Date   

Poorwill Friday night and Shorebirds today (7/17)

zachary.baer2
 

After working entirely to hard over the past couple of weeks Eric
Pilotte and myself decided to get out birding. We started at 8;30 pm in
eastern Alameda county searching for Lesser Nighthawk to no avail. We
then headed to Mendenhall rd for Common Poorwill of which we had at
least 3 birds. We also saw a Western Screech Owl flush off the road and
land in a nearby tree.
Today we headed to Don Edwards at 11 am where we saw:3 Wilson's
Phalaropes (1 Breeding plumage female)2 Boneparte's Gulls (Both birds
were in non-breeding plumage with 1 of the birds looking very raggedy
and flying with a little bit of trouble)
Then quickly poked our heads into Coyote Hills we found:1 Cinnamon Teal
(female)3 Common Moorhens ( 1 Adult and 2 sizable juvies)3 Coots (1
Adult and 2 juvies)
Finally we headed towards Hayward Shoreline and birded Frank's Dump
West. It was full of shorebirds at 2pm till 4:30pm since the tide was
high.2 Snowy Plovers5 Wilson's Phalarope3 Ruddy Turnstones8 Sanderlings
(mostly transitioning out of summer plumage which show a orangish-red
throat but are way to big to be considered a stint)500+ Western
Sandpipers150 Least Sandpipers50 Long-billed Dowitchers4 Semi Plovers
Additionally there were several godwits, willets, curlews and
black-bellied plovers
Good Birding,
Zach Baer and Eric PilotteBerkeley and Benicia


Mitred Conure in Albany

Barbara Quein
 

For several minutes a solitary mitred conure made his/her appearance today in front of my house on the Albany/Berkeley border. Although it was a birthday treat for me, I was sad that the bird was alone. It was trying to ingratiate itself with several doves perched on the telephone wires, and flew southward after them when his/her efforts failed. I'm wondering if this bird is the sole survivor of the much larger group living for decades in the Berkeley/Albany area.....


Red-breasted Mergansers Coyote Hills (DESFBNWR)

Thomas Goodier
 

I saw three Red-breasted Mergansers this morning (7/16). They were female or young ones.

They were in the salt ponds of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge just West of Coyote Hills Regional Park. They were at the beginning of No Name Trail in the first salt pond (4B).

Tom Goodier


Hayward Shoreline (7/15)

Bob Richmond
 

Today at the shoreline -

Shorebirds at Frank's Dump West -

Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover - about 8
Snowy Plover - 2
Dowitcher sp. - possibily Short-billed
Marbled Godwit
Long-billed Curlew
Willet
Red Knot - 3 in breeding plumage
Sanderling - 5, 1 in breeding plumage, 4 have started their molt to winter
plumage. They have been mis-identified as other species many times.
Western Sandpiper - At least several thousand.
Least Sandpiper - 2Dunlin - 1

Shorebirds elsewhere and other species

Black Oystercatcher - 3 at the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek
Heermann's Gull - 1 flying south near Frank's Dump West.

Bob


Burrowing Owls in Antioch and Brentwood

Paul Schorr
 

Numerous pairs of Burrowing Owls have successfully nested in several locations in Antioch and Brentwood, often near busy streets or shopping centers. In a vacant lot between OSH and Walmart on Lone Tree Way in Antioch, we counted four adults and nine juveniles. In Brentwood along Empire Ave. near Grant St. we observed adults and juveniles at a nest site next to the sidewalk. Also in Brentwood along one of the entrance roads into The Streets of Brentwood Shopping Center we observed a pair, and we observed a single bird near the entrance sign to Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch.

We are very pleased that these birds are demonstrating such resiliency and are successfully reproducing in East County.

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Cooper's Hawks and Barn Owls at Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch

Paul Schorr
 

This morning we visited Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch with our three granddaughters. We wanted to show them a Cooper's Hawk nest that has been used for the past several years and has been enlarged during that time. We were delighted to see three downy chicks raising their heads above the rim of the nest. This appears to be a second brood since early in the spring we observed adults with young also.

In addition, we observed juvenile Barn Owls in a nearby nest box. When we checked a frequently-used nearby palm tree, we observed two roosting adults. Perhaps there is no longer any room in the nest box for the adults.

Other notable observations:

adult Wild Turkeys with about 12 young
a pair of Ring-necked Pheasants
two American White Pelicans
numerous Western Kingbirds
several Ash-throated Flycatchers
a single Burrowing Owl
a Say's Phoebe

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr


Red-shouldered Hawk at Garin

VerneN
 

Whenever I go to Garin I check to see if the Red-shouldered Hawk(s) are
perched at one of their usual spots. If paths coincides, one can often
be seen up the hill on a mostly bare Coyote Bush south of the fenced-off
orchard. Another favorite spot is the tall Sycamore down the hill from
there and just before the creek crossing north of Jordan Pond.
Otherwise you know they are in the area by their frequent calls as they
hunt the riparian ribbon that winds through the park.
They are accustomed to humans but do keep a safe social distance
nonetheless. This one flew off from the Coyote Bush as I walked up the
path.
http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/126525821
<http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/126525821>;
I've noticed their beautiful wing pattern and red-orange shoulder has a
striking similarity to the Checkerspot Butterfly also found in Garin
during the spring:
http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/99980373
<http://www.pbase.com/vnelson/image/99980373>;


We're Parents Again---Sort of

rosita94598
 

Late last week and/or this past weekend, the Pied-billed Grebe pair in Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek hatched three chicks. This is quite amazing considering the construction disturbance this summer.

Ted Robertson is one of several of us who were watching the nest. He sent me an email reporting two chicks and an unhatched egg on Saturday AM. I was out of town until Sunday evening, so was not able to check until Monday. The third egg was hatched by then.

Though the Pied-billed Grebes seem to be around all year, they have not nested successfully for several years. Two years ago they were sitting on eggs at the south end of the large, mostly natural pond, but the park people had a pond-skimming machine come to clean algae from the water. I tried to have them keep the machine away from the south end, but they didn't. The Grebes abandoned the nest.

The last successful nest might have been in the last century, that sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? Still, I would have to check a lot of notes to determine the last time I saw baby Pied-billed Grebes in Heather Farm.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Great Horned Owls

benkmetz <benkmetz@...>
 

We have seen up to four Great Horned Owls off our back deck in Walnut Creek each day for the past five evenings (around 3pm-8pm). They are spending time in a small field across from our deck. As near as I can tell, it's either one parent and three fledglings, or two parents and two fledglings. The parents appear to be teaching different skills to the fledglings. One day the parents caught a ground squirrel and seemed to be teaching the fledglings how to eat it. The next day the fledglings seemed to be practicing perching. They would move from a chain-link fence, to a cement wall, to a wooden fence, and finally to different branches in various types of trees. We have also been hearing them screeching through the trees late at night. No hooting yet, hopefully that will be soon.


Albany Falcon

Fogeggs@...
 

We spent over an hour today watching a Peregrine Falcon slowly consuming a
Rock Pigeon. The bird was first sighted flying from the direction of the
80/580 intersection with prey in talon, and it then perched on the old
pilings along the north side of the Albany spit for a long breakfast. The first
Peregrine we've found there since '06.

The other highlight of the day was seeing all three regular cormorant
species off the end of the bulb.
Brian Fitch & Crew


Barn Owl

richard s. cimino
 

A late arrival Barn Owl showed up in my Pleasanton neighborhood a few weeks back.
It makes a early morning pass over my home almost daily.
It makes a single call as it flies over - daring me to get out of bed to try to catch a glimpse .
This morning it came over at 4:30 am calling several times.
Had to get out of bed to try to catch that fleeting glimpse.
I missed the sighting.
Oh well.
Rich Cimino
Pleasanton


Lesser Yellowlegs at DENWR

Dave Weber
 

Hi Birders-

I was at DENWR in Alviso earlier but didn't see any Lessers. Recalling George Chrisman's post a few days ago, I drove up to DENWR in Newark (or is it Fremont?) where I found five or six Lesser Yellowlegs in the marsh on the east side of the entrance road near the gate.

Dave Weber,
Milpitas


Hayward Shoreline (07/08)

Bob Richmond
 

Seen today at the shoreline -

Black Oystercatcher - 3 near the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek. 1-3 are usually
here. Found today by Bob Dunn.

Dark-eyed Junco - 1 immature near the Radio Tower Hills. This is the first July
record I have for the shoreline. I also have 0 June records, 2 May records, and
1 Aug. record.

Bob


Black Rail continues at Martinez Regional Shoreline

David Quady and Nancy Boas
 

Birders:

I heard no Black Rails this morning from my arrival at about 6:45 am until 7:30 am, when one began to call fairly steadily for ten minutes or so; it was still calling when I left. This bird was just south of the trail to the hulk of the Forester, at the first curve one reaches when walking toward the Forester from the main trail that leads to the boardwalk and arched bridge. The bird was about ten yards off the trail, and I contented myself with listening to it: no tape, no walking off the trail.

It was a nice, welcome sound on a dull, coolish morning.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California
davequady@att.net


Wilson's Phalarope & Lesser Yellowlegs at Don Edwards 7/7/10

George Chrisman
 

This evening around 5:30 PM, I stopped at the main entrance road to Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont and found a large flock of 23 GREATER YELLOWLEGS in the marsh just past the first parking lot. There was also a single male WILSON'S PHALAROPE and a LESSER YELLOWLEGS in the same flock. They were being chased around by a few of the BLACK-NECKED STILTS present. The only other shorebirds I saw were a couple of dozen AMERICAN AVOCETS along the levees past the interpretive center along the salt ponds.

George Chrisman
Burlingame, CA


'Helper' Bluebird

rfs_berkeley
 

Greetings East Bay Birders,



About 40 min ago I walked across San Pablo Park in Berkeley, passing by the
Bluebird nest box. The second brood is now noisy enough in the box that I
imagine they'll fledge soon.



I observed something quite interesting. An immature male from the first
brood is feeding his younger siblings in the box; And working pretty hard at
it. (though I noticed he isn't doing fecal sac duty).



So the second brood has the benefit of 3 providers (at least 3).



Rusty Scalf

Berkeley


Re: Martinez Black Rail FYI

Travis Hails
 

I was at this park from 5:15AM-8:15AM Monday 7/5.  Three times I walked to Forester vicinity (5:30; 5:50; 6:20) but did not hear any rails.  I was part of the group that heard 1-3 from the long bridge.
 
Travis Hails

--- On Mon, 7/5/10, rosita94598 <rosita94598@yahoo.com> wrote:


From: rosita94598 <rosita94598@yahoo.com>
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Martinez Black Rail FYI
To: EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, July 5, 2010, 7:21 PM


It is interesting that so many folks are reporting the Black Rail at the southwest end of the long bridge at Martinez Regional Shoreline, the location of the bird reported by Alvaro.  Several have indicated that this is the bird I reported last Thursday.  In fact, I tried to make it clear that the bird near the bridge is not the one I heard, though I did listen there for some time. 

The bird I heard was some 200-300 yards west of this point, much closer to the wreck of the sailing schooner Forester.  It was at the intersection of the trail which turns left toward the small sewage plant and club house near the railroad tracks.  I don't know how far these birds are likely to wander, but that seems as though it might be a little far for one individual. 

Also, I wasn't paying particular attention to the tide.  I was there at 5:30 AM only because I was awake and it seems as though most birds are easier to find in the morning.  But it was great to be there for dawn, an event I would like my wife to experience some day.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek



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Black skimmers and chick at Hayward Shoreline

scfloyd2000
 

Early yesterday morning, Hugh Harvey and I walked out about 1 1/4 miles from the Hayward Shoreline visitor center to the "Least Tern Colony" sign on the north side of Hayward Marsh and looked south, finding two black skimmers and their fluffy gray chick on a distant bank. One of the skimmers was breast-down in a hollow on the beach as if brooding another chick or egg. A fuzzy digiscoped photo may be seen here:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/sing4me/IMG_2406.jpg

On our way to the bay, to the south in a dry area of the evaporation ponds, we'd seen a single snowy plover also breast-down in a hollow. Two black oystercatchers were on Johnson's Landing at high tide. Other highlights along the way were long-billed curlews, American avocets with tall fluffy chicks, plenty of savannah sparrows, and a (non-native) red fox running along a levee path northeast of the visitor center.

Stephanie Floyd
Fremont


Black rail 7/6/10

mskrentz <marysk@...>
 

This morning I arrived at Martinez Shoreline at 7:00 and walked from the path at the end of Berellessa toward the schooner. After not hearing the bird this direction, I headed back toward the boardwalk. Just at the end of the board walk near where it intersects with the path from the Berellessa parking lot, the Black Rail was vocalizing. I hear it starting abut 7:20 AM and it vocalized quite continuously until 7:50 AM when I left. It moved around approximately 60-75 feet all the while staying in the highest reeds between the path and the creek.
I was joined by Bingham Gibbs and her group about 7:30. No sighting of the bird took place while I was there but it's vocalizations couldn't be missed. Mary


Martinez Black Rail FYI

rosita94598
 

It is interesting that so many folks are reporting the Black Rail at the southwest end of the long bridge at Martinez Regional Shoreline, the location of the bird reported by Alvaro. Several have indicated that this is the bird I reported last Thursday. In fact, I tried to make it clear that the bird near the bridge is not the one I heard, though I did listen there for some time.

The bird I heard was some 200-300 yards west of this point, much closer to the wreck of the sailing schooner Forester. It was at the intersection of the trail which turns left toward the small sewage plant and club house near the railroad tracks. I don't know how far these birds are likely to wander, but that seems as though it might be a little far for one individual.

Also, I wasn't paying particular attention to the tide. I was there at 5:30 AM only because I was awake and it seems as though most birds are easier to find in the morning. But it was great to be there for dawn, an event I would like my wife to experience some day.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

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