Date   
Western Tanager - Black Diamond Mines R. P., Antioch - 4/19

Paul Schorr
 

Late this morning and early afternoon we did some very casual birding at BDMRP. On our way out of the park, we stopped at the fire gate along the lower end of the road and south of the old Moeller Ranch. There we spotted our FOS Western Tanager, a stunning male!

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch

Mitchell Canyon 04-20-19 (PAAS field trip report)

Matthew Dodder
 

I led my Palo Alto Adult School birding class to Mitchell Canyon today for a morning of birding. Conditions were challenging at first with overcast skies, wind and cool temperatures. The wind made it difficult to hear many birds, but by mid day it had become quite warm and nice, but remained breezy and activity picked up.

Our tour took us south along the Mitchell Canyon Fire Trail where we then hiked up White Canyon. We returned to the lot via the Globe Lily Trail that parallels the fire road. There were many highlights, but we could not help but be impressed by the lack of Contopus flycatchers—in other words, we did not find any Western Wood Pewees or Olive-sided Flycatchers despite earlier reports of them being present. Perhaps others had more luck today...

The birdiest sections were the north junction with the Globe Lily Trail, and the chaparral section along White Canyon. Here are a few of our favorite sightings today:

Rufous Hummingbird — (5) White Canyon and Globe Lily trails
Calliope Hummingbird — (7) White Canyon and Globe Lily trails
Hammond’s Flycatcher — (1) Globe Lily trail
Hermit Warbler — (2) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, again on White Canyon
Black-throated Gray Warbler — (3) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, again on by picnic tables
Nashville Warbler — (1) White Canyon trail along creek
MacGillivray’s Warbler — (1) White Canyon trail along creek
Hooded Oriole — (1) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road
Lazuli Bunting — (3) junction of Globe Lily and Mitchell Canyon Fire Road, and Globe Lily Trail itself
Western Tanager — (2) along Mitchell Canyon Fire Road

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View

Update on birds nesting in Hercules

Susana dT
 

Hooded Orioles are nesting in a palm tree across the street from our house. The nest is not visible but I see them getting into the tree canopy.
The male escorts the female while she collects nesting material and follows her when she leaves.
My indoor cat Puffy is trying to vindicate his species by offering his nice long wool to the birds, here is a video of female collecting it. https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/32713283217/in/dateposted-public/
Photo of Puffy here (sorry, couldn’t help it):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/46740280295/in/dateposted-public/

There is also an American Kestrel couple nesting, second season in a row. The male has been catching blue tailed skinks. He does a victory lap around the neighborhood vocalizing with pray in his talons pretty much every time he gets one. Here is the link showing him eating:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/47655839201/in/dateposted-public/

White tailed kites are incubating.

Bewick's Wren nesting in Hercules

Susana dT
 

Sorry, I left these guys out of my last post.
A couple of years ago I took a broken electric kettle outside with the idea of planting a succulent in it. A Bewick's Wren couple had better plans for it. This is their second season nesting in the kettle. Last year she laid 6 eggs. Two weeks ago there were 4 eggs. Concerned about disturbing them I did not check after. I was surprised to see one bringing material AFTER the eggs were laid, but I guess they can always make it more comfortable, softer for the chicks. Video here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/32717789367/in/datetaken/
Feeding video here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/33783084628/in/dateposted-public/

Arrowhead Marsh--many wintering species still present in breeding plumages

Lee Friedman
 

Friday at Arrowhead Marsh (MLK Regional Shoreline) Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers and Spotted Sandpipers were still present and in breeding plumages, making them somewhat easier to identify (Dunlins with black belly patch, SB Dowitchers with white bellies below their spotted orange necks and chests, Spotted Sandpipers with black spots on their chests). In the new marsh area south of the observation tower and viewing platform, there were still a number of soon-to-depart species present: Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, and Semipalmated Plovers.


Full checklist with photos attached is here:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55179903


Good birding,

Lee Friedman

Hayward Shoreline yesterday

Bob Richmond
 

In the afternoon when it was windy.
Seen at Winton Ave1 Black-headed Grosbeak1 Swainson's Thrush1 female Black-chinned Hummingbird4 Wilson's Warbler1 Yellow-rumped Warbler1 Fox Sparrow heardBoth White and Golden-crowned Sparrows
Bob RichmondAlameda

Hayward Shoreline yesterday

Bob Richmond
 

I forgot to mention previously was a WILSON'S PHALAROPE in a large pond east of the radio tower hills and west of a large warehouse now being built. It is best seen from the last bend in the road before the parking lot. I have other April records, most mid-late April bu a few in early April.
Bob RichmondAlameda

Kennedy Grove Regional Rec Area--Overlooked Park?

Judith Dunham
 

After my friend Pam Peck and I hiked Kennedy Grove in El Sobrante this morning, I was surprised to see that the park has only 45 checklists on eBird covering all years. Then I had to kick myself: this morning's hike was my first visit ever to the park.

All the human action was in the large picnic area, where families were setting up for Easter. We hit the trail at 8:30 and did a 3-mile loop through woodland and chaparral over less than 3 hours, and ended with 32 species. Among the sightings: OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, WARBLING VIERO, WILSON'S WARBLER, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. The highlight was a visible pair of CALIFORNIA THRASHERS on a hillside engaged in a duet. We encountered birdsong at every turn. The many wildflowers and butterflies were a bonus. The upper trails are narrow with good elevation gain.

We only ran into four other people on the trails. My eBird list describes our route: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55221297

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

Re: Kennedy Grove Regional Rec Area--Overlooked Park?

Logan Kahle
 

Thanks for bringing this place to light, Judith,

This park is severely under-covered, but in my just two visits in the past couple years has proved very lucrative.

The park has a large diversity of trees, with large flowering bluegum eucs, old live oaks, a smattering of willow riparian, and a few patches of chaparral. It has had several good birds in the past, most notably a wintering Tennessee Warbler back in the '80s. The place has awesome potential, mostly in migration but also winter, if anyone is looking for a Berkeley Hills patch....

Good birding,

Logan

On 4/21/19 6:22 PM, judith_dnhm wrote:
After my friend Pam Peck and I hiked Kennedy Grove in El Sobrante this morning, I was surprised to see that the park has only 45 checklists on eBird covering all years. Then I had to kick myself: this morning's hike was my first visit ever to the park.

All the human action was in the large picnic area, where families were setting up for Easter. We hit the trail at 8:30 and did a 3-mile loop through woodland and chaparral over less than 3 hours, and ended with 32 species. Among the sightings: OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, WARBLING VIERO, WILSON'S WARBLER, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. The highlight was a visible pair of CALIFORNIA THRASHERS on a hillside engaged in a duet. We encountered birdsong at every turn. The many wildflowers and butterflies were a bonus. The upper trails are narrow with good elevation gain.

We only ran into four other people on the trails. My eBird list describes our route: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55221297

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA

4/22/19: Mitchell Canyon

Patricia Mahoney
 

4/22/19, Mitchell Canyon: 9:30 AM, a White-throated Sparrow was low in some shrubs south of Mitchell Canyon Trail (fire road), just past the first trail intersection after the gate. White-striped morph, scope view.

Up on Black Point Trail near the trail marker with the no-bikes symbol, 6 Vaux’s Swifts chattered as they flew north. An Allen’s Hummingbird chased an Ash-throated Flycatcher across the hilltop before returning to perch in an oak for excellent scope views! Blue-gray Gnatcatchers sang and moved about in the chamise. I got buzzed by a few hummingbirds who shall remain unidentified.

2 silent Swainson’s Thrushes were observed: one in the creek bed north of Mitchell Canyon Trail and another farther back on the trail, moving around in the oaks.

Today’s singing warblers: Yellow-rumped (including at least one Myrtle), Wilson’s and Orange-crowned.

Pat Mahoney
Hayward

Golden Eagle flying above Hercules

Susana dT
 

Seen yesterday, Sunday 21st at 12:45 PM. I think immature Golden Eagle. I was surprised to see it flying above downtown Hercules while chased by a Red-tailed hawk. Then it flew east, over our yard, possibly to Fernandez Ranch Park. Bad video good enough for ID here (I had to use slow motion due to too much camera shaking):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/47674089611/in/datetaken/

Hammond’s Flycatcher, Canyon, Pinehurst Road

Patricia Bacchetti
 

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather Sunday, I birded Pinehurst Road from Oakland to the EBMUD Valle Vista Staging Area. Just before Canyon, a Western Tanger was singing in front of a residence. I couldn’t get a visual on it, but it was close by. In a deep patch of redwoods just past Canyon School, I heard and saw a Hammond’s Flycatcher. It took a minute for my ear to recognize the call because I hadn’t heard one since last year, but there it was. It was fly catching from a redwood branch and it called continuously. At the same spot, 3 Wilson’s Warblers were flitting around together, Warbling Vireos were singing, and several Pacific Slope Flycatchers were calling. Valle Vista had 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, initially seen on the northwestern, or Redwood Trail, going right from the entry gate. They were in the chaparral just before the Redwood Trail goes steeply uphill, and they were flying back and forth from the chaparral to the conifers on the opposite side of the trail. Later I found a pair in the oak trees and willows adjacent to the parking lot and Canyon Road. I’m presuming that they’re the same birds because they weren’t being seen at the original location. An Ash-throated Flycatcher was singing and visible in the parking area. There wasn’t an Easter Bunny in sight, though it was a good day for other migrants.

Patricia Bacchetti
Oakland

Pileated woodpecker in Montclair hills

Wendy Parfrey
 

I just heard the loud, resonant call of a pileated woodpecker at my house and was able to locate it near the top of a redwood tree on Heartwood. It just flew south toward Shepard Canyon so if you live nearby open your windows and listen a bit.

A new yard bird for me, although it's the third one I've seen in northern CA.

Enjoy, Wendy
Colton at Heartwood, close to Skyline and Snake

White-throated Sparrow, Richmond

Sheila Dickie
 

A White-throated Sparrow has been seen in my back garden twice in the past week, previously seen a few weeks ago, and before that end of last year. The White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows seem to have left the premises. Location Richmond, 600 Block of 29th Street.


Sheila Dickie
Richmond

Oakland Tanager

judisierra
 

I was delighted to have a male and 2 female Western Tanagers land in my Oakland flats yard this afternoon for a brief time. Not to happy the other day to have a eurasian collared dove on the the ground in my yard last week. All the yard Golden-crowned sparrows seemed to have departed last week also.

Judi Sierra- Oakland

Hayward Regional Shoreline (4-24)

Bob Richmond
 

I went from Grant Ave to the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek and south to Bockman Channel.
Seen today were1 YELLOW WARBLER1 GRAY FLYCATCHER1 ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER1 HUTTON'S VIREO
Both flycatchers were in a small row of trees west of the PGE Substation.
Bob RichmondAlameda

Pleasant Hill Grayson Creek birding

Alan Bade
 

In today's Grayson Creek bird survey (a monthly project with Friends of Pleasant Hill Creeks), highlights were two Western Tanagers (one male and female) in the trees along the creek near the new PH Library site. Also two Hooded Orioles (both males), a Wrentit, and one of the Red-Shouldered hawk pair we observed mating last month. At the second site near the new Carmax store, highlights are two Red-Shouldered hawks are both back in the same nest they used last year in the sycamores along Chilpancingo Parkway, north of the new CarMax store. Cliff swallows are gathering mud from the banks of Grayson Creek and building nests under the small bridge that crosses the creek halfway between Golf Club Rd bridge and Chilpancingo bridge. You can get a good view of them gathering their mud.
We are now up to 72 species recorded during the 18 months of the survey along two stretches of Grayson Creek.
Good birding, Alan Bade

Nesting Ash-throated flycatchers and other birds

Jerry Britten
 

For the first time, ash-throated flycatchers are building a nest in one of
the boxes on my property. Also, at least two more are occupied by western
bluebirds, one is being used to raise white-breasted nuthatch chicks, and
oak titmouse have already fledged from another. No house wrens this year
which is puzzling as there have been as many as 3 pairs at once some
years. Hopefully, violet-green swallows will start nesting soon in one of
them, as they often do. Elsewhere on the property I know of red-shouldered
hawks, turkey vultures, black phoebes and scrub jays nesting. I'm sure
there are more I haven't found.
Jerry Britten
Morgan Territory

Mt. Diablo south gate to summit April 30

rosita94598
 

Today was the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society field trip up South Gate Road to the summit of Mt. Diablo.  While it was not the birdiest of trips, we had some really nice birds.  The hillside just outside the south kiosk was not particular productive, though we heard a Wrentit and a Lazuli Bunting was seen.  After driving to Rock City, our first bird was an Olive-sided Flycatcher practically in front of our parked cars.  It had large white flank patches, but it never sang.  In Rock City we also had Black-headed Grosbeaks, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Western Tanagers.
The Junction Campground had Western Bluebirds and another Gnatcatcher.  Blue Oak and Pioneer each had California Thrashers.  Pioneer also had Spotted Towhee, Wrentit, another Grosbeak and a Hairy Woodpecker.  Only three warblers all day, one each of a Wilson's, Audubon's and Townsend's Warbler.
It was 44 species for the group of 8 participants.
Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek

One more from Mt. Diablo today

rosita94598
 

I forgot about the Chipping Sparrow we saw at the Junction today.  It was at the upper part of the campground, maybe the second site around the loop.
Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek