locked Caution should be used parking at Bort Meadow gravel lot

Linda Jacobs

Not sure if it is appropriate to post this but it needs to be said. Friday we went to bird at Bort Meadow on Redwood Road at noonish for about an hour or so. When we returned to our car and started it was very loud and different than usual. We discovered that someone had tried to steal our catalytic converter in that short time. Must have been in the process when we returned. There were only a few cars in the lot.
Be aware.
Linda Jacobs

Continuing Cassin's Vireo & in Tilden - plus Lark Sparrow

Zac Denning

There's a continuing Cassin's vireo hanging out at the Loop Road Parking area, at the trailhead for the Wildcat Gorge and Meadows Canyon trails in Tilden, not far from the Little Farm. I heard one in this same area on 4/18 (though my list used the general Tilden location), and another ebirder has reported it for the Meadows Area 4 times since May 21. I heard it again on my weekly run this morning - and was able to get a good look at it this evening, including the typical CAVI spectacles, hooked vireo beak, olive back and yellow-olive wash on the flank. 

I also found a Lark Sparrow on the Conlon Trail, .4 miles from the Wildcat Creek trail, and about 2.5 miles from the Little Farm parking area (GPS point: 37.932048, -122.281412), foraging with juncos and House Finches. I first saw the white tail corners, then got a nice look at that handsome harlequin face pattern and central breast spot. 

Other birds from this morning and evening included a Cal Thrasher that ran onto Nimitz Rd right in front of me, 3 singing Lazuli Buntings, a continuing MacGillivray's warbler and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher along the Meadows Canyon trail, House Wrens in the Nimitz way Euc grove, a kiting Kite, the usual Olive-sided Flycatcher on the West side of the Meadows area, and most of the other usual Tilden suspects. I also found a baby Kingsnake on the Meadow Canyons trail - and helped it to the side of the path.

I was unsuccessful this morning at re-finding the Grasshopper Sparrow I recorded singing last week on the Conlon trail - but I'll consider the Lark Sparrow a decent trade for my efforts. I also didn't see last week's Say's Phoebe at the top of the Conlon trail. 

These sightings were from my weekly 8 mile run this morning, plus a hike this evening on the Meadows Canyon and Wildcat Gorge trails. No photos or recordings this time. 

Ebird list for the evening hike with Cassin's Vireo:

Ebird list from the 8 mile run: (spanning 4 different ebird hotspot areas, and using the general Tilden list):

Happy birding,

Zac Denning

Briones Reservoir


Joe Eaton and I did an eBird walk this morning at Briones Reservoir, hiking 1.5 miles in from the north entrance.


We had a singing male Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Well seen.  Seems late for a migrant.


A big surprise was a Downy Woodpecker nest hole with young in the nest, being fed by and adult female, then a second adult female; the two at the nest hole at the same time.  Joe did some research in Birds of the World and several cases of adult female 'helpers' are noted in the species account, though all in the East.  Both these adult females fed the young in the nest.

   Rusty Scalf

   Berkeley, CA

Drumming Pileated Woodpecker, Redwood Regional Park. Memorial Day, 31. 2021

Mike Correll-Feichtner

On  Memorial Day, 31 May 2021 Ron and I hiked 5.1 miles round-trip along the Stream Trail at Redwood Regional Park above Oakland, California.  Hike was about 2 and a quarter hours' duration.  No Lifers for Ron on this trip, but I was able to strike off my nemeses bird, Pileated Woodpecker we heard only its drumming. never saw the bird....bird is rarely found in this part of California.

Mike Correll-Feichtner 

Leopard Sharks - Emeryville

Jim Chiropolos

I walked the Boardwalk part of the Emeryvillle Powell street area and I saw at least 30 presumed Leopard Sharks in the shallow water at a low tide in multiple locations. If you scanned the water, projecting dorsal fin and tail fins were everywhere. Based on kayaking, I know this count is very low - there were likely hundreds.

No bait fish were present breaking the water and the sharks appeared to be slowly rolling at times. Is this a breeding, spawning or migration event? There were no fast movements I would associate with feeding. I have only seen this here several times before, buts its quite spectacular to see sharks maybe 4 feet or bigger within 30 feet of the boardwalk.

To make this a completely proper post a singing male Western Tanager was calling in the yard over the three day holiday weekend, but appeared to have departed today as no females were present. The bird sure liked the red bottlebrush blossoms when not singing!

Jim Chiropolos
Emeryville and Orinda

I spotted a Bald Eagle over Coyote Hills in Fremont on 5/24/2021

tom trinko

You can see a picture of the bald eagle at

I saw it at Coyote Hills regional park.

It was fairly high up and it slowly drifted back and forth parallel to the hills. It was close to the trail that parallels the hills.

It went as far south as a couple of hundred yards north of the main building and the butterfly garden. It then went back north until it was out of sight.

I first spotted it at about 0913. I thought it was a turkey vulture until I noticed that its head and tail were white.

My last photo was taken at 0922. At that time I had to move on but the bird was moving to the north sufficiently far so as to be hard to see.

Sorry for not posting this sooner but I'm not a birder, I just take pictures that look nice including ones with birds, and I didn't think to look for a group like this and then I had to join and be granted membership and then I had to remember to post this. :)

tom trinko Fremont

Re: Allen's/Rufous?

Mike Correll-Feichtner

Thanks, Hugh,

It is also too late for a northbound migrating Rufous?

Bird is possibly nesting late?

Mike Correll-Feichtner 
Alameda County 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "rosita94598 via" <rosita94598@...>
Date: 5/30/21 7:43 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: East Bay Birds <>
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Allen's/Rufous?

Mike, according to the Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas, west of I-680 is where almost every block with breeding Allen's Hummingbirds was located.  There is no entry for Rufous Hummingbirds.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek



Mike, according to the Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas, west of I-680 is where almost every block with breeding Allen's Hummingbirds was located.  There is no entry for Rufous Hummingbirds.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Small, white raptor with prey flying over Durant & Telegraph, Berkeley


Walking up Durant toward Telegraph around 3pm Sunday I heard an unusual, high-pitched, repeating call. Looking up, a very light, basically white, stout bird holding what looked like a scrub jay below it flew over. The raptor had some kind of dark bar or patch on each side of face, observable from below. Nothing about this bird said "peregrine" to me. "Goshawk" is what I began to wonder, but I'll never know. The wings were short, not pointed. At the bird got more distant, a small number of feathers fell from the sky, as if the raptor shook its prey.

After I crossed Telegraph and continued up Durant, I heard the bird again but did not see it, so at least for a short time the bird was hanging out.

When I got home I listened to goshawk sound and my memory said "That's it!" but that's not science. Maybe some other very light, small raptor.

Exciting mystery.


Allen's / Rufus Hummingbird ?

Mike Correll-Feichtner

Today, 30 May 2021, I spotted a female Selphasphorus Hummingbird first perched on a snag and then later stayed low in the berry vines, never coming back into the open.

How unlikely would this be a Rufus Hummingbird?

This was in Eastern Alameda County in the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park along the Courdet Trail.

Mike Correll-Feichtner 
Alameda County

Grasshopper Sparrow + Say's Phoebe in Tilden Today

Zac Denning

Hello birders, 

This is my first post - though I've been enjoying the group emails for a while. 

On my weekly early morning trail run in Tilden today, along which I bird (mostly) by ear, I found a few notable birds. Heading East on the Conlon Trail from Wildcat Canyon Trail, I heard a Grasshopper Sparrow singing - and made a brief recording of it. I never saw the bird (it was windy and I wasn't able to stop long). Ebird list with recording:

A little further East on Conlon Trail, maybe a 100-150 yards West of the cattle gate, I was surprised to see a Say's Phoebe fly by, with that typical phoebe buoyant flight pattern. Although I didn't have bins, I got a clear look at the uniformly dusty brown head, wings and back, with contrasting dark tail, flared in flight - before it sailed over the edge of the hill. I didn't see the orange-tinted underparts from the angle I was at, but I'm fairly confident in the ID. Being on a run of course, I wasn't able to spend more time pursuing it. 

For perhaps the 3rd week in a row, I heard a MacGillivray's Warbler singing along the Meadow Canyon trail. See the ebird list for a recording of the song.

Along the way, I also heard 3 different Lazuli Buntings singing, a few Western Wood Pewees, Pacific-Slope Flycatchers and Swainson's Thrushes, and the usual assortment of Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers, Bewick's Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees feeding young, and more. A number of House Wrens are still singing away in the Eucalyptus grove along Nimitz Way. Birds I often hear along this route that were missing today were Olive-sided Flycatcher and California Thrasher. 

In case anyone's interested, here are locations / directions:

Grasshopper Sparrow: 
Along the Conlon Trail, not far from Nimitz Way, at roughly GPS location 37.928000, -122.275444. It's about a 2.6 mile hike from the Little Farm area. Google Map directions from the Little Farm:

Say's Phoebe
Along the Conlon Trail, not far from the junction with Nimitz Way, at approximately GPS location 37.923504, -122.268031. It's about a 2.1 mile hike from the Tilden Little Farm area. Google Map directions:

MacGillivray's Warbler:
The bird was singing along the Meadow Canyon Trail, 1.2 miles from the Little Farm area, at about GPS location: 37.907528, -122.253139. Google Map directions from the Tilden Little Farm:

Happy birding,

Zac Denning

Black-chinned Sparrows - Juniper Trail


I found 2 Black-chinned Sparrows the morning of 5/29 while hiking on the Juniper Trail between Juniper Campground and Summit Road. See eBird checklist for more details.

Steve Buffi

Injured crow in Walnut Creek needs help

Megan Jankowski

Hi everyone, sorry to spam the list but I'm remotely answering phone calls for Lindsay Wildlife and a mail carrier just called in an injured crow at 2507 Pawnee Drive in Walnut Creek. He's not able to bring it in since he's working and Contra Costa Animal Control is not doing wildlife pick ups anymore. It's not too far from Heather Farms. If anyone nearby can go check it out, I'd appreciate it! He said the crow seemed a little sleepy and slumped over right on the front steps of the house. If you do go check it out, please let me know.

Megan Jankowski
Oakland, CA

Black-chinned Sparrow on South Gate Road Mount Diablo


A number of us were looking and listening this morning in hopes of finding the Black-chinned Sparrow reported by others.  Steve Buffi and I arrived about 8:30 and Sandy Ritchie was already there with others.

Steve and I started lower than the group and Sandy joined us.  We then moved higher when we were told that it had been seen at the higher corner.  Finally, about 10:30 we started hearing and then found a male Black-chinned Sparrow.  Steve's eBird reports are here:

The Bell's Sparrow never sang for us, but Sandy and Steve had one lower down the road, and a bunch of us had one fly and land right below our upper location along the road.

As others have written, this is maybe half-a-mile downhill from the entry kiosk.  Patience was required.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

mystery no more: re help with mystery warbler(?) song - Pine Canyon, April 30


Thanks to all who weighed in on the mystery warbler. There were 2 votes for Yellow, 2 for Nashville and 4 for Black-throated Gray. In addition Cornell's Birdnet app came down heavily for Black-throated Gray. And, a friend sent me a recording whose sonogram matched the sonogram of our recording perfectly. So I think we have it.

Thanks to the two of you who mentioned Birdnet! I had heard of it but not used it and totally forgotten about it. It's great! I used it while on vacation in the Plumas Nat Forest 2 weeks ago. Also, on 2 recordings I made at Lake Lagunitas last week. Both were BT Grays! I even got to see one of them. Who knows, I might even be getting the BT Gray buzz down but that's probably overly optimistic!

Kitty Whiteside

Re: Black-chinned Sparrow- Mount Diablo

Joe Morlan

Singing male Black-chinned Sparrow still present this morning.


Dropped pin:

Also managed distant photos of a singing Bell's Sparrow...

...up the road closer to the entrance gate.
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Re: Black-chinned Sparrow- Mount Diablo


Visited the Black-chinned Sparrow site on 5/24 and found the bird. The site is technically in a No Parking Zone.

Steve Buffi

Black-chinned Sparrow- Mount Diablo

David Nickerson and I birded Mount Diablo today. David heard a Black-chinned Sparrow downslope on South Gate RD at the GPS points:


We were able to get good looks. Pictures in Ebird report. Had 2 Bell’s Sparrows a little further up from the Black-chinned spot. They were about .5 mile below entrance kiosk where Bell’s have been seen in the past. 

We also birded the Green Ranch RD area and had another Bell’s Sparrow, a Hermit Warbler along with 2 Yellow, 2 Townsend’s, 1 Orange-crowned and 2 Wilson’s warblers. Plus a male and female Lawrence’s Goldfinch that were hanging out together. Possibly a breeding pair. 

Good Birding,

John Blakelock

Re: Acorn Woodpeckers near Lake Anza, in Tilden Regional Park


Well saw one today fly right in front of my face on Upper Strawberry Canyon fire road. Was running and not birding but probably my westernmost Acorn WP in Alameda County ever—i.e. the wrong side of the hills.

Jay Dodge

On May 19, 2021, at 1:02 PM, Sis via <scflef@...> wrote:

 Thank you.

Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 10:54 AM, Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:


September 2014 seems to have been significant for Acorn Woodpeckers in the East Bay Hills.  John Colbert reported the species in Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve on Sept. 14, 2014.  They have been seen there regularly ever since.

Kay Loughman
in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border

David Quady and Nancy Boas wrote on 5/19/2021 10:43 AM:

I live on the eastern edge of Berkeley, with Lake Anza in open view directly below our house. My first record of Acorn Woodpeckers at home was on September 30, 2014, a fall/winter irruption year. Hearing Acorn Woodpecker calling from the east, I went onto our deck to try to call one over to our side of the county line. Moments later I was chagrined to realize that they were already working the live oaks in our back yard.

Since then I’ve detected Acorn Woodpeckers pretty regularly from home, except for 2018 and 2019, when because of their absence or my neglect I recorded none in our yard. But I did detect them in Tilden those years, and on August 6, 2020 they reappeared in our yard. They’ve remained regular ever since. 

They’re welcome any time.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California



Unseasonal Molting Chestnut-backed Chickadees on Livermore

Mike Correll-Feichtner

Our nesting Chestnut-backed Chickadees here in Livermore are molting already.  Is this too early in the season?

Mike Correll-Feichtner 

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