Tilden Regional Park Dec. 6, 2013 GGAS First Friday BW

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>


Tilden Regional Park, Contra Costa, US-CA
Dec 6, 2013 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

First Friday Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalk, up the sunny Meadows Canyon Trail due to construction in Tilden Nature Area (Canon Drive closed today).

Margaret T. brought the cold weather of New York with her! The Bennetts and Bob Smith had scopes today- thanks! And Maury Stern brought a gift for all attendees today- the Checklist of the Birds of Contra Costa County from Mount Diablo Audubon Society (May 2010 edition, with month-by-month, habitat and nesting status data). Thanks, Maury!

Total of 18 people and 23 species (and a Downy/Hairy something, not determined). Oh, and a resident of Woolsey St (cross-street is Eaton, in Berkeley) who lives where the Painted Redstart has been seen for three weeks came by!

Here is the list:

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Band-tailed Pigeon 8
Mourning Dove 1
Anna's Hummingbird 3
Nuttall's Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Black Phoebe 1
Steller's Jay 2
Western Scrub-Jay 4
Common Raven 6
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2
Bushtit 10
Bewick's Wren 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Wrentit 6
Hermit Thrush 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Spotted Towhee 3
California Towhee 2
White-crowned Sparrow 7
Golden-crowned Sparrow 6
Dark-eyed Junco 3

Pisolithus (a fungus), packrats (nests), and pocket gopher (busy!), too!

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan

Oyster Bay Gulls (12/4) - possible 1st cycle Slaty-backed

Jerry Ting

Sorry about the late report.  Following Noah's exciting report on 12/3 regarding the possible Kumlien's and Slaty-backed Gull, I went to north side of Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline just off Davis St in San Leandro the next (12/4) morning between 10-12. 


I found 8 (possibly 9) species of gulls and some interesting hybrids as well.  Glaucous-winged and Glaucous-winged hybrids were the majority but there were also quite a lot of Western, Herring, Ring-billed and Mew.  I also had 20+ Bonaparte's, 6+ California, 2 (possibly 3) Thayer's. 


There's this particular 1st cycle dark gull that grab my immediate attention when it flew into my sight.  It has:

- stout and all black bill

- overall dark brown color with fine pale markings on coverts.

- pale inner primary panel continuing out as pale tongues on inner webs of outer primaries.

- blackish tail.

- pink feet.


Here are a couple of shots of this what I suspect a 1st cycle Slaty-backed Gull (please scroll down on the image to see more shots):


Other highlight shots include (all presumed):

Thayer's (1st cycle):

Glaucous x American Herring (1st cycle):


On another note, I also found a possible Vega Gull at Berkeley Pier in the water right beside the Skate's on Nov 30th (the same day that Noah saw a Vega at Lake Merritt in Oakland).  Here is a shot of the gull:


All suggestions and comments are welcome and much appreciated.


Happy Birding,


Jerry Ting



Patterson Pass Greater Roadrunner

Edwin Mercado

Today (12/6/13), I looked for the bird startingat 12:45 PM and the GREATER ROADRUNNER appeared at around from1:20 PM giving good views for about 30 minutes initially from behind the trees south of the fence then started to get close. This was from Gate 9 to mile marker 5.9. I've managed to get a photo of it out in the open. Photo below:
Enjoy birding,
Edwin Mercado
Fremont, CA

No Clay-colored Sparrow found at Miller/Knox RRA

David Quady and Nancy Boas


I spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon searching without success for the Clay-colored Sparrow that Jeff Acuff photographed near the derelict ATSF pier at Ferry Point in Richmond's Miller/Knox Regional Recreation Area earlier in the day. This morning I spent another hour and a half working doubtless the same flock. Today it consisted of upwards of 30 White-crowned Sparrows (a few more than I detected yesterday), most of which, if not all, were apparently Z. l. pugetensis. Again I didn't find the Clay-colored Sparrow. Ostracized, was it, perhaps?

At any rate, if anyone does re-find the bird, please post it. Thanks in advance.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

Re: Possible Cassiar Junco (J.h. Henshawi), Martinez, Contra Costa Co.

Alvaro Jaramillo



  I think that may be a straight Slate-colored, the Cassiar birds I have seen in Alberta have a lot more brown on the tertial edges etc. Young males and female Slate-colored have brown washed backs too, this could be a young male or dark female?


Great find!!




Alvaro Jaramillo



From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...] On Behalf Of albertlinkowski
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 12:53 AM
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Possible Cassiar Junco (J.h. Henshawi), Martinez, Contra Costa Co.



On 12/5/13 on the John Muir NHS property, Martinez, Contra Costa County, I observed possible Cassiar Junco (J.h. henshawi) currently lump in Slate-Coloured Group (cismontanus) of Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). Description and pictures, as well as location map in eBird Checklist

Albert W. Linkowski

Possible Cassiar Junco (J.h. Henshawi), Martinez, Contra Costa Co.


On 12/5/13 on the John Muir NHS property, Martinez, Contra Costa County, I observed possible Cassiar Junco (J.h. henshawi) currently lump in Slate-Coloured Group (cismontanus) of Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). Description and pictures, as well as location map in eBird Checklist

Albert W. Linkowski

Oyster Bay 12/5 - Kumlien's Iceland Gull (or perhaps very pale Thayer's?)

Noah Arthur

This afternoon John Cant and I gulled Oyster Bay Shoreline in San Leandro, mostly focusing on the large congregation of gulls bathing and loafing on the slough on the north side of the park (I call the place Tufted Duck Slough because of the distinguished visitor it harbored last winter). Best bird was a gray-winged Thayer's-type that we identified as a third-cycle KUMLIEN'S ICELAND GULL. The bird never flew, but when I looked back at my photos later, I realized I'd photographed this same bird on Tuesday, including a blurry but telling flight shot! The dark marks extend only to P6 at best. The head and bill are a little bulky (although, of course, the apparent shape changed from moment to moment depending on posture), but I don't think those wingtips are within the range of variation of known Thayer's Gulls. I'm open to suggestions, though!
Another interesting bird was an adult Western or Western-type gull with yellow legs. Will let you know if this bird turns out to be a Yellow-footed Gull, but for now I'm not calling it anything other than a Western until further notice.
Noah Arthur, Oakland

Re: Patterson Pass

bilal al-shahwany

Hi All, I went to Midway Rd around 4pm Thursday Dec 5th, was able to see the ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK perched on the second tower west of the barn.

Also saw FERRUGINOUS HAWK flying around being chased by Ravens.



Clay-Colored Sparrow at Miller Knox

Jeff Acuff

Today a clay-colored sparrow was foraging with white-crowns in the bare grassy area leading to the pier.  There was also a Say's phoebe and an American pipit.

The pond had 13 red-breasted mergansers and one common. 

Sparrow photo:
(I hope I did that right.)

Good birding,
Jeff Acuff


Re: Painted Redstart continues

katie bertsche

Well, it made it through last night, since I can hear it call from (presumably) near the oak tree today, at about 11:45.   Met some folks looking for it this morning, not sure if they actually found it or not.  

Katie B.  

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013 4:50 PM, Kay Loughman wrote:
The Painted Redstart was seen late this afternoon in the same tree on
Woolsey Street in Berkeley. Wonder how it will do in the sub-freezing
weather predicted for the next few evenings?

Kay Loughman

Tropical Kingbird Richmond Bay Trail continues

Susan Greef


Today, Marilyn K. and I refound the Tropical Kingbird I reported yesterday.  We found it about 12:30 pm, approx 50 yards from where originally seen.  Loc:  About 50 yards up on the Marina Bay paved trail from where it intersects with the Richmond Bay trail, a paved spur trail comes in.  At that intersection there is a small coniferous tree and it was in there with a mixed flock of robins, Cedar Waxwings and others.  We only saw it long enough for confirmation, then it disappeared and we did not see it again.  Good luck!

Susan G.

Painted Redstart continues

Kay Loughman

The Painted Redstart was seen late this afternoon in the same tree on Woolsey Street in Berkeley. Wonder how it will do in the sub-freezing weather predicted for the next few evenings?

Kay Loughman

Greater Roadrunner - Patterson Pass Rd


A chilly morning for it today, but I searched from 10-11:30 and still failed to produce a Rough-Legged Hawk on or near Midway Rd at Patterson Pass Rd.  I saw plenty of Red-Tailed Hawks, kestrels, shrikes, and a Golden Eagle.  On my way west on Patterson Pass Rd., at MM 6.04 as has previously been reported, I found my first Greater Roadrunner ever for Alameda County (finally).  The bird was running along the embankment on the south side of the road and perched briefly in the smaller of two oaks at the mile marker sign.  A gorgeous, big, brightly-plumaged bird.

Stephanie Floyd

Hayward Shoreline (12/3)

Bob Richmond

Seen at the shoreline (12/3)

SNOW GOOSE - 1 on Mt. Trashmore
ROSS GOOSE - 2 just south of the San Leandro marina.
CACKLING GOOSE - 50 (est) on Mt. Trashmore.
FERRUGINOUS HAWK - 1 over the radio tower hills.
SLATY- BACKED GULL - 1 (possible) at the south end of the San Leandro marina, just a flyby late in the day.

Good birding


Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Oyster Bay 12/4 gulls and geese

Noah Arthur

I spent most of my time at Oyster Bay this afternoon looking through the thousands of big gulls coming and going from the slough on the north side, but there were a few other (more interesting) sightings. Two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over while I was there, and a good flock of BONAPARTE'S GULLS were on the slough. In the gull flock were at least one possible Kumlien's Iceland Gull and one possible Slaty-backed; not sure about these ones but will keep you posted if I ever figure them out.
This is a very good place to look for rare gulls... easily as good as the Pacific Commons pond used to be. Please photograph any gulls that look odd if you visit! Strange things show up in this gull flock...
Noah Arthur, Oakland

03/12/13 A few medium rare birds in Newhall Park, Contra Costa Co.


In Newhall Park, Concord, Contra Costa County. December 3, 2013, I refound Yellow-shafted Flicker, 3 Cacling Aleutian Goose (Branta hutchinsii leucopareia) reported a few days ago by Jeff Hoppes, also I found Intrergrade Flicker( Colaptes auratus) and White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).
Full list attached,

Good birding,
Albert W. Linkowski

Ferruginous Hawks at Dublin Open Space


Today I saw two (possibly three) Ferruginous Hawks at Dublin Open Space.  (At least one adult and one very scrawny looking immature bird.) 

Only a few red tails hawks were seen.  Other raptors:  Golden Eagles, Kestrels, Kites, and vultures.

Almost NO ground squirrels.  I don't know what these birds are finding to eat.

Also one coyote.

Sue Stanton

Patterson Pass

Clark, Bill <clark88@...>

At noon today, the Rough-Legged Hawk continued at the south end of Midway Rd, on the west-side of the road, flying between the two electrical towers.


On the way there, after years of trying, I finally spotted the Greater Roadrunner at MP 6.2 on Patterson Pass Rd.  It was on the south side of the road, across the arroyo and walking along the cattle trails there.


Also along the road: Mountain Bluebird, Say’s Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Prairie Falcon and Tri-Colored Blackbird.


Bill Clark



Fremont geese -- location

John Cant 793-5216

They were in their favorite area, the soccer fields of Central Park near Stevenson Blvd.


John Cant

Fremont geese

John Cant 793-5216

At 9:20 this morning there was an adult SNOW GOOSE with about 140 Moffitt's Canada geese, and 11 members of the CACKLING GOOSE species; I think all were Aleutian but am asking an expert to look at a photo of a small bird with apparently small bill.


John Cant


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