Summer Tanager in Berkeley

sharon jue

I got brief looks today of the Summer Tanager Erica Rutherford and John Colbert found yesterday (their checklist here: ) It was at the border between the UC Clark-Kerr campus and the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve. (google coords: 37.863456, -122.245081 )My first glimpse was around noon, in two coastal live oaks about halfway along the path from Tanglewood/ Stonewall to the soccer field. Second look about 2PM, again in a live oak, but on campus near the Southeast-most building.  Bird is rather active and somewhat camera-shy.  Good luck!

Tony Lema Golf Course

Bob Richmond

Geese seen on the south end of the golf course -

1 Ross Goose
5 Greater-white Fronted Geese
1 Black Brant
3 Cackling Geese (Aleutian)
5 Cackling Geese (Ridgway's - minima)
250 (est) Canada Goose

Bob Richmond

Ferruginous Hawk in Hercules near Fernandez Ranch

Susana dT

Juvenile Ferruginous Hawk observed today flying and kiting.

I enjoyed watching a juvenile FEHA on the hills behind our house in the same location in Hercules from Oct/28/2017 to Feb/9/2018. I hope this one stays too, I will keep you posted. Photo and video here

Richmond Merlin & Kites

Sheila Dickie

Last evening, October 29, round about 6 p.m. there was a Merlin perched atop a telephone pole mid- 600 block on 30th Street, Richmond, two blocks North of Barrett. We have had a merlin in the neighborhood for the past 4-5 years, but this is the earliest date I can recall. A beautiful, heavily streaked bird that glowed in the sun.

Also, over the last 10 days there have been White-tailed Kites congregating in my neighborhood, mainly at dusk. Started with two birds atop a neighbors very tall redwood, then there were about 12 birds, some atop the tree others flying in and milling. Quite a sight. This does not happen every evening, but last Sunday a neighbor said there were 6 birds, and yesterday late afternoon there was one round about 4:30 p.m. It was harassed by crows but remained put, and finally disappeared 15 minutes later to be replaced by two hummingbirds! The kites fly East/South-East and do not roost in the mingling tree.

I would be interested to know if others have had this experience and have some insight into why the kites are acting this way.

Location: Very tall redwood mid 600-block 29th Street, Richmond, between Roosevelt and Grant; the tree is at rear of a yard abutting 28th Street.

Sheila Dickie

Redwood Regional at Skyline Gate Staging Area

Philip Georgakakos

I had a pretty interesting walk this morning out of Skyline Gate Staging area at Redwood Regional.

Walked down the east ridge trail towards Eucalyptus trail and had a flyover by a Belted Kingfisher, lots of action in the oaks and Madrones. First of season Varied Thrush on Eucalyptus trail. Red-breasted sapsucker at the bottom of the canyon pecking at a willow.

Returned via stream trail, realized I locked my keys in my car. While waiting for AAA found a Hermit warbler foraging with multiple Townsend’s, Pygmy and Red-breasted nuthatches in the pines, redwoods, and cypress just right of the parking area. Also a fox sparrow kicking around in the parking lot margin.

Phil Georgakakos

Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Monday October 29


Since at least Thursday, we have had three Greater White-fronted Geese on the north ball fields at Heather Farm Park in the Ygnacio Valley.  I don't know if they stay all day, the geese seem to come and go at various times, but we have seen them between 8 and 9 AM.

Today it was mostly what we have come to call our usual birds.  An eBird list can be seen here:

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Point-Blue Birdathon in Contra Costa

Dominik Mosur

On 11/23/18, Michael Park and I conducted a working man's birdathon (8 hours in the field w/1hour break sandwiched in.)

Sites visited were: Point Isabel shoreline, Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve , Redwood Regional Park, Tilden Park (Jewel Lake), Meeker Slough area, Miller Knox, Richmond Wastewater Plant, Holland Tract and Bethel Island/Piper Slough. Over 1/4 of the time in the field was actually spent commuting to and from the sites and dry conditions in the East county produced no waterfowl but we still managed to connect with a respectable 115 species on our effort.

Some of the more memorable observations were:

Cackling Geese - two small groups flying in formation over Meeker Slough late morning appeared to be headed inland

Virginia Rail - calling at Piper Slough, where we saw ZERO ducks but a raft of 6000+ American Coots has already arrived

Sharp-shinned Hawk - only one seen all day was at Holland Tract

Cooper's Hawk - Pt. Isabel, only one seen

Golden Eagles - an adult and apparent HY bird soaring over Round Top/Sibley exchanging calls

Ferruginous Hawk - soaring over a field between Oakley and Brentwood

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER - just past the entrance gate/restroom at Redwood/Skyline Gate parking area

Loggerhead Shrike - along Delta Rd. just outside Holland Tract

Hermit Warbler - with a small flock of Townsend's Warblers at Jewel Lake

Tricolored Blackbird - lone male picked out of the blackbird flock on Delta Rd. by Michael.

If you have a couple spare nickels consider supporting the effort of our team The Long Distance Migrants at one of the links below:

All proceeds go to support conservation and research efforts of Point Blue.

Thank you for reading and have fun birding!

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Michael Park

Late report: Redwood Regional Park, Skyline Gate, Friday, 10/26

Bruce Mast

Good morning EBBers,
Quick report on my visit Friday afternoon to Redwood RP's Skyline gate in search of sapsuckers. I found a couple Red-breasted Sapsuckers but nothing rare. I spent about 3.5 hours slowly birding the East Ridge Trail, returning on the Phillips Loop trail, about 2 miles round trip. The first sapsucker was in the first big grove of eucalyptus one encounters upslope from the trail at the first bend. One of the eucs showed lots of sapsucker wells so it appears to be a regular spot. The birdiest spot was along the East Ridge Trail at the junction with the Eucalyptus Trail. Several fruiting madrones attracted Band-tailed Pigeons, Robins, Cedar Waxwings, etc. Meanwhile, Acorn Woodpeckers were busy harvesting nuts from the Live Oak trees and Hairy Woodpeckers were drilling the Bishop Pines. A sapsucker popped up briefly in a thicket with a fruiting vine and then a female Purple Finch popped up in the same place. Golden-crowned Sparrows and Juncos handled ground-level duties.

While I was taking it all in, I heard a calling raptor soaring overhead, which proved to be one of two Golden Eagles. Tough views through tree branches but it appeared to be a subadult. A brief owl duet on the walk back brought a fitting end to a satisfying afternoon.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast

Tropical Kingbird at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

Bob Lewis

This morning (Saturday) the Bay Area Birds class found a Tropical Kingbird at the end of the peninsula of Middle Harbor Shoreline park.  A photo will be posted asap on EBird.  The bird was first seen flying into coyote bush along the shoreline, and then caught an insect and moved to a nearby pine.  Finally it flew east and we lost it.  It had bright yellow belly, a gray head, faint post-ocular darker smudge, rounded tail with no white outer feathers.  The back was gray-green, throat white.  Western rejected by lack of white on tail and relatively large bill, Cassin's by light gray head and lack of sharp contrast between white throat and gray face.  The bird was silent.

Bob Lewis

"cismontanus" sub-species of Dark-eyed Junco


We had the above bird with our junco flock at our Lafayette home this morning.

Maury Stern

Burrowing Owl at Pt. Isabel


Seen late this afternoon in the dog park, across the bridge from the Rydin Road entrance, on the boulders near the breakwater at the far end of the park.

Complete list with a photo -

Ken Berniker

El Cerrito

Townsend's Solitaires at Redwood Regional Park


Another birder and I went looking today around 10:00 AM  for the Sapsuckers reported at Redwood Regional Park .  We walked from the Skyline Parking lot down the East Ridge Trail, got off at the Eucalyptus Trail  and then came back on the Phillips Loop.  There were a few dozen Manzanitas with small red fruits, mostly on the Phillips trail.  No luck with any sapsuckers, but we had a good look at two (together) Townsend's Solitaires.  They were high in a tall Manzinita on the left side of the Phillips trail about 2/3 of the way back to the parking lot.

Harold Newman

Re: A murder of crows?

Bruce Mast

For several years now, I've been noticing large congregations of crows in winter time in downtown Oakland. By large, I mean 100s, if not 1000s of birds. I seem to recall prior EBB threads about similar concentrations in the Berkeley flats. My unscientific opinion is that our local crow population is exploding. During breeding season, they don't concentrate but they are still thick in all the neighborhood trees. I know the sycamores in the Piedmont hills are thick with crow nests. I'm increasingly concerned that rising crow populations are exerting more predatory pressure on nesting songbirds. I know any raptor that crosses Oakland air space these days does so at its peril.

Bruce Mast

On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 11:36 AM Lee Aurich lee@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

We see them heading north every evening around dusk.  And I have seen them heading south just before sunrise.  Hundreds of crows.  It appears they are going to different overnight roust locations; sometimes all together and sometimes separately.  It appeared once that perhaps a hundred gathered at Lake Merritt on the Grand Ave side; but I was unable to go visit to confirm.

We are viewing from the 6th floor of a building on the west edge of Lake Merritt.

      Lee Aurich

warbling vireo, Clayton Community Park

Jerry Britten

I saw and photographed a warbling vireo here this morning.  I believe it is a late record for the county for this species.  ebird checklist below.  Most of the usual suspects were there as well, including a phainopepla and several purple finches.

Jerry Britten

Morgan Territory.

Lark Sparrows - Contra Loma R. P. - 10/25

Paul Schorr

During an errand to Contra Loma R. P. this afternoon, there was a flock of about twelve beautifully plumaged Lark Sparrows at the entrance to the boat ramp.

In addition, there were 3 American White Pelicans on the reservoir and along the entrance road there was a Say’s Phoebe and Loggerhead Shrike. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was in the willows near the boat ramp.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr

Townsend's Solitaire - Redwood Regional Park

Bob Brandriff

Hi East Bay Birders:

I spent a couple hours this morning in Redwood Park looking for rare
sapsuckers to no avail. However, I did see a Townsend's Solitaire at
the intersection of East Ridge Trail and Eucalyptus Trail. A poor
photo is here:

Good birding.

Bob Brandriff

Eurasian Wigeon Berkeley Wednesday


A male Eurasian Wigeon was seen behind the Seabreeze Cafe by the Mt. Diablo Audubon field trip Wednesday, October 24.  It was with 35 American Wigeons and other birds. 

A second Eurasian Wigeon was found at the Albany Mudflats near the entrance to Golden Gate Fields.  This bird seemed to be a hybrid, as it had pinkish sides, not gray.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Re: Redwood Regional Park 2018.10.23 WIlliamson's Sapsucker NOT Sibley

Johan Langewis

I was slow reading my email, so I got a late start.  Skyline Gate is only a few blocks from my house so I rushed over there late today.  I ran into some other birders, but no luck on the Williamson’s Sapsucker.  However, I found a small Madrone tree on the Phillips Loop trail, about 50 yards from the East Rige Trail, with American Robins, Hairy and Acorn Woodpeckers and four Red-breasted Sapsuckers feeding on the berries at 4:45 PM.  Also seen were White-breasted, Red-breasted, and Pygmy Nuthatches, among other birds.  I think that’s the most Red-breasted Sapsuckers I’ve ever seen at one time.  

Johan Langewis

On Oct 23, 2018, at 7:40 PM, Michael Park dpbot@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

It's been a long day. The location for the Williamson's Sapsucker was incorrectly cited. It's at Redwood Regional Park at the Skyline Gate near the parking lot out on the East Ridge Trail.

Michael Park

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:2018.10.23 WIlliamson's Sapsucker Sibley Volcanic
Date:Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:14:41 -0700
From:Michael Park 

Hi All,

Dominik Mosur and I came across a female Williamson's Sapsucker at
Sibley Volcanic Regional Park.

It was near the parking lot on the trail out to Round Top.

One relatively clean document image:

Michael Park

Wood Duck at Lake Merritt

Hilary Powers

The 4th-Wednesday GGAS walk enjoyed good long looks at a brilliant male Wood Duck today. The bird was swimming with the Mallards between the nature center and the near islands and behaving just like them, utterly unconcerned about the humans on the path a few yards away.

NOT natural for a Wood Duck, but he appeared glossy and clear-eyed - no sign of ill health. Maybe he thinks he's a Mallard?

Park personnel said he'd been there about three weeks, meaning he's probably still there now.

- Hilary Powers - hilary@... - Oakland CA -
- "Making Word 2010 Work for You" - -
- Needle Felting:; -

Re: A murder of crows?

David Brostoff

On Oct 24, 2018, at 9:49 AM, Kay Loughman kayloughman@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

Who knows about crows, e.g why here, why now? I've lived in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border for most of the last fifty years. We see a few crows per month - no great numbers. But this last week I've seen as many as 100 birds at a time flying up and down Claremont Canyon, perching in trees and on rooftops. A neighbor took this photo a couple of days ago which reminded me of a similar photo taken by a different neighbor also during the third week of October, but in 2012. I've skimmed the BNA Online account for American Crow, and didn't see any plausible explanation, and believe our local crows don't migrate. So why are they here? Is there something special about October? Some delectable food source?
On lower Panoramic Hill in Berkeley, just north of Claremont Canyon, I have seen large numbers of crows on and off for the past 20 or 30 years.

Along with hawks, they weren't here when I first moved to this location in the late 1960s.


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