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Common Goldeneye continues in Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

We have had a female Common Goldeneye in the concrete pond at Heather Farm Park for pretty close to two weeks, now.  The first time Rosita and I saw her she was in the pond by the private Seven Hills School.  She has since been in the pond between the community building and the Gardens.  I have not seen her in the large, more natural pond.

We had the same or a similar Common Goldeneye stick around for much of last winter, too. 

The female Wood Duck continues in the Seven Hills pond.  Follow North San Carlos through the park, past the dog park, then park in the gravel equestrian area parking lot.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lake Anza

Claude Lyneis
 

Jan 22 between 3 and 4 PM.  I went looking for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker previously reported at Lake Anza as the rain was ending.  Around 4 PM I was on the path west of the spillway and heard a new bird call.  I walked over toward the swimming area and amazingly there was the Sapsucker.  I took about 8 photos, which were backlit and the bird was in the branches.  Anyway, one photo was enough to identify it.  The it flew off to another tree and then departed for parts unknown.  Earlier in the day I again saw a Belted Kingfisher on the other side of the lake.

Sapsucker photo.  https://flic.kr/p/2kuLeEL



Re: Juvenile Snow Goose at Robert W. Crown Beach

David Yeamans
 

I saw the reported snow goose and brant today (Friday, 2021-JAN-22) at 9 am on the east end of the parking lot for the Botanic Gardens. The brant was being hectored by a crow but the other geese were not.


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Dave Yeamans
My job in this world is to wage peace. [see Ezekiel, Ch.38 YMMV]
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Pileated Woodpecker at Redwood RP

Travis Hails
 

Yesterday(1/21/21) about 10:00AM we saw and heard a male Pileated Woodpecker.

We were on the Stream Trail between the Orchard picnic area and the bridge over Redwood Creek before the Fern Dell group area. The woodpecker flew into the upper parts of some large, deciduous trees in an otherwise open area. It tried 3 locations in the tree for about 20 seconds each before flying off. It left going directly upstream above the stream.

The bird was continuously vocal, but not the "Flicker like" call usually associated with this species. It was more a random 'talking', as ravens sometimes do.

Never saw or heard the bird again.

When we had arrived in the park, we parked in the second parking area along entrance road (opposite Wayside picnic area). As I exited the car, I heard the call of the Pileated Woodpecker, but self-denied it and assumed a Flicker. The sound came from far up the hill from the SW. Only mention this as it may help define the bird's range.

Travis Hails


Juvenile Snow Goose at Robert W. Crown Beach

Karen Miller
 

Hello all,

I saw a Juvenile Snow Goose at Robert W. Crown Beach, in Alameda, at about 4:30 pm on 1/19. It was with about 20 Canadian Geese, on the grass, right by the walking path on the west side of the Native Plant Garden.

I walked by there this morning and did not see the bird, but it is a big park with a lot of geese wandering around. I also saw a Brant in the same area, but on the east side of Native Plant Garden, on 2/17 at about 10:30 am. Again, it was with the Canadian Geese, on the grass and right by the path.

I would have reported these sooner, but I only found out about this group this morning, so this is my first posting. I will be faster with my posting in the future.

Have fun birding!

Karen Miller


Leucistic White-crowned Sparrow

Martin Lycan
 

Recently reported as an albino sparrow on NextDoor, I ran across an interesting leucistic White-crowned Sparrow at Sycamore Valley Open Space in Danville while walking my dogs this morning. Photos can be seen on my ebird checklist
https://ebird.org/checklist/S79667267


Western Tanager in Ken Mercer Sportspark

ireddy@...
 

Hello,
I was quite surprised to see a Western Tanager in the Ken Mercer Sportspark, at least that is what I think it is. Female? It was feeding on a Eucalyptus tree with American Goldfinches. I noted the location: Latitude: 37° 40’ 49.32” N, Longitude: 121° 53’ 35.202” W. It was at 1:10pm. Here is the ebird listing so that you can look at the photos and make sure I got the ID right.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S79658818
Thank you!
Isabelle


Re: Richmond Marina Ducks

Bill Bousman
 

Female scaup in their "non-breeding" plumage have a white earmark of sorts and the white around the bill is diminished (see Sibley).  This, of course, is the plumage they show on their breeding grounds and isn't seen that frequently in the Bay.  The nesting Lesser Scaup we had in the South Bay for many years showed a great deal of variation in the amount of white or buff on the face.  I only mention this  because if bird wound up here that for some reason did not have its prebasic molt, it might look something like you describe.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 1/20/2021 2:47 PM, Jim Chiropolos wrote:
In addition to the ongoing White-winged scoter at the Richmond marina (what a great find and a species who's numbers are crashing) at the marina, what appears to be a hybrid scaup is at the marina. I have not seen anyone take pictures of this bird yet. It is a female bird, with the white crescent by the bill. It also has a very noticeable white ear mark and seemed to me to be on the smaller side. I have no idea whose parents this female scaup is. It almost looks like a hybrid scaup -harlequin combination, but that seems far-fetched. Maybe a bufflehead? This bird was with other greater scaup a the mouth of the harbor. I hope some people get pictures of this bird and there can be a fascinating debate about its parents on this site!

Its been an interesting year for hybrid ducks.

Good Birding,
Jim Chiropolos





Richmond Marina Ducks

Jim Chiropolos
 

In addition to the ongoing White-winged scoter at the Richmond marina (what a great find and a species who's numbers are crashing) at the marina, what appears to be a hybrid scaup is at the marina. I have not seen anyone take pictures of this bird yet. It is a female bird, with the white crescent by the bill. It also has a very noticeable white ear mark and seemed to me to be on the smaller side. I have no idea whose parents this female scaup is. It almost looks like a hybrid scaup -harlequin combination, but that seems far-fetched. Maybe a bufflehead? This bird was with other greater scaup a the mouth of the harbor. I hope some people get pictures of this bird and there can be a fascinating debate about its parents on this site!

Its been an interesting year for hybrid ducks.

Good Birding,
Jim Chiropolos


3 owls at Albany Bulb

Mary Malec
 

0915 to 1010 am

The owl nearest the south fence was not in the usual place when I got to the area this morning.  It was about 15 feet farther north in an open area but moved back near the stake with the game camera a half hour later.

The hard-to-see owl nearest the north fence was in the usual place, only the top of its head showing.

There is a stake with camera in the western third of the fenced area, closer to the south fence than the north.  A couple of weeks ago I thought I saw an owl near there but when I moved to get a better view I couldn't find the owl.  Today it was about 12-15 feet NW of the stake, standing up tall. 

The Pt Isabel owl is still in place as is the Cesar Chavez owl. 

Mary


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

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