Date   

New Yard Bird #44 Great Horned Owl downtown Berkeley

Don Simonson
 

 8:55 pm tonight  a Great Horned Owl called; another, lower pitched, called very distant ten minutes later.
Good birding!
Don Simonson, Berkeley


Re: Where are the hummingbirds? Disturbing declines....

Bill Bousman
 

Jim and others,

The Palo Alto CBC circle is on the border of Santa Clara and San Mateo County.  Data from this circle are continuous since about 1960.  A hundred years ago, Anna's withdrew from the Bay area in the winter, but with all the gardens in urban areas, it is not clear that many leave in our warming winters.  Hence, the CBC data should capture population trends over a 15-mile diameter circle.  If you normalize the bird counts by party-hours, then you can combine multiple CBCs and examine metadata trends.

We also have a Summer Bird Count in the Palo Alto circle and that data is continuous from 1981.  This evening I looked at the data for Anna's Hummingbird and, although the variance is noticeable, a calculation based on the years from 1981 to 2019 shows an increase of 2.5% per year.  From my experience that is quite good.  Two local high school students have set up a website to visualize these changes <https://www.pasbcstats.com/>.  Just recently they have added a linear regression log fit, but I think there is a bug they need to work out.

I encourage anyone with some spare time to take a look at regional CBC trend data in their own area.  The data are on the Audubon site, and the analyses I use are pretty simple and straightforward if you have some familiarity with Excel or an equivalent spreadsheet program.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 4/13/2021 6:10 PM, Jim Chiropolos wrote:
This year and last fall have been disturbing slow for hummingbirds numbers at the house. This is documented by the daily yard eBird reports I began in august of 2017. When I started recording numbers of Annas hummingbirds, I had 30 individuals at multiple days in the fall in 2017 and over 8 on multiple days in the spring of 2018.

Last fall, 2020, we never had a day of over 6 and usually less. I put it down to the fires. This spring, 2021, we have maybe highs of 3 individual birds except for one day of 6. Rufous and Allen numbers are very low and similar in trends. This is very disturbing. We have a big blooming sage patch plus feeders and no hummers at the sage this year. Every year, review of ebird lists at my house is showing declining numbers of hummers.

I spoke with a friend in the Diablo foothills and he reports very low numbers of hummers (all species) at his house this spring compared to previous years. I’m below Vollmer peak on the Orinda side.

It’s good to have data to back up what I thought was happening, but I wish the treads were showing increases - not decreases. The daily reports seem to be showing some very disturbing trends - at least at my house.

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda





Black-throated Gray Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher - Black Diamond Mines R. P. - 4/13

Paul Schorr
 

Today Nancy and I made a mid-day outing to BDMRP and walked our favorite loop. Near the junction of the Pittsburgh Mine Trail and the Chaparral Loop Trail, we spotted a FOS Black-throated Gray Warbler. As we were leaving the park, we stopped at the parking spot near the fire gate and trailhead for the Loop Traill. We checked out the elderberry bushes and tree tobacco shrubs on the west side of the road. There we saw our FOS Pacific-slope Flycatcher. In addition, there was a pair of Bullock’s Orioles and a flyover Western Kingbird. We also had several Anna’s Hummingbirds feeding at the tree tobacco shrubs. This is also a good spot to look for Rock Wrens among the very large boulders in the gully on the east side of the road.

Our White-crowned Sparrow flock is down to a handful of birds and they could very well be gone in the morning. We miss them already.

Happy Birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Re: Cedar Waxwings in the Berkeley Hills

Doris
 

Today as I was driving on the Arlington in Richmond, I saw two flocks of Cedar Waxwings (about 25 in each flock) within a minute or two of each other.  I stopped when I saw the second flock, got my binoculars out of my car trunk, and watched them as they perched on a power line.  I heard their high-pitched sounds. In a minute or two, they flew off.

Doris Lopez

On 4/13/2021 4:09 PM, Claude Lyneis wrote:
In the last month or two, I have briefly caught sight of small bfocks of Cedar Waxwings in the Berkeley Hills several times. Today as I returned home from a walk in the hills, they appeared on a power line about 4 houses from ours.  I had time to get home, grab my camera and amazingly the 20 birds were still neatly perched on the wires. During my walk I had seen a flock of about 100 flying together, almost like a murmuration.  

Link to Flickr Photo.  https://flic.kr/p/2kSN8Cf







Re: Where are the hummingbirds? Disturbing declines....

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Jim
They were probably on the coast, I heard from several people that they were going through nectar at over double the normal rate last fall, that was in San Mateo, coastal slope. Not sure what the tally is now, but the good news is that low numbers at one spot could be made up by high numbers elsewhere. It would be interesting to find out if botanists have a flowering quotient/scale that they apply to compare flower abundance due to dryness and rain. That would explain a lot in as far as hummingbird abundance goes.
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Chiropolos
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 6:11 PM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Where are the hummingbirds? Disturbing declines....

This year and last fall have been disturbing slow for hummingbirds numbers at the house. This is documented by the daily yard eBird reports I began in august of 2017. When I started recording numbers of Annas hummingbirds, I had 30 individuals at multiple days in the fall in 2017 and over 8 on multiple days in the spring of 2018.

Last fall, 2020, we never had a day of over 6 and usually less. I put it down to the fires. This spring, 2021, we have maybe highs of 3 individual birds except for one day of 6. Rufous and Allen numbers are very low and similar in trends. This is very disturbing. We have a big blooming sage patch plus feeders and no hummers at the sage this year. Every year, review of ebird lists at my house is showing declining numbers of hummers.

I spoke with a friend in the Diablo foothills and he reports very low numbers of hummers (all species) at his house this spring compared to previous years. I’m below Vollmer peak on the Orinda side.

It’s good to have data to back up what I thought was happening, but I wish the treads were showing increases - not decreases. The daily reports seem to be showing some very disturbing trends - at least at my house.

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda


Creekside Park - Ash-Throated Flycatcher

hoggsville
 

Late this afternoon I had an Ash-Throated Flycatcher feeding over the creek at the "dead-end" area of the park here: 37.898252, -122.304126 (google maps). New patch bird for me although at least Graham Chisholm has seen one here before. Ebird list with photo here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S85493849

Also of note, some locals told me they have been hearing a Great Horned Owl in the evening.

Cheers,
Jack Hayden
Albany


Black Diamond: MacGillivray, Lawrence, Phainopepla

Lee Friedman
 

Many thanks to Paul Schorr (April 7) and Jim Chiropolos (April 10) for their helpful posts about sightings at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. The Phainopepla was in the same area Paul described, this morning in the uphill trees from the parking lot at the end of Somersville Road. Jim saw many Lawrence's Goldfinch far into the park, but this morning at least one of them was very near the trailhead to the Stewartville trail above the parking lot. The MacGillivray's Warbler was just off of the Chaparral Loop Trail by the small Foot Bridge. 
 
 
Good birding all,
Lee Friedman


Re: White-crowned sparrows left last night

Carolyn Arnold
 

David,

Thanks so much for noting this passage. I must have seen the last one of my yard group of white crowns yesterday afternoon, picking up a last minute nyjer seed, spread out just for them on my deck railing. I thought it might be goodbye.

Safe flights north my favorite feathered friends! Have a prosperous summer, and return safely to us in the Fall.

Carolyn in Oakland.

On Apr 13, 2021, at 11:59 AM, David Yeamans <davidralphyeamans@gmail.com> wrote:

As anticipated a sudden departure of white-crowned sparrows occurred last night. Evidence is from my limited feeding station and from Sycamore Grove Park. None were there whereas the day before there were scores, in fact an increasing concentration right up to this morning.

At my siskin-limiting feeding balcony the sparrows would eat 6 cut grapes in the morning and six in the afternoon (I let the food run out for a few hours in between seatings). They did not clean up the 1/4 cup of dove/qual mix nor even touch the 20cc thistle seed. Happy hunting little migrants.
*************************
Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.



Re: Where are the hummingbirds? Disturbing declines....

janet ellis
 

Heard some Allen’s at lake Elizabeth in the eucalyptus. But only one Anna’s is coming to my feeder. 

Janet Ellis
Newark




On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 6:10 PM, Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:

This year and last fall have been disturbing slow for hummingbirds numbers at the house. This is documented by the daily yard eBird reports I began in august of 2017. When I started recording numbers of Annas hummingbirds, I had 30 individuals at multiple days in the fall in 2017 and over 8 on multiple days in the spring of 2018.

Last fall, 2020, we never had a day of over 6 and usually less. I put it down to the fires. This spring, 2021, we have maybe highs of 3 individual birds except for one day of 6. Rufous and Allen numbers are very low and similar in trends. This is very disturbing. We have a big blooming sage patch plus feeders and no hummers at the sage this year. Every year, review of ebird lists at my house is showing declining numbers of hummers.

I spoke with a friend in the Diablo foothills and he reports very low numbers of hummers (all species) at his house this spring compared to previous years. I’m below Vollmer peak on the Orinda side.

It’s good to have data to back up what I thought was happening, but I wish the treads were showing increases - not decreases. The daily reports seem to be showing some very disturbing trends - at least at my house.

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda




Where are the hummingbirds? Disturbing declines....

Jim Chiropolos
 

This year and last fall have been disturbing slow for hummingbirds numbers at the house. This is documented by the daily yard eBird reports I began in august of 2017. When I started recording numbers of Annas hummingbirds, I had 30 individuals at multiple days in the fall in 2017 and over 8 on multiple days in the spring of 2018.

Last fall, 2020, we never had a day of over 6 and usually less. I put it down to the fires. This spring, 2021, we have maybe highs of 3 individual birds except for one day of 6. Rufous and Allen numbers are very low and similar in trends. This is very disturbing. We have a big blooming sage patch plus feeders and no hummers at the sage this year. Every year, review of ebird lists at my house is showing declining numbers of hummers.

I spoke with a friend in the Diablo foothills and he reports very low numbers of hummers (all species) at his house this spring compared to previous years. I’m below Vollmer peak on the Orinda side.

It’s good to have data to back up what I thought was happening, but I wish the treads were showing increases - not decreases. The daily reports seem to be showing some very disturbing trends - at least at my house.

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda


Cedar Waxwings in the Berkeley Hills

Claude Lyneis
 

In the last month or two, I have briefly caught sight of small bfocks of Cedar Waxwings in the Berkeley Hills several times. Today as I returned home from a walk in the hills, they appeared on a power line about 4 houses from ours.  I had time to get home, grab my camera and amazingly the 20 birds were still neatly perched on the wires. During my walk I had seen a flock of about 100 flying together, almost like a murmuration.  

Link to Flickr Photo.  https://flic.kr/p/2kSN8Cf


White-crowned sparrows left last night

David Yeamans
 

As anticipated a sudden departure of white-crowned sparrows occurred last night. Evidence is from my limited feeding station and from Sycamore Grove Park. None were there whereas the day before there were scores, in fact an increasing concentration right up to this morning.

At my siskin-limiting feeding balcony the sparrows would eat 6 cut grapes in the morning and six in the afternoon (I let the food run out for a few hours in between seatings). They did not clean up the 1/4 cup of dove/qual mix nor even touch the 20cc thistle seed. Happy hunting little migrants.
*************************
Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.


Alameda birds Monday April 12

rosita94598
 

Rosita and I traveled to Alameda after some business in Oakland this morning.  Elsie Roemer was thick with birds all the way to the Doolittle Drive bridge to Bay Farm Island.  We did see the continuing Forster's, Caspian and Elegant Terns.  The mudflats were thick with peeps, including breeding plumaged Dunlins, Least and Western Sandpipers, some Dowitchers, M. Godwits and Semipalmated Plovers.

After a brief stop at Balena Bay overlooking the marina breakwater and eating our sandwiches, we continued into the Naval Air Station.  We drove past the old runway control tower to the entrance to the Seaplane Lagoon, where I counted 325 Western/Clark's Grebes without leaving the car.  There may have been more.  What a show.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Lawrence's Goldfinches, San Ramon

SteveLombardi
 

Saw 2 Lawrence's Goldfinches (an apparent pair) in the south parcel of Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve, between San Ramon and Danville this afternoon.
This is the first time I've seen this species in San Ramon and there are no eBird records for San Ramon either.
In light of the fact that a lot of their habitat must have been destroyed in the 350,000 acre SCU Lightning Complex Fire last summer, it will be interesting to see if Lawrence's show up in unusual places this season, like San Ramon and the ones Jim C. posted at Black Diamond Mines yesterday.

Steve Lombardi
San Ramon


Early Blue Grosbeak, Marsh Creek Rd.

Ethan Monk
 

This morning on private property near where Marsh Creek Rd. intersects Camino Diablo, I had one male Blue Grosbeak which I watched for a short time while it called from atop a dying cottonwood at about 50 feet distance. Despite this being an unusual location for Blue Grosbeak (my first in this area, although only a mile or two from where they breed) this is one of the earliest dates for this species in Contra Costa and perhaps all of Northern California. Perhaps record early for Contra Costa. The bird was never photographed--shortly after I tracked down the calling bird it was flushed by the rancher, and after my conversation with him I left the area at his request, as they were about to bring cattle through.

Some on-time sightings I've had recently included my first of season Hammond's Flycatcher and Calliope Hummingbird on Red Rd. in Mitchell Canyon, Friday the 9th, as well as a notable Golden-crowned Kinglet. Despite the dry winter, Jersey and Bethel Islands are unusually wet, with several flooded pastures on both islands. Last week at least Sunday-Thursday, Bethel Island held a pair of male Eurasian Wigeon, and Sunday ~350 ibis flew over. That same morning I found 80 ibis on Jersey Island, and later in the week other birders reported several hundred ibis there (Emmett Iverson & Logan Kahle, Derek Heins). It seems ibis are growing more common in the delta each year. Thursday on Jersey Island, I missed ibis despite counts of several hundred just two days before, but ~60 dowitchers and 2 lesser yellowlegs were a rare sight in a section of valley floor/delta that has sorely missed shorebird habitat the past couple of Springs.

good birding,
Ethan Monk


Red-breasted Nuthatch - Antioch yard - 4/10

Paul Schorr
 

This morning, while Nancy and I were having our coffee on the patio and watching the small flock of about twenty-five American Goldfinches at our feeders, we heard the very distinctive call of a Red-breasted Nuthatch. The bird was very likely in our neighbor’s redwood trees, but to our disappointment, it never made an appearance. In addition to the American Goldfinches, we also had Lesser Goldfinches, House Finches and a few Pine Siskins at the feeders. The American Goldfinches are absolutely stunning in their alternate plumage. They look like they jumped off of a painted wall calendar.

Happy Birding.

Paul Schorr

Antioch


Lawrence’s Goldfinches and other Birds, Black Diamond Mines

Jim Chiropolos
 

I biked the west half of Black Diamond Mines today.

The highlight was watching a scrub jay catch and subdue a 10 inch long ring-necked snake longer than the jay. (These snakes have a beautiful red belly). Wow! Jays are tough!

Other highlights were at least 20 Lawrence’s Goldfinches at the Black Diamond Trail where it turns to blacktop by the Cumberland trail intersection. Three male Phainopepla and Chipping sparrows were also in this area. This is one of the better birder areas in the park, but its three miles in from the closest and different trailheads.

Multiple Lawrence’s goldfinch sightings today in the bay, I think this may be an “invasion” year for them. I wonder if more Lawrence’s are in the northern part if their range due to the drought. It will be interesting to compare sightings of them through the state this year compared to previous years. Wings are a great tool to adapt to changing conditions!

Not many warblers in Black Diamond, nine birds of five different species. Amazed by how dry it it in early April - the hills are already turning brown and the trails have the soil shrinkage resulting in ground “splits” already that want to suck in and eat bicycle tires, making biking and birding harder because I have to watch the trail - its like late June already - scary. Bird numbers low except for the three finch species.


FOS Pacific-slope flycatcher

judisierra
 

I heard my first this year in Strawberry Canyon this morning. It was on the other side of the fence in the UC Botanical Garden.

A FOS for my yard Wilson's warbler has been gleaning insects all afternoon (still out there) mainly from an old type very dense rose bush. The Titmice have been busy going in and out of the nest box beginning today so there must be chicks. I was a little distracted by some squirrel behavior I hadn't seen. A female, possibly a pup kept jumping and clinging on the back of an adult. Then they.d tumble around together and repeat.

Judi Sierra
Oakalnd


Heather Farm Park Friday April 9

rosita94598
 

The Wood Ducks were making the photographers happy this morning, first walking under the big oak across from the wooden railing and the parking area, then swimming out in front of the island.

The large Muscovy Duck which I first saw the morning of Palm Sunday, seems to like haning with the Canada Geese--they are about the same size.  Sometimes, though it is by itself, as it was yesterday on the lawn near the parking area.  Today it was on the sidewalk at the concrete pond in front of the rose garden, about four feet from a Canada Goose.

Barn and Rough-winged Swallows flew over the pond.  

The Downy Woodpeckers may finally have entered the housekeeping phase.  Yesterday he arrived at the hole, looked in, then went higher in the tree.  She looked out after a bit, then backed down and out of sight.  Guess we'll know in 2-1/2 to 3 weeks.

And for those of you who have not watched online, the Peregrine Falcons at the PG&E building in San Francisco have three chicks as of yesterday.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Duckling at Lake Anza

Claude Lyneis
 

No rare species to be found either in Wildcat Canyon Gorge or at Lake Anza today, but I did see an Mallard with a single duckling.  It looked very young to me, but was able to swim in tight formation with his mom.


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