Date   

Tropical Kingbird continues at Heather Farm Park

Bruce Mast
 

Today (Saturday, 2-15) at 12:15 pm, the TROPICAL KINGBIRD flew into
the willows overhanging the natural pond, adjacent to the gravel boat
ramp, It didn't linger long--I went to alert a couple other birders in
the area and when I came back it had moved on. I started my search
around 10 am and was on my way to the car when it showed up, teaching
me again the importance of patience.

Other good birds today included a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE loafing
on the island and trying its best to ignore the racket from the Canada
Geese. Also enjoyed watching 3 TREE SWALLOWS chasing each other around
and investigating potential nest cavities.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast
Oakland


BayTrail Birding - Garretson Point Arrowhead Marsh to Mt. Trashmore, Hayward Marsh

j.chiropolos@...
 

Derek Heins and I birded from Garretson Point to Mt. Trashmore in a liesurely birding and bike ride. - Highlights:

Sora and Common Moorhen, Hayward marsh

Over 50 red knots! Franks Dump pond with 2 surfbirds, one black turnstone and over 10 ruddy turnstones mixed in with other shorebirds at the southwest corner of the pond.(This is the furthest south I have seen a surfbird in the bay).

At least two horned larks, Mt. Trashmore (greening up nicely after the rains- it now has lots of Canadian Geese but no cackling or other geese yet).

Two perigrine falcons
Merlin - arrowhead marsh (I see more merlins here than anywhere else in the east bay)

Harbor seal eating large fish at mouth of Sulfer Creek (again, furthest south I have seen a harbor seal in the bay).

78 species seen total (but no blue heron or pied billed grebes).

 

Good birding,

Jim Ciiropolos, Berkeley


Miller Knox Birds February 14. 2014

Sheila Dickie
 

As previously reported the large numbers of gulls previously seen have vanished from Ferry Point/Miller Know Regional Shoreline Park, just a few Ring-billed loafing in the lagoon and a few out in the bay yesterday, February 14, 2014. I saw one Mew Gull and one Glaucous-winged close in.

Among other birds seen between 2 and 4 p.m. one White-breasted Nuthatch foraging among the pine trees that border the first parking lot on the right as you come through the Ferry Point tunnel. It then flew to a drinking fountain and helped itself. Also in the same area one male Nuttall's Woodpecker, one male Allen's Hummingbird (it was in a leafless tree just to the left of the 'restroom'), and one Cooper's Hawk on the other side of the lagoon.

Out on the bay there were good numbers of ducks and two male Eurasian Wigeon were seen far down the rocky shoreline closer to Keller Beach.

Sheila Dickie
Richmond


Re: Albino California Towhee?

Clinton
 

Strange, there was a leucistic scrub jay hanging out in exactly the same area about two years ago. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what it was until I heard it call. I'd love to hear if you see this bird again.

Thanks,
Clint

Envoyé de mon iPad


GGAS Birdwalk February 14, 2014, Inspiration Point/Nimitz Way and Love Among the Birds Theme

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>
 

Friends!

Second Friday Golden Gate Audubon Society Birdwalk, Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014.

Walked on the Nimitz Way from Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park.
Fog and slight dampness the entire time, birding was mostly by ear. 26 attendees saw or heard 24 species.

California Thrasher (singing) and Purple Finch (call) were heard early on the walk. Theme was Love among the Birds, with the Cornell course study guide Chapter 6 on BIrd Behavior as source of many of the examples.

Thanks to Pam Y., Bob S. and The Bennets for bringing scopes.

New word of the day: shadowboxing (when a bird fights its reflection), from Lauryn Benedict's revised Birds of North America article on California Towhee.

FOS Chorus Frog/Treefrog was heard; also Red-winged Blackbird male seen in "song-flight."

Here is the list of 24 species (+1 other taxa):

Mallard
California Quail
Double-crested Cormorant
Accipiter sp.
Anna's Hummingbird
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Wrentit
American Robin
California Thrasher
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
Purple Finch

If you want a copy of my notes, send an e-mail to me.

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan


Re: Albino California Towhee?

Peter Jenks
 

Hi all,

In case some of you want to look for it, I saw the (unconfirmed) albino California Towhee on the path between North Field and Morrison Hall on the UC Berkeley campus at about 8:15am on Wednesday, Feb 12. Another possible ID would be an albino American Robin, as flocks have been passing through and it was about the right size, but it looked chunkier, more like a Towhee. It hopped into the shrubbery along the south side of the path and then (I think) down towards the field as I was approaching from the east on the path. Since I sent the message yesterday I haven't seen it again, and I've checked while passing by the area three times.

Good luck!

Peter


Herring Run is OVER

Noah Arthur
 

Even though it hasn't been 9 days since the last herring boats were sighted, it looks like the Pt. Richmond Herring Run has met its end. Gull numbers were VERY low this afternoon; mostly the very common species with just a few THAYER'S GULLS, suggesting that the HERRING EGGS HAVE HATCHED and the large gull concentrations are gone for good. (There were still thousands of gulls on the kayak-accessible Brooks Island breakwater, however...)
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland
 
 


two FOS birds

Susan Russell <owlycat@...>
 

While watching my hummingbird feeder to confirm that I really had seen an Allen's hummingbird (I was on the phone when it first appeared) a sharp-shinned hawk made a strike at my sunflower chip feeder right below (it was not successful). I went out to look for the hawk and saw it soaring overhead. Not long afterwards the previously mentioned Allen's returned to get another sip. It was this same date a year ago that I saw my first Allen's of the season. Earliest has been Feb. 2, 2004. Now I hope that both birds return for the GBBC this weekend. However, if the hawk hangs around, I may not have as many songbirds to count. Such is the way of nature.

Susan Russell
Montclair near Skyline and Snake


Re: Allen"s Hummingbird @ Don Castro

janet ellis
 

Forgot to mention date is 2/13/14


On Feb 13, 2014, at 10:57 AM, Janet Ellis <jellis502003@...> wrote:

 

Twice today at the same spot as I made a loop around the lake. Heard, photographed and saw a male Allen"s. On the northeast side, on the lowest trail below the tower. As you follow that trail from the swimming pool look for the large downed Eucalyptus tree. It was hanging, buzzing and feeding around there.
Janet Ellis
San Leandro


Allen"s Hummingbird @ Don Castro

janet ellis
 

Twice today at the same spot as I made a loop around the lake. Heard, photographed and saw a male Allen"s. On the northeast side, on the lowest trail below the tower. As you follow that trail from the swimming pool look for the large downed Eucalyptus tree. It was hanging, buzzing and feeding around there.
Janet Ellis
San Leandro


Albino California Towhee?

Peter Jenks
 

While biking to work on the UC Berkeley campus yesterday I saw an all-white bird, Robin or Towhee-sized. I didn't get a very clear look but it didn't resemble any of the possible white rarities in the Bay Area (e.g. Snow Bunting, White Wagtail). My best guess is that it was a partial albino California Towhee. I didn't get a great look, but it was Towhee sized, was jumping on the ground like a Towhee, and then flew into the bushes. The most common birds of that size in the area are other California Towhees. The bird was all white except for light grey on the wings. I didn't get a good look at the color of the beak or legs as I didn't have binoculars and was moving quickly when I first spotted it. If anyone has seen a similar bird or has pictures of Albino California Towhee, I would be grateful.

Peter Jenks
Berkeley


Hermit Thrush clarification

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>
 

Hi all,

Just to clarify my earlier post on the Hermit Thrush. My surprise was not in finding one - I get them occasionally in my yard throughout the winter and of course when I am out birding.

My surprise was that it was singing in January!

Has anyone else heard them singing so early?

Happy Birding,
Jaan


Jaan Lepson
Livermore


Re: Hermit Thrush at Cerrito Creek and Key Route/Ashbury (Albany/El Cerrito border)

lowensvi@sbcglobal.net
 

I've had a hermit thrush off and on in my backyard--southwest Berkeley--all winter. What a treat!

Lisa


From: Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 8:20 AM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Hermit Thrush at Cerrito Creek and Key Route/Ashbury (Albany/El Cerrito border)

 
Friends!

Here is another stone to the edifice of Hermit Thrush sightings this week: this was observed yesterday, Wednesday February 12, 2014.

There was a Hermit Thrush in bushes and an oak tree above Cerrito Creek on the Albany/El Cerrito border (where Key Route becomes Ashbury Avenue) on the east side of the boulevard. It vocalized the "chuck" call the entire time (about three minutes we watched it) and darted into a red-berried bush (my companion said it was not a Cotoneaster) a dozen times, grabbing only one berry each time and then perching away from the bush until the next foray.

This '"one berry" at a time was noted by Steve Bailey years ago in his dissertation work on the UC Berkeley campus: Hermit Thrush behaves like a fugitive, dashing in for a berry while a Robin, who has staked out that bush for the winter, is not paying attention. In yesterday's case, there was no Robin nearby, and the berries were easy to take, and the Hermit Thrush retreated to a very obvious perch. But the fugitive behavior is 'hard-wired" into it, and it behaved cautiously.

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan



Re: Herring run today?

Wen Hsu <wen.hsu@...>
 

Marjorie Fletcher and I were at Miller Knox in the morning, 2/12.
It was high tide. There were very few gulls at Ferry Point.
A large number of gulls gathered with other seabirds in the water away from the coastline of and beyond the northern part of the park.
Low tide may bring them closer.
We saw 5 Red-breasted Mergansers in the Lagoon around 11 AM.
Wen Hsu


Hermit Thrush at Cerrito Creek and Key Route/Ashbury (Albany/El Cerrito border)

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>
 

Friends!

Here is another stone to the edifice of Hermit Thrush sightings this week: this was observed yesterday, Wednesday February 12, 2014.

There was a Hermit Thrush in bushes and an oak tree above Cerrito Creek on the Albany/El Cerrito border (where Key Route becomes Ashbury Avenue) on the east side of the boulevard. It vocalized the "chuck" call the entire time (about three minutes we watched it) and darted into a red-berried bush (my companion said it was not a Cotoneaster) a dozen times, grabbing only one berry each time and then perching away from the bush until the next foray.

This '"one berry" at a time was noted by Steve Bailey years ago in his dissertation work on the UC Berkeley campus: Hermit Thrush behaves like a fugitive, dashing in for a berry while a Robin, who has staked out that bush for the winter, is not paying attention. In yesterday's case, there was no Robin nearby, and the berries were easy to take, and the Hermit Thrush retreated to a very obvious perch. But the fugitive behavior is 'hard-wired" into it, and it behaved cautiously.

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan


Re: Hermit thrush in Castro Valley

Anne Krysiak
 

Hi: I live in Castro Valley near Lake Chabot.  I've had a hermit thrush visiting my yard for several years.  I only see one (or one at a time).  It's very skittish and flies off at the slightest noise or motion.

Anne K.


Common Merganser in downtown Walnut Creek; Feb 12, 2014

Bob Hislop
 

Birders,
Today I did my "Bird and Bike Ride" starting this morning at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek and eventually making my way up Mt Diablo as far as I could go (I do this periodically).  I did not see the previously reported Tropical Kingbird (I think Hugh Harvey reported it later on today); but I saw the resident Belted Kingfisher perched on a tree on the island (see http://twitpic.com/bnrqzc for a previous pic).  Then I rode into downtown Walnut Creek where the Common Merganser was observed mingling with the Mallards in the creek adjacent to Trader Joe's (see http://twitpic.com/dvcbf7 for a quick photo.)  
 
Then heading up the north side of Mt Diablo I saw a Say's Phoebe sitting on a fence post on North Gate Rd about a mile beyond the entry kiosk to the park (I had binoculars with me).  By the time I got within camera range, it had flown off.  (I have other photos of Say's Phoebe which I can send to anyone interested.)  Also the resident American Kestrel was perched on the telephone wire near the entry kiosk (see http://twitpic.com/dvcbkc for photo. Sorry for the lousy quality!)  I rode about 1/2 mile past the junction of North-and Southgate Rds.  There I saw a pair of Band-tailed Pigeons flying low overhead as well as 4 Western Bluebirds perched on the telephone line. 
 
Finally (since everyone seems to be reporting Hermit Thrush) when I got home "our" Hermit Thrush, which has been a regular visitor for years to our bird-bath, was there to greet me (for a photo, see http://twitpic.com/dvccbb).  All in all a pretty good day I would say.
 
Bob Hislop
Concord


White-throated Sparrow - Garretson Pt.

Mark Rauzon
 

At lunchtime, I checked out Garretson Point to see if the fenced wetland held any ducks. No water, no ducks, but a large flock of Zoonotricia sparrows around the entrance gate included a White-throated Sparrow - white stripe variety.  No sign of the Tropical Kingbird during a brief look.

http://rauzon.zenfolio.com/p859914566/h2894eed3#h35134703

Good Luck,

Mark Rauzon
Oakland


Herring run today?

Noah Arthur
 

Did anyone get to the herring run today? How was gull activity? If there are still any significant gull concentrations, I'd suggest going there until they're gone, even if the numbers are dwindling -- Iceland Gulls and other smaller, less-dominant species are most likely to show up right at the end, when many of the bigger gulls are gone.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland


Re: Banded Double-crested Cormorant in Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area (Pleasanton)

californiagull
 

Thanks to Mark Rauzon, I was able to get in touch with a researcher in Oregon who clarified and provided some insights regarding reporting of banded birds.

Since I have heard from a few other EBB'ers interested in this topic, I would like to share what I learned for future reference:

In summary, her main points were:

1. You CAN report a banded bird even if you don't have the ID code from the metal band - the easier-to-read code from a colored band alone is enough to uniquely identify individual birds.

2. The best way to report is to use the following web page, as follows:

"Starting from the main band reporting webpage (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv), once you click continue, it leads to the next step where observers can choose types of bands. 'Color maker only' option is the one that works without a metal band number."

3. A photo documentation is also useful, while not required for reporting, so that it could be used to confirm that the bird had been banded correctly and that the bands aren't causing problems for the bird. (They also archive submitted photo documentation.)

I checked out the aforementioned band reporting web page and it seemed to function as described. (I think I have used this web page before, but used the 800 number this time because it specifically mentioned banded cormorants. Next time I will just use the web page.)

The dept. of fisheries and wildlife person in Oregon couldn't understand why the 1-800 number couldn't take my report. She was able to tell me that this particular cormorant was banded as a chick at East Sand Island at the mouth of Columbia River in July 2013 as part of their demography and movement study of the species. (It's in the area between Oregon and Washington, some 600 miles away.)

Here is some more information about the cormorant colonies at East Sand Island where this cormorant was born, possibly around May of 2013:

- http://www.birdresearchnw.org/Project-Info/Study-Area/Columbia-Basin/East-Sand-Island/default.aspx

Good birding,
-Akira

Akira So
Pleasanton, CA

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