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Walnut Creek sightings

fgsafier
 

Since these birds have been mentioned in other posts, I suppose I should report that in our Walnut Creek neighborhood I had a White-throated Sparrow feeding on the ground with a few Golden-crowns on Thursday, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler high in an oak with several Yellow-rumps this morning.

Fred Safier


Sunol Trip report

Philip Georgakakos
 

Hi East Bay Birders,

Derek Heins, Alex Henry and I thoroughly enjoyed birding Sunol on this fine early spring day. Migrant numbers were strong with clear skies, warm temperatures, and little wind.

We started the day with some nocturnal birding at Welch Creek Rd. at 6am and were rewarded with at least 4 pygmy owls, a couple of Great Horned Owls, a Western-screech Owl, and a Common Poorwil. All were heard vocalizing. We parked around (37.532049, -121.830474), and walked the road for a while, where we heard all these birds as dawn broke. You can park on Welch Creek rd on weekdays without a permit, and it's accessible before 8am, when the main gate to the park opens. On the weekends you need a permit to park there, which I think you obtain from the main entrance. You can definitely get ticketed without this. Also, please don't use playback on these sensitive species. It seems like a real owl hotspot, let's keep it that way. This time of year they were vocalizing vigorously.

Welch Creek Rd. pre-dawn
Welch Creek Rd. post-dawn

After our Welch Creek start we hopped in cars and drove to the visitors center. From there we walked up Alameda Creek, past little Yosemite to McKorkle trail, which we followed back to the parking area.

Highlights included: Lawrence's Goldfinch, Prairie Falcon, Western Kingbirds, Bullock's Orioles, Phainopepla Bald Eagle, Golden Eagles, 4 swallow species, and an almost certainly migratory Common Yellowthroat.

Sunol Valley and McCorkle Trail

I parted ways with Derek and Alex at this point and decided to try and add just a few more species to our list for the day. The park had filled up by this point, so I drove back to Welch Creek Rd in an effort to escape the crowds. From our same parking spot in the morning (37.532049, -121.830474) I walked out to Flag Hill. I'd never approached Flag Hill from this direction before, and the walk is way easier than from the visitors center side. The deciduous oaks in the grasslands were really birdy, with plenty of Western Kingbirds and Bullock's Orioles. I added Brewer's Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird and Lark Sparrow to our day list. 

Welch Creek Rd. to Flag Hill

In addition to the biggest bird list I've recorded in a day at Sunol, 72 species, there were good diversity and abundance of both wildflowers and butterflies. Here's a few links to iNaturalist observations of the non-birds, if you're into that stuff. Any ID help is always appreciated.

Woodland Star
California Golden Violet
Blue Dicks and colorful Skipper
Purple Owl's Clover
Indian Paintbrush
Larkspur
California Poppy
Bird's Eye Gilia

Hope yall can get out and enjoy spring, my favorite season in the East Bay.
Phil Georgakakos,
Oakland


FOS Hooded Oriole in Martinez

Jackie Bobrosky
 

Usually by mid-March a male Hooded Oriole will show up at my hummingbird feeders, finally today April 2 I heard, then saw! Blinked and poof he was gone.  I hear him this evening nearby so I expect regular visits for a few months.  Wonderful!   Also a male Rufous hummingbird has been fighting off the resident Anna's........great birding in my backyard.
 
Jackie Bobrosky
Downtown Martinez. 


Re: Mass Bird Die-Off Linked to Wildfires and Toxic Gases

Elegans@...
 

Thanks for this. In my area, El Cerrito, after both last summer's dreadful fire and smoke and the one two amers before that, the mlm population of Anna's hummingbirds plummeted. In winters before that I'd be feeding dozens if not maybe a hundred al winter long. The winters after the fires, a mere handful.
George McRae




On Friday, April 2, 2021 Edward Vine <elvine@...> wrote:

Using observations from crowdsourced science and weather location data, researchers concluded that wildfires caused a mass die-off of birds in the western and central United States in 2020.

Click here

Ed

--
Ed Vine




Mass Bird Die-Off Linked to Wildfires and Toxic Gases

Edward Vine
 

Using observations from crowdsourced science and weather location data, researchers concluded that wildfires caused a mass die-off of birds in the western and central United States in 2020.

Click here

Ed

--
Ed Vine


Pine Siskins today, Snowy Plovers yesterday

Jerry Britten
 

This morning there are seemingly hundreds of Pine Siskins in the newly-leafed oaks around my house.  The noise they are making is quite impressive.  Also, red-tailed hawks are nesting on our property this year, for the first time I know about.  This means the red-shouldered hawks that usually nest are probably not going to be tolerated. 

Yesterday 3/31 I saw 2 snowy plovers at Clifton Court Forebay.  As originally reported to eBird by Srikant Char, who saw 1 on 3/30, they were near the 7.5 mile marker not too far from the parking lot.  Ebird checklist with some photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S84492171

Jerry Britten 
Morgan Territory


Re: FOS Hooded Oriole

Elegans@...
 

How wonderful!
George McRae




On Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Jane Chinn via groups.io <janechinn@...> wrote:

FOS Hooded Oriole, male spotted in backyard swinging from hummingbird feeder.  Heard in trees.  Usually arrive first week of April.  Earliest sighting I have in my backyard journal is March 26, 2015.

Jane Chinn 
Hayward Hills






FOS Hooded Oriole

Jane Chinn
 

FOS Hooded Oriole, male spotted in backyard swinging from hummingbird feeder.  Heard in trees.  Usually arrive first week of April.  Earliest sighting I have in my backyard journal is March 26, 2015.

Jane Chinn 
Hayward Hills



Large number of Avocets, Marbled Godwits and some Long-billed Curlew at Pt. Isabel

Claude Lyneis
 

About two hours after high tide this afternoon just south of Stege Marsh there was a large group of American Avocets and Marbled Godwits, at least 50 of each.  A smaller number of Long-billed Curlew were mixed in with the Godwits.

Link to the photos https://flic.kr/p/2kQffQm


Shoot The Rainbow - April 10 Bird Photo Big Day!

Kitty O'Neil
 

Posting with permission of group moderator. (Thanks Aaron!)

East Bay Birders,
The Bird Photo Big Day is coming up April 10. This Spring it is all about the Colors! Let’s join in the fun of photographing as many species as possible on April 10th for the second annual Spring Bird Photo Big Day in support of the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO).

While the species count is our top priority, the Photo Day really heats up to red hot with our color competition to Shoot The Rainbow! The best representation of a color will win the prize in each category: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue. Background color, bird color, tree color, or person’s hat! Get creative. The color just needs to be somewhere in the photo and so does the bird. Bonus contest for the most colors all in one shot, plus the bird of course!


See the details on the Facebook page or the registration page.

 

Facebook group: Bay Area Bird Photo Big Day on Facebook

Registration page: Bird Photo Big Day 2021

Please feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Thanks!

Kitty O'Neil & Bill Pelletier

kittoi@...
925.787.6666



Richmond Today (3/29)

Ethan Monk
 

This afternoon about 1230 off Landfill Loop in Richmond, there is one each of Glaucous and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Black backed might be the bird from earlier in the winter, although it hasn’t been seen since Christmas time despite plenty of looking in the interim. This morning about 630am off Canal Blvd. both male Black Scoters continued, but a couple hours later only one was present. 25 or so Brant are still hanging out behind the jetty, and the California Gulls are back en masse on Brooks Island, presumably preventing the nesting of any Caspian Terns for another summer. And for you Alameda folks, a Cassins Kingbird was away from known locations yesterday evening on Patterson Pass rd., at the residence with the large Eucalyptus. This is East of Cross Rd., and East of where the road becomes one lane.  

Ethan Monk


Bald Eagle 3/26/21

Christine
 

I haven’t posted in a very long time, but I have a reason to once again. Yesterday (3/26/21) at 4:58, I saw, and I have a video, of a Bald Eagle riding the thermals with a few Turkey Vultures over my home in Concord. The thermal wave took it toward Mt. Diablo. It was amazing, and such a fortunate “catch”!


nesting in Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Well, we were hoping the Chickadees would use our patio nest box, but when they have taken my hair from the green mesh avocado bag, they leave the patio toward the street. Time will tell.

For the fourth day in Heather Farm Park, a male Downy Woodpecker has been excavating a nest hole on the west side of the large, mostly natural pond.  I arrived before 8 AM today and did not see him.  I thought maybe it was because of some kind of woodpecker union work rules, but he had another union in mind.  While watching sparrows grab seeds I threw, I turned around just in time to see the female Downy arrive and then he copulated with her.  Usually this type of thing is fairly quick, but after a moment, he dropped his left wing alongside her body; possibly his right, too, but I could not see.  Anthropomorphically, it seemed to be a bit of post connubial bliss cuddling.  In a couple of minutes he was at work on the nest hole.  I was told by a friend that he had seen the female working, too.

Another birding friend told me about a Bushtit nest, and sure enough I found it this morning.  It is a bit of a poor site selection, being in a bush around which many members of the general public walk--not a lot of privacy.  I wonder if it will be successful.

And the first Canada Goose goslings were seen at the concrete pond, seven of them with bright yellow feathers.  They attracted a number of walkers with cell phones.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Rufous Hummingbird on Curran Trail in Tilden Park

Pam Young
 

Male Rufous Hummingbird fed from a flowering currant Ribes shrub and then perched on a Bay Laurel at Curran Trail in Tilden Park this afternoon.

Good birding,
Pam Young
Berkeley


Re: Unidentified duck at San Lorenzo Creek/Reservoir

Hilary Powers
 

On 3/21/2021 10:07 PM, Lawrence Danos wrote:
Hi,
Two of us were birding Saturday along San Lorenzo Creek near where it enters SF Bay (lower San Lorenzo Creek). Today (Sunday) we were at Don Castro Reservoir (upper San Lorenzo Creek}  In both places we noticed several pairs of mallards but there was one pair, a male mallard and a black duck with white breast were paired together.  In both cases they were hanging out together with the other mallard pairs and swimming together as is usual in the Spring.  I couldn't get close enough to get a picture but am wondering if anyone else saw these two and what is the black & white duck?   It's about the same size as a mallard and completely black except for the white breast.

Basically, if it looks like a mallard and associates with mallards, it's a mallard. The situation is rather like what we have with dogs - very very occasionally you do see a real inter-species cross, but mostly you get the results of millennia of domestication. The vast bulk of the world's domestic-duck population is based on mallard stock, and every drake regards every duck as a possible mate regardless of distance from the wild (or lack thereof) - and the ducks mostly agree, though they'd rather avoid the young hoodlums.

Ducks do form true hybrids - like the Barrow's Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser we had at Lake Merritt for a few years (https://live-fts.flickr.com/groups/444365@N25/discuss/72157603621810418/) - but among mallards what you get are mostly just crosses: the cockapoos of the bird world rather than the wolf dogs.

-- 
--
~            Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA          ~
~  www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~
~     Now a member of the the Oakland Cottage Industry Collective!    ~
~         Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures        ~


Re: Unidentified duck at San Lorenzo Creek/Reservoir

Bill Bousman
 

Google "bibbed mallard images."  Bibbed mallards are a fairly common mallard variant in the South Bay. 

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 3/21/2021 10:07 PM, Lawrence Danos wrote:
Hi,
Two of us were birding Saturday along San Lorenzo Creek near where it enters SF Bay (lower San Lorenzo Creek). Today (Sunday) we were at Don Castro Reservoir (upper San Lorenzo Creek}  In both places we noticed several pairs of mallards but there was one pair, a male mallard and a black duck with white breast were paired together.  In both cases they were hanging out together with the other mallard pairs and swimming together as is usual in the Spring.  I couldn't get close enough to get a picture but am wondering if anyone else saw these two and what is the black & white duck?   It's about the same size as a mallard and completely black except for the white breast.





Re: Pt. Richmond - Hermit Thrush and Golden-crowned Kinglet

Melani King
 

Thanks all for the feedback about nesting Hermit Thrushes in the Bay Area. Good to know. After more consideration I agree with Dominik that this is not a recently fledged bird. It is just way too early for that to be feasible and am just going to accept that this bird is an anomaly.

-Melani King 

On Mar 21, 2021, at 9:38 PM, mbstern2 via groups.io <mbstern2@...> wrote:

Hi Melani and Lawrence,

I just checked the Mt. Diablo Breeding Bird Atlas of the late 1990's for Hermit Thrush. There is one report of breeding in a small section of Redwood Regional Park, but only a single sighting of a nesting Hermit Thrush at  that time.
    At my home in Lafayette along the Las Trampas Creek we have had several Hermit Thrushes hanging about for the winter, which is typical, but have never had a nesting pair.

I hope this is of some use to you.

Maury Stern

On Sunday, March 21, 2021, 2:45:17 PM PDT, Lawrence DiCostanzo <lawrence.dicostanzo@...> wrote:


Hi, Melani. I live in Albany, and this week I saw a hermit thrush in my backyard. This is the first sighting I’ve had of a thrush in a really really long time. I wonder if the fact that I took down the birdfeeder because of the salmonella epidemic, means that other kinds of birds besides finches, etc.  don’t feel as “crowded” in the garden.

Lawrence

> On Mar 21, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Melani King <melani@...> wrote:
>
> Today while birding my neighborhood I photographed a Hermit Thrush. Nothing unusual until I got home and downloaded the photo. It just looked off to me to be an adult. A gape is still visible and the plumage on the back is fluffy and the tail feathers look like they're still growing in. Do Hermit Thrushes nest in Contra Costa? I thought no. And wouldn't it be too early for this to happen if they did? I'd appreciate any feedback. Photos in my eBird report here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S83836191
>
> Also of interest was a Golden-crowned Kinglet working a Monterey Pine. I was alerted to it by its very high-pitched vocalization. This was a first for me in my neighborhood!
>
> -Melani King
> Pt. Richmond
>
>
>








Re: Pt. Richmond - Hermit Thrush and Golden-crowned Kinglet

Rosemary Johnson
 

First spotted a hermit thrush on the adjacent hillside a couple winter ago. I was thrilled by this sighting,  Last winter, a few more sightings.  This winter, I see the bird almost every day. I'm very pleased that it has decided that this hill is its winter home.
 
Rosemary Johnson
Hercules

On 03/21/2021 9:38 PM mbstern2 via groups.io <mbstern2@...> wrote:
 
 
 
Hi Melani and Lawrence,
 
I just checked the Mt. Diablo Breeding Bird Atlas of the late 1990's for Hermit Thrush. There is one report of breeding in a small section of Redwood Regional Park, but only a single sighting of a nesting Hermit Thrush at  that time.
    At my home in Lafayette along the Las Trampas Creek we have had several Hermit Thrushes hanging about for the winter, which is typical, but have never had a nesting pair.
 
I hope this is of some use to you.
 
Maury Stern
 
On Sunday, March 21, 2021, 2:45:17 PM PDT, Lawrence DiCostanzo <lawrence.dicostanzo@...> wrote:
 
 
Hi, Melani. I live in Albany, and this week I saw a hermit thrush in my backyard. This is the first sighting I’ve had of a thrush in a really really long time. I wonder if the fact that I took down the birdfeeder because of the salmonella epidemic, means that other kinds of birds besides finches, etc.  don’t feel as “crowded” in the garden.

Lawrence

> On Mar 21, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Melani King < melani@...> wrote:
>
> Today while birding my neighborhood I photographed a Hermit Thrush. Nothing unusual until I got home and downloaded the photo. It just looked off to me to be an adult. A gape is still visible and the plumage on the back is fluffy and the tail feathers look like they're still growing in. Do Hermit Thrushes nest in Contra Costa? I thought no. And wouldn't it be too early for this to happen if they did? I'd appreciate any feedback. Photos in my eBird report here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S83836191
>
> Also of interest was a Golden-crowned Kinglet working a Monterey Pine. I was alerted to it by its very high-pitched vocalization. This was a first for me in my neighborhood!
>
> -Melani King
> Pt. Richmond
>
>
>







Re: Unidentified duck at San Lorenzo Creek/Reservoir

Susana dT
 

Hi Lawrence:
I think I have a photo of a duck that fits your description. I saw it at Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park in Solano County this weekend. I made an album on Flikr with photos of what I think are hybrid ducks. Link here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166553264@N04/albums/72157718745162263
I believe they are Mallard hybrids, you can see the curled upper tail feathers in some of them.
I hope this helps
Susana


Re: Pt. Richmond - Hermit Thrush and Golden-crowned Kinglet

Lawrence DiCostanzo
 

Thank you very much, Maurey.  Seeing the hermit thrush in Albany and in my backyard was quite a pleasure.  There is a creek near us, somewhat "urbanized", but it does have a number of free-flowing sections with underbrush, trees, etc.   Before some houses were built near it in the late 70s, it was quite a place for bird life.  It is possible that the thrush flew over from there.  This thrush was a classic beauty in color and with a breast with great spots.  Lovely.
Lawrence


On Sun, Mar 21, 2021 at 9:38 PM mbstern2@... <mbstern2@...> wrote:
Hi Melani and Lawrence,

I just checked the Mt. Diablo Breeding Bird Atlas of the late 1990's for Hermit Thrush. There is one report of breeding in a small section of Redwood Regional Park, but only a single sighting of a nesting Hermit Thrush at  that time.
    At my home in Lafayette along the Las Trampas Creek we have had several Hermit Thrushes hanging about for the winter, which is typical, but have never had a nesting pair.

I hope this is of some use to you.

Maury Stern

On Sunday, March 21, 2021, 2:45:17 PM PDT, Lawrence DiCostanzo <lawrence.dicostanzo@...> wrote:


Hi, Melani. I live in Albany, and this week I saw a hermit thrush in my backyard. This is the first sighting I’ve had of a thrush in a really really long time. I wonder if the fact that I took down the birdfeeder because of the salmonella epidemic, means that other kinds of birds besides finches, etc.  don’t feel as “crowded” in the garden.

Lawrence

> On Mar 21, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Melani King <melani@...> wrote:
>
> Today while birding my neighborhood I photographed a Hermit Thrush. Nothing unusual until I got home and downloaded the photo. It just looked off to me to be an adult. A gape is still visible and the plumage on the back is fluffy and the tail feathers look like they're still growing in. Do Hermit Thrushes nest in Contra Costa? I thought no. And wouldn't it be too early for this to happen if they did? I'd appreciate any feedback. Photos in my eBird report here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S83836191
>
> Also of interest was a Golden-crowned Kinglet working a Monterey Pine. I was alerted to it by its very high-pitched vocalization. This was a first for me in my neighborhood!
>
> -Melani King
> Pt. Richmond
>
>
>



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