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Common Tern at Ballena Bay

Teale Fristoe
 

Hello East Bay birders,

Yesterday, Marjorie Powell found a Common Tern on the seawall at Ballena Bay on Alameda island. Today the bird continued at the same location, if only sporadically. This has been a historically good place to look for this species, as is the nearby Elsie Roemer Bird Refuge.

We usually get a few Common Terns coming through Alameda during fall migration, but they're certainly not common. They also present one of the most difficult id challenges we're faced with, right up there with Semipalmated Sandpipers, non-breeding loons, and Selasphorus hummingbirds. So if you chase this bird or look for other Common Terns this season, I strongly encourage you to take and submit photos with your checklists.

There's no single field mark that separates Common from Forster's Terns. The two species are extremely similar in many plumages, and even the distinctive features overlap through individual variation. So don't rely on a single fieldmark when identifying Common Terns; instead, look at all potentially relevant marks to get a wholistic impression of the bird.

The Common Tern Marjorie found shows the following features that all support Common Tern over Forster's Tern:
- An all black nape that extends far up the crown to above the bird's eye.
- A dark carpal bar (though this bird doesn't have a prominent one).
- Primary feathers that are significantly darker than the bird's upperparts.
- A short tail that is noticeably shorter than the bird's primary projection.

I included several photos of the Common Tern in my ebird checklist to try to show these features. I also included a few photos of Forster's Terns that show how they can show similar features.

If you're interested in getting this id down, I recommend Field Guide to Advanced Birding by Kenn Kaufman. The book features a solid chapter on separating the Sterna terns.

Good luck if you look for this bird! The Ballena Bay seawall is quite a spectacle when terns are roosting there, whether or not any uncommon terns happen to be present. Don't forget to submit those photos with your checklists!

Happy migration,
Teale Fristoe
Berkeley


Re: The Owl

SteveLombardi
 

Excellent comments. Thanks for posting.


The Owl

Jim Chiropolos
 

A long-eared owl was spotted on Vollmer peak. Seeing its my patch, I went up and did not see it. But its really cool knowing they are around and maybe someday, I will find one there.

I compliment the finders for not giving the coordinates as I know of one maybe two long eared owls in the last 15 years that have been flushed by over zealous birders and killed by another raptor as a result. The bay area birding community is now likely over 5,000 birders and we all do not have a right to see every bird for our lists - either for sensitive access or birds like owls or endangered/sensitive birds (like rate owls) that need their space.

I met some of my birding friends recently and asked them if they have chased one of the recent rare birds. They said “we have stopped chasing because we seen bad over zealous birder behavior at stakeouts and we find it upsetting.” Remember birding ethics for both the birds and your fellow birders!

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


FOS in Livermore. 4 and 5 October 2021

Mike Correll-Feichtner
 

Today, 5 October, first 3 White-crowned Sparrows and 1 Pine Siskin
Yesterday 4 October, 1st Yellow-rumped Warblers


--
Mike Correll-Feichtner (Formerly Mike Feighner)
Livermore, California, Alameda County

http://www.linkedIn.com/in/michaelfeighner
--
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Cal Walters via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 3:51 PM
To: ebb-sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] FOS Warblers and a new yard bird - Piedmont


Getting to play hooky from teaching today to attend an accreditation training allowed me to watch our fountain for the first time in a long time.
A pair of Townsends Warblers, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a Ruby-Crowned kinglet joined a host of other birds.

I was also treated to 4 Western Bluebirds, which although they hit the pepper trees a few blocks away, I’ve not observed in the fountain.

As I was writing this a Female Western Tanager also dropped in.

I should play hooky more often.

Cal Walters
Piedmont - near Dracena Park


FOS Warblers and a new yard bird - Piedmont

Cal Walters
 

Getting to play hooky from teaching today to attend an accreditation training allowed me to watch our fountain for the first time in a long time.
A pair of Townsends Warblers, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a Ruby-Crowned kinglet joined a host of other birds.

I was also treated to 4 Western Bluebirds, which although they hit the pepper trees a few blocks away, I’ve not observed in the fountain.

As I was writing this a Female Western Tanager also dropped in.

I should play hooky more often.

Cal Walters
Piedmont - near Dracena Park


Sabine's Gull Clifton Court Forebay

Jerry Britten
 

Alerted by Sri Char who saw and photo'd two juvenile Sabine's on the Forebay earlier today, I went out late this afternoon and managed to find one.  Until today, last seen in 2016 in Contra Costa according to eBird, and the first record for the Forebay since 2007.   Seen out by the intake gates connecting Old River to the Forebay.  This is about a 9-mile out-and-back from the parking lot.

eBird checklist with some photos here:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S95615954

Jerry Britten
Morgan Territory.


Orange-crowned Warbler - Antioch yard - 10/4

Paul Schorr
 

My sincere apologies for the technical difficulties in sending this report.

This morning as I was watching the bird bath, I noticed twitching in the small branches of the shrubs that are near the bird bath. Clearly, it was a bird making its way towards the bird bath.  When it arrived, we had very good views for several minutes of an Orange-crowned Warbler.  It bathed vigorously, but at one point it was disturbed by a Lesser Goldfinch, but it quickly returned to continue bathing.  It was a great way to start the morning.  

I was able to get a decent photo which is included with my eBird report:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S95611459


Good birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Oranger-crowned Warbler - Antioch yard - 10/4

Paul Schorr
 


Orange-crowned Warbler - Antioch yard - 10/4

Paul Schorr
 

This morning as I was watching the bird bath, I noticed twitching in the small branches of the shrubs that are near the bird bath. Clearly, it was a bird making its way towards the bird bath.  When it arrived, we had very good views for several minutes of an Orange-crowned Warbler.  It bathed vigorously, but at one point it was disturbed by a Lesser Goldfinch, but it quickly returned to continue bathing.  It was a great way to start the morning.  

I was able to get a decent photo which is included with my eBird report: https://ebird.org/checklist/S95611459 

Good birding.

Paul Schorr
Antioch


#3 yard FOS today

judisierra
 

A colorful yellow-rumped warbler was in the wax myrtle and birdbath this afternoon. There may have been one yesterday as I heard a familiar chip but it flew out so fast I didn't get a good look. There are usually numerous yellow rumps eating the wax myrtle berries but this year the squirrels have done a number on them, maybe due to low fruit tree production and the neighborhood nut supplier moving away. Now only the 2 hermit thrushes are left to come as regular bathers.

Judi sierra
Oakland


FOS of Townsend Warblers

Rosemary Nishikawa
 

I spotted a pair of Male Townsend Warblers at the Tilden Park Botanic Garden yesterday. They were foraging in the low hanging branches of trees between the main bridge above the stream and the Redwood forest area. Free parking and entrance to this park.


Mount Diablo Audubon Society Elsie Roemer and Ballena Bay

rosita94598
 

Today was a beautiful day to bird the Alameda shore, starting at Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary.  Eleven birders met at 9 AM to watch the shorebirds as the tide rose, allowing us to see hundreds of peeps and other with fairly close viewing.  We had lots of Western and Least Sandpipers, Sanderlings, Semi-palmated Plovers maybe two Snowy Plovers, some Dunlins, and a few Killdeers.  These were all joined by Dowitchers, Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Black-bellied Plovers, Black Oystercatchers, Greater Yellowlegs and Willets.  Before we left some American Avocets joined the group.  Others included Western and Ring-billed Gulls, Forster's and Elegant Terns, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans and a couple of Snowy Egrets.

While we watched, suddenly the birds became excited.  The peeps flew off in great clouds of murmurations.  The Godwits and Curlews became erect and moved into a very tight group before taking flight.  The Elegant Terns flew off toward the bay and disappeared. Finally one of our group spotted the Peregrine Falcon, which eventually came closer before being chased off by Crows and gulls.  That was quite a show well worth the price of admission--which was gas money and time spent in commute traffic.  As we were discussing moving on, another eruption occurred, this time it was a Northern Harrier, which did not really care about the littler birds and just flew through.

We moved on to Ballena Bay, not knowing what to expect, but that had a nice selection of birds, too.  On one of the empty piers in the marina were twenty-two Black and one Ruddy Turnstone.  They were joined by two Double-crested Cormorants and two Pelagic Cormorants, some Greater Yellowlegs, a Forster's Tern and a couple of Least Sandpipers.

We happened to find Dawn Lemoine there and she joined us for a short time.  As she was driving out, she spotted a Red-necked Grebe on the bay and came back to tell us.  By the time we walked back to her car the only grebes we saw were very far out on the water and hard to identify, so we did not include that bird on our group list.  We did count our species, though, and our group had 43 for the morning.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Two confirmed Wandering Tattlers at Cesar Chavez

Joyce Rybandt
 

This is just to confirm the sighting of two Wandering Tattlers at Cesar Chavez park on Sunday.

 

I responded to Jay Dodge’s post yesterday morning, and arrived at the location he described around 12:40 pm at Cesar Chavez and quicky found the Wandering Tattler. While I sat on the rocks observing the bird, I noticed another tattler, also on the rocks, a bit further to the north. I walked over to it to confirm the ID. I later saw the two birds together, foraging in the seaweed.

 

After a quick walk around the circumference of the park, I returned around 2:15 pm and watched at least one of the tattlers and two Black Turnstones with three other birders, Gail, Elliot, and Maggie for over an hour. At this time the tattlers had moved away from the water and further up the rocks.

 

Joyce Rybandt

 

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Sam Zuckerman
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 2:15 PM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Two confirmed Wandering Tattlers at Cesar Chavez

 

 

Earlier today I posted a report of five Wandering Tattlers on riprap along west shoreline of park. Photos show two Tattlers and two Spotted Sandpipers, while I could't determine species of the fifth medium-size sandpiper. Two WATA is consistent with earlier reports, including original report of Tattlers by David Yeamans and Rosemarie Richardson Oct. 1.


Two confirmed Wandering Tattlers at Cesar Chavez

Sam Zuckerman
 

 
Earlier today I posted a report of five Wandering Tattlers on riprap along west shoreline of park. Photos show two Tattlers and two Spotted Sandpipers, while I could't determine species of the fifth medium-size sandpiper. Two WATA is consistent with earlier reports, including original report of Tattlers by David Yeamans and Rosemarie Richardson Oct. 1.


Re: FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow

Rosemary Johnson
 

However, as the years go on (at least 5 now or more?), I have wondered whether it is exactly the same birds or their descendants.

On 10/04/2021 12:26 PM Rosemary Johnson <compasros@...> wrote:


Not surprised by this because I've had the same flock of exactly 6 GCS in my yard for years.
On 10/04/2021 12:08 PM Idell Weydemeyer <iwgarden@...> wrote:


Gold Crowns (GC)  in EL Sobrante singing on the 26th Sept and White Crowns arrived on the 1st. . If you have seen the Pacific Hort article , a study in santa cruz showed that GC  come back to the SAME   individual  bush and some nearby bushes  they were in the previous winter- amazing- check out the Pacific Hort article.


Idell Weydemeyer


From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Prunty
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 11:26 AM
To: judisierra@...
Cc: EBB <ebb-sightings@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow


Yesterday I saw two here in Pinole. They were just across the fence in my neighbor's yard. Also close enough. 


On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 11:08 AM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

After seeing them on Vollmer Peak a few days ago,  they finally arrived here. I heard the "Oh dear me" song this morning. It was across the street while I was washing my car. Close enough.

Judi Sierra
Oakland









Multiple dead gulls on Canal Blvd

Preston Mui
 

While out for a bike ride yesterday I happened upon three dead adult Western Gulls on Canal Blvd in Richmond. All three were together on the bike path, but close to the road. Coordinates were 37.916058, -122.371139. I reported this to the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, and they asked to be notified if more gulls were found in the area, as it may indicate a disease or other issue. You can report dead birds (and other wildlife) here: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Monitoring/Mortality-Report

Also on this ride, I sadly saw a dead Acorn Woodpecker in the road in Tiburon and a dead Savannah Sparrow at McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.


Re: FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow

Phila Rogers
 

Oh you lucky people!  I now live in Santa Barbara and I haven't heard a GC since I moved here eight years ago.  And I have to go to our Bot. garden in Mission Canyon to see a fox sparrow.  Phila Rogers


On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 12:26 PM Rosemary Johnson <compasros@...> wrote:
Not surprised by this because I've had the same flock of exactly 6 GCS in my yard for years.
On 10/04/2021 12:08 PM Idell Weydemeyer <iwgarden@...> wrote:


Gold Crowns (GC)  in EL Sobrante singing on the 26th Sept and White Crowns arrived on the 1st. . If you have seen the Pacific Hort article , a study in santa cruz showed that GC  come back to the SAME   individual  bush and some nearby bushes  they were in the previous winter- amazing- check out the Pacific Hort article.


Idell Weydemeyer


From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Prunty
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 11:26 AM
To: judisierra@...
Cc: EBB <ebb-sightings@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow


Yesterday I saw two here in Pinole. They were just across the fence in my neighbor's yard. Also close enough. 


On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 11:08 AM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

After seeing them on Vollmer Peak a few days ago,  they finally arrived here. I heard the "Oh dear me" song this morning. It was across the street while I was washing my car. Close enough.

Judi Sierra
Oakland









FOS yard Fox Sparrow

judisierra
 

Just after I posted the Golden-crowned sparrow note, a Fox sparrow appeared in my real yard this time. Again after I saw 17 at Vollmer Peak a few days ago.

Judi sierra
)akland


Re: FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow

Rosemary Johnson
 

Not surprised by this because I've had the same flock of exactly 6 GCS in my yard for years.

On 10/04/2021 12:08 PM Idell Weydemeyer <iwgarden@...> wrote:


Gold Crowns (GC)  in EL Sobrante singing on the 26th Sept and White Crowns arrived on the 1st. . If you have seen the Pacific Hort article , a study in santa cruz showed that GC  come back to the SAME   individual  bush and some nearby bushes  they were in the previous winter- amazing- check out the Pacific Hort article.


Idell Weydemeyer


From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Prunty
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 11:26 AM
To: judisierra@...
Cc: EBB <ebb-sightings@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow


Yesterday I saw two here in Pinole. They were just across the fence in my neighbor's yard. Also close enough. 


On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 11:08 AM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

After seeing them on Vollmer Peak a few days ago,  they finally arrived here. I heard the "Oh dear me" song this morning. It was across the street while I was washing my car. Close enough.

Judi Sierra
Oakland






Re: FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow

Idell Weydemeyer
 

Gold Crowns (GC)  in EL Sobrante singing on the 26th Sept and White Crowns arrived on the 1st. . If you have seen the Pacific Hort article , a study in santa cruz showed that GC  come back to the SAME   individual  bush and some nearby bushes  they were in the previous winter- amazing- check out the Pacific Hort article.

 

Idell Weydemeyer

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Prunty
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 11:26 AM
To: judisierra@...
Cc: EBB <ebb-sightings@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] FOS yard Golden crowned sparrow

 

Yesterday I saw two here in Pinole. They were just across the fence in my neighbor's yard. Also close enough. 

 

On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 11:08 AM judisierra via groups.io <judisierra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

After seeing them on Vollmer Peak a few days ago,  they finally arrived here. I heard the "Oh dear me" song this morning. It was across the street while I was washing my car. Close enough.

Judi Sierra
Oakland


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