Tilden Solitary SP and Hermit Warbler


Today morning at Tilden myself and Jerry met Harold Newman who guided us
to Solitary Sandpiper at the Jewel Lake. A distant shot shows a distinct
white spectacle for sure.

A Hermit warbler was seen in packrat trail.

The other birds seen were a Belted Kingfisher, Warbling Virio,
Townsend's Warbler, Orange Crowned Warbler, Bewick's Wren, Downy

The pictures of HEWA and SOSP can be seen here. <http://>

Harjeet Singh.

Red Knots Hayward Shoreline

Matthew Dodder


Kelly and I made a run to Hayward Shoreline on Saturday lunch time.
Tide was headed out when we arrived and Shorebirds were leaving
Frank's Dump and gathering on the flats near Johnson's Landing.
Highlight for us was a flock of about a dozen RED KNOTS. Took the
opportunity to do a field sketch, which if anyone is interested, can
be seen along with a few others at:

. . .

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View, CA

Sanderlings -- Big Break

Bob Power <rcpower@...>

Hi all,

I was scouting a route today for SFBBO's fall challenge. A couple of friends and
I will be doing a CCCo big day on Sunday the 19th.

At Mitchell Canyon there was a nice group of Yellow Warblers (6), Townsend's
Warbler (2), and Western Tanager (1), in the first 1/4-mile from the trailhead
parking lot.

Somewhere on Marsh Creek Rd. where there's a big rock pile w/grafitti, I had a
Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

At Round Valley Reg. Park, a male Phainopepla zipped from oak to oak and buried
himself in the back of a tree. Due south of the parking area and across the
creek in the first row of oaks.

At the Big Break Regional Trail in Oakley, I had 2 juvenile Sanderlings, 6 adult
and 1 Juvenile Caspian Terns.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA

Townsend's Warbler at San Pablo Reservoir

Judith Dunham

Heading north on the trail along the west side of the reservoir, Richard Schwartz and I had our first-of-fall Townsend's Warbler in a mixed flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Bushtits. The trailhead where we started is at Bear Creek Road and San Pablo Dam Road. The flock was foraging along the trail north of the watershed headquarters. (Note that an EBMUD permit is required to access the watershed trails.)

Another nice surprise was encountering two separate small flocks of Pygmy Nuthatches. It was a nuthatch day, with a good showing of Red- breasted and a few White-breasted.

Judith Dunham

Valley Vista 9/6

Steve Taylor

Today, Pamela, Carol and I did our Monday hike out of Valley Vista behind
Moraga. While our main purpose was the 7-8 mile loop hike we did spot some
interesting birds along the way.

At the start we were treated to a really nice view of a Red Shoulder Hawk
and about 12 White Pelicans sitting in the lake along with a Great Blue
Heron, some Canadian Geese, Mud Hens, a couple of Great Egret's and a

As we continued along the trail which runs by the San Leandro Reservoir we
came to a spot where we saw a Kingfisher up close, more Egret's, a couple of
Caspian Terns, another Blue Heron and several Double-crested Cormorants all
within about three or four minutes. Then we looked up in the sky and saw
two flocks of about 30 birds each which were White Pelicans flying about.
They seemed to just be riding the wind currents up in the sky. It was a
site to be hold and made the whole hike worth it. Of course we also saw
some of the usual birds such as TV's and a couple of Black Phoebe's plus
several Mallard Ducks and some other common small birds. But the real
highlight was seeing those two large flocks of White Pelicans flying about,
the Kingfisher which actually just about posed for us to see and the Caspian

Happy Birding

Steve Taylor

San Ramon

Willow Flycatcher in Richmond


This morning I birded the bike path and Bay Trail from Point Isabel to Meeker Slough from 7:30 AM-10:00 AM (Richmond, Contra Costa County). Most of the activity was in the flowering fennel that lines much of the past.

Migratory Landbird Highlights:

Willow Flycatcher-1-Near the Bayview trailhead of the Bay Trail, Richmond Annex (this is a small spur trail about 0.3 miles south of Meeker Slough) in the southwest corner of the willow clump that lines the hidden pond.

Yellow Warbler-13

Orange-crowned Warbler-2

Wilson's Warbler-1

Common Yellowthroat-1

-- Emilie Strauss
Berkeley, California

Labor Day at Heather Farm


I was later than usual arriving at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, but about 9 AM I watched a Spotted Sandpiper fly across the pond several times. It was having trouble deciding where it wanted to land. I was near the large oak tree on the west side of the large, mostly natural pond. I think the sandpiper was on the edge of the dirt when I first stopped with my bicycle. It flew around, trying to land on the island, but didn't like the ducks. It finally stopped across the pond in front of the wooden railing. I did not re-find it later.

There were still 4 or 5 Yellow Warblers present. Up to 3 were along N. San Carlos between the maintenance and equestrian areas. Two others were in the trees near the chin-up bars, but closer to the big pond.

Strange as it might seem, I did not see or hear a single House Finch or Black Phoebe today. Probably took off for the holiday weekend!

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Solitary Sandpiper at Jewel Lake in Tilden


Saw a single SOLITARY SANDPIPER about 9:30 AM today feeding at Jewel Lake. No other sandpipers there.

Three other birders also saw it, Ken from Lafayette, and Harjeet Singh and Jerry Ting from Fremont area. Harjeet and Jerry took pictures and will post them later. We all agreed on the ID.

The bird was a little smaller than a lesser yellowlegs. The bill was shorter, and the legs were greenish yellow. It had a prominent white eyering. Ken saw the bird flying and noted the dark underwings. I noted barring on the outer tail feathers when the bird was feeding. Upperparts were speckled gray, underparts white with some streaking on the chest.

Go to the Tilden nature center near the little farm. Take the main fire road to Jewel Lake. The lake is on your left about 0.2 miles from the nature center. Go to the close shore on the lake, as left of the bench as possible. Do not go on the boardwalk. The dam is on your very far right. The bird is directly across the lake on a sandbar area slightly to your left. It feeds in the shallow mud in front of the sandbar and also behind it.

If you go today, the parking is limited as the nature center is very crowded. Bring a scope if you can.

Harold Newman

Coyote Hills - North Marsh Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper


Eric Pilotte and myself birded the North Marsh of Coyote hills Sunday morning (we actually ran into Kathy Robertson as we were leaving). This was the first time that we have ever birded this location but will not be the last. The pool was filled with shorebirds, ducks, waders and white pelicans.

Our highlights are below:

1 Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper - seen on the north side of Alameda Creek across from the North Marsh Pool. The bird was with 5-10 least sandpipers on the bank. Very buffy bird, appeared considerably larger then the leasts, very long-winged. Accompanied by over 40 Greater Yellowlegs.

4+ Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Canvasback
2 American Widegon
250 American White Pelicans (This is probably a low estimate since flocks of over 100 were seen flying around)
60 Greater Yellowlegs

We visited this site around high tide and lighting conditions were not ideal for a lot of the shorebirds in the pool.

Good Birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA

North Richmond Shoreline birds- Sun

Patricia Bacchetti

Hi all;

Judith Dunham, Amy McDonald, and I spent the day birding several spots along the North Richmond Shoreline. We read Golden Gate Audubon's 'Census of the Birdlife at the North Richmond Shoreline, Sept 2007-Aug 2008' (, and we were curious about several of the census sites that we hadn't birded before.

The day started off at Miller-Knox RP in Pt. Richmond with some nice migrant activity on the lawn near the restrooms: 2 WESTERN TANAGERS, 2 BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, and 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were eating the numerous berries on a Myoporus and flying back and forth into the eucalyptus. The eucs were hosting several ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS battling it out with 2 SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRDS.

Brooks Island from the Red Oak Liberty Ship was pretty quiet at high tide at 11. Then it was on to the West Contra Costa Sanitary District ponds at the end of Parr Blvd. That's right off of the Richmond Parkway, north of Miller-Knox RP. The walk out to the extensive wetlands is about a mile, and it's a great spot for gulls and shorebirds in the winter. It was kind of quiet today, but it's a spot that's worth returning to. There were 3 RED-TAILED HAWKS and a NORTHERN HARRIER above the landfill hill; 3 WHITE PELICANS were in the lagoon at the end.

We ended up at Meeker Slough at the low tide. That's I580 N to Richmond, the Regatta Exit to Marina Bay Parkway, then left into Bayside Drive, where you park at the end in the court and walk down the path to the slough. The shorebirds were the expected species, but the numbers are starting to get exciting. There were numerous WILLETS, LB CURLEWS, MARBLED GODWITS, 3 WHIMBRELS, BB PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, PEEPS, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, AND DOWICHERS, along with FORESTER'S TERNS, CALIFORNIA, RING-BILLED, AND WESTERN GULLS. The wind in the afternoon is fierce, but it was a gorgeous day to be out enjoying the bay, the birds, and good company.

Pat Bacchetti

Coyote Hills Sun. 9/5

Kathy Robertson

Hi birders,

I spent a few hours this afternoon birding at Coyote Hills, mostly around
North Marsh. Of note was a huge group of Greater Yellowlegs -- I counted
(conservatively) 170 on the north bank of Alameda Creek opposite the marsh,
and more were in the marsh, along with several Lesser Yellowlegs. Two FOS
species for me were a "flock" of three Greater White-fronted Geese that
flew over, and there were two Bonaparte's Gulls in the marsh.

Kathy Robertson
Hayward, CA

redtail behavior in Concord

clark stanton

At the Diablo Creek golf course in Concord recently I saw a redtailed hawk on the ground as if trying to sink its talons into a mouse. It then flew into a 10 ft. tree as my friend approached it. He stopped about 30 feet away. Amazingly enough, the hawk didn't depart but actually flew to a closer tree, about 10 feet away, and stared at my friend for a minute with its head cocked. Then it flew away. After we left the vicinity we saw it return to the original tree. Usually hawks won't let you get within 30 yards, and only one other time have I been this close. Very curious hawk, yes? Or maybe just super hungry.


Walnut Creek Birds


This morning I left the house a little before 7 AM. The first thing I heard was the "enk-enk" of a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Pretty cool for next to Treat Boulevard in the Ygnacio Valley. The Nuthatch was in some Redwoods which boarder our sub-division.

In Heather Farm Park to the south, the Yellow and Wilson's Warblers continued with probably 4-5 Yellows and at least 2 Wilson's. A Willow flycatcher was pointed out to me high in the trees on the island. If it is the same bird, it has been around for at least a week.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

This morning at Jewel Lake

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>

Dear Birders:

Twenty-five of us gathered this morning in the cool canyon -- wonderfully refreshing after two hot days.  Dave Quady led the way up to the open lawn behind the Environmental Center where we had good views of the tall, slender Monterey pines, aging and leaning now with ladders of broken branches.  In the foreground in an alder, also bathed in the early sun, Dave and others spotted a brilliant yellow Townsend's Warbler and a Black-throated Gray Warbler actively feeding. Other migrants may have been concealed by the dense foliage as the tree was alive with small excited voices. Someone spotted a
flycatcher in one of the pines which after careful observation proved to be a silent Western Wood Pewee, no doubt a migrant as this species is not a common Tilden Park breeder.  In the tops of the
tallest pines Pygmy Nuthatches chittered.

Several Red-breasted Nuthatches called from the trees and further off we heard a Northern Flicker and the rattle of a Nuttall's Woodpecker.  In the grass, Laz, at seven our youngest birder, found several banded flight feathers probably from one of the local turkeys.  Nearby more feathers lay about suggesting that this was not the product of a normal molt, but probably from an unfriendly encounter.

Returning to the Jewel Lake road, we first heard and then saw a male Hairy Woodpecker which gave Dave a chance to discuss the two look-alike species -- Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers.  Along the way, the usually elusive Wrentit in the full sun provided good views. 

Lots of other species were either seen or heard -- Red-shouldered Hawk, and a brief glimpse of an accipiter, Steller's Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Hutton's Vireo, Spotted Towhees.

The resident Black Phoebe
make its usual appearance near the dam.  The real treat was a single Pied-billed Grebe with strong black band across its thick white bill.  Several Mallards hung out across the lake where willows grow out over the water and Laz mentioned that the male appeared to be in eclipse plumage.

Walking back along the raised board-walk with his mom, Willow, he described the various species he saw this summer while birding in Florida.  He hopes to bird Peru next summer with the Andean Condor being his target bird.

Though in almost every way this was a perfect early fall morning, Swainson's Thrushes called soft "whets" informing us that a little of summer still remains.

-- Phila Rogers

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

Coyote Hills Regional Park Virginia Rail (Pictures)


Around 6:10PM I saw a Virignia Rail at Main Marsh edge along Chochenyo
trail (Look for reeds next to water line east of Chochenoyo Trail just
before intersection with Dust Trail. Location Map is also marked on
picture at Flickr)

Pictures can be seen here.

Some of this weeks highlight birds from CHRP include Wilson's Warbler,
Yellow Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Willow Flycatcher,
Pac-Slope/Western) Fly Catcher, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager,
Swainson's Thrush, Black-headed Grosbeak.

Harjeet Singh.

Greater Roadrunner

Jane Chinn

I'm new to the yahoo group. Just wanted to report that on Monday morning (8/30) around 10:30 a.m., a male Greater Roadrunner came walking through my backyard along the iron fence that separates my yard from the 12th hole on Deer Ridge Golf Course in Brentwood. What a surprise.

jane chinn

pine siskin <owlycat@...>

This afternoon I saw a single pine siskin at my sunflower chip tube feeder. What a surprise since it was about 90 degrees. I was so startled to see it that I actually asked it what it was doing here. Since they never seem to be shy birds, it stayed and looked interested in what I was saying, but did not answer. I have always thought of these little birds as appearing when the weather gets cooler and it is closer to winter. I saw no siskins last winter and saw only one this past May 9. I live in Montclair just below Skyline Blvd. near Colton Blvd. Could this mean an early winter?

Susan Russell

Seen any Vaux's Swifts?

SteveLombardi <hot-rock@...>

Vaux's Happening is a group affiliated with Audubon in the Pacific Northwest that is doing citizen science research on Vaux's Swift migration.

They have collected a lot of data for the area between the Healdsburg roost site (Rio Linda Academy) and the Canadian border. But they need data for the rest of California, especially the Bay Area and Central Valley.

If any of you know of roost sites or have other knowledge of VASW migration please communicate with the project coordinator - Larry Schwitters (leschwitters AT

Thanks for your help.

Steve Lombardi

Walnut Creek Birds


In Heather Farm Park this morning, I saw an Empidonax species flycatcher. The view was poor. Last Friday, Denise Wight recorded a Willow Flycatcher here. Don't know if this was the same bird.

There are also Yellow and Wilson's Warblers in the riparian area just south of the equestrian area. Between the pond and the same equestrian area were 4 Lark Sparrows. Others sighted included Chickadees, a Nuttall's and a Downy Woodpecker, a busy Bushtit flock and a Hutton's Vireo.

In our patio just north of the park and near Treat Boulevard, we have had a California Towhee feeding a fledgling. The Juncos which have been coming for much of the summer have not been seen now for almost a month.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Hayward Shoreline (8/31)

Bob Richmond

Seen at the shoreline today -

Winton Ave.
    Western (Pac.-slope ?) Flycatcher - 2
    Hooded Oriole - 2

Ash-throated Flycatcher - 1 on the west side of the road around Mt. Trashmore.
California Quial - 1 near the paved trail from Winton Ave. to Hayward's Landing.
Brown Pelican - 1, very rare this fall so far, usually much more common this
time of year.


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