Great-horned Owl Clifton Court Forebay


I came out here looking for a reported Short-ear Owl but came across this Great-horned Owl. Also saw Burrowing Owls.

Larry Cawthorn

Nelson's Sparrow and Summer Tanager

L Pittman

Karen Z and I went to Arrowhead Marsh at high tide today (1/24/12). The Nelson's Sparrow showed very briefly twice between 1 pm and 2:30 near the bridge/boardwalk. We went next to Lake Merritt where we searched for the Tufted Duck for an hour without success. We finished the day with a late stop at Berkeley Aquatic Park where the Summer Tanager was present in the eucalyptus tree next to the yellow-tagged tree at 4:43pm. We missed the Black & White Warbler and Northern Waterthrush.

Linda Pittman
Wilton, CA

Re: Urgent. Grebe needs help.

moonshadow.sandy <moonshadow.sandy@...>

By the way, I'd HIGHLY recommend this 2-day class on Wildlife Search and Rescue. I bet we have all been in situations where there was an injured bird , reptile, or mammal, and didn't know what to do or whom to call.

These people have Teams on-call all over the state and can usually send Teams out quickly. After the class and certification, YOU can volunteer to be part of the Search and Rescue Teams.
With an additional class, you can also be certified to work with oiled birds anywhere in the world and really make a difference.

There is a major Wldlife Rehab Center in Fairfield that receives all the oiled birds and other serious injuries.

And, of course, don't forget our wonderful Linday Museum in Walnut Creek, that can accept some injured wildlife, at certain times of the year - the hospital is NOT open year-round.

Sandy Richards, RN
Walnut Creek, CA


--- In EBB_Sightings@..., "bobsikora38" <sikora1@...> wrote:

This poor grebe is ensnared at the Berkeley Aquatic Park.

The only Western in the park this evening (Tues. 24 Jan. 2012), he was acting strangely in a raft of ducks and coots. When I got home and looked at the photos it can be seen that poor bird is ensnared in what looks like rubber tubing which goes around his neck and probably legs. He can't draw his head back far enough to get the tube (?) out of his mouth.

He should be easy to net in this situation.

Does anyone know who to contact to get help?

Bob, Alameda sikora1@...

Re: Urgent. Grebe needs help.

Sandy R <moonshadow.sandy@...>

I just took a wildlife rescue class this last weekend and will notify the local Rescue Team.
For future reference , for all injured birds, animals (but not marine mammals, as they are handled by a different dept) Call:

Rebecca Dmytryk

P.O. Box 65, Moss Landing CA 95039
Mobile: 831.840.3896
Pager: 831-429-2323

Urgent. Grebe needs help.

Bob Sikora

This poor grebe is ensnared at the Berkeley Aquatic Park.

The only Western in the park this evening (Tues. 24 Jan. 2012), he was acting strangely in a raft of ducks and coots. When I got home and looked at the photos it can be seen that poor bird is ensnared in what looks like rubber tubing which goes around his neck and probably legs. He can't draw his head back far enough to get the tube (?) out of his mouth.

He should be easy to net in this situation.

Does anyone know who to contact to get help?

Bob, Alameda sikora1@...

Hayward Shoreline (1/24)

Bob Richmond

I started at Winton Ave. and saw a male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD. This is the only Jan. record I have for the shoreline. A group of 25+ swallows were mostly TREE SWALLOWS but had 3 WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS and at least 1 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (only the second record I have for the shoreline in Jan.). An ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was on a nest and a BEWICK'S WREN was seen here later. Up on Mt. Trashmore were 6 white geese - 3 ROSS, 2 SNOW, and 1 possible ROSS x SNOW. 235 CACKLING GEESE (most or all ALUETIAN) were also present. A GREEN-WINGED (COMMON) TEAL was in Ora Loma Marsh east of the power lines. In Cogswell Marsh while looking unsuccessfully for unusual sparrows, 4 WHITE-FACED IBIS flew overhead. These are the first I have seen in Jan. at the shoreline. At Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, I missed the probable Lesser Black-backed Gull but saw one of the CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS on the way back. Offshore from the San Leandro Marina was a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE. 4 RED KNOTS
were on the mudflat around the rocky island close to 5 pm.


Bald Eagles at Del Valle


I was at Del Valle today around noon. I've never seen the lake level so low! I walked up the "Dog Run" trail at the end of the Marina, and as I ascended the hill I looked up to the crest to find I was being watched - by a Bobcat. Bob didn't want to leave the trail, and neither did I, so we had a stare-down for awhile, and then I started talking to her, reasoning with her, and she opted to head for the hills, literally, and I did not see her when I passed the spot later. This is the second time I've seen a Bobcat at Del Valle; last time I saw one near the campground across the bridge.

My destination today was a point where I could view the dark-trunked "upside-down bird's foot" tree high on the western hillside where two Bald Eagles were perched. This is only a 10-15 minute walk from the Marina, across from Hetch Hetchy but you can see the tree without walking that far.

It was wonderfully quiet in the park today, and I enjoyed seeing deer and desert cottontails as well as Bob.

Stephanie Floyd

Common goldeneyes displaying...


Courting season must be in full swing. I had a group of goldeneyes displaying and feeding yesterday late morning in Lake Merritt Channel Park (at least that's what I call it - next to Laney College, between 10th & 12 Streets):

Allen Hirsch

Claremont Summer Tanager

Mark Rauzon

Around 2:30, just after it stopped misting, I opened my car door to get ready to look for the Summer Tanager found by Graham Chisholm over the weekend, and bingo, it popped up on the parking sign right behind my car. I stayed around my car's back door and photographed it as it returned a few times to the cotoneaster berries along side the Sotheby's Real estate office in front of the pink house (#26?) on Domingo and Tunnel Road. It would fly across the street, perch on houses and bare trees and circle back to the berries. There is a lot of foot traffic here and my impression is the bird is somewhat accommodating. Several neighbors asked me what I was doing, and they were interested, but be aware this is a high traffic area with a school near by, so people may be suspicious.

Any comments on subspecies/morph/gender?

Good birding,

Mark Rauzon

Lesser Yellowlegs at Coyote Hills - 22 Jan 2012

Denise Wight

Hi E.B. Birders,

Yesterday morning at about 8:00 am at Coyote Hills Regional Park, there were 14 Lesser Yellowlegs with 6 Greater Yellowlegs in the flooded field within about 100 feet of the entrance fee station. When I left at 1:00 pm, this spot had no yellowlegs at all.

All the Best Birding,
Denise Wight
Moraga, CA

San Leandro Marina 1/21 and 1/22 -- probable Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

I went gulling two days in a row at San Leandro Marina, where huge numbers of gulls were congregating (perhaps dispersants from the landfills that are shut down on the weekends). On Saturday, there were all the regulars: MEW, RING-BILLED, CALIFORNIA, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, THAYER'S, and AMERICAN HERRING GULLS, and some hybrids. There were a few odd ones I couldn't ID, but nothing that looked like a rarity.
All afternoon on Sunday I saw all the same species as the day before. But at 4:40 PM, while scoping the mudflats near Torito's restaurant, I spotted what appeared to be a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL: a very long-winged, thin-billed, California Gull-sized bird with a very dark back, slightly darker than a nearby Western Gull, and bright yellow legs. In flight, its slaty-blackish upperwings showed very little contrast with the black primaries. I could only get a few very distant, blurry pictures which don't really show much, but they do show that it is very dark backed, as compared to Western and Glaucous-winged Gulls standing nearby.  
Noah Arthur, Oakland

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Aquatic Park - Black and White Warbler present


This morning with intermittent sprinkles we briefly staked out the Summer Tanager tree (15min) to no avail, but we lucked out with the BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER in the nearby willows directly to the east of said tree (in the vicinity of frisbie golf hole 14). A brief, equally insufficient stop at the N. Waterthrush area (5min) didn't turn anything up.

We also saw a Brown Creeper and a Downy Woodpecker near hole 14.

Jack Hayden
Brian and Noah DeLay

Continuing Alameda rarities + more

Logan Kahle

Hi all,
Today Jeff Miller and I did a run through Alameda county in hopes of finding some of the previously reported vagrants.

Coyote Hills:

While driving near the fields, we were able to find a few Cackling Geese mixed in with the Canadas. As we continued, I heard a bizarre Phoebe-like call which intrigued me. We quickly pulled over and started pishing. After a short while, sure enough, a SWAMP SPARROW flew out of a nearby bush. It was quite fun to have both a Swamp Sparrow and a genuine Black Phoebe in ear-shot at one time.

As we continued to the main boardwalk we saw more of the common species. We then walked to an overlook where we were able to see one of the continuing WHITE-FACED IBIS. On our walk back to the car, we saw a Merlin fly over.

Pacific Commons Linear Park:

Shortly after arriving, we noticed the huge (primarily Tricolored) Blackbird flock. After following the flock, we came across an opening with a few birds. We were soon able to find the continuing YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD feeding amongst the swarm. Jeff was able to show me two Tree Swallows foraging above the ponds.

Arrowhead Marsh:

Arriving a little after 10:30, the tide was on our side. I was quite shocked by the sheer number of Common Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens, as they seemed to occupy every bush! However, after intensive searching for about 20 minutes, I was able to relocate the NELSON'S (sharp-tailed) SPARROW, who offered amazing views. There was also one Clapper Rail (low count?).

Unfortunately, at subsequent stops, the birding deteriorated with the weather.

Oyster Bay:

Despite searching pretty hard for the sparrow, we failed to find anything more than White- and Golden-crowns.

Berkley Aquatic Park:

Surprisingly, we missed all of the rarities. Crummy weather was certainly a factor, though. We were forced to be satisfied with Forester's Terns.

Vincent Park:

For some reason, people haven't been reporting from here recently, we decided to give it a shot. The rocks/beach contained the following shorebirds:
~20 Dunlin
~10 Sanderling
~5 Black Turnstones
3 Western Sandpipers
3 Least Sandpipers
2 Black Oystercatchers
1 Long-billed Curlew
1 Spotted Sandpiper
1 Black-bellied Plover

I was shocked to only find one Surf Scoter, and we had no luck with either the Black Scoters of the Long-tailed Ducks.

Good birding,
Logan Kahle
San Francisco

Arrowhead Marsh - MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline Nelson's Sparrow & Clapper Rail


Arrowhead Marsh
1 22 2012 10am - 12pm

Bird of the Day

Nelson's Sparrow

Clapper Rail

Western Grebe
Virginia Rail
Brown Pelican
Common Yellowthroat
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Marsh Wren
Surf Scoter
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Black Phoebe
American Crow
Ring-billed Gull
Marbled Godwit
Black-bellied Plover
Double-crested Cormorant
American Coot
American Wigeon
Anna's Hummingbird
Cooper's Hawk
Canada Goose
California Towhee

Davor Desancic
Fremont, CA

SHORT-EARED OWL at Clifton Court Forebay -- 1/21

Amy McDonald <amymcd@...>

Hi all,

Saturday afternoon I went to Clifton Court Forebay to look for two SHORT-EARED
OWLS as reported on eBird. I found one of the owls as follows:

Arriving at 4pm, I scoped the distant fields at the end of Clifton Ct. from the
bridge just before the parking area. In the field just left of the sheep
pasture, a SHORT-EARED OWL was sitting on the ground. While on the ground, I
could see only the head (with pale face and dark area around the eyes) and pale,
lightly-streaked breast. I watched for about 20 minutes, until the owl flew low
and direct to the NW and disappeared behind a hedge row. In flight I could see
the light underwings, mottled, light-brown upperparts and wings, dark wingtips
and dark carpal patch. Due to the long-distance view, I could not pick
out additional details.   
Also of interest were 90 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS in the field on the NE side of
Clifton Ct. (near the lone palm tree).

Amy McDonald
San Jose, CA

Hooded Mergansers at Jewel Lake

Bob Sikora

The pair were catching fish at Jewel Lake on Thursday 19 Jan., along with 8 Buffleheads. 1 pair Mallards. Overcast. Water visibility ~2'. Some photos at!i=1681783203&k=RwMn2k9

Friday, rain. Saturday, 21 Jan. water muddy, water visibility 0. Mergansers gone. Buffleheads still there along with 4 pairs Mallards.

Bob, Alameda

Re: Tanager -- Berkeley

Graham Chisholm

Following up on Kay's message, the tanager I found yesterday morning along
Domingo Street in Berkeley just south of Tunnel Road is definitely a female
Summer Tanager. It reappeared at 10:20 this morning feeding on the red
berries right above the side walk. It flew in from across the street and
then flew off into the maple by the gas station on the corner. It is large
billed, it's back lacks the contrast of Western Tanager and has faded red
around face, belly and below the tail. Nice to know that all the birds are
not just at Aquatic Park.

Graham Chisholm

On Jan 21, 2012, at 3:17 PM, Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:

Graham and all,

I saw the bird for several minutes this afternoon at 2:30. Am quite
sure it was a Summer Tanager, possibly a red-morph female, as there were
blotchy reddish patches visible (with binoculars) on the breast and
belly as well as the head. The bird was feeding on cotoneaster berries
right at the sidewalk; but soon flew south toward the camphor trees at
the corner of El Camino Real. If anyone gets a photo of this specific
bird, I would very much appreciate getting a copy to post on the website
for Claremont Canyon area wildlife.

Kay Loughman
in the hills above the Claremont Hotel, Berkeley

Graham CHISHOLM wrote:

This morning at 9 am while out walking I had a quick glimpse of a tanager
feeding on berries just south of the corner of Tunnel Road and Domingo in
Berkeley. The berry trees are along the parking lot of the Sotheby's Real
Estate office. Unfortunately I did not have binoculars with me and only
had a quick view confirming that it was a tanager with slight reddish wash
around the face, overall pale yellow appearance though I did not get a
look at the back. Bill did not appear large and I am leaning toward
Western Tanager. I returned with binoculars and looked again without
success, but the plentiful food source makes me think it will be back.

Thanks. Graham

Graham Chisholm
e. graham.chisholm@... <>

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Emeryville's BTGWarbler pix

Mark Rauzon

The Black-throated Gray Warbler was a drive up bird at Heritage Square, Emeryville. I pulled into the parking lot for Bucci's on Hollis st 59th in Emeryville and the warbler popped up in front of my car. I watched through the wind shield as it foraged in the sunlight 8 feet away. It took off and I refound it in the low plants near the office building in the back. Here is the male in a fushia.

Good birding

Mark Rauzon

Summer Tanager, Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Clay-Colored Sparrow

C Lou


The SUMMER TANAGER was first heard calling loudly at 910am at
the 'tanager spot' by the above the yellow tagged tree at
Aquatic Park. We got visual confirmation at 945am when it posed
in the yellow tagged tree for five minutes or so. At 1000am,
the bird was over by the line of trees by the railroad tracks.

Note: this area is on the east side of Aquatic Park, lined up
with the boat ramp. There is a picnic table underneath a
large eucalyptus tree. The bare tree with yellow tagging is
is close by.

A male EURASIAN WIGEON was at the Miller_knox Regional Park.

The male TUFTED DUCK was down by the fountain at Lake Merritt.

One of the CLAY-COLORED SPARROWs was by the entrance to
Oyster Bay Regional park at 130pm.

Calvin D Lou
San Francisco

Barrows Goldeneyes at Lake Merritt (was Re: Yellow-Headed Blackbird continues, Pacific Commons Linear Park)

Hilary Powers <hilary@...>

On 1/21/2012 1:21 PM, scfloyd2000@... wrote:
The Steenhovens and I and many others participated in Ohlone
Audubon's field trip to Shadow Cliffs (off Stanley in Pleasanton)
this morning....
And I woulda been there, but when I went to open my garage, one of the springs broke loose with a sound like a gunshot and the door slammed down and jammed shut. I unjammed it enough to pry it open - but it wouldn't stay up, so the car was still trapped - and it was way too early to roust out the building manager.

So I walked around Lake Merritt, and saw half a dozen Barrow's Goldeneyes up at the 12th Street tide inlet: a couple of adult males, a female, and some immature males - though I just checked the book, and they look an awful lot like immature Common males. (And there were some Common Goldeneyes there too.)

The male Redhead was near the bird paddock, and the Tufted Duck by the Embarcadero fountain.

And - yay for apartment life - the manager got onto the owners, and they sent someone around this afternoon to fix the garage....

- Hilary Powers - hilary@... - Oakland CA -
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