Re: Best EB spots for stationary birding?

Gambolin Man <tomario@...>

Hi David R! I suggest the meadow at Albany Bulb (McLaughlin Eastshore State Park), where Burrowing Owls can be spotted (and other raptors, herons, song birds etc) - I was fortunate enough to have spotted and filmed one recently! (First time ever.) Let me know if you want a Youtube link to my (shaky) shot :)

Tom McGuire
Berkeley CA

From: "dvdrobinson@... [EBB_Sightings]"
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 5:11 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Best EB spots for stationary birding?

Hi folks. Due to a knee injury, I'm having trouble hiking/walking. I'd be grateful for suggestions on East Bay birding spots where one can remain stationary (whether seated or standing) and still do some satisfying birding.

Thank you!

David R.

Re: Best EB spots for stationary birding?

Holly Bern

Elsie Roemer has a viewing area just off the road that is very nice.

Short-eared Owls


At 3:39pm today (12-18) I had three Short-eared Owls on Mt Trashmore at the Hayward Shoreline. Two were tangling in midair when another flew behind them.

James Watts

The Oakland Christmas Bird Count, Sunday, December 17, 2017

David Quady and Nancy Boas

East Bay Birders and others:

Sunny skies and diminishing winds prevailed during Oakland’s 77th annual CBC yesterday. Our preliminary total of 175 species, announced at last evening’s compilation dinner, is about four below our recent average, but several count areas had not yet reported.

Among the 163 species recorded at least eight of the preceding ten years, on count day we missed only Bonaparte’s Gull, Heermann’s Gull, and Loggerhead Shrike. I’d appreciate reports of any of these species being present inside the count circle from Thursday, December 15 through Wednesday, December 21, especially on count day. Numbers of Bonaparte’s Gulls on count day have bounced around over the last ten years, while Heermann’s Gull numbers have not exceeded ten birds since 2001, although the species was missed on only two counts since then.

Loggerhead Shrike is a different story. It’s been characterized as a 'common species in steep decline,' and is a California State Species of Special Concern. This year the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species considered it ‘Near-Threatened,’ two steps away from Endangered status. Only once since 2007 have we recorded more than two individuals, usually near the Oakland Airport; this is the first year it’s been missed entirely. We hope the miss proves to be an anomaly.

Remarkably, three additions to the count’s all-time species list were reported last evening: Pomarine Jaeger and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, both seen from our North Boat, off the end of the Berkeley Pier; and two Rhinoceros Auklets, seen off Ballena Bay in Alameda. The well-photographed storm-petrel was chosen as the count’s best bird. Today we learned of a fourth addition to the all-time list: a Lapland Longspur, photographed at Cesar Chavez Park.

Other nice finds included a Ross’s Goose at Damon Slough, near San Leandro Bay; Snow Geese at two spots on the coastline north of the Bay Bridge and at Lafayette Reservoir; a Common Gallinule on a pond along Wilder Road; nice numbers of Surfbirds in the Emeryville area, with another individual at Pt. Isabel; a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Barn Swallow at San Leandro Bay; a Common Murre off the end of the Berkeley Pier; a half-dozen Tree Swallows over Lafayette Reservoir; a House Wren at the Tilden Park golf course; and single Nashville and Black-throated Gray warblers on Bay Farm Island. All these reports of rare birds are subject to confirmation.

The count’s first bird was a Northern Saw-Whet Owl spontaneously tooting at 2:30 am in Redwood Regional Park. Owling continued there and at several other locations under excellent owling conditions, with Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl and Western Screech-Owl also detected before dawn. Burrowing Owls were found after dawn.

We are very proud that the Oakland CBC has attracted more field observers than any other Christmas Bird Count during each of the past three CBC seasons. We won’t know until late 2018 how this year’s count stacked up, but it’s not too soon for Bob Lewis, my co-compiler, and me to invite you to join Oakland’s 78th annual CBC, on December 16, 2018.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

Best EB spots for stationary birding?

David Robinson

Hi folks. Due to a knee injury, I'm having trouble hiking/walking. I'd be grateful for suggestions on East Bay birding spots where one can remain stationary (whether seated or standing) and still do some satisfying birding.

Thank you!

David R.

Morcom Rose Garden Great Egret


Today a Great Egret was stationed at the reflecting pond and cascade at the garden. A gardener spooked it and it flew, circled, and returned to the pond. In search of fresh water? I've lived next to the park for many years, and I've never seen an egret there.

Coyote Hills (12/17/17) - Swamp Sparrow and CBC results

Jerry Ting

Kai Mills, Harjeet Singh and I found a Swamp Sparrow in DUST Marsh (the exact same location as the SWSP found last year).  It was first identified by the bright, single note chirping calls and both Kai and Harjeet saw the bird briefly.  Here is the description of the location:

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 swallow 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.

Great weather today and record breaking result for this year's Coyote Hills (north section) CBC. Seven people worked for 10 hours and traveled (by car and foot) 16.5 miles. The final rally is 114 species as a group. I personally logged 112 species and total 9290 individuals counted.

Some highlights include:
2 Burrowing Owls (Nike Hills)

3 Merlins (2 seen fluby at Hoot Hollow and 1 perched on a Sycamore Tree on east section of south Alameda Creek

12 Red-breasted Mergansers (pond N4A and N2A out on No Name Trail)
20 Bonaparte's Gull (pond N4A)
2 Snowy Plover (pond N4A)
2 American Bitterns (1 North Marsh Channel and 1 Main Marsh Chochenyo Trail concrete wall site)
1 Swamp Sparrow (DUST Trail east section marsh)
13 Wilson's Snipes (Main and DUST Marsh)
1 Mallard x Gadwall Hybrid (No Name Trail near pump station found by Rich Nicholson and Stephanie Floyd)

1 Chilean Flamingo (also seen by Rich Nicholson and Stephanie Floyd on pond N3A)

Here is the complete eBird report:

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting


One more about the H Farm Snow Goose


I did not make it to this park in the Ygnacio Valley of Walnut Creek until about 10 AM today.  The Snow Goose was not on the large, mostly natural pond, but I found a birding friend at the wooden railing near the parking lot.  She told me the bird had flown and circled before heading south.  I rode my bike around the concrete pond and quickly found the Snow Goose on the main lawn south of the central office/community building.

After riding around some other areas, I returned to check the gulls perched on the roof of the building. As I started to check them with my binoculars, I noticed a large raptor high in the sky beyond.  When I looked, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk.  Then I realized another was there, which was a Golden Eagle, and finally a second Red-tailed Hawk.  The hawks were not excited about the eagle being around and were trying to move it along. 

Suddenly, the eagle started diving toward the area between the concrete and more natural ponds--its wings were folded in as it gained speed.  Because I was on the wrong side of the building, I could not quite see where it went or what happened.  All the geese, the gulls and about 20 crows went absolutely nuts.  I quickly moved my bike around the building, but could never re-locate the Golden Eagle.  The lawn was devoid of any geese, and these crows and the gulls were flying and making a racket over the redwood trees between the building and N. San Carlos Drive, the main road through the park.  Try as I might, I could not find the eagle inside those trees.

When I returned to the wooden railing, all the geese were on the large pond and the Snow Goose was less than 20 feet away, swimming calmly as though nothing at all was out of the ordinary.  But it was certainly an exciting few minutes while it lasted.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Snow Goose, Heather Farm Park


The Snow Goose at Heather Farm, this morning, while quite unexpected--and a first for me, since beginning the patch in Nov., 2012--was not a first at the park, as I had wondered.

Here's an eBird link, sent by Hugh Harvey, after my morning post:

Good birding, all.

Tracy Farrington

Walnut Creek


Snow Goose, Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek


During our Mt. Diablo Audubon Young Birders Club CBC at Heather Farm Park, one adult SNOW GOOSE was spotted on the natural pond, found among ~30 Canada Geese. This is a first sighting, for me, at this location, and I know of no others that have been confirmed. Perhaps Hugh Harvey, Fred Safier or other birders could provide some input. 

Later in the morning, it was walking about on land, and seemed somewhat approachable, not particularly shy. From all I could tell, its appearance and movements indicated a healthy bird. It was not banded.

I also had a flyover GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, another very unusual sighting for HF.

Good CBC's to all,

Tracy Farrington

Walnut Creek

South Livermore (12/15/17) - Cassin's Kingbirds,Mountain Bluebirds...etc.

Jerry Ting

Kevin McKereghan and I traveled 46 miles from 6:45am - 16:50pm for the East Alameda County CBC yesterday (12/15/2017).  We visited 12 different spots and finished up with 86 species and more than 5200 individuals counted. 

Some highlights include:

1 Iceland Gull (Thayer's) seen flyby with Herring Gulls near Big Trees Park.

1 White-throated Sparrow (tan striped) seen on Susan Ln.

11 Pine Siskins (9 on Susan Ln, 2 on Mines Rd mm 6,.24)

1 Great Horned Owl on Patterson Pass Rd

1 Ferruginous Hawk on Cross Rd

2 California Thrashers on Mines Rd (mm 6.24 and mm 5.75)

1 Greater Roadrunner on Mines Rd (mm 4.82)

2 Tricolored Blackbirds on Mines Rd (mm 4.82)

3 Phainopepla (1 on Mines Rd, 1 on Del Valle Rd and 1 on Mendenhall Rd)

1 Virginia Rail hear calling from the pond at the south end of Greenville Rd

4 Hooded Mergansers (2 pairs) seen in the pond at the south end of Greenville Rd

11 Ring-necked Ducks seen in the pond on Poppy Ridge Golf Course entrance road

1 immature Golden Eagle seen on Poppy Ridge Golf Course entrance road

2 Lark Sparrows seen on Cliford Rd (private road)

2 Cassin's Kingbirds also seen on Cliford Rd (private property)

2 Cassin's Kingbirds seen at the entrance of Cedar Mountain Einery on Reuss Rd.

13 Mountain Bluebirds seen on wires on the hillside road across the Cedar Mountain Winery.

6 Purple Finches in Tex Spruiell Park

2 (could be more) Chipping Sparrows also seen in Tex Spruiell Park

10 White-tailed Kites at the intersection of Felicia Ave and Vivian Lane

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting



Harris's Sparrow, Livermore


During today's eastern Alameda County CBC,  Bob Dunn found a first winter Harris's Sparrow in a small flock of crowned sparrows feeding around a gully on the east side of Doolan Road, Livermore, across from a mailbox labeled 5658 Doolan Road. David Yeamans took photos and posted them on ebird at  Our CBC section leader, Rich Nicholson and I also enjoyed good views of the bird.

Stephanie Floyd



Ballena Bay

Bob Richmond

Thousands of gulls are on the SF Bay side of Ballena Bay and extend to the old Naval Air Station and out the breakwater. A local says that it first occured yesterday. I saw them from 1:30 to 3:00. Not as many were here at 3:00 than 1:30. I assume it is a Herring run.

Bob Richmond

Banded Brown Pelican Reporting


Audubon California and IBRRC has asked that if you see a banded pelican, please report it to International Bird Rescue.  International Bird Rescue places large, plastic blue, green, white and red bands with letter/number identification (“V13,” for instance) on pelicans post-release to track them. Birders all along the West Coast have reported hundreds of sightings. If you see a banded pelican, please report your sighting online — and take a photo of the bird if you can! To report any banded pelicans, please visit: https://www.bird- bird/reporting-a-banded-bird. aspx

Thank you

Continuing Tropical Kingbird Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek


This morning we had the Tropical Kingbird in two locations.  It was first spotted in the second eucalyptus tree to the right of the gravel boat ramp.  This is at the south end of the large, mostly natural pond.  When we walked around to the wooden railing, it arrived there, too, in one of the smaller trees over the lawn.

Good numbers of Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads were present, as was the long-present Common Gallinule.  A Red-shouldered Hawk was seen carrying apparent nest material at the north end of the park.

Just north of the Contra Costa Canal a Merlin was seen early, but just a few minutes after that sighting it left. 

Fred Saifer's eBird list has a couple of photos of the Tropical Kingbird.

Hugh B. Harvey

Walnut Creek

Continuing Long-tailed Duck Alameda 12/12


Walt Duncan and I drove to Balena Bay to scope the water off Crab cove and Crown Memorial Beach late this morning.  We did find a single Long-tailed Duck at a great distance; it is one of two reported on Saturday by Jerry Ting.  The light was horrible, so we drove around and parked on Westline Drive just before it turns and becomes Shore Line Drive.  We scoped from the beach looking back to Balena Bay with much better light and found the mostly white Long-tailed Duck fairly easily.  It was still at a great distance, but with the sun behind us the viewing was much better. 

The Long-tailed Duck was with many Surf Scoters and Buffleheads.  We then drove the length of Shore Line and parked right across from the viewing platform at Elsie Roemer.  Though the mudflats were extensive here with a low tide, we had many great shorebirds including Least and Western Sandpipers, Sanderling, Dunlin, Semi-palmated and Black-bellied Plovers, Dowitchers, Willet, Marbled Godwit, 3 Long-billed Curlews, Brown Pelicans and assorted gulls.

Balena Bay had many Forster's Terns, the flat dock next to the breakwater was covered with shorebirds which flew when a sailboat with a tall mast motored past.  I did not have a chance to check them before they left, but they were peep-sized birds with some Black-bellied Plovers on top of the breakwater.

Well worth the trip, we were back home in about 4 hours.

Hugh B. Harvey

Walnut Creek

Richmond Merlin

Sheila Dickie

Late afternoon yesterday, December 11, there was a Merlin perched atop a telegraph pole in the middle of the 600 block of 29th Street, Richmond, two blocks north of Barrett Avenue. There has been a Merlin in the same neighborhood at this time of year for a number of years.

Sheila Dickie

Eurasian Wigeon, Black Oystercatchers in Alameda

Matt Tarlach

Very nice male Eurasian Wigeon in Peet's Pond, Alameda yesterday afternoon. Swimming with about 20 American Wigeon at the western end of the dam, across from Peet's headquarters off Harbor Bay Parkway.

An hour later had 3 Black Oystercatchers on the south shore of the San Leandro Channel, about a half-mile west of the Harbor Bay Club where the channel widens out into SF Bay. First time birding this area and don't know if they're unusual, but it's the furthest from the sea that I've seen Oystercatchers in my short birding career.


Matt Tarlach

Walnut Creek, California

Kingbird and Cats

Mark Rauzon

As Jerry Ting mentioned, the Tropical Kingbird cont. at the end of West Winton Avenue, & I think I know why. 

There is a feral cat feeding station that attracts wasps to the food and the kingbird takes up a position nearby on the overhead wires to snatch yellow jackets mid-air.

This is in front of the Tigers Freight building,, near the boundary of Hayward Regional Shoreline Park,  a spot where kingbirds have been seen from year to year.  

Also I wish to report a car ride up Patterson Pass Rd. at 7:30 this am. Highlights were a Roadrunner, on the downhill side past the trees, on the south; 3 Ferruginous Hawks, including a lovely dark morph; and a Vesper Sparrow on the uphill slope near the main pull out. I saw no Mt Bluebirds though.

Mark Rauzon

Prairie Falcon near Wildcat Canyon

Pam Young

Prairie falcon circled low overhead by the Kensington Old School Trail (near Wildcat Canyon) at 4:30 PM Sunday Dec 10. 

Good birding, 

Pam Young


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