Sunol Wilderness

Ken Wilson <kaeagles@...>

I stopped by Sunol Wilderness today on the way home. I hiked the trail that runs adjutant to the creek. The overall activity at 330 was generally low. Did see two Hutton's Vireo and a singing House Wren. Heard but didn't see a couple of Warbling Vireo's and a Spotted Towhee. The cast of usual included 2 California Towhee's, several Scrub Jays and Y-R Warblers, a few Dark-eyed Juncos and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. A saw a Crow gouging wood from a tree, presumably for a nest. On the woodpecker front the Acorn WP was abundant.
Ken Wilson

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

Garin Regional Park on Sunday, March 21

Laurie <fair80@...>

It was a perfect day, clear, cloudless, cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. We made two passes along the creek; the Orioles,Grosbeak and Waxwings were on the second pass. Many birds were bathing. There were many swallows beyond the range of identification and numbers. We were there from 8:30 to 4:30, and hiked for miles. It was one of those days where you don't want to leave.

Laurie Graham & Jeff Fairclough
South San Francisco

Number of species: 55

Mallard 16
Wild Turkey 11
California Quail 2
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Turkey Vulture 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper's Hawk 2
Red-shouldered Hawk (California) 1
Red-tailed Hawk 7
Golden Eagle 4
American Coot 6
Rock Pigeon 6
Mourning Dove 8
White-throated Swift 3
Anna's Hummingbird 9
Allen's Hummingbird 3
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1
Nuttall's Woodpecker 5
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1
Black Phoebe 20
Hutton's Vireo 2
Western Scrub-Jay 15
Tree Swallow 6
Violet-green Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 21
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 10
Oak Titmouse 4
Bushtit 19
Bewick's Wren 2
House Wren 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Western Bluebird 16
American Robin 31
Northern Mockingbird 4
European Starling 6
American Pipit 1
Cedar Waxwing 65
Orange-crowned Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 57
Spotted Towhee 10
California Towhee 18
Song Sparrow 3
White-crowned Sparrow 39
Golden-crowned Sparrow 18
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 19
Black-headed Grosbeak 1
Red-winged Blackbird (Bicolored) 42
Western Meadowlark 1
Brewer's Blackbird 7
Bullock's Oriole 3
House Finch 39
Lesser Goldfinch 29

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

Re: Coops in Berkeley?

R <mandorod@...>

On Prince St., WEST of Shattuck? How far down the block? I'd like to spot them, too. I've missed the long-mated pair used to live in Live Oak Park before the City had to cut down the long-dead tree they nested in. There were Coopers hawks nesting in the eucalyptus trees across the street from Indian Rock at one time in recent years, too. Has anyone seen others recently in Berkeley??
R. Freeland, Berkeley

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., Tim Kingston <timwhitsedkingston@...> wrote:

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

White-tailed Kite pair- food offering


Yesterday I watched for two hours as the male attempted to present a
vole(?) to its mate. I have read that the female remains on the nest
and the male brings her food which is exchanged in mid-air. This seemed
like an unsuccessful practice session. Here she is demonstrating
interest in the offering from her perch in the pines as the male hovered
<> And here is an
in-flight of the pair where a pass didn't occur.
<> Does anyone know if
what I think I am seeing is a normal part of the mating cycle? Also,
I've not seen a nest.

Cassin's Vireo, Tufted Duck, Nesting Cormorants - Lake Merritt


Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey lead a monthly Golden Gate Audubon walk at Lake Merritt in Oakland (for details go to:  This morning's walk was eventful!  A highlight was a CASSIN'S VIREO  - a life bird for more than one of us - in a line of oaks just south of Children's Fairyland where we also had two TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS. 
We started the walk at the Rotary Nature Center, where we had excellent looks at the continuing TUFTED DUCK.  Photo here:
We also saw the continuing RING-NECKED DUCK, a COMMON MERGANSER, a COMMON GOLDENEYE, more than one breeding-plumaged HORNED GREBE and EARED GREBE, and fly-bys of a BROWN PELICAN and two COOPER'S HAWKS.
The DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT rookery is the showpiece of the lake right now with dozens of nests in the snags and trees on the islands across from the Rotary Nature Center.  We observed courtship displays, birds carrying nesting material, and many birds sitting on nests.  
In the fenced-in garden, some of our group saw a RED-MASKED PARAKEET, and Hilary saw it again - or another - later as she crossed Perkins and Grand.
Stephanie Floyd

Spotted Towhee in South Berkeley

Brian C Young <splaestro@...>

Just a few minutes ago I heard the "drink your tea" of a Spotted Towhee next door to our house near Sacramento & Alcatraz in South Berkeley. Wouldn't have expected this in such an urban setting.

Brian C. Young

South Berkeley

Re: RFI: American Dippers - Sunol Regional Wilderness

richard s. cimino

Also on the Hayward CBC 2002 (?) we had an American Dipper down Nile
Canyon 1/8th mile west to the railroad bridge.
Rich Cimino

On 3/23/2010 9:26 AM, Joseph Morlan wrote:

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.
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

San Pablo Park Bluebirds


In February I posted an account of a tree trimming operation in Berkeley's
San Pablo Park resulting in the loss of a Bluebird nest hole; A spot where
Western Bluebirds nested successfully the past two springs.

I contacted the city forester Daniel Gallagher and found him to be quite
sympathetic. He said that had he known in advance, that cavity would have
been spared. The city's Park Director, Susan Ferrera was distressed with the
news and we discussed a nest box to replace the lost cavity.

I made the box, her staff installed in on the tree.

Nearly 3 weeks went by with no sign of the Bluebirds; But they did return,
and now are actively nest building inside the box! I can't express how much
this pleases me.

Some points about city trees, cavities and nest boxes:

The city trims dead branches and branch stumps from street trees and park
trees in an effort to stave off fungal infections that undermine a tree's
long term structural integrity. It's also a liability matter as branches can
snap and fall.

If a nest hole is involved the city forestry department wants to know about

Because the location is a city park, I was told not to mount a ladder. Any
nest box on city park property has to be installed by city staff (a staff
already over committed due to ubiquitous budget cuts). Ms Ferrera responded
to the uniqueness of the Bluebird situation, and said that any further
decision on city park property would be case by case. They want to help, but
resources are limited.

Rusty Scalf

Hammond's Flycatcher

Bob Richmond

This afternoon at Garin Regional Park, a Hammond's Flycatcher continues to be seen NW of Jordan Pond. An unnamed trail goes south from the parking lot. Just before you get th Jordan Pond, a bench, a garbage can, and a sign for anglers is on the west side of the trail. The bird can be seen either farther along the trail or back towards the parking lot. Sometimes it is in a pine tree that is just behind the bench.


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

Hammond's Flycatcher at Garin - detailed directions and photo


Thanks to Bob Dunn who'd seen the bird earlier and pointed me towards it, I found the HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER around 10:30 this morning.  I waited on the bench for no more than five minutes before the bird popped into view and curiously watched me.  At one point, a male lesser goldfinch chased the Hammond's around, but both came back. Photo here:
Other birds of note seen:
PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER - bright yellow with bright orange bill, vocalizing, in the trees at the cut across the creek north of Jordan Pond
WARBLING VIREO - same place as PSFL
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK - singing, in the trees between the cut and the picnic area that is perpendicular to the main trail north of Jordan Pond (Bob also saw a BROWN CREEPER in this area)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE - singing, in the trees above the picnic tables at the north end of the park
Wild turkeys were gobbling on the hillside, western bluebirds were on the fences on the hillside, and a red-tailed hawk flew in to the tall eucalyptus on the hillside near previous years' nest site.
Directions to the Hammond's flycatcher:
Veer right after the entry kiosk and park in the southernmost lot if it is open.  Today, park maintenance had the south lots closed.  If you have to park in the north lot, walk back to the southernmost lot.  You will see a dirt footpath on the poppy-strewn hillside just above the creek.  The only signs on this footpath say "Park Rules" and "Dogs on Leash". Follow the footpath, keeping the creek on your left.  You will go down a steep section and pass a flooded cut-through to the main trail.  Ignore that and keep going south with the creek on your left.  You'll come to a garbage can and a bench and a sign that says "Attention Anglers". The Hammond's was on the creek side across from the bench.  You can get to the site by following the main trail past the picnic areas, but you will have to ford the creek at the cut-through where it is ankle-deep and only has a precariously narrow log to balance across.  You can go all the way around Jordan Pond
clockwise from the picnic areas, but you will still have to ford the creek as the pond has overflowed across the trail into the channel on the other side.  It is shallow at that point, but slippery.  The Hammond's site is no more than 5 minutes from the parking lot on the dirt footpath.  Be aware that this park is very busy on weekends; if you go, go early.
Stephanie Floyd

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

Northern Flicker

Steve Taylor

Went to Sunol Regional Park today to see if a Northern Flicker we had seen
building a nest a few days ago was successful. The good news is it was and
today I could see another bird moving around in the nest and the male
guarded it on the outside.

Also saw many of the usual bird's ones finds at Sunol such as the national
bird of Sunol, the Acorn Woodpecker and lots of Golden Crown Sparrows, Red
Tailed Hawks and even a Coopers Hawk. But the main reason for going was to
check on the Flicker.


San Ramon

Oakland gull

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi. Today, while my mom and I were at a stoplight on McArthur Blvd in Oakland, an unusual gull landed in front of the car on a lamp post. It was about the size and shape of a Ring-billed, but with a darker back (only a little paler than California Gull) and perhaps slightly more white in the wingtips. It was in breeding plumage, with no markings on the head, so its all-dark eye stood out. Its bill was rather large, like California Gull's, but all-yellow with only a small black gonydeal mark. My first thought was Mew, but its bill seemed much too large, and the bird was too big overall. I'm thinking possibly aberrant California. Any ideas? Has anyone ever seen a gull like that?

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

Lake Merritt Hummingbird Question

mjstanleypls <mjstanleypls@...>

My weekday birding is usually limited to a quick dash from my office building out to the northwest corner of Lake Merritt. Two or three times during the last couple of weeks a hummingbird has caught my eye as being "different", but I couldn't say why. However, since I have seen an Anna's Hummingbird almost everyday in the last four months, I've got a good feel for what is normal.

Today I was able to get a good look at the stranger. Field marks include: green back, white underside, no notable coloring on chin or neck, longish bill curved downward somewhat, a white spot behind the eye, a dark stripe from the base of the bill to the front of the eye, and wings that extend beyond the tail when perched.

I have only seen a Black-chinned Hummingbird twice, both males, one in the San Joaquin Valley and one in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Do they occur in the bay area? Do I need to note any other field marks to be more certain of the identity?

I appreciate any help or advice you can give.

Mike Stanley
Napa, CA

Re: Oakland gull

Joe Morlan

On Fri, 26 Mar 2010 17:13:50 -0700 (PDT), Lori Arthur
<loriarthur61@...> wrote:

Its bill was rather large, like California Gull's, but all-yellow with only a small black gonydeal mark. My first thought was Mew, but its bill seemed much too large, and the bird was too big overall. I'm thinking possibly aberrant California. Any ideas? Has anyone ever seen a gull like that?
How about the albertensis subspecies of California Gull (Larus californicus

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

Briones Horned Larks

tedr4birds <tedr4birds@...>

Friday morning, took a hike in north Briones via Briones Rd. (accessed via Alhambra) and hiked the Old Briones Road Trail to the crest where it intersects Briones Crest Trail. Spotted a very cooperative male/female pair of Horned Larks for several minutes. A nice bench near this intersection gave great views of passing hawks such as Northern Harriers, Red-tails, and a White-tailed Kite. Band-tailed Pigeons were very abundant along this trail, spotting 3 widely separate flocks. Two California Newts were on the trail and dozens of their golf ball sized egg masses were in the ponds. A male/female pair of Gadwalls alighted in a small pond just south of the bench--a great duck for such a small body of water. Lots of bluebirds and meadowlarks (and buntings are common here in late spring too).

--Ted Robertson--

Four Hooded Mergs at Tilden


This morning there were four Hooded Merganser feeding in Jewel Lake; Two
females, two basic plumage males. Fishing was quite good and one bird caught
a fish so large he had a tough time getting it down. Leafing through my
Peterson Freshwater Fishes, I'd guess the fish to be genus Lepomis.

Lots of birdsong with Wilson's Warbler and Warbling Vireo singing up a

Rusty Scalf

Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings

Edward Tanovitz

I went to San Pablo Park in Berkely for a quick visit to find the bluebird nesting box. I couln'dt find it, but did see one Western Bluebird in a bare tree and on the ground at the south end of the park.

A large flock of Cedar Waxwings have appeared during the last few days at the Emeryville Marina. Go all the way out Powell Ave. to the 2nd toilet building. Just North of it is a fire pit area. The Cedar Waxwinigs were in the bare, just leafing out Poplar trees and across the road in some very dense small trees, and were very active.
Also, seen in the general area were a Robin, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White Crowned Sparrows, Song Sparrows.
Ed Tanovitz, Emeryville

Sobrante Ridge RP - FOS Black-headed Grosbeak

Laura Look <chamaea@...>

This morning (Sat, March 27), we saw our first-of-season female Black-headed Grosbeak in the live oaks near the south end of the Sobrante Ridge Trail at Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve in Richmond. This is my earliest date for this species.

Good birding,
Laura Look
Pinole, CA

Lake Merritt Hummingbird

mjstanleypls <mjstanleypls@...>

A number of folk have asked where exactly did I see the hummingbird I reported last evening.

I frequently walk along the paved path just to the west of the Children's Fairyland. The row of trees and shrubs along the chain link fence there has been a rewarding spot for the last several months and is the only place I have seen the White-throated Sparrows that have been around most of the winter. West of the path is a swath of grass, then an irregular row of trees at the top of the bank. Another path is between the bottom of the bank and the lake. Mixed flocks of various song-birds are frequently found in the trees. I regularly (almost daily) find Anna's Hummingbirds perched or flying back and forth.

The exact location of where I saw the hummingbird I described last evening was near the southwest corner of Fairyland. It was perched in a Live Oak a few feet inside the fence. My previous sightings of a similar bird were along the path described above.

I still hope that someone will respond to my questions of whether Black-chinned Hummingbirds are found in the Bay Area.

Mike Stanley
Napa, CA

Bewick's wrens nesting in SW Berkeley backyard

I have an active Bewick's wren nest in a nest box in my back yard; also a downy woodpecker is visiting a decrepit old coyote bush, and three golden-crowned sparrows are hopping through some yerba buena on the ground :-)