Fresh Juvenile Forster's Tern


I went back to the Martin Luther King Shoreline in Oakland yesterday and
watched a pair of Forster's Tern parents fishing the Airport Channel
along with a juvenile. Previously I thought they were guarding the
juvenile while it learned to fish. That is still probably true, but
they are also feeding it.
Like many land birds, the juvenile trails after the parents calling out
for food. It lands in the water to receive the fish the parent has
brought back:
Also here is a photo of the young one's "Fresh Juvenile" plumage.
Primarily that means it is showing beige in the feathers of the body and
top wings (and a "Zorro" mask). Sibley says the beige color wears away

Unusual bird bath visitor ...

David Hutton475 <dhutton475@...>

Around 9.30am this morning we had an unusual visitor at our bird bath - one Gray Fox! After enjoying a leisurely drink it took off, but regretably before I could retrieve a camera and memorialize the occasion. Definitely a "lifer" to add to the list.

David Hutton
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Mission Peak - Canyon Wren and other bird.


I hiked to Mission Peak this morning. It was awesome hike with the fog and heavy wind at times on the top. I thought it would keep the birds away, but no. Later as I was making my way down I stopped by the south part of the peak close to the ranger house to eat, and then out of nowhere Canyon Wren started to sing and then I herd Rock Wren too. They battled a little bit between each other while I took some pictures.

Here is a picture of the Wren and the photo is Geo-tagged for the Location.

Wild Turkey
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Pigeon
White-throated Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
American Kestrel
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Western Bluebird
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
California Towhee
Western Meadowlark
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch

And bonus 4 Coyotes in a pack and then 1 While hiking down.

Davor Desancic

Shorebird ID Workshop

John Sterling

Todd Easterla and I will teach our fourth annual Shorebird ID Workshop on Sept 7 and 8th. We will have our powerpoint lecture in Rancho Cordova on Saturday along with a field trip to the Davis area that day. On Sunday we will have a full day field trip in the Bay Area. Todd and I will be scouting prior to the weekend in search of rare shorebirds and suitable areas for the field trips.

Each participant receives a cd with the illustrated lecture. I'll be busy in England in the coming weeks getting photos of Eurasian species, so we will have a new and improved lecture with more species than before.

See my website for details at

We hope that you can join us for a fun-filled weekend of adventure and learning.

Also, all of my tours have spaces available....Argentina, Panama, central Colombia!


John Sterling

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
530 908-3836

Lawrence Gold Finches in Walnut Creek

Michael Marchiano

I was fortunate to co-lead a bird walk in Rossmoor around the Golf Course
for a group of residents this morning. We came up with many expected
species, 25 total but the most surprising were three Lawrence's Gold
Finches. This was a first sighting in Rossmoor for everyone in the group.

Michael Marchiano
*The Naturalist*
** <>

We will never be at peace until we are willing to understand, respect and
live in harmony with all other living things.

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today....*Indian

Nesting Hooded Orioles w/ chicks


I observed a pair of Hooded Orioles feeding at least 2 chicks in a nest at the end of May Rd. (near Dry Creek Regional Park/Meyers Cottage) in Hayward/Union City this morning. Pics taken, but I won't be able to post them for a few days.

Joe Devine
Modesto, Ca

Re: Tilden on Sunday?

Phila Rogers

It sounds to me that you were seeing a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks who
have bright cinnamon plumage on their undersides. Hard to believe they we
once absent from our area, having expanded their range north maybe 20 years

Phila Rogers

Tilden on Sunday?

Cal Walters

I am hoping someone else was birding in Tilden on Sunday in the area south of Inspiration Point where the Quarry Trail intersects the Big Springs Trail. At about noon there were 2 raptors calling and interacting mid air. It may have been fledgling training or possible mating engagement. Lots of noise back and forth. They fairly bright underneath and no naked eye markings I could make out. Some wondered if they were Ospreys - but the felt too small. By the time I got my glasses out they had drifted behind the eucalyptus trees that are down slope towards Lake Anza. Perhaps the birds are somewhat regular in the area and someone will know what they were. Lovely pair and action.

I also had a surreal Great Horned Owl fly over on the hike. Earlier in the hike we heard a Sharp-Shinned Hawk calling in some bay trees. As we walked on, not being able to see where the calling came from, a large Great Horned Owl swooped out of the trees with the hawk in pursuit. The owl passed within 8 feet of our heads dropping down the hill - the eyes were lovely and bright and seemed like headlights as it approached and passed over. It was an amazing experience and a delight for the non-birders to experience, too.

Cal Walters

I got mobbed!


Yesterday I went to the dike at Doolittle Pond, MLK Shoreline, Oakland.
As I walked out onto the dike a group of five or so adult Forster's
Terns began swooping down on me each screeching loudly and making a pass
about five feet from my head. It took me a while to figure out what was
likely happening.
There was a larger flock also in flight that included juveniles. I
believe the adults were letting them learn to fish while also protecting
the "perimeter" High tide was flowing into the pond and its fast
currents were probably sweeping minnows in with easy hunt. I
left them in peace after a few minutes, but did manage a few photos of
the attacks.

Birding and Biking the bay trail

j.chiropolos <j.chiropolos@...>

Derek Heins and I birded the bay trail by bike from Lake Merritt to Coyote Hills over the weekend.

Compared to the previous week, black bellied plovers had returned - we saw lots with respect to none seen the week before. Also, greater yellowlegs had returned in numbers, we probably saw over 60 compared to only one the previous week.

We had high numbers of snowy plovers ever for the east bay with 16 individuels!!! at Franks dump. Some other birders had seen three at another location at hayward jsut before we arrived. We also saw 16 Wilsons phalaropes at Franks dump.

We had two "National Geographic" moments -
One at lake Merritts out flow channel by laney college where within 100 feet we watched 26 snowy egrets, 10 great egrets, two blue herons and seven black crowned night herons were lined up to catch fish (along with a brown pelican, white pelican and several cormorants). This is a low tide phenomena as the low tide creates a current and eddies at this location.

The second was at the small ponds just north of the water treatment plant for hayward marsh - we watched 89 snowy egrets, 1 great egret, one great blue heron, 35 white pelicans and about 20 plus greater yellowlegs catch fish - only 20 feet away. These ponds are quite small - I am surprised this great a density of white pelicans and egrets can be supportted by these small ponds as we had seen about 15 in these ponds the week before. The pond size in maybe 200 feet by 40 feet?? - and is always a hotspot.

At coyote hills, we had hooded orioles in the hummingbird garden. Alemeda creek was very quiet except for swallows, mallards and geese on the bike to bart along the creek for our return.

Good birding!


Golden Eagle at Sibley

Elizabeth Powell <espbpc5@...>

Today we had a leisurely view of a juvenile Golden Eagle from the Loop Trail, catching thermals and briefly being hassled by a kestrel.
Good Birding!
Betsy Powell

Cooper's Hawk family. San Pablo Ave and Church

plintner <patineng@...>

I've been watching a family, 2 adult and 2 fledglings, since the beginning of May. The little ones are getting big and I don't see much of the adults anymore. They are nesting in a large Eucalyptus tree nearby. I love hear them calling to each other. I am able to watch them from my patio. I've wondered how long they stay together as a family.

pair of cooper's hawks near Ashby BART

annemarie heineman

I have been seeing a pair of cooper's hawks for a couple of weeks in the trees on the East side of the BART station - behind the parking lot that is behind the Ed Roberts Bldg. Most recently I saw them perched in a large pine tree (possibly a Monterey or Stone pine) in the backyard of a house on Tremont Street directly behind the station. They're definitely hunting in the area. I don't know if they might have a nest or young at this time of year.

Albany Bulb - Peregrine Falcon <ccoon.wildwood5@...>

Albany Bulb - foot of Buchanan St N of Golden Gate Fields.

On Wed (10th) around 11 AM, on the bluff off the NW corner of the Burrowing Owl enclosure, a male Peregrine Falcon stooped 2 - 3 times attempting to capture a blackbird(?) as it flew across the water.

The blackbird evaded capture by "putting on the brakes" as the falcon got to the bottom of its dive.

I am assuming that this is the same Peregrine Falcon that I have seen in this area over the past 3 - 5 years - migrating from ??? First saw it as a juvenile - if the same bird.

Assume you will be able to periodically find the bird in this area until early next year.

Robert Coon
El Cerrito

Second Friday July 12, 2013 Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalk at Sibley VRP

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>


Twenty-eight observers saw 27 species (or 26, see below) at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Friday July 12, 2013, our Second Friday Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalk.

We also saw several labyrinths, including the large one, the Mazzariella Labyrinth, at the bottom of the Quarry Pit. Birds of the day were Golden Eagles (adult and two juveniles heard begging, one flying briefly) [this is our classic site for seeing Golden Eagles for nearly three decades, I think], and American Kestrels (male and female, the male later carrying a large prey item it devoured at the top of a Eucalyptus pole).

Ambiguous/anomalous sighting was of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, which is a month too early for the area [no e Bird records for July or even August in Contra Costa; one record for second week of August in Alameda]. As a side-note, Sibley is in both Alameda County (a small portion on the west side of Skyline Blvd) and Contra Costa County (the majority of the park, though the street address is in Oakland).

Does anyone have as of yet unreported RC Kinglet records this early for East Bay? Global Weirdness will bring anomalous records for awhile, until the new becomes the norm!

Thanks to all who participated, particularly Roger L. who scouted some of the labyrinths [and taught us if you keep one hand on the wall you will always get out] for us and Doug H. who nailed the Hairy.

Here is the list:

Golden Eagle
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (this is anomalous- no records this early at eBird; three of us saw it, though).
Orange-crowned Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Lark Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan

Heathr Farm Park Walnut Creek Saturday July 13--summer doldrums


Nothing really special in Heather Farm these days. Being a retired merchant mariner, I guess I am allowed to say that it is the doldrums of summer birding right now.

The other day I did have a 4-heron day, Great and Snowy Egret, Green Heron and Great Blue Heron--one of each.

Today the Great Blue Heron was not seen, but we still have a continuing Double-crested Cormorant.

I have been having a hard time understanding the Pied-billed Grebes. A month ago yesterday, Tracy Farrington and I saw 6 newly-hatched chicks with 2 adults. Shortly after that, the number dropped to 3 chicks. Since then, I have seen sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes only 1; but it is sometimes hard to tell if they are all from the same family.

For quite a while in the spring, we had 3, sometimes 4, adult PB Grebes on the large pond. Lately, I have seen a varying number of chicks and adults. Today, a fairly small chick was with an adult north of the island and towards the west side of the large pond. The chick was quite vocal, but took me quite a while to find, as it was originally hiding in the tules along the edge.

But another young PB Grebe was in the concrete pond. Though this chick was nearly adult size, the facial pattern was obviously that of an immature. But, it could only have reached the concrete pond if it was capable of flight--no grebe is going to attempt walking the distance between the two ponds.

Otherwise, I had a nice flock of Bustits, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Oak Titmouse and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, along with the usual Scrub Jays and Crows. A Mockingbird was at the corner near the entrance to the Seven Hills School at the north end of the park.

I saw only one or two Barn Swallows.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Coyotes and Quail, Wildcat Canyon, Berkeley

j.chiropolos <j.chiropolos@...>

Last week on a bicycle ride Ann Griffith and I watched three coyotes at the Inspiration Point trail intersection with the Conlan trail. What's interesting is this is the only area I find California quail to be common in the Tilden/Wildcat park system.

Many wildlife biologists believe that the prescence of a large predator - in this case, coyotes - will control the population of smaller predators - raccoons, cats etc. and allow quail to florish.


Good birding - and wildlife watching!


Wandering Tattler Emeryville

j.chiropolos <j.chiropolos@...>

A wandering tattler is roosting with the willets off Powell Street in Emeryville - about 200 yards north of the Police building. The tattler was on the north end of the large willet flock.

Good Birding!


Mitchell Cyn: 6/30/13 mini movies

Win Kryda <winkryda@...>

Attached are 2 mini movies from last Sun. in the parking lot of Mitchell
Cyn. The Violet-Green Swallow was busy feeding fledglings in the Sycamore
tree near the garbage bin. There were several nests in the multiple holes
with several swallows keeping very busy. They were not there this past
Thurs. after the weather cooled down a bit. The Ash-Throated Flycatcher was
sharing the wires to catch insects. Both birds were very cooperative in
rotating to show their identifying features and even making calls.

Biding the bay trail by bike - Wilson's phalaropes and more!

j.chiropolos <j.chiropolos@...>

Derek Heins and I biked from Arrowhead marsh to Eden's landing yesterday and the bay trail birding has picked up with the returning shorbirds.

We had 15 species of shorebirds with the following highlights:
Lesser and greater yellowlegs, one each, arrowhead marsh area
Six snowy plovers, Franks dump
Ten Wilsons phalaropes, Franks dump
One whimbrel - not too common at hayward....

Summering bay ducks:
Bufflehead, Edens landing
Female common goldeneye, Arrowhead
Several greater scalp, arrowhead

A female perigrene has returned to Hayward marsh, following the shorebirds...

At Arrowhead, the Fosters terns were feeding the newly fledged young, while at Hayward marsh, it was least terns feeding the young.

Cliff and barn swallows were everywhere, feeding their young, creating a great day to ride along the bay.....

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