Date   

MITCHELL CANYON

Ethan Monk
 

Hi all, birded Mitchell Canyon today 5AM--945AM. I hiked up to Red Rd. in the dark, and then once the sun rose, followed it W to E down the road. This is generally one of the most lucrative methods for migrants at Mitchell, I've found. Then a brief foray further S up the canyon, then back North to the parking lot via Globe Lily Trail. There was fairly strong West wind about 545-645, but it died down after that. Several notable migrant pushes today:

--EMPIDONAX FLYCATCHERS had a large, large migratory push this morning. I counted 15 Pac-slopes and 21 HAMMOND'S!! 21!! About 15-16 of the Hammond's were vocal, and I saw 19 of the 21. Most of these Hammond's were on Red rd., but there were several on the main road and Globe Lily trails, as well. I was treated to views of several live Hammond's jousting matches, involving 2-3 individuals chasing each other relentlessly, and in one case a pair tumbling to the ground--interlocked--out of an oak. On Globe Lily Trail, at one point, I had 4 Hammond's calling in close proximity (3/4 of these I could see) creating a rather convincing impersonation of a Pygmy Nuthatch flock. This count is exceptional but not unprecedented...I believe Steve Glover, Bob Richmond, and Jean Richmond, each, had several days with 20+ Hammond's. I will have to double check this to confirm. I think there are even a couple records of days with 30-40 Hammond's on Mt. Diablo (the county high is 47) although these events are few and far between.
--House Wrens seemed to have a decent migrant push: I counted 12, 6-7 of these together at the top of Red Rd. House Wren are residents in Mitchell, but this number together seemed to indicate a movement? Not sure.
--Warblers were in many ways underwhelming, with two notable exceptions: I counted 24 Wilson's Warblers, and 4 MacGillivray's Warblers (3 of these bouncing around together on Red Rd.). I didn't see my first Black-throated Gray until 9am, and only had 2 Townsend's. 1 Nashville singing and then seen on Red Rd. was nice.
--2 Golden-crowned Kinglets were a bit late.
--3 Cassin's Vireo was a typical count, and the sole Warbling Vireo of the day seemed very lonely.
--Hummingbirds were very, very underwhelming. 2 Anna's. That was it. No Rufous or Calliope. (Although I have 6 Rufous at my house today)
--2 Pine Siskins and a Purple Finch were cool Spring birds at Mitchell.
--2 Grosbeaks, 1 Tanager
--2 Vaux's Swift up the canyon at first light
--7 poorwill, vocal until 615 am.

Left at 945, got home at 10. Stepped out of the car and had a Hammond's Flycatcher pipping in my oaks. Only the third one I've had in my backyard.

Enjoy Spring.
Ethan


Alameda Creek Niles Staging Area

John Cant 793-5216
 

Yesterday afternoon the 11th I observed 8 Wood Ducks (4 pairs maintaining social distance), 2 female Hooded Merganser, 1 Common Merganser and 1 female Bufflehead, in addition to usual Mallard and Gadwall.

A second stop at the creek where it passes under the Mission Blvd. bridge yielded no ducks -- have the Ring-Necked headed north? -- but a Peregrine circled overhead. 

An adult male Rufous Hummingbird was at my feeder a moment ago.  Mouth of Niles Canyon.

John Cant
Fremont


nesting Red-Shouldered Hawk

Jerry Britten
 

After 2-3 years of nesting elsewhere, a red-shouldered hawk is once again sitting on a nest near the top of a big valley oak over our patio.  I guess I can once again look forward to sweeping up snake skeletons and other discards off the deck.  White-tailed kites are nesting on a neighbors property, probably 500 yds away.  In the past they nested nearer each other and we used to enjoy watching their aerial jousts, but I think they are separated enough this year.
Jerry Britten
Morgan Territory


barn owl(s) at Cesar Chavez

Nancy Van House
 

May have been reported here but don't see a recent report on eBird so people may not know about this. Was walking (properly distancing) at Cesar Chavez yesterday when someone, seeing my binoculars, told me where to find a barn owl which he said had 5 fledglings. With binoculars and patience,  I could see one fledgling periodically visible deep in the nest box.  Was going to head back for pictures today but it's been so dark all day, will wait for a brighter day.

Which nest box: at north end, first box west of burrowing owl area.  About 10 feet east of a sign saying dogs must be on leash.  


FOS Berkeley Hills

Michael Park
 

Hi All,

During an exercise run in my neighborhood, I detected the song of a Black-throated Gray Warbler. It's the first of season for me.

I am not birding except during exercise and necessary biological work on infrastructure projects, which are exempted from shelter in place. I hope this ends soon.

Michael Park, Berkeley


Saturday morning in Heather Farm Park--Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Not leaving the house until about 8:30, Tracy Farrington and Ted Robertson were ahead of me in the park this morning.  We had some of the same birds, some a bit different.  Lots of Rough-winged Swallows were flying over the big pond and the island.  But they were just one species of the 5-swaollow day.  We also saw Barn, Cliff, Violet-green and Tree Swallows, though they were not nearly as numerous as their cousins.

Tracy had a Pacific-slope Flycatcher on the west side of the large, mostly natural pond, well before Ted and I arrived.  When he was leaving, Tracy caught the Tropical Kingbird on the soccer field fence across from the parking lot near the wooden railing.  He drove back to tell us about it, but though Ted and I rode our bikes around looking, we were unable to re-locate this elusive bird.

The two of us eventually made out way to the entrance to the private Seven Hills School.  It was pretty quiet over there, but we did have a couple of Western Bluebirds near he solar panels.

A Double-crested Cormorant was still present, as was the continuing female Common Goldeneye.  Her cousins, the Ring-necked Ducks were not around, the second day I have not seen one.  Ted found us a Common Gallinule, though.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Calliope Hummingbird on Garin Rd in Hayward

Bob Toleno
 

Juli Chamberlin and i birded the Pride of Madeira patch on Garin Road, in the residential neighborhood just down the hill from the entrance to Garin Regional Park today. Being mid-April, we had high hopes of seeing a Calliope Hummingbird and we were not disappointed. We parked on Clearbrook Circle and walked a short distance to the corner of Garin Road, where we quickly found a displaying male Allen's, a beautiful male Rufous, and got quick looks at a small green-backed hummingbird that we thought was probably a Calliope. We waited a few minutes and sure enough, a gorgeous male Calliope Hummingbird came to feed in the Pride of Madeira bush just 15 feet away, giving us outstanding views of its green crown, tiny bill, and beautiful pink striped gorget. This was a long-awaited county bird (and 5MR bird) for me!

Please note: Garin RP is closed on weekends, so if you try to see the Calliope, you won't be able to get into the park itself for birding afterward. Even though some birders have been visiting there during the week, those of us who still need to work Mon-Fri sadly don't have that option.

Bob Toleno
Hayward


Bonaparte's Gulls- Hayward Marsh

Chris Winn
 

While practicing photographing birds at the Hayward Marsh where the trail from the closed Interpretive Center meets the bay, I noticed a flock of terns looked rather unusual both because they were flocking and had black heads! When I reviewed my pictures, I noticed some great images of Bonaparte's gulls in varying extent of head feather molt. So as you go for the shorebirds, keep looking up! Also, very easy to maintain social distancing there.

Ebird list is mostly limited to birds I photographed. More could be both seen and heard but not with my shorter lens.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S66953123


PGPL

James
 


eBird -- Hayward Regional Shoreline--Frank's Dump -- Apr 10, 2020

James
 

I went back to the Hayward Shoreline in hopes of getting better views of the possible Pacific Golden-Plover I didn't know I had photographed on Thursday and found it pretty easily. It was sitting on the right hand side of the flock of BBPLs on one of the small island I Frank's Dump.  Hayward Regional Shoreline--Frank's Dump
Apr 10, 2020
1:30 PM
Traveling
2.00 miles
60 minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments:

6 Northern Shoveler 
2 American Wigeon 
75 Black-necked Stilt 
50 American Avocet 
300 Black-bellied Plover 
1 Pacific Golden-Plover -- Smaller than surrounding BBPLs. Very yellow. Distant low-res phone scope photos.
1500 Marbled Godwit 
20 Red Knot 
2000 Dunlin 
10 Least Sandpiper 
20 California Gull 
2 Forster's Tern 
30 Barn Swallow 
50 Red-winged Blackbird 

Number of Taxa: 14
James Watts
Hayward


Dense shorebird flocks at Frank’s Dump - Hayward Shoreline

Fred Werner
 

Late this afternoon, my partner and I saw well over a thousand godwits and close to a thousand or more Black-bellied Plovers, mostly in breeding plumage, in tight, dense flocks on islands and sand bars in the main pond at Frank’s Dump on the Hayward Regional Shoreline.  Several hundred Red Knots, Western Sandpipers and scores of other shorebirds and waterbirds (including several dozen Black-necked Stilts and a few Avocets) were mixed in. At one point, something scared up the whole lot of them and as they swirled overhead, it was spectacular!  Couldn’t see what scared them besides a low-landing plane (we watched a Peregrine scare up winter flocks in that exact spot a few months ago).  

I likely wouldn’t have found any rarities if they were there, so I can’t say.  One Red-necked Phalarope was my special find of the day.

Not sure how today’s stiff WNW winds affected the flocks or their migration, I’d be curious to hear how much longer these flocks linger there.

The parking lots at the end of Winton Ave. are open, the main lot closes at 5pm, but the smaller lot outside the gate doesn’t close.

eBird list here:   Haven’t yet downloaded/uploaded photos...

Happy safe socially distant birding!

- Fred Werner


Swainson's Hawk - Contra Loma R. P., Antioch - 4/10

Paul Schorr
 

Today, Nancy and I took a midday walk at Contra Loma R. P. We parked at the end of Frederickson Lane and began the walk from there, maintaining social distancing, as were others. When we reached the slight crest before the road begins downhill to the entry kiosk, Nancy spotted a raptor. When we got our binos on it, we clearly saw that it was a Swainson’s Hawk, which was a new species for us at the park. As we continued past the kiosk to the boat launch area, we encountered four Bullock’s Orioles, chattering loudly and clearly visible in their stunning breeding plumage. When we reached the boat launch area, two large birds oh the reservoir caught our attention and they turned out to be a pair of Mute Swans, another new species for us at the park. The additions of the Swainson’s Hawk and the Mute Swans brought our total species count for the park to 152. As we continued along the margin of the reservoir, we could hear Common Yellowthroats, saw at least three Lincoln’s Sparrows and a pari of Common Gallinules. When we got to Loma Island to check on the nesting Killdeer, an adult was on the nest. Today is approximately day number 20 in their incubation cycle of 24-28 days. Leaving Loma Island, we walked to the palm trees at the end of Channel Point parking lot, hoping to see the Hooded Orioles that nested there last year; however, we did not find them. During our walk out of the park, I spotted what I thought was a kiting Say’s Phoebe, but when I got the binos on it, it turned out to be a Western Kingbird. We located two more Bullock’s Orioles before ending our walk. After the recent series of welcome spring rains, it was good to be outdoors to enjoy moments with nature.

Stay well and be safe, and Happy Birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Cormorants Nesting at Lake Merritt

Hilary Powers
 

Finally.

Today a dozen or so cormorants were in the island trees - an active pair, several males clinging to nests and doing the "Come live with me and be my love!" dance, and a few others on branches and looking around.

--
~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@SalFelt.com - Oakland CA ~
~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~
~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~


Re: Birding on Walks

Judith Dunham
 

Like others, I have enjoyed birding our yard and on local walks. Here, about a mile south of UC Berkeley, large flocks of Cedar Waxwings are also amassing and foraging in various trees. Bewick's Wrens have gone silent, and I expect they are nesting. Our Oak Titmouse pair rejected our two nestboxes and decamped for a natural cavity in a street tree. They are frantically feeding nestlings, and I nervously await the fledglings. Flyovers have included a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. I found myself staring up at the sky listening to gulls a hundred feet or so overhead and trying to ID them. Hey, I have the time.

The absence of people at UC Berkeley, vehicle traffic, and much (though not all) construction has meant I have heard more Brown Creepers along Strawberry Creek than in recent memory. My goal now is to find a nest. Yesterday morning I had a stare-down with a Black-crowned Night-Heron perched near the creek just feet away from me. Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, and Townsend's Warblers, looking snappy, were hoovering through the oaks and the streamside vegetation.

Science Friday had a segment today, Enjoying Spring From Quarantine, with birding being an emphasis. There are some wonderful recordings. I'm a fan of Jason Ward's, and he is one of the people interviewed. He talks about one of his sought-after species. https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/spring-science-quarantine/

Take care everyone.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA


Re: New Yard Bird

Alan Howe
 

Kites are periodically seen over Cesar Chavez Park (Berkeley Marina), kiting as they survey all that open grass for rodents, I assume. (Don't know that any show up for the Berkeley Kite Festival in July every year. ;-)  )

Blessed Easter / Passover--& stay safe.

Alan Howe


On Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 12:22 PM Patricia Bacchetti <bacpab@...> wrote:
While visiting at a safe distance with a neighbor, a White-tailed Kite circled high overhead.  I live in the Oakland hills between Rockridge and Montclair, and I've never seen a kite in the area in the 20 years that I've lived here.  On eBird, 1 has recently been seen at nearby Lake Temescal, and several have been seen in the flats of Berkeley recently.

Other birds in my garden include 1 Rufus Hummingbird on his way north, 2 Allen's Hummingbirds who will probably breed in my neighborhood, a family of 3 Anna's Hummingbirds, House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches, large groups of Band-tailed Pigeons (our only native pigeon), Dark-eyed Juncos, and both crowned sparrows.  A couple of Spotted Towhees show up occasionally, and the neighborhood Red-breasted Nuthatch family comes by every few days.  All common residents, but having the time to observe them daily is a treat.

The juncos nest in the neighborhood some years; other years they move up-slope and nest in the higher elevations of the hills.  It will be interesting to see what they do this year-they are still present in my garden.

Best, stay safe and keep your eyes on the sky.

Pat Bacchetti
Oakland


New Yard Bird

Patricia Bacchetti
 

While visiting at a safe distance with a neighbor, a White-tailed Kite circled high overhead.  I live in the Oakland hills between Rockridge and Montclair, and I've never seen a kite in the area in the 20 years that I've lived here.  On eBird, 1 has recently been seen at nearby Lake Temescal, and several have been seen in the flats of Berkeley recently.

Other birds in my garden include 1 Rufus Hummingbird on his way north, 2 Allen's Hummingbirds who will probably breed in my neighborhood, a family of 3 Anna's Hummingbirds, House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches, large groups of Band-tailed Pigeons (our only native pigeon), Dark-eyed Juncos, and both crowned sparrows.  A couple of Spotted Towhees show up occasionally, and the neighborhood Red-breasted Nuthatch family comes by every few days.  All common residents, but having the time to observe them daily is a treat.

The juncos nest in the neighborhood some years; other years they move up-slope and nest in the higher elevations of the hills.  It will be interesting to see what they do this year-they are still present in my garden.

Best, stay safe and keep your eyes on the sky.

Pat Bacchetti
Oakland


Re: Birding on Walks

Joyce Rybandt
 

Yesterday, near the area mentioned below, I saw a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in the tree at the NW corner of Santa Fe and Pomona around 6 pm.

 

Joyce Rybandt

Albany

 

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io [mailto:EBB-Sightings@groups.io] On Behalf Of Graham Chisholm
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2020 11:49 AM
To: EBB <EBB-Sightings@groups.io>
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Birding on Walks

 

Being home more, and limiting walks to my neighborhood means that I am seeing birds I won't normally see or hear close to home, it is also easier to hear birds with less urban noise along the Gilman corridor.  

 

Highlights have been:

 

Overflights by calling Willets and Wigeon (presumably American) in Albany along San Carlos (corner of Portland) at 9:45 pm Wednesday;

 

White-tailed Kite around Posen/Colusa and the King School track on two occasions;

 

Eurasian Collared-Dove calling for my first time at Gilman/Peralta in Berkeley;

 

Overflights by Great Egret, Double-crested Cormorant and Mallard at Gilman/Peralta in Berkeley

 

All the best to all,  

 

Graham Chisholm

Berkeley

 

--

Graham Chisholm

c. 510-409-6603


Birding on Walks

Graham Chisholm
 

Being home more, and limiting walks to my neighborhood means that I am seeing birds I won't normally see or hear close to home, it is also easier to hear birds with less urban noise along the Gilman corridor.  

Highlights have been:

Overflights by calling Willets and Wigeon (presumably American) in Albany along San Carlos (corner of Portland) at 9:45 pm Wednesday;

White-tailed Kite around Posen/Colusa and the King School track on two occasions;

Eurasian Collared-Dove calling for my first time at Gilman/Peralta in Berkeley;

Overflights by Great Egret, Double-crested Cormorant and Mallard at Gilman/Peralta in Berkeley

All the best to all,  

Graham Chisholm
Berkeley

--
Graham Chisholm
c. 510-409-6603


19 White-faced Ibis

James
 

I had a flock of 19 White-faced Ibis fly over me at Frank's Dump (Hayward Shoreline) while I was observing the thousands of Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers.  See photos in Ebird checklist. eBird Checklist - 9 Apr 2020 - Hayward Regional Shoreline--Winton Ave. access and parking area - 28 species
James Watts
Hayward


Thursday in Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Because there was no wind to speak of this morning, maybe that is why we had so many Rough-winged Swallows flying around.  I did not look hard enough, possibly, a family was at the wooden railing and I did not stay close, but I may have missed any other swallow species.

I saw no Double-crested Cormorants, they would be easy to spot, but I did not see any Black Phoebes, either.  The Pied-billed Grebes were also missing.  It may be just for lack of looking hard enough, or they could be hiding.  A river otter was reported later in the concrete pond.

There were still plenty of White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows, as well as Audubon's and some Myrtle Warblers.

Along the road toward the private Seven Hills School, I had some Western Bluebirds on the fence across from the equestrian parking.  They seem to like this area.  A Killdeer was in this pond.

Two Ring-necked Ducks on the large, mostly natural pond, and the one female Common Goldeneye.  She was seen the other day, I just missed her.

In our patio to the north of the park, Rosita had a female Selasphorus Hummingbird yesterday afternoon.  It was gone by the time I ran downstairs from the computer.  I moved the pot which has the flowers on which this bird was feeding.  It will be easier to see if it returns and I am looking out the right window.

For several mornings now, the White-crowned Sparrows have been in the patio before 6:30.  Earlier in the week, the last one was in the patio at 7:45 PM!  Those are long working hours.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

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