Date   

Nutcracker continues

Ethan Monk
 

The Nutracker found and reported to eBird yesterday by Ken Mullé continues in Contra Costa County, Vollmer Peak. Approx. (37.8843257, -122.2222369)

Will have to check notes later but about the 2nd-3rd county record?

Ethan


Thermals, Hawks Swifts and Swallows

Jim Chiropolos
 

Some days I will see a hawk high over the house so high it is only a dot. When I bring the bins to verify the ID more times than not the hawk will be with a large group of swallows and swifts that cannot be detected by eye and are usually so high I cannot hear the swifts or swallows chatter.

Its interesting, the thermal/hot air column that allows the hawk to soar so high must be carrying lots of insects and other invertebrates that the swifts and swallows change their feeding strategy to feed high in the air. My house is at 1,000 feet - the swallows and swifts may be feeding maybe at 2,000 feet or more in elevation!

Wow!

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


successful use of a nest box by Red-breasted Nuthatches

phil capitolo
 

Hello,

Back on 13 May a pair of Chestnut-backed Chickadees fledged young from my neighbor's nest box. We placed the nest box in April 2020 but go no takers that year. The Chickadees found the box in March of this year. Then on 1 June my neighbor noticed Red-breasted Nuthatch activity at the box. Fast forward to yesterday, 15 July, when she noted at least 3 juveniles depart the nest box, among perhaps 4 or 5 based on activity noted in shrubs and oaks below later on.

We are on Wildcat Canyon Rd. in Alameda County; Contra Costa County is on the other side of the road.

The Birds of the World account says Red-breasteds "rarely use next boxes", but cites two studies; so I thought this would be of interest. The Nuthatches added little to the nest the Chickadees had built, just some shreds of bark it seemed. They did indeed though conspicuously line the bottom of the entrance with resin.


phil capitolo
berkeley


Red-necked Stint

Ethan Monk
 

The stint at Elsie Romer has been seen this morning, on and off, from about 930 until now.

Nice find Mr Arthur!! 

Ethan Monk


Stint photos + timing

Noah Arthur
 

Here's an eBird checklist with (bad but distinctive) photos of today's Alameda Red-necked Stint: https://ebird.org/checklist/S91801142

I'm guessing some people might be trying for this bird tomorrow... If so, keep the tides in mind. Medium-low tide is best for shorebirding at Alameda South Shore; that's when a decent amount of mudflat is exposed, but not so much mudflat that the birds are really distant (as is the case at the lowest tides). I would recommend getting there when the tide is at 1 or 2 feet and rising, although a similar falling tide could be good too. Today I found the stint when the tide was at about 2.5 feet and rising, but the flock flew away just a few minutes afterwards. I suspect the peeps and stint had been there for quite awhile before I arrived, maybe since low tide (0 feet) in the late morning or even earlier. 

Happy shorebird season!

Noah Arthur (Oakland) 


Jimm Edgar

rosita94598
 

For many, many years, Jimm Edgar was active in Mount Diablo Audubon Society.  He was a past president, the compiler of our Christmas counts and led field trips.  Jimm moved to Alabama several years ago to be with his wife.  Jimm suffered from complications following open-heart surgery last month and passed away Tuesday morning.  Many of us at MDAS miss him.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


locked Re: Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

Aaron Maizlish
 

This thread is closed.  I appreciate the measures response provided by Marcus to an emotionally charged issue, but frankly this topic has nothing to do with birds or birding. We just have to accept that some land uses are not compatible with our hobby and move on. Please let’s stay on the topic of birds and birding.  No more griping. 

Aaron Maizlish 
Moderator 

Currently birding in Mexico….


On Jul 15, 2021, at 7:04 PM, Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:

Just a quick reply, not trying to perpetuate this conversation. Some of my choices of language were more emotionally charged than necessary, and the point of my post was not to attack OHV users, I did not intend to offend anyone. I am sorry that post was offensive and I wish I’d worded things more neutrally and impartially. I was just trying to raise awareness in this community about the Friends of Tesla Park.

I am not ideologically opposed to off-roading or using off-highway vehicles, but I think it, like any other high-impact activity, should be done in an intentional way, strategically planned so as to minimize impact. I also think the expectation that some of the money raised by OHV users should go towards purchasing and managing mitigation lands to compensate for the degraded habitat is a very reasonable expectation. Many companies and government agencies invest in purchasing or improving mitigation land when they develop or degrade habitat in other areas, whether to meet environmental regulations or to maintain positive public relations, or both. I think it is reasonable for the OHV community to be held responsible for mitigating their own impact in the same sort of way, is all. 

Again, my intent was never to offend or attack any specific individuals or groups, but just to advocate for the conservation of some land, and the ecosystem it supports.

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Marcus <scrod2000@...> wrote:
As a past user of Carnegie SVRA, a couple of things. Probably get me banned lol. I will try to balance this as much as possible.

FIRST and foremost.
People walking around in an OHV area represents a hazard to themselves personally, and to the users of the area. A hiker will not have gear or any other indication of presence that can be readily seen. There is a lot of high speed motorcycle and ATV riding. Everyone is required to wear helmets, pads, etc.  Just don't go, don't push the issue. It is a safety concern for all involved. Violating safety rules because you think are in the right is insanely stupid and can get people seriously hurt.

From what I understand, currently casual use of the proposed Tesla park land itself is prohibited. It is trespassing on state land. Respect the signage.

Want Tesla property to be a park? Work for it. Support AB 1512. But don't go around feeling entitled. You are not. The land was purchased in part by the OHV riders' fees as well as gas taxes, not "park" funds. Even it is is only one fifth as claimed by the tesla park website, it is still 20% and that is a significant amount of money and effort by the OHV user community. It is a lot more than we pay as casual users of the EBRPD, as an example, or State Park lands, many of which are fee free.

Carnegie SVRA used to be cattle ranches, then an old clay works as far back at the 19th century, then a motorcycle park before state purchase and so there''s never been anything really natural there for well over a century. "Destroyed" is hyperbole. Inre fires, there has been only one fire in god knows how many years and that was a  year ago.. Can't say that with a lot of areas around the state, especially near freeways. So please get real.  Of course nature abhors a vacuum and will refill as it can. So yes there is wildlife on site. Funny enough they seem to be okay and at least have an area for habitat. Condominiums and single family home developments are less hospitable.
 
Try not to eliminate the SVRA for crying out loud. There are only 9 SVRA's in the entire state for 40 million people.
Don't like OHV, that is your right, but a lot of people do.  As for the environmental impact, your driving thousands of miles each year around to various locations for birding, some in vehicles that get less than 30mpg, is not exactly impact free in terms of pollutants and CO2. Your tires and brakes along with whatever fluids leaking out  throw off particulates of plastics, composite materials and other chemicals that pollute the land and water. The freeways and highways you drive on are also destroyed habitat as is the home you live in, the places you work, shop etc.  None of us are saints.

As noted, OHV riders pays fees for the park which keeps them as open space and a portion of the gas tax In past years some of these fees were used to balance the state budget and not all was paid back until later. Unfortunately this meant that a lot of opportunities to buy other land was lost, sometimes to developers.

Perspective. Carnegie SVRA has over 1,300 acres.  For comparison, EBRPD alone has 125,000 acres in 73 parks, including over 1,250 miles of trails and 55 miles of shoreline. EBMUD has about 60,000 acres of watershed. There are also multiple state and county owned parcels, hundreds of square miles of privately owned undeveloped ranch land and habitat. Carnegie's acreage is only 0.7% of that of just those two land owners.

"Tesla Park", about 3400 acres (?) was purchased in the late 90's using the above mentioned funds through the  Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks. Yes off roaders in part paid for land. And lots of it.  Because it was a cattle ranch they thought it could be easily converted to OHV use. Well that turned out to be a mistake. First of all cattle ranches never use all of their land and a lot of it does remain natural enough. Second, a full EIR needed to be filed. Recent court ruling went against what was a bit of a shady attempt to get around the EIR.  So now the status of the lands is in a bit of limbo.  If the park plan goes through instead of the OHV the fund will have to be compensated to the tune of about $9 million dollars. No such thing as a free lunch. OHV users deserve to have their money spent just as properly as park funds need to be spent.   The original idea for expansion was to allow for increased activity due to increasing population. There are no other areas as suitable for OHV use because developers have bought most of it or zoning prohibits such use.

Currently AB 1512 which is making it's way through, would turn the Tesla ranch area into a park. As we know environmental groups launched multiple lawsuits to keep it from OHV use.  By the same token, you can expect years of lawsuits from OHV interests, not just industry but groups representing people who have OHVs to file lawsuits as it can be considered a breach of use by the state. The bill does authorize $9 million dollars in financial remuneration to the OHV fund, but as many riders will ask, but where can they get the additional land? What use is it if they cannot? 

It may end up that a much smaller part of the Tesla parcel may become part of the OHV area, but I doubt that. It will probably be the whole ranch with some buffer zones adjacent to the SVRA.  Just be patient and in a few years we will probably have a new park. In the meantime the flora and fauna in the Tesla parcel will thrive without all the human traffic that would be generated even as a park.  Just do not expect to get everything you want and be happy that you at least have a park instead of thousands of acres of new roads, shopping centers, and housing developments with creepy names.


At least thankful to the riders that the impetus for more OHV land, and their fees, bought the Tesla parcel instead of developers.


Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:00:27 PM PDT, Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:


Hi all,

Tucked away in the rugged, dry foothills of which separate the Livermore Valley from the Central Valley lies Carnegie SRVA, a mecca for dirt bikers and ATVers. The unchecked use of OHVs erodes and degrades the land and there have also been multiple fires in the area in the past few years.

Unfortunately, while the off roading community is given free reign to destroy the land, it is completely off limits to us birders and naturalists who seek only to visit the area for low impact recreation which does not harm the ecosystem nearly as much.

How does it make sense that a birder walking up a canyon passively observing the wildlife is illegal, while people riding around on OHVs causing fires and killing plants and eroding the hillsides is totally okay and allowed?

This area is super important habitat which we have precious little of in the East Bay, or even the Bay Area in general, and it’s probably one of the best sites in Alameda County for a number of unusual bird species including Canyon Wren, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and others.

For more information visit http://www.teslapark.org/





--
Alex Henry




Alameda peeps + stint

Noah Arthur
 

Already posted to eBird, but this afternoon I was happy to find a big flock of 200+ peeps at Alameda South Shore (south of Elsie Roemer bird sanctuary), an area that’d been almost empty of shorebirds for most of this season so far. Here’s hoping they’re finding suitable roosting areas and numbers will continue to build. In with the many WESTERN and few LEAST SANDPIPERS was a worn breeding adult RED-NECKED STINT. After just a few minutes of observation, the restless peep flock flew off and most never came back.

Drabber than the one that was there in 2017, today’s stint still showed the unmistakable “Blackburnian Sandpiper” pattern with an extensive soft orange throat. The long body, short legs and bill, and rather plain worn brown upperparts rounded out the ID. I’ll post some crappy pictures this evening. I would suggest medium-low tides are probably best for peep peeping at this location right now. That’s when I had the stint today. Enjoy the peep show and good luck to anyone trying for this bird tomorrow! 

Noah Arthur (Oakland) 



locked Re: Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

Alexander Henry
 

Just a quick reply, not trying to perpetuate this conversation. Some of my choices of language were more emotionally charged than necessary, and the point of my post was not to attack OHV users, I did not intend to offend anyone. I am sorry that post was offensive and I wish I’d worded things more neutrally and impartially. I was just trying to raise awareness in this community about the Friends of Tesla Park.

I am not ideologically opposed to off-roading or using off-highway vehicles, but I think it, like any other high-impact activity, should be done in an intentional way, strategically planned so as to minimize impact. I also think the expectation that some of the money raised by OHV users should go towards purchasing and managing mitigation lands to compensate for the degraded habitat is a very reasonable expectation. Many companies and government agencies invest in purchasing or improving mitigation land when they develop or degrade habitat in other areas, whether to meet environmental regulations or to maintain positive public relations, or both. I think it is reasonable for the OHV community to be held responsible for mitigating their own impact in the same sort of way, is all. 

Again, my intent was never to offend or attack any specific individuals or groups, but just to advocate for the conservation of some land, and the ecosystem it supports.


On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Marcus <scrod2000@...> wrote:
As a past user of Carnegie SVRA, a couple of things. Probably get me banned lol. I will try to balance this as much as possible.

FIRST and foremost.
People walking around in an OHV area represents a hazard to themselves personally, and to the users of the area. A hiker will not have gear or any other indication of presence that can be readily seen. There is a lot of high speed motorcycle and ATV riding. Everyone is required to wear helmets, pads, etc.  Just don't go, don't push the issue. It is a safety concern for all involved. Violating safety rules because you think are in the right is insanely stupid and can get people seriously hurt.

From what I understand, currently casual use of the proposed Tesla park land itself is prohibited. It is trespassing on state land. Respect the signage.

Want Tesla property to be a park? Work for it. Support AB 1512. But don't go around feeling entitled. You are not. The land was purchased in part by the OHV riders' fees as well as gas taxes, not "park" funds. Even it is is only one fifth as claimed by the tesla park website, it is still 20% and that is a significant amount of money and effort by the OHV user community. It is a lot more than we pay as casual users of the EBRPD, as an example, or State Park lands, many of which are fee free.

Carnegie SVRA used to be cattle ranches, then an old clay works as far back at the 19th century, then a motorcycle park before state purchase and so there''s never been anything really natural there for well over a century. "Destroyed" is hyperbole. Inre fires, there has been only one fire in god knows how many years and that was a  year ago.. Can't say that with a lot of areas around the state, especially near freeways. So please get real.  Of course nature abhors a vacuum and will refill as it can. So yes there is wildlife on site. Funny enough they seem to be okay and at least have an area for habitat. Condominiums and single family home developments are less hospitable.
 
Try not to eliminate the SVRA for crying out loud. There are only 9 SVRA's in the entire state for 40 million people.
Don't like OHV, that is your right, but a lot of people do.  As for the environmental impact, your driving thousands of miles each year around to various locations for birding, some in vehicles that get less than 30mpg, is not exactly impact free in terms of pollutants and CO2. Your tires and brakes along with whatever fluids leaking out  throw off particulates of plastics, composite materials and other chemicals that pollute the land and water. The freeways and highways you drive on are also destroyed habitat as is the home you live in, the places you work, shop etc.  None of us are saints.

As noted, OHV riders pays fees for the park which keeps them as open space and a portion of the gas tax In past years some of these fees were used to balance the state budget and not all was paid back until later. Unfortunately this meant that a lot of opportunities to buy other land was lost, sometimes to developers.

Perspective. Carnegie SVRA has over 1,300 acres.  For comparison, EBRPD alone has 125,000 acres in 73 parks, including over 1,250 miles of trails and 55 miles of shoreline. EBMUD has about 60,000 acres of watershed. There are also multiple state and county owned parcels, hundreds of square miles of privately owned undeveloped ranch land and habitat. Carnegie's acreage is only 0.7% of that of just those two land owners.

"Tesla Park", about 3400 acres (?) was purchased in the late 90's using the above mentioned funds through the  Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks. Yes off roaders in part paid for land. And lots of it.  Because it was a cattle ranch they thought it could be easily converted to OHV use. Well that turned out to be a mistake. First of all cattle ranches never use all of their land and a lot of it does remain natural enough. Second, a full EIR needed to be filed. Recent court ruling went against what was a bit of a shady attempt to get around the EIR.  So now the status of the lands is in a bit of limbo.  If the park plan goes through instead of the OHV the fund will have to be compensated to the tune of about $9 million dollars. No such thing as a free lunch. OHV users deserve to have their money spent just as properly as park funds need to be spent.   The original idea for expansion was to allow for increased activity due to increasing population. There are no other areas as suitable for OHV use because developers have bought most of it or zoning prohibits such use.

Currently AB 1512 which is making it's way through, would turn the Tesla ranch area into a park. As we know environmental groups launched multiple lawsuits to keep it from OHV use.  By the same token, you can expect years of lawsuits from OHV interests, not just industry but groups representing people who have OHVs to file lawsuits as it can be considered a breach of use by the state. The bill does authorize $9 million dollars in financial remuneration to the OHV fund, but as many riders will ask, but where can they get the additional land? What use is it if they cannot? 

It may end up that a much smaller part of the Tesla parcel may become part of the OHV area, but I doubt that. It will probably be the whole ranch with some buffer zones adjacent to the SVRA.  Just be patient and in a few years we will probably have a new park. In the meantime the flora and fauna in the Tesla parcel will thrive without all the human traffic that would be generated even as a park.  Just do not expect to get everything you want and be happy that you at least have a park instead of thousands of acres of new roads, shopping centers, and housing developments with creepy names.


At least thankful to the riders that the impetus for more OHV land, and their fees, bought the Tesla parcel instead of developers.


Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:00:27 PM PDT, Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:


Hi all,

Tucked away in the rugged, dry foothills of which separate the Livermore Valley from the Central Valley lies Carnegie SRVA, a mecca for dirt bikers and ATVers. The unchecked use of OHVs erodes and degrades the land and there have also been multiple fires in the area in the past few years.

Unfortunately, while the off roading community is given free reign to destroy the land, it is completely off limits to us birders and naturalists who seek only to visit the area for low impact recreation which does not harm the ecosystem nearly as much.

How does it make sense that a birder walking up a canyon passively observing the wildlife is illegal, while people riding around on OHVs causing fires and killing plants and eroding the hillsides is totally okay and allowed?

This area is super important habitat which we have precious little of in the East Bay, or even the Bay Area in general, and it’s probably one of the best sites in Alameda County for a number of unusual bird species including Canyon Wren, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and others.

For more information visit http://www.teslapark.org/





--
Alex Henry


locked Re: Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

David Yeamans
 

Thank you, Marcus for educating us on the status of the OHV lands which Alex mentioned. I have two bits to add. Where I practiced my environmental sciences, the off-highway parks would be called sacrificial areas, that is, areas dedicated to areas to limit the destruction to only one place rather than have it wreck a much larger area. The USDI would call it "hardening the area" by installing tables, fences, paths, and other "improvements." Ho, hum, it's what people seem to need in order to protect at least some of the rest of our universe from our love affair with motorized recreation.

The second bit is that the OHV area hires a small staff of environmental monitors. They look for bugs and bunnies and if they find a threatened one or habitat for one, they get to say something about it. Whether the managing agency listens to them is another matter. I walked into that area with special permission and attended by two of the entry level biologists and had a safe and rewarding day of it as sponsored by the San Joaquin Audubon Society.
*************************
Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.


locked Re: Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

Richard Bradus
 

Marcus (and all),

Thank you for taking the time and emotional energy to respond. 

Here in SF we are confronted with the ruinous effects (and overwhelming political pressure) of the dog walkers who push their off-leash "rights" above all else, without providing any additional funding or stewardship (unlike the OHV community - the few "bad apples" and all). And then there are the golf courses, those water-wasting, often economically stratified playgrounds for the few that nonetheless provide sometimes important habitat for wildlife, but we cannot (and should not) roam at will for birding in view of the danger to ourselves of being struck by an errant shot and the potential disruption to the golfers (who do, after all, pay for their privilege).

The key here is balance, and doing our best as a society to accommodate different interests to provide opportunities for all kinds of recreation (and land use in general) without undue limitation or destruction. If we in the birdwatching community press a "holier than thou" position we are as much in the wrong as the rule-breaking off-leash dog partisans and any other group that seeks its own pleasures to the exception of others.

We need to stay active and vigilant to protect nature, expand parkland and other resources, and work WITH other groups to find compromises that ensure the best use of different lands and resources for all of the many uses we need and desire as a society.

And the real over-riding issue threatening these ecosystems and our way of life that we must confront together: global climate change, which cannot be countered solely by individual actions but requires a massive reordering of priorities and resources by government ("green" initiatives and ending fossil fuel subsidies as well as land use) and industry. We are going to have to work TOGETHER to achieve this.

My "two cents".

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


On Thursday, July 15, 2021, 2:59:16 AM PDT, Marcus via groups.io <scrod2000@...> wrote:



Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:00:27 PM PDT, Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:


Hi all,

Tucked away in the rugged, dry foothills of which separate the Livermore Valley from the Central Valley lies Carnegie SRVA, a mecca for dirt bikers and ATVers. The unchecked use of OHVs erodes and degrades the land and there have also been multiple fires in the area in the past few years.

Unfortunately, while the off roading community is given free reign to destroy the land, it is completely off limits to us birders and naturalists who seek only to visit the area for low impact recreation which does not harm the ecosystem nearly as much.

How does it make sense that a birder walking up a canyon passively observing the wildlife is illegal, while people riding around on OHVs causing fires and killing plants and eroding the hillsides is totally okay and allowed?

This area is super important habitat which we have precious little of in the East Bay, or even the Bay Area in general, and it’s probably one of the best sites in Alameda County for a number of unusual bird species including Canyon Wren, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and others.

For more information visit http://www.teslapark.org/







--
Richard Bradus
San Francisco


locked Re: Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

Marcus
 


Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 11:00:27 PM PDT, Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:


Hi all,

Tucked away in the rugged, dry foothills of which separate the Livermore Valley from the Central Valley lies Carnegie SRVA, a mecca for dirt bikers and ATVers. The unchecked use of OHVs erodes and degrades the land and there have also been multiple fires in the area in the past few years.

Unfortunately, while the off roading community is given free reign to destroy the land, it is completely off limits to us birders and naturalists who seek only to visit the area for low impact recreation which does not harm the ecosystem nearly as much.

How does it make sense that a birder walking up a canyon passively observing the wildlife is illegal, while people riding around on OHVs causing fires and killing plants and eroding the hillsides is totally okay and allowed?

This area is super important habitat which we have precious little of in the East Bay, or even the Bay Area in general, and it’s probably one of the best sites in Alameda County for a number of unusual bird species including Canyon Wren, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and others.

For more information visit http://www.teslapark.org/




locked Carnegie SRVA / Tesla Park

Alexander Henry
 

Hi all,

Tucked away in the rugged, dry foothills of which separate the Livermore Valley from the Central Valley lies Carnegie SRVA, a mecca for dirt bikers and ATVers. The unchecked use of OHVs erodes and degrades the land and there have also been multiple fires in the area in the past few years.

Unfortunately, while the off roading community is given free reign to destroy the land, it is completely off limits to us birders and naturalists who seek only to visit the area for low impact recreation which does not harm the ecosystem nearly as much.

How does it make sense that a birder walking up a canyon passively observing the wildlife is illegal, while people riding around on OHVs causing fires and killing plants and eroding the hillsides is totally okay and allowed?

This area is super important habitat which we have precious little of in the East Bay, or even the Bay Area in general, and it’s probably one of the best sites in Alameda County for a number of unusual bird species including Canyon Wren, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and others.

For more information visit http://www.teslapark.org/


Clifton Court Forebay Shorebirds

Jerry Britten
 

I bicycled the levee roads of Clifton Court Forebay today, and discovered that low water has created an expansive shallows/mudflat habitat at the southeast corner (near the intake gates that let water from New River into the forebay), that held a crazy diversity of shorebirds today that one would expect to see at places closer to the coast.  Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, marbled Godwits, a Whimbrel, Least and Western Sandpipers, Avocets etc were some of the birds out on the flats. I saw a small flock of phalaropes in the distance, and reported them as red-necked, but it would be great if someone with a scope would go out to confirm or deny.   This area is about 5.5 miles from the parking lot, so best to bicycle out to see them.  Who knows when they will open the gates and flood these again, so go see now!
Lots of other birds too.  Ebird checklist with some ID photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S91754713

Jerry Britten
Morgan Territory


Post breeding dispersal is here

David Yeamans
 

At my tiny bird habitat I am seeing birds now that don't come frequently but they do come sometimes after there is no need to stay near their former nest. The juvenile juncos, house finches, Anna's hummingbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, and other usual suspects are here but so are Bullock's orioles, Allen's hummingbirds, and a western tanager. In two years out of the four I've lived in Livermore a hermit warbler has swung by for a bath. Maybe I'll be blessed again this year.
*************************
Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.


raptor fledglings

Bruce Mast
 

It's that time of year. Yesterday on my walk through Piedmont, I had two fledgling Cooper's Hawk circling overhead above Wildwood Elementary School. Coops have nested in recent years in the ravine behind the school. In recent days, what has sounded like a fledgling Red-shouldered Hawk has been making a ruckus in the neighborhood, as if its parents have stopped feeding it. Yesterday I confirmed a fledgling Red-shouldered begging from the big oak in our backyard. Today there were at least 2, maybe 3 birds. All of this is particularly remarkable to me because our neighborhood is thick with Crows. No Red-tailed Hawk or Raven dares set feather in our air space.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast
Oakland (Rose Garden neighborhood)


Tuesday in Heather Farm--Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Today I waited until the bike race in France ended before riding my own 62-1/2 year old bike to the park.  It was breezy today, but two good birds made it worth while. 

Across from the wooden railing and in front of the big oak with the green bench under it, a couple asked me what was this weird bird?  It was an alternate plumage American Avocet walking in the shallows between the Mallards.  Even closer to the edge was a Least Sandpiper with its yellow legs.  Neither one is a first for the location, but certainly unusual.

The big pond is full of Mallards, between 70 and 80 of them.  They seem to come here in the summer during their eclipse plumage time.  Some of us have been thinking this is a fairly safe place for them during this period when they cannot fly as well.  There were not this many Mallards during the winter or spring breeding season.

The pond is shallower and shallower as the summer passes.  Last Thursday the crew with the pond-skimming machine arrived to clean all the growth and algae from the water.  They worked that day and Friday, but not yesterday or today.

Fred Safier had a five-heron day on Sunday, and yesterday I could not find a Snowy Egret, so settled for a four-heron day.  Today the Snowy Egret was present and only one Black-crowned Night-Heron, the latter in some trees near the private Seven Hills School.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


locked Re: Shorebird bad news

Noah Arthur
 

It effects mudflats far away because the shorebirds that used to forage on those mudflats returned to roost at Frank's Dump with every high tide. These birds can fly very fast and commute long distances between roosting and foraging sites, so it would be no surprise if most of the shorebirds that foraged on the entire East Bay shoreline roosted at Frank's.

Noah

On Saturday, July 10, 2021, 10:11:04 PM PDT, Claude Lyneis <cmlyneis@...> wrote:


I don’t have enough years of birding to make serious comparisons, but I just wonder how much the drought, which presumably changes the flow of freshwater into the various tidal areas has affected the shorebird populations.  I understand the loss of Frank’s is very big negative, but why would it effect mudflats far from it?  In my 31 years of rain measurements in the Berkeley Hills, this last winter was by far the worst and it followed a previous low for the year before.

Claude Lyneis

On Jul 10, 2021, at 9:56 PM, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:

2021 will go down as a woeful year in the history of East Bay birding. The loss of Frank's Dump as a shorebird roosting site is causing knock-on effects all up and down the East Bay shoreline, with shorebird foraging habitats empty of birds because they have nowhere to roost. I visited a few shorebird hotspots from south to north this afternoon, starting with Hayward Shoreline and ending at Albany Mudflats, and found dismal shorebird numbers and diversity, a faint echo of what we had before the loss of Frank's. 

At Hayward, Frank's Dump was of course still dry and empty of birds. A modest bunch of shorebirds were roosting in Oro Loma Marsh and moved out onto the mudflats as the tide went down; nearly all were Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers. Only a smallish flock of Western Sandpipers were there, and no plovers of any kind, nor any Red Knots. Overall shorebird numbers at Hayward are a fraction of what they were before 2021. 

Alameda South Shore/Elsie Roemer was downright apocalyptic. Big mudflats completely empty of birds. There were two or three godwits and nothing else in the whole place, despite a good medium-low tide. Apparently, all the thousands of shorebirds that used to forage at this site were coming from Frank's Dump, and are now gone. 

Middle Harbour in Oakland had a lot of Willets and Marbled Godwits, a few curlews, but only a small flock of peeps, a tiny fraction of pre-2021 numbers, and no plovers except one Semipalmated. 

Albany Mudflats was the only place that seemed like some semblance of pre-2021, with typical numbers of Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers, a few peeps (less than usual, but this place usually doesn't have all that many anyways). Only two Semipalmated Plovers and zero Black-bellieds. 

Overall, it looks like most shorebirds -- especially small species -- are no longer using the East Bay shoreline as a migratory stopover area. The only ones still arriving in half-decent numbers are the largest and longest-legged species -- Willets, godwits, dowitchers, and curlews. What all these species have in common is that they are tall enough to roost in vegetated marshes and/or marshes that flood at high tide. Smaller species like peeps cannot roost in these places, and need open areas that don't completely flood for high tide roosting. Apparently, the only place in the central East Bay that met these requirements was Frank's Dump. It is now lost, and so are our small shorebirds. 

With great sorrow,

Noah Arthur (Oakland)











locked Re: Shorebird bad news

Claude Lyneis
 

I don’t have enough years of birding to make serious comparisons, but I just wonder how much the drought, which presumably changes the flow of freshwater into the various tidal areas has affected the shorebird populations.  I understand the loss of Frank’s is very big negative, but why would it effect mudflats far from it?  In my 31 years of rain measurements in the Berkeley Hills, this last winter was by far the worst and it followed a previous low for the year before.

Claude Lyneis

On Jul 10, 2021, at 9:56 PM, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:

2021 will go down as a woeful year in the history of East Bay birding. The loss of Frank's Dump as a shorebird roosting site is causing knock-on effects all up and down the East Bay shoreline, with shorebird foraging habitats empty of birds because they have nowhere to roost. I visited a few shorebird hotspots from south to north this afternoon, starting with Hayward Shoreline and ending at Albany Mudflats, and found dismal shorebird numbers and diversity, a faint echo of what we had before the loss of Frank's. 

At Hayward, Frank's Dump was of course still dry and empty of birds. A modest bunch of shorebirds were roosting in Oro Loma Marsh and moved out onto the mudflats as the tide went down; nearly all were Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers. Only a smallish flock of Western Sandpipers were there, and no plovers of any kind, nor any Red Knots. Overall shorebird numbers at Hayward are a fraction of what they were before 2021. 

Alameda South Shore/Elsie Roemer was downright apocalyptic. Big mudflats completely empty of birds. There were two or three godwits and nothing else in the whole place, despite a good medium-low tide. Apparently, all the thousands of shorebirds that used to forage at this site were coming from Frank's Dump, and are now gone. 

Middle Harbour in Oakland had a lot of Willets and Marbled Godwits, a few curlews, but only a small flock of peeps, a tiny fraction of pre-2021 numbers, and no plovers except one Semipalmated. 

Albany Mudflats was the only place that seemed like some semblance of pre-2021, with typical numbers of Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers, a few peeps (less than usual, but this place usually doesn't have all that many anyways). Only two Semipalmated Plovers and zero Black-bellieds. 

Overall, it looks like most shorebirds -- especially small species -- are no longer using the East Bay shoreline as a migratory stopover area. The only ones still arriving in half-decent numbers are the largest and longest-legged species -- Willets, godwits, dowitchers, and curlews. What all these species have in common is that they are tall enough to roost in vegetated marshes and/or marshes that flood at high tide. Smaller species like peeps cannot roost in these places, and need open areas that don't completely flood for high tide roosting. Apparently, the only place in the central East Bay that met these requirements was Frank's Dump. It is now lost, and so are our small shorebirds. 

With great sorrow,

Noah Arthur (Oakland)








locked Shorebird bad news

Noah Arthur
 

2021 will go down as a woeful year in the history of East Bay birding. The loss of Frank's Dump as a shorebird roosting site is causing knock-on effects all up and down the East Bay shoreline, with shorebird foraging habitats empty of birds because they have nowhere to roost. I visited a few shorebird hotspots from south to north this afternoon, starting with Hayward Shoreline and ending at Albany Mudflats, and found dismal shorebird numbers and diversity, a faint echo of what we had before the loss of Frank's. 

At Hayward, Frank's Dump was of course still dry and empty of birds. A modest bunch of shorebirds were roosting in Oro Loma Marsh and moved out onto the mudflats as the tide went down; nearly all were Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers. Only a smallish flock of Western Sandpipers were there, and no plovers of any kind, nor any Red Knots. Overall shorebird numbers at Hayward are a fraction of what they were before 2021. 

Alameda South Shore/Elsie Roemer was downright apocalyptic. Big mudflats completely empty of birds. There were two or three godwits and nothing else in the whole place, despite a good medium-low tide. Apparently, all the thousands of shorebirds that used to forage at this site were coming from Frank's Dump, and are now gone. 

Middle Harbour in Oakland had a lot of Willets and Marbled Godwits, a few curlews, but only a small flock of peeps, a tiny fraction of pre-2021 numbers, and no plovers except one Semipalmated. 

Albany Mudflats was the only place that seemed like some semblance of pre-2021, with typical numbers of Willets, Marbled Godwits, and dowitchers, a few peeps (less than usual, but this place usually doesn't have all that many anyways). Only two Semipalmated Plovers and zero Black-bellieds. 

Overall, it looks like most shorebirds -- especially small species -- are no longer using the East Bay shoreline as a migratory stopover area. The only ones still arriving in half-decent numbers are the largest and longest-legged species -- Willets, godwits, dowitchers, and curlews. What all these species have in common is that they are tall enough to roost in vegetated marshes and/or marshes that flood at high tide. Smaller species like peeps cannot roost in these places, and need open areas that don't completely flood for high tide roosting. Apparently, the only place in the central East Bay that met these requirements was Frank's Dump. It is now lost, and so are our small shorebirds. 

With great sorrow,

Noah Arthur (Oakland)


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