Date   

Alameda Creek Trail - Coyote Hills Bike Ride

DD
 

5 red-tailed hawks
2 merlin
1 kestrel
1 white-tailed kite
1 Pair of hooded megensers

Davor Desancic
Fremont, CA


Re: [BIRDCHAT] Common Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser hybrid (photo)

Hilary Powers <hilary@...>
 

Offlist, someone wrote:
Hi Hilary,

Just wondering, if "all the Aytha ducks egg drop", how does that
explain a Bucephala sp. X Lophodytes hybrid.
Heh - you're right, it doesn't follow. But the error is in the genus name; I shoulda said "all the cavity-nesting ducks egg drop." Doesn't pay to get too clever without looking things up....

On what's a species - when I was in school (in the 1950s), we learned that the defining point was the inability to produce fertile offspring. But that line has gotten a lot shakier over the years, especially with birds; don't a lot of the white-headed gulls produce fertile young?

And I've heard - from a scientist running a polar bear research center, who certainly ought to know - that polar bears and grizzly bears produce fertile offspring....

--
- Hilary Powers - hilary@... - Oakland CA -
- Freelance copyediting and developmental editing -
- "Making Word Work for You" - www.the-efa.org/res/booklets.php -
- The edit you want - online, on time, and on target -
- Salamander Feltworks NOW LIVE - www.SalamanderFeltworks.com -


Redheads at Clifton Court

Jeff Hoppes
 

I spent today birding eastern Contra Costa County.

The highlight was a pair of Redheads on Clifton Court Forebay (access via
Clifton Court Road off Byron Highway). Bring a scope and be prepared to
patiently look through large numbers of scaup.

There were also two Ferruginous Hawks (one at the east end of Delta Road,
just before the turn north to the Holland Tract; the other near Byron
Airport, just north of the junction of Armstrong and Byron Hot Springs
Roads). The latter location also had a flock of 75 Long-billed Curlews.

Good birding,
Jeff Hoppes
El Cerrito


Red-naped Sapsucker Mines Road

richard s. cimino
 

Yesterday on Mines Rd. near MM 9.68 looking down slope I observed a
Red-naped Sapsucker.
I believe that a Red-naped Sapsucker was reported in November 2011 not
far from this sighting location.
There was no sign of Lewis's Woodpeckers reported on e Bird the day
before (2.7.12).
Have a good day,
Rich Cimino
Pleasanton


Rufous - Allen's Type Hummingbird

richard s. cimino
 

A Rufous - Allen's "TYPE" Hummingbird hit my feeder several times in the
last few minutes.
Of course it's using the wrong side of the feeder to get a positive I.D..
Hoping it'll spend the day.
This is bit early , normally they come through Pleasanton last week of
February into March.
Have a great day,
Rich Cimino


Black-crowned Night Herons at Lakeshore Park in Newark

Dave Miller
 

I made a quick trip out to Lakeshore Park in Newark (aka Newark Lake) at about 4:30pm to test out a 2x teleconverter with my 70-200 2.8. I was very happy to see almost a dozen Black-crowned Night Herons in the trees on the small island on the southern end of the Lake.

That island usually fills up with Herons and Snowy Egrets so it is good to see the herons starting to show up. I'm sure the egrets will follow soon.

http://flic.kr/p/bqQteK


Spring Activity in Walnut Creek, Too

rosita94598
 

Like my high school friend, Johan, we have had two Bewick's Wrens checking our nest box here in Walnut Creek. This is the same box which has had nesting Chickadees three years in a row. Only time will tell if the wrens will sign the lease first. Rosita has a For Rent sign hanging from the bottom corner of the nest box. When it is time, we will turn it around to show that it is Occupied.

Monday, Fred Safier saw a Killdeer pair copulating near the Contra Costa Canal at the north end of Heather Farm Park. They have nested in the area numerous times in recent years.

The Oak Titmouses seem to be in pairs now, too. I rode to Martinez and back today and did not try to count how many Titmouse calls I heard along the way.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Spring activity

Johan Langewis
 

On my bike ride on Pinehurst Road this morning I heard a singing Orange-crowned Warbler near Canyon, the first (and early) of the season for me. On my front porch a pair of Bewick's Wrens were checking out the nest box, one energetically singing and the other peeking inside. No activity yet in the nest box in the back yard.

Johan Langewis
Oakland


Re: Merlin and Allen's Hummingbird, Lake Elizabeth, Fremont

scfloyd2000
 

I apologize for including an incorrect link in my former message.

To register for the "Bird's Isle View" program at Lake Elizabeth on May 12, go to regerec.com. The barcodes for the sessions are:
9:00-10:30 = 167918
11:00-12:30 = 167919

Stephanie Floyd
Fremont

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., scfloyd2000@... wrote:

Fifteen participants joined park ranger Sandy Ferreira and I this morning for Ohlone Audubon's field trip at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont's Central Park (Paseo Padre Parkway at Grimmer). We walked from Five Palms (near the Waterpark) north along Mission Creek as far as the soccer fields.

Near Five Palms, the continuing Merlin was seen in a large snag in a field east of the parking lot and in a tree south across the lake from Duck Island. An Allen's Hummingbird, first of season for most of us, was buzzing around and then perched for excellent viewing in the berry bushes along the creek near the lake end of the parking lot. Two Green Herons were together along the banks by Duck Island, a Red-Tailed Hawk was in a tree by the platform on Duck Island, and a Common Goldeneye was on the lake (not common here).

Tree Swallows and at least one Violet-Green Swallow were swirling over Duck Island and seriously checking out the nest boxes that Sandy so painstakingly places and monitors. Several Tree Swallows (and several House Sparrows...) were perched near or on or entering the nest boxes.

A lone American Pipit (also uncommon here) stood on the railroad tracks at the northeast end of the lake. This arm of the lake - Railroad Bay - is now once again under water as BART construction continues. Wilson's Snipes had been frequenting the muddy pools that have been there for months; today one Wilson's Snipe was in the reeds of New Marsh (north of the lake). The resident Loggerhead Shrike was in its favorite tree next to New Marsh. On the soccer lawns, we found a small flock of Greater White-Fronted Geese and more than one Cackling Goose. Red-Tailed Hawks are hanging around the nest that they successfully fledged young from last year atop a high tree near one of the octagonal red restrooms.

Here's a great pic of the Merlin that Sandy took last week:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/sing4me/MerlinLakeElizSandy2312.jpg

The park is planning a special "Bird's Isle View" event for birders and photographers (ages 14-adult) on Saturday, May 12. Rangers Sandy and Sue will talk about the birds that nest and roost on Duck Island and then take participants out in a boat to tour the perimeter of the island to see nesting egrets and herons up close. The fee is $25 and participation is limited to two sessions; register online at www. RegRerec.com. For more information, call 510-790-5541.

Stephanie Floyd
Fremont


Merlin and Allen's Hummingbird, Lake Elizabeth, Fremont

scfloyd2000
 

Fifteen participants joined park ranger Sandy Ferreira and I this morning for Ohlone Audubon's field trip at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont's Central Park (Paseo Padre Parkway at Grimmer). We walked from Five Palms (near the Waterpark) north along Mission Creek as far as the soccer fields.

Near Five Palms, the continuing Merlin was seen in a large snag in a field east of the parking lot and in a tree south across the lake from Duck Island. An Allen's Hummingbird, first of season for most of us, was buzzing around and then perched for excellent viewing in the berry bushes along the creek near the lake end of the parking lot. Two Green Herons were together along the banks by Duck Island, a Red-Tailed Hawk was in a tree by the platform on Duck Island, and a Common Goldeneye was on the lake (not common here).

Tree Swallows and at least one Violet-Green Swallow were swirling over Duck Island and seriously checking out the nest boxes that Sandy so painstakingly places and monitors. Several Tree Swallows (and several House Sparrows...) were perched near or on or entering the nest boxes.

A lone American Pipit (also uncommon here) stood on the railroad tracks at the northeast end of the lake. This arm of the lake - Railroad Bay - is now once again under water as BART construction continues. Wilson's Snipes had been frequenting the muddy pools that have been there for months; today one Wilson's Snipe was in the reeds of New Marsh (north of the lake). The resident Loggerhead Shrike was in its favorite tree next to New Marsh. On the soccer lawns, we found a small flock of Greater White-Fronted Geese and more than one Cackling Goose. Red-Tailed Hawks are hanging around the nest that they successfully fledged young from last year atop a high tree near one of the octagonal red restrooms.

Here's a great pic of the Merlin that Sandy took last week:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/sing4me/MerlinLakeElizSandy2312.jpg

The park is planning a special "Bird's Isle View" event for birders and photographers (ages 14-adult) on Saturday, May 12. Rangers Sandy and Sue will talk about the birds that nest and roost on Duck Island and then take participants out in a boat to tour the perimeter of the island to see nesting egrets and herons up close. The fee is $25 and participation is limited to two sessions; register online at www. RegRerec.com. For more information, call 510-790-5541.

Stephanie Floyd
Fremont


that Varied Thrus

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>
 

Dear Friends:

For as many times in the last three days, I have gone up to the lot opposite the Botanic Garden in search of the Varied Thrushes.  I'm beginning to feel like a stalker rather than a birdwatcher hoping to slip quietly into thrushs' domain for even the briefest look.

Today, instead of pacing slowly up and down the slope, I decided on the meditative "sit,"  not so easy to do with the busy park road feet away on one side of the glade and the smack of golf balls just over the cyclone fence behind me.  I tried to ignore the damp seeping through my thin pants as I breathed deep the fragrant' bay-scented air.  A cold breeze, blowing foggy fragments over the ridge, shifted the leafy pattern of sun and shade, making a soft rustling sound.  I heard chickadees and the chitter of Pygmy Nuthatches. 


I got up and moved upslope, standing this time, listening and trying to detect in the shade any signs of movement. Nothing.  My dim eyes were clearly not up to the task.  I could image the secretive bird lifting -- almost levitating -- on half-opened wings from the ground to a low perch -- a slender, silhouette poised motionless with a tilted head.

Defeated, I retreated down the slope when I heard a single, long drawn-out flute note which could have come from a few feet away or from a greater distance.  I knew they were there. 


Maybe that should be enough.

--Phila Rogers

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


Found: Field Guide

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

I found a birding field guide this afternoon. PM with identifying info, and I will arranges to get it to the owner.

Tony Brake
Pt. Richmond


Varied Thrush and friends, Tilden Park

Bob Hislop
 

Yesterday, 2/6/12, I returned to Tilden Park and found the following species of note: Varied Thrush (pic) (thanks to Ken Berniker for the excellent directions), Hermit Thrush (pic), Spotted Towhee (male, pic), Dark-eyed Junco (pic), California Quail, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned- and Song Sparrows, American- and Lesser Goldfinches, Anna's Hummingbird, lots of Stellar's- and Scrub Jays, and Turkeys galore.

http://twitpic.com/8gsh7k

Bob Hislop
Concord


Re: Pacific Commons

Charlotte Allen <c.allen@...>
 

Here are some photos of the two geese - they both look like Ross's to
me.

http://www.pbase.com/cdrueallen/image/141347456/large
http://www.pbase.com/cdrueallen/image/141347462/large


Dave also found a male and female Brown-headed Cowbird. Alas no
photos of them, or of the Yellow-headed Blackbird. My pictures of the
Eurasian Widgeons are too pathetic to share.

Charlotte Allen
c.allen@...



On Feb 6, 2012, at 7:30 PM, D Weber wrote:

Hi Birders-

Made a late afternoon stop at Pacific Commons Linear Park in
Fremont. Two
Ross's Geese and an American Bittern were at the east pond. There
appeared
to be a slight size difference between the two geese. Two male
Eurasian
Widgeons were on the west pond and a/the Yellow-headed Blackbird
was in
reeds near the west observation area. I met Charlotte Allen and we
went back
for the Ross's Geese which were now way out in the field. Even at that
distance, one was very slightly larger but all other marks
suggested it was
Ross's. This place always seems to have something interesting.

Dave Weber



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


Pacific Commons

Dave Weber
 

Hi Birders-

Made a late afternoon stop at Pacific Commons Linear Park in Fremont. Two Ross's Geese and an American Bittern were at the east pond. There appeared to be a slight size difference between the two geese. Two male Eurasian Widgeons were on the west pond and a/the Yellow-headed Blackbird was in reeds near the west observation area. I met Charlotte Allen and we went back for the Ross's Geese which were now way out in the field. Even at that distance, one was very slightly larger but all other marks suggested it was Ross's. This place always seems to have something interesting.

Dave Weber


Birds of Prey...........

Michael Marchiano
 

I can not explain why today but I had views of four different falcons/hawks
and a TV from my Backyard in Martinez just off Hiway 4......one was a first
ever for me at this location. This morning I had a pair of Red Tails
soaring around the neighborhood and an hour later I saw the turkey vulture.
Then around 12:30 a coppers hawk swooped through and scattered the birds at
my feeders....she hung around for about 10 minutes in a barren backyard
tree and then took off looking for new hunting grounds. I went out around
three and noticed three doves in my neighbors tree next to my fence and
then saw a little "hawk" sitting above them....this alone was a surprise. I
have never seen my yard doves hang out with Hawks. I thought it was the
coopers hawk at first but it appeared smaller...I grabbed my binoculars
thinking it might be a sharpie and was really surprised to have the first *
Merlin* I have ever seen in the neighborhood. That bird hung out for about
30 minutes. As I was checking it out I noticed a larger hawk at the top of
a tree one house away and I zoomed in on a beautiful Red Shouldered
hawk......What a day for the big birds of the neighborhood.
--
Michael Marchiano
*The Naturalist*
mmarchiano@...
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.


two streams, two habitats

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>
 

Dear Friends:



Friday and Saturday, I participated in two field trips - Friday with Alan Kaplan's Golden Gate Audubon walk at Jewel Lake near Wildcat Creek, and Saturday at the UC Botanical Garden along Strawberry Creek.  Wildcat Creek rises near the highest point of the Berkeley Hills at the south end of Tilden Park and flows north for eight miles to San Pablo Bay, while Strawberry Creek, rising at the head of Strawberry Canyon, makes a shorter run west into SF Bay.

While many bird species overlap, the deciduous thickets and stands of willow along Wildcat Creek favor certain birds like the breeding Swainson's Thrush who will arrive in April and are so abundant that often their glorious songs overlap. Swainson's Thrushes are not common along Strawberry Creek.

Where Wildcat Creek is dammed to form Jewel Lake you can count on resident mallards and this time of year a variety of winter waterbirds including the regular Buffleheads and Friday, a pair of handsome Hooded Mergansers. Recently, a river otter paid a visit and made serious inroads into the local fish population

In early February, the area around Jewel Lake is open and sunny, with much of the vegetation leafless and the stands of creek dogwood revealing their glowing red stems. Narrower Strawberry Canyon is shaded year-round by its evergreen oaks and bays.  But in the upper reaches of Strawberry
Canyon where native chaparral species prevail, you are apt to hear
California Thrashers singing year round.

The two watersheds over the hill from one another are convenient to visit in a morning and provide an interesting comparison of their similarities and differences in habitat. 

Saturday at the UC Botanical Garden we saw 23 species including the resident leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, appearing bright white perched in a dark green conifer. Several soaring Turkey Vultures raised speculation as to whether there might be a recent deer kill (there have been two recent-but unconfirmed mountain lion sightings in the area).  The most abundant species may have been Lesser Goldfinches.  We also saw a small group of Fox Sparrows, who appear to be especially abundant this winter.  We had hoped for an early-arriving Allen's Hummingbird but saw only feeding and displaying Anna's Hummingbirds.

Alan Kaplan has posted his report and bird list from the Jewel Lake walk.

The
rising south
wind, dropping barometer, and thickening cloud cover this morning are promising indications that we may yet have some rain.

Phila Rogers

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


Clay-colored Sparrow continues at Oyster Bay Sunday

Eugenia Larson
 

Late Sunday afternoon (around 4:45 p.m.) my husband and I saw one of the Clay-colored Sparrows with some White-crowned Sparrows in the weedy bushes behind the "trough/ditch" on the left side of the entrance to Oyster Bay Regional Park in San Leaandro. It was viewed about 50-75 yards down the wide trail marked with a sign reading "No Dogs, Wildlife Refuge" on the left side of the loop.

Eugenia Larson
San Ramon, CA


Richmond Marina Pacific and Red-throated Loons

Tom Grey
 

At Richmond Marina this morning, I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Ting,
whose photography I so much admire, and with him being able to photograph
both a PACIFIC and a RED-THROATED LOON. No luck on the Black Scoter.

Pictures at http://www.pbase.com/tgrey/latest .

--
Tom Grey
Stanford, CA
www.pbase.com/tgrey
tgreybirds.com


Newhall Park Concord Cackling Goose etc,

joel.herr
 

At least one Cackling Goose is present at the upper (southeast) pond in Newhall Park, Concord among barely wild Canada Geese and Mallards. The lower (northwest) pond has at least 7 Hooded Mergansers and at least one male Common Merganser. A Green Heron was also present as usual at the upper pond.

Joel Herr
Alamo