Least bittern- no

Mark Rauzon

I was also out there yesterday. The high tides, rain and wind have flooded and muddied the water where it hunted, so it cannot see the fish to hunt, so likely moved on.
It has not been seen since Friday I believe.

Also at Martinez' McNabby (sp?) Marsh, I saw 50 tree swallows yesterday, can spring be far behind?

And at Lake Merritt on 1/1/11 I saw the hybrid hooded merganser/goldeneye, the male consorting with a female goldeneye. It was along the Glen Echo creek side of the lake arm, hugging the shoreline below some dense shrubs.

Good new year birding.

Mark Rauzon

Least Bittern seen since Dec. 31?


We went to the described site along Pickleweed Trail yesterday afternoon between 2:30 and 3:45 and looked for about an hour with no luck. As there have been no reports since the afternoon of the 31st, I wondered if anyone has seen it since then. The few folks who were out there yesterday had not seen it.

Kitty Whiteside

East bay shoreline bike ride highlights

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>

Jim Chiropolos and I snuck our first bike ride of the year in Saturday during a break in the rain. Highlights were:

Lake Merritt - female Redhead,four Red-breasted Mergansers, a Ring-necked Duck and over 20 Barrow's Goldeneyes in the channel.
Garretson Point - six White-throated Swifts and a pair of Blue-winged Teal
Arrowhead Marsh - Black Oystercatchers, and a single Ruddy Turnstone with a group of Black Turnstones. Interesting how identical the wing patterns are between these two turnstone species when seeing them flying side-by-side
Alameda - White-tailed Kites in three locations, the last near the Webster tunnel
Middle Harbor - this is the fourth or fifth time I've seen the Ross' Goose near the picnic area. That bird needs some exercise.

A total of 87 species sen was a nice start to the new year. My first bird of the year was quite a surprise, a Black Phoebe heard as I left my house for the ride.

The saddening lowlight was a Clapper Rail carcass on the sea-side shoulder of Doolittle Drive as it takes the long curve towards Arrowhead Marsh from the soccer field.

Derek Heins

Tufted Duck at Clifton Court Forebay

Amy McDonald <amymcd@...>

Hi All,

Today at 12:45 I found a TUFTED DUCK at Clifton Court Forebay. It was at the end
of the levee in the channel just past the trash dumpsters. This is the same
location as last year's Tufted Duck, and one day earlier. I took a few distant
digiscope photos that I'll post once I get home later today.

Amy McDonald
San Jose, CA

Hermit Thrush in Martinez....


To this very wet, rainy morning I was blessed with a fleeting visit from a Hermit Thrush in my front yard.

Paul Brenner

White-throated Sparrow continues at Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch

Paul Schorr

Today at approximately 2:30, we relocated the Tan-striped White- throated Sparrow at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch. Again, the bird was observed with Golden-crowned Sparrows at the northern end of Loma Island where it was feeding at the base of blackberry bushes.

We tallied 46 species during our 2.5 hour visit and the following are some of the more notable sightings:

Ring-necked Duck
American White Pelican
Red-shouldered Hawk
Virginia Rail (observed feeding at a distance of about 15 feet)
Common Moorhen
Burrowing Owl
Say's Phoebe
Marsh Wren
Lincoln's Sparrow

Although it was cold and windy, we practically had the park to ourselves. It was a nice way to begin the New Year.

Good Birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Great Horned Owl - Pleasanton

richard s. cimino

I first heard two Great Horned Owl about ten nights ago.
They called for a single evening.
Tonight they're back calling from several large pine trees on Gatetree
Circle, Pleasanton.
Gatetree Circle is reach from Ridgewood Rd. which connects with Black Ave.
Rich Cimino

Napa, Contra Costa, Santa Clara

John Luther

I decided to try to celebrate New Year's eve day with some beautiful county
birds.  I started in Napa Co where at 9 AM I saw 6 Evening Grosbeaks in a
pistache tree on Stonybrook Ave near its intersection with Glenbrook Lane.  To
get here from highway 29 in Napa take the First Street exit and go west and road
becomes Browns Valley Rd.  Turn left (south) off Browns Valley onto Buhman Ave
and in a few blocks turn right onto Meadowbrook and then right onto Delbrook and
then left onto Glenbrook to Stonybrook.  There are many trees in the area that
they might visit so be alert.

I then took off for Contra Costa Co to the Martinez Regional Shoreline arriving
on the Pickleweed Trail and the described spot by 10 AM.  Other folks arrived
and so there were 8 of us watching the marsh.  At 11:10 I spotted the Least
Bittern only about 5 feet away on a log!  Brilliant looks that everyone got and
some great photos linked to on East Bay Birds message.  It walked along near
the edge of the trail only a few feet from us and came out onto edge of trail
about 12 inches from my foot.  It then flew south across the trail and into the

Hearing that a flock of birds that I was interested in were being seen in San
Jose I decided to head that way.  So after a little shopping at the Wild Bird
store I went home, got good directions and headed south.  At about 2 PM I was
cruising Orchard Parkway in San Jose.  Behind 2904 I spotted a scope and a nice
camera with birders attached.  Got out of the jeep and had fantastic looks at
about 15 Evening Grosbeaks!  While we were standing there they flew north to
probably across Orchard Parkway.  I did not see them again even with a little
more cruising.

John Luther

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Least Bittern continues - photos

avwh <allenvhirsch@...>

Seven if us saw the bittern at 11:10am, extremely close to the trail, on the shore side.

Photos here:

The bittern was so close to trail, I couldn't capture a full body image without cutting off its feet.

--- In, "judisierra" <judisierra@...> wrote:

Seen today at 11, reportedly at 3 feet. It disappeared until 12 where it was seen near where it was sighted on the 27th by Laura Look, adjacent to the Pickleweed Trail. It was so close we had to stand on the far edge of the trail to keep a respectful distance.

Judi Sierra

Least Bittern continues


Seen today at 11, reportedly at 3 feet. It disappeared until 12 where it was seen near where it was sighted on the 27th by Laura Look, adjacent to the Pickleweed Trail. It was so close we had to stand on the far edge of the trail to keep a respectful distance.

Judi Sierra

Hermit Warbler

Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...>

This afternoon around 3:30 I found a Hermit Warbler at Lake del Valle RP. The bird was in a mixed flock of Bushtit's and Chestnut-backed Chickadee's. I found the Hermit Warbler about half way between the bridge parking area and the campground entrance along the paved road.
Good birding and Happy New Year.

Steve Huckabone
Livermore, CA
Alameda County

Least Bittern, Martinez Regional Shoreline

Patricia Bacchetti

Hi all;

The Least Bittern appeared along the Pickleweed Trail at the Martinez Regional Shoreline today from 12:45-1:15 PM. It was seen by 10 reverent birders as it posed on a piece of wood, then moved through the marsh grass hunting. According to several others in the parking lot when I pulled up, it had been visible about an hour earlier, as well.

Photos of today's sighting are viewable at

Also seen was a Green Heron in the channel under the bridge, and the Suisun Bay Song Sparrow subspecies "maxillarius".

Directions are as previously posted on EBB. The Pickleweed Trail is the first left after you cross the bridge into the marsh.

Happy New Year!

Pat Bacchetti

White-throated Sparrow at Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch

Paul Schorr

Today at 12:15 we found a Tan-striped White-throated Sparrow at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch. The bird was located at the northern end of Loma Island and was feeding with a small flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows at the base of blackberry bushes.

Good Birding and Happy New Year,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Coyote Hills RP (12/31)

Ken Schneider

I birded along Patterson Ranch Road this morning from about 0550-0800, mostly west of the entry kiosk, listening and looking for rails and owls. I heard a single GREAT-HORNED OWL near the entry kiosk around 0600, but did not hear or see any other owls this morning. Both VIRGINIA RAILS and SORA were quite vocal after dawn in the marsh just east of the Quarry staging area. I did not detect any other rail species. There was a nice mixture of shorebirds, gulls and ducks in the flooded fields just south of the entry kiosk, which included many yellowlegs, including at least three LESSER YELLOWLEGS.

Ken Schneider
Redwood City

Black Scoter Continues at Marina Bay, Richmond

Judith Dunham

After seeing the Least Bittern today in Martinez (well reported by others), I headed to Marina Bay in Richmond, where I located the female BLACK SCOTER reported by Sheila Dickie on 12/29. The bird was undecided about its allegiances, affiliating alternately with a small flock of Surf Scoters and another of Greater Scaup.

The best view of the scoter today was from the Bay Trail near Vincent Park, looking north at the marina. From 580, follow Marina Bay Parkway past Shimada Friendship Park. The road becomes Peninsula Drive and ends at the small parking lot at Vincent Park. Driving down Peninsula, you will see the boat slips on your right. I saw the scoter in the marina between the trail and the closest row of slips roughly to the east.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

Martinez Shoreline

Donald Lewis

Today, Thursday, at noon the Least Bittern treated 15 or so birders to great looks. It pays to be patient; we had been waiting well over an hour. I had been there 1:40 to 3:30 on Tuesday and not seen it, although it called twice.

Looking the other way today while waiting for the Bittern, there was a beautiful male Barrow's Goldeneye out on the bay, at scope distance. It was with a flotilla of Greater Scaup, not with a group of Common Goldeneyes.

Don Lewis
Lafayette, CA

Least Bittern still in Martinez

richard s. cimino

Very late morning,/like 11:59 AM/ the Least Bittern made an appearance
for the many admiring birders.
The LABI even flew a short distance for us, nice.
It went on to catch a mosquito fish and posed for photos with the fish
hanging from it's bill.
Also a pair of Common Yellowthroat's on the north side of the trail were
being vocal.
Further out on the Carquinez strait Don Lewis and I located a male
Barrow's Goldeneye.
Rich Cimino

Re: Least Bittern still in Martinez

Joe Morlan

East Bay Birders,

A photo of the LEAST BITTERN contributed by Calvin Lou has been posted on
the WFO web site:

Click through for full large images.


On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:22:07 -0800, Denise <> wrote:

Hi E.B.Birders,

The Least Bittern just showed up at noon. It was on the north side of the trail, crossed the trail and returned to previously reported location.

All the Best Birding,
Moraga, CA

Sent from my iPhone
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at)
SF Birding Classes start Feb 8
Western Field Ornithologists

Black Scoter in Richmond Marina

Sheila Dickie

Hi everyone
At 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, Dec. 29, I saw a female Black Scoter swimming in
the Richmond Marina.  It was seen from the boardwalk on the bay side of Salute
Marina Bay restaurant swimming with a male Bufflehead. It was maybe 10 feet
 from where I was standing.   It then flew a few yards and was joined
by some Surf Scoters.  The birds eventually swam out of the marina and headed
toward the first row of moored boats. 

Directions: From 580 West -- take the Marina Bay/S 23rd Exit. At the base of the
exit turn left back over freeway.  You are on Marina Bay.  Come through a couple
of traffic lights, cross the RR tracks and turn right on Regatta.  At the first
stop sign turn left into Melville Square.  Keeping to the right (it's a large
parking lot) turn right on Esplanade and drive until you see Aminis by the Bay
restaurant on your left.  Park.  The marina is on your left and Salute is just
beyond Aminis.
Sheila Dickie

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Least Bittern still in Martinez

Denise Wight

Hi E.B.Birders,

The Least Bittern just showed up at noon. It was on the north side of the trail, crossed the trail and returned to previously reported location.

All the Best Birding,
Moraga, CA

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