Merlin - Contra Loma R. P., Antioch - 11/17

Paul Schorr

Today we spent about four hours birding at Contra Loma Regional Park and tallied 40 species seen or heard. In addition, the views of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada were spectacular.

Near the end of our outing, we had very good scope views of a Merlin, which we spotted on the east side of the park. In addition, amongst a flock of 36 Canada Geese there were three Aleutian Cackling Geese.

A complete list of birds seen or heard follows:

Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe ( a lone bird which is probably the same bird that we reported on 11/1)
American White Pelican (7)
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey (1 bird actively fishing, probably for recently-planted trout)
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk (3)
Red-tailed Hawk (3)
American Kestrel
Virginia Rail (heard only)
Common Gallinule (two families of six birds total)
American Coot
Mourning Dove
Anna’s Hummingbird
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say’s Phoebe (4)
California Scrub-Jay
Common Raven
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer’s Blackbird
House Finch

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Swamp Sparrow and female Barrow's Goldeneye at Martinez Regional Shoreline

Denise Wight

Hi E.B.Birders,

A Swamp Sparrow was at Martinez Shoreline Regional today.  From Granger's Wharf parking lot, walk the gravel road north to where it splits and turn left (west), then continue about 100 feet.  The bird was first heard giving its Black Phoebe-like call, then seen within marsh vegetation to the north.  It flew over the road to the south, giving us one last view, then dropped out of sight.

A female Barrow's Goldeneye was foraging with about 40 Common Goldeneyes, not far offshore to the west.

Along Waterfront Rd., at the area within the wooden fence, we had good, long scope views of a Merlin in a eucalyptus.  The highlight for me had to be the flock of dowitchers that rushed in behind us with a blast of wing beats, only a few feet over our heads (one gave the "Keek" call of Long-billed Dowitcher as it passed right above me).

All the Best Birding,
Denise Wight
Orinda, CA

Friday in Walnut Creek


After the big rain, we had plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers in Heather Farm Park this morning.  But the biggest change was seeing about 30 Ring-necked Ducks.  The most we have really seen the last couple of weeks is 12, if I remember correctly.  They were accompanied by 2 male Buffleheads.

Two Green Herons chased around and a Black-crowned Night-Heron was perched in trees where it has been seen for about a month.

Rosita just left the house for a walk around the park, maybe she'll find our Tropical Kingbird.  It hasn't been seen for a while, but that is pretty typical of its behavior over the past winters.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Heather Farm Park before dark Wednesday Nov 15


Took a late walk to the park and there were about 150 or 160 Canada Geese on the north ball fields.  In with them was a Greater White-fronted Goose.  Two Buffleheads were on the large pond with some Ring-necked Ducks. 

Monday morning I rode my bike west along the CC Canal trail to the concrete creek channel.  Just as I arrived, the Kingfisher came in screaming like crazy, and perched on the fence at the top of the concrete wall just south of the bridge.  It was certainly excited about something.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Lapland Longspur pix

Mark Rauzon

Mid morning, several Lapland Longspurs were settled down feeding or flitting around the grasslands atop Mt Trashmore, located at Hayward Shoreline at the end of W. Winton Ave. A merlin, kite and harrier were also present, along with cackling geese.

Mark Rauzon

4 Cackling Geese, Oak Hill Park, Alamo



Just returned from Oak Hill Park in Danville where 4 Cackling Geese were on the water mixed in with the Canada Geese. I'm not going to try and guess the subspecies, but one had a paler breast and much thicker neck band than the other three. The three had did have neck bands, just much thinner ones than the fourth. First time is probably four or five years I've seen them at the park.

Happy birding!

Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo, CA

Re: Laplands Nov 14

Dave Weber

Four Lapland Longspurs observed feeding in the center of the landfill for an hour. They were joined by a fifth and all flew.

Dave Weber,
by phone

"Dave Weber [EBB_Sightings]" <> wrote:

Two or more lapland longspurs and ten cackling geese at mt trashmore end of winton ave in Hayward nov 14 10am.

Dave Weber,
by phone


Dave Weber

Two or more lapland longspurs and ten cackling geese at mt trashmore end of winton ave in Hayward nov 14 10am.

Dave Weber,
by phone

San Francisco CBC December 27

Eddie Bartley

Hello, Bay Area Birders. Passing this on from our good friends at Golden Gate Audubon Society. (Eddie Bartley, San Francisco)

This is Golden Gate Audubon Society’s CENTENNIAL YEAR … and we invite you to help celebrate its first century at the big year-end citizen science event: the annual San Francisco Christmas Bird Count, on Wednesday, December 27. The San Francisco Count is held in partnership with the Presidio Trust. Please join us. 

As a field observer, you'll get to see and hear the bird life in an area that fits your interests and abilities, add to our understanding of the status and distribution of our wintering birds, and enjoy the day. We welcome new birders to help documenting the birds that are being identified by more experienced leaders. Afterward, join us at the compilation dinner ($20) at the Log Cabin in the Presidio. A rarity usually turns up; learning about them will help you see them, too. The food from La Mediterranee will be good, and the company will be even better. 

Maybe you'd rather just count birds in your yard on December 27. Feeder watchers can spend as much or as little time watching birds as they wish, and these observations also advance our knowledge of winter bird populations. If this interests you, sign up as a feeder watcher -- in the evening you can also join us at the compilation dinner. 

Click this link to get started:

The sign-up deadline is December 3, so sign up today. 

Contact us if you have questions about the count; contact the Golden Gate Audubon Society office (510-843-2222) if you have questions about the compilation dinner. 

We hope you'll take part! 

Noreen Weeden 
Golden Gate Audubon 
nweeden@... mailto:nweeden@... 


Easter Alameda County CBC Friday Dec. 15th

richard s. cimino

The Eastern Alameda County Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Friday Dec 15. Birders of all levels are wanted. If you are free that day, even for a half day please contact Rich Cimino via e-mail Yellowbilledtours@.... We have a nice dinner compilation after where section leaders and counters can talk about there day and the best bird of the day.

With appreciation,

Rich Cimino

EAC-CBC Complier  

North Livermore-belated Sunday report

Bruce Mast

Hey folks,
Yesterday (Sunday), I took a spin through North Livermore with fellow GGAS boardmember Pam Young. We started at Springtown wetlands, then cruised the back roads along Hartman, Lorraine, and Dagnino Roads, and then birded the lower reaches of Brushy Peak Regional Reserve. Weather was perfect--calm, mild, with some high overcast to cut the glare.

Nothing particularly rare at Springtown Wetlands, though we enjoyed a single Wilson's Snipe, a cooperative Sora, several chattering Virginia's Rails, a pair of Black-necked Stilts, and a couple Common Gallinules. A handful of Cinnamon Teal skulked in the reeds but no Blue-winged Teal that we could find. A White-tailed Kite worked the adjacent grasslands. Lincoln's and White-crowned Sparrows were plentiful.

Hawk-watching was good along the back roads. A male Northern Harrier hunted low over the fields north of Hartman Rd. Turning the corner onto Lorraine, we watched a PRAIRIE FALCON go zipping by and then tangle with the Harrier. Stopping at Dagnino and May School, we watched a FERRUGINOUS HAWK soaring against the northern hills. Every stop featured Red-tailed Hawks, Say's Phoebes, American Kestrels, and several stops added Loggerhead Shrikes. Hartman also featured a distant Coyote.

On the approach to Brushy Peak, a large hawk flew up to a phone pole near Frick Lake and gave us stunning close-ups of another FERRUGINOUS HAWK.

On to Brushy Peak, the parking lot featured more Say's Phoebes and a couple Shrikes. I found a couple old owl pellets under the eucalyptus trees but no live birds. We hiked back to the second pond, which hosted a handful of Buffleheads, Hermit Thrush, and a couple Audubon's Cottontails. On the walk back, we were treated to a GOLDEN EAGLE on a power glide towards the south.

All in all, a great day to be out in the field.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast

Hayward Regional Shoreline

Bob Richmond

Today I started at Winton Ave. and also went to Hayward's Landing along with Mt. Trashmore which had many more birds than any other time I have been there this fall. I saw Canada, Cackling, and Greater White--fronted Geese. 20 Horned Larks, 35 American Pipits, and 1 Chestnut-collared Longspur plus many Savannah Sparrows and Meadowlarks. The Burrowing Owl seen the last 2 weeks was not seen today.

Bob Richmond

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Jeff Acuff

Today I had a juvenile yellow-bellied sapsucker in Briones Park.    

Location: Blue Oak Trail, accessed from the trailhead on Reliez Valley Road.  The trail roughly parallels Stagecoach Drive in the Baywood housing development.  After the trail passes beyond the development it reaches a trail intersection.  The main trail turns north and crosses a wash.  Just beyond the wash, on the west side of the trail, is a large oak standing alone close to the trail.  The sapsucker was in this oak.    

Good birding    

Jeff Acuff   


4 Ibis photos

Mark Rauzon

Here are some photos of the 4 dark-faced/legged ibis on the West Co, Waterwater Treatment loop off of Parr Ave taken Saturday.  I tried to puzzle them out as well and came to the conclusion they were immature White-faced Ibis, owing to one observation; when I overexposured the photo, it showed a red eye on one bird:

Could be wrong so I hope someone knowledgeable about Glossy Ibis can comment.

Also seen on this trail were 2 Cattle Egrets and in the treatment plant itself - Lesser Yellowlegs. Please remember to sign in there.

Mark  Rauzon

Pine Siskins have returned to San Ramon

Eugenia Larson

Dear Birders,

I just returned from grocery shopping to discover two Pine Siskins feeding along side several Lesser Goldfinches on our thistle feeder! These are the first for us this fall. We have also had one Hermit Thrush and one each Audubon’s Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet during the past week which we hope will remain for the winter. Yesterday, we saw our first ever Slate-colored Junco here in the backyard as we have only had Oregon Juncos before. I hope he returns so I can get some photos!

Good Birding,

Eugenia Larson
San Ramon

Re: 4 Ibis Richmond Wastewater loop trail

Don Bernstein <donb@...>

When I read this email, it took it as an opportunity to explore a wildlife area I've been meaning to visit for a while. I also thought I'd try to determine the species of Ibis, a bird I don't know much about.

The first goal was a resounding success. This trail is an underused resource. There was lots of bird activity, varied habitat, large flocks, and many birds, often quite close. I saw several hawks (mostly immature Redtails), hundreds of gulls (there's an active dump at the center of the loop trail), a large falcon (peregrine I think), lots of shorebirds, ducks, marsh wrens, phoebes, corvids, sparrows etc.

My second goal was less successful. My reading indicates that White Faced Ibis have red legs and red irises in winter. I saw black legs and dark eyes surrounded by red skin. I'm not a photographer, so interested birders will have to examine the birds themselves. I've been there 4 times. Twice, I saw four Ibis. Once I saw only two, but from no more than 20-30 yards. One time, the tide was high, and the birds were missing. I saw them yesterday, so they've been here 11 days at least. I hope they stay for the winter.

Park at the end of Parr Blvd, and take the loop trail clockwise, southwest from the parking lot. As soon as the marshy pond appears on the right, you will be near the Ibis's neighborhood.

Access from Wildcat Creek Trail Head is closed for another week (until 11/19 I think).

Don Bernstein

On 11/3/2017 10:54 AM, 'Judi S.' judisierra@... [EBB_Sightings] wrote:

Messenger only. Seen yesterday 11/2 species not noted.
Four Ibis were seen yesterday by Sandra and Bruce Beyaert.
"...Sandra and I were thrilled to view at least four ibis in the high ground vegetation of Retention Pond on SE side of Bay Trail Land Fill Loop during a high tide this morning."

Judi Sierra- Oakland

Posted by: "Judi S."

Surfbirds San Leandro Marina

Chris Bard

Eight surfbirds on north side of large island just south of entrance channel marker 14.

Chris Bard

Ferruginous Hawk Mt. Diablo

Jim Chiropolos

On Saturday, Ann Griffith and I biked up the north gate road on Mt. Diablo from Heather Farm. At the "rock wren location" about a mile past the entrance station, I watched a Ferruginous Hawk soaring with several other raptors. I have spend a lot of time on Diablo, and this was the first Ferruginous hawk I have seen in the area. (and yes, the rock wren was home). This area of the mountain is mostly grassland and always looked like ferruginous habitat.

After about 10 dips over the last year as this is one of our favorite rides, I finally re-saw the Heather Farm Tropical Kingbird perched on a dead snag on the north end of the "natural" pond.

Good birding,

Jim Chiropolos


Phainopepla in Clayton Community Park

Elizabeth Leite <e.leite@...>

This morning at about 10:30 AM we saw a Phainopepla in a berrying tree amongst a flock of a dozen or so Western Bluebirds and about six Cedar Waxwings. We recognized it by its amazingly fancy crest and then got a full view of the bird. Unfortunately we didn't get a photo before it flew to another tree.

There are many berrying trees adjacent to the upper parking lot. This particular bird was feeding in one of the trees which was not a Chinese Pistache facing the western edge of the lot.

Elizabeth Leite

Pine Siskins, Walnut Creek


Unless it's something noteworthy, I normally refrain from posting backyard sightings. This morning, however, around 11am, I discovered fifteen PINE SISKINS in my Walnut Creek yard and felt this deserved a mention as I've read but a few scattered reports of local sightings. They were quite active, scurrying between my redwoods and feeders, frequently displacing the many Lesser Goldfinches. There they remained for about twenty minutes before simply vanishing.

Good birding,

Tracy Farrington

Walnut Creek

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