Black-throated Gray Warbler - Antioch yard-10/5

Paul Schorr

This afternoon we had brief, but good looks at a male Black-throated Gray Warbler as it gleaned insects from trees and shrubs in our yard.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Wildcat Canyon Birding

Alan Krakauer

No real rarities, but it’s bustling. The picnic area at the bottom of the Wildcat Staging Area Parking lot is great right now. I had 5 species of woodpeckers from one spot this morning, including Red-breasted Sapsucker. There’s one, maybe two groups of Acorn Woodpeckers that are actively plucking acorns from small oaks. There’s a short loop that starts at the port-a-potties and goes up to overlook the parking lot. There are a few small fruit trees (cherry?) with a lot of fruit that are attracting some diversity (most interesing was Western Tanager). Great views of all the bustle.

I also walked the Belgum loop from the Wildcat Creek Trail back towards Monte Cresta and back down to the Parking Lot. Fly-over White-throated Swifts and Pipits were new for me there. Highlights were getting all three nuthatches in Johnson’s Trees (the pine/eucalyptus patch on the ridge above the old Belgum site) and great looks at coyotes.

Weirdly missed some common stuff today (bushtit, house finch, song sparrow, mockingbird), but still a pretty nice list.

2.0 mile(s)
48 species (+2 other taxa)

White-tailed Kite 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1
Band-tailed Pigeon 12
Mourning Dove 6
White-throated Swift 5
Anna's Hummingbird 5
Acorn Woodpecker 8
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1
Nuttall's Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Downy/Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 4
American Kestrel 3
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1
Black Phoebe 4
Say's Phoebe 3
Hutton's Vireo 2
Steller's Jay 15
California Scrub-Jay 22
American Crow 12
Common Raven 10
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 15
Oak Titmouse 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 12 Groups by Alvarado staging area, Belgum/Wildcat creek trail, and large group on top of ridge at Johnson's Trees
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Pygmy Nuthatch 14
Brown Creeper 3
Bewick's Wren 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 6
Wrentit 1
Hermit Thrush 7
European Starling 8
American Pipit 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 1
Townsend's Warbler 1
Fox Sparrow (Sooty) 7
Dark-eyed Junco 22
White-crowned Sparrow 16
Golden-crowned Sparrow 18
California Towhee 12
Spotted Towhee 6
Western Tanager 1
Western Meadowlark 9
Purple Finch 1
Lesser Goldfinch 2

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

More Lewis' Woodpeckers

Jeff Acuff

Today on the Blue Oak Trail in Briones Park (trailhead at end of Gloria Terrace, Lafayette) there was a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER and a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER both within the first quarter mail of the trail.

Then later, farther down the trail and on my return hike, 6 LEWIS"S WOODPECKERS flew over headed southeast.

In over 15 years of walking this trail, these are the first LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS I have encountered.  

Good Birding  

Jeff Acuff  

Western Meadowlarks in Heather Farm Park Thursday


The string of good birding continued for us this morning, as I found first one and then two Western Meadowlarks on the north ball fields at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.  I was able to find Walt Duncan, who said he had assured good birding by leaving his camera home. Walt was at the wooden railing on the east side of the large, mostly natural pond when I found him and we headed towards the north ball fields.  It was at our arrival that we realized a second W Meadowlark was on the grass with the first and two Starlings.  We attempted to call our fellow birders Tracy Farrington and Fred Safier.  Tracy made it to the park, but the two birds of interest had already flown high and off to the south.  This might have been a patch bird for Tracy, and it is only the second time I remember seeing W Meadowlarks in the park; the first was a number of years ago on the south ball field.

While I was first talking with Walt and another morning park person at the wooden railing, we noticed some birds in the little tree next to the lawn with the small reddish berries.  I forget the name of the tree, but the Tropical Kingbird was in the tree with other birds including a Nuttall's Woodpecker.  The Kingbird liked this tree several years ago, apparently supplementing its diet with the berries.  The Yellow-rumped Warblers also like it, along with the White-crowned Sparrows.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Long-tailed Jaeger.

Bob Richmond

I forgot on my earlier post. It was seen from the San Leandro Marina over the bay. Seen from near the small rocky island.


Long-tailed Jaeger

Bob Richmond

This afternoon a Long-tailed Jaeger was seen harassing Forster Terns over the bay. It came as close as the small rocky island just offshore where there was 68 terns.

Bob Richmond

FOS Returnees to Antioch yard - 10/4

Paul Schorr

Today the following FOS species appeared in our yard: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow, American Goldfinch and Hermit Thrush. They joined a small flock of about ten White-crowned Sparrows that have gradually increased in number since Saturday, 9/30.

Good birding.

Paul Schorr

Backyard Birds

Elizabeth Leite <e.leite@...>

I saw my FOS Hermit Thrush in our yard yesterday and this morning a Golden Crown Sparrow was eating on the ground below a feeder. Seems like they are coordinating their arrival in Contra Costa.

Happy Fall Birding.

Elizabeth Leite
Lafayette/Walnut Creek border

Lafayette sighting

Mara Zhelutka

A Black Throated Grey Warbler appeared yesterday in my birdbath. First time ever for this site on a ridge in southeastern Lafayette. I’ve been watching for a few years.

Hermit Thrush, Robins and GC Sparrows

Jackie Bobrosky

While keeping close watch for migrating birds in my yard, I heard, then saw, a Hermit Thrush in the backyard.  This morning, a small flock (10-15) of adult robins with even more juveniles hitting up the magnolia tree "berries". A few Golden Crowned Sparrows are here as well.  Love it.

Jackie Bobrosky

Tropical Kingbird, Heather Farm Park


I was able to re-find the Heather Farm TROPICAL KINGBIRD, this morning, right about 9:30. It was on the West side of the canal in a medium sized Cottonwood. If the pattern holds for this, its fourth consecutive Fall/Winter in the park, it should stick around until late May/early April.

Good birding, all.

Tracy Farrington

Walnut Creek

Pair of Western Tanagers in Berkeley hills

Lee Friedman

This morning on my usual bird walk in the north Berkeley hills I had a very good look at a pair of Western Tanagers (my first sighting of them at this location). At 8:20AM they were briefly in an aspen tree 5 houses down Montrose from Spruce, and then flew northward toward some distant pines (the Bolte Park area of Spruce St). On the same walk, I had my FOS Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.

Good birding,
Lee Friedman

Bird sightings at my eats bay patches....

Jim Chiropolos

At my east bay patches, some sightings of note on Wednesday morning:

At the 1000 ft. contour line on the east side of Vollmer in Orinda:

- Vaux Swifts migrating. Saw a group of 15 fly by at 7:45 am. These birds were flying straight south and there was no deviations in their flight for foraging. I wonder where their next roost/destination is.....

- Varied Thrush calling before the sun comes out above the horizon. I hope they will stay this year....

- A Red-bellied Sapsucker moved in overnight and was =getting the birch sap holes flowing again.

At Emeryville marina, a single Common Tern was with a group of over 100 Elegant/Foster's Terns.

Also, Is it my imagination or has this been the best Black-throated Grey Warbler migration in the bay area in years? I  have seen over 25 black-throated greys this year, they seem to be everywhere..... Likely double or more compared to previous years

Good Birding

Jim Chiropolos,

Orinda and Emeryville 

Least Tern - Hayward Shoreline (10/2/2017)

Jerry Ting

While looking for the Parasitic Jaeger (which I did not see) that has been reported in Hayward Shoreline yesterday (10/2/2017) afternoon, I saw two Least Terns just north of Hayward Landing flying overhead toward south and was able to get a few shots of one individual.  It's in a plumage that I am not familiar with and I don't know it's a winter adult or subadult but I am quite sure it's not juvenile.  The dark bill and dark legs really puzzle me.  Please see photos here:

If accepted, this will be the 3rd LETE eBird sighting in California after October 1 for all time.  The previous two sightings (10/4/2013 and 10/23/2016) were also from Hayward Shoreline and both by Bob Richmond.

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting

Tropical Kingbird Heather Farm Tuesday October 3


As we walked this morning, Tracy Farrington, Fred Safier and I discussed the arrival of the Tropical Kingbird which has appeared in Heather Farm Park each winter since it was first reported in January of 2014,  The three of us were standing at the wooden railing on the east side of the large, mostly natural pond when a Green Heron called from across the water.  But at the same time, another bird flew off the island and into the large oak in the bare dirt on the west side of the pond.

Tracy found the bird saying, "It's a Kingbird."  Fred found the bird quickly and eventually I saw the bird, too, perched on a small bare limb fairly high and in the middle of the tree right-and-left.  Though it was across the pond, the white throat, dark tail and bright yellow underparts were clearly visible.  It seems our visiting Tropical Kingbird is back for another stay; hopefully, it will be as happy this winter as it has in the past.

Last year it was first reported to eBird on October 7.  This bird is notorious for disappearing for days on end, but will at other times be easily found on a regular basis--which is my experience with Tropical Kingbirds anywhere in the Bay Area.  They have a way of hiding or at least not being detected, which can make them a difficult bird to chase.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Re: Cattle Egret at Arrowhead Marsh

Jerry Ting

Bob Dunn just texted me.  He has the Cattle Egret at Arrowhead Marsh lawn now (10/02/2017 8:12am).

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting

Del Valle RP (10/1/17) - Clay-colored Sparrow

Jerry Ting

Sorry if this is a duplicate but I am not sure why my first post didn't show up. 

This (Sunday 10/1/2017) morning I found an immature Clay-colored Sparrow foraging on the west side of river bed (37.575963, -121.691688) about 250 yards north of the Del Valle Rd Bridge.  Here is a shot of the bird:

There remains a couple pools just north of the bridge on the dried up river which attract lots of birds and animals for the water.

Here is the complete eBird report with more photos:

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting

Cattle Egret at Arrowhead Marsh


Today while on a loop bike ride from Crab Cove around 10am  I spotted what I suspected was a Cattle Egret feeding on the grass with about ten Canada Geese at the park area off Doolittle Drive directly across from Arrowhead Marsh. When I first biked into the area the egret flew off across the channel towards the Arrowhead boardwalk.  So I sped over to Arrowhead, couldn't find it, scanned back across the channel and saw that it gone right back to join the geese at Doolittle. So I biked back and was able to confirm that it was a Cattle Egret.  

Unfortunately  someone using the boat-ramp nearby had just launched a jet-ski, gunned the engine and the Cattle Egret took flight again and this time landed next to a Great Egret on the shoreline at Arrowhead north of the boardwalk.  Disappointing that motor boats are allowed in that area.

Derek Heins

FOS Hermit Thrush, Robin fledge


This morning I had a FOS Hermit Thrush in my back yard. Arrival date about a week earlier than last year. Yesterday a recently fledged American robin with spots and gape was with a female adult at the bird bath. Other usually infrequent visitors were a Nuttal's woodpecker, Orange-crowned and Yellow warblers.

Judi Sierra

Help with ID MLK shoreline

Rachel Silverstein

Hi everyone

I saw this bird yesterday at MLK Shoreline. I admit I'm a bit unsure what it is. The pic is under McGillivray's warbler on this checklist as that was my best guess. Thanks!

Rachel Silverstein

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