Black Skimmer both counties

John Luther

Hi All,

While doing a bird survey on the Alameda Reserve on the old Alameda Naval Air Station this morning we saw a Black Skimmer.  It was first in San Francisco Co by the Caspian Tern colony and then flew into Alameda Co.  Sorry there is no public access here, but thought you might want to know.  It might show up any where near there.  This is the second time there has been one in this area.  

John Luther

Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, June 1, 2018

Alan Kaplan


Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, June 1, 2018. Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley, CA.
To Jewel Lake on the road and back by way of the Boardwalk.

Today's theme was comparing and contrasting Bird Notes Afield (1907) by Charles Keeler, and Birds of Berkeley (2018) by Oliver James. Guests from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Forty-eight observers saw 29 species of birds, including Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-headed Grosbeak, and a juvenile male Hairy Woodpecker being fed by parents in the same snag that has been occupied at least 3 seasons. And great looks at Bewick's Wren and Pacific-coast Flycatcher at the end of the walk.

Here are the 29 species seen by 48 observers:

Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Hairy Woodpecker 3 Juvenile male being fed by adult pair in a snag that has been occupied for at least 3 seasons in a row, near the start (south end) of the Boardwalk.
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe 2 nesting under the bridge at Jewel Lake north end
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Steller's Jay
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch fide Griffith
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
Swainson's Thrush
American Robin
Orange-crowned Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
California Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Black-headed Grosbeak
Purple Finch

Best of Boids!
Alan Kaplan

Crown Memorial SB - Crab Cove Area

Bob Richmond

Seen today

1 Cackling Goose
1 Common GoldenEye

Bob Richmond

West Nile Virus


This is not meant to alarm anyone but just informtional.

Here is the link to the hotline to report any potential West Nile Virus in birds



YTD: 7 Counties: 5
There have been 2 new WNV positive dead birds reported in California last week from Alameda (1) and Sacramento (1) counties.

This is the first indication of WNV from Alameda and Sacramento counties this year.

7 dead birds from 5 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2018.

Out of Season


In Hugh Harvey's absence, a note from Heather Farms park.

I observed a very much out-of-season Ring-necked Duck on the main lake.
eBird  ( gave me some static, but I was able to snap a bad iPhone photo which I attached, with the following comment:
I agree that this is a rarity. I don’t know what he’s doing here at this time of year. In my photo he is just a speck. However, he is unmistakable with that white-striped dark bill, slightly peaked head, the white vertical stripe at the front of the body and black wings and back and white underside. This is NOT a misidentified Scaup ("black at both ends and white in the middle").

Otherwise, there was nothing unusual in the park. Cliff, Barn, Northern Rough-winged, and Violet-green Swallows were all present in good numbers, the former two flying into (not visible) nests under bridges. I heard, but did not see, a Belted Kingfisher (they haven't been much in evidence lately at the park). Also, House and Lesser Goldfinches, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Nuttall's Woodpeckers, etc.
Though yesterday I had both the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Green Heron, I missed them both today.

Fred Safier

Lawrence's goldfinches

Jerry Britten

Since yesterday, a pair of Lawrence's goldfinches have been hanging out in my yard - a new yard bird for me.  Also, ash-throated flycatchers have been checking out a nest box vacated by white-breasted nuthatches a couple of weeks ago.  If they nest it will also be a first.  There are still occasional yellow and orange-crowned warblers around, but most of the warblers have moved on. Also, some lingering Swainson's thrushes, a constantly-singing warbling vireo over our deck, some western tanagers, lots of fledged western bluebirds and lots of black-headed grosbeaks.  Very few house wrens compared with previous years, but the Bewick's wrens are more visible and vocal.  Finally, no violet-green swallows nesting, we've had them for the past several years.
Jerry Britten, Morgan Territory.

Coyote Hills RP 5/27


I took a visiting friend yesterday. I didn't expect much in the way of birds this late and numbers were low. However we had a couple of good sightings- a male BULLOCK'S Oriole in the flowering eucalyptus off of Quail Trail?/service road near Hoot Hollow and a OLIVE-SIDED flycatcher high up on the hill on a bare treetop a little further north on that trail. Best sighting was a BOBCAT seen from the back of the nectar garden on the other side of the fence trotting by through a window in the shrubbery.

Judi Sierra- Oakland

Hayward Shoreline (5-27)

Bob Richmond

From the we Least Tern sign -

1 adult Laughing Gull
1 adult Black Tern

Winton Ave.

1 Ash-throated Flycatcher
1 Western Tanager

Bob Richmond

Green-tailed Towhee along the Seaview Trail, Tilden Regional Park

Denise Wight

Hi E.B. Birders,

During my early GGAS Birding by Ear class this morning, there was a Green-tailed Towhee along the Seaview Trail, north of Vollmer Peak. From Vollmer Peak head north, downhill to the area where the road turns left, just before the large transmission tower. The GTTO was seen on the barbed wire fence, near the "Protected Watershed-No Trespassing" sign, on the ground and nearby bushes, and to the right along the small trail about 100 ft. to the south.

Clay Anderson got us on a towhee with a rufous crown, too bright to be a Cal Towhee, and we knew Canyon Towhee was highly unlikely. When the bird turned around briefly, I saw the black and bright white pattern on the face and throat. The unpatterned back looked overall grayish in the fog.  A few of the class participants saw the bird from the front briefly one other time.  We did not see the bird on the return trip, or during the later class from 8:30am-12:00pm. At no time did the bird vocalize.

There was also a fly-by Lawrence's Goldfinch, heard from the bench overlooking Orinda.

All the Best Birding,

Denise Wight
Orinda, CA

visitors to our Walnut Creek patio Friday May 25


They did not nest in our patio bird house this year, as they have for many years, but today we had a Chestnut-backed Chickadee family visit our patio with three kids in tow.  The kids are old enough to no longer show an obvious yellow gape, but they were still anxious to have mom or dad grab some seeds for them from the feeder. 

A couple of the kids were quite interested in the bird bath, maybe not quite understanding what this water stuff is.  Two of them were the most interested, and one finally jumped into the middle level of our little three-tier fountain.  Some Lesser Goldfinches were at the bird bath at the same time, and they looked small compared to the Chickadees.  Whudda thunk it?

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Lawrence’s Goldfinch


Seen at 1:00 at Valle Vista. 100 yards south of the bridge in Monterey pines.

John Poole

Miller Knox

Michael Carnall

Sighted a red-necked Phalarope in the pond (north end) at Miller-Knox park about 4:30pm.

Mike Carnall

Crab Cove entrance to Crown State Beach

Bob Richmond

Seen today

1 White-breasted Nuthatch close to 
   Neptune picnic area.
1 Cackling Goose (Aleutian) with         Canada Geese in an open grassy 
   area near the building at Crown 
   State Beach.
1 Pelagic Cormorant.

Bob Richmond

Common Loon (breeding plumage) - Alameda Naval Air Station


The Common Loon I reported several weeks ago is still hunting the waters surrounding the Osprey nest at (the former) Alameda Naval Air Station.  It has progressed to breeding plumage.  

I regularly monitor the Osprey nest and must say the loon is a very occasional sighting, perhaps only on 20% of my visits.

The Osprey nest (and loon) location is at the very southern end of Monarch Avenue.  You have to drive across two large concrete areas through two open gates to get to the end of Monarch (it doesn't look like a street) and dead end at the water's edge.

The Ospreys should be hatching eggs very soon.

Here's a photo of the loon: 


European Goldfinch at The Gill Tract in Albany

Ralph Pericoli

This morning at 9:12 and again at 11:57 I saw a European Goldfinch while birding at the Gill Tract. It had red across the front of the face, a wide vertical white band in the auricular area and a black nape. It had very distinct yellow wing patches with a white rump patch and a dull brown chest band. It was perched with a small group of Lesser Goldfinches in a snag-topped Redwood just south of the east-west road that runs through the Tract. 

The Gill Tract is located at the Marin Avenue extension and San Pablo Avenue in Albany. If the gate is locked, access can be obtained by crossing Village Creek south of the Tract in back of Sprouts Farmers Market on Monroe Avenue.

Ralph Pericoli

Fledgling Night Herons and Egrets in Oakland near Superior Court building


My partner just called and told me that in a tree there seems to be quite the gathering of young Egrets and Night Herons on Alice between 12th and 13th. Near the Superior Court building.  If you are in the area it seems like a raucous happening that will be fun to watch.

Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA

Re: Nutall's woodpecker has fledged. Still in neighborhood


Correction. No video of that day.  Do have video of two other days.  Unfortunately in the middle of a project so encoding and publishing will have to wait.

Nutall's woodpecker has fledged. Still in neighborhood


Rosemary came by Friday afternoon and had waited and waited for mom or dad to show up. Meanwhile was very anxious, popping its head in and out, calling out more of an adult sounding call. We got some more pics and I got video to be shared later. About 80 minutes after Rosemary started watching Dad came by, hung out for a few minutes while baby was none too pleased. Then it fed and then hung out around the tree.  After feeding I had to get back to work so my guess is that I missed the Great Escape that would happened shortly afterwards. 
When I checked things out Saturday morning there was a whole different feel around and no sign of the baby.  I now have empty nest syndrome. Again.
However it was nice to learn a bit of behavior and maybe that will clue me in so I can stick around for the event, if I am still around here next year.

This morning, while outside checking things I heard the Nuttall's call down the street a few doors. It came from a rather densely foliaged tree so I could not see anything. Then a small Nuttall's flew out to a nearby wire. Pretty sure it was the kid, body was short for an adult.
Then it flew back, proceeded to call for about 5 minutes then Mom flew in to feed for a minute or two then flew to a nearby pole to hang out for a few minutes before leaving. Meanwhile the baby, I think I may call him Sneaky Pete, would occasionally let out a call and briefly appeared in view before disappearing behind a branch.
Will check out later.

Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA

Contra Costa Co. 5/20/18 - apparent NORTHERN PARULA, Richmond Lawrence's Goldfinch

Dominik Mosur

Posting for Logan Kahle:

Hi All,

Yesterday I birded around select locations in Western and Central Contra Costa county joined at different times by Jonah Benningfield and Noah Arthur.

After a late morning, I started at Point San Pablo with Jonah, mostly hoping to see if much migrant movement was apparent. Unfortunately, if there were many migrants around, they stayed silent. Highlights here included:

Vaux's Swift-a single flyover seemed quite late to me
Pacific-slope Flycatcher-1 singing male seemed like a likely breeder
Yellow Warbler-1 was one of few clear migrants here
Wilson's Warbler-5 singing males could have been territorial or migrants
Lazuli Bunting-1 singing male appeared to be on territory.
LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH-1 flyover was a very rare bird for richmond, and my first

Full eBird checklist here:

From there I headed to Canal Boulevard to check Brook's Island. Nothing rare, but healthy numbers of the expected species:

Brown Pelican-311 was a nice count for the county
Western Gull-73
California Gull-639
Caspian Tern-286

Full eBird checklist here:

I briefly checked both West County WTP and Waterbird Regional Preserve but found nothing of note. Full checklists are here: and

From there I decided to head east. I hit Contra Loma as the first spot in what I assumed would be an afternoon in east county. Unfortunately there were few migrants showcased by only two or three Wilson's Warblers. At that time I got the email of the Blue-winged and headed over Diablo.

I birded the area around where the bird had been reported for about 15 minutes when Noah Arthur arrived. He keyed in on a buzzy song that repeated several times at seemed to both of us to represent a NORTHERN PARULA.I have uploaded some recordings to the eBird checklist. This is at the same location as the Blue-winged was reported, but slightly uphill (west) in the oaks. Recording can be found here:

I have a slightly better recording in video format available upon request but cannot seem to find out how to enter it into eBird as just audio.

The only other migrants at that location were a couple of Swainson's Thrushes, and our only other warblers were Orange-crowns.
Good birding,

Logan Kahle
San Francisco

Hayward Shoreline (5-20)e

Bob Richmond

Seen today

1 adult Laughing Gull. First seen 2 weeks ago. Seen in flight over the SE island in the pond that has the Least Tern nest island. Best place to see it from is from the Least Tern sign.

17 Redhead. 8 pairs and 1 unpaired male. Can be seen from the observation platform at the Interpretive Center.

Winton Ave.

1 Olive-sided Flycatcher
1 Western-wood Pewee
1 Dusky Flycatcher
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Black-throated Gray Warbler
1Yellow Warbler

Bob Richmond