first time since July 22.  I am sure they are around, they are quiet, now, and much harder to find.  In the same area were some Lesser Goldfinches.  I counted about 25 House Finches on the ground near the chin-up bars this morning.

Swallow activity is way down, too, but I had a couple of Barn and a couple of Cliff Swallows today.

The CA Towhees had been very active for quite a while, then were quiet like the Song Sparrows.  The last couple of days I saw them again near the wooden railing.  Yesterday 4 of them nearly crashed my bike as I watched them chasing and fussing on the grass.  When they finally landed on the sidewalk, they were joined by a fifth.  Today, one of them turned out to be a young Cowbird begging and being attended by an adult Towhee. 

On the other side of the ridge from the park, Fred Safier has recently had Western Tanagers, so I have been watching and listening, especially around the eucalyptus trees.  Not yet for me.

Hugh B.Harvey
Walnut Creek

Domestic?

Kristina Ketelsen
 

Could I get some weigh-ins on whether these ducks are Rouen or something else? Seen at Lake Temescal in Oakland. 
Thanks! 

Pelagic report - and Pelagic opportunities.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello all,

     My apologies for sending to various groups all at one time. But, this Saturday we did our first offshore pelagic of the season, from Half Moon Bay (San Mateo County). We have been doing trips to the Farallon Islands, but those have a limited time in deeper water, so I thought folks would be interested in knowing what is out there in the central CA offshore waters now. In short, it is pretty interesting and diverse with element suggesting this will be a warm water year with elements of the south moving north, and it is a season that is amazingly abundant as far as ocean productivity goes. We saw four species of storm-petrels, with groups of Ashy, and a scattering of Fork-tailed, Wilson’s, and Black storm-petrels. The Black are always of interest to us, since they do not always make it to our latitude, being dependent on what the conditions are like farther to the south. The weather was choppy, with a flatter ocean we would likely have found more and larger flocks of storm petrels. Where we found them, the water was warmer and more translucent, offshore water. We did find all three jaegers, as well as South Polar Skua which was early. There are good densities of Cassin’s Auklets out there, we found a gorgeous adult Tufted Puffin as well as the more expected alcids including Marbled Murrelets at the coast. Good numbers of Black-footed Albatross and nice densities of Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, earlier in the season Buller’s showed up (again early). Sabine’s Gulls are heading south, including our first juvenile of the season. Right now tens of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters are close to the beach in Half Moon Bay, this is a year with lots of anchovy, lots of krill and also squid. Abundance is the word. There is so much krill out there that the Cassin’s Auklets are trying to pull off a second brood due to the abundance of food. Meanwhile the Rhinoceros Auklets are feeding on 100% anchovy.

    The real oddity in the region has been the arrival of Bluefin tuna off Monterey, and Half Moon Bay. Big ones, averaging over 150 lbs each. This is not the norm, but is super exciting as it suggests northward movement of southern critters. Similarly, we had a good look at a Guadalupe Fur Seal offshore a little known marine mammal that seems to be found in warm water years. Warm offshore water has been peeking close to Monterey Bay recently. The combination of potential for some warm water birds offshore, and lots and lots of food closer to shore is great! We have consistently found awesome feeding congregations of Humpback Whales about 10 miles offshore. On this last trip we also found Fin Whale where the Cassin’s Auklets were (krill feeding we assume), and a super pod of hundreds and hundreds of Pacific White-sided Dolphins with a good number of the always dapper Northern Right Whale Dolphin. Blue Whale has been seen this year, but not this last weekend.

   It is early in the season and it is already pretty awesome offshore. I think this is going to be a great year for pelagics, and unfortunately not that many people are going to be able to enjoy it. We have a full schedule of trips out of Monterey and Half Moon Bay, Morro Bay is sold out, but are going with half or less of the boat capacity. On the trips we are encouraging people to be outside, in the breeze, social distance and to wear masks. As such, on the various trips we have done people have felt comfortable and safe. Key is to consider that the science clarifies that being outside, in the breeze, and in humid and salty air is a low risk situation. Crew are diligently disinfecting the boat, and ample sanitizer is available. One of the net benefits is a lot more room on the boats this year, and in Monterey keep in mind that the boats are much larger allowing for good spacing of birders and naturalists. Particularly this year, being out on the ocean is special, with nature abounding and away from the news, it is invigorating and good for the soul!

    Our next trip is an offshore Monterey trip on Aug 14, we are hoping to get into the real deep waters on this day and see if we can find some offshore murrelets and other goodies. The upcoming Farallon island trips are sold out. Our schedule of trips is here:

https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html

   See you at sea!

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Briones from Bear Creek Road--Monday

rosita94598
 

Pat Mahoney and I made a large circular walk this morning looking for the Western Screech-Owl and the Lewis's Woodpecker.  We did not see the Screech-Owl in the Madrone on the way out, but continued past the archery range and over the ridge to the intersection of the Old Briones Road and Valley Trails. 

We hung around the Valley Trail for 15-2- minutes looking in the snags for the Lewis's woodpecker, but all we could find was Acorn Woodpeckers and lots of Western Bluebirds in the dried thistles.

We returned on the Old Briones Road Trail, which is probably what we should have used to walk out.  We waked up and over a considerable ridge, which was nice, but not necessary.

We had some other nice birds along the way, including a small flock of Wilson's Warblers almost right off the bat, Heard Wrentits, Ash-throated Flycatcher, an upset American Kestrel being harassed by two hummingbirds, T Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks. 

Pat walked back to the Screech-Owl tree at the fork to Homestead Valley, while I continued to the parking lot and a hoped for lunch date with my friend.  Peter and I called off lunch after I finally contacted him by phone, but Pat sent me a very nice photo of the Western Screech-Owl in its hole.  Good for her persistence.  

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

moderated email

EBB-Archivist
 

@birdwideweb / BWWSightings

Re: Mystery Bird

Kay Loughman
 

All,
    Thank you for your suggestions about the identification of my "mystery" bird.  If this had been an identification contest, the folks who suggested "canary" would have won.  Beyond knowing the birds are very small and pale yellow, I am not familiar with canaries;  and, at first, was incredulous at the suggestion.  In the last few days, I've spent a lot of time on the web learning about canaries [not all are very small; there are many color patterns] , and looking for pictures of canaries that might be similar to the visitor at my feeder.   The best match was a Spanish Timbrado  (known primarily for its singing) which has many characteristics in common with "my" bird, including a pale, forked tail - unlike most other species I've considered.  It's only 5" long - smaller than my estimate of the visitor to my feeder.

Timbrado Canary

Have contacted a couple of breeders and a pet store to verify the identification.  No responses so far.

Kay Loughman

dalyhallie@... wrote on 7/30/2020 12:58 PM:
I believe this to be a type of canary -- probably a released pet. I have been seeing quite a few recently around the East Bay and San Jose so I don't know if there are more than usual or what is going on. I counted over 7 canaries at Grant Ranch in Santa Clara County just the other day. They are super variable in coloration but the bill shape, the random color patterning, and the yellow indicate to me that it is a captive canary (most similar to the "Atlantic Canary" type). 

Hallie Daly 
Alamo, California

kayloughman@... wrote on July 29, 2020 9:38 PM:

This afternoon I glanced out the window at one of the bird feeders, then reached for binoculars.  There were a dozen birds on the feeder: lesser goldfinches, house finches, and chickadees.  But on the squirrel baffle below the feeder was a strange-looking bird I couldn't identify with bare eyes or binoculars.  So I grabbed the camera and inched closer to the double-pane window - not wanting to cause any of the birds to fly.  I took about 20 pictures, none of them good, before a scrub-jay sent everyone away.   See three photos here.  Looks like there's a grosbeak in this bird's heritage; but what else?

Kay Loughman
in the hills on the Berkeley-Oakland border

Re: Mystery Bird

Ralph
 

Hallie is correct, this is a Domestic Canary.

East Contra Costa

Ethan Monk
 

Hi All, a quick note--

This morning I birded Clifton Court Forebay between the parking lot and Eucalyptus Island. I was joined for most of the time by Srikant Char. Birds of note included 1 previously unobserved Goldeneye, 3 Willet, 1 Godwit, 1 Snowy Plover, and 1 Black Turnstone. The Black Turnstone is the first inland record for Contra Costa, and the first in the Central Valley since May 2019, when there were 2 at the Davis WTP--Yolo's third county record. And this looks to be about the 5th inland Contra Costa record for Snowy Plover. It was away from the water, sitting on the yellow lines on the levee road, before flying off to the North.

Best,
Ethan

Hummingbirds on Grayson Creek

Alan Bade
 

Good morning- last Thursday, we saw some interesting hummingbirds along Grayson Creek near Oak Park Blvd during our monthly survey. There were two that were smaller than the Annas we normally see, and they were in almost the exact location of a Black-chinned we saw last summer. For me, female/immature Black-chinned and Annas are hard to distinguish. I thought I'd post this and see if anyone with more experience than I can help!

Here's the ebird checklist; https://ebird.org/checklist/S71964537

Here's a Flickr album with Susana's better shots; https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/albums/72157715316762178/with/50175864762/
In particular, look at "bird2" and "bird3". There are a few shots of each bird. "Bird3" was really small. Bird 2 and Bird 3 were reasonably tolerant of each other, but still sparred a little.

location; https://goo.gl/maps/inLWQe9EP93SWti96 or 37.935548, -122.065275

Thanks for any help. I learn a lot from these EBB postings.

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

Re: Mystery Bird

Hallie Daly
 

I believe this to be a type of canary -- probably a released pet. I have been seeing quite a few recently around the East Bay and San Jose so I don't know if there are more than usual or what is going on. I counted over 7 canaries at Grant Ranch in Santa Clara County just the other day. They are super variable in coloration but the bill shape, the random color patterning, and the yellow indicate to me that it is a captive canary (most similar to the "Atlantic Canary" type).

Hallie Daly
Alamo, California