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White throated sparrow Grayson creek in Pleasant Hill

Alan Bade
 

It was pretty birdy and sparrow diversity was good along the east fork of Grayson creek today. We had the usual White crowned and Golden crowned, a Song sparrow, 12 Savannah sparrows and re-found a White throated sparrow. We looked for Chipping sparrows that are sometimes here, but didn't find them this time. This is the 2nd time we've seen the White throated during our Grayson creek bird survey, the last time being Nov 30th. Here's today's checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S101503626. The White throated was here: 37.937767, -122.063598. Savannahs were here: 37.937944, -122.064224. However, we didn't have some of the usual raptors we see, surprisingly. On our survey, we walk the EBMUD trail from Oak Park Blvd to Astrid, then check the creek north of the Pleasant Hill Middle school ballfields.

We also had an Orange crowned warbler and a Common merganser along with 3 Hooded mergansers over near Chilpancingo park along the creek: https://ebird.org/checklist/S101503010.

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill


Alleged rock sandpiper @ Emeryville

Alan Howe
 

Hi, all.

I need to apologize to anyone who may have tried to find the sandpiper I reported here on Wednesday. After studying my field guides some more & coming across a group of surfbirds yesterday today to the west of where I sighted the bird in question, I'm fairly sure it was indeed a surfbird

I will plead that I was confused by the variations of the illustrations in Sibley & Kaufman & that Wednesday's bird's plumage may have varied a bit from the norm. But I'll chalk this up as a lesson in being more careful before posting & sending folks out on a "wild sandpiper chase."

Peace,

Alan Howe
North Oakland


Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek Friday Jan. 21

rosita94598
 

Made a slow trip around the ponds with Walt D this morning, though we started at the north ball field.  Despite the mowing by a larger machine, the Short-billed Gulls were not bothered, nor were the Canada Geese.  The gulls were at least 60 in number and the geese included 2 White-fronted Geese.

Plenty of sparrows around the large, mostly natural pond, which is pretty low these days.  For us it was a 5-sparrow day, White-crowned, Gold-crowned, Song, Fox (2) and Lincoln's Sparrow.  We also had a female Ore. Junco.

The biggest surprise was to hear and then see an Acorn Woodpecker.  One arrived several months ago and mostly hangs out near the equestrian rings, sometimes closer to the pond, and once in a while near the gate to the private Seven Hills School.  Today it was just across the dry Ygnacio Canal next to the big pond. It made it's little yucka-yucka call, then flew to a tree slightly farther away.  I had not seen it all year.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Townsend's Solitaire Continues at Redwood Regional Park

Marsha Feinland
 

I saw a Townsend’s Solitaire in a madrone tree on Phillips Loop trail near (but on the other side of the trail) where it has been seen since Dec. 10, 2021.
It was today around 2 pm.
Marsha


Continuing Tufted Duck in Oakland

rosita94598
 

Following an early afternoon eye appointment, I drove to Oakland to see f I could find the Tufted Duck near Laney College.  I parked on 7th Street and walked down to scan all the Scaups.  I did not see the one with a black back, but I did see a suspicious bird swimming upstream toward the rusty pedestrian bridge.  I walked to the bridge, and sure enough, The male Tufted Duck was jsut inside that section of the channel.  It even turned a bit allowing me to see its shorter tuft.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Black Skimmers at Emeryville

Alan Howe
 

I was also out this evening & saw the skimmers far out from the south shore of Emeryville. They were pretty spectacular the one time the entire flock took off, becoming a murmuration of shifting black & white.

I also saw what seemed to be a purple sandpiper foraging along the rocks near the Emeryville Police station. Since Kaufman says this bird is almost identical with the rock sandpiper & location is one of the distinguishing factors, I'll assume it was a rock sp, but if anyone happens to see the bird & thinks it's a purple, please let us know.

Alan Howe
North Oakland

On Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 6:38 PM Claude Lyneis <cmlyneis@...> wrote:
Went out to the Emeryville mudflats between about 3:30 and 5:15 and indeed there were at least 30 Black Skimmers out on the mudflats.  It was a clear, calm afternoon.  There were about four other birders out there.  Viewed through my 500 mm Nikon, it took a little imagination and faith to see the Black Skimmers, who decided skimming was not on the agenda and the remained quite far away from the north side of the mudflats.  Fortunately, with some manipulation in Lightroom and Topaz DeNoise, the photos leave no doubt about the Black Skimmers.

Photo of the Black Skimmers in Flickr— https://flic.kr/p/2mYcUdR




Black Skimmers at Emeryville

Claude Lyneis
 

Went out to the Emeryville mudflats between about 3:30 and 5:15 and indeed there were at least 30 Black Skimmers out on the mudflats.  It was a clear, calm afternoon.  There were about four other birders out there.  Viewed through my 500 mm Nikon, it took a little imagination and faith to see the Black Skimmers, who decided skimming was not on the agenda and the remained quite far away from the north side of the mudflats.  Fortunately, with some manipulation in Lightroom and Topaz DeNoise, the photos leave no doubt about the Black Skimmers.

Photo of the Black Skimmers in Flickr— https://flic.kr/p/2mYcUdR


Shovelers in Heather Farm Park lake WC

Rosalie
 

Four male Shovelers (additional females possible) spotted swimming near the south end of the "Nature Lake" at Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek, 1/18/22. Between the island and the concrete pond, off "Hidden Trails".


The Black Skimmer Spectacle - Emervyille

Jim Chiropolos
 

I had to make a quick stop at the office today - and the Skimmer spectacle from the Emeryville mudflats between my office block and I80 was amazing. At 4 pm on a falling tide the skimmer flock was very active and and one time, in a group, flew within 150 feet of Powell street with many birds skimming! Some then roosted so close to Powell Street they could be ID’d with bare eyes. How many are there? I counted 61 three times and then saw a group of about 15 - could there be +- 75? Definitely the most amazing east bay birding of this year so far....

Tomorrow here at dusk could be quite a spectacle!

Jim Chiropolos
Emeryville today


Re: Numbers of birds Meeker Slough

Fred Werner
 

There were nearly 400 avocets in the Charleston Slough of the Baylands reserve yesterday (Santa Clara County, near Palo Alto).   My first time there so I don't know whether that's unusual.

- Fred



On Tue, Jan 18, 2022 at 2:34 PM Edward Vine <elvine@...> wrote:
True for Albany Mudflats as well.

Ed

On Tue, Jan 18, 2022 at 9:43 AM Phoebe Tanner via groups.io <phoebeanntanner=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Jan 17 We are seeing numbers as well as variety.  There were over 100 American Avocets on the edge of Meeker Slough.  Two days before there were 200+.  I have not seen these numbers in three years ago.
Jan 17 There were also about 80 Marbled Godwits close to the Avocets.





--
Edward Vine

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Building 90R2002
Berkeley, CA 94720-8136

Phone:     1-510-486-6047
Email:    elvine@...




Re: Numbers of birds Meeker Slough

Edward Vine
 

True for Albany Mudflats as well.

Ed

On Tue, Jan 18, 2022 at 9:43 AM Phoebe Tanner via groups.io <phoebeanntanner=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Jan 17 We are seeing numbers as well as variety.  There were over 100 American Avocets on the edge of Meeker Slough.  Two days before there were 200+.  I have not seen these numbers in three years ago.
Jan 17 There were also about 80 Marbled Godwits close to the Avocets.





--
Edward Vine

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Building 90R2002
Berkeley, CA 94720-8136

Phone:     1-510-486-6047
Email:    elvine@...


Numbers of birds Meeker Slough

Phoebe Tanner
 

Jan 17 We are seeing numbers as well as variety. There were over 100 American Avocets on the edge of Meeker Slough. Two days before there were 200+. I have not seen these numbers in three years ago.
Jan 17 There were also about 80 Marbled Godwits close to the Avocets.


Good variety of birds North of Point Isabel

Claude Lyneis
 

With the tide going out after lunch, there were a good variety of shorebird along the Bay Trail.  Black-belied Plovers, Marbled Godwits, Snowy Egrets, Common Goldeneyes, American Wigeons, Willets and my favorite a White-tailed Kite.

Link to photo on the White-tailed Kite in Flickr—  https://flic.kr/p/2mXHJas


Lake Merritt and the channel past Laney college

rosita94598
 

I spent a little time at the east(?) end of Lake Merritt near the pergola looking through the ducks there for anything other than Scaups, Buffleheads and Ruddy Ducks.  A few Common Goldeneyes were mixed in and some Canvasbacks were inside the end which is roped off from the rest of the lake.

I drove to the west end near the outlet channel and walked along the south side as far as 7th Street.  I crossed on the bridge, then crossed 7th to walk on the north side almost to the freeway.  I returned to Lake Merritt on the north side.

A Kingfisher was flying around and making noise, a Spotted Sandpiper flew up along the south side of the channel, Common Goldeneyes, but no Barrow's, and Scaups but no Tufted Duck.  I was not alone in looking, a Red-tailed Hawk was in a tree having lunch and two other birders were as unsuccessful as I was.

I drove to Powell Street in Emeryville and parked near the fire station.  Walking around and using my scope, I did see the Black Skimmers across the water and pretty much in front of the toll plaza.  I zoomed in almost to 60x to make it work.

I had wanted to drive to Richmond for the Black Scoter(s), but an accident north of Gilman killed that idea.  Traffic was backed-up to the maze.  I bought a cold drink in the little market and headed home. That's the way it goes, sometimes.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Alameda County bay side areas today

David Yeamans
 

I wanted to capitalize on high tide and early morning light at the Emeryville Marina, especially the high tide roost. The roost was, as always, packed with dunlins, willets, and marbled godwits. Jim Chiropolis was kind enough to show me the single red knot. It looked very much like the dowitchers when both have their heads tucked in. The big find for me was on the western shore where there were 3 COMMON LOONs. Photos are at


Search near there in ebird.org for more photos of the day.

Ballena Bay -- PELAGIC CORMORANT and other birds.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park -- SHORT-BILLED GULLS, canvasback, SNOW GOOSE. The juvenile flew in with some Canadas but swam to shore to be among his black and white cousins, the avocets. I had a hearty laugh over this juvie trying to fit in with the avocets.

Elsie Roemer -- lots of peeps and other interesting birds. Most interestingly, I found Gus, a student on vacation from Brown University who came out to practice rowing with the teams nearby. He's in line for a scholarship to CAL for crew. He was keen on birds so I had a good time showing him things in my scope.

Keep Watching

*************************
Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.


Lake Merritt Outflow Channel

Jim Chiropolos
 

I visited the Lake Merritt outflow channel today at lunch and the first bird I saw was the male tufted duck floating under me on a bridge from Laney College. As Mark R, the bird’s finder stated, it seems to not like to be with the adjacent scalp raft but maintain a distance. It then pulled a Houdini act and disappeared when I started looking for Barrows Goldeneyes and other birders appeared. Birding here was bittersweet as it was the first time ever in winter I have birded the outflow channel and not seen a Barrows Goldeneye. When I first started birding the channel 10 to 15 years ago - maybe 10 to 20 Barrows would always be present but every year since they were in a slow steady decline, but you are never ready for the time when you see none.

Scalp numbers are very low on Merritt - another species in decline on Lake Merritt and a second first was no lessor scalp by the nature center. Seemingly so much for the best area in the bay to figure out how to ID both species.

I see birders with big lens by Lake Merritt and I hear people are looking for bird rarities in Berkeley Aquatic Park with big cameras. Over the years, in these areas and other bay front urban areas, birders have been mugged for their cameras. Be careful out there.

On the home front, a bald eagle flew 15 feet over the house below Vollmer at 7:17 am. One of our cats was on the deck - luckily this eagle was traveling and not hunting. I think I don’t need to see any more eagles by the house....

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda


Greater White-Fronted Goose at Crab Cove Park, Alameda

Karen Miller
 

Saw a Greater White-Fronted Goose hanging out with the Canda Geese at Crab Cove Park in Alameda. It was in the picnic area that is past the end of McKay Street and to the right. https://ebird.org/checklist/S100660655


sordida?

Ethan Monk
 

This morning at Booker T. Anderson Park in Richmond, I ran into a
singing Orange-crowned Warbler that seemed consistent with the ssp.
sordida, which occurs primarily in Southern California. My
documentation is subpar and my experience with the ssp. very limited,
so this ID remains speculative. I post this to ask that if anyone
visits Booker in the near future to please attempt to document any
Orange-crowned Warblers and post the photos to eBird! The sordida ssp.
of Orange-crowned Warbler has only been conclusively documented a
handful of times in the Bay Area (despite likely occurring much more
frequently than we realize or notice). The bird in question was on
either side of the bridge that crosses the creek, and best I could
tell in the 35 minutes I had in the park before the maintenance crew
arrived, was the only Orange-crowned present. Jack Hayden found a
sordida O. c. warbler here in October of last year, so this could
easily be the same bird.

Also of note at Booker was one Pygmy Nuthatch adjacent Carlson Blvd.
(rare but increasing in the flat part of Richmond) and this morning at
Pt. Isabel a Heermann's Gull harassing Glaucous-winged Gulls.

Ethan Monk


Re: Tufted Duck

Mark Rauzon
 


or rather Tuftless Duck, an eclipse male found this 9am at the Laney College estuary, where I work. I was getting catalytic convertor guards put on for the upcoming semester and went to check out the estuary. (This is the outlet of Lake Merritt accessed by 10th Street near the Oakland Museum, or Lake Merritt Bart Station-for those doing a green year.) Dark backed duck caught my eye but couldn't see a crest but in the photos you can see where it might grow. The Nat. Geo guide says eclipse males may lack a crest but other field marks are there. Very white underwing lining and upper wing were seen when it bathed and large bill nail.
Once the car was done, I went to Aquatic Park and found Rusty Scalf's Western Flycatcher in the sun, then stopped by Emeryville and photographed some skimming skimmers. Nice morning outing. 

https://rauzon.zenfolio.com/p859914566/slideshow#hf65929a7

Mark Rauzon 
Oakland



Sorry wrong photo Link. Here is the Ring-necked Duck at Lake Anza

Claude Lyneis
 

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