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Red-breasted or Common Merganser at Lake Anza

Claude Lyneis
 

At Lake Anza this afternoon I thought it was a Red-breasted Merganser, but the more I look at it, I am leaning toward a Common Merganser.  The iBird photos don’t make it clear.

Here is the link.  https://flic.kr/p/2kLWZoM

If there is a defining difference, let me know.


JJ Sutter shoreline

Sharon Jue
 

A dozen or so Brant northeast of observation deck, likely scopeable from Emeryville marina, three common loons, one in breeding plumage, lots of aechmophorus grebes towards middle harbor, cormorants carrying nesting material westward, peregrine picking pigeons out of the bay bridge, and *porpoises*?!?

This park only opened a few months ago, so hasn't received extensive birder coverage yet. Seems to be some good fishing and crabbing, though.

-sharon jue
Berkeley

Sent from my mobile - please excuse nonstandard typography.

--
-Sharon Jue
~Berkeley


Re: Osprey catches a leopard shark

Alok Singhal
 

Wow, these are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

-Alok

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 3:59 PM <Elihsdavey@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi All,

Was out at Pt. Isabel this morning and had a front row seat to watch the two Pt. Richmond Ospreys nabbing a leopard shark. See the link for photos.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/192510717@N07/albums/72157718670686616/with/51043720193/

Happy birding,

Eli



Osprey catches a leopard shark

Elihsdavey@...
 

Hi All,

Was out at Pt. Isabel this morning and had a front row seat to watch the two Pt. Richmond Ospreys nabbing a leopard shark. See the link for photos.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/192510717@N07/albums/72157718670686616/with/51043720193/

Happy birding,

Eli


Re: Peregrine Falcon #SIPBIP

Edgar Molina
 

+1 Cooper’s hawk 

Best,

Edgar Molina

On Mar 15, 2021, at 12:53 PM, Charlie Wells <cwells2073@...> wrote:


I think that's a coopers hawk

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 12:49 PM <tomcrown1@...> wrote:
In my backyard I saw a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon link to picture
https://flic.kr/p/2kLhDAL







Re: Peregrine Falcon #SIPBIP

Charlie Wells
 

I think that's a coopers hawk


On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 12:49 PM <tomcrown1@...> wrote:
In my backyard I saw a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon link to picture
https://flic.kr/p/2kLhDAL




Peregrine Falcon #SIPBIP

tomcrown1@...
 

In my backyard I saw a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon link to picture
https://flic.kr/p/2kLhDAL


Merlin at Arrowhead

Claude Lyneis
 

March 12, 2021 at Arrowhead Marsh I photographed a Merlin for the first time.  Also saw a Ridgeway’s Rail, a funny marked House Finch and a Marsh Wren.



Yellow-bellied and Red-breasted Sapsuckers at Lake Anza

Lee Friedman
 

I am reasonably sure that the same Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (young male) first reported at Lake Anza in January continues there as of today. It looks almost exactly identical, except that from the front there is some red now visible in its crown. Today it was very close to the beach entry gates on the lake side of the trail that goes down to the bridge over the spillway. When I saw it in January it was about about 100 feet closer to the spillway bridge, still on the lake side of the trail.
There was also a Red-breasted Sapsucker foraging just on the far side of the spillway bridge.
The pair of Common Mergansers were still on the lake, and Tree Swallows also graced us with their presence. 
 
 
Good birding,
Lee Friedman


Re: Western Kingbird - Antioch outskirts - 3/11

Alexander Henry
 

Be sure to check any Kingbirds you see carefully! There's lots of the rarer Cassin's Kingbird around, maybe one will make it to Contra Costa this spring. Western Kingbirds are just starting to show up. 

Check for the white tip of the tail which is a diagnostic field mark for Cassin's, the easiest way to identify them is the vocalizations though.

Alex Henry
Berkeley



On Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 3:35 PM Paul Schorr <pkschorr@...> wrote:
This afternoon during a drive on Deer Valley Rd. south of  Chadbourne Rd., Nancy and I spotted a FOS Western Kingbird on a fence along the road.  We were able to stop and watch it long enough to see it hawking insects.  Nice to see them returning.

Happy birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch



Western Kingbird - Antioch outskirts - 3/11

Paul Schorr
 

This afternoon during a drive on Deer Valley Rd. south of Chadbourne Rd., Nancy and I spotted a FOS Western Kingbird on a fence along the road. We were able to stop and watch it long enough to see it hawking insects. Nice to see them returning.

Happy birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


nesting activity

rosita94598
 

Rosita called my attention to the Anna's Hummingbird taking nest material in our patio this afternoon.  She later sent me a photo of a Bushtit doing the same.  Earlier in the week the Lesser Goldfinches were also grabbing nest material, so she had to refill the little metal frame today.

This morning I found a presumed Mallard egg lying on the bare dirt at the bottom of the gravel boat ramp at the large pond in Heather Farm Park.  Usually we see the first ducklings around Easter, which is 3-1/2 weeks away.

The Canada Geese have been going crazy for at least two or three weeks with honking, hissing, pushing, chasing and other aggressive behavior.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda

Alexander Henry
 

Dave,

I was not at all intending to single you out. I was more making the general point that Band-tailed Pigeons are less common in the eastern part of Alameda county (versus the lusher, more forested East Bay hills), so we should all as a group strive to document our Band-tailed Pigeon sightings in the part of Alameda county east of Livermore.

I think there are likely at least a couple erroneous reports by other observers. And even for the reports which are correct, which there are many, I am just encouraging people to make more of an effort to do write-ups or get photos, and bringing their attention to the fact that the status of this species is different in different areas of the East Bay counties.


On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, David Yeamans <davidralphyeamans@...> wrote:
Thank you Alex for correcting one of my impressions. My GISS (general impression of size and shape -- also including behaviors) was incorrect, even with a photo. I thought I could tell the difference between rock pigeons and band-tailed pigeons in flight in poor light at a distance but in one case I was mistaken. Checklist has been corrected.


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Dave Yeamans
My job in this world is to wage peace. [see Ezekiel, Ch.38 YMMV]
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-


--
Alex Henry


Re: Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda

David Yeamans
 

Thank you Alex for correcting one of my impressions. My GISS (general impression of size and shape -- also including behaviors) was incorrect, even with a photo. I thought I could tell the difference between rock pigeons and band-tailed pigeons in flight in poor light at a distance but in one case I was mistaken. Checklist has been corrected.


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Dave Yeamans
My job in this world is to wage peace. [see Ezekiel, Ch.38 YMMV]
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-


Titmice nest building

judisierra
 

An Oak titmouse pair have been building a nest in the yard box and must be nearing completion as they were gathering the dog hair today that I had hung up for them. They started building on  Feb 17. Last year they had 2 broods. Beginning in late summer one would come to the box and peer in, sometimes going inside briefly several times a week that I observed.
Judi Sierra
Oakland


Before the rain late today

rosita94598
 

I made a late bike ride to Heather Farm and went pretty straight to the pond near the private Seven Hills School.  There were about ten Rough-winged Swallows flying over that pond--pretty hard to tell with all the swallow dips and turns they make.  I had one over the large, mostly natural pond this morning, too.

The numbers of Ring-necked Ducks took a big drop, but it has happened a few times during the winter.  We'll see what happens after the storm passes.  It could be that it is late enough in the year that they are actually leaving for good.

Five Cackling Geese continued this morning; they were on the north ball fields until a dog owner decided to take his large dog out there to chase either a ball or a Frisbee.  Some of the owners have decided over the last year that the ball fields are a good alternative to the dog park.  Needless to say, they pay no attention to the signs and city ordinance prohibiting dogs on the athletic fields, where children, teens and adults participate in group sports.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Orange-crowned Warbler - Antioch yard - 3/9

Paul Schorr
 

This morning an Orange-crowned Warbler took a bath in our bird bath. It soaked its feathers pretty well and even got the top of its head wet, which allowed the orangish feathers of its crown to be exposed nicely. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to retrieve my camera.

Happy birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Re: Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda

Lyn Dailey
 

I’m by no means an expert birder but pretty sure there were large flocks lurking in my neighborhood for about a month recently in the east Oakland hills. I was able to observe them in close trees for long periods and they appeared to be band tailed pigeons to me.
Lyn

On Mar 9, 2021, at 11:29 AM, Alexander Henry <awhenry@umich.edu> wrote:

Hi all,

Sorry to be nitpicky, but here goes.

There have been a lot of reports of Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda county recently.

Please keep in mind that Band-tailed Pigeons are NOT common in east county. There is lots of suitable habitat at the upper elevations of Mines Road, and high counts of Band-tailed Pigeons there do not surprise me, however they are still not particularly common at Mines Road, and do in my opinion merit either written notes or photos if large numbers are observed.

Elsewhere in the eastern part of the Livermore Valley and the Altamont Hills (such as Cedar Mountain Winery), there is very little suitable habitat, and Band-tailed Pigeon sightings should definitely be documented with write-ups or photos. I’m not saying they don’t or can’t occur, just that they are uncommon enough in that area that care should be taken to separate them from other pigeon and dove species, and some form of written or photographic documentation would be greatly appreciated (at least by me personally).

In order to understand the status of Band-tailed Pigeon in this area, consider that they are flagged “rare” in eBird in both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, I believe. There are only 2 previous records of Band-tailed Pigeon from Del Puerto Canyon (not far from upper Mines Road), and only a handful of records, mostly small numbers, from Kiln Canyon in the Corral Hollow Pass area (near Tesla Road and Cedar Mountain Winery). Given the rarity status of this species only a few miles away over the county line, I think we should all make a collective effort to properly document Band-tailed Pigeon sightings in eastern Alameda county.

Again, sorry if it seems like I’m nitpicking! (I am, admittedly). And for those who are interested in finding rarities, given the large numbers of Band-tailed Pigeons at Mines Road, a trip to Del Puerto Canyon could be a good idea! (It’s also getting into that Costa’s time of year, isn’t it?)

Thanks!
Alex Henry
Berkeley



Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda

Alexander Henry
 

Hi all,

Sorry to be nitpicky, but here goes.

There have been a lot of reports of Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda county recently.

Please keep in mind that Band-tailed Pigeons are NOT common in east county. There is lots of suitable habitat at the upper elevations of Mines Road, and high counts of Band-tailed Pigeons there do not surprise me, however they are still not particularly common at Mines Road, and do in my opinion merit either written notes or photos if large numbers are observed.

Elsewhere in the eastern part of the Livermore Valley and the Altamont Hills (such as Cedar Mountain Winery), there is very little suitable habitat, and Band-tailed Pigeon sightings should definitely be documented with write-ups or photos. I’m not saying they don’t or can’t occur, just that they are uncommon enough in that area that care should be taken to separate them from other pigeon and dove species, and some form of written or photographic documentation would be greatly appreciated (at least by me personally).

In order to understand the status of Band-tailed Pigeon in this area, consider that they are flagged “rare” in eBird in both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, I believe. There are only 2 previous records of Band-tailed Pigeon from Del Puerto Canyon (not far from upper Mines Road), and only a handful of records, mostly small numbers, from Kiln Canyon in the Corral Hollow Pass area (near Tesla Road and Cedar Mountain Winery). Given the rarity status of this species only a few miles away over the county line, I think we should all make a collective effort to properly document Band-tailed Pigeon sightings in eastern Alameda county.

Again, sorry if it seems like I’m nitpicking! (I am, admittedly). And for those who are interested in finding rarities, given the large numbers of Band-tailed Pigeons at Mines Road, a trip to Del Puerto Canyon could be a good idea! (It’s also getting into that Costa’s time of year, isn’t it?)

Thanks!
Alex Henry
Berkeley


Re: White-throated Sparrow: White or Tan-Striped?

Stephen T Bird
 

On a limb, if I was forced: 1st winter white.

The supercilium is a poor differentiator in basic molt, particularly a late-winter well-sullied adult or 1st winter.
The darker lateral stripe & (apparent) lighter median stripe, sharply contrasting throat & gray cheeks, rufous upper wing suggest a 1st winter white morph to me (which also permits the light breast streaking); but thats all the caveats accepted that winter can be difficult.
Once I've accepted that, I spuriously delude myself into thinking "yeah, that supercilium is fairly light for a 1st winter."

Other's thoughts? Don't take my word for it.


There are not intermediates (to my knowledge). The morph is due to a a gene inversion following a chromosome duplication/introgression likely from Harris Sparrows.
The argument is made, it uniquely has "4 sexes: near-obligate disassortative mating (i.e. a white morph must breed with a tan morph, regardless of each's sex). Almost as interesting as Acorn Woodpecker mating strategies.

-Stephen


On Tue, Mar 9, 2021 at 6:59 AM Sam Zuckerman <samzuckerman@...> wrote:
I photographed a White-throated Sparrow on Rifle Range Trail in Wildcat Canyon Park Monday afternoon and have had a hard time identifying which morph it is. To my eye, the sparrow has features of both. Here's the checklist with photo: https://ebird.org/checklist/S83048389
 
Many thanks for any help on whether this bird is white-striped or tan-striped. I put tan-striped on the checklist, but will change if necessary. 
 
Sam Zuckerman




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