Del Puerto Canyon question

Matthew Dodder

Has anyone succeeded in finding Grasshopper Sparrow or Blue Grosbeak
on DPC Road since the orchards have been planted?


. . .

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, CA

Mines Road / DPC Road 05-22-10

Matthew Dodder


I led the second half of my Palo Alto Adult School birding class on
the Mines / Del Puerto Canyon circuit on Saturday. Very cool and
windy conditions seemed to dampen songs in the morning, but activity
picked up for us in the afternoon.

Beginning at Murrietta's Well we found 4 GREAT HORNED OWLS, a small

We then headed up Mines Road, but stopped at the bridge shortly after
the Del Valle junction. Several YELLOW WARBLERS were present here, as
moving along the creek below us and had 9 small chicks with her. We
were impressed that these small birds could actually fly quite well,
although not very far. Terribly cute...

At about mp 5.5 we stopped to search for PHAINOPEPLA in the oaks
below the road. We found several flying between the trees and over
the road. RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW was also singing here and popped out
for a look at our group. Other birds found on the way up the hill

The summit was rather quiet when we first arrived, but faint songs
eventually began to emanate from the hillside. "BELL'S" SAGE SPARROW
was a nice treat but a little far away to get a good look. A probable
DUSKY FLYCATCHER was working the gully below us. We got brief looks
at it in good light. We all noticed its very grayish plumage, rounded
head, eye ring slightly wider toward the back, long tail that was not
bobbed like a Gray. Primary projection much shorter than Hammond's
and very unlike it in general structure.

We had several LAZULI BUNTINGS during the day, the first of which was
a brilliant male near the cattle guard just before the Junction with
DPC Road. South of the junction we found 2 or 3 LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS,

Returning to the Junction, we headed down Del Puerto Canyon toward
the Frank Raines campground. PURPLE FINCH was heard from the car as
we drove past the old Wood Duck pond just beyond the Junction along
DPC Road. We stopped at the next small pond on the left to see the
AMERICAN COOTS and PIED-BILLED GREBES. The young Grebes were still
wearing stripes.

As hoped, last week's NORTHERN PYGMY OWL at the Frank Raines
campground was heard and seen again in the trees just uphill from the
restrooms. It perched above us and glared at us intensely. Like last
week, some members of our group heard a second bird along the road,
but we did no see it.

GREEN HERONS were seen in a couple of places beside the creek. Owl
Rock was really active when we arrived in late afternoon. OLIVE-SIDED
FLYCATCHER and SAY'S PHOEBE were there and calling. BLACK PHOEBE was

Graffiti Rock was our COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD stop. We waited for about
15 minutes for the bird to arrive and then a spectacular male perched
in the snaggy tree above the water in perfect light! A family of 3
ROCK WRENS was busy working along the creek, as well as two female

. . .

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, C

Bird Hike at new Fernandez Ranch Park on June 5th


East Bay Birders,

On Saturday, June 5th, the Muir Heritage Land Trust is opening the 702
acre Fernandez Ranch to the public. As part of the opening
celebration, there will be 2.75 mile bird hike to search the park’s
unexplored 702 acres for our feathered friends.

The hike will wind through riparian, oak woodland, and open grassland
habitats and many of our regional species will certainly be seen.
However, as this property has yet to be birded by experienced birders,
I’m sure some surprises will pop up.

Fernandez Ranch is located near the Franklin Canyon Golf Course,
between Hercules and Martinez, just off of Hwy. 4; directions and
detailed information can be found at the Muir Heritage Land Trust’s

Some images of the property and birds can be found on my site:

The Details

Where: Muir Heritage Land Trust’s Fernandez Ranch
When: Saturday, June 5th
Time: Opening Celebration begins at 10:30am; Hike begins approximately
at Noon
Length: 2.75 miles
Terrain: Trail, with some moderate elevation
What to bring: Binoculars, Water, Snack/Lunch, Tick Repellant (just in
case), Sunscreen
Leader: Cheryl Abel (an expert birder)
Host: Steve Hutchcraft (a mediocre birder)

Please RSVP to or call 925-228-7152.

Hope you can join us and happy birding at this terrific new birding destination!

Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo, CA

PS. Though this isn’t a sighting, posting of this message was okayed
by the MDAS.

MacGillivray's Warbler near Tilden


11:30 AM today, I had a long look at an adult male MacGillivray's Warbler on an EBMUD trail near Tilden Park. In the same area, also saw a singing CA Thrasher and a singing CA Quail.

You need an EBMUD permit for this trail:

EBMUD calls this the Inspiration Trail. See map:

Go to Tilden Park Inspiration Point parking lot (large paved lot) off Of Wildcat Canyon Rd in Berkeley. As you are facing the gate at the beginning of the paved inspiration point trail, there is a small path to your right. Go on the path about 50 ft to the gate. Go thru the gait to the cow path/trail, sign in, and then take the trail straight ahead, not to the right. The trail goes about 3/4 mile, parallel to the paved Tilden Inspiration Point trail but on the Orinda side of the hill. After 3/4 of a mile, there is a barbed wire covered gate (not safely passable) that connects back to the paved trail. About 100 yards before that gate there is a clump of oak trees. This is the second to last clump of Oaks before the gate. The MacGillivray's Warbler was making loud chipping noises and flying back and forth over the trail at this area.

As you are approaching that area, about half way from the start, there are power lines crossing the road. About 75 yards before the towers, at a sharp rightward bend in the trail, I saw a singing blue gray gnatcatcher and a purple finch. Also seen was a male lazuli bunting. A red tailed hawk was on the towers in the Orinda direction. Additionally, numerous Wilson's and Orange Crowned Warblers were all along the trail. Violet Green swallows and a White throated Swift were flying above.

I've been birding this trail for the past week and have found it to be consistently productive.

Harold Newman

Fremont -- Eurasian Collared-Dove

John Cant 793-5216

This morning two Eurasian Collared Dove arrived together in my yard near the intersection of Canyon Heights Drive and Stenhammer. These are the first I have observed here.

John G. H. Cant

Hayward Shoreline (5/21)

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline (in spite of the wind) -

Black Oytercatcher - 2, on the mudflats shortly after high tide, near the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek.

Common Murre - 1 on the bay close to the mouth of Bockman Channel.

Western-wood Pewee - 1 at Winton Ave. was the only migrant here.


Brown-headed Cowbirds, Lazuli Buntings at Garin Rgnl Park (Pictures)


There were three (maybe 4, one male other females) cowbirds at Garin
regional Park at North-East fence side from the barn. (Look for thistle
patch before the Eucalyptus grove on the hill slope north of barn. The
cow herd was in this area and cowbirds were following them). These were
hosted by a group of cows along with group of starlings. Lazuli buntings
were everywhere in the same area.
Few pictures are posted here:

Other birds seen were
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Bluebirds
Bullock's Orioles
Western Wood Pewee
Pacific Slope Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawks
American Goldfinches
House Finches
Nuttall's Woodpecker
House Wrens
Spotted Towhees
California Towhees
California Quail
Wilson's Warbler (Heard only)
Grasshopper Sparrow (Heard Only)

-harjeet singh.

Winton Ave


Today (5/20) there was a Yellow Warbler singing loudly around 11 a.m. in the treeline across from the office.

Joe Devine
Modesto, Ca

Empty nest syndrome


The Oak Titmice fledged from my yard a week and a half ago when I was gone for the weekend. The adults continue to come to my seed tray. I noticed 3 times today that they would take the seed, fly over to the box and peer into the hole before landing in a tree. (I feel bad I cleaned the box out today) Maybe it's hormones still. The same hormones that enabled them to barrel onto the tray and drive the usually dominant House finches off which they're still doing.

Judi Sierra- Oakland

Hayward Shoreline (5/20)

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline

Red Phalarope - 2 in Hayward Marsh, best spot to look for them is from the Least Tern sign at the southeast corner of the loop trail in Cogswell Marsh.

Black Skimmer - 6 in Hayward Marsh.

Western Kingbird - 5 on Mt. Trashmore.

Swainson's Thrush - 3 at Winton Ave.

Cedar Waxwing - 20 as usual at Winton Ave. I only have 4 later records at the shoreline.

White-crowned (Gambel's) Sparrow - 1 in the trees across Winton Ave. from the Park Office.


Western Tanagers in Antioch

Paul Schorr

Early this afternoon we had two male Western Tanagers come to our bird bath.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Swainson's Hawk - Albany


Last night around 7:30 a dark morph Swainson's Hawk flew low directly
over my house in Albany heading Northeast. It was being mobbed by
three crows. I had a good look at its silhouette as it flew over and
its flapping and slight dihedral as it headed away.

Jack Hayden

Mines Road MP 5.75 Wednesday


Rosita and I went to MP 5.75 today to wait for the Amgen Tour of California bike race. We arrived around 10 AM and heard a Swainson's Thrush singing uphill right away. Also seen before the race passed about 1:10 PM, were Red-tailed Hawk, Bullock's Oriole, California Quail, Phainopepla, Wrentit and California Thrasher. I had hoped to find a Lazuli Bunting, but it didn't happen.

As for the bike race, it is similar to the old dating days in college or shortly after, 3-4 hours of waiting for 10 minutes of extreme pleasure. I know we saw all the big names, Lance, Levi, Mark Cavendish, etc. But which is which in the big rush as the peleton moves past at a rapid pace even uphill? At least it didn't start raining until we were in the car and headed downhill.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Western Tanager, Antioch

Paul Schorr

This afternoon we had a male Western Tanager bathe in our bird bath. This was our first sighting in our yard since May, 2008.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Hayward Shoreline (5/19)

Bob Richmond

Many of the migrants seen lately at the shoreline were not seen today. The following was seen and/or heard -

Green Heron - 1 flying over Winton Ave.

Black Skimmer - 3 in Hayward Marsh.

Western-wood Pewee - at Winton Ave.

Olive-sided Flycatcher - 1 in the trees across Winton Ave. forn the park office.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher - 1 at Winton Ave.

Western Kingbird - 2 on the fence between the city ponds and Cogswell Marsh.

Warbling Vireo - 1 at Winton Ave.

Swainson's Thrush - 1 or 2 at Winton Ave.

Golden-crowned Sparrow - 1 at Winton Ave. is now the latest record I have for the shoreline.


Least Terns and nesting Avocets in Berkeley


Today I birded the Berkeley waterfront with Chris Corben. The highlight for me was three downy Avocet young in the East Bay Regional Park "Meadows mitigation area" (fenced area north of University Ave. and east of the Marina) in the eastern most pond. Three other American Avocets appeared to be sitting on nests. Most of these ponds were installed last year. Other shorebirds observed at this pond or at Seabreeze Cove included: Black-bellied Plover-3, Long-billed Curlew -6, Whimbrel-4, Willet-1, Killdeer-2.
Two Least Terns were foraging over the North Basin. Two Western Grebes were doing a courtship water run and presenting nesting material, but most of the grebes were Clark's (about 15).
One Common Loon was off of the fishing pier. An Osprey flew over Cesar Chavez Park.

There were only two landbird migrants: Western Wood Peewee -- 1 at Cesar Chavez Park, Wilson's Warbler -- 1 W. of the Doubletree Hotel. Cedar Waxwings were feeding on the flowering eucalyptus at the Seabreeze Cove Deli. Unsure if these are considered migrants or wintering in mid-May.
-- Emilie Strauss

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

Dark-eyed Juncos at the Greek Theatre

Deborah Hecht <hechtlich@...>

Yesterday, as I was walking up the ramp into UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre,
where my oldest son was about to get his diploma, I was delighted to see
several Dark-eyed Juncos hopping about, completely oblivious to the crowds
of people marching past. In comparison, if I even opened the door to my
back yard, the D-eJs that frequented my backyard last winter would
immediately fly away. These guys, yesterday, were completely inured to
people - a higher degree of Junco.

Grosbeaks Galore


Danville, Crow Canyon Country Club

Today, at about 5PM we had 3 adult male and 1 female Black-headed Grosbeaks in our backyard at the same time. A record! All were hanging onto seed feeders. Earlier an adult male Western Tanager was on some bushes, and a yellow warbler was near our bird bath. What a great Spring.


Swamp Sparrow at Winton Ave - Hayward

bdisme51 <bdisme51@...>

This morning after Kathryn Parker had left, I found a Swamp Sparrow inside the fenced-in area on the west side of the little house at the Hayward Shoreline at the end of Winton Ave. Also in this area was a White-crowned Sparrow. Besides the birds mentioned by Kathryn Parker in her post there were also single Yellow Warbler, Western Tanager and a Pacific-sloped Flycatcher present.

Bob Dunn
San Leandro

Female Black-headed Grosbeak and Swainson's Thrush, Antioch

Paul Schorr

Although the breeding and non-breeding male Black-headed Grosbeaks that we reported on May 12 have not returned since May 14, we have had a female in the yard frequently coming to the feeder since May 15. In addition, the(a) Swainson's Thrush that we also first reported on May 12, has returned repeatedly to our yard.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

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