Date   

California Quail and Willow Flycatcher

rosita94598
 

Fred Safier called just after 8 AM to tell me he was watching a male California Quail in Heather Farm Park, located in Walnut Creek's Ygnacio Valley.  Quickly leaving on my bike to see this rarity, for this location, I found Fred at the new sparrow corner south of the equestrian area.  He explained that he heard the bird first, then watched it walk downhill along the angled gravel maintenance road.  Just before I arrived it disappeared into the thicket of which hides so many winter sparrows.  We were unsuccessful for several minutes at re-locating our quarry, but finally I saw it jump from a branch and hide in another location.  Fred came around and saw where he was, too.

It has been many years since either of us has seen a California Quail in the park, though Shell Ridge is just behind John Muir Hospital, and the 7 Hills Ranch is also nearby.  It might have been 1984 or 85 when I heard a California Quail in the ranch grass adjacent to the entrance to the Seven Hills School gate.  Fred only said it has been many years.

Later, as we walked west along the Contra Costa Canal Trail, we were observing the Violet-green Swallows on the wires over the Contra Costa Water pumping station.  Something caught Fred's eye, and he said it was not a Black Phoebe.  A flycatcher was low in a small tree across the canal and the drain ditch beyond.  Fred's description is, "An Empid with no eye-ring, gray throat, prominent wing-bars, a yellow-green wash on the underside, pumping its tail,"a Willow Flycatcher for certain. 

What a morning.  Thanks, Fred.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek



Re: Northern Waterthrush / Virginia Rail- Jewel Lake

Pamela Clark
 

Just read an ebird alert that someone saw it yesterday around 12:30pm.


On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 8:15 AM, gail Ryujin gailryujin@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 

hi did anyone see the Northern Waterthrush yesterday or this morning?  I was there yesterday from 9 :30 to 11:15.  other birders were there earlier and did not see it.

Maybe the change in weather?

thanks,

gail



Re: Northern Waterthrush / Virginia Rail- Jewel Lake

George A Suennen
 

Gail,

I went yesterday morning and did not see the Northern Waterthrush or Virginia Rail.

Did see a small group of Warbling Vireo and Wild Turkeys, plus a Wilson's Warbler, Anna's Hummingbird, Song Sparrow, Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, California Towhee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Common Raven, and the Great Blue Heron on the east shore of the lake.

I put my photos up at:

http://birds.avianist.com/2014/140902-Jewel-Lake/

I guess I should have gone on Monday...

Regards,
George
http://birds.avianist.com

On 2014-09-03 8:15 AM, gail Ryujin gailryujin@... [EBB_Sightings] wrote:
 
hi did anyone see the Northern Waterthrush yesterday or this morning?  I was there yesterday from 9 :30 to 11:15.  other birders were there earlier and did not see it.

Maybe the change in weather?

thanks,

gail



Re: Northern Waterthrush / Virginia Rail- Jewel Lake

gail Ryujin <gailryujin@...>
 

hi did anyone see the Northern Waterthrush yesterday or this morning?  I was there yesterday from 9 :30 to 11:15.  other birders were there earlier and did not see it.

Maybe the change in weather?

thanks,

gail


Re: Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights

Glen Tepke
 

I also live in the Bermuda Triangle (Oakmore neighborhood, off Leimert) and have never seen Acorn Woodpeckers in this area or anywhere on the western slope of the Oakland-Berkeley hills except in Sibley Volcanic RP in the grove of mostly dead eucs on the Roundtop Loop trail, which is just to the west of the ridge line.  Though I bird Sibley regularly, my only detections were this past spring, perhaps a harbinger of the incursion Bob and others have noticed.

Glen Tepke
Oakland


From: "John Harris johnh@... [EBB_Sightings]"
To: "Graham Chisholm"
Cc: "John" , "East Bay Birds"
Sent: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 11:28:38 AM
Subject: Re: [EBB_Sightings] Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights



In the 20 years that I lived in that triangle (frontage road along Highway 13), I never had an Acorn Woodpecker in our yard or neighborhood. Also, a checklist of birds for Mills College developed by Howard Cogswell did not have that species, and I didn't have it there while I was working there (1986-2013).
On the other hand, I saw them a few times in Redwood Regional Park on the Dunn Trail, on the east side of the ridge. That's not so far away, but on the east slope of the hills.
John Harris
Oakdale


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM, Graham Chisholm graham.chisholm@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 


Yes, i was also surprised to see Acorn Woodpeckers in Tilden (south of Jewel Lake).  A quick review in records, including my own, show that there are records from Tilden, Strawberry Canyon and a few other areas on "this" side of the hill in certain years, but quite rare.  

Bob, thanks for reminding us to look!

Graham


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:41 PM, John ggabirder@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 


Acorn woodpeckers have invaded Tilden this season.  They have been seen along Nimitz and near the steam train.  I saw two near Little a farm parking lot this morning.  These sightings are, at least, unusual.  Perhaps there has been an acorn failure in areas where they are usually found?

John Poole

On Sep 1, 2014, at 6:18 PM, "Bob Power rcpower@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

 


Hi all,

According to Ebird, the 13/24/580 area is the Bermuda Triangle for Acorn Woodpeckers. Never reported inside the triangle.  Could be a poor analogy, but still....

First time in 20 years an Acorn Woodpecker has graced our neighborhood, or any other neighborhood in the triangle, evidently.  We have a superb acorn crop this year, but I assume this is true throughout the area.... and so the mystery of birds and why they do what they do, continues.

Laurel Heights is an Oakland neighborhood, kind of in the 35th Ave. area above Macarthur and below Hwy. 13.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA







--
Graham Chisholm









Vaux's Swift counters needed

rfs_berkeley
 


Wednesday, September 10th up to 20 Vaux's Swifts will be captured and fitted with unbelievably small radio transmitters. The planned capture site is in Yakima, WA. The transmitters will have a battery life of 45 days, are unbelievably small at <3% of the bird's body weight, and will be lost with the next moult.

It will likely take the birds 4 to 5 days to get here; they are diurnal migrants.

The goal is to refine the present estimate of the species' world population. Larry Schwitters, the lead researcher on this project, feels that official estimates of Vaux's Swift population are far too high and this is an issue if the species and their fall staging sites are to receive any official protective status. He now has many counts at staging sites in WA,OR and CA but needs a better estimate of 'residence time' at each site and the general pace of migration to refine his population estimate.

The McNear Brickyard stacks will need to be monitored every evening for perhaps two weeks. One person would handle the electronic receiver  while at least two would conduct a count. If you'd like to help with this project, please let me know so that we can start a sign-up sheet.

Thanks in advance.


Rusty Scalf
Berkeley, Ca
rscalf@...




Western Wood-Pewee joins other migrants in Antioch yard - 9/1

Paul Schorr
 

Yesterday a Western Wood-Pewee joined a female Wilson's Warbler and a continuing female Hooded Oriole in our yard. Sorry for the late posting, but our internet service has been hit and miss this past week - mostly miss!!

Good birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Re: Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights

John Harris
 

In the 20 years that I lived in that triangle (frontage road along Highway 13), I never had an Acorn Woodpecker in our yard or neighborhood. Also, a checklist of birds for Mills College developed by Howard Cogswell did not have that species, and I didn't have it there while I was working there (1986-2013).
On the other hand, I saw them a few times in Redwood Regional Park on the Dunn Trail, on the east side of the ridge. That's not so far away, but on the east slope of the hills.
John Harris
Oakdale


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM, Graham Chisholm graham.chisholm@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Yes, i was also surprised to see Acorn Woodpeckers in Tilden (south of Jewel Lake).  A quick review in records, including my own, show that there are records from Tilden, Strawberry Canyon and a few other areas on "this" side of the hill in certain years, but quite rare.  

Bob, thanks for reminding us to look!

Graham


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:41 PM, John ggabirder@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Acorn woodpeckers have invaded Tilden this season.  They have been seen along Nimitz and near the steam train.  I saw two near Little a farm parking lot this morning.  These sightings are, at least, unusual.  Perhaps there has been an acorn failure in areas where they are usually found?

John Poole

On Sep 1, 2014, at 6:18 PM, "Bob Power rcpower@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Hi all,

According to Ebird, the 13/24/580 area is the Bermuda Triangle for Acorn Woodpeckers. Never reported inside the triangle.  Could be a poor analogy, but still....

First time in 20 years an Acorn Woodpecker has graced our neighborhood, or any other neighborhood in the triangle, evidently.  We have a superb acorn crop this year, but I assume this is true throughout the area.... and so the mystery of birds and why they do what they do, continues.

Laurel Heights is an Oakland neighborhood, kind of in the 35th Ave. area above Macarthur and below Hwy. 13.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA




--
Graham Chisholm



Re: Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights

Graham Chisholm
 

Yes, i was also surprised to see Acorn Woodpeckers in Tilden (south of Jewel Lake).  A quick review in records, including my own, show that there are records from Tilden, Strawberry Canyon and a few other areas on "this" side of the hill in certain years, but quite rare.  

Bob, thanks for reminding us to look!

Graham


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:41 PM, John ggabirder@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Acorn woodpeckers have invaded Tilden this season.  They have been seen along Nimitz and near the steam train.  I saw two near Little a farm parking lot this morning.  These sightings are, at least, unusual.  Perhaps there has been an acorn failure in areas where they are usually found?

John Poole

On Sep 1, 2014, at 6:18 PM, "Bob Power rcpower@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Hi all,

According to Ebird, the 13/24/580 area is the Bermuda Triangle for Acorn Woodpeckers. Never reported inside the triangle.  Could be a poor analogy, but still....

First time in 20 years an Acorn Woodpecker has graced our neighborhood, or any other neighborhood in the triangle, evidently.  We have a superb acorn crop this year, but I assume this is true throughout the area.... and so the mystery of birds and why they do what they do, continues.

Laurel Heights is an Oakland neighborhood, kind of in the 35th Ave. area above Macarthur and below Hwy. 13.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA




--
Graham Chisholm
c. 510-409-6603


Re: Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights

ggabirder
 

Acorn woodpeckers have invaded Tilden this season.  They have been seen along Nimitz and near the steam train.  I saw two near Little a farm parking lot this morning.  These sightings are, at least, unusual.  Perhaps there has been an acorn failure in areas where they are usually found?

John Poole

On Sep 1, 2014, at 6:18 PM, "Bob Power rcpower@... [EBB_Sightings]" <EBB_Sightings-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Hi all,

According to Ebird, the 13/24/580 area is the Bermuda Triangle for Acorn Woodpeckers. Never reported inside the triangle.  Could be a poor analogy, but still....

First time in 20 years an Acorn Woodpecker has graced our neighborhood, or any other neighborhood in the triangle, evidently.  We have a superb acorn crop this year, but I assume this is true throughout the area.... and so the mystery of birds and why they do what they do, continues.

Laurel Heights is an Oakland neighborhood, kind of in the 35th Ave. area above Macarthur and below Hwy. 13.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA


Acorn Woodpecker in Laurel Heights

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Hi all,

According to Ebird, the 13/24/580 area is the Bermuda Triangle for Acorn Woodpeckers. Never reported inside the triangle.  Could be a poor analogy, but still....

First time in 20 years an Acorn Woodpecker has graced our neighborhood, or any other neighborhood in the triangle, evidently.  We have a superb acorn crop this year, but I assume this is true throughout the area.... and so the mystery of birds and why they do what they do, continues.

Laurel Heights is an Oakland neighborhood, kind of in the 35th Ave. area above Macarthur and below Hwy. 13.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA


Re: Northern Waterthrush / Virginia Rail- Jewel Lake

Allen Hirsch <allenvhirsch@...>
 

The Northern waterthrush this morning was quite active in the spillway below Jewel Lake (not as photogenic a backdrop as some of the very nice images posted previously):

http://allenh.zenfolio.com/p464873795

Allen Hirsch
Oakland


On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM, ccoon.wildwood5@... [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings@...> wrote:
 

The Northern Waterthrush reappeared on the spillway around 9:30 AM - staying around for awhile.


Earlier around 8:15 AM, I spotted a Virginia Rail at Jewel Lake.  It made 5 - 6 forays (10 - 15 seconds) from grass / reeds on the left shore (standing on the bridge looking into the lake) to the water's edge - last seen near the fallen branch that reaches into the water.


Robert Coon El Cerrito



Pinole Lawrence's Goldfinch

Laura Look <chamaea@...>
 

This morning (Mon., Sept 1) at Bayfront Park in Pinole, at 9:20 am, a female-type LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH was foraging with House Finches on the (dead) lawn. We were unable to relocate the finch flock when we returned to the parking lot 2 hours later.

Among shorebirds foraging on the outgoing tide were 4 SURFBIRDS. They were first seen on the beach and later at the gravel bar at the creek mouth.

Other migrants included 2 Western Tanagers and a Yellow Warbler. Other birds of interest included a Red-breasted Nuthatch and 3 Semipalmated Plovers.

Id photos:
Lawrence's Goldfinch: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115418990@N03/14923740888/
4 Surfbirds: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115418990@N03/14923670580/
Surfbird: https://www.flickr.com/photos/115418990@N03/14923751997/

Directions: Pinole Bayfront Park is at the bay end of Tennent Ave in Pinole. From I-80, take the Pinole Valley Rd exit and go toward the bay (north). Stay on Tennent Ave when Pinole Valley Rd splits to the right, cross San Pablo Ave, and continue to the end of the road at the bay.

Directions:

Good birding,
--
Laura Look
Pinole, CA


Northern Waterthrush / Virginia Rail- Jewel Lake

ccoon.wildwood5@...
 

The Northern Waterthrush reappeared on the spillway around 9:30 AM - staying around for awhile.


Earlier around 8:15 AM, I spotted a Virginia Rail at Jewel Lake.  It made 5 - 6 forays (10 - 15 seconds) from grass / reeds on the left shore (standing on the bridge looking into the lake) to the water's edge - last seen near the fallen branch that reaches into the water.


Robert Coon El Cerrito


Northern Waterthrush - Continuing

Graham Chisholm
 

This morning the Northern Waterthrush appeared on the spillway below Jewel Lake at 7:45 am.

Graham Chisholm
Berkeley


Contra Costa county 8/30/14

Logan Kahle
 

Hi all,
Yesterday Dr. Michael Park and I enjoyed a nice day birding around Contra Costa county.

We started at 6:45 at Meeker Slough in part to look for some recently reported Red Knots. While we failed to find the knots (quickly becoming a Contra Costa nemesis of mine), we did find a few species of note:
Northern Pintail-2
Green-winged Teal-2
Ridgeway's Rail-3 including one seen
Black Turnstone-5
Belted Kingfisher-1
HORNED LARK-1 heard flying over. Very odd site record.

We headed to Point Isabel, which was fairly slow. However, highlights included:
Northern Pintail-1
Osprey-1
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Yellow Warbler-1

On to Canal Boulevard, we found these birds of interest roosting on Brooks Island:
BRANT-3 continuing birds
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Caspian Tern-20 (they'll be gone pretty soon)

Sandpiper Spit held:
Spotted Sandpiper-1
Black Turnstone-3
Yellow Warbler-1

Miller/Knox was our most productive bayside spot, and it had quite a few migrants. Notables included:
Black-bellied Plover-6
Ring-billed Gull-2
Belted Kingfisher-2
Willow Flycatcher-1 A long overdue county bird for me
Barn Swallow-1
Yellow Warbler-11
Lazuli Bunting-1
Hooded Oriole-2 A Contra Costa nemesis of Mike's

The Sewage Ponds held little of note, but Point Molate had some activity, such as:
Pelagic Cormorant-1
Semipalmated Plover-6
Osprey-2
Belted Kingfisher-2
Townsend's Warbler-2

We were ready to head to east county, but then heard the news. Headed to Jewel Lake instead. We walked down the main trail to the spillway. We waited about 15 minutes, when the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH started calling. Spent another hour and a half birding the region, looking through migrant after migrant. It was a pretty nice diversity for Contra Costa county. Highlights for this spot included:
Band-tailed Pigeon-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Brown Creeper-4
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH-1
Yellow Warbler-4
Black-throated Gray Warbler-2
Townsend's Warbler-7
Hermit Warbler-1
Wilson's Warbler-8
Western Tanager-1
Black-headed Grosbeak-1


Finally making it to East County by 4:00PM, we started at Iron House Sanitary District. As I expected, the shallow pond that normally holds the best birds, was dry. Still, it was diverse, as this spot often is, and held:
Cinnamon Teal-2
Northern Harrier-2
Virginia Rail-4
Red-necked Phalarope-6
Loggerhead Shrike-1
House Wren-1
Yellow Warbler-2
Bullock's Oriole-1


Continuing east, we headed to Bethel Island, which in a brief search revealed:
Red-shouldered Hawk-1
American Robin-1
Yellow Warbler-2
California Towhee-1 (a recent colonist of east county)

Piper Slough, at the end of the road, held:
California Quail-1
Green Heron-1
Black-chinned Hummingbird-1
Western Wood-Pewee-1
Willow Flycatcher-2
House Wren-1
American Robin-1
Common Yellowthroat-5
Orange-crowned Warbler-5
Yellow Warbler-7
California Towhee-1
Lazuli Bunting-1
Bullock's Oriole-1

We headed south, trying to go to Clifton Court forebay, but due to a navigational fluke, ended up overshooting. We then opted to go to the Byron WTP, where we found:
Spotted Sandpiper-1
LESSER YELLOWLEGS-1 (only my third in Contra Costa)
Western Sandpiper-1
Least Sandpiper-1
Long-billed Dowitcher-3
Red-necked Phalarope-8


All in all, another fine day in Contra Costa county. 123 species total.

Good birding,
Logan


Richmond Pomarine Jaeger

Jeff Acuff
 

This morning, along the San Francisco Bay Trail between Vincent Park and Shimada Friendship Park, I found a POMARINE JAEGER while scanning the bay waters for brown pelicans (which I failed to find there).  The jaeger flew west and pulled up to a stop over the waters at the mouth of Harbor Channel where it took a position stilling for several minutes.  I lost the bird as I was moving positions to try and get a better vantage point, so I don't know which direction it went from there.

Views were distant, but the bird had the very distinct profile of an adult with the long and twisted central tail feathers. 

Good Birding,
Jeff Acuff


Hayward Shoreline Orchard Oriole 8/31

zachary.baer2
 

I visited the Hayward Shoreline this morning to see if there was any movement on the bay or migrants passing through.  Upon arrival I found absolutely no activity around the trees at the end of Winton Ave.  I quickly made my way out to the bay only to find the normal shorebird species and numbers.  Surprisingly no ruddy turnstones were present.  On my way back to the car I heard a soft chet note coming from the large Eucalyptus tree next to the old office building.  Having grown up birding on the East Coast I immediately recognized the call as an ORCHARD ORIOLE.  After 5 minutes I was finally able to see the oriole and catch the very bright green-yellow breast, dark wings with contrasting white wing bars, and relatively short tailed.  Luckily there was also a female HOODED ORIOLE in the same tree for comparison of tail length and breast color.


Good birding,


Zach Baer

Hayward, CA


Tilden - Northern Waterthrush

Larry Hollowood
 

As reported elsewhere, it was seen yesterday (Saturday) and this morning in the spillway near Jewel Lake.  Yesterday I was able to photograph it in a nearby tree.  Flickr links below.



Larry Hollowood



Tilden Park

ggabirder
 

The Northern Waterthrush was seen by MOB around 7:00 am on the spillway near Jewel Lake.  It disappeared for a while and then came back to forage in the spillway around 10:00.

A Willow Flycatcher was found on Packrat Trail around 8:00.

There was a large assembly of warblers and Warbling Vireos drinking and foraging near the car barrier at Little Farm.  To the left of the barrier is a small puddle where the birds were bathing and snagging insects.  There were about 10 Townsends, 2 Hermits, 2 Black-throated Greys, 2 bright  Orange-Crowns, a Wilson's, and a Yellow Warbler.

In many years of birding Tilden, I don't think I have ever seen such a concentration.

Good Birding!

John Poole

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