Date   

Re: Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

Alexander Henry
 

The explanation provided by Steve Tucker is seemingly supported by eBird data; with the recent Herring Run in late January in Marin County on the northwest side of the Bay, I think some of the large concentrations of scaup which were in the East Bay earlier in the winter moved to the other side of the Bay.


Alex Henry
Berkeley


On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 11:38 AM Steven Tucker via groups.io <talkingtrees80=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
At this point in winter I suspect a large number of scaup that winter in the region are following herring runs around the bay - that could account, at least in part, for declines at sites where they were plentiful a month or two ago.


Steve Tucker
San Jose 

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 11:07:39 AM PST, <gabikirk@...> wrote:


What a great question, as I have noticed the same. The huge scaup flock was on the lake earlier this winter but seems to have disappeared not long after New Years. Normally you can find decent number of scaups farther into the winter, in fact I distinctly remember seeing some as late as May last year. Weirdly though I also have not seen scaup in large numbers at some of my regular shoreline sites in recent weeks either (Arrowhead Marsh and Middle Harbor). There were hundreds at Arrowhead earlier this winter and no more. Where did they go??

Take care,

Gabi Kirk
Oakland








Re: Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

Maureen Lahiff
 

According to Birds of the World:

Lesser Scaup spring departures can start mid February.
Their migrations are really spread out.

Greater Scaup are usually thought to start moving north in March,
but there's some question about starting to migrate north in mid February.

While day length is a big driver,
maybe there are food quality issues this year????

Maureen Lahiff


-----Original Message-----
From: gabikirk@...
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Sent: Wed, Feb 17, 2021 11:07 am
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

What a great question, as I have noticed the same. The huge scaup flock was on the lake earlier this winter but seems to have disappeared not long after New Years. Normally you can find decent number of scaups farther into the winter, in fact I distinctly remember seeing some as late as May last year. Weirdly though I also have not seen scaup in large numbers at some of my regular shoreline sites in recent weeks either (Arrowhead Marsh and Middle Harbor). There were hundreds at Arrowhead earlier this winter and no more. Where did they go??

Take care,

Gabi Kirk
Oakland





Re: Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

Steven Tucker
 

At this point in winter I suspect a large number of scaup that winter in the region are following herring runs around the bay - that could account, at least in part, for declines at sites where they were plentiful a month or two ago.


Steve Tucker
San Jose 

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 11:07:39 AM PST, <gabikirk@...> wrote:


What a great question, as I have noticed the same. The huge scaup flock was on the lake earlier this winter but seems to have disappeared not long after New Years. Normally you can find decent number of scaups farther into the winter, in fact I distinctly remember seeing some as late as May last year. Weirdly though I also have not seen scaup in large numbers at some of my regular shoreline sites in recent weeks either (Arrowhead Marsh and Middle Harbor). There were hundreds at Arrowhead earlier this winter and no more. Where did they go??

Take care,

Gabi Kirk
Oakland





Re: Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

gabikirk@...
 

What a great question, as I have noticed the same. The huge scaup flock was on the lake earlier this winter but seems to have disappeared not long after New Years. Normally you can find decent number of scaups farther into the winter, in fact I distinctly remember seeing some as late as May last year. Weirdly though I also have not seen scaup in large numbers at some of my regular shoreline sites in recent weeks either (Arrowhead Marsh and Middle Harbor). There were hundreds at Arrowhead earlier this winter and no more. Where did they go??

Take care,

Gabi Kirk
Oakland


Re: Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

Rosemary Johnson
 

I walked the lake yesterday. I found around 100 scaup total, most in small groups of 10-20. There were more ruddy ducks. I did find 16 goldeneyes. I didn't recall seeing any mergansers. I did see canvasbacks though.

Complete list at https://ebird.org/checklist/S81803830.

On 02/16/2021 5:29 PM Jim Chiropolos <jnc@wje.com> wrote:


Work took me to lake Merritt today and I looked at the lake from two areas quickly and saw less than 60 scaup. Intrigued, I looked at ebird Lake Merritt sightings this month and I think the high scaup number (both lessor and greater) is 100 and for the winter 250 or so (one report - thanks Alex). The areas I looked included two of the three spots the large flock usually was. Past years, I think the lake, would hold a flock of 250 to 500 or so all winter (guess on my part)

So, I ask the question? Did I miss the big scalp flock since I did not scan the entire lake?

Or is the flock not there as the eBird reports - or do people just look for the barrows goldeneye and then are done - but has anyone birded the entire lake to establish the scaup flock size?
I worry that maybe one of the following could be occurring:
1. Lake Merritt is changing and the habitat is not holding scalp as it used to.
2. Scaup numbers overall are down - I don't bird the waterfront much these days so I do not have a sense of scaup numbers on the bay
3. Scaup are not using the lake in February

Does anyone have historical scaup flock sizes for lake merritt so we can track the flock size and where we are this year. Lake Merritt is one of the birding gems of the east bay and it would be good to know the scaup flock size as they are one of the "keystone" wintering species for the lake.

If anyone does a comprehensive scalp lake survey - can you send me your totals offline in response to this post? IT probably would be good to note it as a comprehensive lake survey in the ebird list comments - we need one of these at least every year and month if someone uses the lake as a local patch - its too far from home for me.....

I did see 8 red-breasted mergansers on the lake and I think this is a high end number for this species on the lake. I like seeing big scaup flocks on the lake in winter. This is where I learned to recognize greater scaup from lessor scalp by the nature center so it is a special place for me (and there still is a mixed group of greater and lessor scaup coming in for food.....).

Thanks,
Jim Chiropolos
Orinda

( PS on the topic of decreasing duck numbers I did not look for Barrows Goldeneyes in the channel but it has saddened me how from over 10 or more using Barrows Goldeneye were present in the winter in the channel about 10 years ago we are maybe down to one pair or so with numbers seemingly decreasing every year . The Merritt channel human habitat is very different from 10 years ago...…)


Where are the Lake Merritt Scaup?

Jim Chiropolos
 

Work took me to lake Merritt today and I looked at the lake from two areas quickly and saw less than 60 scaup. Intrigued, I looked at ebird Lake Merritt sightings this month and I think the high scaup number (both lessor and greater) is 100 and for the winter 250 or so (one report - thanks Alex). The areas I looked included two of the three spots the large flock usually was. Past years, I think the lake, would hold a flock of 250 to 500 or so all winter (guess on my part)

So, I ask the question? Did I miss the big scalp flock since I did not scan the entire lake?

Or is the flock not there as the eBird reports - or do people just look for the barrows goldeneye and then are done - but has anyone birded the entire lake to establish the scaup flock size?
I worry that maybe one of the following could be occurring:
1. Lake Merritt is changing and the habitat is not holding scalp as it used to.
2. Scaup numbers overall are down - I don't bird the waterfront much these days so I do not have a sense of scaup numbers on the bay
3. Scaup are not using the lake in February

Does anyone have historical scaup flock sizes for lake merritt so we can track the flock size and where we are this year. Lake Merritt is one of the birding gems of the east bay and it would be good to know the scaup flock size as they are one of the "keystone" wintering species for the lake.

If anyone does a comprehensive scalp lake survey - can you send me your totals offline in response to this post? IT probably would be good to note it as a comprehensive lake survey in the ebird list comments - we need one of these at least every year and month if someone uses the lake as a local patch - its too far from home for me.....

I did see 8 red-breasted mergansers on the lake and I think this is a high end number for this species on the lake. I like seeing big scaup flocks on the lake in winter. This is where I learned to recognize greater scaup from lessor scalp by the nature center so it is a special place for me (and there still is a mixed group of greater and lessor scaup coming in for food.....).

Thanks,
Jim Chiropolos
Orinda

( PS on the topic of decreasing duck numbers I did not look for Barrows Goldeneyes in the channel but it has saddened me how from over 10 or more using Barrows Goldeneye were present in the winter in the channel about 10 years ago we are maybe down to one pair or so with numbers seemingly decreasing every year . The Merritt channel human habitat is very different from 10 years ago...…)


Re: Moderator Re: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrines in Berkeley

Maureen Lahiff
 

Aaron, thank you for your thoughtful reminders about reporting nests and peregrine falcons.

In a few weeks, I suggest people get their peregrine fix with the Berkeley Campanile pair.
The cams are live now, though it will be a few weeks before there's a lot to see.
(Last year, Annie laid her first egg on Mar 10, with hatching around Apr 18.)

https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/

They also have a facebook page and a YouTube channel.


-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...>
To: East Bay Birds <ebb-sightings@groups.io>; travishails@...
Sent: Mon, Feb 15, 2021 2:20 pm
Subject: Moderator Re: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrines in Berkeley

Dear East Bay Birds community,

An important reminder from the EBB-Sighting moderator.   

Do not report nesting locations of sensitive species.  This includes many (most) species of falcons, owls and other raptors.  

Peregrines are making a remarkable comeback in Northern California from the days when they were on the brink of global extinction in the 1970s.  They are still a sensitive species.  Although they may choose to nest in urban areas they are still sensitive to disturbance and need plenty of space to successfully fledge chicks.  Like owls, nesting falcons are always aware of your presence, whether they are reacting or not.  So please keep a wide distance from nesting areas (even high-traffic ones like this.)

Also, the site that was referenced this morning is on private property.  On a personal note, once upon a time I ran a lumber business at this exact location, called EcoTimber International.  The falcons are regularly monitored by professionals.  Please do not crowd into the area.

As a reminder, the rules for this group can be found at https://groups.io/g/EBB-Sightings - the ethics section states:
·       Please do not post the exact locations of nests.
·       Please do not post the exact locations of day-roosting owls, this upsets many members of the community.
·       Please do not post the locations of Sensitive Species, where such visitation by birders could have an adverse impact.
·       When in doubt, first consider the welfare of the bird.

First warning.


Thank you,





Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco, CA





On Feb 15, 2021, at 8:18 AM, Travis Hails via groups.io <travishails@...> wrote:

On Saturday, 2/13/21, at 5:45PM with overcast skies and poor light, I saw a peregrine perched on the water tower in the OSH parking lot.  It was on one of the cell antenna attached to the walkway around the water tank itself.  East side, therefore visible from the OSH parking lot.

As I watched, a second falcon flew from behind the water tank to the south, dropping very low, below the roofline of new apartments west of OSH.

I know a falcon was reported here last year (April), so this might be a site worth watching for nesting activity.  

Travis Hails








Moderator Re: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrines in Berkeley

Aaron Maizlish
 

Dear East Bay Birds community,

An important reminder from the EBB-Sighting moderator.   

Do not report nesting locations of sensitive species.  This includes many (most) species of falcons, owls and other raptors.  

Peregrines are making a remarkable comeback in Northern California from the days when they were on the brink of global extinction in the 1970s.  They are still a sensitive species.  Although they may choose to nest in urban areas they are still sensitive to disturbance and need plenty of space to successfully fledge chicks.  Like owls, nesting falcons are always aware of your presence, whether they are reacting or not.  So please keep a wide distance from nesting areas (even high-traffic ones like this.)

Also, the site that was referenced this morning is on private property.  On a personal note, once upon a time I ran a lumber business at this exact location, called EcoTimber International.  The falcons are regularly monitored by professionals.  Please do not crowd into the area.

As a reminder, the rules for this group can be found at https://groups.io/g/EBB-Sightings - the ethics section states:
·       Please do not post the exact locations of nests.
·       Please do not post the exact locations of day-roosting owls, this upsets many members of the community.
·       Please do not post the locations of Sensitive Species, where such visitation by birders could have an adverse impact.
·       When in doubt, first consider the welfare of the bird.

First warning.


Thank you,





Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco, CA





On Feb 15, 2021, at 8:18 AM, Travis Hails via groups.io <travishails@...> wrote:

On Saturday, 2/13/21, at 5:45PM with overcast skies and poor light, I saw a peregrine perched on the water tower in the OSH parking lot.  It was on one of the cell antenna attached to the walkway around the water tank itself.  East side, therefore visible from the OSH parking lot.

As I watched, a second falcon flew from behind the water tank to the south, dropping very low, below the roofline of new apartments west of OSH.

I know a falcon was reported here last year (April), so this might be a site worth watching for nesting activity.  

Travis Hails





Red-shouldered Hawks Copulating in Strawberry Canyon

Preston Mui
 

On Saturday, I had the good fortune to witness two Red-shouldered Hawks copulating near the entrance to the fire trails off of Panoramic Way. I was too slow (or perhaps, they were too fast) for a photo during the act itself, but I did manage a recording of their calls before as well as a photo immediately after. An amazing end to an otherwise quiet walk through the fire trails. Both audio and photo are at the checklist.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S81267536

Preston


Peregrines in Berkeley at OSH / Berkeley Bowl West

Travis Hails
 

On Saturday, 2/13/21, at 5:45PM with overcast skies and poor light, I saw a peregrine perched on the water tower in the OSH parking lot. It was on one of the cell antenna attached to the walkway around the water tank itself. East side, therefore visible from the OSH parking lot.

As I watched, a second falcon flew from behind the water tank to the south, dropping very low, below the roofline of new apartments west of OSH.

I know a falcon was reported here last year (April), so this might be a site worth watching for nesting activity.

Travis Hails


Lake Merritt Sunday afternoon

rosita94598
 

I knew there would be Sunday crowds at the lake, but it was easy enough to stay away from everyone.  What I was hoping for was to find at least one Barrow's Goldeneye--they have been scarce there lately.  It did not work for me, and I even walked past the homeless camps/used bicycle shops (not) to check the channel along Laney College. 

I did have a nice selection of birds, being surprised to see seven White Pelicans.  It used to be just the one which was unable to fly due to an injury.  I had almost as many Red-breasted Mergansers (15) as Common Goldeneyes (20-25).

I probably overlooked a Western Grebe, but did have Clark's, Eared, Horned and Pied-billed.  It was four gull species, too, Western, Ring-billed, California and Herring.

Guess I'll have to make the pilgrimage to Putah Creek to find a Barrow's.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Waterfowl and Shorebirds Galore at Crab Cove Beach in Alameda

Karen Miller
 

If you are wanting to see a lot of diiferent waterfowl and shorebirds in one trip, Crab Cove Beach in Alameda is a good place to go. I live by the beach and go birding there often. In the past week I have seen:

Surf Scoters
Scaups
Bufflehead Ducks
Ruddy Ducks
American Wigeons
Small Grebes
Western Grebes
Coots
Mallards
Comorants
Curlews
Marbled Godwits
Snowy Egrets (I haven't seen a great Egret in a while)
Willets
Yellowlegs
Blackbellied Plovers (they have a white belly in the winter)
Black Turnstones
Blacknecked Stilts
Black-crowned Night Heron (I haven't seen a Great Blue Heron in a while)
Brown Pelicans - most are gone right now but there is a pair that is still hanging around.
Sandpipers
Dunlins
Terns
Seagulls
Canadian Geese

I am sure there are a lot more. I am fairly new at this and there are a lot I have not identified.

Crab Cove Beach is at the end of McKay Avenue in Alameda, CA. McKay is a block long and deadends into the beach. If you walk to the end of the street and keep walking, you will see Crab Cove on your left and another cove on your right. You will be on a land spit that separates the two coves. There tends to be a lot of shorebirds along the beach and rocks of the cove on the right. There is no way down to that beach, but you can see the birds from the paths. Crab Cove has a nice beach and there are usually a lot of shorebirds there. The waterfowl are in both coves. I use my binoculars but with a scope you could probably identify even more of the waterfowl. I think coming when the tide is about 3/4 of the way in is good as the waterfowl are close enough to see with binoculars while there is still enough beach for the shorebirds to hang out and feed.

Have fun!


Heather Farm on Valentine's Day

rosita94598
 

Had an early start today to the park and there were about 150 Mew Gulls on the north ball fields.  When I was returning shortly after 9 AM, baseball was already in progress.

Tracy Farrington, Beth Branthaver and I had some good ducks pond other birds on the big pond, including the female Wood Duck right in front of the wooden railing.  We had a C. Gallinule, a Geen Heron, plenty of Ring-necked Ducks and some Buffleheads.

I had earlier seen two Lincoln's and two Fox Sparrows on the west side of the big pond.  Heard the Nuthatch, Downy and Nuttall's Woodpeckers and the first snippets of Ruby-crowned Kinglet song.

Before 5:30 PM yesterday, I watched a skunk in the grass near the gate to the private Seven Hills School.  It was busy nosing through the grass and leaf litter, though I could not tell what it was finding.  It would stop and scratch once in a while, then shook its whole body.  When this happened, the loose fur was beautiful to watch.

I remember petting a skunk in a park in Topeka, Kansas, in the summer of 1960.  Some people had it on a leash as a pet--no scent glands.  It was one of the softest furs I ever remember petting.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek, CA


Ridgeway Rail at the west end of Siege Marsh

Claude Lyneis
 

Feb12, about 1.5 after high tide I spotted a Ridgeway Rail at the north west end to Stege Marsh just at the edge of the Marina Bay development.  Maybe there are more there than before or I am becoming more patient searching for them.


Other birds of note, a White-tailed Kite, Northern Wigeons, Green-winged Teal, and a Whimbrel. 


Re: Peregrine/ Campanile

Maureen Lahiff
 

The pair of Peregrine Falcons that have nested on the Campanile since 2017 have a webcam:

https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/webcams/

Their gravel nesting platform is ready for them.

They have names: Annie (for Annie Montague Alexander, naturalist explorer and founder of Berkeley's famous Museum of Vertebrate Biology, MVZ)
and Grinnell (for Joseph Grinnell, the MVZ's first director, long-time editor of the Condor , and indefatigable surveyor of California wildlife   )


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Lewis via groups.io <RLewis0727@...>
To: 'peter dramer' <pmdramer@...>; EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 11, 2021 4:05 pm
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrine/ Campanile

There’s also one again on the water tower next to Berkeley Bowl west

 

Bob Lewis

Berkeley

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of peter dramer
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 2:36 PM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrine/ Campanile

 

A Peregrine has returned to the UC Berkeley Campanile





Re: Peregrine/ Campanile

Bob Lewis
 

There’s also one again on the water tower next to Berkeley Bowl west

 

Bob Lewis

Berkeley

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of peter dramer
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 2:36 PM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Peregrine/ Campanile

 

A Peregrine has returned to the UC Berkeley Campanile


Heather Farms, Walnut Creek

David
 

My wife and I took a walk around the mostly natural pond at Heather Farms . Saw the usual suspects: Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Ring-neck Ducks, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a lovely singing Song Sparrow, Oak Titmouse and a couple of White-breasted Nuthatches......you get the picture. Then around 12:30 as we were admiring the markings of a Lincoln Sparrow a Common Yellowthroat flew into the cattails next to us, bounced around and then flew over our heads in into the cattails along the lake. This Yellowthroat was see on the opposite side of the lake from the wooden deck ,near the gravel beach and the big oak tree; in the cattails on either side of the mostly natural lake at Heather Farms.
David M. Rose 🌹


Peregrine/ Campanile

peter dramer
 

A Peregrine has returned to the UC Berkeley Campanile


Surf scoters at end of Gilman St.

Lorrie Klosterman
 

Just now (2:20 p.m) enjoyed watching two males and one female Surf Scoter very near shore at the end of Gilman Street in Berkeley, among a little group other water birds.
Lorrie K.


Re: Oil Spill in Richmond - oiled wildlife contact

Lorri Gong
 

Another indication that the spill may have been going on several days before it was discovered.  See iNaturalist post of a California gull I saw in Point Reyes Station that appeared to be oiled. 


On Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 7:59 PM Bryan Flaig <flaig.tutor@...> wrote:
Hi Jack,
I think I saw that same Northern Pintail with the rusty breast and throat on Feb. 2nd at the Albany mudflats, before the oil spill. It was hanging out with Green-winged Teal, so I speculated that it might be some sort of hybrid. I also noticed some coloring on the exposed secondary feathers, blue-black-white, if I remember correctly.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S80345537

Ebird has a page for pintail X green-winged teal hybrids, and some of the photos show similar rusty breast.

https://ebird.org/species/x00725?siteLanguage=hr

Bryan Flaig
Corte Madera





--

Quote: It is advisable to look from the tidepool to the stars and then back to the tidepool again. ~ John Steinbeck, Sea of Cortez, 1941

501 - 520 of 14694