Common Tern and and early Herring Gull-Ballena Bay Alameda

Patricia Bacchetti

Hi all,

Grabbed an hour of birding this lovely afternoon just after high tide at Ballena Bay in Alameda. There was a single COMMON TERN in the larger masses of ELEGANT and FORSTER'S TERNS present. It had a reddish bill with a dark tip, and legs that were redder compared to the more orange Forster's Terns. Because it was still in alternate plumage,the carpal bar wasn't evident. The COTE kept itself separate from the masses as it sat on a stick, then disappeared when flushed by an early HERRING GULL on the breakwater. There were a couple of begging juvenile Elegant Terns putting up quite a racket.


The eBird checklist with photos is at

Middle Harbor had a large group of Elegant Terns on one of the breakwaters, and a couple of Least Terns were flying above.

Good birding,

Pat Bacchetti

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park


Stopped at Middle Harbor at around 1pm on the way home from SF, arriving a little late for shorebirds as the tide had come in further than I had planned. Hard to complain though as it's such a great location and the weather was beautiful. Highlight were three Spotted Sandpipers feeding together, a Peregrine Falcon flyby and about fifty Elegant Terns sharing the little remaining shoreline. Only other shorebirds seen were a pair of dowitchers and a dozen or so Willets.

Derek Heins

Meant to write Red-necked Phalaropes

Aaron Maizlish

Those were two Red-necked Phalaropes seen today in Berkeley not Red Phalaropes. Typing too late.


Red Phalaropes in Berkeley

Aaron Maizlish

This morning before work at a very low tide (about 8:30AM) I stopped
at some of my usual spots. At the "Sea Breeze Market Cove" - the
outlet just south of University Ave and west of the Frontage Road -
there was a tight group of 36 Dowitchers feeding near the shore.
Long-billed, I think. More than half still in summer plumage with
rufous bellies. Good numbers of Killdeer, as there have been all

I went back at 6 PM at another low tide. The Dowitchers were much
closer to University Ave. Also in the channel were two Red-necked
Phalaropes in basic plumage. They were quite close in to the new
pedestrian bridge.

I've been checking out the Albany mudflats. There are increasing
numbers of Black-bellied Plovers (20ish) and Semipalmated Plovers
(40ish) that are often close to the road. I also had a single
Red-necked Phalarope there last week.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco/Emeryville

Lawrence's Goldfinch in Palomares Hills (Casto Valley)

Mike Shannon

I have been hearing him all day long and finally spotted him in a tree near
my feeder. Not in breeding plumage (maybe it is a female). The call is

Mike Shannon

Castro Valley


From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of j.chiropolos
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:05 AM
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Wandering Tattler Richmond Marina

A wandering tattler was present at the middle of the north side of the
Richmond Marina Wednesday night. I presumably also saw the same tattler
Friday night at the northeast corner of the Marina. Also present in the
marina were 7 black oysttercatchers which may be my high count while birding
and biking the marina.

Also of note - first sanderlings of the year at meeker slough along with 3
greter scalp and one northern shoveler. The brandt were not observed.

Posted to the list serve at 11 am Thursday, but for some reason my posts are

Good birding!


Wandering Tattler Richmond Marina

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

A wandering tattler was present at the middle of the north side of the Richmond Marina Wednesday night. I presumably also saw the same tattler Friday night at the northeast corner of the Marina. Also present in the marina were 7 black oysttercatchers which may be my high count while birding and biking the marina.

Also of note - first sanderlings of the year at meeker slough along with 3 greter scalp and one northern shoveler. The brandt were not observed.

Posted to the list serve at 11 am Thursday, but for some reason my posts are delayed.

Good birding!


Common Tern in Alameda

Mark Rauzon

This is the time of year to look for Common Terns, as Michael Park
reported for Middle Harbor. At high tide today I went to
Ballena Bay in Alameda, and found one perched on the
same stick where a year ago I saw one. I wonder if it's the same bird?

I got a diagnostic photo of it flying, showing the dark edge of primary
feathers in the first shot and the shorter tail and thinner bill in the
second photo.

To reach this area, go through the Posey tube to the end of Webster,
turn right on Central Ave. and go north, past Crab Cove for several
more blocks and turn left at Ballena Bay and go all the way out that
road to the dog park at the end. The terns were on the breakwater at
high tide at 1 pm today, along with a couple common and 10 elegant
terns, 200 forster's terns, 1 heermann's gull, 3 black oystercatchers,
12 black
turnstones, and 7 greater yellowlegs.

Do a good tern daily.

Mark Rauzon

Catching the red eye- Cooper's Hawk on the patio- Bay Farm Island, Alameda


The Cooper's Hawk that hunts my patio birds has returned after an
absence of several months. It announced its arrival about a week ago
when it swooped in and out of my kitchen through the open patio door
nearly hitting me as I sat at a table!
A few days ago it tried for the birds again and was again unsuccessful,
landing on the fence afterward. It's looks a little worn in the
feathers but otherwise seems healthy:
I speculate that I didn't see it during the summer because it was
hunting the abundance of fledgling songbirds waiting in trees to be fed.

RFI from out of town birder--best places to bird in a limited time?

birdspazz <birdspazz@...>

Hello, everyone!

My name is Jennifer and I will be arriving in San Francisco this evening. I have been birding for five years, but have never birded on the west coast, so even most of the common birds will be lifers for me. I'm coming to California to visit family, but I want to get in some birding (I will have four days). I have a list of birding spots in San Francisco, but of those, which might be the best for seeing shorebirds/seabirds/gulls?

I will actually be staying in Walnut Creek, and my family members live in Orinda, so if there are any good inland spots nearby, I would like to hear about them as well.

Finally, I am supposed to go to John Muir Woods to see the sequoia trees. Are there any birding opportunities there or nearby?

Thank you so much,

Jennifer Ambrose
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Don Edwards SFBNWR,Coyote Hills(8/20)-Elegant Tern,Ruddy Turnstone,W Tanager

Jerry Ting

This (8/20) late afternoon I birded the Shoreline Trail head area just north of the Dumbarton Bridge in Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Highlights include:

Elegant Tern (3) - all adult seen with hundreds of Willets and Marbled Godwits on island east of the Shoreline Trail head (pic
Ruddy Turnstone (1) - still have some breeding plumage (pic Same location as above.
Least Tern (1) - seen foraging on the shore along the trail.

Later I headed to Coyote Hills birded the Visitor Center and Main Marsh. Highlights are:
Western Tanager (1) - juvenile seen in the Alder tree beside the Visitor Center gate.
Swainson's Thrush (1) - same location as above.
American Kestrel (1) - seen hunting dragonflies around the pond just off the park entrance road (pic
Wilson's Phalarope (1) - seen in the Main Pond.
Lesser Yellowlegs (14) - also seen in the Main Pond.

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting

shorebird class discount for young birders

John Sterling

Photos of Monterey Curlew Sandpiper, the LA Red-necked Stint and other new photos are up on my on Photo Gallery tab, then Recent Photos gallery.

Todd Easterla and I will be teaching our Shorebird Weekend class on Sept. 7 and 8 and will offer the class to young birders, age 18 and under for free. Spread the word.

We'll be tackling all of the ID issues for "normal" California shorebird species as well as the rare species from central and eastern U.S. and from Eurasia. See my website for details at


John Sterling

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
530 908-3836

MacGillavrays warbler Emeryville

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

I found a MacGillavrays warbler in Emeryville this morning (August 20) in the "magic hedge" by my office. I heard it last night and thought by its chip note it was a Macs, it it did not want to be seen last night. It was still around this morning, and allowed good looks.

Knowing the chip notes can make a difference - and the hard chip of the Macs is distictive...

The magic hedge is below the popular trees west of the Cheveys restuarant by I-80 and Powell street by the watergate ofice towers.

The migration season in on! This is the second warbler I have seen here this year. Interestedly, I think both birds flew in between 1 pm and 5 pm - not over the night, as they were not appear to be present at noon...
Good birding!

(Posted to the list at 8:30 am August 20)

Mountain Chickadee

janet ellis

I'm guessing who posted the Mountain Chickadee in wrong location. Too bad cause I'm hoping to find one in WA

Miscellaneous East Bay shoreline


Yesterday I rode my bike down from Oakland down to Coyote Hills, with a
few stops to scan through the shorebirds, etc. Nothing very unusual, but
did have a couple Ruddy Turnstones hanging out with the terns, Black
Turnstones and Surfbird at San Leandro. The numbers of Willets and Marbled
Godwits seem to have grown quite a bit in the last week or so. Couldnít
find any Red Knots at Frankís Dump, but did have about 50 phalaropes
(probably red-necked) far off in the eastern ponds. Did spot a couple Snowy
Plovers there also. I didnít spend much time at Coyote Hills but did see
an Orange-crowned Warbler just outside the visitor center, and probably the
highlight of the ride was 6 Lesser Yellowlegs by the boardwalk feeding
alongside 10 Greater Yellowlegs.

Derek Heins

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

08/17 -- Oakland Middle Harbor -- Common Tern

Michael Park


There was an amazing aggregation of 472 ELEGANT TERN. They occupied nearly every exposed sand bar between the mid-morning high tide and the early afternoon low tide.

While counting the Elegant Tern, I noticed a much smaller tern with a slim, red bill standing on nearby exposed sand and mud. The cap was black and extended the length of the nape with just a hint of white speckling on the forehead. I immediately suspected this was a COMMON TERN.

When this individual took flight, a dark wedge was seen on the upperwing on the outer primaries. Even after careful consideration, I found nothing to invalidate my initial identification.

It was later joined by similar individual that I did not observed in flight, but its cap and bill were similar. Although, this second individual did have a slightly more stout bill.

Several FORSTER'S TERN were seen on a more distant sand bar. These had already advanced towards basic (nonbreeding) plumage.

The checklist is here:

Michael Park

08/16 -- Richmond Shoreline -- BRANT

Michael Park


Before the climax of the evening high tide from 420 to 550 PM, I
ventured around the shoreline near Meeker Slough to look for shorebirds.

I was extremely surprised to find two BRANT at the mouth of the Meeker
Slough where shorebirds often roost at high tide. The mixed flock was
sighted from the Bay Trail about 100 yards east of the footbridge over
Meeker Slough.

and the usual large shorebirds.

Afterwards, I checked the sandy beach and the marsh to the east of it.
This area is accessed from the bend in the Bay Trail west of the
footbridge over Meeker Slough. Out past the east end of the beach were 1
juvenile LEAST TERN and a large flock of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. To my
surprise, within that plover flock, I found a RED KNOT still retaining
some features of alternate plumage. The Red Knot and Least Tern were
birds that had previously eluded me in Contra Costa County.

Full checklist here:

A record image can be seen within the checklist.

Michael Park

Coyote Hills (8/16) - Swainson's Thrush

Jerry Ting

I birded the Visitor Center area this (8/16) afternoon from 4:15-5:15PM. Highlights include:

Swainson's Thrush (1) - seen at the fountain out side of Visitor Center gate (pic
Orange-crowned Warbler (1) - seen at the same location as above and also in the Nectar Garden (pic
Wilson's Warbler (1) - seen in the Nectar Garden.
Western Flycatcher (2) - seen in the Nectar Garden.

On my way out of the park, I saw 150+ American White Pelicans taking off from D.U.S.T. Pond and flying toward North Marsh.

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting

Cross Over Month

Phila Rogers

Dear Friends:

I've been reading with special pleasure reports about certain fall and
winter birds returning, such as the recently-sighted Townsend's Warblers.
Are they examples of post-breeding dispersal, just passing through on
migration, or are they settling in for the new season?

Whatever the explanation, I welcome them as another example of the changing

Fall is an exciting time -- a welcome change, a quickening, after the
doldrums of summer with the monotony of sun and fog, fog and sun.

There are other changes too -- the reddening of poison oak, the scattering
of gold leaves on the big-leafed maples, argiope spiders fattening on their
webs, and the evening pulsing of tree crickets.

Fall is a bittersweet season with the accelerating pace of comings and
goings in the bird world. This year even more so, as this elderly
birdwatcher is preparing to migrate to Santa Barbara, the place where my
parents came at the turn of the 20th century and where some of my children
and grandchildren now live.

Neotropical birds moving north in the spring will arrive earlier in Santa
Barbara. But there will be lots to get used to. I'm not convinced that
mockingbird chatter is an adequate substitute for the ecstatic caroling of
our local robins who visit my new home mostly in the winter.

But Santa Barbara before Texas discovered the richness of bird life on
their south coast, once led the nation in the number of species seen during
the annual Christmas bird count. I'll try and settle for that.

-- Phila Rogers

Heermann's Gulls at Berkeley Marina


Early afternoon on Wednesday there were two Heermann's Gulls walking on the road next to HS Lordships restaurant.

Ken Berniker
El Cerrito

Coyote Hills (8/15) - Virginia Rails

Jerry Ting

Highlights from this (8/15) afternoon around the Main Marsh:

Virginia Rail (2) - 1 adult and 1 juvenile seen at the first open area on Boardwalk (pic

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2) - see at the pond next to the park entrance road just passed the Quarry Parking area.

Lesser Yellowlegs (12) - same location as above foraging with 8 Greater Yellowlegs (

No signs of Pectoral or Solitary Sandpiper yet. It's about time :)

Happy Birding,

Jerry Ting