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Wilson's and Townsend's Warblers North Oakland

Kate Hoffman
 

Saturday and Sunday I spotted some warblers at close range in birdbaths: male and female Wilson's Warblers and a female Townsend's Warbler. Both species are FOS in my yard (near Morcom Rose Garden) and the Wilson's are first ever in my yard. Yay! Migration is on!

Kate Hoffman
North Oakland


Dusky Flycatcher

Ethan Monk
 

Hi All,

I’m standing at the top of Nicholl Knob currently where there is a Dusky Flycatcher favoring one pine approx. (37.9157899, -122.3797030). Right at the very top. It is vocal. Best of luck.

Ethan


Green-tailed Towhee in Tilden Nature Area

Susan Greef
 

Good morning,

This morning while birding the Upper Packrat trail with Marilyn Kinch and Chris Carmichael, we saw a Green-tailed Towhee scratching along the side of the path.  This was between the Dirca (Leatherwood) shrub and the bridge.  

Diagnostic rufous crown, plain gray breast and yellowish-green back.  Before sighting it, we heard the 'mew' call.  Interestingly, it was lacking its tail.   

Susan Greef, Oakland


Re: Broad-winged Hawk over Berkeley Hills

Alan Howe
 

While making 1 last try for the Canada warbler (though I figured it was probably long gone) @ lower Wildcat Canyon on Wednesday (09/15), I had a similar spotting of a light morph raptor (possibly 2) that wasn't close enough for ID. Every time I hiked a bit closer, it would move away. I doubt it was conscious on its part. ;-)

Alan Howe
North Oakland

On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 1:33 PM Michael Park <dpbot@...> wrote:
Post-frontal conditions and clearing skies seemed favorable for raptor movements. At 1130, a light-morph juvenile Broad-winged Hawk was seen, in a glide, high over the crest of the north Berkeley Hills. It was southbound.

There might be others. A second candidate was visible in the distance over Inspiration Point in WIldcat Canyon. It was a small light-morph hawk. There was a Red-tailed Hawk soaring in the same binocular view for size perspective. The individual was too distant to see finer markings on the tail and wings. Not Rough-legged and too small for Red-tailed or Ferruginous.

Getting the word out, so that others can look up.

Highly cropped image embedded in eBird checklist here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94896116

Michael Park
Berkeley




Broad-winged Hawk over Berkeley Hills

Michael Park
 

Post-frontal conditions and clearing skies seemed favorable for raptor movements. At 1130, a light-morph juvenile Broad-winged Hawk was seen, in a glide, high over the crest of the north Berkeley Hills. It was southbound.

There might be others. A second candidate was visible in the distance over Inspiration Point in WIldcat Canyon. It was a small light-morph hawk. There was a Red-tailed Hawk soaring in the same binocular view for size perspective. The individual was too distant to see finer markings on the tail and wings. Not Rough-legged and too small for Red-tailed or Ferruginous.

Getting the word out, so that others can look up.

Highly cropped image embedded in eBird checklist here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94896116

Michael Park
Berkeley


Lerp-infested eucalyptus in the east bay?

M
 

Anyone aware of large groves of eucalyptus infested with lerp psyllid insects in the east bay that are attracting large numbers of birds right now? These are known bird magnets in other areas of the state. A quick search of the East Bay Birds archive didn't return any results regarding lerp-infested eucs in prior years as a potential guide for where to look.

This came to mind while browsing eBird reports of Yellow Warbler in the area and noting good numbers at Ellis Lake Park in Concord by Albert Linkowski and others. Often 10+ are reported per outing during September, which seems high given the relatively small size of the park. Photos on eBird show yellow and other warblers among lerp-infested eucs at the park, so I assume this is part of the story, though there are also cottonwoods at the park which are probably part of the attraction too. I've explored other euc groves in central Contra Costa but have noticed very few lerps, so I'm curious if others are aware of more lerpy groves.

Thanks,
Michael Strom
Concord


Re: FOS White Crown's

judisierra
 

I didn't notice any lack of Kinglets last winter. So it's probably the first. They forage in the lower branches of trees and shrubs according to Cornell and my observations. Looking at ebird histogram for frequency it looks like a small difference between 2019 and 2020.
https://ebird.org/barchart?byr=2019&eyr=2020&bmo=1&emo=12&r=US-CA-013&spp=ruckin&separateYears=true

Judi Sierra


On Saturday, September 18, 2021, 11:54:06 AM PDT, W Hudson <wllm2@...> wrote:


Same delight this morning in northeast Orinda.  Yesterday a Black-throated Gray Warbler passing through. 

Hoping for return of Ruby-crowned Kinglets; last year there were none after hearing the "typewriter" in every live oak during the winter for as long as I have paid attention.  Maybe because my neighborhood extensively removed vegetation up to 10' high to lessen wildfire risk last summer and fall, and maybe due to last year's fires in the Sierras (their breeding grounds?) and smoke--anyone else notice a similar absence?

William Hudson

On 9/18/2021 10:39 AM, Jackie Bobrosky wrote:
Thrilled to see a small group of White Crowned Sparrows in my backyard this morning.  Very busy corner in my world with Downy, Nuttall's, Acorn WP, White breasted Nuthatch, Bushtits........but where are those warblers?  I'm waiting....

Happy Birding from Martinez, Ca
Jackie Bobrosky





      




Re: FOS White Crown's

W Hudson
 

Same delight this morning in northeast Orinda.  Yesterday a Black-throated Gray Warbler passing through. 

Hoping for return of Ruby-crowned Kinglets; last year there were none after hearing the "typewriter" in every live oak during the winter for as long as I have paid attention.  Maybe because my neighborhood extensively removed vegetation up to 10' high to lessen wildfire risk last summer and fall, and maybe due to last year's fires in the Sierras (their breeding grounds?) and smoke--anyone else notice a similar absence?

William Hudson

On 9/18/2021 10:39 AM, Jackie Bobrosky wrote:
Thrilled to see a small group of White Crowned Sparrows in my backyard this morning.  Very busy corner in my world with Downy, Nuttall's, Acorn WP, White breasted Nuthatch, Bushtits........but where are those warblers?  I'm waiting....

Happy Birding from Martinez, Ca
Jackie Bobrosky








Saturday Sept 18 in Heather Farm Park

rosita94598
 

It finally happened, David Kent and finally saw a couple of White-crowned Sparrows.  The were with at least many Lesser Goldfinches and House Finches in the community garden.  Also seen today were Yellow Warblers, White-breasted Nuthatches, four of the common waders, Kingfishers and two young Wood Ducks.  Dave and I do not always see the same things, as we walk different directions around the large, mostly natural pond. 

His checklist is here:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S94822856

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


FOS White Crown's

Jackie Bobrosky
 

Thrilled to see a small group of White Crowned Sparrows in my backyard this morning.  Very busy corner in my world with Downy, Nuttall's, Acorn WP, White breasted Nuthatch, Bushtits........but where are those warblers?  I'm waiting....

Happy Birding from Martinez, Ca
Jackie Bobrosky





Apologies to all -- TEWA photo is Jack Haydens from Creekside Park

Sam Zuckerman
 

I owe a big apology to all, especially Jack Hayden. That photo of TEWA I thought was from Anderson Park was actually Jack Hayden's photo from Creekside Park. My bird at Anderson was a WAVI. I've corrected the checklist.
 
Sam Zuckerman
samzuckerman@...
510-375-3861


Misidentified Tennessee Warbler in Booker Anderson Park

Sam Zuckerman
 

 
On Sept. 11, I was birding Booker T. Anderson Park in Richmond early in the morning, when I thought I found a Tennessee Warbler in the willows along Baxter Creek. I took a photo, then lost the bird. I thought I found it again in the same location, took more photos, and became convinced that my bird was in fact a Warbling Vireo -- and so reported it on eBird. Now, the eBird reviewer suggests I have photos of two different birds, a TEWA and a WAVI. I'd be grateful for people to look at the photo of the birds now identified as TEWA and WAVI and see if they agree. Here's the checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S94508873. 
Birding never ceases to amaze! Thanks to all. Sam 


Wilson's Warblers - Antioch yard - 9/17

Paul Schorr
 

This morning we spotted a male and female Wilson’s Warbler in our yard foraging in the abutilon shrubs. Throughout the day, the male made several trips to our nearby bird bath, offering splendid views.

In addition, several Gulf Fritillary butterflies visited the milkweed and salvia flowers.

Happy birding and butterfly-spotting.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


9/17/21: Continuing Pacific Golden-plover at Hayward Shoreline, Frank’s Dump

Patricia Mahoney
 

Friday, 9/17/21: The Pacific Golden-plover continues with the Black-bellied Plover flock at Frank’s Dump’s mostly dry salt pond. High tide was at 10:38 AM. Groups of plovers flew around and landed at Frank’s Dump around 9:45 AM. The Pacific Golden-plover was among them as were two Ruddy Turnstones. A Caspian Tern joined the flock briefly. When the sun came out the Pacific Golden-plover shone more golden.

I met Ron and Nancy Overholtz at the W. Winton entrance at 7:30 AM and we walked out on the paved SF Bay trail under cloudy skies. The Hayward Landing water’s edge was busy with foraging shorebirds: many Willets, some Marbled Godwits and Long-billed Curlews… farther north, many Black-bellied Plovers foraged. Waves of Least Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers flew in, landed or moved farther south. Two Snowy Plovers were on the beach- always a delight!

Pat Mahoney
Hayward


On Sep 11, 2021, at 8:27 PM, Maureen Lahiff via groups.io <MLahiff@...> wrote:

At Frank’s Dump along Hayward Shoreline north of Hayward Landing.

Pacific Golden-plover Sat afternoon, seen well around 3:30 near high tiide, among many Black-bellied Plovers.  Standing up by itself for clear views.

Very little water in Frank’s Dump, so Marbled Godwits and Willets were roosting in Ora Loma Marsh to the north.

GGAS field trip.

Maureen Lahiff
Oakland


Richmond Birds

Sheila Dickie
 

Yesterday September 16 at pt Pinole Regional Shoreline Park there were White crowned Sparrows (3) on the lower portion of Owl Alley and one Yellow rumped Warbler at the dry pond off Owl Alley (looked like a first winter bird). A Red Shouldered Hawk was in the eucalyptus trees near the Whittell Marsh. 

Garden: First White crowned Sparrow showed up at bird bath on September 7. Single and double sightings since in the holly tree before being chased out by Northern Mockingbirds (2).

Sheila Dickie
Richmond


Willow Flycatcher - Antioch yard - 9/16

Paul Schorr
 

Late this afternoon while I was checking out birds at one of our bird baths, I spotted a Willow Flycatcher that was bathing. We have only had this species once before in our yard and that was in 2013.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Thursday in Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Despite waking at 4:30 AM and knowing I will attend a Zoom meeting at 1 PM, I had a very enjoyable morning in the park.  I had my first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the fall and was able to show it to Ted Robertson who came along later.  A Yellow Warbler was in the same location near the eucalyptus trees at the south end of the large, mostly natural pond.  Bushtits galore were around, CA Towhees, WB Nuthatches, a couple of Great and one Snowy Egret, two Black-crowned Night-Herons and the Acorn Woodpecker called near the entrance to the private Seven Hills School.

Hugh B Harvey
Walnut Creek


FOS White-crowned Sparrow in Livermore

Jaan Lepson
 

I heard at least two White-crowns singing along the dry arroyo at Robertson Park in Livermore this morning.

I have mixed feelings - I love their songs, but they are a real nuisance in our yard, pecking at and pulling up our little succulents.

Good birding!
Jaan Lepson
Livermore


FOS White-crowned Sparrow - Antioch yard - 9/15/2021

Paul Schorr
 

This afternoon we had our FOS White-crowned Sparrow appear in our yard. Yesterday, we had a Yellow Warbler gleaning insects from shrubs and American Goldfinches are returning to the feeders.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Resolving the County Line?

Ethan Monk
 

Hi All,

For the last couple of days, I have been on and off the phone with the Contra Costa County Assessor's Office trying to clear up this county line issue. But first, thanks to Aaron (I guess? sure did open a can of worms) for calling my bluff on my original post. I looked at the online Contra Costa GIS map, saw the line was straight and cut through the riparian corridor, and thought "oh, the Caltrans map is wrong, therefore birders have been right all along."

Anyway, the conclusion is that the county line shown on the Contra Costa and Alameda GIS parcel maps is the correct, definitive county line. The Caltrans Map and USGS topo maps are close, but incorrect. And yes, the county line does not follow the path of the creek. The county line was drawn in the 1800s as the boundary between two Spanish landgrants: Rancho San Antiono and Rancho San Pablo. The line was drawn to bisect El Cerrito Creek, but where Creekside Park currently exists, the creek used to have a large estuary. So the line was drawn down the middle of the creek to where it reached its estuary (at about Carlson Blvd.) and then the line was drawn through the estuary from where the creek entered the estuary to a large shellmound on the estuary's Western edge. Years later, the estuary was destroyed and the creek channelized, but the county line remained unchanged. And the creek's manmade channel was not built to follow the county line. Although it is close. Today with the creek developed on both sides, the destruction of the estuary and the channelizing of the creek, it leaves some oddities like buildings in Albany that have some of their parking lot in El Cerrito and vice versa but that is the official county line as used by both counties!

The assessor’s office informed me that the park was never officially surveyed so the line shown online could be slightly off, but without hiring an official land surveyor there would be no way to find the exact line on the ground. I was also told that if the line shown on the County maintained GIS maps was wrong, it would likely be off by a very small amount, at very most misplotted by a foot or two, but likely not even by this much. And that being said, Alameda and Contra Costa County GIS Parcel maps approximate the county line in the exact same place, so that is probably extremely close to or is the real county line, and is definitely the absolute best we can do as birders.

So to approximate the county line in the park: West of the Eastern edge of the basketball courts the entire park is in Contra Costa. From the dead end to Carlson Blvd. (so where most have seen the Tennessee) the county line runs pretty much right down the middle of the creek. Between the dead end and the basketball courts, the county line falls between the middle of the creek and the top of the creek’s southern bank. So to see a bird in Alameda in this section, it seems you would have to see it over the earthen bank on the creek’s South side, actually out from above the water.

This means a couple things: Most easily, how people have been deciding which county the Tennessee is in holds true, as the Tennessee has rarely been seen West of the dead end, so the creek is in fact split down the middle. Secondly, where I saw the Mourning Warbler in 2019 was well West of where the black fence starts on the East edge of the basketball courts, putting it entirely in Contra Costa. It might be a tough call to say that bird was ever in Alameda, but I know it did move a bit.

Anyway, best of September,
Ethan Monk

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