Date   

Pt Pinole. Western Kingbirds

Sheila Dickie
 

There were two Western Kingbirds today at about 4 p.m. high in a eucalyptus tree along Owl Alley midway between the pond and the Maintenance yard. The birds were flying out and back. Quite spectacular. Location pt Pinole Regional Shoreline Park, Richmond.

Sheila Dickie
Richmond
8.13.20


Early Warbler Migration

Teale Fristoe
 

Lately I've been spending most of my birding time at the shoreline looking for shorebirds and terns, but today I dragged myself out of bed early enough to visit my local forest/chaparral hotspot, Claremont Canyon. I wasn't expecting much action in this limbo time between breeding and fall migration, so I was pleasantly surprised to have a four warbler hike.

The two biggest surprises were three Black-throated Gray Warblers (a species I've never seen there before) and four Hermit Warblers, all female/juveniles. The other two warblers were the expected Wilson's and only slightly less expected Orange-crowned.

In addition to the warblers, I saw many migrants in areas I'm not used to seeing them, indicating to me that they are either actively migrating or dispersing from nearby breeding locations. These species included one Black-headed Grosbeak, two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and many Pacific-slope Flycatchers. I also saw one female Selasphorus hummingbird, at this time of year likely a migrating Rufous.


Happy early fall,
Teale Fristoe
Berkeley


New bird in our backyard

Claude Lyneis
 

This morning (August 13, 2020 at about 9:30)  in the Berkeley Hills, 741 Keeler,  I spotted a new bird in out backyard.  It appears to be a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  It landed on the horizontal support of my bird feeder for about 20 second before flying off.  I had my Nikon ready because I have been documenting the squirrel activity at the feeder.

Probably not so unusual in Berkeley, but I have never seen one before.

Here is the link to a photo on Flickr.       https://flic.kr/p/2jw1B8u



Osprey at Lake Merritt

Hilary Powers
 

This afternoon, an Osprey was perched in the bare patch in the thick trees on the west side of the near island. Sat for a while, rose up and circled the lake, came back. This was about an hour ago; dunno if he's there still....

Best viewing from the cage end of the boat house parking lot.

Only my second sighting of an Osprey at the lake, ever.


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


Re: Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

Fred Werner
 

An adult male Surf Scoter was on land next to a female Greater Scaup at the Albany Bulb on July 24.  Photos and links to videos in the eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S71795274

Apologies for the late addition to this thread.  I was intrigued to see the Scaup and Scoter so close, but didn't think there was anything unusual about Scoters there even on land, even this time of year. 

That week and earlier, there was much discussion on this list about Greater vs. Lesser Scaups.  So I was more focused on trying to distinguish the three scaups I saw: two seemed clearly Greater, one seemed clearly Lesser.  Photos / videos of those are also on that eBird list.

- Fred

Fred Werner
Berkeley


On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 8:47 AM Edward Tanovitz via groups.io <edtanov=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I saw one male very close to shore near Trader vics in Emeryville in late July.


Bright Red Crest -- the results are in, sorta

Mike Hall
 

Thank you all so much for the suggestions! Nobody contributed anecdotes of parallel experiences, so before I share my “conclusion,” I’ll tell you about this one time a few years back. I’m in the succulents section of S.F. Botanical Garden (Golden Gate Park) when a gold-headed hummingbird flies by and perches, too close for binocs. Crown, nape, face all bright goldenrod, gorget red, body green. While my heart rate doubles and my mind pages fruitlessly through field guides, the bird plunges into a nearby cactus blossom and emerges even brighter. Thus it dawns on me – Anna’s as pollinator! True story.
The most popular ID nomination for my red-crested mystery was Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but I didn’t bother to include RCKI in the why-nots, because, although it does sometimes sip and can really flare its crown, its wingbars cannot escape notice and its flight is not straight and level. And when was the last time you saw one sit really still? at the tip-top of a tree? I’m grateful to Michaela for the Kingbird suggestion – I’d actually forgotten about the hidden crown stripe (which some field guides fail to mention). The Macaulay gallery, as far as I got, shows only one example of the stripe flared – visible head-on, possibly a courtship signal, not rising above the crown. WEKI’s direct flight style is right, but shape and size are wrong. Kay thought of Pyrrhuloxia – nice red crest, but also many obvious touches of red here and there, and just as big as the Kingbird. And undulating flight. Wen’s Chipping Sparrow has the right size and, if it’s turned somewhat away, potentially the right shape and crown brightness; but, you know, striping on the back, wingbars, and – undulating flight. Finally, Judi contributed Red-crested Cardinal (Sibley: “Escapes regularly occur in Florida and California”). Mainly a ground feeder, with hard-to-mistake white and gray body; no info on flight style. I haven’t been able to find any local current or historical sightings records. I’m holding off for now. That bold red triangle, highly unlikely in any case, could as well have resulted from a Titmouse thrusting his head into a blossom to grab a spider or bug.
Hence, my Inconclusion: leave the eBird comment as is for now, under “Passerine sp.”


Re: Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

Carla
 

While I'm not familiar with the molting pattern of Surf Scoters, the attached photo was taken (from a distance) of one of the males at Albany Bulb last Thursday evening, Aug. 6th, in case it helps. I thought it unusual to see the Scoters on land.

Best,
Carla


Re: Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

Edward Tanovitz
 

I saw one male very close to shore near Trader vics in Emeryville in late July.


Re: Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

Michael Carnall
 

There is a group of scoters that seem to be permanent residents near Brooks Island.  I kayak in the area regularly and have noted them in July as early as 2013. 
Mike Carnall
Point Richmond

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 10:59:32 AM PDT, cwells2073@... <cwells2073@...> wrote:


While this seems unusual I am beginning to think this is normal. I saw a male and female scoter pair in this same location on July8th of last year and a group of 5 males at sunset in this spot on July 28th of this year. One of the males had most of the secondary flight feathers on its right wing missing and the vanes on the primaries looked pretty much useless. I was thinking maybe it was the victim of a shark or seal attack but I am finding out that this is the time of year that scoters typically molt their flight feathers. Perhaps this is a refuge they are using annually during this vulnerable molting period? Does anyone know the flight feather molting pattern of a scoter? Do they lose one wing at a time?
Charlie Wells
Oakland


Re: Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

cwells2073@...
 

While this seems unusual I am beginning to think this is normal. I saw a male and female scoter pair in this same location on July8th of last year and a group of 5 males at sunset in this spot on July 28th of this year. One of the males had most of the secondary flight feathers on its right wing missing and the vanes on the primaries looked pretty much useless. I was thinking maybe it was the victim of a shark or seal attack but I am finding out that this is the time of year that scoters typically molt their flight feathers. Perhaps this is a refuge they are using annually during this vulnerable molting period? Does anyone know the flight feather molting pattern of a scoter? Do they lose one wing at a time?
Charlie Wells
Oakland


Re: Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

Joe Morlan
 

On Sun, 9 Aug 2020 19:24:47 -0700, "Hilary Powers"
<hilary@...> wrote:

Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh. At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.
Unfortunately Arrowhead Marsh is slated for "restoration" with removal of
the existing hybrid Spartina phased in with replacement by native Spartina.
However if what they did to Colma Marsh is any indication (over 60
Ridgway's Rails gone), they may turn it into a mudflat. For more
information see the "Invasive Spartina Project" at...

https://spartina.org/
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA


Re: Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

Hilary Powers
 

On 8/9/2020 11:50 AM, Fred Werner wrote:
Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh.  At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.

Yes - high tide is good for seeing a lot of rails at Arrowhead Marsh. But mid-low tide is good for seeing a lot of happy rails there. Not quite as many, but strolling around like chickens and generally enjoying themselves, rather than huddling miserably on one of the few scraps of above-tide ground....


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


Re: Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

Fred Werner
 

Seconding everything Maureen said, especially about the Ridgway's Rails at Arrowhead Marsh.  At high tide last week, there were at least 7 calling around the boardwalk, and we had fantastic, close views of one.

There are lots of good apps for tracking/forecasting tides.  Tides Near Me has handy maps and info on currents.  Note also the height of the tide.  The lower high tide of the day might not completely flood a given mudflat, while the higher high tide that same day might keep it underwater for more than two hours before and after high-tide

Albany Mudflats is a feeding site, so the best time is often ~ an hour after high tide (with the above caveat), when shorebirds flock in to feast on the newly exposed, freshly re-stocked buffet.  The "Point Isabel" location for NOAA tide reports is the far side of that same cove.   The far southeast corner, where Codornices Creek enters the Bay, tucked in by the highway off-ramp, is the last part to flood and first to be exposed but it's hard to get good looks. 

Also, note that birding the feeding sites before high tide can be productive, too.  At Oakland Middle Harbor in particular, the shorebirds often get pushed towards you as the tide rolls in, before they finally give up on it.

Good luck, and let us all know what insights you gain on tide-birding!

- Fred


On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 10:56 AM Maureen Lahiff via groups.io <MLahiff=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Welcome to the wonders of migrating and wintering shorebirds on San Francisco Bay!
(Venturing south to Jetty  Road at Moss Landing is another not-to-be-missed location.)


One distinction is sites for feeding on newly exposed mudflats v. high tide roost sites.
For feeding sites, I go about an hour after the tide has started to go out.

Frank's Dump is a high tide roost, with protected islands as the tide is coming in (unless it it very high, when they are submerged).

Middle Harbor and Elsie Roemer are more impressive as feeding sites.
(Not very many birds roost there.)

Timing for rails at Arrowhead Marsh is the best with the really high tides around new moon and full moon in December and January.
Close by in MLK Regional Shoreline is the Garretson Point parking area, which has good shorebirding along the Slough.

I usually search online for NOAA Tide Predictions and the site name (Middle Harbor, Alameda for Elsie Roemer, east end of the San Mateo Bridge for Frank's Dump)
look at their lovely graphs of the tides.




-----Original Message-----
From: Don Simonson <don.r.simonson@...>
To: EBB-Sightings <EBB-Sightings@groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Aug 9, 2020 8:44 am
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579



Re: Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

Maureen Lahiff
 

Welcome to the wonders of migrating and wintering shorebirds on San Francisco Bay!
(Venturing south to Jetty  Road at Moss Landing is another not-to-be-missed location.)


One distinction is sites for feeding on newly exposed mudflats v. high tide roost sites.
For feeding sites, I go about an hour after the tide has started to go out.

Frank's Dump is a high tide roost, with protected islands as the tide is coming in (unless it it very high, when they are submerged).

Middle Harbor and Elsie Roemer are more impressive as feeding sites.
(Not very many birds roost there.)

Timing for rails at Arrowhead Marsh is the best with the really high tides around new moon and full moon in December and January.
Close by in MLK Regional Shoreline is the Garretson Point parking area, which has good shorebirding along the Slough.

I usually search online for NOAA Tide Predictions and the site name (Middle Harbor, Alameda for Elsie Roemer, east end of the San Mateo Bridge for Frank's Dump)
look at their lovely graphs of the tides.




-----Original Message-----
From: Don Simonson <don.r.simonson@...>
To: EBB-Sightings <EBB-Sightings@groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Aug 9, 2020 8:44 am
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579


Request for information - best tides for East Bay shorebird spots?

Don Simonson
 

I have been birding 55 years, I just retired here from Maryland,  and am very grateful for all the shorebird reports.  I have a scope and made initial visits to the renowned East Bay shorebird sites (below) but lack an understanding of the relation of high tide to your wonderful shorebird viewing spots and roosts. 

I will be grateful if anyone can reply offline to suggest the optimum time, relative to High Tide, to visit:
Franks Dump in Hayward
Middle Harbor in Oakland
Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland 
Elsie Roemer in Alameda
Albany Bulb Mudflats in Albany. 

Thanks in advance and good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley
240-277-2579


Re: Pacific Commons Linear Park (8/8/20) - Possible Chimney Swift

Michael Park
 

Here's a guide to judging the wingshape characters mentioned by Jerry.

https://www.sibleyguides.com/2010/10/identifying-chimney-and-vauxs-swifts-by-wing-shape/

Judge for yourself. Vocalizations are distinct between Vaux's and Chimneys swifts, but are not noted in the report.

The wing's look broad, the secondaries do not seem to bulge significantly, and the primary shape appear relatively linear. The photos are very nice for seeing these characters.\

David Sibley refutes his previously published notions of relative tail lengths in the linked web page. This illusionary difference may be the result of the narrower wing in Chimney Swift.

Michael Park
Berkeley


Pacific Commons Linear Park (8/8/20) - Possible Chimney Swift

Jerry Ting
 

This (8/8/2020) morning I saw a possible Chimney Swift at the large pond picnic area (37.493236, -121.983744) in Pacific Commons Linear Park in Fremont. It was flying with other swallows and I first noticed its darker underparts then the darker rump compared with Vaux's Swift. Less contrast between the dark auricular and the underparts. It also shows the more bulging inner primaries compared with VASW's more evenly tapered and straight-edged wings.
Some shots can be seen in my eBird checklist here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S72223887

Stay Safe and Happy Birding
Jerry Ting,
Fremont


Male Surf Scoter at Albany Bulb

blofbern1
 

Yesterday afternoon around 4 PM I saw a male Surf Scoter in very shallow, sheltered water just inland from the large driftwood sculptures. The time of year and the setting both seemed unusual.
Ken Berniker
El Cerrito


Topic closed

Aaron Maizlish
 

All,

No politics, no ad hominem attacks, if you have a problem with the direction a conversation is going please reach out to your moderator. I am not going to let this list go into any nasty direction, that should be a thing of the past.

I think Ethan is correct that speculation on a bird’s identity is probably best done in private communication in order to not crowd everyone else’s inboxes. What this has to do with a free society of “Trumbers” is frankly beyond me. Let’s keep this list about the joy of birds.

Meanwhile, I am at Elsie Roemer in Alameda right now admiring thousands of shorebirds.

Thank you,

Aaron Maizlish
Volunteer moderator.

On Aug 7, 2020, at 1:20 PM, Steve Taylor <s-taylor@...> wrote:

Once again this group has shown they want to police everything. This does not happen in a free society. You must be Trumbers?


locked Why

Steve Taylor
 

Once again this group has shown they want to police everything. This does not happen in a free society. You must be Trumbers?