Date   

Another Cassins Finch!

Ethan Monk
 

Over Inspiration Pt, 2 minutes ago. 

Ethan


Re: Eastern Phoebe Granger's Wharf Martinez Regional Shoreline

Alan Bade <alanbade@...>
 

The Eastern Phoebe continues today near the Grainger's wharf entrance to the Martinez shoreline, and was pretty easy to see. We arrived about 10:30. After checking out how many night herons were in their tree, we immediately saw a phoebe hawking insects from just west of the parking lot near a bench. Sure enough, it was the Eastern along with a Black phoebe, though they didn't seem to be associating with each other. It was about 250 feet west of the large northern bridge. It seemed to prefer this area, as on our way back after birding elsewhere, it was still there. A small group of birders "marked the spot", so to speak.
One nice bicyclist noticed the group of birders focusing on the phoebe in the trail, stopped, waited, and then actually turned around to keep from flushing the bird. All remarked how polite that was, and appreciated.

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill


Be Alert for Mountain Finches

Jim Chiropolos
 

A group of three Cassins Finches dropped by the yard for a quick visit today (below Vollmer Peak). The male with the classic red Mohawk. There have been additional reports at inspiration point in Tilden.

Good Luck!

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


Re: Nelson's Sparrow at Arrowhead? WITH LINKS THAT MAY WORK

Joe Morlan
 

Mike,

These all look like Savannah Sparrows to me.

Here is a link to the LeConte's Sparrow:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_thomas/50609252698/

I have not yet seen any unequivocal images of a Nelson's Sparrow from
Arrowhead this season.

On Sat, 21 Nov 2020 18:35:10 -0800, "Mike Hall" <h3m@juno.com> wrote:

(See earlier post for background.) Here are new links, thanks to direction and encouragement from Sharon Jue:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/SWooLmtv1PTsWGoR9
https://photos.app.goo.gl/p1cJZUGcFr1rPPR76
https://photos.app.goo.gl/dRu4c1JNZ1f4W9nc7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z8XjGnF9yVpoYQ4G8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/niEUKyxzPzdcSY1k7
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA


A Backyard Sooty Fox Sparrow

Claude Lyneis
 

I was surprised to see what looks like a Sooty Fox Sparrow in our backyard in the Berkeley Hills on the 700 block of  Keeler Ave.  I have seen them a few times in Tilden, but not in the backyard.  I initially thought it was a Song Sparrow, but it was spreading the ground cover around and irritating my better half by messing up her garden, so I took some photos.  These guys seem more aggressive than the White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparraor competing on the feeder.

Photo of Sooty Fox Sparrow   on Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/2k94tHy


Nelson's Sparrow at Arrowhead? WITH LINKS THAT MAY WORK

Mike Hall
 


Test of link to Gull photo (and maybe everything?)

Mike Hall
 


SORRY ABOUT THE LINKS (Nelson's + white gull)

Mike Hall
 

I'll try to fix this but can't get to it until tonight. Sharon gave me a tip. Don't hold your breath, but there are things I'll try. Too busy now during daylight.


Mines Road Birding!

Jim Chiropolos
 

Derek Hines and I biked Mines Road to the Santa Clara county line today.

Some notable sightings:
1. Cassins Kingbird - we parked about 1 mile up - starting to gear up and the Kingbird flew into a sycamore 40 feet away. Talk about lucky! We then saw presumably the same bird about a 1/4 mile up the road over the stream bed. This bird seems very active and may be tough to chase....
2. Pair of Phainopepla about at the 3 mile mark.
3. Roadrunner at around mile 6.5 above the road.
4. Snipe at coral mile 17.6
5. Golden-crowned kinglets at county line. Not expected habitat for them but heard first then seen.

And lots of quail, magpies, bluebirds and acorn woodpeckers seen on a nice fall day.

Good birding
Jim Chiropolos, Orinda


Nelson's Sparrow at Arrowhead?

Mike Hall
 

I don't remember her name, but she reported a Nelson's ("or LeConte's") at MLK Regional Shoreline about a week ago. I visited the Arrowhead Marsh area a couple of times during King Tides the following days. Here without comment are shots I got of three different birds, one on shore and two on reeds out over the water:
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOVzw71hRGwIf3_8Hu_Fmh9nFrcT5RFb1sPZ8Ts
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNzqrsLNJjBJQtZoEtIGmUcCATpfsADsdrdPuR5
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNk_wcalv1BWdRx3L4kbJ1IlQFKN76qxmcAWTLj
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPnCygCbcCDALDCwAgDCMNJHF7yHx2Pg21slgsw
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNga56EnSBY7G0mZFoKiRQluxXmPxv5ouXLUAZn


Look! Up in the air! I'ts . . . a white gull!

Mike Hall
 

Rising on a thermal, never flapping, with two Red-tails and six Turkey Vultures, over transfer/treatment plant at north edge of Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline early this week. Glaucous-winged? Or something more interesting?
I'm noticing a sort of Swainson's-Hawk-like reverse-keratin light-dark wing pattern, surely confirming that there is little or no grey on the upperwing. The feet look bright red. One odd thing, that I made conscious note of at the time, is that the gull appeared smaller than the Red-tails in the same proportion that the Red-tails looked smaller than the TVs.
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMHP6YI4ZQYkKL5dapA2pKWMobGrY2p7Mv_OdSs


Eastern Phoebe continues, Martinez Regional Shoreline Park

tracy_farrington
 

After completing a loop through some trails in Martinez Shoreline Park,
I paused for a few minutes before heading to my car. That little interval
paid off. I spotted the Eastern Phoebe as it flew to a low branch on the
small tree next to the picnic table just west of the end of Berrellesa St.

The bird was quite busy hawking insects in the grass beneath the tree; flying
back to its perch, tail bobbing, then returning to the ground. This continued
for at least 6 to 10 minutes allowing for excellent views, throughout.

During my walk, prior to finding the phoebe, I spotted 4 Common Yellowthroat Warblers,
a Lincoln's Sparrow, a Red-breasted Sapsucker on a conifer in the distance, 6 Marsh Wrens,
both crown sparrows (numerous), a Sora, and an exquisite silver-gray male Northern Harrier

The weather was cool and pleasant.

Good birding, stay well.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek


Re: Red Fox Sparrow, Richmond

Alan Bade
 

Hi Alan- I just realized you live in Richmond....well outside our CBC circle. Oops...
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 1:19 PM Alan Bade via groups.io <alanb1491187=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Alan- we have a tan-striped white throated sparrow over here in Pleasant Hill as a regular visitor as well. Last year, it showed up for the first time just after CBC Count week ended and stayed for the rest of the winter. It came back in early November, assuming it's the same bird. (It showed up and went right where we used to put seeds out for it.) We're seeing it every day.

I don't think we recorded a WTSP during either the MDAS central or east county 2019 CBCs. So, between your yard bird and ours, hopefully we can serve as "back-up" in case a WTSP isn't recorded on this year's CBC field trips! When I get back from our Shell Ridge/Borges Ranch route, I'll be watching for ours.

We just had a Savannah sparrow this morning as well as our usual white crowned and golden crowned.

good birding,
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM Alan Krakauer <Alan.krakauer@...> wrote:
We had a Red-type Fox Sparrow among our morning sparrow flock today in Richmond near Wildcat Canyon. It was the first we've had here for several years.

A tan-stripe White-throated has been a fairly regular visitor but not seen yet today.

good birding,

Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA









Re: Red Fox Sparrow, Richmond

Alan Bade
 

Hi Alan- we have a tan-striped white throated sparrow over here in Pleasant Hill as a regular visitor as well. Last year, it showed up for the first time just after CBC Count week ended and stayed for the rest of the winter. It came back in early November, assuming it's the same bird. (It showed up and went right where we used to put seeds out for it.) We're seeing it every day.

I don't think we recorded a WTSP during either the MDAS central or east county 2019 CBCs. So, between your yard bird and ours, hopefully we can serve as "back-up" in case a WTSP isn't recorded on this year's CBC field trips! When I get back from our Shell Ridge/Borges Ranch route, I'll be watching for ours.

We just had a Savannah sparrow this morning as well as our usual white crowned and golden crowned.

good birding,
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM Alan Krakauer <Alan.krakauer@...> wrote:
We had a Red-type Fox Sparrow among our morning sparrow flock today in Richmond near Wildcat Canyon. It was the first we've had here for several years.

A tan-stripe White-throated has been a fairly regular visitor but not seen yet today.

good birding,

Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA






Red Fox Sparrow, Richmond

Alan Krakauer
 

We had a Red-type Fox Sparrow among our morning sparrow flock today in Richmond near Wildcat Canyon. It was the first we've had here for several years.

A tan-stripe White-throated has been a fairly regular visitor but not seen yet today.

good birding,

Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA



Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot in Oakland

David Robinson
 

At about 5pm or so, just after sunset, I was observing a large flock of crows (easily 200 or more) in my neighborhood, just west of Highland Hospital in Oakland (just west of Elliott St. and just north of 33rd St, to be precise). To my great surprise, I noticed a parrot among the crows at the top of a tree. 

Both the parrot and the crows took off when I raised my camera. Some of the crows proceeded to harass the parrot quite aggressively, chasing it and pecking at it again and again, two, three, or four crows at a time. Rather than simply fly off, the parrot flew in large circles overhead, sometimes vocalizing loudly. (The crows, meanwhile — many of the flock, not just the ones harassing the parrot — had been vocalizing loudly for the past half hour.) 

Despite the repeated attacks, the parrot seemed to be sticking with the crows rather than truly trying to escape them. Sure enough, when a bunch of the crows perched on a telephone wire, the parrot flew in and perched on the wire a few feet away. That's when I was able to take several photos, which I've included with my ebird report of the sighting

Finally, at about 5:15pm, the parrot flew off west/southwest, heading into the distance a bit south of Highland Hospital.

When I thought about it, I realized the parrot's having tried to stay with the crows might not really have been so strange: many parrots roost in large flocks. (According to birdsoftheworld.org, Yellow-headed Parrots sometimes do.) 

I'm wondering whether this bird is an escaped pet or an escapee from a zoo.

According to birdsoftheworld.org, Yellow-headed Parrots are endangered. Here's the reason given:

"The primary cause of declines in Yellow-headed Parrot has been trapping and poaching of eggs and juveniles from nest cavities for the pet trade, as well as hunting, or shooting as pests on fruit crops (Lousada and Howell 1996; Eisermann 2003). It is one of the most sought-after Neotropical parrots for the pet trade because it is considered one of the best "talkers" (Juniper and Parr 1998). Although capture for the pet trade is now illegal in Mexico, this activity still poses a serious threat. Poachers frequently cut down trunks with nest cavities, or enlarge nest hole openings, or cut a hole at the level of the nest if well below the entrance hole (Eisermann 2003). Thus, in addition to loss of productivity, this results in a declining number of available nest cavity sites. This species also faces heightened risk because of its specialization on threatened tropical deciduous forest habitats. This threat to Yellow-headed Parrot is loss of this habitat type due to unsustainable logging, wood harvesting, and clearing for agriculture and livestock grazing; habitat degradation due to intensive cattle grazing can also be a problem (Eisermann 2003)."

 Is there some authority this sighting should be reported to?


David Robinson
Oakland
____________________
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Eastern Phoebe Granger's Wharf Martinez Regional Shoreline

rosita94598
 

A number of birders were looking for the Eastern Phobe today, a bird first found yesterday by Rebecca Matsubara and reported to eBird.  This is at Granger's Wharf at the very north end of Berrelessa Street.

When I arrived something after 11 AM, Robert Rafael was looking with another birder.  They told me that Teale Fristoe had seen the Eastern Phoebe earlier, but the two of them finally left.  After a while I, too,  wandered farther out through the Shoreline and eventually stopped near the hulk of the schooner Forester.  

Finding nice log on which to sit, I scoped the river and found a huge raft of ducks.  I counted over 250 Common Goldeneyes and had two male Barrow's Goldeneyes mixed in.  There were at least 100 Buffleheads, Scaups and maybe less than 30 Surf Scoters.

When I returned toward Berrelessa, I sat at a picnic table and waited some more for the E. Phoebe.  Eventually, Ethan Monk arrived and after a short time he found the bird in a tree right next to the street.  The Phoebe then flew even closer to us, flew to the ground a couple of times, went to the bushes at the far edge of the lawn, then crossed the trail to a bench north of the bathroom. 

Derek and Chris Heins arrived in time to see and photograph the Phoebe on the metal bridge over Alhambra Creek.  It flew upstream--to the south--and was last seen by Ethan in a backyard.

Chris Wills arrived, and Albert Linkowski came from farther out in the Shoreline.  He said the raft of ducks was much larger and he was going to put 500 Common Goldeneyes on his eBird list.  Derek & Chris, Ethan and Albert all headed out to the edge of the river to look for the ducks. I finally left around 2 PM. 

An eBird report indicates that Sarah Lynch arrived about 2:14.  She saw the Eastern Phoebe and left after birding for 13 minutes.

I am wondering if the Eastern Phoebe has some kind of route it is flying and comes around every hour to hour-and-a-half.  Maybe it feeds for a while, and then decides to just sit somewhere where we cannot see it? 

Still, thanks to Rebecca for finding it and to Ethan for spotting it and getting me on it.  I am sure there will be more reports on eBird:  https://ebird.org/region/US-CA-013/activity?yr=all&m=

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Friday morning in Heather Farm Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

At least 25 Ring-necked Ducks were on the large, mostly natural pond this morning.  They were joined by at least 7 Buffleheads.  The cold farther north must finally be driving them south. 

I only found four Cackling Geese today, three on the main lawn near the playground area, and one on the north ball field.  The ball field also had six Killdeers.

The sparrows were happy to find some of my seeds on the west side of the pond, including a Lincoln's Sparrow

I heard what I am calling a Sora at the southwest corner of the pond.  I was still on the pathway next to the Ygnacio Canal and had passed the little wooden bridge.  We call it Bob's Bridge after the late Bob Wisecarver, who pushed the city to put it on previous bridge foundations.

A Common Gallinule was out on the pond with the duck flotilla.  One day earlier this week there were two out on the pond.

A Merlin was seen from the Contra Costa Canal trail as I rode west toward the crossing over the concrete channel of Walnut Creek.  The Merlin was on top of the western-most power pole near the water pumping station.  This ole is almost over the corner of the concrete pond seen from the trail.  About two poles to the east and on the wires were seven nervous-looking Mourning Doves.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Late Wednesday birds in Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

I did two bike rides to Heather Farm Park from our house starting about 3:30.  The first was by myself, the second with Rosita.  A total of 130+ Canada Geese were in several areas of the park, mostly the north and south ball fields.  Three Cackling Geese were on the north field, two on the south field, and a single was walking around the large, mostly natural pond.  When last seen it was at the dog park parking lot.

Two Common Mergansers were in the Contra Costa Canal when I went the second time with Rosita.  Two Common Gallinules were in the middle of the big pond with some Ring-necked Ducks, Buffleheads and Coots.

A Kingfisher was seen from the CC Canal trail at the pond closest to the private Seven Hills School.  An adult Red-shouldered Hawk was in a small tree across the walkway from the gravel boat ramp.

I called the police to report three young teens fishing in the natural pond, where there are plenty of signs with the words No Fishing.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Double-crested Cormorants - Antioch City Reservoir - 11/18

Paul Schorr
 

Today Nancy and I took advantage of a break in the weather and birded at Antioch City Reservoir from 12:35 - 2:45.

We were amazed to count 250+ Double-crested Cormorants on the reservoir, clearly a very high number.

A complete list of the birds we saw or heard follows;

Canada Goose 29
Bufflehead 20
Common Goldeneye 13
Ruddy Duck 1
Pied-billed Grebe 5
Eared Grebe 1
American White Pelican 1
Snowy Egret 14
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Virginia Rail (heard) 1
Sora 1
American Coot 12
Ring-billed Gull 25
Anna’s Hummingbird 2
Nuttall’s Woodpecker 1
Black Phoebe 3
CA Scrub-Jay 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5
Northern Mockingbird 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
Song Sparrow 3
White-crowned Sparrow 1

Birding at Antioch City Reservoir can be challenging because there are only a couple of narrow pullouts along the entrance road into adjacent Lone Tree Golf Course. All viewing along the road is done through a chain-link fence.

Happy birding, be well and stay safe.

Paul Schorr
Antioch

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