Date   
Walnut Creek Heather Farm Sunday Dec. 11

resident
 

I got a new telephoto zoom lens a few days ago.  I was finally able to get to Heather Farm Park this afternoon to try it out on birds.

flowers and birds with new lens

The heavy clouds and low light levels weren't great for photography but there were birds to be seen.  Brian Murphy used to talk about a 4 heron day (counting egrets) at the park and I had one today.   Coots, seagulls, Canada geese, mallards, buffleheads and a few other things too.

Three ducks that I guessed were ring necks ducks rather than lesser scaups.  Any comments on that ID?

Bill Hunt

No. Cal. recap - SF/Oakland to Monterey and Pinnacles Nat'l Park

Scott Baron <baron.scott@...>
 

Hi,

First of all, I'd like to publicly thank of all you who offered tips on where to find my target birds in No. Cal.  I received a ton of responses, with many opinions on where to go and the best times.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to chase all of my target birds. 

Second, I had a wonderful trip to the region.  Good birds, good food, visits to touristy stuff and an amazing comeback by the Raiders on Dec. 4!

Rarest finds: a nice male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline on Sunday Dec. 4, as reported by Noah Arthur.  He also found a HARLAN'S RED-TAILED HAWK soaring south in late morning, which was cool to see.

I had a 4 grebe outing at Monterey Harbor on Friday Dec. 2, including a RED-NECKED GREBE.  It was foraging off of San Carlos Beach.

6 California Condors were pretty cool to see at Pinnacles Nat'l Park on Mon. Dec. 5.


Summary:

Wednesday Nov. 30
I managed to get to SF before sunset and birded Ocean Beach near my hotel, just south of Golden Gate Park.  Beautiful spot with gulls, Snowy Plover and other birds.  I was initially thrown off by the crows and ravens in SF because each are noticably smaller than I am used to seeing farther east.


Thursday Dec. 1
At sunrise I birded Ocean Beach with mostly the same species as the day before. 

I got my lifer Wandering Tattler thanks to some tips.  It was on the end of the closed off pier at Fort Mason, teetering like a Spotted Sandpiper.

Alcatraz Island was nice, fairly birdy.  Lots of sparrows and Western Gulls.


Friday Dec. 2
I did a seawatch with other birders at Point Pinos all morning.  Those birders were amazing and saw so many more birds than I did.  I felt like a beginner.  I was able to pick out some pelagics through my scope such as Short-tailed Shearwater, Black-vented Shearwater and Common Murre.  Others saw a Royal Tern.  We observed an imm. white morph Snow Goose hanging out on the big rock off to the west.  After I left I saw it near a pond a bit to the east of the point.

The Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary was pretty cool with over 1000 Monarchs wintering there.  The bird species there were routine.

Monterey Harbor was hopping, with a lot of birds scattered throughout - gulls, grebes, ducks and more.  The Red-necked Grebe, mentioned above, was the most uncommon bird that I observed.


Saturday Dec. 3
I wanted to see mature redwood forest so I went to Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz Co.  I hiked approx. 6 miles.  It was beautiful and very birdy.  The most common species were Varied Thrush and Acorn Woodpecker.  I glimpsed some Band-tailed Pigeons along the Middle Ridge Tr.

Sunday Dec. 4
I visited MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland.  My target was Ridgeway's Rail.  Many birders advised that high tide was best but it didn't fit into my schedule well so I tried low tide instead.  It worked - there were 5 of them.  Noah Arthur and I had great looks at a foraging Ridgeway's, plus we saw 2 others and heard 2 more.  Birds were abundant at this location, with thousands of ducks and a good variety of species.  As Noah reported, I found a male Barrow's Goldeneye and Noah pointed out a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk soaring overhead.

Birds seen at Oakland Coliseum during the Raiders - Bills game: Mourning Dove and Western, Thayer's, California, Glaucous-winged, Ring-billed Gulls.


Monday Dec. 5
I spent all day at Pinnacles Nat'l Park.  The east side was a little closer to where I was staying than the west side so that's where I went.  It was very birdy and scenic as well.  I hiked a few miles and also drove with stops along the road.  Cal. Quail were abundant in some areas.  Also common and widespread were Acorn Woodpecker, Cal. Scrub-Jay, White-crowned Sparrow and Golden-crowned Sparrow.  I enjoyed seeing Lawrence's Goldfinches along the road just inside the park entrance.  I hiked part of the Condor Gulch Trail and saw an adult California Condor soaring just before I reached the overlook.  At dusk (!) there were 5 Condors soaring along the ridge to the southeast of the campground, presumably looking for a place to roost.  A nice end to a long day.

On the way to the park a noisy flock of Yellow-billed Magpies foraged in a front yard.  On the way back from the park, after dark, a Barn Owl was sitting beside the highway.

Tuesday Dec. 6
I spent part of my last day striking out on target birds.  The Tropical Kingbird at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek was nowhere to be found.  A reported Western Screech-owl in Lafayette didn't show, either.


Happy birding!  Go Raiders!

Scott Baron
Gaithersburg, Md.

Martinez Shoreline Sunday morning high tide

rosita94598
 

High tide was about 10:30 AM today in Martinez, so I went to the Regional Shoreline thinking I could maybe find or hear a Black Rail.  It did not work, but tomorrow high tide will be about 11:30 and Tuesday closer to 12:30. The tides will be successively higher.  I visited via the end of Berrylessa Street, crossing the RR tracks and turning left to park next to the Martinez Sportsmen's Club.  I walked out to the corner bench near the hulk of the sailing ship Forester, which was almost totally underwater.

A Snowy Egret was hunting something very small in the pickleweed behind me, so small that I could not see what it was catching.  Out on the bend in the river there was a nice raft of diving ducks, including Surf Scoter, Scaups (possibly both species), 50-10 Common Goldeneyes, maybe a dozen Barrow's Goldeneyes (both sexes) and some Buffleheads.  A Clark's Grebe was also out there, along with a couple of Canada Geese on the shore downstream of my location.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Bald Eagle & Merlin - Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch - 12/10

Paul Schorr
 

Today at 12:30 along the east side of Contra Loma Reservoir, there was an adult Bald Eagle perched in a pine tree near the cattle corral. In addition, there was a female Merlin perched in a small deciduous tree right along the same road, just beyond the gravel/dirt parking lot by the corral.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch

Miller Knox Eurasian Wigeon

Sheila Dickie
 

Yesterday, Dec. 9, mid afternoon at Miller Knox Regional Shoreline Park there was a male Eurasian Wigeon seen from the RR tracks swimming with a few American Wigeon nearshore close to the Ferry Point end of the park. Also present same location two Black Oystercatchers and four Pelagic Cormorants. At north end of park two Cackling Geese were in with a large assembly of Canada Geese. Another flock of about 20 American Wigeon were swimming closer to Keller Beach. Out in the Bay there was a scattering of Bay ducks but light not good enough to see clearly.

Sheila Dickie
Richmond

Mt. Diablo Audubon Young Birders Club CBC

tracy_farrington
 

East Bay Birders,

Since we began in June of 2013, the Mt. Diablo Audubon Young Birders Club has participated, each year, in the Christmas Bird Count.This year, we would like to invite active or prospective young birders, and their parents or guardian, to join us for our portion of Mt. Diablo Audubon's central Contra Costa County CBC on Saturday, December 17th.


The Young Birders Club covers Heather Farm Park, and Howe Homestead Park, both in Walnut Creek. And in each of the past three years, we have made a significant contribution to Mt. Diablo Audubon's overall species count. 


Participants will gather in the parking lot on the east side of the natural pond in Heather Farm Park at 8am.

There you will check in with Kai Mills, one of our founding members and a superb young birder. Co-leading with Kai will be Dr. Ryan Janke, a post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, and a fine birder in his own right.


Here is a Google Maps link to the parking lot mentioned above:  https://goo.gl/maps/GdDjLhyrq822


After completing the count at Heather Farm, the group will caravan a couple of miles over to Howe Homestead Park and survey that location.


Please come and enjoy a morning of great birding and get yourselves introduced to others who share your interest.


Good birding,

Tracy Farrington

Walnut Creek

 

Walnut Creek Heather Farm Friday Dec. 9

rosita94598
 

The Tropical Kingbird was seen this morning at the south side of the large, mostly natural pond in Heather Farm Park this morning.  It was atop a smaller oak tree above the pond and near the chin-up bars between the large and concrete ponds.A Lark Sparrow was spotted by Fred Safier just a few minutes later in a nearby tree.

Lots of Crowned Sparrows, Buffleheads, but only one Ring-necked Duck.  A Great blue Heron was present along with a Double-crested Cormorant.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Martinez continuing Red-naped Sapsucker

Stephen
 

EBB'ers,


Just returned from seeing the RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER reported by Laura Look (EBB post #10252), Calvin Lou, and previously going back to Sept. 29th by Carla Din.  I observed it around 11:30 AM, in a light misty rain.


Bird was in the precise tree at the Martinez Regional Shoreline that Laura described: " His favorite tree was the corner tree just SW of the junction of that sidewalk & the E end of the Boardwalk/Killdeer Trail."  There was a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER sharing the same tree within 2-3 feet of the Red-naped.  


Earlier, over at Waterbird Park, I saw 2 male BLUE-WINGED TEAL.  They were in the pond adjacent to the junction of the I-680 off-ramp (north-bound) and Waterfront Road, sharing the space with numerous CINNAMON TEAL.


Good Birding,

Stephen Long

Oakland

 

Pacific Commons Linear Park in Fremont on 12/6/16

amhoch@aol.com
 

There were at least 2 male Redheads, 1 male Ring-Necked Duck, 2 male Green-winged Teal, & only 1 Ruddy Duck, plus Am. Wigeons & the usual ducks there.  There was a Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, a Green Heron & a Say's Phoebe.  These were all in & around the west (big) pond.  I didn't go to the little (south) pond or look for Burrowing owls.  If anyone sees a Burrowing Owl there, please let me know where.  I intend to have my class go there within a week.
I have been disappointed with duck populations this fall/winter at the places I usually go.  Alameda Creek in the Niles area has not been productive. Coyote Hills has much less water than I have seen before at this season.

 Please let me know of any good places very close to Fremont that have been productive.
Alice Hoch. Fremont 

Red Fox Sparrow, Orinda

Jim Chiropolos
 

The Red Fox Sparrow seen last winter in the yard was at the feeder for a short time this morning for the first time this winter season. Beautiful bird. Nothing like a cold spell to move birds around. - it was 39 degrees this morning.


Last winter I saw this bird three different times in the winter over three different months but it was never reliable.


Good Birding,

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda

San Leandro Marina

Bob Richmond
 

This afternoon at around 3:30 a dark morph Northern Fulmar was seen over the bay.

Bob

Barrow's Goldeneyes at Cypress Grove Park, Oakley - 12/5

Paul Schorr
 

Today we scouted out an area that Mt. Diablo Audubon Society covers during the Eastern Contra Costa County CBC. Between 2:00 - 2:30, we watched an apparent family of Barrow’s Goldeneyes on the small neighborhood lake that is adjacent to the park. The three birds consisted of an adult male and female and a first winter female. Sure hope that they stick around for the CBC. There were no other goldeneyes.

In addition, there was a single Ruddy Duck and a single American Coot, along with six Mallards on the lake.

Cypress Grove Park in Oakley can be reached by going east on Cypress Rd. and turning left onto Frank Hengel Way. Continue on Frank Hengel Way to the park and lake.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch

Peregrine Falcon at Point Pinole

kateh37@...
 

On Sunday afternoon I took a lovely walk through Point Pinole, and while there were not a lot of birds, they were good ones--an Osprey hunting along SF Bay, and a Kingfisher doing the same. A number of buffleheads and ruddy ducks floated just offshore. But the best of the day just off the pier on the pier. On the north side there are old wooden pilings, and one of these has a empty osprey nest on top. While checking it out, I spotted a Peregrine perched on top of the adjacent piling. My friends and I watched it for at least half an hour, and it was still there when we left.

Still Great Raptor Viewing in Livermore

Raleigh McLemore
 

Been at Brushy Peak and the immediate area last couple days.    As previously noted the Ferruginous Hawk remains in fields near Foxtail St or on the lamp posts on the road to Brushy Peak.  Today and yesterday we saw:

Red Tails

Kites

Kestrels

Northern Harriers

Turkey Vultures

Golden Eagle

Ferruginous Hawk

Red Shoulder


A great day, much colder today than yesterday, but well worth the trip.  Found some Burrowing Owls as well a short distance out of Brushy Peak parking lot.


Raleigh McLemore 

Harlan's Hawk and Barrow's Goldeneye at Arrowhead; Yellow Warbler at Oyster Bay

Noah Arthur
 

This morning I met up with Scott Baron, a Pennsylvania birder visiting the Bay Area, at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. The RIDGWAY'S RAILS were really putting on a show, stumping around on the mud at low tide, and Scott picked out a nice male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE in the big duck flock off the marsh. At the parking lot by the intersection of Swan Way and the park entrance road, a nice dark juvenile HARLAN'S HAWK floated overhead -- the second one I've seen in two days, after having birded the Bay Area for eight years and never seeing one until yesterday! Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/albums/72157677341669586

In the afternoon I gulled San Leandro Marina, which had relatively few gulls due to high tide (where do they all go??). Late in the afternoon I visited the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline entrance at the end of Davis Street (parking doesn't seem to be an issue here, despite a sign at the Davis/Williams intersection that seems to indicate that only Alco customers may park on the block). There's been a male YELLOW WARBLER hanging around there since at least Thanksgiving, presumably the same one that wintered there (in drab immature plumage) last year, and he finally let me get some good photos today. 

Noah Arthur (Oakland)
semirelicta@...
510-967-2179

Re: Martinez RS Red-naped Sapsucker

C Lou
 

The sapsucker has returned to same trees. 930am. Sunday.

Calvin Lou
SF



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "Laura Look chamaea@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...>
Date: 12/3/16 9:39 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Martinez RS Red-naped Sapsucker

 

Today (Sat, Dec. 3), from about 12:30 to 1:00 pm, my husband & I
watched a cooperative RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER at Martinez Regional
Shoreline in Martinez.

I believe this is the same bird reported by Carla Din 9/29 and Teri
Wills 11/2. Comparing to Carla Din's photos, note in particular the
white feather extending from the white wing patch into the black on
the bird's left side.

Id: It appears to be Red-naped rather than Yellow-bellied based on
the black not quite bordering the red throat patch, the 2 clearly
separated white bars down the back, and (if you really squint at
zoomed-in photos) a few red feathers on the nape. Comments on the
bird's id are welcome.

Location: The bird was between the main picnic area and the duck pond
in the trees bordering the sidewalk along N. Court St. His favorite
tree was the corner tree just southwest of the junction of that
sidewalk and the east end of the Boardwalk/Killdeer Trail.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115418990@N03/albums/72157673454245393

Three CACKLING GEESE were hanging out with the Canada Goose flock.

Park info & map: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/martinez

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA

Martinez RS Red-naped Sapsucker

Laura Look <chamaea@...>
 

Today (Sat, Dec. 3), from about 12:30 to 1:00 pm, my husband & I watched a cooperative RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER at Martinez Regional Shoreline in Martinez.

I believe this is the same bird reported by Carla Din 9/29 and Teri Wills 11/2. Comparing to Carla Din's photos, note in particular the white feather extending from the white wing patch into the black on the bird's left side.

Id: It appears to be Red-naped rather than Yellow-bellied based on the black not quite bordering the red throat patch, the 2 clearly separated white bars down the back, and (if you really squint at zoomed-in photos) a few red feathers on the nape. Comments on the bird's id are welcome.

Location: The bird was between the main picnic area and the duck pond in the trees bordering the sidewalk along N. Court St. His favorite tree was the corner tree just southwest of the junction of that sidewalk and the east end of the Boardwalk/Killdeer Trail.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115418990@N03/albums/72157673454245393


Three CACKLING GEESE were hanging out with the Canada Goose flock.

Park info & map: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/martinez

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA

Wilson's Snipe in Livermore

purrboycasey
 

Yesterday a Wilson's Snipe was present between 2-3 PM in the Arroyo in Springtown (just west of bridge on Bluebell).  It was fairly approachable. 

See photo:  http://pick18.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_LHT526&res=640

Also present were many White-tailed Kites, plus several American Kestrels and Northern Harriers.

Larry Thompson
east Livermore


Coyote Hills (12/3/16) - cont'd Swamp Sparrow, Bald Eagles, American Bittern

Jerry Ting
 

The Swamp Sparrow found by Bob Dunn on 12/1 continued being seen this (12/1/2016 Saturday) at the same location on the east section of the DUST Trail.  Follow the DUST Trail (water channel is on the right) to where the water makes a sharp right turn (to the DUST Pond) and continue up on another gravel road and turn right.  There will be a row of bird nesting boxes on the right.  The SWSP was seen behind the cattail in the water channel on the left between the 5th and 8th nesting box.

On my way back to the Visitor Center, I saw 2 adult Bald Eagles soaring high above DUST Trail and flew northeast (towards Lake Chabot).  This is my first BAEA sighting in Coyote Hills since 2009.

Earlier in the morning, there were an adult American Bittern and 3 Ring-necked Pheasants (2 males and 1 feamle) seen around the water channel just north of the intersection of DUST and Chochenyo Trail.

Here is the complete eBird report with some photos:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32840766

Happy Birding,
Jerry Ting
Fremont


Golden Gate Audubon Society December 2, 2016 First Friday Birdwalk

Alan Kaplan
 

Friends!

Tilden Nature Area, Contra Costa, California, US
Dec 2, 2016    8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, December 2, 2016. Tilden Nature Area, to Jewel Lake and back from the  parking lot. We had our second annual book exchange (thanks, Terri W. and others who contributed books and magazines for the exchange). Bird of the day: Hooded Merganser (two males and one female), the first ones at Jewel Lake for 2016 (at least as far as I can find on Ebird). The 2015 Hoodies arrived in late October and were seen through November; this year, there were none reported in October or November. Visitors today from Alabama and United Kingdom (Edinburgh, by way of London suburbs) got lifers!

36 observers saw these 30 species:

Hooded Merganser    first Hooded Mergansers of 2016 at Jewel Lake, Tilden Nature Area, just arrived! [from British Columbia?]
Wild Turkey  
Double-crested Cormorant       a Vee of seven flew over (on their way to nearby reservoir?)
American White Pelican      flyover, maybe on the way to the same reservoir as the cormorants?
Turkey Vulture  
Golden Eagle  
Red-shouldered Hawk  
Red-tailed Hawk 
Anna's Hummingbird  
Acorn Woodpecker 
Red-breasted Sapsucker      possibly the same bird for several years has returned to the same Cotoneaster in the parking lot
Northern Flicker  
Black Phoebe 
Steller's Jay  
California Scrub-Jay 
Common Raven  
Red-breasted Nuthatch  
Brown Creeper 
Golden-crowned Kinglet  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Hermit Thrush  
American Robin  
Townsend's Warbler  
Fox Sparrow  
Dark-eyed Junco  
Golden-crowned Sparrow  
Song Sparrow 
California Towhee  
Spotted Towhee  
Lesser Goldfinch  

I will do a December 26th (Monday) “Wren Day” bird walk again this year; meet at the Tilden Nature Area parking lot at 8:30am.

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan


------------

Please use my new email address from now on:


Thanks,
Alan Kaplan