Date   

No Pileated but Pacific Wren - Redwood Regional

don_quixote72
 

Went to Trail's End at Redwood Regional to try to spot the pileated woodpecker. A very loud group was in the sheltered picnic area, so I wonder if that scared most of the birds away including the woodpecker. They weren't doing anything wrong, just very loud. In all, pretty quiet on a warm day but I did hear the song of a Pacific Wren and then eventually spotted it halfway back to the parking lot in a redwood grover area


Re: Allen's or Rufous Hummingbird on Panoramic Hill

Sam Zuckerman
 

Thanks to Bruce and Teale for making the call here. I'm convinced, and I have  seen an Allen's in this area recently. Out of an abundance of caution though, I'm going to leave this as Allen's/Rufous on the checklist.  
Sam Zuckerman
On 05/03/2021 9:15 PM Bruce Mast <cathrasher4@...> wrote:
 
 
Sam,
Your first photo appears to show a fair amount of green on the head, which tends to correlate with green on the back. I think you're reasonably safe in calling this one an Allen's.
 
Bird on,
 
Bruce Mast
Oakland

On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 1:31 PM Sam Zuckerman < samzuckerman@...> wrote:
Nice look at an adult male Selasphorus hummer on Panoramic Hill this morning, but I didn't get a view of the back. Be grateful for any help IDing this guy. Observed about 50 yards above gate on Panoramic Way between first and second curves. Photos on checklist



 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...
510-375-3861


Re: Morgan Territory fire zone birding

Alan Bade
 

Correction; I meant to say that SMD's burn area maps are NOT detailed topos. They are just to show the fire's perimeter. You'll want more detailed maps for hiking.

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill


Morgan Territory fire zone birding

Alan Bade
 

On Friday April 30th, 3 of us went to Morgan Territory to see where the SCU Complex fire burned in the park. Save Mt Diablo organized a Bioblitz focused on the SCU fire areas, so we wanted to contribute. In some areas, the fire completely burned off the chaparral, with a hard line between burn/no burn. In other areas, it was more spotty. Trees and shrubs are stump sprouting nicely in places but seem dead in others. We noted that some trees seemed to have survived the fire, only to have their root base burn out from underneath them over time like charcoal. Many of the native bulbs like calochortus pulchellus (Mt Diablo fairy lantern) are doing well straight out of the ash piles.

What birds will be attracted to this altered habitat? We saw Lark sparrow, western bluebirds, flycatchers, some sparrows, House wren, Lesser and Lawrence's Goldfinches and others in the burn zone.  Friday's Morgan Territory checklist is here, with the trail descriptions in the comments; https://ebird.org/checklist/S86766848. I noted which birds were seen in the burn area under the comments section for each species. I also made a Flickr album of habitat and plants here; https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVuDVRu . The unburned parts of Morgan Territory had lots of migrant warblers and other fun birds to see. Two unexpected winter birds were still there; Ruby-crowned kinglets and Fox sparrow.

The day before, two of us went to another former fire zone (burned about 5 years ago, I believe) on the east side of Mt Diablo, so it was interesting to compare. The older fire zone has chaparral habitat pretty much recovered from stump sprouting and many standing dead trees, as well as recovered trees. Here's the checklist from that trip. https://ebird.org/checklist/S86678200.  I recommend checking out that area and posted a report on EBB a few days ago.

Comparing the two burn zones could be interesting over time. I wonder if Phainopeplas will find the new burn zone attractive, as they have on the east slope of Mt Diablo. (We see them regularly there, but didn't find any in Morgan Territory). Could Lewis's woodpeckers be more likely to use the transition habitat? They are currently seen down in Round Valley and Los Vaquaros more often than Morgan Territory, as far as I can tell. The Lawrence's could be generally more easily seen in our area this year due to the fires changing their southern habitats. 

Perhaps Bell's sparrows will like the newly recovered chaparral next year or beyond? Cornell's Allaboutbirds says the following about Bell's sparrows; "In chaparral, they tend toward younger, less dense stands that are growing back from recent fires; they are less common in older, taller stands that have remained unburned." (We didn't find any Bell's on the east side of Mt Diablo, but they may be there. We tried, as I've haven't seen Bell's yet).

Since this year was a dry Spring, the re-growth of the burn area was not as robust as we've seen in other years further north in Napa and Lake counties. Perhaps next year we'll see a different or more extensive cast of characters.

As a relatively new, learning birder, it really helps to get out into different habitats like these to gain a better understanding of things....I enjoy the discussion of habitats from others along with their sightings.

good birding, Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

P.S. SMD made maps of the fire's extent on their bioblitz page; https://www.savemountdiablo.org/learn/bioblitz/ and https://www.savemountdiablo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/MorganTerr11x17.pdf. There are other maps on their web page for other burn areas in the SCU Complex; all Avenza maps, so you can download them to your phone and check in the field whether you're in a fire zone using the Avenza app. These maps are great for hiking, as they are detailed topos, but they'll tell you if you're in the burn area. (Grasslands can mask this quickly.) If you have checklists from any of the burn areas in the time window, these can still be contributed.  

P.P.S. Sorry about the long-winded post...


Allen's or Rufous Hummingbird on Panoramic Hill

Sam Zuckerman
 

Nice look at an adult male Selasphorus hummer on Panoramic Hill this morning, but I didn't get a view of the back. Be grateful for any help IDing this guy. Observed about 50 yards above gate on Panoramic Way between first and second curves. Photos on checklist


Re: Phainopepla and Buckeyes - Black Diamond Mines

Edward Vine
 

Regarding trees and drought, read this article - looks like a bad year ahead:

On May 2, 2021, at 4:55 PM, Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:

I biked and birded the west half of Black Diamond Mines today looking for warblers - I found one - a Wilsons. I did see seven Phainopepla - before starting - I would have guessed I would have seen seven warblers or more for every Phainopepla. I think that weird ratio shows how odd a migration year in the east bay it has been for warblers. Multiple trips to Diablo, Black Diamond Mines, Sunol, the Berkeley hills and my home, a former hot spot, has revealed no warbler flocks this year.

Another interesting finding was in Black Diamond Mines, the California Buckeye leaves have already turned yellow and many leaves have already dropped, as these deciduous trees drop their leaves in drought. That this process started in April is another sign of how plants are adapting to the drought. No bugs or caterpillars on these trees left for birds to glean....

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda




Phainopepla and Buckeyes - Black Diamond Mines

Jim Chiropolos
 

I biked and birded the west half of Black Diamond Mines today looking for warblers - I found one - a Wilsons. I did see seven Phainopepla - before starting - I would have guessed I would have seen seven warblers or more for every Phainopepla. I think that weird ratio shows how odd a migration year in the east bay it has been for warblers. Multiple trips to Diablo, Black Diamond Mines, Sunol, the Berkeley hills and my home, a former hot spot, has revealed no warbler flocks this year.

Another interesting finding was in Black Diamond Mines, the California Buckeye leaves have already turned yellow and many leaves have already dropped, as these deciduous trees drop their leaves in drought. That this process started in April is another sign of how plants are adapting to the drought. No bugs or caterpillars on these trees left for birds to glean....

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


Western Tanager - Creekside Park/Creeek Rd., Brentwood - 5/1

Paul Schorr
 

Today we birded with our son Robert who is visiting us from CO.  We started at 9:35 and birded for a couple of hours along Creek Rd. and Creekside Park.  A male Western Tanager was a highlight but other noteworthy sightings included a female Black-headed Grosbeak and at least two Warbling Vireos. 

Our complete list can be viewed at:  eBird.org/checklist/S86834453

Happy birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch






Sharing links



East County

fgsafier
 

Gitta and I visited two spots in East County this morning. The predicted strong winds were replaced by occasional refreshing breezes.
The Marsh Creek trail, which was open again after being closed last year when we tried, produced great views of a Swainson's Hawk and a male Blue Grosbeak, as well as other nice birds including Green Heron and Quail. https://ebird.org/checklist/S86817837
At Piper Slough we had a Black-chinned Hummingbird, Bullock's (but no Hooded) Oriole, Spotted Towhee, more Quail, Common Yellowthroat, Western Kingbird and so on.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S86818439

Fred Safier


Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Saturday morning

rosita94598
 

Rosalie and Barry Howarth were with me at the wooden railing when we saw a Spotted Sandpiper fly across the pond, landing on the broken rip-rap of the island.  It promptly did its tail-bobbing thing, and with our binoculars was quite obvious.  Otherwise, it looked like goose white-wash on the broken concrete.  Barry was able to photograph the bird before it flew off to our right, which is to the north end of the pond.

We also heard a Great-tailed Grackle, which was not being so obvious about its location.

An active Bushtit nest has been observed, more goslings are present at the pond near the private Seven Hills School, and a Wilson's Warbler was heard singing near the entrance to the city maintenance yard.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Pileated Woodpeckers at Redwood Regional Park

Alan Howe
 

Hi, all.

The male PIWO showed up around noon today (Friday, 4/30), much to the delight of those who'd been waiting & waiting @ Trail's End. We heard him call loudly up the hill just before he landed in a couple nearby trees, then moved to the snag & got to work. He seemed little bothered by all the humans staring @ him & didn't even seem to react to a loud dog bark. Most of us left after good long looks & tons of photo attempts, so I don't know how long the bird stayed.

One person in the group thought he heard another PIWO call in the distance. All I heard @ that time seemed to be jays, but my hearing isn't always the greatest, even with hearing aids.)

It was a gorgeous morning & the hike would have been plenty rewarding even if the woodpecker hadn't shown up.

Peace,

Alan Howe
North Oakland

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 10:29 PM Lee Friedman <lfried6@...> wrote:
If the stars align, this may be an unusual opportunity to quietly watch a pair nest and breed. The first report of a Pileated Woodpecker in the vicinity of the current nest building was April 8 by Tommy Hekl, and then on April 16 Elizabeth and Gabriel Olin reported a pair on the snag where the cavity nest is now being dug out (digging first observed by James Watts Jr. on April 19). It would be great for future observers to report any progress that that they see. For example, so far it has been the male doing most of the construction. Nest construction usually takes 3-6 weeks, with the female increasingly working on it as it nears completion. So it would be great to know if observers are seeing the male (red malar stripe) or female (no red malar stripe). Construction should be completed during May, followed by about three to four weeks to lay the eggs and incubate them, and then about one month as the hatchlings are raised to fledglings.
 
For those who may find this of interest, I have posted a series of 6 photos that show interesting moments by the male during his construction on April 28. These include views of the smooth inside of the hole, how the male expels the wood chips during his digging, and his concern for any nearby hawks. The photos with explanatory captions may be seen here (on most devices, click on the first and then click on the successive right arrows):
 
 
Good birding all,
Lee Friedman
 




Re: Pileated Woodpeckers at Redwood Regional Park

Lee Friedman
 

If the stars align, this may be an unusual opportunity to quietly watch a pair nest and breed. The first report of a Pileated Woodpecker in the vicinity of the current nest building was April 8 by Tommy Hekl, and then on April 16 Elizabeth and Gabriel Olin reported a pair on the snag where the cavity nest is now being dug out (digging first observed by James Watts Jr. on April 19). It would be great for future observers to report any progress that that they see. For example, so far it has been the male doing most of the construction. Nest construction usually takes 3-6 weeks, with the female increasingly working on it as it nears completion. So it would be great to know if observers are seeing the male (red malar stripe) or female (no red malar stripe). Construction should be completed during May, followed by about three to four weeks to lay the eggs and incubate them, and then about one month as the hatchlings are raised to fledglings.
 
For those who may find this of interest, I have posted a series of 6 photos that show interesting moments by the male during his construction on April 28. These include views of the smooth inside of the hole, how the male expels the wood chips during his digging, and his concern for any nearby hawks. The photos with explanatory captions may be seen here (on most devices, click on the first and then click on the successive right arrows):
 
 
Good birding all,
Lee Friedman
 


Trikes! Sunol area!

Jim Chiropolos
 

Work took me to San Jose today and I made a quick stop at Calveres Road (the Sunol park exit).At the freshwater marsh on the south side of the road (maybe 1/2 mile from 680 on the way to Sunol park) I saw colonial blackbird action streaming out from the marsh - at least 150 birds. The flock was a mixed group of blackbirds with trikes (tri-colored) and red-shouldered blackbirds. One if the trikes may have had nesting material in its bill. More blackbirds were in the cattails.

The trike habitat here is OK- cattail marsh - adjacent grasslands but no cattle. I believe they bred here in 1992 but if they are breeding here now - that would be really exciting. It isSF Water District land, so maybe someone should contact them to make sure they do not cut the grass here Assuming this is a nesting colony.

There is one pullout to watch the colony.

I was quite surprised to see trikes here!

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


Re: Pileated Woodpecker in/and Redwood Park Counties

Joe Morlan
 

Thanks for the tip. Several of us waited about two hours this morning (30
April 2021) before the Pileated Woodpecker finally appeared around 11:40am.
Photos:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S86746391?view=photos

Dropped pin here:

https://goo.gl/maps/avojtvr5xaYXDsDr5

On Tue, 27 Apr 2021 10:29:36 -0700, "Doug Mosher" <dtmosher@gmail.com>
wrote:

Yesterday, 4/26, Carla Din and I had great views of the
previously-reported PIWO in Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, along with
others. He (red cheek stripe) continued excavating his cavity in the
snag for nearly 30 minutes, at times more than half-way in as he removed
the wood chips. Then, for no reason apparent to us, he gave a short but
loud "wuk wuk wuk" and flew off upstream to the northwest.

Some photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougmosher/51142329345

Want to note, in case one isn't aware, that Reinhardt Redwood Regional
Park is in 2 counties; Alameda and Contra Costa. The county line nearly
bisects the Park. I had initially selected an eBird hotspot in Contra
Costa County by mistake (just up the Stream Trail), and corrected that
as the PIWO snag is in Alameda Co.

Here's a map of Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park/Roberts Recreation Area
(outlined in red) noting unincorporated Alameda County in darker green
and Contra Costa County in lighter green. Hope this helps with future
eBird reporting: https://bit.ly/2R1cpIn

-Doug Mosher
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA


Phainopeplas on east side of Mt Diablo; Perkins Canyon

Alan Bade
 

Today we went to the east side of Mt Diablo. It doesn't seem to get a lot of birding visits, at least as evidenced on eBird. We went to Perkins Canyon up the utility access road past the high voltage towers, then along the stream in Perkins Cyn. We were hoping to see the Lawrence's Goldfinch that Sarah Lynch and Ethan Monk reported on their 4/25 list, but no luck. (I may have heard it, but I am not very familiar with their song.)

We saw at least 4 Phainopeplas here (37.899084, -121.875834), males and females seemed to be gathering nest materials. This has been a consistent place to see Phainopeplas, at least for us. Cliff swallows were in abundance closer to Morgan territory road. Here's our list; https://ebird.org/checklist/S86678200

The east face of Mt Diablo generates a lot of heat, so I'd go earlier than we did. We stayed longer than we thought we would, and it got hot. The turkey vultures were out in force using the thermals.

Despite lots of blooming monkey flowers, Yerba Santa, and waning sage, we didn't see any Calliope hummers, just Annas. (This area burned a few years ago.) The utility access road winds its' way up fairly steeply. There were blooming Mariposa lilies (Calochortus venustus) pretty high up. There's an even steeper single track trail that departs from the road and climbs further. But there's lots of great birding in the oak woodland below for anyone that wants off the beaten path birding. Single track trails can be followed up the riparian corridor to an archery range that is private land. (This trail can be a little brushy.)

The eBird hotspot is called Mt Diablo SP-Perkins Canyon, but the marker seems to be placed in the residential area outside of the state park. https://ebird.org/hotspot/L11551971. I thought I'd post this primarily to let other birders know of this area. There's a small parking area and gate about here; 37.899647, -121.873470

Afterwards, we stopped by Clayton Community Park to try for the Yellow breasted chat, to no avail. But it was nice to run into Paul and Nancy Schorr and their son. I imagine if they found it after we left, we'd know by now....

Good birding, Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill


Swainson's Hawk - Antioch Yard - 4/29

Paul Schorr
 

This afternoon while sitting in our patio, a FOS dark morph Swainson’s Hawk made at least two passes at a distance of approximately 100 feet, offering superb views.

This morning, much to our chagrin, a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds appeared at our seed feeder.

Happy birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Re: Can't Identify these birds from Pt Isabel

judisierra
 

From what I've read they don't survive very long.


On Thursday, April 29, 2021, 05:53:49 PM PDT, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:


Hi Claude,

These birds are released Feral Pigeons, aka “White Doves” that are bred for their appearance. You probably couldn’t find them in your book, because they do not resemble anything that occurs in the wild. There has been a flock of them for years in Richmond. I used to see them frequently around the water treatment facility there. Think of weddings, where people like to release white doves as a romantic gesture. 

Sorry that it’s nothing more exciting than a pigeon. 

Aaron Maizlish 
San Francisco


On Apr 29, 2021, at 5:43 PM, Claude Lyneis <cmlyneis@...> wrote:


Aprilt 29 north of the 51st entrance to the Pt Isabel area, there were three birds in the marsh being chased around by the crows.  Except for their bills they were all white and their bills seem gull like.  I know that I have never seen them before and I couldn’t find a match in iBird or on iNaturalist.  I looked at Gulls, Doves and Pigeons without success.  There are three photos on Flickr labeled White Bird, White Bird 2 and White Bird 3. I suppose there is some trivial explanation.

Here is the link to Flickr.  https://flic.kr/p/2kVHiW1








Re: Can't Identify these birds from Pt Isabel

Aaron Maizlish
 

Hi Claude,

These birds are released Feral Pigeons, aka “White Doves” that are bred for their appearance. You probably couldn’t find them in your book, because they do not resemble anything that occurs in the wild. There has been a flock of them for years in Richmond. I used to see them frequently around the water treatment facility there. Think of weddings, where people like to release white doves as a romantic gesture. 

Sorry that it’s nothing more exciting than a pigeon. 

Aaron Maizlish 
San Francisco


On Apr 29, 2021, at 5:43 PM, Claude Lyneis <cmlyneis@...> wrote:

Aprilt 29 north of the 51st entrance to the Pt Isabel area, there were three birds in the marsh being chased around by the crows.  Except for their bills they were all white and their bills seem gull like.  I know that I have never seen them before and I couldn’t find a match in iBird or on iNaturalist.  I looked at Gulls, Doves and Pigeons without success.  There are three photos on Flickr labeled White Bird, White Bird 2 and White Bird 3. I suppose there is some trivial explanation.

Here is the link to Flickr.  https://flic.kr/p/2kVHiW1





Re: Can't Identify these birds from Pt Isabel

Randy Prunty
 

looking online i see: White Thoroughbred Pigeon. Also I notice the birds in your posts are banded.


On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 5:43 PM Claude Lyneis <cmlyneis@...> wrote:
Aprilt 29 north of the 51st entrance to the Pt Isabel area, there were three birds in the marsh being chased around by the crows.  Except for their bills they were all white and their bills seem gull like.  I know that I have never seen them before and I couldn’t find a match in iBird or on iNaturalist.  I looked at Gulls, Doves and Pigeons without success.  There are three photos on Flickr labeled White Bird, White Bird 2 and White Bird 3. I suppose there is some trivial explanation.

Here is the link to Flickr.  https://flic.kr/p/2kVHiW1





Can't Identify these birds from Pt Isabel

Claude Lyneis
 

Aprilt 29 north of the 51st entrance to the Pt Isabel area, there were three birds in the marsh being chased around by the crows.  Except for their bills they were all white and their bills seem gull like.  I know that I have never seen them before and I couldn’t find a match in iBird or on iNaturalist.  I looked at Gulls, Doves and Pigeons without success.  There are three photos on Flickr labeled White Bird, White Bird 2 and White Bird 3. I suppose there is some trivial explanation.

Here is the link to Flickr.  https://flic.kr/p/2kVHiW1

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