Re: Lakeshore Park, Newark (1/3/2016) - Red Crossbills, Pacific Loon

Bob Power <rcpower@...>

Thanks for the report Jerry. Nice pics, as always.
Your report says "The Pacific Loon continued seen..."
Makes it sound like this bird has been reported before? I looked at the last week's worth of EBB reports and don't see it.
Has it been there a long time? Reported on some other list?
Many thanks for any info.


Northern waterthrush

Bruce Mast

Serving as the messenger.

Bruce Mast

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Colin Flaherty" <flahertc1@...>
Date: Jan 3, 2016 3:29 PM
Subject: Northern waterthrush
To: <observe@...>

Spotted at Oyster Bay near the Oakland airport today on the trail bordering the ocean, in some scrub where the rocks meet the trail.  I thought it was a hermit thrush at first but the yellow wash and yellow stripe over the eye plus white underparts were the key identifiers.

- Colin Flaherty

Juvenile Coopers Hawk

Greg Wilson

Hey EBB'ers
Since New Years Eve we have what I think looks like a Juvenile Coopers hawk stopping into a persimmon tree in our yard stalking the feeders. and of course we also have squirrels that come to the yard as well, which do not like having the raptor in what they feel is their yard ...  so they both have actually confronted it just feet away with their paws out in battle from both sides which chases off the Coop. Yes, we have very tough squirrels here in our neighborhood. Though I have yet to get a photo of the confrontation!  I have added links to two photos of the raptor.
Oh, since a juvenile Sharpie and Coop look so similar do I actually have the correct ID, at times the tail looks rounded or blunt.
Richmond View

Lakeshore Park, Newark (1/3/2016) - Red Crossbills, Pacific Loon

Jerry Ting

I spent 2 hours this (1/3/2016) morning birded Lakeshore Park in Newark.  The best bird are 2 Red Crossbill seen in the tree in the middle of the northwest side of the trail (37.554736, -122.038275 near the Ramsgate Dr/Cheviot Cr intersection).  Here is a shot of one of the bird:

The Pacific Loon continued seen along the east/northeast side of the lake:

Other highlights include:

Mew Gull (3) - 1 adult and 2 2nd cycle birds seen near the Channel Dr bridge

Common Merganser (36) - same location as above

Belted Kingfisher (2)

Red-breasted Sapsucker (1)

Happy Birding.

Jerry Ting



Coyote Hills RP local interest, Saturday, 1-2-16

Bruce Mast

Hey folks,
I took my Dad birding at Coyote Hills Regional Park yesterday. Nothing terribly unexpected but we enjoyed eye-popping looks at a particularly tame young Red-tailed Hawk that chose perches next to the trail, first on a pine snag and then later on a rock. We also got serendipitous looks at a Great-horned Owl roosting at, wait for it, Hoot Hollow.

Most intriguing birds were the ducks in Alameda Creek. Several birders reported that there had been a Eurasian Wigeon in with the American Wigeon flock before they got spooked and flew out. We stood and watched for what seemed like an hour as the Wigeons slowly filtered back into the creek. In among the Americans was what to my eye looked like either a hybrid or a bird that hasn't completed its prebasic molt. The head showed rufous instead of green but it was dull with a smudgy buff forehead. The flanks showed some gray near the tail but transitioned to brown closer to the breast. Wigeons were still flying in when we left so perhaps a pure Eurasian rejoined the flock later.

The other interesting duck was a female Common Goldeneye that showed substantial leucism around the head and back, making it resemble a Long-tailed Duck. Pretty cool.

A few pictures are available at

Bird on,

Bruce Mast

Swamp Sparrow in Lafayette

Kai Mills

I quickly got over to the Lafayette Reservoir for half hour before sunset (415-445) and quickly found the continuing SWAMP SPARROW in the same area as it was found earlier by Jeff Acuff and Paul Schorr. I found it first in the reeds along the edge of the water (foraging?), best seen on the boat dock in front of the Visitor's Center. It would also feed on the path between the tower info sign and the Visitor's Center and would fly up into the leaning tree when people passed by. 

It was also cool hearing it chip back and forth a little with a nearby Black Phoebe. 

Didn't look for the Redhead. 

Good Birding, 


Hayward Shoreline

Bob Richmond

Sorry for the late e-mail. Yesterday during a several hour stop at Grant Ave and the mouth of San Lorenzo creek I saw a Harris Sparrow near the mouth of the creek first seen in some bushes near the latrine. It then flew across the trail to the marsh on the bay side of the trail.


Redhead and Swamp Sparrow at Lafayette Reservoir - Jan. 2

Paul Schorr

After finding the Swamp Sparrow that Jeff Acuff reported this morning, at about 1:30 we located a Redhead at the east end of the dam. It was feeding very close to the base of the dam and was associating with Gadwalls, Common Goldeneyes, Ruddy Ducks, scaup, and Buffleheads. Thanks to Jeff for reporting the Redhead sighting for me earlier.

Good birding in 2016.

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Lafayette reservoir redhead

Jeff Acuff

I am trying to pass along a message from Paul Shorr that he found a redhead among other ducks near the dam at the Lafayette Reservoir today. Paul also saw the swamp sparrow. 

Jeffrey Acuff

sent from my iPhone

Lafayette Reservoir Sparrows

Jeff Acuff

This morning I found a SWAMP SPARROW in front of the Visitor's Center at the Lafayette Reservoir.  The bird was in a mixed sparrow flock in the reeds along the edge of the pavement where the fishing dock is now closed.  This is the same location where Kai Mills found a swamp sparrow a couple of years ago and where a swamp sparrow has been seen over two recent winters.

Other birds foraging there included mostly white-crowned sparrows, but also golden-crowns, song sparrows, spotted towhees, a Bewick's wren, sooty fox sparrows and one RED FOX SPARROW.

Good Birding,
Jeff Acuff

Fremont geese

John Cant 793-5216

On the 31st on the sports fields, Central Park, along with about 350 Canada geese I found 26 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE and 3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. 


Some photos are in my ebird report

John Cant



Kinglet duel


Some interesting bird behavior unfolded yesterday while sitting in my backyard. 2-3 yellow rumped Warblers have been hanging out the wax myrtle for weeks now, eating berries and fly catching. While I've noticed chasing behavior going on all along  between warblers, it became clear that an adult male wasn't letting any bird near the two very large trees. This included chickadees trying to access the feeder adjacent to the trees and a ruby-crowned kinglet. The kinglet tried many times with a couple of successes to grab a berry. After about 1/2 hour of this another kinglet appeared on the scene and perhaps tired of being bullied the first one turned on the other and a fight ensued at the side of the yard the likes of which put male house sparrows to shame. There was much  vocal noise, rolling around on the ground literally at my feet, a couple of pin downs, mid air clashes and the largest crowns showing I've ever seen. I thought one was surely going to get killed especially with the pinnings. I had to put the very interested dog in the house as they weren't paying attention to anything else. During a short break  one broke out in spring time song. The fight continued for several minutes until they went high into a tree (non wax myrtle) and out of sight. I'm surprised the resident Anna's didn't come over to look as it seems to be always sticking it's nose into any activity.

Judi Sierra- Oakland

GGAS First Friday Bird Walk, Tilden Nature Area 01.01.2016

Alan Kaplan <lnkpln@...>


Tilden Nature Area, Contra Costa, California, US
Jan 1, 2016 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, January 1, 2016.

MoB (Many oBservers) (41) showed up for this first-of-the-year weekday/holiday bird walk, several newcomers to the Meet-up group among them.

Judith K. says BayNature will soon be publishing an article on White-crowned Sparrows, their songs and dialects, elaborating on Dr. Luis Baptista’s research.

Many birders suggested future themes for walks: Bill shapes, molting, toes, flight patterns, crows and ravens, colors, vision, smell, nests, birding without binoculars. Biographies of birders and the birds they studied or that are named for them is another topic I am interested in, so Nuttall, Wilson, Audubon, Nice, Swainson, Peterson, etc. will get talked about in 2016.

Birds O' the Day were several: Song Sparrow ICE SKATING (!) on Jewel Lake, Sharp-shinned Hawk scaring the kinglets, etc. at the Lake (this may be the same bird we saw here on the Wren Day walk, December 26), and a deceased Ruby-crowned Kinglet from the Women's Room of the Jewel Lake restroom (it was the correct gender, too)! We got to see the elusive yellow feet quite well (unfortunately).

Here are the 32 species seen or heard today:

Turkey Vulture makes the walk official
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Band-tailed Pigeon
Anna's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Common Raven Corvid grand-slam!
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
California Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Happy New Year, 2016 and
Best of Boids all year long!

Alan Kaplan

Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek


In Hugh Harvey's absence, a short report from yesterday and today.

Dec 31: 110 Buffleheads, 90 Ring-necked Ducks, and the Redhead male (reported by David Kent) were on the main pond, as well as coots and 4 Pied-billed Grebes. I could not find the Common Goldeneye pair that had been on the concrete pond for a few days. Four Heron species: Great Blue to the right (E) of the boat ramp, Black-crowned in the willows at the N end, Great Egret high in a big oak, and brief glimpse of the Green flying at the N end.

eBird Checklist:

Jan 1: The Buffleheads were still there, very agitated -- flying from one end to the other again and again. Only 10 or so Ring-necked Ducks were visible, and no Redhead.

No herons at all.

A Red-breasted Sapsucker was working on the biggest Eucalyptus on the S side of the pond.

A Lincoln's Sparrow was perched on some weeds just at the entrance to the boat ramp.

Most exciting, however: 4 RED CROSSBILLS. I had thought I had seen 2 earlier in the week, but wasn't sure, so didn't report them. Today they were obvious, as I reported to eBird:

4 Brick-red finches together, perched on a snag on the island, then they flew to another small tree. Brick-red overall on a background of some brown, no perceptible streaking, and, clincher -- clearly crossed bills. I heard a thin piping sort of call from them at one point, but am totally unable to distinguish among the types.

eBird Checklist:

Fred Safier

Sandhill Cranes


Approximately 8:45 am New Year's Day some 30 Sandhill Cranes flying west over Alamo. I'm a birder from Butte County visiting my parents, and my mother says this is somewhat unusual for her area.

Carter Moore

Red Fox Sparrow, Hairy Woodpecker

Alan Krakauer

Some belated sightings from the Wednseday rain- One and a half new yard birds for our house near Wildcat Canyon Park. First was a Hairy Woodpecker (seen along with Nuttall's and Downy). Second was a beautiful "Red" Fox Sparrow (who has visited yesterday and today as well).

Happy New Year everyone!

Alan Krakauer
Richmond, CA

Re: Zonotrichia hybrid in Clayton, Contra Costa Co.

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hi Albert,

You know I think this is a Golden-crowned, but it happens to have a white (amelanic) stripe on the face. That allows the underlying yellow supralores, which are there in Golden-crowned, to show through. But I do not see other features that suggest a hybrid.



Alvaro Jaramillo


From: [] On Behalf Of [EBB_Sightings]
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:48 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Zonotrichia hybrid in Clayton, Contra Costa Co.

I found this bird today 31.12.2015 in the Clayton Community Park, Contra County, phenotypically Zonotrichia atricapilla parentage is obvious, but either WCSP or WTSP is less so. The first time I saw the bird I thought that I have to deal with GCSP x WTSP hybrid, based on one characteristic ( bright yellow in loral area) that is not present in both WTSP as well as a GCSP, on the other hand, the throat of this bird is not white, feature that some often single out as a most prime in this type of hybrid. As of Zonotrichia hybrids much more likely to appear is GCSP x WCSP, and in fact there is only two ebird records of GCSP x WTSP, both from Oregon and both documented with photographs.

After looking at the available photos of this two types of hybrids on the Internet I think that Clayton specimen, is more likely GCSP x WCSP hybrid, some doubts remain though

Looking forward to hear your opinions

All the best birds in 2016

Albert W. Linkowski

Picasa Web Albums - Albert Linkowski - Zonotrichia h... <>


<> Picasa Web Albums - Albert Linkowski - Zonotrichia h...

Photos by Albert Linkowski, Dec 31, 2015

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Zonotrichia hybrid in Clayton, Contra Costa Co.


I found this bird today 31.12.2015 in the Clayton Community Park, Contra County, phenotypically Zonotrichia atricapilla parentage is obvious, but either WCSP or WTSP is less so. The first time I saw the bird I thought that I have to deal with GCSP x WTSP hybrid, based on one characteristic  ( bright yellow in loral area) that is not present in both  WTSP as well as a GCSP, on the other hand, the throat of this bird is not white, feature that some often single out as a most prime in this type of hybrid. As of Zonotrichia hybrids much more likely to appear is GCSP x WCSP, and in fact there is only two ebird records of GCSP x WTSP, both from Oregon and both documented with photographs.
After looking at the available photos of this two types of hybrids on the Internet I think that Clayton specimen, is more likely GCSP x WCSP hybrid, some doubts remain though

Looking forward to hear your opinions

All the best birds in 2016

Albert W. Linkowski

Picasa Web Albums - Albert Linkowski - Zonotrichia h...

The beautiful Redhead at Heather Farms

Elizabeth Leite <e.leite@...>

The Redhead was clearly visible among the Ring-necks this afternoon. I
had a perfect view from the southwest side of the wild pond where he was
feeding close to shore. Looking east across the water around 3:15, his
red head was truly glowing. Thanks, Tracy and Dave. On my way back
around the pond on the east side I heard and then saw the Belted
Kingfisher in a tree just south of the viewing area.

Happy Birding to all in 2016.

Elizabeth Leite

Wilson's Snipe

Today I saw a single Wilson's Snipe working the mud bank of the large water-filled ditch across from the Briones Horse Center just off of Reliez Valley Rd.  The snipe was in the same location about a week ago too.  

Bird is the Word,

John Blakelock

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