Garretson Point 12/7 - BW Teals, Yellow Warbler

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

I did not find any Blue-winged Teals at the pond where they were originally
reported (Garretson Point Staging Area, at the end of Edgewater Drive, Oakland).
TEALS. I finally found one male and probably two female BLUE-WINGED TEALS in
the creek near Damon Slough Staging Area. They were all sleeping, making
identification of the females difficult.

Along with many YELLOW-RUMPED, a female YELLOW WARBLER was in the eucs along the
bay, just to the north of the Garretson Point parking area. It showed the
distinctive yellow tail spots and plain yellowish face/underparts of Yellow

There were a lot of sparrows in the bushes, mostly WHITE-CROWNED and
YELLOWLEGS, KILLDEERS, etc were with the ducks in the pond.

Noah Arthur, Oakland

Re: Merganser-Golden Eye hybrid

Hilary Powers <hilary@...>

On 12/6/2010 10:00 PM, Kim Burgess wrote:
Last Friday and today I saw what looked like a Hooded Merganser and
Goldeneye hybrid male in Lake Merritt. He was located on the
westerly side of the lake, right in front of the apartment tower at 1
Lakeside Dr. Each time he was with a Common Goldeneye female. ...
Cool - I wonder if this is a new visitor or our regular hoodie/goldeneye cross.... That'd be a new location for our usual guy (who is apt to be near the Nature Center, up at 12th Street, or over at Laney College), and he tends to hang with the Barrow's Goldeneyes.

If you feed "hybrid goldeneye merganser lake merritt" to Google images, the first two pictures are our regular guy. Is that who you saw? The shoulder spikes are really distinctive.

- Hilary Powers - hilary@... - Oakland CA -
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Merganser-Golden Eye hybrid

Kim Burgess <kimandajburgess@...>

Last Friday and today I saw what looked like a Hooded Merganser and Goldeneye
hybrid male in Lake Merritt. He was located on the westerly side of the lake,
right in front of the apartment tower at 1 Lakeside Dr. Each time he was with a
Common Goldeneye female. I saw them around 4PM both days as I was walking along
the lake, but didn't notice them in the morning when going past the same

A J Burgess, Dublin

Lake Merritt Junco photos

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

With help from Kitty O'Neil, I was finally able to upload photos of the
possible 'PINK-SIDED' JUNCO from Lake Merritt to my rarity photos web page.
Here's the link to the photos:

Thanks to Kitty for re-sizing the photos so that they can be uploaded to a web

Noah Arthur, Oakland

better link to junco photos

Bruce Mast

For those of you who tried and failed to follow the Picasa link to the
photos of the possible Pink-sided Junco, here's a simpler link that should
go through uncorrupted.

From the main directory, you'll see the junco folder in the upper left hand

Bruce Mast

Some good news for raptors, eagles , Burrowing owls, Bats , song birds and conservationist

richard s. cimino

Audubon Society Chapters, California Attorney General and Wind Companies
Reach Agreement on Altamont Pass
Old wind turbines to be replaced with new turbines that are safer for birds
(Berkeley, California, December 6, 2010) In cooperation with the
California Attorney General's Office, five
Bay Area Audubon Society chapters and Californians for Renewable Energy
(CaRE) have reached an agreement
with wind energy operators owned by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, to
expedite the replacement of old wind
turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area with new, larger wind
turbines that are less likely to harm
Golden Gate Audubon, Santa Clara Valley Audubon, Mt. Diablo Audubon,
Ohlone Audubon, and Marin
Audubon joined the Attorney General's Office in negotiating an agreement
that addresses the state's need for
renewable wind energy and the state's obligation to protect resident and
migratory birds.
"Our agreement sets an aggressive schedule for removing the
old-generation turbines and replacing them with
new-generation turbines that should substantially reduce impacts to
birds," said Michael Lynes, Conservation
Director with the Golden Gate Audubon Society. "According to experts
studying the Altamont Pass, the
removal of the old turbines and replacement with properly-sited turbines
may reduce impacts to birds by as
much as 80%."
Altamont Pass was heavily developed for wind power generation in the
late 1970s and early 1980s, eventually
including more than 5800 turbines covering a 56 mi2 area in eastern
Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. These
lands at one time provided ample habitat for birds and still serves as
an important migratory corridor for Golden
Eagles and other raptors. For much of the last decade, the Bay Area
Audubon chapters and the operating wind
companies have struggled to agree on ways to reduce impacts to birds,
bats and other wildlife while fostering
the environmental and economic benefits of wind energy generation in the
Altamont Pass.
The new agreement reflects the consensus of the Alameda County
Scientific Review Committee that the only
way to significantly reduce impacts to birds and keep wind energy
generation in Altamont Pass is to remove the
old-generation wind turbines and replace them with better sited,
new-generation models. And, regardless of
whether the NextEra Energy Resources companies replace all of their
turbines on this expedited schedule, they
have committed to ceasing all operations of their old turbines by the
end of 2015, three years before they are
required to do so under their current permits.
"This agreement addresses the problem arising throughout the state:
balancing the need for renewable energy
generation with subsequent impacts to wildlife," said Bob Power,
Executive Director of the Santa Clara Valley
Audubon Society. "We appreciate NextEra leading the way in the Altamont
Pass to remove the old turbines and
properly install new ones that should significantly reduce risks to
birds. We are also mindful that impacts to
wildlife will continue and the Audubon chapters will remain engaged in
conservation planning and advocacy on
behalf of birds and other wildlife in the Altamont Pass and throughout
the Bay Area."
Golden Gate Audubon Society, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Marin
Audubon Society, Mt. Diablo
Audubon Society, and Ohlone Audubon Society are independent nonprofit
organizations dedicated to protecting
birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitats. They conserve and
restore wildlife habitats, connect people of all
ages and backgrounds with the natural world, and educate and engage Bay
Area residents in the protection of
our shared, local environment.
Contact: Mike Lynes, Conservation Director, Golden Gate Audubon Society,

Pleasanton Red Winged Blackbirds

richard s. cimino

The Pleasanton detention pond on southwest side of Valley Ave. and
Laguna Creek Lane had 1500 Red-winged Blackbirds this afternoon about 2:25.
Take HY 680 to the Bernal exit headed east turn right on Valley Ave and
follow to the "turn about" the pond is on the southwest corner.
A low flying Red-tailed Hawk put about half - 750 each of the RWBB into
the air.
A few minutes later a Great Egret flew in low preparing to land, this
caused another large group of 600 + to take flight.
Then for several minutes additional smaller group's of RWBB continue to
fly out.
They all flew past the sports park baseball diamond field maybe 1000 ft
. in distance.
I drove around this agricultural field on Oak Vista Way to re-find the
RWBB which were easily seen in mass on the ground under the Cottonwood
Also in the area White-tailed Kites -2 , Wilson's Snipe - 2 and 45 Killdeer.
Zone 7 our local water carrier ( in Pleasanton ) this fall cut all the
field green growth on the islands in the detention pond closest to HY680.
Viewing the islands is much easier this year.
The eastern Alameda County - CBC is Friday December 17th.
Happy Holidays
Rich Cimino

singing juncos

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>

Dear Birders:

The last couple of days juncos have been singing throughout my Berkeley Hills neighborhood.  Not only are they singing frequently and energetically, but they are including several song variations.

Why?  We're still two weeks away from the winter solstice and to begin declaring territory and attracting mates seems premature.  Still, bird song -- even the simple bell-like melody of one of the most abundant sparrows -- is especially welcome on these short, dark days.

Phila Rogers

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler


The bird continues at 1:00 today in the line of trees on the grassy mound in front of Bucci's. The parking lot where these trees are is on Hollis at 59th. A Townsend's warbler was in the same area.

Stephanie Floyd

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., Kirk Swenson <khswenson@...> wrote:

The Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler has apparently returned to its
former location in the Heritage Square Parking lot (west side of Hollis
between 59th and 62nd streets). It was present Wednesday morning and this
(Friday) morning on my walk from the train station. Last year it spent most
of the winter at this location and I seem to recall one having been reported
from there in prior years as well.

Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <---> Emeryville

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Lake Merritt in the rain - gulls, junco

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

The unusual DARK-EYED JUNCO was still at Lake Merritt today, between the lawn
bowling lawns and the fountain. I have received two opinions on it so far, one
in favor of 'PINK-SIDED' and the other in favor of 'OREGON'. I photographed it
some more today, but unfortunately the new camera's photos can't upload to any

Also present in the area were many typical 'OREGON' JUNCOS, WHITE-CROWNED
and an AMERICAN ROBIN with a very pale back, pale and brown enough for me to
think it's probably leucistic.

Gull numbers are back up again at the lake. The bird paddock had many
mixed in. A third-cycle THAYER'S showed up at a bread feeding frenzy near the

Noah Arthur, Oakland

Berkeley Pier 12/05 (Black and White-winged Scoter, Pac. and Red-throated Loon)


I spent 2 hours out on the Berkeley Pier this morning from 7-9 am. There were lots of birds to sort through and glass calm waters making for an enjoyable morning. The real highlight was the female BLACK SCOTER that was first spotted on the south side of the pier about 1/3 of the way down. I then proceeded to the end of the pier where I found a female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER with a group of 5 SURF SCOTERS. Also out at the end of the pier were at least 8 RED-THROATED LOONS and 1 PACIFIC LOON. There must be at least 10 COMMON LOONS hanging around the pier and though the yellow-billed was not seen by me today it could easily have been on the other side of the break wall.

Good Birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA

Re: Lake Merritt 12/1

Bruce Mast

I finally had an opportunity to stop in at Lake Merritt to check on Noah's
Pink-sided Junco. I was able to quickly find the bird with the mixed flock
of Juncos, sparrows, robins, and butterbutts feeding around the big leaf
piles under the oaks to the east of the lawn bowling club. I've uploaded a
few diagnostic photos, heavily cropped but otherwise undoctored.

The photos show features that should be diagnostic for a female pink-sided:
pale gray face with darker lores, browner on the crest and nape of neck,
paler throat and bib that is lighter than the face and barely contrasts with
the belly, and extensive pinkish sides.


Bruce Mast

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of Lori Arthur
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 6:40 PM
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Lake Merritt 12/1

Sorry for the late post. I've been trying to load photos of the
possible 'Pink-sided' Junco onto my web page, but haven't been able to load
them so far. Lake Merritt's possible 'PINK-SIDED' JUNCO was in its usual
with the 'ORGEON' JUNCO flock between the fountain and the Lawn Bowling
Most of Lakeside Park's small birds seemed to have converged on this area.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was at the edge of the Botanic Garden.

Both numbers and diversity of waterbirds seemed waaay down from last Friday.
"bird paddock" was almost completely birdless, and the only gulls I saw were

GLAUCOUS-WINGED, WESTERN, and RING-BILLED. I didn't see any of the good
ducks (I
didn't spend much time on ducks), although there was one strange-looking
sleeping duck that may have been the Redhead. An immature GREEN HERON was on
edge of one of the islands, stabbing its bill into the back of a male
that came too close.  

I'll post the pictures of the Junco once I can get them onto my web page.

Noah Arthur, Oakland


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Blue-winged Teals at Garretson Point


On Saturday December 4th there was a pair of Blue-winged Teals in the freshwater pond near the Garretson Point Staging Area at the end of Edgewater Drive in Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline. The high tide at the Arrowhead Marsh boardwalk had the usual Clapper Rails and Soras.

- Joel Herr

Belated Yellow-billed Loon report

Oscar Johnson

Hello all,

I just got registered on EBB, so sorry for the late report. Yesterday (3
December) Abe Borker, Amy Patten, and I saw the YELLOW-BILLED LOON at Berkeley
Pier. We saw the bird from the southern end of Caesar Chavez Park, but it was
right next to the outer portion of the pier. Once we got out to the end of the
pier we were unable to locate it.

Also present in the area was a single PELAGIC CORMORANT, just north of the base
of the pier and two BRANT'S CORMORANTS at the end of the pier. A YELLOW-SHAFTED
FLICKER flew over the harbor heading north.

Oscar Johnson
Santa Cruz, California

No rarities but some nice feeder birds

Glen Tepke

In a short bay shore tour today, I managed to not find any rails other than Soras and heard-only Clappers at Arrowhead Marsh and Garretson Point, the Baltimore Oriole in Alameda (despite searching the eucalyptus from all sides for a couple of hours), or the Yellow-billed Loon from the Berkeley pier. Hopefully others had better luck.

A White-throated Sparrow, presumably the same one I reported on Nov. 1, has been at our feeders in the Oakmore neighborhood in Oakland daily since then, making this the fifth consecutive winter we've had one staying with us. This morning it was joined by a second WTSP, also tan-striped.

We've also had a Fox Sparrow (Sooty form) frequenting the feeders for a couple of weeks. Not an uncommon bird, but one we rarely see at the feeders. Last Thursday a Pine Siskin stopped in, another species we rarely see in our yard.

Last winter we had a few Townsend's Warblers regularly visiting our suet feeder, showing no interest in any of the seed on offer. This winter, they are chowing down on hulled "patio mix" (mostly sunflower) from a tube feeder, showing no interest in the suet. Evidence for food fads in birds?

Good birding.

Glen Tepke
g.tepke (at) comcast (dot) net

Jewel Lake - Tilden Park Today


At 3pm this afternoon, the male hooded merganser was calmly parked in the
center of the lake. Also present were a pair of mallards, a pair of
buffleheads, and a pair of pied-billed grebes.

J. Black

Birding map locations "bump"

VN <verne_nelson@...>

As previously posted, I maintain a Google map of birding sites reported
on EBB. It's main purpose is to get you driving directions to a
reported spot. There are now over 100 "hotspots" pin-mapped for Alameda
and Contra Costa Counties. The link to the map:
There are instructions for using it once you go there.
I will occasionally "bump" this reference to the top of the list since
it gets lost in the archives.
Aside from driving directions, a fascinating feature of Google Maps is
the ability to "fly over" the site. Once you are at a location on the
map, you can zoom in (left vertical bar with tick marks) and switch to
Satellite View- 45 degrees (by clicking on the box in the upper right
side). Then you can navigate around the area in simulated 3D with your
mouse. Using the circular "North" in the upper left-hand corner, you can
also spin the view to any compass point and thereby look from any
direction. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with a new

Brown Thrasher still at Point Pinole

Denise Wight

Hi E.B. Birders,

The Brown Thrasher was in the previously reported location, unseen, but giving a "whisper" song this morning between 8:30 and 9:00 am. It finally hopped into view on the fence by the "no trespassing" sign.

All the Best Birding,
Denise Wight
Moraga, Ca.

Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler

Kirk Swenson

The Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler has apparently returned to its
former location in the Heritage Square Parking lot (west side of Hollis
between 59th and 62nd streets). It was present Wednesday morning and this
(Friday) morning on my walk from the train station. Last year it spent most
of the winter at this location and I seem to recall one having been reported
from there in prior years as well.

Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <---> Emeryville

Semipalmated Plover and American Pipits, Dumbarton Bridge, Newark


A seismic retrofit is set to begin at the eastern end of the Dumbarton Bridge. The parking lot beside the bay (the one with the big puddle in the middle of it) is now blocked off by a chain link fence and now houses temporary admin buildings and equipment as well as the workers' parking lot. The second parking lot (near where the swallows nest under the edge of the bridge) contains steel pipes and other equipment, as does the short road that parallels the bridge on the north side (next to the pond where the sandpipers hang out). Trucks and heavy equipment are parked on the roads. The access road to the levee trail, the one that runs under the bridge, is open with workmen coming and going in trucks - that's where I found two American Pipits around noon today. Despite the fencing, the construction area is not posted "keep out" (yet), and no one challenged me - not even a park ranger who drove up - as I scoped the bay from behind the orange fence along the mound that rises above the beach. A Spotted Sandpiper bobbed along the beach, and a lone Semipalmated Plover, uncommon here, scampered at the water's edge. Two Savannah Sparrows, also not usually seen here, ran along beside the fence.

My typically average photo of the plover is at the link below.

Stephanie Floyd

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