Date   

Heermann's Gull-Pt. Richmond, Contra Costa

katherine francone
 

Around 2:00 this afternoon after spending a few hours at Miller/Knox I decided to drive down Sandpiper Spit and check
the cement breakwater wall.  There amongst many gulls and cormorants was a single breeding Adult Heermann' s Gull--what
a beauty.  This was a nice addition to the variety of gull species seen today at Miller/Knox Park.  I checked back around 4:30pm
and it was not there.  Maybe it will be seen tomorrow at the park?!  Good Birding.

Kathy Francone
Pt. Richmond


trash followup - herring run in Pt. Richmond

Anne Ardillo
 

I realize this is not the most appropriate place to post but my inquiry about trash cleanup at Meeker Slough and adjacent wetlands is working through the appropriate organizations and interested individuals.  So if you are interested in helping, please email me directly and I can keep you posted on the developments.  This is probably the last post I will make on this topic.

Since I live in Point Richmond been eagerly awaiting the herring run here.  I was at Ferry Point yesterday afternoon and must admit there are not as many birds as in previous years.  I am hoping that its just starting to ramp up and all the fishing boats are not having an impact on the roe that is usually deposited. I also hope to run into a "gull expert" who can point out the slaty-backed gull.

Anne Ardillo


NEW Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point/Miller-Knox

Steven Tucker
 

Birders -

This afternoon I was lucky to find what appears to be another adult Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point, with many other observers getting to see the bird. The bird was first seen in the water southeast of the Ferry Point pier near a fishing boat, then flew over to the pond at Miller-Knox where we were able to relocate it loafing with the California and Ring-billed Gulls. We lost track of it when it flew off from the pond back toward where a lot of the feeding activity is. This bird is much more heavily marked on the head and neck than the individual from yesterday (which we did not see).

Photos of the bird are here: http://seagullsteve.blogspot.com/2014/02/another-ferry-point-herring-run-another.html

Thanks to Alvaro Jaramillo, Brian Daniels, Curtis Marantz, Linda (didn't catch your last name, sorry!), Noah Arthur, Dan Singer and David Wimpfheimer for helping work over the bird with me. Gull activity has increased from yesterday, with more Glaucous-wings (and their hybrids) present.

Good birding,

Steve Tucker
Oakland


Tropical Kingbird in Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

As previously reported, the Tropical Kingbird was seen multiple times Tuesday in Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.  When it was not seen from the boat ramp at the southwest corner of the large, mostly natural pond, it was found several times in the pepper trees at the top of the small ridge above the ramp.  These trees run along a small ridge which separates the pond from the Gardens area of the park.  The Gardens have installed a deer fence.  The Tropical Kingbird was found to be in the pepper trees and also a leafless Sycamore tree.  The pepper trees are outside the deer fence, the Sycamore tree is inside.  There may be other as yet undiscovered locations the Kingbird likes to visit when it is not hawking insects near the pond.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Preponderance of Glaucous-winged Gulls at Herring runs?

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

I have been hoping to get some feedback about this from some gull devotees. During the herring runs over the last 4 years at Pt. Richmond, I have consistently noted that there is a larger number of Glaucous-winged Gulls. This seems like a lot higher proportion that a cross-section of the gulls I usually see around the bay otherwise. This year I caught the beginning of the herring run right at the beginning, and there were decent  numbers of GWGUs, but not a plurality. This morning and even more so this afternoon, once the activity had really increased. There was now a very high proportion of Glaucous-winged Gulls, especially among the large gulls. Where do they all come from, all around the SF Bay, or even from further afield? Any thoughts?

 

There has also been a large number of Mew Gulls at the previous events. They seem to feed primarily on individual floating herring eggs. They had not shown in big numbers as of this afternoon, but it will be interesting to see if their numbers increase if the amount of herring roe along the shore increases in the coming days.

 

Tony Brake

Pt. Richmond


Re: Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Todd, Steve et al.

 

  It would be amazing to eventually figure out the dynamics of gulls in the Bay Area. I think it is more complex than any of us would think. Tracking birds that are individually identifiable is very cool. Your ability to track and re-find this individual over many years in the same region in pretty remarkable from a Half Moon Bay perspective. Here almost all of the many Slaty-backed Gulls have never been seen again, maybe 3 – 4 since they started showing up are ever photographed again. The turnover seems to be immense here on the coast. I think in the Bayside gulls maybe a bit less mobile once they setup shop for the winter. Hopefully in the future the bird observatory (SFBBO) will have the opportunity to start figuring some of this out with color banding, proposals are out, if money comes in then it can be a reality!! Stay tuned, and of course donate or become a member J.

 

Hoping to head out to see some gulls eating fish eggs tomorrow!

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...] On Behalf Of Todd Easterla
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 3:47 PM
To: 'Steven Tucker'; ebb_sightings@...
Subject: RE: [EBB_Sightings] Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point

 

 

Hi ALL,

Funny how Steve should mention that this might be the same bird from across
the bay. I was looking at my images from the 2011 Ferry Point/ Miller Knox
run and this individual was one of the same two birds that I found on
02/11/2011. Since then this same bird, without much streaking in the head
(in fact, it is mostly in the back of his neck), has been seen almost every
year since then. I also wonder if this is the same bird that I found in San
Francisco County at Fort Baker in 2012?? That would mean if it is this is
his or her third year that we know of returning from who knows where?

This individual is easily told in flight by the leucistic (white) feathers
in the primary coverts of the birds right wing.

Todd Easterla

Fair Oaks, Ca.

From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of Steven Tucker
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 1:54 PM
To: ebb_sightings@...
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point

This morning around 11:00 I had an adult Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point.
It was foraging on the pilings under the old pier and was generally a pain
in the ass to see, although it was kind enough to flash open a wing to show
off its string of pearls before retreating under the pier. This was a very
white-headed individual and is most likely the same bird that has been
making appearances at herring runs around the bay this winter and last (and
spent some time here for the big herring run a year ago).

Good luck,

Steve Tucker

Oakland

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


Re: Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point

Todd Easterla
 

Hi ALL,



Funny how Steve should mention that this might be the same bird from across
the bay. I was looking at my images from the 2011 Ferry Point/ Miller Knox
run and this individual was one of the same two birds that I found on
02/11/2011. Since then this same bird, without much streaking in the head
(in fact, it is mostly in the back of his neck), has been seen almost every
year since then. I also wonder if this is the same bird that I found in San
Francisco County at Fort Baker in 2012?? That would mean if it is this is
his or her third year that we know of returning from who knows where?



This individual is easily told in flight by the leucistic (white) feathers
in the primary coverts of the birds right wing.



Todd Easterla

Fair Oaks, Ca.



From: EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com [mailto:EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Steven Tucker
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 1:54 PM
To: ebb_sightings@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point








This morning around 11:00 I had an adult Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point.
It was foraging on the pilings under the old pier and was generally a pain
in the ass to see, although it was kind enough to flash open a wing to show
off its string of pearls before retreating under the pier. This was a very
white-headed individual and is most likely the same bird that has been
making appearances at herring runs around the bay this winter and last (and
spent some time here for the big herring run a year ago).



Good luck,



Steve Tucker

Oakland


Re: Iceland Gull photos

Noah Arthur
 

My advice to everyone who wants to see this bird is USE BREAD. Throw pieces of bread in the water to gather a large flock of gulls, and keep on throwing to keep them coming for a while. If the Iceland is somewhere around the lake, he's likely to see the commotion and come investigate (although he doesn't seem to have much luck competing with the big Glaucous-wings!)

On the other hand, it's possible that he's flown the coop and headed over to Pt. Richmond by now...

Noah


On Tuesday, February 4, 2014 2:46 PM, Janet Ellis wrote:
Darn it must be out foraging. Spent two hours there and the nature center. Did see the Tufted Duck though.
Jane Ellis
San Leandro


On Feb 4, 2014, at 8:30 AM, Noah Arthur <semirelicta@...> wrote:

 
Sorry, I don't think I was specific enough about the Iceland Gull's location. This was at the place I call the Gazebo Beach: the sandy beach just south of the east end of Fairyland. There is a large gazebo (for weddings, etc) just north of this beach. However, the gull may move around -- throw your bread at several locations if you don't find him at the beach.
 
Noah


On Tuesday, February 4, 2014 8:17 AM, gail Ryujin <gailryujin@...> wrote:
hi, where on Lake Merritt is the gull, by the nature center?  thanks,  gail



On Monday, February 3, 2014 11:23 PM, Noah Arthur <semirelicta@...> wrote:
 
Here's a working link to the Kumlien's Iceland Gull photos from Lake Merritt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157640471162266/  Sorry I couldn't be more detailed about this bird earlier -- I was on my way to a scary math class, which forced me to take a couple hours off from thinking about Iceland Gulls.
 
As soon as I saw this bird from across the gazebo beach, I thought "oh crap that's an Iceland". He instantly took off and disappeared, but came back when I threw bread in the water, and I was able to observe him at close range for ten minutes or so while I waited anxiously for Bob and Juli to arrive.
 
The bill on this bird is very small. Not as tiny as on some Iceland Gulls, but definitely well within the range of variation and smaller than on many or most Thayer's, in my opinion. The primaries are nearly as pale as the rest of the plumage (and the only reason why they aren't as pale is because the rest of the plumage is almost whitish). In the field, this guy was a strikingly WHITISH gull, standing out as very pale even alongside Glaucous-wings. In flight, the tail was pale, about the same color as the primaries (not jarringly dark as I would expect it to be on a bird with faded rather than genuinely pale wingtips).
 
Not as easy as an adult, but I'm convinced this 2nd-cycle bird is an Iceland -- even if it's the same one that caused so much disagreement last month. I'm still interested to hear any reasons why this isn't an Iceland, though.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA







Tropical Kingbird

Steve Taylor
 

Continues at Heather Farms today 11-11:30am.

Hugh, thanks for finding it.

Steve
San Ramon


Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point

Steven Tucker
 

This morning around 11:00 I had an adult Slaty-backed Gull at Ferry Point. It was foraging on the pilings under the old pier and was generally a pain in the ass to see, although it was kind enough to flash open a wing to show off its string of pearls before retreating under the pier. This was a very white-headed individual and is most likely the same bird that has been making appearances at herring runs around the bay this winter and last (and spent some time here for the big herring run a year ago).

Good luck,

Steve Tucker
Oakland
 


Update on Pt. Richmond Herring Run

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

We visited Ferry Point this morning along with Dave Quady. There were now at least 25 fishing boats and gull activity had picked up considerably since yesterday. Most of the gull activity was along the breakwater extending west from Brooks Island, but there numerous gulls near Ferry Point, and a couple of groups north along the shoreline towards Miller-Knox Regional Park. There was some herring roe on the kelp at Ferry Point, but not yet so thick as in preceding years. Large rafts of ducks have not yet appeared. Since so many fishing boats are still active, I suspect the event will continue to increase, and perhaps expand to the shoreline north and west of Ferry Point.

 

P.S. Sorry for the multiple posts yesterday. That was the first time posting by email from  my phone and it initially failed, so I posted directly on the group site, but my initial message must have been successfully resent later in the day.

 

Tony Brake

Pt. Richmond


Heather Farm Peregrines

Jeff Acuff
 

Yesterday there were two adult PEREGRINE FALCONS that circled fairly low over the park.  One was clutching prey, probably a white rock pigeon.  It occurred to me that the falcons might be the Castle Rock pair.  Interestingly, when they departed, they left in exactly the opposite direction.

The previously reported TROPICAL KINGBIRD, WILSON'S SNIPE and LARK SPARROW were all present at, give or take, 4:30 pm.

Good Birding,
Jeff Acuff
Lafayette


Contra Loma Res. 2-1-14

Bernt Pettersson
 

Birded with a friend in preparation for my Lamorinda Seniors Bird Watch here on Wed. 2-5. Was amazed at the variety of birds spotted. Started out with observing an  Am. Kestrel on top of his box devouring a Lizard, we were less then 10 ft. away, no bins needed. Spotted Green Herons on 6 occasions and there most have been at least 3 around. 2 Kingfishers put on a aerial display over the water (territorial dispute or breeding ritual??), Anna's HB. everywhere fetching insects. Golden Eyes, White Pelicans, Killdeers just to name a few.
If anyone of all the expert birders from MDAS be interested in helping us out we be delighted, I know our MDAS VP. lives in the area so Paul, if you have the time. We accept all the free help and advise we can get. Group will meet in last parking lot near swimming area around 10:am and proceed clock wise.
Happy birding to all,

Ben


Re: Iceland Gull photos

Noah Arthur
 

Sorry, I don't think I was specific enough about the Iceland Gull's location. This was at the place I call the Gazebo Beach: the sandy beach just south of the east end of Fairyland. There is a large gazebo (for weddings, etc) just north of this beach. However, the gull may move around -- throw your bread at several locations if you don't find him at the beach.
 
Noah


On Tuesday, February 4, 2014 8:17 AM, gail Ryujin
hi, where on Lake Merritt is the gull, by the nature center?  thanks,  gail



On Monday, February 3, 2014 11:23 PM, Noah Arthur wrote:
 
Here's a working link to the Kumlien's Iceland Gull photos from Lake Merritt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157640471162266/  Sorry I couldn't be more detailed about this bird earlier -- I was on my way to a scary math class, which forced me to take a couple hours off from thinking about Iceland Gulls.
 
As soon as I saw this bird from across the gazebo beach, I thought "oh crap that's an Iceland". He instantly took off and disappeared, but came back when I threw bread in the water, and I was able to observe him at close range for ten minutes or so while I waited anxiously for Bob and Juli to arrive.
 
The bill on this bird is very small. Not as tiny as on some Iceland Gulls, but definitely well within the range of variation and smaller than on many or most Thayer's, in my opinion. The primaries are nearly as pale as the rest of the plumage (and the only reason why they aren't as pale is because the rest of the plumage is almost whitish). In the field, this guy was a strikingly WHITISH gull, standing out as very pale even alongside Glaucous-wings. In flight, the tail was pale, about the same color as the primaries (not jarringly dark as I would expect it to be on a bird with faded rather than genuinely pale wingtips).
 
Not as easy as an adult, but I'm convinced this 2nd-cycle bird is an Iceland -- even if it's the same one that caused so much disagreement last month. I'm still interested to hear any reasons why this isn't an Iceland, though.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA





Iceland Gull photos

Noah Arthur
 

Here's a working link to the Kumlien's Iceland Gull photos from Lake Merritt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157640471162266/  Sorry I couldn't be more detailed about this bird earlier -- I was on my way to a scary math class, which forced me to take a couple hours off from thinking about Iceland Gulls.
 
As soon as I saw this bird from across the gazebo beach, I thought "oh crap that's an Iceland". He instantly took off and disappeared, but came back when I threw bread in the water, and I was able to observe him at close range for ten minutes or so while I waited anxiously for Bob and Juli to arrive.
 
The bill on this bird is very small. Not as tiny as on some Iceland Gulls, but definitely well within the range of variation and smaller than on many or most Thayer's, in my opinion. The primaries are nearly as pale as the rest of the plumage (and the only reason why they aren't as pale is because the rest of the plumage is almost whitish). In the field, this guy was a strikingly WHITISH gull, standing out as very pale even alongside Glaucous-wings. In flight, the tail was pale, about the same color as the primaries (not jarringly dark as I would expect it to be on a bird with faded rather than genuinely pale wingtips).
 
Not as easy as an adult, but I'm convinced this 2nd-cycle bird is an Iceland -- even if it's the same one that caused so much disagreement last month. I'm still interested to hear any reasons why this isn't an Iceland, though.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA


Tropical Kingbird at Heather Farms, W.C. - 2/3/2014

Paul Schorr
 

Correction: the correct time of the observation was between 11:00 and 11:30.  My apologies, and I will reorient my sundial!!

Paul Schorr

Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Tropical Kingbird at Heather Farms, W.C. - 2/3/2014

 

Today between approximately 12:30 - 1:00, the Tropical Kingbird was viewed by many birders at the same location where it had been previously sighted and reported over the past several days.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch



Tropical Kingbird at Heather Farms, W.C. - 2/3/2014

Paul Schorr
 

Today between approximately 12:30 - 1:00, the Tropical Kingbird was viewed by many birders at the same location where it had been previously sighted and reported over the past several days.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch


Lake Merritt yesterday, apparent Kumlien's Iceland Gull

Noah Arthur
 

Sorry, haven't had time to post until now. Yesterday I met up with Bob and Juli Toleno at Lake Merritt, where there were very few gulls and no sign of the target Glaucous. This didn't stop a 2nd-cycle bird that appeared to be a 'KUMLIEN'S' ICELAND GULL from showing up at the gazebo beach, however! This may be the same one that caused so much consternation a few weeks ago, but yesterday, just a few yards away and under neutral lighting, he looked like a perfect average Kumlien's.  Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529@N02/sets/72157640471162266/ Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA


Herring run at Point Richmond

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

There were 7-8 herring boats along the breakwater extending from Brooks Island this AM, with many gulls flying about. There was no herring roe coating the shoreline at Ferry Point, but gulls had begun to gather near the shoreline at low tide. There was no unusual activity late yesterday, so this seems to be the very beginning.

Tony Brake
Point Richmond


Herring run at Point Richmond

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

There were 7-8 herring boats along the breakwater extending from Brooks Island this AM, with many gulls flying about. There was no herring roe coating the shoreline at Ferry Point, but gulls had begun to gather near the shoreline at low tide. There was no unusual activity late yesterday, so this seems to be the very beginning.

Tony Brake
Point Richmond

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