Date   

Great-tailed Grackle at Bethany Reservoir near Tracy

golacula1
 

In the trees at the boat lanch at Bethany Reservoir I got a picture of what looks like a Great-tailed Grackle. It's talons threw me off, they were a little larger then I thought a Grackle would have. But after checking with the California Fish and Game and showing them a picture, they confirmed the Great-tailed Grackle.
Happy Birding.


Seven Hooded Orioles in Moraga

Judi & John <jandjcooper@...>
 

I believe we are seeing the same with our Hooded Orioles as Paul Schorr reported. We are now seeing 2 additional young females at our feeders. The original 2 adult males and females are still coming with 3 female young. They are feeding on the sugar water all day every day. We also have lots of other fledglings – Black-headed Grosbeaks, Chickadees, House Finch, Calif Towee, Spotted Towee, Titmouse. The last few days a pair of Calif Quail with 3 babies (down from 4) are coming and another pair which must be the Aunt and Uncle.

Judi Cooper
Moraga

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black headed grosbeak fledglings

owlycat@pacbell.net <owlycat@...>
 

I'm always jealous of the people with orioles in their yards but I suppose I should be content with the beautiful orange and black birds that visit my sunflower chip feeders each summer. I have seen at least one family of BH grosbeaks this past week. In fact, as I write this, one of the kids is taking a vigorous bath in the birdbath. In addition to the grosbeaks there are numerous other families in our yard. And this year several species raised two broods. I have rarely seen that here. Must have something to do with the cooler weather. Multiple families have included chickadees, robins and CA towhees. I have had lots of fun watching a family of pigmy nuthatches completely taking over our suet feeder. For such small birds, they have a hearty appetite. Well, with fall approaching, I will enjoy my beautiful orange and black birds before they head off to their winter grounds.

Susan Russell
Montclair, just below Skyline and Colton


Hooded Orioles in Antioch

Paul Schorr
 

Apparently the Hooded Orioles that we have been reporting since June 16 have had a second brood. During this past week the adults have been accompanied in our yard by two much younger birds than the three juveniles that we previously reported. These younger birds associate more closely with the adults and are much more dependent upon them. They are awkward in their attempt to feed at the feeders, and one of them has actually piggy-backed on the back of the adult male while he was at the feeder. They are very investigative as they move throughout the yard and even sought food from the thistle feeder. So in our best determination, the adults have successfully raised five young.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch


Common Murres at the Berkeley Pier 8/7

zachary.baer2
 

I got out early this morning to catch the outgoing tide at the Berkeley Pier and was delighted to see at least 2 COMMON MURRES had made there way into alameda county. As the tide receded so did the common murres back towards San Francisco. There was not much more to report out at the pier.

I also poked my head into Middle Harbor in Oakland. The exposed mudflats contained all of the expected species of shorebirds and a nice flock (approx 50) ELEGANT TERNS.

Good birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA


Re: Pacific Golden Plovers can still be seen at Hayward Regional Shoreline

richard s. cimino
 

Late Friday morning 10-11 AM I made an attempt to locate the
PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER.
I was not successful due the tide being out.
So I returned this morning a few minutes before 7AM for a 6.6 FT high tide.
In the distance ( scope - required) I counted a group of 86
Black-bellied Plovers behind some short pickle weed.
About half an hour went by before a low flying gull species spooked the
BLPL into a short flight and hop into the open.
What I thought were significant field marks from the short flight into
open did with the help of the scope produced the Male Pacific Golden Plover.
There were many juvenile Black-bellied Plovers but I could not sort out
a Pacific Golden Plover.
Closing note on the playa between the trail and the Caltrans Toll booth
there were 800 American Avocets on the sand bar.
All the species mention by Pat Bacchetti were still present in good numbers.
Enjoy the weekend.
Rich Cimino

On 8/4/2011 9:39 PM, bacpab wrote:

After reading Michael Park's afternoon posts, Judith Dunham and I made
a quick decision to head down to Hayward after work. We arrived at the
Interpretive Center, off of Clawiter Road at Hwy 92, at 7PM and headed
for the bay. Just as Michael has described, the majority of the
shorebirds are north (on the right) of the first big curve in the
trail. We located at least 1 male PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER and 1 female
about 50-75 yards north of the trail. They were out in a muddy area
north of the shallow water, associating with Black-bellied Plovers and
American Avocets. The male had a dark cap, speckled flanks, and a
warmer tone, even in the fading light. The female had a prominent dark
cap and white supercilium. More birds were hiding behind the lip of
the grass, and the others that Michael saw were probably holed up
below our view. Also present were Black-bellied Plovers, Red Knots,
dowicher sp, Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Willets, a couple
of Semipalmated Plovers, and a variety of peeps. A scope is really
helpful to identify these guys.

Pat Bacchetti
Oakland


Clapper Rails in Meeker Slough & Bay Trail

Sheila Dickie
 

Hi everyone

Last evening August 4 at about 7:20 p.m. I saw a juvenile and adult Clapper Rail in Meeker Slough, Marina Bay, Richmond.  (See below for directions).  I first saw the juvenile on a mud bank standing very still.  It then sprung into a run and I saw the adult rail it was headed for just a couple of yards away.  They disappeared into the reeds, then reappeared, then disappeared and finally the adult wandered off up a narrow channel alongside the mudbank.  The juvenile stayed out, followed a Snowy Egret then ran around the mud bank highly agitated.  It calmed down, took a bath, preened and finally disappeared too up a channel.

I then walked out to the bay and down the Bay Trail heading South. On the east side of the trail, in the marsh that comes after the Richmond Field Station marsh, I and another birder watched two Red-necked Phalaropes swimming in a shallow pool.  I walked further down the trail and turned just before the 51st Street Path. Coming back at about 8 p.m.  in the same marsh as the phalaropes but further down among grass and reeds, I saw another Clapper Rail.

On the bay side, there was a good showing of shore birds: Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Willet, Black-bellied Plover, peeps, sp., Dowitcher, sp. and a fly by of three Black Oyster Catchers.  The tide was just about right to allow some mud around the dilapidated pier.   I did not see the Black Skimmers previously reported.

Directions:  From 580 West (heading toward Richmond Bridge), take the Marina Bay Parkway/So 23rd Street exit.  At the end of the ramp, turn left back across the freeway onto Marina Bay Parkway.  Cross the RR Tracks and Regatta Blvd. and look for Bayside Dr. on your left.  It is a dead-end street.  Park at the end of the street and walk through the condos to the trail.  On your left you will see two benches, and a toxic substances sign on the fence.  Directly opposite on the other side of Meeker Slough you will see a muddy bank, if the tide is right.  The first two Clapper Rails were there.  By turning right, you walk out to the Bay and Meeker Bridge from where you can head south, or also north along the trail.

Good birding
Sheila Dickie
Richmond


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Hercules-Fledgling Hooded Oriole

MaryLou Mull
 

One female fledgling Hooded Oriole and an adult female visited our syrup feeder this morning. The little girl hung out on nearby branch and begged while adult sipped away--ignoring her. Finally, after several attempts, little girl landed on the feeder and continued to beg. Adult continued to ignore-- enjoying many sips in the process. Finally little girl sipped! Hurray!

We have at least 2 adult females and 2 adult males visiting us this year (we suspect at least 2 more--but not positive). This little fledgling female is the only baby we have been able to identify--so far. Since they arrived almost 6 weeks later this year than last year--it will be interesting to see how long they stay. Last year they cleared out by August 10th.
Good birding!
MaryLou Mull
Hercules--( dead end of Refugio Valley)


Pacific Golden Plovers at Hayward Regional Shoreline

Patricia Bacchetti
 

After reading Michael Park's afternoon posts, Judith Dunham and I made a quick decision to head down to Hayward after work. We arrived at the Interpretive Center, off of Clawiter Road at Hwy 92, at 7PM and headed for the bay. Just as Michael has described, the majority of the shorebirds are north (on the right) of the first big curve in the trail. We located at least 1 male PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER and 1 female about 50-75 yards north of the trail. They were out in a muddy area north of the shallow water, associating with Black-bellied Plovers and American Avocets. The male had a dark cap, speckled flanks, and a warmer tone, even in the fading light. The female had a prominent dark cap and white supercilium. More birds were hiding behind the lip of the grass, and the others that Michael saw were probably holed up below our view. Also present were Black-bellied Plovers, Red Knots, dowicher sp, Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Willets, a couple of Semipalmated Plovers, and a variety of peeps. A scope is really helpful to identify these guys.

Pat Bacchetti
Oakland


Hayward Regional Shoreline -- 8/4

Michael Park
 

An inquiry into the location of birds in my earlier posts has spurred this more detailed post. I was composing the message on my phone, and a lengthy message was not possible.

From the Hayward Regional Park Interpretive Center near the San Mateo Bridge, take the trail out towards the bay. Walk to where the trail makes a slight bend, and well before you get to the signage midway to the bay.

North of the trail, (5) PACIFIC-GOLDEN PLOVER were attempting to keep their feet dry the edge of vegetation about 50 to 75 yards from the trail's edge.

They were loosely associated with a few individuals of Black-bellied Plover and American Avocet that were separate from a much larger groups of each out in the middle of shallow water and mud in the marsh.

Also present were RED KNOT.

Mayhem broke loose as high tide approached when a Turkey Vulture approached the marsh from the north. First the main group of Black-bellied Plover took flight to the west along with most of the peeps. When the Turkey Vulture actually entered the airspace above the remaining shorebirds scattered, and I lost the Pacific Golden-Plover.

I searched for another hour walking out to the Least Tern sign. But the tide was high, and there was no sign of any plovers.

However, there were at least (250) RED-NECKED PHALAROPE in the large pond next to the bay where the terns breed.

Michael Park
Berkeley


MORE: Pacific Golden-Plover -- 8/4 Hayward

Michael Park
 

I should add that the (3) were male. I also saw (2) femalein alternateplumage --white under the eye with a thin stripe of black through the eye.

The birds did not fly with the main flock of Black-bellied Plover.

Michael Park
Berkeley


Pacific Golden-Plover -- 8/4 Hayward

Michael Park
 

As of 345pm, there were (3) PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER associating with American Avocet at water's edge on a peninsula about 50 to 75 yards off the trail. They were in remnant alternate plumage -- richly colored cap on head as well as back, strongly contrasting with narrow white facial stripe.

Birds flushed when Turkey Vulture flew into Marsh on north side of trail leading away from interpretive center.

I am attempting to locate them again.

Michael Park
Berkeley


Hayward Shoreline (8/3)

Bob Richmond
 

Seen today at the shoreline -

Near the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek was my first LESSER YELLOWLEGS of the season. Among the shorebirds were hundreds of RED KNOTS. At the San Leandro Marina were 15 (est) SURFBIRDS and 2 WANDERING TATTLERS. Along the trail from the Interpretive Center out to the bay was a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. It was about 1/4 of the way towards the bay and on the north side of the trail. An adult PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER was near the hundreds of AMERICAN AVOCETS. They were seen between 2:00 and 2:45 today.Frank's Dump West had no unusual shorebirds, no large or medium shorebirds except BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and RED KNOTS. Also present were many hundreds of peeps and small plovers.

Good birding

Bob


Black Skimmers

Frances DuPont
 

I saw two skimmers tonightat 5:16 pm at the same place reported yesterday by Joyce. I got a great view, for only 2 minutes, at high tide, and then they disappeared. Perhaps they landed to escape the heavy wind.

Frances Dupont, Richmond


Great-tailed Gackles continue at Coyote Hills

Chris Cochems
 

I observed four females and one male today in the marsh next to the overflow parking lot.

Coyote HIlls Regional Park is in Fremont. Take Ardenwood to Patterson Ranch Road. Take Patterson Ranch Road to the end, and park on the right.

Photos at : "http://www.flickr.com/photos/20708683@N02/";

Chris


Black Skimmers -- Richmond

Stephen
 

EBB'ers,

Following up on Joyce Rybrandt's posting of 2 Black Skimmers at Meeker Slough, I decided to chase, once again, this Contra Costa nemesis species for me.

I tried Meeker Slough first with no luck, and then decided to scope Brooks Island. This is best done from the stern parking lot at the Red Oak Victory. Sure enough, Joyce's two BLACK SKIMMERs were sleeping on the beach in the company of 29 Caspian Terns and 85 Elegant Terns (my first of season for the Elegant's).

To get to the vantage point for scoping Brooks Island, take Canal Street off I-580 and go west ... and go ... and go ... Canal street makes a broad curve around a huge parking lot for new cars unloaded from Japanese ships. Sometimes this lot is empty -- today, it still had lots of cars from the last ship. Keep going, following the signs for the Red Oak Victory. When you finally come to the parking lot for the ship, it will be the parking lot at the bow -- you want the lot at the stern, easily found.

As with Joyce, I found the skimmers at low tide, around 9:10 AM low tide at Pt. Isabel was 9:01). Tomorrow's low tide will be at 9:46.

Good luck and good birding,
Stephen Long
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
diomedea at berkeley dot edu


Black Skimmers on Bay Trail just north of Bayview entrance

Joyce Rybandt
 

A volunteer from Golden Gate Audubon pointed out two Black Skimmers this
evening between 7:30 and 8:15 pm on the Bay Trail between El Cerrito and
Richmond. The tide was quite low. The birds were skimming close together
over the channel just north of the bridge near the Bayview entrance to the
Bay Trail (directions below). They flew back and forth from one end of the
channel to the other until they were harassed by a Gull. They returned a few
minutes later and continued their skimming. A gorgeous sight.



Directions:

From I-580 W, take exit 11 for Bayview Ave

Turn left onto Bayview Ave

Turn left onto Seaport Ave

Turn left onto S 51st St



Walk down the path toward the Bay. Turn right at the Bay Trail, cross the
bridge, continue north until you can see the channel that flows under the
bridge where it meets the Bay.



Joyce Rybandt


" The Naturalist" will be at Martinez Beaver Festival

Michael Marchiano
 

This is an invitation to anyone interested to come and enjoy the Martinez
Beaver Festival, Saturday August 6, from 11:00 to 3:00 in the park at the
Corner of Alhambra Ave and Marina Vista, Next to the Am-Track Station. I
will have my *Naturalist *booth open and on display to share information and
answer questions about local wild life.....live creatures for those who are
inclined to touch or hold....many other booths and entertainment are
provided...every thing is free....bring a friend and enjoy the day...hope to
see a few familiar faces and I especially hope all is well with each of you
and your families.
--
Michael Marchiano
*The Naturalist*
mmarchiano@gmail.com
925-372-6328

We will never be at peace until we are willing to understand, respect and
live in harmony with all other living things.


SL Marina (Ala) - Shorebirds & Terns 7/30 & 7/31

Kathy Robertson
 

Hi birders,

I made three brief trips to the San Leandro Marina this weekend (Sat
afternoon, Sun morning, Sun afternoon), at varying times & tides. The main area
I birded was near the small, rocky island east of the breakwater. Birds of
note included:

Surfbirds (12), all visits
Ruddy Turnstone (1), all visits
Whimbrel (1), Sat afternoon
Least Tern (3 - 2 ad, 1 juv), Sun morning
Elegant Tern (approx 10), Sun morning
Osprey (1, making a catch), Sun morning

Other, more ordinary, shorebirds included Black Turnstone, Willet, Mar.
Godwit, LB Curlew, Least & W. Sandpipers, and my first (for NorCal)
Semi-palmated Plovers of the season. Also had 7 Am. White Pelicans (circling, but
not landing) on Sun morning. Unfortunately, no sign of Wandering Tattlers
or Baird's Sandpiper, which were reported earlier this month.

Good birding,
Kathy Robertson
Hayward, CA


Hooded Orioles in Antioch yard

Paul Schorr
 

Upon returning home from a 12-day vacation, we were delighted to find that the pair of Hooded Orioles that we had been reporting in our yard since June 16 had returned, and now were accompanied by their family of three young.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch

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