Date   

ROSS’S GULL

Ethan Monk
 

Hi All,

Dallas Levy has just sent me photos of a ROSSS GULL at Albany Bulb. About 2 o’clock on the bulb.

Ethan Monk


Heather Farm Park after the storms

rosita94598
 

I made a short visit yesterday to the park starting about 11:30.  The sun was out and the sky was blue for a little while.  It was a five-heron day for me, seeing all five of the common waders.  Two Ravens were perched on a tree together, a Red-tailed Hawk soared over the west side of the large, mostly natural pond, and it was followed by two Turkey Vultures.  A Red-shouldered Hawk was calling from the first power pole across the Contra Costa Canal at the north access of the park.

Today I had a five-sparrow morning, which included two Fox and two Lincoln's Sparrows.  The number of Buffleheads was over 20, but the number of DC Cormorants has dwindled.

Seeing snow on Mount Diablo was a great bonus for being out in the cold.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Tropical Kingbird Continues

Kir Pridatko
 

Tropical Kingbird continues today, 13th, in Berkeley. It was seen at noon fly-catching from the wires on Carleton street, near its intersection with Mabel St.

Happy holidays,
Kir Pridatko
Moraga/Berkeley


Friday in Heather Farm Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

Have not written a lot lately, as there is only one big change to the winter birding--the loss of over 100 of our Ring-necked Ducks.  Not lost as killed, they just left.  Just before Thanksgiving the concrete pond was stocked for fishing.  Not only did this bring a beaucoup fishing people, but it also brought plenty of River Otters

Maybe they were going to move anyway, but we also lost most of the Coots and Buffleheads.  The lonely Muscovy Duck is still sticking around.  We actually saw it fly in and land in the mostly natural pond today, and when we were on the other side it left.  It spends much of its time either south of the community building or around the concrete pond.  it likes to be near the Canada Goose flock, which may also attract an occasional Greater White--fronted and a Cackling Goose.

There has been the usual winter influx of Double-crested Cormorants, which happens every year.  This may be due to the fish stocking, but maybe not.  My lifer Cormorant in 1982 was right next to the wooden railing where they were perching in a long ago fallen tree.

We have had plenty of winter sparrows coming to scattered seeds along the west side of the natural pond.  Golden- & White-crowned, Song, Fox and Lincoln's Sparrows are present most days.  Sometimes we see two Fox Sparrows, sometimes two Lincoln's Sparrows.  The last week or so we have been seeing a Spotted Towhee, the first I have seen here in several years.  Possibly two Juncos were coming out today, too, similarly hard to find  in the park.

We were watching many sparrows between other bicycles and pedestrians when suddenly everything exploded in a flurry.  I thought I saw something fly up into a small oak and sure enough it was an adult Cooper's Hawk.  I left the big oak with the green bench, but Walt D and Ted R saw a Cooper's across the dry Ygnacio Canal.  Walt and I went back to see it and it was an immature bird.

We are seeing more gulls now in December.  California Gulls have been present, though not that I recall this week.  Today we had about 15 Ring-billed Gulls and at least 2 Short-billed Gulls )Mew).

It must be the cold slowing the insects, because we have not seen a Black Phoebe for a couple of days, now.  

Sometimes we have a 5-heron day, but today it was Great Blue, Green and Black-crowned Night-Heron.  The latter was at the pond near the private Seven Hills School.  In the same pond today were two male and one female Hooded Mergansers.

Time to read the paper, fix some hot chocolate and write some more Christmas cards.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Long-eared owl, Livermore area

Sherrill Cook
 

Thanks very much to all who responded to my request for suggested release sites. We have selected a location that was recommended by several different people.  I truly appreciate everyone's ideas and insights.

Sherrill Cook
Lindsay Wildlife


Re: Long-eared owl, Livermore area

Alexander Henry
 

Think about it like this. Mines Road is one road surrounded by numerous patches of habitat. Sycamore Grove is one patch of habitat surrounded by numerous roads. And upper Mines Road is known to support a small and difficult to detect, but resident population. Whereas Sycamore Grove has no proven history of supporting even a transient Long-eared Owl, let alone a resident population. 

This discussion leads me to consider another question: what is the provenance of the few Long-eared Owls records in the Livermore Valley? Are they migrants from father north, or are they dispersants from the Interior Coast Range population? Another question I have is, would Long-eared Owls have historically lived in the Livermore Valley, but then were pushed out by increasing human development? Or is there something about the habitat at the higher elevations of the Interior Coast Range, other than just the lack of human disturbance, that makes those habitats more favorable for Long-eared Owls? 


On Wed, Dec 8, 2021 at 10:58 PM Alexander Henry <awhenry@...> wrote:
My experience with Long-eared Owls at Mines Road was that they were very far from the road, presumably roosting in densely wooded slopes somewhere high up on Eylar Mountain and far from the road.

Regarding traffic. The Mines Road area is one of the more remote and less densely populated parts of the county. I do not think that the risk for car accidents at Mines Road is any higher than at Sycamore Grove Park, in fact upper Mines Road is farther from Livermore and probably gets less human disturbance than the vicinity of Sycamore Grove Park. Also the habitat is better, there is a reason why there's a population of Long-eared Owls at upper Mines Road and not at Sycamore Grove. While there can be quite a bit of traffic during the day on weekends at Mines Road, there is generally relatively little traffic at night.

If you really are worried about the traffic on Mines Road, there are alternative options which have little to no traffic but still are in suitable habitat in remote portions of the interior coast range (as opposed to right in the Livermore valley like Sycamore Grove Park). Specifically I think a couple miles up Mendenhall Springs Road would be a good option.


On Wed, Dec 8, 2021 at 8:50 PM Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:
I think Rich’s comment is right on. The best habitat for the owl is the riparian strip which is typically within 50 to 75 feet of Mines road making owls and poorwills more vulnerable to car strikes.

A location with suitable habitat further from a road such as Rich suggested will be a better place for the owls release.

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda




Re: Long-eared owl, Livermore area

Alexander Henry
 

My experience with Long-eared Owls at Mines Road was that they were very far from the road, presumably roosting in densely wooded slopes somewhere high up on Eylar Mountain and far from the road.

Regarding traffic. The Mines Road area is one of the more remote and less densely populated parts of the county. I do not think that the risk for car accidents at Mines Road is any higher than at Sycamore Grove Park, in fact upper Mines Road is farther from Livermore and probably gets less human disturbance than the vicinity of Sycamore Grove Park. Also the habitat is better, there is a reason why there's a population of Long-eared Owls at upper Mines Road and not at Sycamore Grove. While there can be quite a bit of traffic during the day on weekends at Mines Road, there is generally relatively little traffic at night.

If you really are worried about the traffic on Mines Road, there are alternative options which have little to no traffic but still are in suitable habitat in remote portions of the interior coast range (as opposed to right in the Livermore valley like Sycamore Grove Park). Specifically I think a couple miles up Mendenhall Springs Road would be a good option.


On Wed, Dec 8, 2021 at 8:50 PM Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:
I think Rich’s comment is right on. The best habitat for the owl is the riparian strip which is typically within 50 to 75 feet of Mines road making owls and poorwills more vulnerable to car strikes.

A location with suitable habitat further from a road such as Rich suggested will be a better place for the owls release.

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda




Re: Long-eared owl, Livermore area

Jim Chiropolos
 

I think Rich’s comment is right on. The best habitat for the owl is the riparian strip which is typically within 50 to 75 feet of Mines road making owls and poorwills more vulnerable to car strikes.

A location with suitable habitat further from a road such as Rich suggested will be a better place for the owls release.

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


Re: Long-eared owl, Livermore area

richard s. cimino
 

Hi Sherrill,
If I may, I'd like to suggest that you use Sycamore Grove Park for your release site which is in Livermore it has suitable roosting habitat and foraging habitat.
Over the years (46 years) of birding Mines Road I have found road kill Poor wills, Great Horn, Short eared and Barn Owls along Mines Rd..
The traffic has steadily grown on Mines Rd. as has the speeds at which the road is traveled, this resulting in owl strikes.
Also for consideration is Sunol Regional Park which as Sycamore Grove Park has limited high volume high speed auto traffic.
Rich Cimino
Past Ohlone Audubon Conservation Chair - eastern Alameda County

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Sherrill Cook via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 3:25 PM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Long-eared owl, Livermore area

I hope this is an acceptable post. I am a wildlife rehabilitator with Lindsay Wildlife and have a long-eared owl that has been in our care since July, 2020. He was found with a fractured wing in an industrial area very near I 680 in Livermore. After going through fairly complete molt, he is now ready to release and I am looking for a good release site, preferable where other LEOWs have been seen recently or are regularly observed. The most recent report I found on ebird was posted by Alex Henry in March 2021 with no specific location other than Mines Rd. If anyone has insight as to a good location along Mines Road or elsewhere that is not too far from Livermore, please let me know. Thank you, Sherrill Cook, owl and falcon specialist, Lindsay Wildlife.


Long-eared owl, Livermore area

Sherrill Cook
 

I hope this is an acceptable post. I am a wildlife rehabilitator with Lindsay Wildlife and have a long-eared owl that has been in our care since July, 2020. He was found with a fractured wing in an industrial area very near I 680 in Livermore. After going through fairly complete molt, he is now ready to release and I am looking for a good release site, preferable where other LEOWs have been seen recently or are regularly observed. The most recent report I found on ebird was posted by Alex Henry in March 2021 with no specific location other than Mines Rd. If anyone has insight as to a good location along Mines Road or elsewhere that is not too far from Livermore, please let me know. Thank you, Sherrill Cook, owl and falcon specialist, Lindsay Wildlife.


Black Scoters Continuing at Richmond Marina

Sam Zuckerman
 

Two male black scoters reported by Kathy Durkin continue at Richmond Marina. At 9:45 am they were swimming with Surf Scoters along westernmost marina pier about 50 yards from riprap 


Black scoters Richmond Marina

Kathy Durkin
 

I saw two male black scoters in the Richmond Marina today. There have been two male black scoters in that location in the winter for the last few years. I've been on the lookout for them and today was the first day I saw them this year. They were hanging out today with some surf scoters on the south east part of the harbor (just south of the tradewinds sailing club) but in prior years I have seen them all around the inner harbor basin.

One of the things that I've noticed in prior years, is that they make a very mournful, plaintive call. I was riding my bike to work looking for them this morning. I recognized their call and I stopped to confirm their identity. If you're out looking for them, I recommend you also try to listen because it is a very special sound. I tried to record it but no luck today.

Kathy Durkin


Red-breasted Mergansers on inland waterbodies in Contra Costa

M
 

Today there were female type Red-breasted Mergansers at Mallard Reservoir and Ellis Lake Park in Concord. I saw them a couple hours apart, and these locations aren't too distant, so not sure about the possibility of these being the same bird. The latter location certainly surprised me given the small size of the lake compared to where I typically see this species.

Other highlights for Mallard Reservoir included a Tundra Swan and two Caspian Terns. Many waterbirds were present and taking advantage of the range of water depths including exposed mud in the southeast corner adjacent to Bates Ave where viewing is possible. Unfortunately I did not have time for a thorough tally of all species present.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S98506201
https://ebird.org/checklist/S98511847

Michael Strom
Concord


Re: Scouting trip for Richmond Christmas count

Jay
 

Randy, I work near there. I just saw the annual return of the Hooded Mergansers near the footbridge on the other side of San Pablo. Good birding!

Jay Dodge




On Friday, December 3, 2021, 7:57 PM, Randy Prunty <randy.prunty@...> wrote:

Hi Derek
My backyard backs up to the Pinole Creek Path and Pinole Creek near Fernandez Park. I see Lesser Goldfinches every day, but two days ago I thought I saw an American Goldfinch, but just assumed I was wrong. Maybe I wasn't! 
Randy Prunty

On Fri, Dec 3, 2021 at 5:51 PM Derek <dlheins@...> wrote:

Wednesday morning I decided to do some scouting for our upcoming Richmond Christmas Bird count (Jan 2),  so I got on my bike to explore some potential habitats between I80 and the shoreline for our January 2 count.  Along the way, I encountered these birding highlights:

 

·       Duck Pond Park and the surrounding area in this roughly 25-year-old community had some nice habitat. I found a White-throated Sparrow hanging out with some White and Golden-crowned Sparrows. The pond across Sycamore Avenue had many American Wigeon (a Eurasian Wigeon today), Gadwall, a Green Heron, and a White-tailed Kite perched nearby. I’ll definitely assign a group to bird this area. Have a look at my eBird list for this spot:

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98326769

                            

·       Regugio Creek runs to the bay just north of the pond, so I took rode along it down to the bay and then headed south along the paved path. The highlight on the shoreline was another Eurasian Wigeon.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334853

                                          

·       I then found a nice path (mostly paved) that took me all the way to I80 along Pinole Creek that passed by Fernandez Park. A nice surprise was a pair of American Goldfinches.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334824

 

These outings have shown me the importance of access to these habitat corridors along the various waterways—Garrity Creek, Pinole Creek, Refugio Creek, San Pablo Creek, and Wildcat Creek—that work their way through this urban/industrial landscape.

 

These habitats are one reason GGAS has created this new Christmas count circle—to get birders out exploring these areas, give them more attention and get local communities introduced to the joys of birding.  Signup for the Richmond count remains open until December 12 using the link below:

 

https://goldengateaudubon.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=6966&

 

I encourage folks to get out and find new spots to bird, especially ones for our Christmas count!!

 

Derek Heins

 








Re: Scouting trip for Richmond Christmas count

Randy Prunty
 

Hi Derek
My backyard backs up to the Pinole Creek Path and Pinole Creek near Fernandez Park. I see Lesser Goldfinches every day, but two days ago I thought I saw an American Goldfinch, but just assumed I was wrong. Maybe I wasn't! 
Randy Prunty

On Fri, Dec 3, 2021 at 5:51 PM Derek <dlheins@...> wrote:

Wednesday morning I decided to do some scouting for our upcoming Richmond Christmas Bird count (Jan 2),  so I got on my bike to explore some potential habitats between I80 and the shoreline for our January 2 count.  Along the way, I encountered these birding highlights:

 

·       Duck Pond Park and the surrounding area in this roughly 25-year-old community had some nice habitat. I found a White-throated Sparrow hanging out with some White and Golden-crowned Sparrows. The pond across Sycamore Avenue had many American Wigeon (a Eurasian Wigeon today), Gadwall, a Green Heron, and a White-tailed Kite perched nearby. I’ll definitely assign a group to bird this area. Have a look at my eBird list for this spot:

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98326769

                            

·       Regugio Creek runs to the bay just north of the pond, so I took rode along it down to the bay and then headed south along the paved path. The highlight on the shoreline was another Eurasian Wigeon.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334853

                                          

·       I then found a nice path (mostly paved) that took me all the way to I80 along Pinole Creek that passed by Fernandez Park. A nice surprise was a pair of American Goldfinches.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334824

 

These outings have shown me the importance of access to these habitat corridors along the various waterways—Garrity Creek, Pinole Creek, Refugio Creek, San Pablo Creek, and Wildcat Creek—that work their way through this urban/industrial landscape.

 

These habitats are one reason GGAS has created this new Christmas count circle—to get birders out exploring these areas, give them more attention and get local communities introduced to the joys of birding.  Signup for the Richmond count remains open until December 12 using the link below:

 

https://goldengateaudubon.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=6966&

 

I encourage folks to get out and find new spots to bird, especially ones for our Christmas count!!

 

Derek Heins

 





Scouting trip for Richmond Christmas count

Derek
 

Wednesday morning I decided to do some scouting for our upcoming Richmond Christmas Bird count (Jan 2),  so I got on my bike to explore some potential habitats between I80 and the shoreline for our January 2 count.  Along the way, I encountered these birding highlights:

 

·       Duck Pond Park and the surrounding area in this roughly 25-year-old community had some nice habitat. I found a White-throated Sparrow hanging out with some White and Golden-crowned Sparrows. The pond across Sycamore Avenue had many American Wigeon (a Eurasian Wigeon today), Gadwall, a Green Heron, and a White-tailed Kite perched nearby. I’ll definitely assign a group to bird this area. Have a look at my eBird list for this spot:

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98326769

                            

·       Regugio Creek runs to the bay just north of the pond, so I took rode along it down to the bay and then headed south along the paved path. The highlight on the shoreline was another Eurasian Wigeon.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334853

                                          

·       I then found a nice path (mostly paved) that took me all the way to I80 along Pinole Creek that passed by Fernandez Park. A nice surprise was a pair of American Goldfinches.

                                           https://ebird.org/checklist/S98334824

 

These outings have shown me the importance of access to these habitat corridors along the various waterways—Garrity Creek, Pinole Creek, Refugio Creek, San Pablo Creek, and Wildcat Creek—that work their way through this urban/industrial landscape.

 

These habitats are one reason GGAS has created this new Christmas count circle—to get birders out exploring these areas, give them more attention and get local communities introduced to the joys of birding.  Signup for the Richmond count remains open until December 12 using the link below:

 

https://goldengateaudubon.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=6966&

 

I encourage folks to get out and find new spots to bird, especially ones for our Christmas count!!

 

Derek Heins

 


Re: Mountain bluebirds cont

Alan Bade
 

23 seen along fence here 37.857256, -121.702440. 8 females 15 males. 
Alan Bade 
Pleasant hill 

On Fri, Dec 3, 2021, 10:48 AM Alan Bade via groups.io <alanb1491187=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Mountain bluebirds continue along fence lines. 5 seen now kiting and posing along the fence. Western bluebirds with them.
Thanks for posting!
Alan Bade
Pleasant hill




Mountain bluebirds cont

Alan Bade
 

Mountain bluebirds continue along fence lines. 5 seen now kiting and posing along the fence. Western bluebirds with them.
Thanks for posting!
Alan Bade
Pleasant hill


Mountain Bluebirds - Los Vaqueros Watershed - 12/2

Paul Schorr
 

Yesterday, 12/2, Nancy and I located fifteen Mountain Bluebirds that were actively feeding along the fence line on the west side of the valley.  This fence line can be reached by walking northwest from the 1.25 mile marker of the Alkali Meadow Trail.  A map is available at the Walnut entrance kiosk.  There is an entrance fee and parking is available at the nearby Walnut Staging area.  Thanks to Sarah Lynch who pointed us in the right correction as we searched the oaks where they had been previously seen.  And thanks to those who initially found the birds.  We watched the birds for at least fifteen minutes as they sallied out from the fence, hovered and dropped to the grass in search of food.  Stunning birds in the good lighting.  My apologies for the late posting.

eBird checklist:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S98387925

Happybirding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


King Tides this weekend

Stephen T Bird
 

Should make for some nice shore & coastal wetland birding,  maybe some nice passerellidae (ammospiza!) chasing.

Occurring again January 1-3 to ring in the new year.

-Stephen

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