Date   

Tuesday in CoCoCo: a sparrow near vespers and a dipped duck

David Quady and Nancy Boas
 

Hi, Birders:

On 6 March I spent an hour or so mid-day scoping for the male Tufted Duck off the Bethel Island Marina, but dipped on the bird. The diving waterfowl were quite distant, and the sun’s glare also didn’t help.

At the Sindicich Ponds (why are they named ‘lagoons?’) at the center of Briones Regional Park, the long-staying Vesper Sparrow obligingly perched up in the late afternoon, in good view on the west edge of the upper pond — the one nearer the Old Briones Road Trail.

Good birding.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California
davequady@att.net


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Tropical Kingbird, mystery raptors, Heather Farms

Alan Krakauer
 

I stopped by Heather Farms around mid-day today to look for the Tropical Kingbird. Thanks to two birders I ran into, we found the kingbird between the two ponds.  Also many thanks to Hugh and everyone else who have continued to report this bird throughout the winter.

I also had two frustrating looks at some interesting raptors. First was an eagle soaring high and fast to the north.  It was sub-adult, and my hunch was Golden athough I was not able to eliminate Bald with my view.  Shortly after that, a large falcon zipped through the trees heading south. My guess was a pale-ish peregrine but who knows. 


-Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA


Rare East Bay waterbirds, Sunday March 4

Bob Toleno
 

Juli Chamberlin and i hit a few different spots around Alameda and Contra Costa counties yesterday to see some of the rarities that others have found lately (and even found one of our own). Our first stop was San Leandro Marina where the male HARELEQUIN DUCK put on a great show for us preening just 30 feet away on the rocky shoreline at the end of Mulford Point. Next we drove out to Bethel Island where we were able to re-find the adult male TUFTED DUCK that Logan Kahle first spotted on Feb 22. We scoped Frank's Tract pond from the second floor porch of the convenience store (after buying some snacks and getting permission from the proprietor) at the coordinates Logan gave in his previous email (38.0410441,-121.6332131). Next we made a brief stop at Holland Tract where the only notable bird was our FOS Swainson's Hawk. Last, we went to Contra Loma Reservoir where we saw the continuing Barrow's Goldeneye drake. While looking for that duck, we were scoping the reeds on the far side of the reservoir and spotted a RED-NECKED GREBE swimming with a Pied-billed. Apparently, this is the first record of this species in Contra Costa in over four years.

Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward


Snow Goose continues at Berkeley Estuary near playground

David Couch
 

For the last week my wife Nancy has noticed a Snow Goose as she rides her bike along the Berkeley Estuary. It is generally swimming or waddling near the playground at the Channing Street entrance. We last saw the bird on Saturday. Seems awfully tame.

Haven't found this reported yet on our listserv, but since seeing it, we noticed it on iNaturalist and I also see it's been reported on eBird since early February.

David Herzstein Couch
7th St
Berkeley, CA 94710


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker -- Continues

Graham Chisholm
 

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker showed up around 3:45 pm this afternoon and was in the cotoneaster by the last picnic table on the east side of the Little Farm parking area in Tilden Park (last table, means by the far end of the parking lot).   It also fed in the bay tree right by the picnic table eventually and I was able to get a photo with my iPhone:


Graham Chisholm
Berkeley



--
Graham Chisholm
c. 510-409-6603


Common Murre off Point Potrero, Richmond, 3/3

Judith Dunham
 

Lydia Huang, Wendy Hoben, and I birded Meeker Slough, Vincent Park, and the waters off the end of Canal Boulevard this morning, moving from place to place as each wave of rain came through. Off the viewing platform at Point Potrero, we had a close view of a COMMON MURRE. Unlike the sickly and lethargic individuals that sometimes wind up along the bayshore, this was a robust bird.

An Osprey was at the whirley crane nest. From the tip of Vincent Park, we saw two birds at the nest and observed copulation. Only one remained when we arrived at the crane. There was also a nice Red-throated Loon just off the platform at Potrero Point.

Canal Boulevard ends at a parking lot. From there, it is a short walk to the platform. This area, where the Red Oak Victory is located, is called Point Potrero.

eBird list with marginally passable cell photos of murre: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43344531

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA


Re: Harlequin Duck

Bruce Mast
 

Best viewing is currently from the end of the parcourse peninsula.

Bruce Mast
Oakland

On 3 Mar 2018 09:48, "Graham Chisholm graham.chisholm@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
The previously reported Harlequin Duck is currently being seen off Mulford Point and in the marina channel at San Leandro Marina.

Graham Chisholm
Berkeley

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Harlequin Duck

Graham Chisholm
 

The previously reported Harlequin Duck is currently being seen off Mulford Point and in the marina channel at San Leandro Marina.

Graham Chisholm
Berkeley


Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, March 2nd, 2018 , Tilden Nature Area

Alan Kaplan
 


Friends!

Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, March 2nd, 2018
Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley CA. To Jewel Lake and back again in wet, dark(ish), sun, hail, rain conditions. 

Thanks to the 24 observers (23 and me!) who came out today; some drove into the parking lot with snow or hail on their cars from the higher elevations to the south and east. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker did not appear at the cotoneaster in the parking lot, but we had Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker and Acorn Woodpecker for a Picidae hat-trick and a Corvid grand slam, too: Steller's Jay, California Scrub-Jay, American Crow and Common Raven.

Topic today was Birdwatching with American Women: a selection of nature writings, by Deborah Strom. Women birders were crucial in: ending the millinery and fashion trade use of birds on hats and clothing in the early 20th century (Celia Leighton Thaxter's essay "Women's Heartlessness"); spreading the nature education movement nation-wide (Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study); producing "our first modern field guide",  said GGAS member Harry Fuller of Florence Merriam Bailey's Handbook of Birds of the Western United States; introducing field techniques for research that are still used today (Margaret Morse Nice's Song Sparrow studies).

Here are the 27 species seen by 24 observers:

Mallard
Red-shouldered Hawk  
Anna's Hummingbird  
Allen's Hummingbird  
Acorn Woodpecker  
Hairy Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker  
Black Phoebe  
Hutton's Vireo  
Steller's Jay 
California Scrub-Jay  
American Crow  
Common Raven  
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  
Bushtit  
Brown Creeper  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Hermit Thrush  
American Robin  
Varied Thrush  
Yellow-rumped Warbler  
Fox Sparrow 
Dark-eyed Junco 
Golden-crowned Sparrow  
Song Sparrow  
California Towhee  
Spotted Towhee  

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan


White-throated Sparrow - Antioch yard - 3/2

Paul Schorr
 

The White-throated Sparrow that I first reported on 12/21 has remained a daily visitor to our yard. In addition, a Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco has made irregular appearances in our yard for the past several months.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Harlequin Duck continues at San Leandro Marina, 3/2

Judith Dunham
 

Thanks to Bob Dunn--who saved me from scouring the entire marina and getting completely soaked--I headed in the right direction to see the Harlequin Duck around 1 p.m. today at high tide. It was roosting with Willets along the rocky shoreline that faces what on the map is called the Small Boat Lagoon. I scoped it first from the area south of the Marina parking lot, then walked the parcourse trail north toward Faro Point for a better view.

eBird list with photos: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43319576

I lucked out by birding between squalls. I reserved the best squall for the Nimitz.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA


Re: Harlequin Duck 3/2

Philip Georgakakos
 

The duck was diving in the open water between Pescadero Point and Mulford Point at 7:05 this morning.

Phil


On Feb 28, 2018, at 14:40, 'Judi S.' judisierra@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

 

The duck was found this afternoon around 1:15 and viewed by several happy birders. It was seen quite close from the west side of Mulford point swimming with a few surf scoters and scaup. When I left it was heading further away. Not sure when it was seen on land by Kevin

Judi Sierra- Oakland


Swallows in Walnut Creek Thursday, March 1

rosita94598
 

Feeling some cabin fever, I dressed the part and walked to Heather Farm Park today in the rain--rain pants, gloves, overcoat and umbrella.  Needless to say, the birds were not so anxious to be out, though sometimes the rain almost quit, and once I actually stood in bright sunshine.

About 10:30, I stood near the entrance to the private Seven Hills School.  A few Ring-necked Ducks were on that pond, but the big thrill was watching Rough-winged Swallows flying over the water.

Maybe this is the first day of spring, despite what the calendar shows.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek



Re: EC Parks and (wrong) Sapsucker

Seth LaRosa
 

The YBSA was at Tilden Nature Area today, February 28th, at 9:10 AM on the usual cotoneaster. 


Wildcat Marsh Staging Area is another good birding spot in Richmond, there are two WTKI’s out there at the end of the trail and a plethora of ducks at the water treatment plant to the north of the path. The site also boasts sweeping views of the refinery and lots of RBGU’s at the nearby landfill. 
 
-Seth LaRosa


On Feb 28, 2018, at 4:37 PM, Alan Krakauer ahkrakauer@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

I went on Tuesday to Tilden Nature Area. There was a Red-breasted sapsucker at around 10 in the sapsucker spot but no Yellow-bellied.

I’d like to recommend another couple of urban spots for Logan Kahle and others interested in EC birding spots. First (although not stricktly a park), Sunset View Cemetery at the east end of Fairmount Ave, and Creekside Park along the base of Albany Hill may be worth a look. Creekside unfortunatley had a prospering feral cat colony last time I was there.

Cheers,
Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA



EC Parks and (wrong) Sapsucker

Alan Krakauer
 

I went on Tuesday to Tilden Nature Area. There was a Red-breasted sapsucker at around 10 in the sapsucker spot but no Yellow-bellied.

I’d like to recommend another couple of urban spots for Logan Kahle and others interested in EC birding spots. First (although not stricktly a park), Sunset View Cemetery at the east end of Fairmount Ave, and Creekside Park along the base of Albany Hill may be worth a look. Creekside unfortunatley had a prospering feral cat colony last time I was there.

Cheers,
Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA


Harlequin Duck 2/28

judisierra
 

The duck was found this afternoon around 1:15 and viewed by several happy birders. It was seen quite close from the west side of Mulford point swimming with a few surf scoters and scaup. When I left it was heading further away. Not sure when it was seen on land by Kevin

Judi Sierra- Oakland


Harlequin Duck in San Leandro Feb 28

rosita94598
 

A request from Kevin Hintsa:

Hi  ,   can you post this for me on EBB ?  The male  Harlequin Duck was at Marina Park -Mulhford Point area of San Leandro at 1115 am during high tide . It was sitting on the rocks with Willets , about 16 Surfbirds , and Black Turnstones . This is in the channel at the very north end of the par course just before the trail turns back southward .   Kevin Hintsa

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek



Re: Richmond city parks 2/24

lowensvi@sbcglobal.net
 

Hi Logan,

That is great to hear about Booker T. Anderson, Jr. Park! I helped restore that creek there in 2000 with the goal of providing habitat for songbirds; it was part of my master's thesis at SF State. I'm glad to know it is working--there have been many fights over the years to preserve the vegetation there! Mira Vista and Canyon Trail are nice too; also, check out the Gateway Park (border of Richmond and El Cerrito off of San Pablo near McDonald)--also very birdy due to 2006 creek restoration with lots of willows and other vegetation. And Poinsett Park up on the hill is another birdy scene. That creek was restored in 1997 and there is lots of productive vegetation. 

Best,
Lisa




From: "Logan Kahle logan@... [EBB_Sightings]"
To: ebb_sightings@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 8:56 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Richmond city parks 2/24

 
Hi All,

Yesterday I got out with the primary intention of birding some of West
county's city parks. Unlike one (Heather Farms) park that gets thorough
coverage and several (Ellis Lake, Clayton City Park, Newhall, etc) parks
that get occasional coverage in the Walnut Creek-Concord Metropolitan
area, the parks of Kensington, El Cerrito, and Richmond get essentially
no coverage at any time of year. Looking at this from an overall birding
standpoint this may not come as much of a surprise given that they are
overall out of the way, lack any real pond or other easy-to-bird
features, and are in Richmond, but these areas may prove some of the
best vagrant traps in the county. Below I will give my best shot at
analyzing some of these sites, in rough order of most productive to
least productive:

Booker T Anderson Park: Of all the spots I visited today, I was most
impressed by this one. Lying on the immediate coastal plain less than a
miles from the Bay, the spot had a diversity of trees ranging from
Flowering Eucs, mature live oaks, rich willows to long-leafed pines.
There is a creek that runs through the center of the park that was
hopping with activity, and had several birds I think of as pretty rare
in Richmond, such as Pacific Wren and White-throated Sparrow (both
firsts for me in Richmond). Other birds here included Purple Finch, a
flock of American Goldfinches and other species normally indicative of a
lucrative vagrant trap. Visiting here in Fall or slightly less in Spring
and Winter could be very productive.

Richmond Field Station: Not technically a "city park" but I was
nonetheless impressed by this place's birdiness. I was unable to get
inside the station (sounds like thats only possible on weekdays?) but
birding from outside the fence was nonetheless productive. There were
several large groups of Sparrows, and scattered House Wrens, Warblers, etc.

Canyon Trail Park: Despite its small size, this park seemed to have
amazing potential, especially in migration, for migrants and vagrants.
There are very few places on the Richmond coastal slope that have low
dense vegetation as this site does, and even fewer with water. Birds
here on this visit included Pacific Wren, Red-breasted and Pygmy
Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Blake Garden: While already a known spot, this place seemed to have
great potential to me at any season. I was unable to enter the park but
could bird and look in from the outside. Of all the sites I visited,
only Booker T Anderson Park rivaled this location in sheer number of birds.

Mira Vista Park: While the habitat here is even smaller than Canyon
Trail and there is less cover, I still thought this small park had good
potential for a fall goody to drop in. There is a small creek, a decent
amount of nearby vegetation, and a small flock of Titmice, Purple
Finches and other common woodsy passerines on the east end of the park.

Hillside Natural Area: While there were many birds at this large park,
it did not strike me as one to concentrate migrants or vagrants.
Probably worth checking on a fallout/movement day in either Spring or
Fall, but may not be as productive as the previously mentioned spots.

Motorcycle Hill: My impression here was similar to that of Hillside
Natural Area, but perhaps this spot is slightly lower quality in habitat.

Arlington Park: Unlike any of the other parks I visited, this one had a
pond, but it was unfortunately cobblestone and didn't even have
Mallards. The nearby vegetation was rather dense, and I could see the
spot having a few migrants in the appropriate season, but overall the
park was rather unremarkable. Most interesting was the large redwood
grove on the south side.

Cerrito Vista Park: This park (at least on a saturday) was very well
populated by people. The only well-vegetated part (the east end) had a
large stash of fruiting trees, and a healthy number of thrushes and
waxwings amongst them. However, the place did not seem like a great spot
for Warblers, flycatchers, or most other goodies.

Tassajara Park: Like Cerrito Vista this place was very crowded, and was
the only park I visited that didn't really have any concentration of
birds. Would think visiting nearby neighborhoods would be just as
productive.

A few notes ab out the birds in the park that I found surprising/notable:

Yellow-rumped Warbler: All of the Yellow-rumped Warblers I saw were
Audubon's. While I was expecting low concentrations of Myrtle, it came
as a surprise that the taxa was totally absent.

White-crowned Sparrow-I was surprised to find in the upland hills that
Gambell's seemed to be the dominant subspecies. On the bayside,
Yellow-billed often birds make up much more than 99% of the flocks.

Pygmy Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet: Of the parks I visited, these
traditional berkeley hills winterers were noted only at Canyon Trail.
Another indication the spot could be interesting in migration

Full checklists below
Richmond Field Station: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43139379
Booker T Anderson Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43141443
Hillside Natural Area: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43144609
Cerrito Vista Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43145116
Blake Garden: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43145851
Canyon Trail Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43150448
Arlington Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43149196
Mira Vista Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43152586
Motorcycle Hill: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43151572
Tassajara Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43152036

Good birding,
Logan Kahle
Richmond, CA



Richmond city parks 2/24

Logan Kahle
 

Hi All,

Yesterday I got out with the primary intention of birding some of West county's city parks. Unlike one (Heather Farms) park that gets thorough coverage and several (Ellis Lake, Clayton City Park, Newhall, etc) parks that get occasional coverage in the Walnut Creek-Concord Metropolitan area, the parks of Kensington, El Cerrito, and Richmond get essentially no coverage at any time of year. Looking at this from an overall birding standpoint this may not come as much of a surprise given that they are overall out of the way, lack any real pond or other easy-to-bird features, and are in Richmond, but these areas may prove some of the best vagrant traps in the county. Below I will give my best shot at analyzing some of these sites, in rough order of most productive to least productive:

Booker T Anderson Park: Of all the spots I visited today, I was most impressed by this one. Lying on the immediate coastal plain less than a miles from the Bay, the spot had a diversity of trees ranging from Flowering Eucs, mature live oaks, rich willows to long-leafed pines. There is a creek that runs through the center of the park that was hopping with activity, and had several birds I think of as pretty rare in Richmond, such as Pacific Wren and White-throated Sparrow (both firsts for me in Richmond). Other birds here included Purple Finch, a flock of American Goldfinches and other species normally indicative of a lucrative vagrant trap. Visiting here in Fall or slightly less in Spring and Winter could be very productive.

Richmond Field Station: Not technically a "city park" but I was nonetheless impressed by this place's birdiness. I was unable to get inside the station (sounds like thats only possible on weekdays?) but birding from outside the fence was nonetheless productive. There were several large groups of Sparrows, and scattered House Wrens, Warblers, etc.

Canyon Trail Park: Despite its small size, this park seemed to have amazing potential, especially in migration, for migrants and vagrants. There are very few places on the Richmond coastal slope that have low dense vegetation as this site does, and even fewer with water. Birds here on this visit included Pacific Wren, Red-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Blake Garden: While already a known spot, this place seemed to have great potential to me at any season. I was unable to enter the park but could bird and look in from the outside. Of all the sites I visited, only Booker T Anderson Park rivaled this location in sheer number of birds.

Mira Vista Park: While the habitat here is even smaller than Canyon Trail and there is less cover, I still thought this small park had good potential for a fall goody to drop in. There is a small creek, a decent amount of nearby vegetation, and a small flock of Titmice, Purple Finches and other common woodsy passerines on the east end of the park.

Hillside Natural Area: While there were many birds at this large park, it did not strike me as one to concentrate migrants or vagrants. Probably worth checking on a fallout/movement day in either Spring or Fall, but may not be as productive as the previously mentioned spots.

Motorcycle Hill: My impression here was similar to that of Hillside Natural Area, but perhaps this spot is slightly lower quality in habitat.

Arlington Park: Unlike any of the other parks I visited, this one had a pond, but it was unfortunately cobblestone and didn't even have Mallards. The nearby vegetation was rather dense, and I could see the spot having a few migrants in the appropriate season, but overall the park was rather unremarkable. Most interesting was the large redwood grove on the south side.

Cerrito Vista Park: This park (at least on a saturday) was very well populated by people. The only well-vegetated part (the east end) had a large stash of fruiting trees, and a healthy number of thrushes and waxwings amongst them. However, the place did not seem like a great spot for Warblers, flycatchers, or most other goodies.

Tassajara Park: Like Cerrito Vista this place was very crowded, and was the only park I visited that didn't really have any concentration of birds. Would think visiting nearby neighborhoods would be just as productive.

A few notes ab out the birds in the park that I found surprising/notable:

Yellow-rumped Warbler: All of the Yellow-rumped Warblers I saw were Audubon's. While I was expecting low concentrations of Myrtle, it came as a surprise that the taxa was totally absent.

White-crowned Sparrow-I was surprised to find in the upland hills that Gambell's seemed to be the dominant subspecies. On the bayside, Yellow-billed often birds make up much more than 99% of the flocks.

Pygmy Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet: Of the parks I visited, these traditional berkeley hills winterers were noted only at Canyon Trail. Another indication the spot could be interesting in migration

Full checklists below
Richmond Field Station: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43139379
Booker T Anderson Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43141443
Hillside Natural Area: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43144609
Cerrito Vista Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43145116
Blake Garden: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43145851
Canyon Trail Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43150448
Arlington Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43149196
Mira Vista Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43152586
Motorcycle Hill: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43151572
Tassajara Park: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43152036

Good birding,
Logan Kahle
Richmond, CA

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