Date   

A good selection of birds at Lake Anza

Claude Lyneis
 

Lake Anza today

Tuesday, I went to Lake Anza in the afternoon as the winds began to die down.  The road in were blocked by the Park Service, so I walked down.  The positive was there were almost no other people.   I didn’t see the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, but I was surprised to see a Belted Kingfisher.  Actually it was to see something and manage to get some photos from quite a distance away.  The photo below is not a thing of beauty, but makes a strong case that it was a Belted Kingfisher.


Also a new find for me was a Ring-necked Duck.  This photo was better.


Other birds there in small numbers, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Greqt Egret, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant,.

Common Merganzer.   https://flic.kr/p/2ktTa7t




Re: Eastern Phoebe, Clifton Court Forebay

Stephen T Bird
 

Still there, right at sunset, at Jim’s location if I understood correctly. After being distracted by several BLPH calls, spotted EAPH fly catching midway up willows below Euc across Old River from gravel levee at Srikants coordinates 37.857397, -121.578665. Description on eBird.

Also saw a myrtle yellow-rumped warbler among the tremendous number out there. Lovely location. Worth more exploration, no matter the moderate wind but not oppressive winds.

Any reason why blue-gray gnatcatcher is showing up “rare”? At same coordinates in scrub on S side of gravel levee.

-Stephen

On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 10:32 PM Srikant Char via groups.io <srichar=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Cool first-for-Clifton find Jim and thanks for the headsup!
I followed up on your alert and got him flycatching off the wires at about the same location>>37.857397, -121.578665
More activity off waters for sure!
my checklist
https://ebird.org/checklist/S79468114




Yellow-bellied Sapsucker continues at Lake Anza

Lee Friedman
 

The young male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker continues at Lake Anza, seen in the same place noted by others. Photos below taken in the oak tree about 30 feet west of the spillway bridge between the lake and the main path. The only red is on the throat enclosed by a black border, and a small amount on the crown. The nape is black-and-white. There is a yellowish-beige wash on the belly.
 
Photo showing back, nape and a little red on the crown: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/50851283507/in/dateposted-public/
 
Photo showing chest, belly and red-throat enclosed in black: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/50850466828/in/dateposted-public/
 
Good birding,
Lee Friedman


East Contra Costa County Jan. 18

rosita94598
 

Didn't leave the house until after 9:30, but wanted to visit Holland Tract despite the wind.  And it was windy.  Going out on Delta Road, after the school I saw 5 Long-billed Curlews in the field where we used to look for Burrowing Owls.

Lots of ducks on the north side of the road going toward the marina.  I used the scope resting on the window frame of the car.  I had the nerve to park closer around the bend toward the marina so I could attempt to see the birds better, even though the car was bouncing in the wind.  I was asked to leave, "I know you're just bird watching and all, but we got to keep the marina traffic going through."  Yeah, like there is a lot of traffic there.  Oh, well, a deep subject.

I headed toward Jersey Island Road and while I was heading out toward the Bradford Island Ferry landing, saw a ship heading downstream from Stockton.  Almost out to the landing I found a flock of about 100 Snow Geese.  A Prairie Falcon was soaring in the wind, as were some Red-tailed Hawks, a Raven and Turkey Vultures.

Driving toward Piper Slough from Bethel Island, between the defunct golf course and the entrance to Bethel Harbor, another flock of Snow Geese was on the left.  They numbered about 300, and were joined by an equal number of Greater White-fronted Geese.  When I returned south 15 minutes later, almost all the Snow Geese were gone.

Just before the trees where we look for the Black-chinned Hummingbird, the field to the left is partially flooded.  There were some more Greater White-fronted Geese, Least Sandpipers, Wilson's Snipe, Red-winged Blackbirds and Crows.

Did I mention that it was windy?

I turned off at Bay Point and drove Port Chicago Highway to the closure and the road which crosses the RR tracks to the chemical plant.  The ship I had seen earlier was just passing the loading dock at the weapons station.  I would have thought it would be farther downstream for all the puttering around I did.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Eastern Phoebe, Clifton Court Forebay

Srikant Char
 

Cool first-for-Clifton find Jim and thanks for the headsup!
I followed up on your alert and got him flycatching off the wires at about the same location>>37.857397, -121.578665
More activity off waters for sure!
my checklist
https://ebird.org/checklist/S79468114


Eastern Phoebe, Clifton Court Forebay

Jim Chiropolos
 

Clifton Court Forebay has become one of my favorite areas to bike and bird. Today I biked around the forebay and back.

On my return, I was watching an orange-crowned warbler in the willows by the eucalyptus - marina area when I saw a greyish phoebe wagging its tail. Instantly thought eastern phoebe - 5 minutes later it popped out again -greyish green phoebe with blackish cap. A little skulking and stayed mid height to 2/3 up in the willows. Eastern Phoebe!

For the location - Look in google maps for the old river, Widdows island and Italian slough location. Seen from gravel surfaced levee next to channel - not from paved levee next to forebay. The bird was between the gravel levee and paved levee - about 20 feet from the gravel surfaced levee.Good luck! The location is about 1 to 1and 1/2 miles from parking area which all the fisherman use. A bike will help get you there quicker.

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda


Re: Owls at Mines Road

Alexander Henry
 

A little more information... Bob Richmond and Steve Glover got all 6 species in a night along the Santa Clara portion of Mines Road while owling for the Mt Hamilton CBC. So it has been done before, and could probably be done again, but would be very difficult!

Also, they heard Long-eared Owls on more occasions than Saw-Whets, so I may have been wrong previously when I said Long-eared Owls are less numerous than Saw-Whets. That was just based on my limited experience.


Owls at Mines Road

Alexander Henry
 

Winter and early spring is prime owling time, so it feels like a good time to make a post about the owls at Mines Road.

Upper Mines Road is ~2500 ft elevation, and farther inland, so some nights it gets pretty cold, and some mornings there is frost and ice. I suggest many layers.

There are also Mountain Lions, so do be careful, especially if you are alone (I’m deadly serious about this).

With those disclaimers out of the way. Late evening (after dusk) or very early morning (before sunrise) are good times to go owling. Northern Pygmy-Owls are less nocturnal and may be vocal (or even visible!) during daylight hours.

Owls can be anywhere along Mines Road. Great Horned Owls are widespread, occurring from the lowlands of the Livermore Valley up to the higher elevations close to the Santa Clara border. Western Screech-Owls mostly occur from mile 5 up. Barn Owls can also occur along much of the road, even up to higher elevations, but they are not as common as some of the other species.

Upper Mines Road is where the owl diversity is highest. Pygmy-Owls mostly are from about mile 9 or 10 up. Saw-Whets mostly mile 12 and up - recently pretty reliable around the Corral (mile 17.6).

There is one other species of owl that occurs at Mines Road, Long-eared Owls. This species has a very restricted range in Alameda County and is sensitive to human disturbance. Please do not use playback on them. They are restricted to the higher elevations similar to Saw-Whets, but are less numerous. February and March should be a good time to listen for spontaneous vocalizations. I don’t think birders patiently waiting for spontaneous vocalizations poses any threat or disturbance to these birds, but using playback could disturb them. Since the information about their location is publicly available on eBird, I don’t feel I’m threatening them by mentioning them here, but PLEASE respect the Long-eared Owls. We don’t want to jeopardize the success of the tiny population we have.

If you go owling at Mines Road, dress warm, keep an eye out for lions, and good luck! I would be very impressed if anyone can get all 6 species in one night.

Alex Henry
Berkeley


Lake Anza Jan. 17

rosita94598
 

I went to the spillway at the Lake Anza dam in Tilden Park early this afternoon, though I did not know exactly where to look for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker tree.  I crossed the bridge over the spillway and turned downhill slightly on the dirt trail.  A fairly large and open tree had sapsucker holes, some of which looked new.  Lots of people out on the pleasant day, so I moved off the trail and closer to the spillway.  Though I heard Acorn Woodpeckers around, I saw no sapsucker.

In consolation, across the spillway on the slope coming down from the lawn area I watched a beautiful male Varied Thrush picking through the leaf litter. 

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Hummingbird ID

Curtis Stuteville
 

Is this a Selasphorus? It's pretty early for one to show up. Thanks.
Curtis
https://www.flickr.com/gp/96929509@N07/S9B54k


Thanks re the Little Bunting

Lawrence DiCostanzo
 

Thanks to everybody who replied and commented on my sighting of “my” little bunting. I can tell you that what I saw was not a lark sparrow or an escapee like a zebra finch. I haven’t seen this guy again. He will go into the books wistfully as my-maybe-little-bunting.
All the best and stay well.
Lawrence (Albany)


Vega Gull in Concord, CoCo County

albertlinkowski
 

EBird checklist with possible Vega Gull photos.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S79316057


Vega Gull in Concord, CoCoCounty

albertlinkowski
 

I believe I found an adult "Vega" Gull yesterday, afternoon at Ellis Lakes Park in Concord. Large Larus gulls of several species visit this park from time to time, usually without any regular schedule, and usually stay in the park for a short time, hunting here purely for opportunistic reasons. Nevertheless I was lucky yesterday to take some pictures of this interesting gull before it left the park. Several features indicate in my opinion the Vega Herring Gull, but of course I am considering also the possibility of American Herring, Iceland (Thayer's) and Glaucous-winged x Herring hybrid gulls .Anyway, there is no Vega Gull record for Contra Costa yet.

Albert of Concord Linkowski


Re: Pine Siskin salmonella

Lawrence DiCostanzo
 

Thanks!  I’d heard about this through Neighborhood Watch and took down my feeder to soak and wash and dry out for several days.  Also, we kept up with regular cleaning out of fallen seed and husks below it.

On another note, I’m glad I have not noticed any signs of eye disease among finches this year.  

Lawrence (Albany)

On Jan 15, 2021, at 8:10 AM, Cal Walters via groups.io <calw@...> wrote:

Forwarding a report from CV birding recommending that you remove feeders and empty bird baths due to an outbreak of salmonella amongst pine siskins. I had a dead one in my yard in Piedmont  yesterday.


https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak-prompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/


Cal Walters




Pine Siskin salmonella

Cal Walters
 

Forwarding a report from CV birding recommending that you remove feeders and empty bird baths due to an outbreak of salmonella amongst pine siskins. I had a dead one in my yard in Piedmont  yesterday.


https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/recent-avian-disease-outbreak-prompts-cdfw-to-ask-publics-help-in-preventing-and-reporting-bird-deaths/


Cal Walters


Martinez Birds Jan 14

rosita94598
 

In hopes of seeing a Great-tailed Grackle, I drove to McNabney Marsh and Waterfront Road this afternoon.  I did this after visiting a car wash, also hoping to entice some rain to our area.  The Grackle thing did not work, and I'm not hopeful about the rain, either.       

I spent a good deal of time at the viewing platform at the south end of McNabney Mars on the entry road to Mt. View Sanitary.  It did not look like it just looking out, but the marsh was filled with ducks.  I am guessing there were more than 500 Northern Shovelers, I do not know how to count that many birds over such a widespread area.  A  most interesting behavior observed was most likely some kind of feeding strategy.  I saw group after group, some as many as 20 ducks, swimming in a very tight circle.  They all seemed to rotate in a clockwise direction, if one could look down on them from above.  Maybe I never paid attention before but this really caught my eye this afternoon.

McNabney Marsh seems to be especially full with water, perhaps due to the recent high tide events.  I know there are tide gates north of Waterfront Road, and if they were open all the time the road would be underwater.  It just looked higher than it did last week, though I cannot prove it.  don't know if this might have an affect on the Shoveler behavior.

Lots of other ducks, Buffleheads, Green-winged Teals, Scaups, some Common Golden-eyes and Ruddy Ducks.  The most interesting duck was a hybrid American-Eurasian Wigeon I spotted by scanning with my scope.  This duck had a red head and yellow Mohawk, but the body was all reddish with no indications of gray.

The only Cinnamon Teals I saw were in the small pond immediately behind the Taco Truck at Waterfront Road and Waterbird Way.

An American Kestrel was perched somewhere to the east of there, but before the TransMontaigne Pipeline trail entrance.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Hooded Mergansers, Oak Hill Park, Danville

photohutch
 

Good morning birders!
 
This morning there was a pair of Hooded Mergansers at Oak Hill Park in Danville (it's the park next to Monte Vista High School). They were there at 7:30 this morning, but don't seem to stick around for very long.
 
Good luck!
 
Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo


Re: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lake Anza

Sharon Jue
 

I can't personally distinguish between the calls of the three varius sapsuckers; likely some on this list can, but they are fairly similar. For some reason there are a large number of Yellow-bellies around right now; there are entries on the listservs for San Francisco, the North Bay, and the Peninsula (http://digest.sialia.com/ makes it easy to keep tabs on the surrounding areas). Teale Fristoe, Robert Raffel, and Derek Heins all had photos showing a distinctly red throat on this bird. Interestingly, there was a female (white throat) in southeastern Berkeley in late December. There is also a (apparently immature) male in South Berkeley. Thanks to excellent documentary photos, it's clear that these are three separate birds. My photos and analysis here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79140469

Sharon Jue
Berkeley

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 5:01 PM Sam Zuckerman <samzuckerman@...> wrote:
Listen to the recording of the call: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79141061. Seems pretty definitive.
On 01/12/2021 4:53 PM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
 
 
Nobody saw this yesterday?
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) (1)
- Reported Jan 11, 2021 09:48 by Charles Hargrove
- Lake Anza, Orinda US-CA 37.89635, -122.25110, Contra Costa, California
- Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=37.89635,-122.251102&ll=37.89635,-122.251102
- Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79091683
- Media: 5 Photos
- Comments: "Same bird as yesterday but on reflection I am going with red-naped sapsucker. Parallel lines of lighter feathers on back. Light red on top. Only vaguest hint of yellowish belly."




On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 03:34:37 PM PST, Sam Zuckerman <samzuckerman@...> wrote:
 
 
I don't think there's any reason to assume two birds. If an immature YBSA also has a pale throat, like the adult female, then the bird I observed might have been young, not female. It was an error on my part not to consider age as well as gender. In any case, it was exciting to see it, right in the spot other birders had described.
On 01/12/2021 3:09 PM Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:
 
 
Perhaps there are 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers around Lake Anza? The one that has been photographed there is a young male but there could be a female as well.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Alexander Henry < awhenry@...> wrote:
Looks like a young male Yellow-bellied, based on photos so far. Still mostly juvenile feathers on crown, no red on nape, red throat. Of course always tough to rule out a hybrid...

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Sam Zuckerman < samzuckerman@...> wrote:
Continuing bird found by Charles Hargrove observed again around 11 am Tuesday. Waited almost two hours near Lake Anza spillway for sapsucker to make an appearance. It flew into a tall oak tree on lake shore about 20 yards from bridge over spillway, calling and drumming for 10 minutes before flying away toward parking lot. Apparent female with red crown, yellowish breast and belly, and pale throat. Mewing call described by Jack Hayden as resembling a starling immitating a red shouldered hawk. Recording here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S7 9141061
 


--
Alex Henry


--
Alex Henry




 
 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...

510-375-3861
 
 






 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...
510-375-3861




--
-Sharon Jue
~Berkeley


Re: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lake Anza

Sam Zuckerman
 

Listen to the recording of the call: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79141061. Seems pretty definitive.
On 01/12/2021 4:53 PM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra@...> wrote:
 
 
Nobody saw this yesterday?
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) (1)
- Reported Jan 11, 2021 09:48 by Charles Hargrove
- Lake Anza, Orinda US-CA 37.89635, -122.25110, Contra Costa, California
- Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=37.89635,-122.251102&ll=37.89635,-122.251102
- Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79091683
- Media: 5 Photos
- Comments: "Same bird as yesterday but on reflection I am going with red-naped sapsucker. Parallel lines of lighter feathers on back. Light red on top. Only vaguest hint of yellowish belly."




On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 03:34:37 PM PST, Sam Zuckerman <samzuckerman@...> wrote:
 
 
I don't think there's any reason to assume two birds. If an immature YBSA also has a pale throat, like the adult female, then the bird I observed might have been young, not female. It was an error on my part not to consider age as well as gender. In any case, it was exciting to see it, right in the spot other birders had described.
On 01/12/2021 3:09 PM Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:
 
 
Perhaps there are 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers around Lake Anza? The one that has been photographed there is a young male but there could be a female as well.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Alexander Henry < awhenry@...> wrote:
Looks like a young male Yellow-bellied, based on photos so far. Still mostly juvenile feathers on crown, no red on nape, red throat. Of course always tough to rule out a hybrid...

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Sam Zuckerman < samzuckerman@...> wrote:
Continuing bird found by Charles Hargrove observed again around 11 am Tuesday. Waited almost two hours near Lake Anza spillway for sapsucker to make an appearance. It flew into a tall oak tree on lake shore about 20 yards from bridge over spillway, calling and drumming for 10 minutes before flying away toward parking lot. Apparent female with red crown, yellowish breast and belly, and pale throat. Mewing call described by Jack Hayden as resembling a starling immitating a red shouldered hawk. Recording here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S7 9141061
 


--
Alex Henry


--
Alex Henry




 
 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...

510-375-3861
 
 






 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...
510-375-3861


Re: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lake Anza

judisierra
 

Nobody saw this yesterday?
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) (1)
- Reported Jan 11, 2021 09:48 by Charles Hargrove
- Lake Anza, Orinda US-CA 37.89635, -122.25110, Contra Costa, California
- Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=37.89635,-122.251102&ll=37.89635,-122.251102
- Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S79091683
- Media: 5 Photos
- Comments: "Same bird as yesterday but on reflection I am going with red-naped sapsucker. Parallel lines of lighter feathers on back. Light red on top. Only vaguest hint of yellowish belly."




On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 03:34:37 PM PST, Sam Zuckerman <samzuckerman@...> wrote:


I don't think there's any reason to assume two birds. If an immature YBSA also has a pale throat, like the adult female, then the bird I observed might have been young, not female. It was an error on my part not to consider age as well as gender. In any case, it was exciting to see it, right in the spot other birders had described.
On 01/12/2021 3:09 PM Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:
 
 
Perhaps there are 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers around Lake Anza? The one that has been photographed there is a young male but there could be a female as well.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Alexander Henry < awhenry@...> wrote:
Looks like a young male Yellow-bellied, based on photos so far. Still mostly juvenile feathers on crown, no red on nape, red throat. Of course always tough to rule out a hybrid...

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Sam Zuckerman < samzuckerman@...> wrote:
Continuing bird found by Charles Hargrove observed again around 11 am Tuesday. Waited almost two hours near Lake Anza spillway for sapsucker to make an appearance. It flew into a tall oak tree on lake shore about 20 yards from bridge over spillway, calling and drumming for 10 minutes before flying away toward parking lot. Apparent female with red crown, yellowish breast and belly, and pale throat. Mewing call described by Jack Hayden as resembling a starling immitating a red shouldered hawk. Recording here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S7 9141061
 


--
Alex Henry


--
Alex Henry




 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...

510-375-3861



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