Date   

Re: Bizarre sighting at Pacific Commons Mar 3 Skysailing Airport

Marcus
 

Dave, check the map on this link.

http://wikimapia.org/20217913/Skyways-Airport-Sky-Sailing-Airport-8Q7

A couple of thousand feet south of Bunche Dr.  which did not exist back then. At the time you took Christie Rd all the way to the end, hung a right at the dirt road and then a left to the gliderport. I learned how to fly gliders there in the 70's when it was next to the Fremont drag strip and you also had the drive-in theater and the horse stables that were for disabled kids.  We'd usually get a tow to 3000 or 4000 ft and generally try to get the lift from the prevailing winds going over Mission Peak. Often you'd find yourself passing by a turkey vulture or a hawk.  Thermal lift is not the area's strong suit unless we had unstable air from a cold front. One could get a bit of lift from 2 places on occasion, over the GM plant and another spot was over 680 and Durham road where the prevailing winds might kick up an occasional thermal.    Went over the peak one afternoon, following a pair that seemed to be getting good lift. Then they started flapping
their wings and I was too low to go back so I ended up doing an off field landing south of the Pleasanton fairgrounds. Lesson learned. Bud, the owner at the time, called it getting in the newspaper.  It was also an extra 80 bucks for the tow out and the time with the glider. Ouch. I stopped trusting the birds.

When the developers started moving in, the power lines started adding up and the skies got more crowded there were several moves and now it is way down south in Warner Springs, run by one of the former instructors, Bret Willat.  

BTW for fun the instructors would take you on the base approach south of Fremont blvd (normally base approach was flying over the water tower at the GM plant) and then final approach going NW  to the field and then instruct you to dive to the ground, a mile+ short of the runway. Back then no buildings and no powerlines, just a couple of short fences. Just before the ground you level off and you could just glide and glide and glide at about 10 feet off the ground using ground effect, just what birds do along the beach for instance, and then finally touch down.  It was a demo to show how to stretch out your distance.



Marcus Pun
Video Editor/Producer/Editor
cell 510-384-8085,  home 510-530-2507
 



________________________________
From: D Weber <dwbirdster@sbcglobal.net>
To: EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, March 4, 2012 3:35 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Bizarre sighting at Pacific Commons Mar 3


 
Hi Birders-

Was at Pacific Commons Linear Park in Fremont yesterday. Nothing unusual
bird-wise. But while there, a small airplane, either a Piper Cub or an
Aeronca of some type, came out of nowhere and landed in the field between
the west end of the park and the RR tracks. It turned around, taxied back,
then took off in less than 100 yards. It flew over the landfill and
disappeared. I know there used to be a gliderport in Fremont but I don't
think it was here. Anyone else seen planes land there?

Dave Weber,
Milpitas


Hayward Shoreline (3/4)

Bob Richmond
 

Today at the shoreline -

A House Wren was at Winton Ave. On Mt. Trashmore and later at the Radio Tower Hills none of the geese reported lately were seen today. Up at Frank's Dump West were the expected Red Knots, an estimated 80. Ora Loma Marsh had an American Wigeon x Eurasian Wigeon hybrid. This is probably the one I saw in Sulfur Creek about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Around Cogswell Marsh at the Least Tern sign, in Hayward Marsh I saw a first cycle Glaucous Gull in the pond where the Least Terns nest. This same pond had the 8 white geese normally seen elsewhere. 20 Aleutian Geese flew overhead. I also saw a female Common Merganser flying out towards the bay. I usually will see swallows (several species) but saw none today.

Good birding

Bob


Canyon Trail in El Cerrito

George A Suennen
 

Went to the Canyon Trail in El Cerrito with my daughter, got photos the following birds:
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Anna's Hummingbird
California Towhee
Cedar Waxwings
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Lesser Goldfinch
House Finch
Mourning Dove
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Townsend's Warbler
Western Scrub-jay
White-crowned Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Didn't get photos of the Red-shouldered Hawk, Ring-billed Gulls
circling high overhead, and an Allen's Hummingbird that was too close
to focus on (first I've seen there this season). Also saw what I
thought was a Northern Harrier (brown hawk with the white bar on the
tail), but it disappeared before I could confirm the id.

Photos at http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120304-Canyon-Trail/

George
http://birds.jorj7.com


Re: Martinez RS - black rail heard, cackling geese seen

Ted Robertson
 

I also heard a Black Rail at the Martinez RS on Saturday, around 11:00 AM. It was about hundred yards south of the trail that Laura described. I've heard and seen Black Rails in this area in previous years. There was also a female Hooded Merganser that swam slowly south in the main channel south of the Arched Bridge. It eventually turned right (west) into a small channel at the bridge just north of the Berrellessa St. parking lot. The usual Black-crowned Night-Herons were in the Monterey pines at the Berrellesa lot.

All the best birding
Ted Robertson

On Mar 4, 2012, at 4:46 PM, Laura Look wrote:

Today (Sun., March 4) at 11:30 am, at Martinez Regional Shoreline (at
the end of Berrellesa St in Martinez), the best bird wasn't
seen. One, possibly 2, BLACK RAILS were calling. He called
kee-kee-doo regularly, but once in a while, for kicks, he called
kee-kee-kee-doo.

The area where the rail was audible was roughly between the main
picnic area and the duck pond. More specifically, he was in the
reeds along the trail about halfway between the Arch Bridge and the
boardwalk leading to the duck pond. The reeds were too thick for any
possibility of viewing.

Also, 2 CACKLING GEESE were with the Canada Geese near the duck
pond. They were mallard-sized and dark-breasted, assumed minima.

An overhead Osprey was scoping out the shoreline. Avocets are in
breeding plumage. The local Black-crowned Night-herons were snoozing
in their trees over the Granger's Wharf parking area.

Park info: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/martinez

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA

----------------
Ted Robertson
Biologist
Condor Country Consulting, Inc
815 Estudillo St.
Martinez, CA 94553









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


Emeryville gull swarm -- first cycle Iceland

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>
 

Probably thousands of gulls were along the shoreline just north and south of Emeryville Marina this afternoon; presumably this is the same congregation that was reported here a few days ago. Most were actively feeding on the open water in the inlet between Powell Street and Point Emery.

The most common species by far was MEW GULL; this is far more Mews than I have ever seen at once in the East Bay or anywhere else. The highlight was a pale first-cycle ICELAND GULL feeding on the inlet. I watched it through the scope for a few minutes, both on the water and in flight. It was a tiny-billed and very pale gull, slightly paler than most of the Glaucous-wingeds, with primaries about the same color as back. The tail had a slighlty darker band. It was noticeably small next to Westerns and Glaucous-wings, and in flight its neck was shorter and less heavy than a G-wing's neck. It was seen side-by-side with several Mews, which were clearly smaller and differently shaped.

I know that Thayer's is hard to rule out at this time of year, but this bird was nearly as pale as the Fort Baker Iceland Gull. Unfortunately, the gull swarm was too distant and hectic for photos. I know that this is not a plausible sighting. You don't have to believe me!

All the regulars were also present: RING-BILLED, CALIFORNIA, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, THAYER'S, AMERICAN HERRING, and hybrids. The few shorebirds included WHIMBREL, MARBLED GODWIT, WILLET, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, SURFBIRD, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, and an unidentified yellowlegs.

Noah Arthur, Oakland


tropical kingbird richmond

Kathy Durkin
 

About 4pm on Sunday, several birders (Terri, Chris et al) and myself saw the tropical kingbird. It was slightly north and west of earlier sightings.

Prior sightings had it just north of the 51st street spur of the Bay Trail, and several hundred yards east of the main Bay Trail. I saw it there myself last week.

Today, we saw it about 0.3 miles north of the 51st street spur (about 0.25 mi south of Meeker Slough). It was about 50 feet east of the main Bay trail, flycatching and landing on a chain link fence running parallel to the main Bay Trail. We had been searchinging around the 51st street area for a while and had just decided to walk north to see what else we could see, when we saw the flycatching behavior and investigated further.

Other markers that may be useful include a group of 3 blue barrels near the chain link fence. We saw the flycatching behavior for about 10 minutes in the vicinity of the barrels. This was about 0.1 miles south of the Richmond Field Station pedestrian gate. After about 10 minutes of clear viewing, it flew off towards the Richmond Field Station.

We also had a Say's Phoebe in that same area.


Kathy Durkin


Martinez RS - black rail heard, cackling geese seen

Laura Look <chamaea@...>
 

Today (Sun., March 4) at 11:30 am, at Martinez Regional Shoreline (at the end of Berrellesa St in Martinez), the best bird wasn't seen. One, possibly 2, BLACK RAILS were calling. He called kee-kee-doo regularly, but once in a while, for kicks, he called kee-kee-kee-doo.

The area where the rail was audible was roughly between the main picnic area and the duck pond. More specifically, he was in the reeds along the trail about halfway between the Arch Bridge and the boardwalk leading to the duck pond. The reeds were too thick for any possibility of viewing.

Also, 2 CACKLING GEESE were with the Canada Geese near the duck pond. They were mallard-sized and dark-breasted, assumed minima.

An overhead Osprey was scoping out the shoreline. Avocets are in breeding plumage. The local Black-crowned Night-herons were snoozing in their trees over the Granger's Wharf parking area.

Park info: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/martinez

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA


Bizarre sighting at Pacific Commons Mar 3

Dave Weber
 

Hi Birders-

Was at Pacific Commons Linear Park in Fremont yesterday. Nothing unusual bird-wise. But while there, a small airplane, either a Piper Cub or an Aeronca of some type, came out of nowhere and landed in the field between the west end of the park and the RR tracks. It turned around, taxied back, then took off in less than 100 yards. It flew over the landfill and disappeared. I know there used to be a gliderport in Fremont but I don't think it was here. Anyone else seen planes land there?

Dave Weber,
Milpitas


Northern Pygmy Owl in Sunol

Ken-ichi <kenichi.ueda@...>
 

Hi all,

I saw my first Northern Pygmy Owl in Sunol Regional Wilderness today!
Not sure how frequently they're encountered in Sunol, but I thought it
was pretty cool. Check out pics and location at

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55037

Other highlights for me were a passel of raptors, Rock Wrens,
Chestnut-capped Sparrow, and some weird-looking sparrows that I'm
assuming were Savannahs, though they were super light and gray. If
you're curious you can check out the rest of my observations at

http://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/kueda/2012/3/3.

-ken-ichi


Fallon/Croak Rd. Dublin

christine_carino
 

I stopped by Fallon Rd across from the new Target in Dublin this afternoon to photograph some Wilson's Snipe that hang out there. While scanning the field I noticed a Eurasian Wigeon mixed in with the usual American Wigeons. A good sized flock of Red-winged and Tricolored Blackbirds caught my attention as they suddenly took to the sky. I looked up to find a Sub-Adult Golden Eagle soaring overhead. Nice birding for a cow pasture.

Christine Carino
Pleasanton


Re: First Friday (March 2, 2012) GGAS Birdwalk at Tilden Nature Area

George A Suennen
 

I had to leave early to go to work, but I also saw many Golden-crown Sparrows ( http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120302-Jewel-Lake/slides/0302-093220-02.html ) and what I thought was an American Goldfinch ( http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120302-Jewel-Lake/slides/0302-090632-01.html )

George
http://birds.jorj7.com

--- In EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com, Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...> wrote:

Friends!

A real mob (Many OBservers) showed up for the First Friday Birdwalk at Tilden Nature Area on March 2, 2012.

Over 60 birders came, including a guest from Juneau, AK. Marissa Ortega-Welch from GGAS staff and Steve Lombardi, our birdwalk coordinator, also came along.

Thanks to Marissa for the Ruby-crowned Kinglet song "sighting" and to Ralph P. for that amazing catch of a White-tailed Kite way, way up there!

Next walk is April 6 at Tilden Nature Area (meet in the EEC/Little Farm parking lot, 8:30am), and we'll have a special Second Friday Birdwalk on April 13 at Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park (also at 8:30am) as part of the GGAS Birdathon. You can sign up at the Golden Gate Audubon website, or just show up. I will match Birdathon donations up to a total of $500.00.

Thanks to all who attended for this great bird list:

Mallard
Bufflehead
Turkey Vulture (makes it official!)
White-tailed Kite (thanks, Ralph!)
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird (for sure; John had seen the bird in the same place the last three weeks)
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (for a woodpecker Grand Slam)
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (doing its full song, softly)
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush (for a thrush Hat-trick)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Purple Finch
Lesser Goldfinch


First Friday (March 2, 2012) GGAS Birdwalk at Tilden Nature Area

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>
 

Friends!

A real mob (Many OBservers) showed up for the First Friday Birdwalk at Tilden Nature Area on March 2, 2012.

Over 60 birders came, including a guest from Juneau, AK. Marissa Ortega-Welch from GGAS staff and Steve Lombardi, our birdwalk coordinator, also came along.

Thanks to Marissa for the Ruby-crowned Kinglet song "sighting" and to Ralph P. for that amazing catch of a White-tailed Kite way, way up there!

Next walk is April 6 at Tilden Nature Area (meet in the EEC/Little Farm parking lot, 8:30am), and we'll have a special Second Friday Birdwalk on April 13 at Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park (also at 8:30am) as part of the GGAS Birdathon. You can sign up at the Golden Gate Audubon website, or just show up. I will match Birdathon donations up to a total of $500.00.

Thanks to all who attended for this great bird list:

Mallard
Bufflehead
Turkey Vulture (makes it official!)
White-tailed Kite (thanks, Ralph!)
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird (for sure; John had seen the bird in the same place the last three weeks)
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (for a woodpecker Grand Slam)
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (doing its full song, softly)
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush (for a thrush Hat-trick)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Purple Finch
Lesser Goldfinch


Swenson's Warbler

Mark Rauzon
 

The Black-throated Grey Warbler that Kirk Swenson has been reporting on was showing well this Sat. am. in Heritage Square, Emeryville, on Hollis between
59th and 61st Streets.


http://rauzon.zenfolio.com/p859914566/h2d3557ae#h2d3557ae


Half way across the bridge, the MacGillivray's warbler atop Yerba Buena Is. that I found on 2/5/12 was present, as before, bathing in the water bowls at the cat colony.
Luckily it allowed me to photograph it and see that it has an injured wing. Every picture tells a story and it is tempting to speculate the cause of the injury, and how the MacWarbler wintered here using the local water source.


http://rauzon.zenfolio.com/p859914566/h2d3557ae#h311f800f


Interesting birding!


Mark Rauzon
Oakland


Re: Wood Duck highlight of East Bay shoreline/Alameda Creek bike ride

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>
 

Correction on final bullet point below. The Tufted Duck, etc. were at Lake Merritt where I stopped after taking BART back north from the Fremont station.

Derek


From: EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com [mailto:EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Derek Heins
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2012 6:02 PM
To: EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Wood Duck highlight of East Bay shoreline/Alameda Creek bike ride

 
I biked from the Oakland airport down to Alameda Creek today, starting at 11am. A few highlights:

* White-throated Swifts at the last overpass before the airport loop
* Male Eurasian Wigeon at Sulfur Creek* The usual crowd of Snow, Ross' and Cackling Geese at Mt Trashmore. Also had Horned Larks on both hills.
* Luckily another Snow Goose caught my attention on about 200 yards west of DeCoto Street on Alameda Creek because dabbling in the creek a few feet away was a brilliant male Wood Duck.
* Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers east of Mission Blvd on Alameda Creek.
* Two pairs of Common Mergansers resting near the islands were a nice addition to the expected Tufted Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Belted Kingfisher.

Derek Heins


Wood Duck highlight of East Bay shoreline/Alameda Creek bike ride

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>
 

I biked from the Oakland airport down to Alameda Creek today, starting at 11am. A few highlights:

* White-throated Swifts at the last overpass before the airport loop
* Male Eurasian Wigeon at Sulfur Creek* The usual crowd of Snow, Ross' and Cackling Geese at Mt Trashmore. Also had Horned Larks on both hills.
* Luckily another Snow Goose caught my attention on about 200 yards west of DeCoto Street on Alameda Creek because dabbling in the creek a few feet away was a brilliant male Wood Duck.
* Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers east of Mission Blvd on Alameda Creek.
* Two pairs of Common Mergansers resting near the islands were a nice addition to the expected Tufted Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Belted Kingfisher.

Derek Heins


Golden Eagle on Mt Diablo

Bob Hislop
 

Today on my bike ride up Mt Diablo's North side I witnessed a Golden Eagle being harrassed by a much smaller Red-tailed Hawk. The eagle landed on what appeared to be a nest on top of a tall pine tree (I had my binocs). While landed there, the Red-tail began furiously dive-bombing it over and over again. Either the Golden was building its own nest or it was "cleaning out" the Red-tail's nest (I would guess probably the latter judging from the furious behavior of the hawk.). I'll go back tomorrow (with camera) just to see if the eagle or hawk are still around the vicinity of the nest.

Bob Hislop
Concord


Orange-crowned Warbler in Antioch yard

Paul Schorr
 

This morning we had an Orange-crowned Warbler gleaning insects off the new growth on the rose bushes.

In addition, for the past two days we have had a mixed flock of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings actively feeding on the berries of the cotoneaster shrubs. There appear to be about 50 total birds in the flock and they come to the shrubs in alternating waves, fill their crops and fly off.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch


FOS Cliff Swallows

Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...>
 

At the bridge on the south end of Lake del Valle this morning I had 2 FOS Cliff Swallows checking out the overhang. White-throated Swifts where calling loudly and courting. Also had male and female Phainopepla's chasing each other around the oak trees. At 8:15AM I heard 4 toot's from a Northern Pygmy Owl.
Good birding.

Steve Huckabone
Livermore, CA
Alameda County


Huck Happenings: Barrel-rolling Ravens and a Bald Eagle!

debbie viess
 

This was a first!

As I sat at the back of my Prius putting on my boots, just outside of the Huckleberry Preserve parking lot, a light headed eagle flew low over the road.

At first, I just thought that it was one the resident goldens, whose golden head and neck feathers can look pretty pale in the right light. But my binocs were already around my neck, and when I glassed the bird, darned if it didn't have a pure white head and a pure white tail, too! It circled over me at least four times, just so that I could have no doubts. Or something.

When I first arrived, I saw a huge bird (an eagle for sure) up on the com towers at Sibley. I assumed that it was "just" one of the goldens. But when I looked back up that way, it was gone, and may well have been the bald that I saw flying over me.

This is all very interesting, since the com towers are undisputably the golden's perch during breeding season, except, I guess, when someone even bigger and badder comes to town! As the bald flew off, the resident pair of red-tails fussed a bit, but there was still no sign of the goldens.

Keeping a close eye on the canyon and its updrafts, I had the pleasure of watching a trio of ravens dance and barrel-roll above me, directly above me, making me somehow feel a part of the action. Oh, to be a raven in a wide open sky!

A bit later along the trail, I glassed the power towers stringing along deeper into the canyon, and saw the unmistakeable silhouette of a golden eagle, far from its usual late winter perch.

Could the bald have chased it away from the best seat in the house, so to speak? As I watched, the ravens also took advantage of the vacancy, and lit upon the vacant tower, for a rare chance to perch there in eagle breeding season. Who sez birds don't one up each other?

Dusk was falling as I completed the loop, and the birds were heading to their roosts. A Varied Thrush and I both listened to the wake up and "where are ya, honey?" hoots of a pair of Great Horned Owls. The thrush thought about worrying about me, right beside it, but decided that the owl was the bigger threat. Smart bird.

And to top off a perfectly magical late afternoon at my favorite park, I watched a Chestnut Backed Chickadee scold a hiker in the canyon below, and then, ignoring me entirely, settle into a horizontally angled hollowed log, tucking itself in right inside the edge for a good night's sleep.

Sweet dreams, little fella.

Debbie Viess
Oakland, CA


Re: Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler

Kirk Swenson
 

The Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler has remained into March for the
third year in a row. After reporting recently that it was becoming harder
to find, I actually saw it on five of six trips through Heritage Square
this week, including Friday morning and afternoon. Heritage Square was
particularly active Friday morning with Orange-crowned, Townsend's, and
Yellow-rumped Warblers, American and Lesser Goldfinches, Chickadee,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, California Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, and an
unidentified thrush (brief naked-eye view) all present in addition to the
Black-throated Gray. Heritage Square is the landscaped office park on the
West side of Hollis between 59th and 61st Streets.

Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <---> Emeryville

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Kirk Swenson <khswenson@gmail.com> wrote:
The Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler was present in Heritage Square
this morning (2/29) around 9:30 as well as Monday morning (2/27) when it
was showing particularly nicely. Too bad I didn't have my camera. Heritage
Square is the landscaped office park on the West side of Hollis between
59th and 61st Streets.
Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <--> Emeryville
On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM, Kirk Swenson <khswenson@gmail.com>
wrote:

The Emeryville Black-throated Gray Warbler was still present in Heritage
Square yesterday afternoon at 3:30, but it hasn't been as predictable
lately. I only saw it once each of the last couple weeks, whereas
previously I would often see it several times a week. Yesterday it was in
one of the trees in the southeast corner of the square. Last week I found
it in one of the flowering trees just outside the 59th St. entrance to the
square. My last record date for the previous two years are March 12, 2010
and March 21, 2011. Heritage Square is the landscaped office park on the
West side of Hollis between 59th and 61st Streets.
Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <--> Emeryville

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