Date   

Return of the Terns -- A chance to see the California Least Terns nesting in Alameda

Marjorie Powell
 

The East Bay Regional Parks District has scheduled its annual Return of the Terns, its annual event at Crab Cove to learn about California Least Terns and travel by bus to at the VA reserve at Alameda Point to see the site and the birds. The information on the Crab Cove Facebook page is copied below. Note that reservations are required for the bus tour, but not the presentation about the Terns. Pictures of the nesting area and the Terns can be seen on the Crab Cove Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/crabcovealamedaca.  


Return of the Terns! Join us for a special event on Saturday, June 24th dedicated to the California Least Tern, an endangered species! Reserve your spot on a bus to view the biggest nesting site in Central/Northern CA, access that happens only once per year during this special event. Experts aboard the bus will interpret bird behavior in a unique and fascinating environment. The ride takes about 10 minutes, and once there we will view the nesting colony from the bus (an elevated position) to avoid disturbing the endangered terns.
Arrive at Crab Cove 45 minutes before the bus program to view a presentation about the Least Tern’s fascinating adaptations, migration, and management.
Advance registration is required for the bus trip, and the event will most likely fill. Busses leave at 11am, 12:15pm, and 1:30pm. The pre-trip presentations at Crab Cove are at 10:15am, 11:30am, and 12:45pm.
The cost is $12 ($14 non-resident), 8 years and older please.
For more information and to reserve, go to:
or call Reservations at (888) 327-2757 and select option 2.


Re: Hooded Oriole pair in Gardens at Heather Farm, WC

Jim Roethe
 

Continuing today.   At one point, the male approached the female with an insect and tried to get her to take it.  She raised her bill in a sort of "not good enough" as the male sidled up and then she flew away.  Very interesting.
 
Jim Roethe
Orinda

In a message dated 6/6/2023 8:55:58 AM Pacific Standard Time, barhowarth@... writes:
 

Observed Mon, Tues & Wed mornings June 4,5,& 6 in the south end of the Garden near the outflow pipe that goes under Marchbanks. Heard via Merlin Sound ID, seen, and photographed (poorly). Frequenting the bottlebrush, oak. redwood  and tall non-native trees, calling loudly.




Re: ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

Sarah Lynch
 

This year, just this week in fact, I saw them using a nest box put up for bluebirds at a site in the Central Valley. 

Sarah Lynch
Walnut Creek

Sent while out and about...

On Jun 7, 2023, at 8:11 PM, Mike Azevedo via groups.io <geochelone@...> wrote:


Ash throated Flycatchers do use nest boxes from time to time.  I have my second ever ATFL nest on my trail this year.  They aren't normally common in nest boxes, but if your trail is near riparian habitat, they are a possibility.

Mike Azevedo
County Coordinator
California Bluebird Recovery Program


-----Original Message-----
From: mrkinch via groups.io <mrkinch@...>
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Sent: Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2:39 pm
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!







Re: ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

Mike Azevedo
 

Ash throated Flycatchers do use nest boxes from time to time.  I have my second ever ATFL nest on my trail this year.  They aren't normally common in nest boxes, but if your trail is near riparian habitat, they are a possibility.

Mike Azevedo
County Coordinator
California Bluebird Recovery Program


-----Original Message-----
From: mrkinch via groups.io <mrkinch@...>
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Sent: Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2:39 pm
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!




Re: ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

rfs_berkeley
 

Twice in my nestbox building career I've had Ash-throats us a nest box. And both times I found snake skin in the nest.  This is  behavior well documented for their congener, the Great Crested.

---
Rusty Scalf


On 2023-06-07 14:58, Bill Bousman wrote:

As far as I know they are obligate cavity nesters.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 6/7/2023 2:39 PM, mrkinch via groups.io wrote:
At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!






Re: ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

Jim Roethe
 

I saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher at a nest box at the Lafayette Reservoir this very morning.
 
Jim Roethe
Orinda

In a message dated 6/7/2023 2:58:39 PM Pacific Standard Time, barlowi@... writes:
 

As far as I know they are obligate cavity nesters.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 6/7/2023 2:39 PM, mrkinch via groups.io wrote:
At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!
 




Re: ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

Bill Bousman
 

As far as I know they are obligate cavity nesters.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 6/7/2023 2:39 PM, mrkinch via groups.io wrote:

At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!




ash-throated flycatchers using a nest box

mrkinch
 

At Valle Vista this morning Susan Greef and I observed a pair of ash-throated flycatchers perching atop and going in and out of the first nest box left of the gate. ATFL nest in tree cavities but we're curious whether it's common for them to use nest boxes. Not something either of us had seen or heard about before. Thanks!


Re: Hooded Oriole pair in Gardens at Heather Farm, WC

Rosalie
 

Yes there is a big low wide palm there, the tall humpy kind where the lower fronds brush the earth, not with a narrow tall trunk. Another user postulates female with young, not seeing the brilliant yellow-and-black head of the male.


Pleasanton bald eagle

Marcus
 

Madel my day. Driving southbound on 680, quarter mile before Bernal exit, looked east across the freeway and saw it lazily circling, white tail feathers very prominent and striking.




Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


Re: Hooded Oriole pair in Gardens at Heather Farm, WC

Rosalie
 

Oops! Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday.


Hooded Oriole pair in Gardens at Heather Farm, WC

Rosalie
 

Observed Mon, Tues & Wed mornings June 4,5,& 6 in the south end of the Garden near the outflow pipe that goes under Marchbanks. Heard via Merlin Sound ID, seen, and photographed (poorly). Frequenting the bottlebrush, oak. redwood  and tall non-native trees, calling loudly.


Re: Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

Fred Werner
 

Hi Kay, Jeff and Alvaro.  Just seeing your messages now.  I saw and heard those gulls circling this afternoon and also thought they were California Gulls.  I live on Panoramic Hill, the north side of Claremont Canyon, and it was unusual enough that I ran outside to get a good look.  I judged them as California based on their size, somewhat slender bills, and the greenish legs I could see on at least a few of them.  Some were calling as well, which confirmed the ID for me.  They were in various plumages: some full adults and others quite mottled grayish, probably 1-year-old birds as it seems too early to be this year's fledglings (or is it?).

I initially assumed they were commuting, but they circled over the hill for a long time, >30 minutes, so I wondered what they were doing.  Foraging on aerial insects is an intriguing hypothesis.  My partner thought they were just circling after gorging on the refuse left behind from all the Cal students who've recently moved out nearby.

And yes, they are quite rare to see up high over this hill.  In the 16 years I've been living here, I've only noted gulls here a few times (I only have one other eBird entry for them here, from Oct. 2021).  And of >1600 eBird lists submitted for Claremont Canyon, California Gulls have only been reported 10 times (0.6% of all lists), with no more than two reports from any month.  This is the first report for June.  Other gull spp. have only ever been reported here once each (Ring-billed, Western, Herring and Glaucous-winged).  All this, even though gulls are quite common just 1 mile west of here over the relatively flat terrain of UC-Berkeley and the residential neighborhoods south of campus.

- Fred

Fred Werner
Berkeley, CA

On Sat, Jun 3, 2023 at 7:53 PM Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@...> wrote:

Kay

   That behavior is typical of California Gulls about this time of year, commuting from feeding areas to breeding areas. They often fly high, and sometimes in V shapes. They are also the most likely inland at this time of year.

    Jeff, that drawing is misleading I would say. The difference between California and Herring is noticeable, but it not that. Herrings have a lot more black below, those that don’t are the hybrids (Cook Inlet Gulls). Nevertheless, no Herrings or Thayer’s around here at this time of year, particularly adults.

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Manker
Sent: Saturday, June 3, 2023 7:32 PM
To: Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...>
Cc: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

 

One of the best birders I know in Santa Cruz County drew this up and shared it years ago. It does not eliminate Ring-billed Gull , but your description leads me to believe they were likely California Gulls you saw.

 

Jeff Manker

Alameda

 

 

On Sat, Jun 3, 2023 at 5:16 PM Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:

 From about 3:15 to 4:30 this afternoon there were perhaps a dozen gulls
flying and vocalizing over Claremont Canyon (in the hills on the
Berkeley/Oakland border).  This was a very uncommon occurrence, and they
were pretty high up.  There was no way I could identify or photograph
them.  A few field marks:  yellow bills, white underneath, wingtips
black - with the tiniest bit of white at the very tip.   Just
incidentally, during that same time period a Double-crested Cormorant
flew S to N, basically following Grizzly Peak Blvd.

What were they doing here?  Refugees from noisy event at Lake Temescal?

Thoughts on identification?

Thoughts?

Kay Loughman
Claremont Canyon






Re: Gulls in Claremont Canyon

Kay Loughman
 

Thanks to all of you who responded to my message.  The consensus was California Gull.  Respondents mentioned location, date, and description.  In the graphic posted by Jeff Manker, the wing tip for California Gull was essentially the same as what I saw on some of the gulls.  Bill Bousman suggested they might be foraging on high-flying insects - which sounds reasonable.    All of your remarks were helpful.

Thank you,
Kay Loughman


Re: Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Kay

   That behavior is typical of California Gulls about this time of year, commuting from feeding areas to breeding areas. They often fly high, and sometimes in V shapes. They are also the most likely inland at this time of year.

    Jeff, that drawing is misleading I would say. The difference between California and Herring is noticeable, but it not that. Herrings have a lot more black below, those that don’t are the hybrids (Cook Inlet Gulls). Nevertheless, no Herrings or Thayer’s around here at this time of year, particularly adults.

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Manker
Sent: Saturday, June 3, 2023 7:32 PM
To: Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...>
Cc: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

 

One of the best birders I know in Santa Cruz County drew this up and shared it years ago. It does not eliminate Ring-billed Gull , but your description leads me to believe they were likely California Gulls you saw.

 

Jeff Manker

Alameda

 

 

On Sat, Jun 3, 2023 at 5:16 PM Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:

 From about 3:15 to 4:30 this afternoon there were perhaps a dozen gulls
flying and vocalizing over Claremont Canyon (in the hills on the
Berkeley/Oakland border).  This was a very uncommon occurrence, and they
were pretty high up.  There was no way I could identify or photograph
them.  A few field marks:  yellow bills, white underneath, wingtips
black - with the tiniest bit of white at the very tip.   Just
incidentally, during that same time period a Double-crested Cormorant
flew S to N, basically following Grizzly Peak Blvd.

What were they doing here?  Refugees from noisy event at Lake Temescal?

Thoughts on identification?

Thoughts?

Kay Loughman
Claremont Canyon



Re: Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

Jeff Manker
 

One of the best birders I know in Santa Cruz County drew this up and shared it years ago. It does not eliminate Ring-billed Gull , but your description leads me to believe they were likely California Gulls you saw.

Jeff Manker
Alameda


On Sat, Jun 3, 2023 at 5:16 PM Kay Loughman <kayloughman@...> wrote:
 From about 3:15 to 4:30 this afternoon there were perhaps a dozen gulls
flying and vocalizing over Claremont Canyon (in the hills on the
Berkeley/Oakland border).  This was a very uncommon occurrence, and they
were pretty high up.  There was no way I could identify or photograph
them.  A few field marks:  yellow bills, white underneath, wingtips
black - with the tiniest bit of white at the very tip.   Just
incidentally, during that same time period a Double-crested Cormorant
flew S to N, basically following Grizzly Peak Blvd.

What were they doing here?  Refugees from noisy event at Lake Temescal?

Thoughts on identification?

Thoughts?

Kay Loughman
Claremont Canyon




Gulls in Claremont Canyon?

Kay Loughman
 

From about 3:15 to 4:30 this afternoon there were perhaps a dozen gulls flying and vocalizing over Claremont Canyon (in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border).  This was a very uncommon occurrence, and they were pretty high up.  There was no way I could identify or photograph them.  A few field marks:  yellow bills, white underneath, wingtips black - with the tiniest bit of white at the very tip.   Just incidentally, during that same time period a Double-crested Cormorant flew S to N, basically following Grizzly Peak Blvd.

What were they doing here?  Refugees from noisy event at Lake Temescal?

Thoughts on identification?

Thoughts?

Kay Loughman
Claremont Canyon


Re: Birder mugged for camera and wallet at Joaquin Miller and Skyline

Stephen T Bird
 

If you have any but the most basic camera setups, get insurance (some options: https://shotkit.com/camera-insurance/ ). Buy extra cables and cards, set up a station to make backup as easy as putting the camera down when you get home/to the car. Be safe, let the camera go (plus  protect against the more regular bumps in life).

Bird up!
Stephen T Bird 

ps is it just me that’s seeing an inordinate number of raccoons this season? (Your welcome to message off list or split the email if you’ve got a good follow up so we don’t derail this important topic)

On Fri, Jun 2, 2023 at 8:02 PM Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:
I just read on next door a birder was mugged for camera and wallet at the above mentioned location. The birding community needs to be aware of potential for this type of crime. I believe people with cameras usually put them in backpacks and generally do not take them out until out of sight of parking areas to try to mitigate this type of crime.

This is an escalation of these crimes in the east bay so be aware, be careful and stay safe.

Jim Chiropolos 
Orinda



Birder mugged for camera and wallet at Joaquin Miller and Skyline

Jim Chiropolos
 

I just read on next door a birder was mugged for camera and wallet at the above mentioned location. The birding community needs to be aware of potential for this type of crime. I believe people with cameras usually put them in backpacks and generally do not take them out until out of sight of parking areas to try to mitigate this type of crime.

This is an escalation of these crimes in the east bay so be aware, be careful and stay safe.

Jim Chiropolos 
Orinda


Late spring Richmond misc.

Ethan Monk
 

Recently I've spent a couple days birding Richmond, and despite the late date very small numbers of passerine migrants continue to trickle through. In recent days there has been a good movement of Ash-throated Flycatchers, a migrant I struggle to find each year in far western metro Contra Costa. Today there were 2 at Point San Pablo Marina, 1 at Pt. Pinole, and on 5/31 one at Miller/Knox. An Acorn Woodpecker today at Pt. Pinole was also notable. My only previous spring record for the Richmond/N Richmond/San Pablo Area is from 5/31/2019 at Miller/Knox. Single Lazuli Buntings were at Pt. SP today and Pt. Pinole. 

Every place I have found Pacific-slope Flycatchers summering/breeding in west county is directly tied to large, dense stands of Eucalyptus (the very tip of Pt. San Pablo, Pt. Pinole). A new location for me was a bird apparently on territory in the euc line and adjacent riparian in Booker T. Anderson on the 31st. A second year male Bullock's Oriole was at the group camp of Pt. Pinole on the 31st. Today that SY male was joined by an apparent female. In eBird there are very few summer records of this species here (as would be expected) but several years ago someone noted that they found a Bullock's Oriole nest? If not a misidentification in that list, perhaps the pair I've seen pertain to local breeders? Has anyone else observed any signs of breeding Bullock's here? Three House Wrens on territory at the tip of Pt. Pinole today were at the only regular breeding location of this species in the Richmond metro area. They have bred a couple times at Pt. Molate/San Pablo, but I don't suppose that is regular. And for the third year running, Wilson's Warblers seem to have entirely abandoned the Pt. San Pablo Marina area as breeders, after they seemed to peak in 2020 at about 5+ territories. Another negative--it has been a while since I have detected any of the Pygmy Nuthatch that colonized Miller/Knox last fall and stuck around into the winter and barely early spring. The first Pt. Richmond breeding record that I know of was from 2021, and this species is doing nothing but increasing in this area, but it seems we will have to wait a little longer to see them begin to breed regularly. 

Around Brooks Isl. breeding Snowy Egret numbers are down--I counted only 16 the other day, down from ~50 last year--as the extreme amount of feces/guano left by nesting birds continues to kill the island's small stand of pines. In good news Caspian Tern numbers continue to rise on the island after the several years of absence when California Gulls first moved in. There are maybe 40 pairs hanging around this year? My highest count of Surf Scoters summering around the island this season is 13. Low compared to normal. And I have seen no non-scoter divers summering around the island... yet, but there is at least one Olympic Gull loafing around with the Westerns still. 

Ethan Monk