Hooded Orioles


At our last Mt. Diablo Audubon Society meeting on April 1, Jean Richmond reported Hooded Oriole at her feeders for 1 week in Alamo, and Harry
Adamson for 3 days in Lafayette.

Maury Stern

Hooded Orioles in Berkeley, Livermore + White-crown thoughts

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>

On Friday, Hooded Orioles were calling at the UC Berkeley botanical
garden, my FOS. This is a great time to visit the gardens as the South
African hillside is awash in blooming annuals. Really impressive.

This morning a Hooded Oriole has been calling near my house in Livermore.
I was working outside most of yesterday and heard no trace, so I am sure
it has just arrived.

White-crowns are still about and becoming a bit more obvious. They had
virtually disappeared in March - not sure if they left or were just quiet.
Now they are singing again and showing themselves. The same happened last
year. I am wondering if our winter birds left and now we have migrants
from farther south passing through or if our wintering birds just became
less conspicuous while getting ready for their journey.

While driving to Berkeley on Friday, I saw at least 6 flocks of waxwings
flying over the freeway - seemed to be 20-50 birds each.

Finally, there is a pair of crows nesting at the top of the neighbor's
redwood. If you think crows are "melodious" in their everyday
vocalizations, you should hear the mate-feeding. Sounds like they are
being strangled!

good birding,

Jaan Lepson

Garin Regional Park and Hayward Shoreline 4/3


I got out birding today in the late evening and hit the upper hills of Garin Regional Park in hopes of finding Grasshopper Sparrow, I found one non-singing bird. After a successful hike I made my way over to Hayward Shoreline where I was informed by Eric Pilotte about Bank Swallows mixed in with the large swallow flocks. Walking around the shoreline there were several large flocks of swallows mainly composed of Cliff Swallows (almost 80%). Mixed in with one of the flocks was at least 1, but more likely 2 or more, Bank Swallows actively calling. The flocks constantly move, disperse, but luckily call a lot. While searching through the swallow flocks I also noticed 5 American White Pelicans soaring high over the shoreline.

Good birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA

Bullock's Oriole


There was a male Bullock's Oriole at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek yesterday morning.

Maury Stern

Bank Swallows - Hayward Shoreline

Eric Pilotte

I had a calling Bank Swallow at 1pm at the Winton Ave parking area of the Hayward Shoreline. The bird was in a large swallow flock to the south of that area. Zach Baer later visited and found 2 Bank Swallows there.

Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

Hooded orioles in Niles


Hooded orioles have returned to the Vallejo Adobe next to Naka Nursery off Niles Blvd. at Nursery Avenue. Around 1:00, at least two males and a female were flying around the parking lot near the adobe, chattering and calling. Naka Nursery has signs up that it is closing. Currently, the nursery's gate that allows access to the adobe is open Thursday-Sunday 9-4:30.

Stephanie Floyd

Bullock's Oriole in Alameda

Chris Bard <chrisbard@...>

At Else Roemer Bird Sanctuary in Alameda today, Saturday, April 3rd, Karen Gibson and I spotted a male and female Bullock's Oriole in the first large tree north of the viewing platform. Apparently the birds have been there for several days. The sanctuary is located on the beach on Shoreline Drive just south of the end of Park Street in Alameda.

Chris Bard

call id

Deborah Hecht <hechtlich@...>

Does anyone recognize the bird w/a song that sounds like, "chick-a-choo
chick-a-choo (pause) chick-a-choo chick-a-choo, which rises on the a, falls
on the choo, and in which is the last syllable is accented? It is
definitely tuneful, and I hear it a lot but the bird is elusive and flies
away if I 'psh' or 'fsh. It doesn't mind my standing nearby, where I can't
see it.

Miller-Knox RS - Yellow-shafted Flicker

Laura Look <chamaea@...>

This morning (Sat, April 3), a female "YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN FLICKER was in the trees along the path between the parking lots and the lagoon at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond.

Also, a flock of about 100 Cedar Waxwings was moving around, foraging in the area.


Good birding,
Laura Look
Pinole, CA

Correction--White-Throated Sparrow


In my post this morning about Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, I should have written White-THROATED Sparrow. Sorry for the goof.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Re: Calaveras Bald Eagles

Dave Weber

Message was meant for SBB but should be of interest to EBB since it is just outside of the county.


----- Original Message -----
From: D Weber
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010 2:20 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Calaveras Bald Eagles

Hi Birders-

Early this afternoon both adult Bald Eagles were on the nest tower along
Calaveras Rd.

Dave Weber,


Calaveras Bald Eagles

Dave Weber

Hi Birders-

Early this afternoon both adult Bald Eagles were on the nest tower along Calaveras Rd.

Dave Weber,


Eurasian Widgeons at Coyote Hills

Dave Weber

Hi Birders-

About this time last year I went to Coyote Hills to look for a reported Eurasian Widgeon. I found two birds, one slightly paler with grey cheeks. I went to Coyote Hills RP early this morning to look for the Eurasian Widgeon in the pond across from the visitor center. Again I found two birds, one with grey cheeks. Most likely the same two birds.

Dave Weber,

White-crowned Sparrow Still in Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek


The White-crowned Sparrow was seen today coming to seed along the Coyote Brush south of the equestrian area in Heather Farm Park. Steve Buffi and I watched it for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes this morning. It is very timid, but came out a number of times over that span. Several park vehicles passed, but after several minutes, the White-crowned Sparrows would start coming out again and eventually so would the White-throated Sparrow.

There are currently at least 5 active Bushtit nests in the park and one Nuttall's Woodpecker nest.

At a meeting Tuesday night, we learned of a Killdeer nest in the area from which the Eucalyptus trees were removed. We were shown photos of the eggs on the ground, but I did not find this nest today. There is much bicycle, foot, dog and auto traffic in this part of the park.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Walked Away From Singing Grasshopper Sparrow


Yes, not a joke! For the second time this week, I walked away from a singing Grasshopper Sparrow, this time in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.

Monday it was at Garin Regional Park on the Ridge Loop Trail with Rich Cimino and Lowell Young. This is above the Tamarack Gate and the Asian Cemetery. That bird was still perched and singing its buzzy song when we left it after 10-12 minutes of viewing.

The second sparrow, which I left while still singing, was along the Carbondale Trail yesterday, April 1. Lowell and I walked uphill past the Hazel Atlas Mine, turned left on the Ridge Trail and had just reached the intersection with the Stewartville and Carbondale Trails. This is high on a ridge. Near the intersection were 2-3 Lark Sparrows and 4-6 Western Bluebirds.

We walked out the Carbondale Trail maybe only 50 yards when the Grasshopper Sparrow popped up on a barbed wire fence slightly above the trail. It responded to us by singing continuously for the ten minutes or so that we watched it through binoculars and a spotting scope. It continued to sing even while a park vehicle drove up the Stewartville Trail and passed through the gate to the other side of the ridge.

When we left this singing bird, a Say's Phoebe was also present on the nearby fence lines.

Prior to this sighting, it was a very quiet day, we came up with only 30 total species, which meant NO Canyon or Rock Wrens, NO Rufous-crowned Sparrows, NO Phainopeplas and NO Orioles.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Hayward Shoreline

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline

Eurasian Wigeon - 1 at the mouth of San lorenzo Creek. I only have 4 later records at the shoreline.

Green-winged "Eurasian" Teal - 1 male in Frank's Dump East.

Black Oystercatcher - 1 at Hayward's Landing.

Red-necked Phalarope - 1 in the city ponds (east of Cogswell Marsh and Mt. Trashmore). I only have 4 March records
at the shoreline.

Thayer Gull - 1 at the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek. This id the latest record I have for the shoreline by 6 days.

Wilson's Warbler - 1 at Winton Ave. is the first I have seen at the shoreline this year.


Dance of the Oystercatchers


This occurred during the same sighting on the San Leandro Channel on Bay
Farm that I reported a few days ago. I haven't seen this activity
After each had bathed and preened, all five of the Oystercatchers
congregated nearby at a clearing on the beach.
Suddenly, they all began piping loudly and chasing each other. Some
then paired up randomly and strutted side by side piping and pointing
sky-to-ground. This lasted about a minute and ended abruptly with quiet
and standing still.
After a little rest, they all flew to the nearby riprap to begin
Here's a picture of one of the pairs. From what I've read this is the
courtship dance. I think this is it, but I also think it might be
ritual play/practice on the part of juveniles (???).

List Information

Ann McGregor <annmcg@...>

Yahoo has notified me that all groups will be shut down beginning 1 pm on Thursday, April 1, for upgrades. Also, it is not an April Fool's joke but the real thing. The length of time for the upgrade was not given.

There have been some questions on accessing the archives of the old list. You can access them at <> or you can go to the MDAS homepage, <>, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on Sightings List Archives. Also, there have been questions about the lists postings appearing on Sialia. This has turned into a technical issue which we will continue to work on for you.

When posting to this list please include directions to your sightings and your name. Specific directions to the location of the bird(s) are very helpful to new members. In may be helpful to link to the locator tables when giving directions: <>.

Please remember that this list is intended only for the discussion of birding in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Check the MDAS website at <> for links to other lists. General discussion about bird topics belongs on BirdChat or CalBirds. Off-topic threads will sometimes be either publicly or privately challenged as the list administrator feel's is necessary according to judgement. specific no-no's include the following:

• NO attachments
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• NO Posting of birds out of area (all areas really do have their own lists).

You may upload your photos of birds but they subject to approval by the moderator. It is preferable that you posts photos at other places (like Flicker) which preserves the quality of your photos and then include the link in your message.

A calendar of birding events is also available on the Mount Diablo Audubon Society homepage at <>

Thank you for your cooperation during the transition from the old list to the new group. We now have 360 members as of March 31, 2010.

Good Birding,

Ann McGregor
List Moderator

Black Rails continue at Coyote Hills RP

David Quady and Nancy Boas


A few folks wrote question the reported presence of Clapper Rails at Coyote Hills RP, where Virginia Rail is the (far) more expected rail in its freshwater marshes.

Indeed it was probably Virginia Rails that Diane heard, not Clappers.

Thanks to those who read my earlier email more carefully than my mind wrote it.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dave Quady <>
Date: March 30, 2010 9:48:58 AM PDT
To: East Bay Birds <>
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Black Rails continue at Coyote Hills RP


Oregon birder Diane Pettey heard two Black Rails and three Clapper
Rails calling pre-dawn last Friday, March 26. The rails called from
the marsh, from both sides of the speed bump that's just past the
park's entrance kiosk.

Sorry for the late post.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

Hayward Shoreline and San Leandro Marina

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline and San Leandro Marina -

Common Merganser - 6 in San Lorenzo Creek. They were formerly very rare here. I only had 3 records from 1983 through 2006. Since then I have seen them 27 times.

Black Oystercatcher - 4. 3 at San Leandro Marina (on the Island just south of the mouth of the marina) and 1 at the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek.

Also seen on that island were Surfbird (26+), Ruddy Turnstone, and Black Turnstone.

Western Tanager - 1. In the row of trees across Winton Ave. from the park office. This is my first March record at the shoreline.

Dark-eyed Junco - 1 female at Winton Ave. I only see them about twice a year.


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