Date   

Pleasanton & Oakland sightings recently; Merlins, Wood Ducks, Pine Siskins, Loggerhead Shrikes

Derek
 

I've been out biking quite a bit lately and my Merlin sightings increased to 7 locations in Alameda County in November, all in either Oakland or Pleasanton. Some highlights of the week:

Mtn View Cemetery yesterday - 9 Wood Ducks (my previous high in that location was 2), Belted Kingfisher, and 7 Pine Siskins seen at the highest point in the cemetery.

Lake Merritt outflow channel yesterday - Taiga Merlin perched at the top of a tree near the footbridge. In another tree close by were 3 Pine Siskins, Western Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings.

Lake Merritt yesterday - I biked around the entire lake stopping frequently to scan and could only find one Barrow's Goldeneye. Not much else of interest on the lake, but I did find a Lincoln's Sparrow in the gardens.

Calliope Golf Course Pleasanton Tuesday - a pair of Merlins were perched in a tree where Alisal Street turns into Sycamore Road about a quarter mile north of the entry drive to the  course. The  next day one of the two was perched in the same tree.

Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail (paved) in Pleasanton Wednesday- I got off my bike to take a look at the stream hoping for Hooded Merganser and/or Wood Ducks and I picked the right spot as I flushed a flock that included at least 13 Wood Ducks.  I've had a Loggerhead Shrike at or near the dog park at the start of the bike path three tiimes in the last week. I've also had Loggerheads at Bernal Community Park nearby a couple times. 

Frank's Dump today- after dipping on the Lapland Longspur (there were about 50 Cackling Geese there), I did find a male Eurasian Wigeon at Frank's Dump shoreline.

I've also seen a Loggerhead Shrike twice in the last week (today included) right off the path at Lorenzo Creek.

Derek  Heins


Heather Farm late Friday Nov. 24

rosita94598
 

After returning from Bodega Bay late this afternoon, I took a walk around the large, mostly natural pond in Heather Farm Park.  With the large Canada Goose flock on the north ball fields was a Greater White-fronted Goose.  I walked clockwise.  It was a 4-heron day, missed seeing a Great Blue Heron.  As I walked on the west side of the pond, in the deepest reeds in the small Ygnacio Canal, a Marsh Wren was quite persistent in it's calling/singing.  It never came up to where it was visible, but stayed very low. 

A number of Red-winged Blackbirds were around the pond, as they seem to be every late afternoon.  They are never present in the morning, though, at least at this time of year.  I wonder where they go during the day, there are so many possibilities. 

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


11.24 mountain view cemetery (and chron article)

lwpayne919
 

along with the abundant black phoebes, juncos, house sparrows, ca towhees, mallards, canada geese, anna's hummers, & yr warblers, i saw mature and immature wc sparrows, 4 winter plumed gc sparrows that foraged together (possibly eating blades of grass or droplets of dew from blades of grass??), 2 fox sparrows, a kestrel harassing a rt hawk, and (highlight of the cemetery) a northern flicker

as an aside, an article (http://m.sfgate..com/food/article/Thanksgiving-historic-menus-restaurants-archives-12377511.php) on sfgate featuring very old thanksgiving menus showed that "canvas back" duck was served in more than one ritzy establishment

does anyone know any history of local (or nonlocal) canvasbacks being a standard food item?

lewis payne




Swans flyover Coyote Hills towards bay

Jordan Carelli <jordan.carelli@...>
 

Two all white swans flew towards the bay at 3 pm. Assuming Tundra.

Also possible phalaropes in the northern edge of the salt flats, but distant and bad light.

Great day at Coyote Hills!

-Jordan


Swans Coyote Hills, flying towards bay 3 pm

jordan.carelli@...
 

Two all white swans flew towards the bay at 3 pm. Assuming Tundra.

Also possible phalaropes in the northern edge of the salt flats, not far from the wooden observation deck, but distant and bad light.

Great day at Coyote Hills!

-Jordan


Pine Siskins in Central Berkeley

Judith Dunham
 

Perhaps this is an indication of a good Pine Siskin fall-winter in the East Bay (and for the CBC). One Pine Siskin showed up two days ago, then three on Thanksgiving, and now five today. We are not in the hills but about 3/4 mile south of campus near Telegraph Avenue.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA


Re: Drones and shorebirds

janet ellis
 

Thank you for the info. I didn't have that when I saw someone earlier this year flying a drone over the marsh at the Baylands right next to a sign saying "No Drone Zone"

Janet Ellis
San Leandro



From: "Rusty Scalf rscalf@... [EBB_Sightings]"
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Thursday, November 23, 2017 11:05 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Drones and shorebirds

 

The event described by
Jim Chiropolos in which a drone disturbed the shorebird roost in Emeryville is disturbing, and something which many of us fear could become more common.  I'd like to share with this list some recommendations made by Cindy Margulis, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon:



Multiple steps are possible.  Drone flying within East Bay Regional Parklands is not allowed.  It's also not allowed in National Parks.  Other local parks might similarly have explicit regulations in place.

1)  Alert the relevant land management agency for that area.  IF it is occurring on EBRPD, call EBRPD POLICE line and report it.  They may not have an officer who can respond as promptly as you like, but report it anyway, please.  IF it's on City of Emeryville premises, also report it.  Since Emeryville Crescent is quite close to the Bay Bridge, I don't think Homeland Security will be too amused by drones overflying that area, either....

2)  KNOW THIS:  Flying drones into roosting wildlife is harassment and thus it's a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBYA).  If the law enforcement doesn't recognize this, you can cite it to them.   You can and should report such a violation also via the anonymous CalTIP hotline.  However, IF you wish to be able to talk to a responding warden, be sure and leave your name and phone(s)/contact info so they can call you if the investigator has any follow-up questions for your witness account.  They keep your information confidential but if you don't leave your contact details, they can't reach you if they want more info or to tell you status of their response.  CalTip is conscientious about following up on these repiorts, but they have very few wardens for vast area of our region, so it may take some time (hours or even several days) to get a call back.  Do not be discouraged!   https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip

3)  DOCUMENT ! DOCUMENT !  DOCUMENT.!   Photograph the drone, the pilot, and license plate of their car if you see it.  Use your cell phone if you don't have a regular birding camera to take pictures as best you can see, surreptitiously BEFORE confronting the pilot yourself.  Only then, consider confronting the drone pilot(s).  You probably shouldn't tell them you just documented their violation of federal law, but you might wanna tell them as nicely as you can (even though it's infuriating to witness if you care about birds) that drone flying is not allowed there.  You can further explain that it's a serious menace for wildlife that has traveled thousands of miles and absolutely needs to roost or feed or whatever it is the birds were trying to do before the drone jockey(s) flushed them.  Keep in mind, we're approaching holiday time and drones are unfortunately too affordable and often are holiday gifts to kids who really just might not know better. One should always try to inform rather than lead with your anger (however warranted).  Most humans respond better to civility than anger, especially from a stranger.

If the drone jock(s) are not amenable to ceasing the behavior, then just leave the scene (and perhaps document some more as you retreat!)  Then you'll have evidence:  time, data, geolocation, license plate etc which you can share with the enforcement folks at the land management agency and with CalTIP CDFW warden to "prove" the problem is real.  You'll be glad you've been a smart witness who documented it!   Having evidence makes them take the breach of  the MBTA even more seriously because there's now proof of the violation.

We all care deeply about the birds but your own safety is paramount.  If you feel these people are a danger to you if you confront them, just get out of there.  Thanks for caring and doing your part to try to protect our wildlife.

CM






Drones and shorebirds

rfs_berkeley
 


The event described by
Jim Chiropolos in which a drone disturbed the shorebird roost in Emeryville is disturbing, and something which many of us fear could become more common.  I'd like to share with this list some recommendations made by Cindy Margulis, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon:



Multiple steps are possible.  Drone flying within East Bay Regional Parklands is not allowed.  It's also not allowed in National Parks.  Other local parks might similarly have explicit regulations in place.

1)  Alert the relevant land management agency for that area.  IF it is occurring on EBRPD, call EBRPD POLICE line and report it.  They may not have an officer who can respond as promptly as you like, but report it anyway, please.  IF it's on City of Emeryville premises, also report it.  Since Emeryville Crescent is quite close to the Bay Bridge, I don't think Homeland Security will be too amused by drones overflying that area, either....

2)  KNOW THIS:  Flying drones into roosting wildlife is harassment and thus it's a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBYA).  If the law enforcement doesn't recognize this, you can cite it to them.   You can and should report such a violation also via the anonymous CalTIP hotline.  However, IF you wish to be able to talk to a responding warden, be sure and leave your name and phone(s)/contact info so they can call you if the investigator has any follow-up questions for your witness account.  They keep your information confidential but if you don't leave your contact details, they can't reach you if they want more info or to tell you status of their response.  CalTip is conscientious about following up on these repiorts, but they have very few wardens for vast area of our region, so it may take some time (hours or even several days) to get a call back.  Do not be discouraged!   https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip

3)  DOCUMENT ! DOCUMENT !  DOCUMENT.!   Photograph the drone, the pilot, and license plate of their car if you see it.  Use your cell phone if you don't have a regular birding camera to take pictures as best you can see, surreptitiously BEFORE confronting the pilot yourself.  Only then, consider confronting the drone pilot(s).  You probably shouldn't tell them you just documented their violation of federal law, but you might wanna tell them as nicely as you can (even though it's infuriating to witness if you care about birds) that drone flying is not allowed there.  You can further explain that it's a serious menace for wildlife that has traveled thousands of miles and absolutely needs to roost or feed or whatever it is the birds were trying to do before the drone jockey(s) flushed them.  Keep in mind, we're approaching holiday time and drones are unfortunately too affordable and often are holiday gifts to kids who really just might not know better. One should always try to inform rather than lead with your anger (however warranted).  Most humans respond better to civility than anger, especially from a stranger.

If the drone jock(s) are not amenable to ceasing the behavior, then just leave the scene (and perhaps document some more as you retreat!)  Then you'll have evidence:  time, data, geolocation, license plate etc which you can share with the enforcement folks at the land management agency and with CalTIP CDFW warden to "prove" the problem is real.  You'll be glad you've been a smart witness who documented it!   Having evidence makes them take the breach of  the MBTA even more seriously because there's now proof of the violation.

We all care deeply about the birds but your own safety is paramount.  If you feel these people are a danger to you if you confront them, just get out of there.  Thanks for caring and doing your part to try to protect our wildlife.

CM




San Leandro gulls today

Noah Arthur
 

Today Jack Hayden and I observed our long-standing tradition of gulling the San Leandro Marina on Thanksgiving morning. Gull numbers were impressive; one of the best days I've seen there. Along with several newly-lumped 'THAYER'S' ICELAND GULLS, we also got close looks at a 1st-cycle 'KUMLIEN'S' ICELAND GULL. There were more AMERICAN HERRING GULLS than I've usually see there, along with the usual RING-BILLED, MEW, CALIFORNIA, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, and various West Coast hybrids. Another very interesting bird was a Herring-type gull with extensive white on the underparts and a white tail-base with a broad dark terminal tail-band -- both Eurasian features. It doesn't, however, look good for Vega Gull (the semi-expected Eurasian Herring-type gull in California), so I'm not sure what to think of it. 

Kumlien's photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99231652@N07/albums/72157690002958115

possible Eurasian Herring photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99231652@N07/albums/72157687676106562


Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE)
semirelicta@...
510-967-2179


Boat trip to see the Red-footed Booby?

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hi folks

  I have been out of town, and just arrived a couple of days ago. I was talking to one of the local captains here in Half Moon Bay and he looks to be interested in doing a short (1 hour) booby boat trip to get closer to the Red-footed Booby for photos and closer study. I have folks ask me about this offline, so I thought I would ask if there were people interested on the various groups. Saturday morning, time to be determined (09:00, earlier??), at Pillar Point Harbor. To cover the cost for the boat and captain’s time - $20 per person. No guarantee that the booby will be there at that time, but that is the hope!

  Please let me know offline if you are interested.

Happy thanksgiving.

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Martinez Shoreline wood duck and prairie falcon

Teri L Wills
 

This afternoon the 22nd the Prairie Falcon flew over the newly filed pond east of the marina and then flew off north over the straits toward Benicia. In the same pond a female wood duck was associating with a bunch of mallards. The ponds are being filled with the mud and water from the dredging of the marina. The ball field area is also under construction.

I also saw two snipe which I have not seen there in some time. I only covered the duck pond and the area east of the marina. I did not go by the area the swamp sparrow was seen.

Martinez shoreline is at the north end of Ferry street in downtown Martinez. From the parking lot at the end by the marina, walk east past the harbor master and boat ramp. Continue on the trail along the ponds. The ducks were in the southwest corner of the first pond. The water was raising so the mud may be covered soon.

Teri Wills
Martinez


Eastern Contra Costa County - 11/23

Paul Schorr
 

Today we made a trip to Eastern Contra Costa County to check on possible new arrivals for the Mount Diablo Audubon Society CBC to be held in that area on December 20. Our first stop was at Cypress Grove Park in Oakley to check for goldeneyes at the associated neighborhood lake. A pari of COMMON GOLDENEYES had arrived. The lake often hosts Barrow’s Goldeneyes as well, hopefully they will arrive soon also. On the grass play field of the park, there were fourteen LONG-BILLED CURLEWS.

Along Delta Road in Knightsen,we had terrific views of a light morph FERRUGINOUS HAWK that was perched on a telephone pole.

Continuing on to Holland Tract, there was a continuing flock of about 30 SANDHILL CRANES. In addition, we also had an OSPREY. We did not see any swans, geese or ducks.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch


Drones and Birds

Jim Chiropolos
 

Today on my lunch walk people with a drone flew the drone into two roost locations and caused the terns and shorebirds on their Emeryville roosts to fly. They then chased birds in the air with the drone. 


They stopped and apologized after I politely said that that was inappropriate behavior and stressed the birds but it might not have been a sincere apology. This is the second time the last year I have witnessed people chasing birds with drones in Emeryville. Can someone update the group and notify us what is acceptable drone operation.


If this is illegal activity, does local law enforcement try to enforce it, or is this type of enforcement left to Fish and Wildlife?


I would hate to lose the Emeryville roosts I have watched for over 20 years because of people flying the drones into the roosts  for fun. For responses, we all know this is poor ethics so there is no need to pile on and criticize this type of behavior as it clutters the listserv. I am looking for one or two responses which summarizes the issues involved and cites regulations.


Thanks,

Jim Chiropolos

Emeryville and Orinda




Heather Farm Wednesday morning

rosita94598
 

It was a nice, crisp morning as Fred Safier and I walked around the large, mostly natural pond.  Today we had about 45 Ring-necked Ducks, though some flew while we were on the west side of the pond.  A fair number of Buffleheads were also present, male and female. 

We walk counter-clockwise and were almost back to the crosswalk in front of the dog park when Fred mentioned seeing what he thought was the continuing Tropical Kingbird.  It was in a tall green tree above the pre-school building across the street.  I looked and surprised myself when I found the bird almost immediately, despite the bird facing away from us.


Before we made it to the crosswalk, we heard an odd sound coming from the reeds to our left.  It sounded rail-like to me, but we could not see anything.  Fred tried a Sora recording with the "whinny" call, but we had no response.  At home, I have checked the xeno-canto site and the second recording down is what I feel we heard:  http://www.xeno-canto.org/explore?query=Sora


Hugh B. Harvey

Walnut Creek


Red-breasted Sapsuckers - Black Diamond Mines R. P., Antioch - 11/20

Paul Schorr
 

During a noon-time visit to Black Diamond Mines R. P., we located two Red-breasted Sapsuckers. The first bird was spotted while it moved among the trees on the west side of the upper parking lot. This is a location where we have seen this species in the past. The second bird was seen in the trees near the Visitor Center.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch


Pt. Pinole Peregrine and Osprey

Sheila Dickie
 

Yesterday, November 19, there was a Peregrine Falcon on the old pier at the point at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline Park. As on the prior two Sundays, the bird was perched on the osprey nest at about 3 p.m. There was also one osprey perched on a post just off shore at the Whittell Marsh. As previously reported, there was a large raft of thousands of birds East of the pier out in San Pablo Bay. Too far to identify without a scope, but there were quite a number of Ruddy Ducks swimming closer in.


Sheila Dickie
Richmond


Wilson's Snipe; Meeker Slough

Susan Greef
 

Hello,

Today just after a high tide we saw 3 Wilson's Snipes at Meeker Slough where they had been seen in previous winters. From the Meeker Slough bridge look toward the West at the slight rise with pampas grass on it. They were around a horizontal white fallen log. I only see this group during an extra high tide as they get pushed up out of the grass.

Susan Greef, Berkeley


crossbills in the Tilden Nature Area

mrkinch
 

At 7:30, 9:30, and 10:15 am today there were crossbills, ten or so, in the top of the tallest redwood just past the Park buildings heading north. Same tree as two years ago, best seen from just about the end of the asphalt. 


best of winter birding!

marilyn


Red Crossbill at Redwood Regional

Colin Meusel
 

Hello All
   Female Red Crossbill seen ~7:30 am this morning (19 Nov) on the ridge near WIlton Dr. between West Ridge Trail and Wilton Dr.  With a flock of about 18 Pine Siskins (seen regularly here). Seen on both sides of the county line.  ID photos on eBird.  Didn't vocalize, so subspecies not known.

location accessible from Skyline Gate but closer to Waterloo Staging Area.  Great views east and west to boot!

Cheers,
     Colin Meusel
     Oakland, CA


Cackling Geese, Monte Vista High School, Danville

photohutch
 

Birders,

Apparently, four cackling geese have taken up residence with a flock of Canada Geese that hang out on the practice fields at Monte Vista and on the pond at the adjacent Oak Hill Park. I've seen them pretty much every day since I reported them earlier in the week. They were on the fields at 7:30 this morning.

Love the cackling as they fly--quite distinct from the honking of the geese. Again, not sure of the subspecies, but one has a much thicker collar and appears slightly lighter and larger than the other three.

Happy birding,

Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo, CA

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