Date   

First of 2014 First Friday Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalks 01.03.2014

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>
 

Tilden Nature Area, Contra Costa, US-CA
Jan 3, 2014 8:30 AM - 11:40 AM

First Friday Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalk, January 3, 2014, the first Friday of 2014, too!

Large group of 39 observers, many for the first time on this scheduled walk, some for the first time ever birding.
Visitors from Soissons, France, too! Thanks to Bob S. for the scope and to all for Eyes and Ears!

Highlight was the struggle between a female Hooded Merganser and a crayfish she had seized at Jewel Lake. The bird won ! Great Blue Heron arrived to feed on smaller fish.

Our topic was the Origin and Ancestry of Birds, and an introduction to Bird Orders. More next month.

Total of 29 species seen or heard (plus one basking Red Admiral "Admirable" butterfly).

Mallard 6 4 adult females, 2 adult males
Bufflehead 4 2 adult females, 2 adult males
Hooded Merganser 4 2 adult females, 2 adult males. One female struggled with and overcame a crayfish- lunch!
Wild Turkey 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 2 makes the walk official !
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1 Juvenile, looked to be molting tail feathers
American Coot 2 makes walk doubly official (Turkey Vulture by land, coot by "sea")
Mourning Dove 1 heard only
Anna's Hummingbird 3 Males were displaying in air
Nuttall's Woodpecker 2 heard only
Northern Flicker 1
Black Phoebe 2
Steller's Jay 1
Common Raven 3
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 6
Oak Titmouse 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 1
Townsend's Warbler 2
Spotted Towhee 2
California Towhee 1
Fox Sparrow 3
Golden-crowned Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 7

Next week, January 10, 2014 we meet at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline 8:30 am for Shorebird Ecology and Ecology of Fish Eating themes.
February 7, 2014 back at Tilden Regional Park, 8:30 am (meet at Meadows Playfield at the intersection of Lone Oak Road and Central Park Drive). More on Bird Orders.
February 14, 2014 meet at Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park 8:30am for Love Among the Birds.

Thanks to everyone for supporting our First and Second Fridays Golden Gate Audubon Society birdwalks in 2013 !

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan


Pleasanton Cattle Egret, Shadow Cliffs misc.

Derek
 

Yesterday around noon I parked by Zorn's restaurant in Pleasanton to
find the Cattle Egret remaining very loyal to this location. Both
times I've stopped there in the last week it was on the edge of the
grass within a few feet of the parked cars.

Late this afternoon I biked over to Shadow Cliffs where I most noticed
the lack of Canada Geese, only 3 around the flagpole. There were
three Osprey perched at various spots along the lakeshore and over 50
Ring-necked Ducks which seems to be more than I've seen there in
previous years. Otherwise, the usual many Coots, Gadwall, Bufflehead,
a pair of Common Goldeneyes, single Northern Shoveler, a few
long-distance Scaup, 1 Common Moorhen, 7 White Pelicans, and a Belted
Kingfisher.

Derek Heins


1/3/14 Barrow's and Tropical Kingbird in Oakland

janet ellis
 

I started my search at Laney College (so glad it's a winter break) on the south canal path between 5th and Fallon and 8th and 10th. I parked on 8th near the Baseball field and first spotted Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads and Scaup. Then I spotted both a male and female Barrow's Goldeneye. (female confirmed by Bob Dunn). After that I spotted a pair of Cinnamon Teals at Garretson Point. Then with a nudge from Bob Dunn I was able to spot the Tropical Kingbird. I parked at the lot at Zhone and Oakport. Then walked down past the sculpture to the beaten Palm tree. First I didn't see it and walked to just about the bend in the trail. When I turned back it was sitting on the wire. As I kept taking pictures a family went by and it flew into a bush but a Mockingbird chased it out and then they kinda played tag. So it's still there.
Janet  Ellis
San Leandro


Lake Merritt gulls: Glaucous and probable Kumlien's Iceland

Noah Arthur
 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the short Iphone message earlier... just thought I should get the word out.
 
Gull numbers were high at the lake today, and the birds were milling around a lot. While looking at the gulls in the bird paddock soon after I arrived, I suddenly found myself staring into the face of a bird that looked pretty good for KUMLIEN'S ICELAND GULL. He was skittish and active, and soon rocketed away toward the boat house.
 
When I arrived at the boat house, a huge pale gull standing with the flock on the roof immediately caught my attention -- a magnificent first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL, surely one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen, and the first Glaucous I've seen at the lake. The Kumlien's was also on the roof, but he flew off after a few photos. Lewis Liebert showed up only minutes after I posted from my phone and was able to see the Glaucous.
 
The male TUFTED DUCK was eating bread in the water between the nature center and the islands. Three female probable COMMON MERGANSERS were hanging around the buoys (they were too far away and too asleep to ID for sure, but their bright coppery heads suggested Common rather than Red-breasted).
 
I'm not yet 100% sure on the Kumlien's; opinions are welcome.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland


Snow Geese join continuing San Leandro white-fronts.

kk
 

Today at San Leandro Marina, I found the two greater white-fronted geese reported earlier. Along with them were about eight snow geese.


Good Birding,
Seth McNaught


Painted Redstart

Doris
 

About noon today (1/4), a friend and I walked into the driveway of the Woolsey property where the Painted Redstart has been seen. Unfortunately, the landlord was there. He asked us to leave, so we did.

Doris Lopez
Richmond


Lake Merritt rare gulls

Noah Arthur
 

First cycle Glaucous on the boat house now. 2nd cycle probable Kumlien's Iceland just flew off. Photos and more details when I get home.

.


Contra Costa Co. - Surfbird 2 Jan 2014

Joe Parker
 

I too had no luck with rails this morning in Richmond. However, I did find 1 SURFBIRD roosting with Willets on the breakwater off shore from the entrance at 51st St. in Richmond.

Kathy Parker
Los Gatos


Say's Phoebe hovering for a kill....Los Vaqueros Reservoir 01/01/2014

Tom Bennett
 

While hiking on the Los Vaqueros loop north from the marina, we saw two Say’s Phoebes perching on the scag of a fallen tree….then doing several ground and air sallies. But one bird would sally and then do several hovers (about ten feet off the ground) then dive to the ground and catch insects…sometimes. It was like a kite diving from 100 feet…very interesting. Just happened to catch this shot.
Tom & Diane Bennett


Re: What a difference a day makes -- Meeker Slough

Douglas Vaughan
 

My wife & I also dipped on rails, but notable were 30+ Wilson's Snipes along the edge of one of the offshore "islands" isolated by the high water.

Doug Vaughan
Berkeley

On Jan 2, 2014, at 4:05 PM, <diomedea.stephen@...> wrote:

 

So we're in this several day period of "king tides", right!  Yesterday, Clapper Rails were apparently abundant.  Same tide today (actually, a slight bit higher).  Zero Clappers for me, and a half-dozen or so other birders.



But there was one impressive bird -- a single BARN SWALLOW over the slough.  Either an over-winterer (probable), or the earliest by ten weeks that I've ever seen Barn Swallow at this latitude.

Good birding in the new year,
Stephen Long
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
diomedea dot stephen at gmail dot com



What a difference a day makes -- Meeker Slough

Stephen
 

So we're in this several day period of "king tides", right!  Yesterday, Clapper Rails were apparently abundant.  Same tide today (actually, a slight bit higher).  Zero Clappers for me, and a half-dozen or so other birders.


But there was one impressive bird -- a single BARN SWALLOW over the slough.  Either an over-winterer (probable), or the earliest by ten weeks that I've ever seen Barn Swallow at this latitude.

Good birding in the new year,
Stephen Long
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
diomedea dot stephen at gmail dot com


Tropical Kingbird 1/2/14- photos

Mark Rauzon
 

The Tropical Kingbird continued today 1/2/14, along the walking path north of Garretson Point and 66th off of 880. I initially walked the path without seeing it at 8:30 and on my return, it appeared on the overhead wires near a battered palm tree. At 9:15 it flew across the field east to a tree next to the freeway and I departed. Thanks to Derek Heins for the report from yesterday. Here is a photo of it eating a wasp.

http://rauzon.zenfolio.com/p859914566/habb5a80#h14bc8cda

Off to a good birding start for 2014.

Mark Rauzon
Oakland


Re: Peregrine, Bitterns, Ring-necked Ducks, Gallinules at Pacific Commons 1/1/14

Allen Hirsch <allenvhirsch@...>
 

Around 9:20am this morning, I captured one of the American bitterns flying out from the large pond at Pacific Commons in nice morning light:
 
 
Allen Hirsch
Oakland

 

 


Tropical Kingbird nr Arrowhead Marsh Jan 1

kathy jarrett
 

Thanks to Jason who took some great photos, it is now clear that we saw a TROPICAL KINGBIRD Jan 1. The forked tail is clear, and Derek Heins was correct.  I hope that this link works for everyone. I am including all the pictures because they are so good. kathy


On Wednesday, January 1, 2014 5:09 PM, Jason McPhate wrote:
Hi Kathy,

Thanks for leading a great outing.  Here's a link to some of the better photos I took today, please feel free to distribute more widely.  

I was leaning toward Tropical Kingbird based on my photos, but let me know what you think (last two pics in the set).

Audubon Bike and Bird - Arrowhead Marsh - Jan 2014 - a set on Flickr

-Jason


--
Jason McPhate





Re: Red Knot, BWTeal Albany Crescent

Mike Shannon
 

We stopped and lingered at Lake Merritt early this afternoon.  We did see one tufted duck in among a modest flock of scaup (mostly lesser but a few greater).  We saw that red tail on the island and a lone song sparrow in a bush.  Of course, lots of coot, some double crested cormorants on the floats and a few mallards.  We noticed a few western grebes as well.

Mike Shannon


On Jan 1, 2014, at 4:55 PM, Bob Power <rcpower@...> wrote:

 

Hi all,

Miller-Knox was unproductive this afternoon w/no Wigeon or Merganser flock.
The Richmond Marina was equally unproductive. No Scoters of any variety.
Things picked up at the Albany crescent. I accessed the area from Central Ave.
Shorebirds were abundant and mixed in was one lone RED KNOT.

Foraging with Northern Shovelers was a male and female BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

From there I stopped at Emery Pt. and had 2 male and 3 female REDHEAD.

I stopped at the east end of Lake Merritt and the Scaup flock was non-existent. Early November levels
were scattered around the lake, but the big numbers took a powder. No Tufted Duck, no Goldeneyes of
any flavor from that end of the Lake. I did not explore the channel.

I was stopped by a biker who thought he saw an Eagle in one of the island trees and it had rope hanging from its legs...
I speculated that it was the 10th anniversary return of the Saker Falcon, but when I could get a look at the bird it had
morphed into a Red-tailed Hawk, and there is simply rope wrapped around the limbs of the tree where the bird was perched.

Good birding in 2014,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA


Red Knot, BWTeal Albany Crescent

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Hi all,

Miller-Knox was unproductive this afternoon w/no Wigeon or Merganser flock.
The Richmond Marina was equally unproductive. No Scoters of any variety.
Things picked up at the Albany crescent. I accessed the area from Central Ave.
Shorebirds were abundant and mixed in was one lone RED KNOT.

Foraging with Northern Shovelers was a male and female BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

From there I stopped at Emery Pt. and had 2 male and 3 female REDHEAD.

I stopped at the east end of Lake Merritt and the Scaup flock was non-existent. Early November levels
were scattered around the lake, but the big numbers took a powder. No Tufted Duck, no Goldeneyes of
any flavor from that end of the Lake. I did not explore the channel.

I was stopped by a biker who thought he saw an Eagle in one of the island trees and it had rope hanging from its legs...
I speculated that it was the 10th anniversary return of the Saker Falcon, but when I could get a look at the bird it had
morphed into a Red-tailed Hawk, and there is simply rope wrapped around the limbs of the tree where the bird was perched.

Good birding in 2014,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA


More Meeker Slough area

Laura Look <chamaea@...>
 

My husband and I were also out in the Meeker Slough area for the high tide this morning (Wed, Jan. 1). We walked from the Bayside Dr entrance at Meeker Slough down to the 51st St entrance and back.

We had 7 CLAPPER RAILS, 3 male EURASIAN WIGEONS, and 1 distant SORA. Supporting cast included 2 Mew Gulls, 2 Whimbrels (among the curlews), 8 Wilson's Snipe, a Barn Swallow, Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, and Lincoln's Sparrows.

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA


Arrowhead Marsh Great Day

kathy jarrett
 

A New Year's Day GGAS bicycle-birding trip was a huge success. Beautiful sunny weather heralded a great birding day. Ten of us started from the EBRPD Tidewater staging area in Oakland near the High St bridge to Alameda where a large group of Least Sandpipers was on the dock and House Finches, White Crowned and Golden Crowned Sparrows were in the scrub and on the ground. Large flocks of Greater Scaup, Ruddy Ducks and Coots were on the bay, and smaller groups of Wigeons, Pintails, Green-winged Teals, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes and Avocets. We also saw Eared, Horned, Clarks and Western Grebes on the bay; some of the Westerns were vocalizing. Thanks to the people with scopes at the Arrowhead viewing platform we were able to see Soras and Clapper Rails. The platform itself was full of birds waiting out the extreme high tide - lots of Willets, Marbled Godwits and Black-necked Stilts along with a Great Blue Heron and Great White Egret. A ride around the loop gave us a Say's Phoebe and a Burrowning Owl (at #2).  We saw the kingbird also mentioned by Derek Heins; it was in the grassy area north of 66th Ave; although I agree it was not a Western Kingbird, it might have been a Cassin's. After looking at Birds of North America online and my bird book, I would vote for Cassin's. The Tropical Kingbird is supposed to have a more distinct supra-ocular dark patch. Trip list follows. kathy jarrett
Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Surf Scoter
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Ruddy Duck
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark’s Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Clapper Rail
Sora
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Marbled Godwit
Least Sandpiper
Western Gull and others
Rock Pigeon
Burrowing Owl
Anna’s Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Say’s Phoebe
Tropical Kingbird/Cassin’s Kingbird
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
House Finch


Peregrine, Bitterns, Ring-necked Ducks, Gallinules at Pacific Commons 1/1/14

amhoch@aol.com
 

At Pacific Commons this morning (1/1/14), a Peregrine Falcon was on a tower just south of Auto Mall Pkwy. & just east of the concrete walkway.  Two Amer. Bitterns were in the big pond, as were 2 or 3 male Ring-necked Ducks.  Two Common Gallinules came out of the south pond, onto its southeast bank.  A number of Tree Swallows were flying over the big pond.   I did not see the Redheads that were reported earlier.  I was there between 10:40 AM and 12:50 PM.

Alice Hoch
Fremont


Arrowhead Marsh Glaucous Gull

kk
 

Today, I went to Arrowhead Marsh to bird the king tide. I came too late for any rails, and missed the Tropical kingbird. However, I spotted one GLAUCOUS GULL flying overhead. It came from the water side of the trail that leads from garretson point to the boardwalk and disappeared over a large building that is favored as a gull roost.


Good birding,
Seth McNaught

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