Bullock's Oriole

David Assmann

Just after the Golden Gate Audubon walk at Coyote Hills Regional Park ended, there was a Bullock's Oriole in a tree in front of the visitor's center - first of the season for me.

Titmice tappers


Above the ambient urban noise of pre-party hip hop music and basketball against backboard from back neighbors yards, I heard tap tapping from my Chickadee box. Out came an Oak Titmouse with wood shavings I had laboriously made. Today there was more tap tapping and ingress of wood bark strips and other plant material throughout the day. While one Titmouse was working hard inside the other would come and poke it's head and peer in. I'm excited that after 3 years there's nesting activity happening. Like Hugh I do wonder what all the tapping is about.

Judi Sierra- Oakland

Biking Lake Elizabeth, Nobel Drive, Coyote Hills

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>

Jim Chiropolos and I tried a new biking route on Saturday, starting at
the Fremont BART station and headed down to Nobel Drive and then north
to Coyote Hills and up Alameda Creek to the Union City BART station. The
highlights started almost immediately as we spotted a single Wilson's
Snipe in the marsh just south of the BART station and then a Hooded
Oriole along the bike path a couple hundred yards later as we headed
towards Lake Elizabeth. At Lake Elizabeth our only highlight was a
Lincoln's Sparrow along the railroad tracks. At the ponds at Nobel
Drive we had 2 American Bitterns, Cackling Goose, Common Moorhen and
Blue-Winged Teal. In the field south of the ponds we saw 2 Burrowing
Owls and the Golden Eagle being pestered by crows as it perched on a
hill of sand/rock. We tried turning a Red-tailed Hawk or two into a
Swainson's with no success. At Coyote Hills we enjoyed watching a male
and female Northern Harrier perform some mating routines while an
immature harrier flew nearby. Along the ride we also had four swallow
species and a single White-throated Swift.

Derek Heins

Lewis's Woodpecker and Other CCC Birds

Judith Dunham <judith_dnhm@...>

On Saturday, 3/20, I went to Los Vaqueros Reservoir, a Contra Costa spot I'd never visited before. I was surprised to find the LEWIS'S WOODPECKER still present. The bird was described on EBB by Amy McDonald and originally reported by an eBird user.

For some reason, I am unable to access the old EBB archives following the switch. If you can, look for Amy's directions. Otherwise, a good map comes with the entry fee to the watershed. Follow Los Vaqueros Tail from the parking lot beyond the marina, past the reservoir, to an abandoned corral. The map shows, marked in red, an emergency phone. Standing with your back to the phone unit and the corral, you'll be facing the oaks where the LEWO was actively flying out to hawk insects.

Also at Los Vaqueros: my FOS Bullock's Oriole, vocalizing and flying among the oaks partway down the trail.

Among other stops, I drove down Herdlyn to Lindemann (off Byron Highway south of the airport turnoff). The channel held nearly three dozen goldeneyes. Among the Commons were two Barrow's Goldeneyes, a male and a female.

North of Herdlyn, over the field, was a dark-morph Swainson's Hawk. On the fence: two Western Kingbirds, my FOS.

Judith Dunham

Tricolored Blackbirds at Brushy Peak <sschneider7@...>

On Sunday morning, I noticed a flock of roughly 80 Tricolored Blackbirds in the small wetlands right next to the Brushy Peak parking lot. This is the first time I've seen this species there in about a dozen visits over the past year. The males were displaying.

Good birding, Susan
Susan Schneider

Sunday Richmond/Niles Canyon

Alan Krakauer

Sunday 3/21 started well with a new yard bird for our house near the richmond/el cerrito border: CALIFORNIA QUAIL. We are not too far from Wildcat Canyon so this isn't too much of a surprise, but it's nice to see that turkeys might not be the only galliform bird to spreading into the more urban areas of the east bay. No spring migrants yet in our yard. Our white-throated sparrow seems to have left, although our purple finches and white-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are still visiting the feeder.

I was able do do some binocular-free birding while taking the steam train from Sunol to Niles and back. Most notable were the raptors: Red- tailed, Red Shouldered, Coopers, Kestral, Merlin, and probable golden eagle. Also my FOS Swainsons Hawk off of 680 not to far north of the Niles exit. One wild turkey seen from the train.

Good birding,

Alan Krakauer, Richmond

Emeryville Palm Warbler continues

Kirk Swenson

This morning on my way to the office I encountered the Palm Warbler in
Hollis-Doyle Park in Emeryville for the first time in a couple weeks.
(I've walked through the park several times in the past couple of
weeks en route to the train station or my office without seeing it --
I'd almost decided it was gone for good.) I found the bird on the 61st
Street side of the park initially, where it foraged briefly before
flying to the larger trees along Hollis St. Before it left, I had a
very nice of view of its rusty cap, which is coming in for the
breeding season. I followed it down to Hollis where I spent a very
pleasant five minutes watching it forage overhead and listening to its
song. The song is a bit twittery, somewhat reminiscent of the latter
half of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet song to my ear. Eventually it flew back
over to the 61st Street side of the park and then across the street to
the trees on the other side, at which point I decided I better get to
work. I did not see the Black-throated Gray Warbler in Heritage Square
Park this morning, but it was present last week so it's likely still
around as well.

Good birding,
Kirk Swenson
Davis <--> Emeryville

Heather Farm Hummers Have Fledged


The two young Anna's Hummingbirds were seen in their nest in the Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek yesterday. When I went this afternoon, the nest was empty. I knew it would happen soon, as they were exercising their wings Saturday afternoon.

In our patio north of the park, we think the Chickadees are sitting on the nest, as activity has slowed. One was very vocal when I lit the patio at 6:30 AM by turning on the kitchen lights, but they are no longer bringing nest material. Guess we'll know for sure in about three weeks.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Sunol Regional Wilderness

Eric Pilotte

Zach Baer and I visited Sunol Regional Wilderness this morning. We walked on Camp Ohlone Road along Alameda Creek up to the locked gate. Highlights were:
- 1 singing Black-throated Gray Warbler (seemingly very early)
- 10 singing Warbling Vireos
- 15 singing Orange Crowned-Warblers (we saw 2 of them, and 1 was carrying nesting material)
- 10+ singing House Wrens (several seen)
- 2 singing Rufous-crowned Sparrows
- Flock of 60+ Band-tailed Pigeons
- 0 American Dippers, sadly
- 10+ Coast Range Newts on the road

Happy Birding!
Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

RFI: American Dippers - Sunol Regional Wilderness

Eric Pilotte

Just curious to know more details about the historical presence of American Dippers along Alameda Creek in Sunol Regional Wilderness. eBird lists only a few sightings over the past 20 years, but it's hard to tell if the species breeds in the area. If there is a historical breeding territory there, which part of the creek do they tend to favor?

Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

Return to Bay Farm Island Egrets


Of course, I went back with the camera. This is happening and in close view. It's pretty wonderful to see.

Hayward Great-tailed Grackle

Eric Pilotte

Sorry for all the posts, I just got on the new list-serve. Yesterday Zach Baer and I had a male Great-tailed Grackle at the end of Depot Road at Hayward Regional Shoreline. This looks like ideal breeding habitat. Has breeding ever been confirmed here? To get to Depot Rd from Winton Ave, take a left on Cabot and a right on Depot Road. Park at the end. The bird was in the marsh to the northwest close to the road.

We also had 6 Ruddy Turnstones along with a large number of Red Knots along the bay.

Happy Birding!
Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

Coops in Berkeley?

Tim Kingston

There appears to be a pair of Coopers Hawks flirting on Prince Street just
down from the Starry Plough. I *think* they are coops. One has gray chest,
yellow talons, goldish leggings and bright orange eye. Appears all gray blue
with a dark cap, yellow beak with black. Tail feathers have some banding,
but much less than I am used to. Suddenly the second accipiter showed up,
with more standard coloring and mounted the first. I feel quite lucky!

Tim Kingston
land 510 666 9114
cell 510 290 7170

Accipiter @ Dublin Regional

Ken Wilson <kaeagles@...>

Yesterday at Dublin Regional I spotted an Acipiter before he bolted out of the park to across the street. I was able to take a few long distance shots, Also present included the usuals plus Cedar Waxwings, White-tailed Kite, Spotted Tohwee, Northern Flicker, Nuttail's Woodpecker, Quail. Anna's, and more Y-R Warblers and Scrub Jays than the law allows.
The Accipiter can be viewed here:
Ken Wilson

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

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Johan Langewis

Yesterday (March 22) I heard a Pacific-slope Flycatcher in my yard - FOS. I posted this yesterday, but it did not appear.

Johan Langewis

Re: RFI: American Dippers - Sunol Regional Wilderness

Joe Morlan

On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:37:06 -0000, "ericpilotte" <ericpilotte@...>

If there is a historical breeding territory there, which part of the creek do they tend to favor?
Historically they used to breed in the area around Little Yosemite. However
I don't think they have nested there in recent years.

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at)
SF Birding Classes start Feb.9
California Bird Records Committee
Western Field Ornithologists

Fremont -- Cacklers still here

John Cant 793-5216

Yesterday morning (the 22nd) in Central Park southwest of the tennis courts, about 10:45, there were one RIDGWAY'S and one ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE feeding close together, not so chummy with the Moffit's. On the 14th there were two of each subspecies.

John G. H. Cant

Garretson Point and Arrowhead Marsh


I went to Garretson Point mid-day yesterday and found the four previously reported BLUE-WINGED TEAL in the pond across from the parking lot. They were hiding on the slough side of the pond, and I had to scope from three sides of the pond before I found them. Glad I didn't give up! Two NORTHERN PINTAILS remain on the pond as well as a couple of NORTHERN SHOVELERS in addition to GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CINNAMON TEAL, and AMERICAN WIGEONS. The slough held a COMMON GOLDENEYE and both EARED and HORNED grebes, one or two in fantastic breeding plumage.

I got to Arrowhead Marsh right at low tide - that's what no planning ahead will do for you - but I still found one CLAPPER RAIL bathing in a puddle left by the outgoing tide. A BARN SWALLOW flew out from under the pier.

Five CASPIAN TERNS were at the fenced-in pond near the burrowing owl berms (no burrowing owls seen).

Stephanie Floyd

Great-tailed Grackle in Heather Farm


There has been a single male Great-tailed Grackle hanging out at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek for about a week now, maybe more. Fred Safier let me know by email, but I did not see it until this morning. Fred was there and showed me where to look, it was in the conifers in the lawn near the wooden railing of the bog pond.

To make things even, I took him to see the White-throated Sparrow, which he had not been able to find all winter. After throwing a little seed, it shortly joined a number of White-crowned Sparrows which rapidly came out for a treat.

There is still a small puddle in the equestrian parking lot and we several times watched a single Barn Swallow come there to collect mud.

Later, I stopped at the Garden at Heather Farm and found an active Bushtit nest which had been reported to me. An adult brought food, which was my clue where to look.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Coyote Hills RP (3/23)

Ken Schneider

I birded along Patterson Ranch Road this morning from 0650-0800, focusing on the marshy areas past the entry kiosk. I heard several calling VIRGINIA RAILS and a single SORA, but did not detect any Black Rails today. RING-NECKED PHEASANT were prominent this morning, with at least three males giving their loud "crowing calls" from different directions.

Ken Schneider
Redwood City