Date   
Barn Owls

Debbi Brusco <dgb_birding@...>
 

While filling up my tank on Grove Way in CV last night, I heard a Barn
Owl and looked up to see two, flying around overhead--a nice treat.

Debbi Brusco
Hayward

Shadow Cliffs

Steve Taylor
 

While taking a walk today I spotted four Ospreys at the same time sitting in
trees and waiting to get a meal on the main lake.



Steve

Lots of cormorants and brown pelicans at Cesar Chavez Berkeley Marina

Frances DuPont
 

This morning around 10:45 am there were around 1000 cormorants and 100 brown pelicans in the inlet between Cesar Chavez Park and the eastern shoreline that parallels I80. The cormorants started streaming north out of the inlet. By 11:30, the cormorants and pelicans were settled on the water at the north end of the park, near the oysterbeds. There were also several seals. I noted some short feeding frenzies, but mainly the birds were resting on the water, as the tide rose. I was busy being a burrowing owl docent, but didn't notice any gulls. Is this the beginnings of a herring run?

Re: Gulls still feasting at Miller/Knox to Park Brick Yard Cove

Allen Hirsch <allenvhirsch@...>
 

Ferry Point gullapalooza images from yesterday afternoon:

http://allenh.zenfolio.com/p285607098

Allen Hirsch
Oakland

The sharp pang of loss.

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>
 

Dear Friends:

When I put out my tray feeder this morning, I expected several Dark-eyed Juncos to be waiting.  But they weren't there.  Two Fox Sparrows and a Spotted Towhee came by for a snack and left.  I kept looking out on the deck for feisty, noisy bands of juncos, hoping they were just getting a late start to the day.  I expect the wintering juncos to depart in early March leaving behind a few resident birds who only occasionally visit. I was once again unprepared for their sudden departure and with it the loss of their energetic presence.

Last night was certainly a good time for travel with a fine sunset and a bright young moon and glittering Venus in the darkening sky.  And high in the southwest, Orion and his entourage, were there for guidance.

As a close-to-home birdwatcher, I take these departures to heart.  The arrival of spring nesting birds is certainly welcome, but to enjoy them fully means going to one of the local stream canyons.

No, I just looked again and they are truly gone.  Two Mourning Doves squatting in the middle of the feeder are a poor recompense.

-Phila Rogers

Re: Sunol Regional Wilderness for Kevin Hintsa

richard s. cimino
 

On December 16th, 2011 during the Eastern Alameda County CBC near this
location Joe Di Donato had a Yellow-billed Sapsucker.
Joe was able to get a few photo's also.
The photo's and Joe's rare bird write-up have been sent to CBC regional
editor for acceptance.
Sending a photo while we wait to see Kevin's photo's.
Rich Cimino
Pleasanton

On 2/25/2012 5:24 PM, Bob Richmond wrote:

Kevin doesn't have internet access at this time so he called me to
have me post it to EBB. Today in Sunol Regional Wilderness, Kevin and
a friend saw an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. To look for it,
take the road from the picnic area to Little Yosemite. Once there,
find the junction with Canyon View Trail on the left (hill side and
not creek side of road). Go uphill, cross a very small creek, and go
uphill some more. On the right is an unnamed trail with a fence along
side of it (the fence is perpendicular to the Canyon View Trail). The
bird was seen somewhere near the junction with this unnamed trail.
They did get some pictures and will try to get them posted later.

Good birding

Bob



Re: Question

Jim Hargrove
 

My wife and I both swapped Swarovski bins for Zeiss a few years ago and
have not regretted the move. The main advantage of the Zeiss is their
ability to focus quickly. Even after getting the new focus for the
Swarovskis, they still take about 4+ turns to go from infinity to close
focus. The Zeiss take about 1-2.

I also prefer the eyecups on the Zeiss.

Of course, to consider either of these, you have to be REALLY SERIOUS about
your birding. The exchange rate between dollars and euros has made both
quite a bit more expensive than when we bought ours.

The Other Jim Hargrove
neoscona@...

Chat [image: Google Talk] neoscona

Pt. Molate

Richard Wirkkala
 

A bold little group of white crowned sparrows yesterday, see link below. Also watched a fearless Kingfisher sitting on a electrical wire near a fresh water pond.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/54964585@N02/6931802419/

Rich

Great Backyard Bird Count: help put Richmond on the map

Nel Benningshof
 

Dear birders,

Thank all of you who helped us by posting birds seen in Richmond during the Great Backyard Bird Count. We're up to 130 species. You might enjoy reading this article in Sunday's newspaper:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20045774

Nel Benningshof
Nick Despota

Wood Duck & Lawrence's Goldfinches in Pleasanton

Charlotte Allen <c.allen@...>
 

Today in Pleasanton there was 1 male Wood Duck in Arroyo de la Laguna
creek about 1/4 mile from the parking lot at the head of the Marilyn
Murphy Kane Trail. About 20 feet further downstream there were 2
Lawrence's Goldfinches in a mixed flock of Lesser and American
Goldfinches in trees lining the creek.

Charlotte Allen
c.allen@...

Gulls still feasting at Miller/Knox to Park Brick Yard Cove

Amy Dawson
 

I was at the park this afternoon from about 4:45 - 6pm. Many hundreds of gulls
(or maybe over a thousand?) were still gobbling up the roe-laced seaweed close
to shore and on on the shore - still very impressive even though I only saw some
6 pelicans - and very little else.

Amy Dawson

Question

Steve Taylor
 

What is everyone's favorite binocular. Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski? If you
own a Zeiss, how do you like it?



Steve

Cormorant Question

photohutch
 

Visited Lake Temescal in Oakland today and watched three DC Cormorants dive in the shallows, each time quickly popping back up to gobble something down. Though I did have my binocs, I wasn't able to see what they were eating--they swallowed it way too fast. Any ideas? Crawfish perhaps? They were right along the beach area in relatively shallow water and made at least 20 or so successful dives in about 4 or 5 minutes. Quite the feeding frenzy.

No other interesting sightings, though a BC Night-heron was around for a little bit in the early morning.

Thanks,

Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo, CA

Hermit Warbler in Oakland

Kathy Robertson
 

Hey birders,

I saw a male Hermit Warbler in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland around 5:00
this evening. It was just off Skyline Blvd., in trees along the road to
the Sequoia Arena parking lot. This is a new species for Bob Richmond's 2012
Alameda County Year List, and considered uncommon in the county.

Good birding,
Kathy Robertson
Hayward, CA

Sunol Regional Wilderness for Kevin Hintsa

Bob Richmond
 

Kevin doesn't have internet access at this time so he called me to have me post it to EBB. Today in Sunol Regional Wilderness, Kevin and a friend saw an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. To look for it, take the road from the picnic area to Little Yosemite. Once there, find the junction with Canyon View Trail on the left (hill side and not creek side of road). Go uphill, cross a very small creek, and go uphill some more. On the right is an unnamed trail with a fence along side of it (the fence is perpendicular to the Canyon View Trail). The bird was seen somewhere near the junction with this unnamed trail. They did get some pictures and will try to get them posted later.

Good birding

Bob

osprey over Montclair

owlycat@pacbell.net <owlycat@...>
 

Today while eating lunch and enjoying our summer-like weather on our back deck, I saw a large bird in the distance that I was sure was not a hawk. Luckily it was headed my direction and as it approached I discovered it was an osprey! Fortunately I had remembered to take my binocs with me "just in case". It circled several times in the vicinity of my house and then continued on heading west. It came from the direction of Moraga and I wonder if it had left Lafayette Reservoir. Definitely a new "yard" bird for me. I have been here for 40 years and not seen an osprey in these parts. Had I not been having lunch outside, I wouldn't have seen this one, either. Birdwatching involves timing, too.

Susan Russell
Montclair, just below Skyline near Snake Rd.

Contra Costa County 2012 Year List

Denise Wight
 

Hi East Bay Birders,

The total number of bird species for Contra Costa County includes 360 native species, as per John Sterling's California County Birder's list, plus Dusky Warbler, with an additional 6 established introduced species (Ring-necked Pheasant, Wild Turkey, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, European Starling, and House Sparrow), making the current total 367.

Here are the 2012 year totals for species reported in Contra Costa County through January. These totals include species found in Contra Costa County by anyone who reported sightings to EBB Sightings or eBird.  I am not including two separate reports of Swainson's Thrush from EBB, as this bird is rare anywhere in California in January.


Abundance Code Key as per Bob Richmond:

CODE 1 - Common to Abundant

CODE 2 - Fairly Common

CODE 3 - Uncommon

CODE 4 - Rare

CODE 5 - Casual (6-25 county records in the last 30 years)

CODE 6 - Casual or Accidental (1-5 county records in the last 30 years)
(I have assigned codes to species based on comparisons with other bay-bordering counties, and made adjustments for Contra Costa County, especially species that can be found in the Delta region.)


Birds seen by end of January


CODE 1 - 70

CODE 2 - 54

CODE 3 - 43

CODE 4 - 19
CODE 5 -   5

CODE 6 -   0

Total       191


CODE 5 birds seen - Tufted Duck, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Mountain Bluebird, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak



Great job to all of those who contributed to this list! Keep posting your unusual here on EBB Sighting. The February totals will be up soon!!  You may also want to check out eBird for a list of birds that have been posted there.

All the Best Birding,
Denise Wight
Moraga, CA



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Lake Merritt 2/25 -- Glaucous Gull

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>
 

Lake Merritt had large numbers of gulls this morning, the best of which was a first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL on the water between the islands and the nature center. He came to bread thrown in the water and even perched up on the concrete briefly, allowing nice size comparison with one of the many WESTERN GULLS. Other gulls were MEW, RING-BILLED, CALIFORNIA, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, THAYER'S, and AMERICAN HERRING, for a total of eight gull species, plus some hybrids. A very good day!
 
No rare ducks on the lake, but there were three COMMON MERGANSERS near the islands. The best mammal sighting was Joe Morlan leading a large group of birders around the lake, but they arrived just too late to see the Glaucous Gull. The worst mammal sighting was a HOUSE CAT in the bird paddock.
 
Noah Arthur, Oakland

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Re: Point Richmond Herring Run, part 2

tonybrake@sbcglobal.net
 

I also saw that the number of gulls has increased since Wednesday, but they are more dispersed. It was pretty calm in the hours around high tide, which was at about 1 PM. I left a little before 4 PM just as there was a great number of birds in the air as the tide was going out. I did see a single Heerman's Gull feeding along the shore north of Ferry Point. A also saw a Double-crested Cormorant with an extremely pale head and neck. It seemed well outside the range of a first year bird. I've posted a photo here:
http://tonybrake.smugmug.com/Nature/2012-Point-Richmond-Herring/i-gsmT7s9/0/X3/leuDCCO-X3.jpg

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., "EastBayBotanist" <dpbot@...> wrote:

I forgot to complete the last post. Gull numbers were not spectacular near high tide today (02/14), and the gulls were scattered across.

However, gull numbers greatly increased as low tide approached. By 430, gulls were lining the rocky shores north of Ferry Point. Herring roe was very apparent at this time on exposed sea algae.

Michael Park
Berkeley

Hayward Shoreline (2/24)

Bob Richmond
 

Today at the shoreline, a Brandt's Cormorant flew past Johnson's Landing. 2 Surfbirds were at Hayward's Landing. 1 male Allen's Hummingbird was at Winton Ave. The Radio Tower Hills had many geese - 4 Ross's, 3 Snow. 1 probable Ross x Snow, 145 Aleutian, and 2 Ridgway's.  Frank's Dump West had thousands of shorebirds, mostly peeps. But I did see a Ruff, probably what was reported as a possible Ruff yesterday. Also only 1 Red Knot was seen there. A Peregrine Falcon that was chasing the shorebirds, caught a peep. Another 12 (est) Surfbirds were a the San Leandro Marina. No scoters were seen offshore from the shoreline. Only a few we seen from the San Leandro Marina.

Good birding

Bob