Date   
Varied Thrush at TIlden's Botanic Garden

BEN
 

Saturday, about 3:30, in northeast corner of the Tilden Botanic Garden, two Varied Thrush offered us splendid views.

Karen Rosenbaum & Ben McClinton

Virginia Rail? at Richmond Eastshore Park

George A Suennen
 

I went out to 51st Street in Richmond to see if I could get a good shot of the Tropical Kingbird. I saw the American Kestrel still on the phone lines on 49th street, as well as a juvenile and adult Red-tailed Hawk in the trees toward the bay. The kingbird didn't show up while I was there, but on the way to the Park Trail I saw a rail along the bank of the channel before the bridge. It caught a small crab, ate it, then swam across the channel and into cover. I got a few photos, but they are not as good as I would have liked. It looks like a Virginia Rail to me, with a longer bill then the Clapper Rail. I put the photos here:

http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120218-Richmond-Eastshore-Park/slides/0218-113406-03.html

While walking back to the car parked on 51st, I saw a pair of American Pipits in the field in front of the fence where the Tropical Kingbird has been sited. I got some good shot of them:

http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120218-Richmond-Eastshore-Park/slides/0218-120832-05.html

George
http://birds.jorj7.com

News from the hill

Phila Rogers <philajane6@...>
 

Hello Friends:

This morning I was working in my garden ahead of what I hoped might be an evening rain shower.  But, alas, once again the sun has returned with a freshening north wind in this winter of little rain.

While under my live oak, I watched a Brown Creeper pull off pieces of moss from a well-upholstered horizontal branch.  As he gathered what I assumed was nesting material, for what promises to be a most commodious nest, he would stop briefly to sing.  I have listened to a variety of high, wispy creeper songs and notes over the years, but this repeated song was of unusual clarity and brilliance.  After flying off, he continued to sing in a neighboring garden, and I appreciated the carrying power of that small song.

For the last few days a Bewick's Wren sings often.  I presume he is checking out the neighborhood accommodations, possibly with a female in tow.  I repaired and hung two more nest boxes on my property today- boxes which range from funky home-made to store-bought sleek. Something is bound to appeal (or not).

-- Phila Rogers


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

Crown Beach & Damon Slough & adjacent pond/seasonal wetland - 430+ Avocets, etc...

Amy Dawson
 

Hi all,

Crown beach: arrived at around 10:30am today - huge flocks of Dunlins and
Sandpipers 700+ close to the seawall off of Park St. - on and off, the flocks
took off and engaged in wonderful flying maneuvers close to the water -
Seawall had about 15 smaller terns, and others but I didn't stop to i.d. them.



Edgewater Seasonal Wetland (between Damon Slough and Garretson Point)
Yesterday close to sundown, the tide was very low and there were very few birds
in the "pond" - but I did see two pairs of Blue Winged Teals.

Today, I was there between 11-11:45, the tide was on its way down, but still
quite high and there were more birds than last weekend! So I decided to count
again. It's quite a small area and great to see so many birds together. They
were starting to wake up and preen and bathe when I left. Tomorrow should be v.
good too, the tide is also a 6.3 and peaking an hour later at 9:19 (at the
Gate).

437 Avocets
20 Stilts
~ 300 Dowitcher
50 Widgeons
14 male Green-Winged Teal with females
6 male Cinnamon Teal w/females
10-12 Pintails
4 Shovelers
~15 Coots
20 Canada Geese flew in as we were leaving

Damon Slough out into San Leandro Bay
Snowy Egret
Grebe
Bufflehead
Coots
Godwitts
Cinnamon Teal (4 pair)
Widgeons
Avocets
Ruddy duck numbers are increasing....
etc.

Fun morning!
Amy Dawson

Berkeley Pier 02/18 Red-Throated Loon

zachary.baer2
 

I walked out the pier today from 9am till 10:30 am. The only real bird of interest was a single RED-THROATED LOON seen swimming next to the pier and then slowly out towards Angel Island. There was a large group of SURF SCOTERS (50-70 birds) at the end of the pier but I was unable to find any other species among them.

Good Birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA

Allen's Hummingbird

Judi Cooper <jandjcooper@...>
 

A beautiful male Allen's Hummingbird is enjoying my feeder this morning. It's a nice welcome home after a great 3 day birding trip with friends on the Mendocino coast.

Judi Cooper
Moraga

Rose-breasted Grosbeak remains in Antioch yard

Paul Schorr
 

The immature male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that we first reported on January 29th continues to visit our yard, although his visits seem much more cautious and less predictable. That behavior is probably the result of the presence of a Sharp-shinned Hawk that has been patrolling the area on a fairly regular basis. The other birds have been much more cautious as well.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch

Sanderlings in Albany

Shirley Doell
 

At 8:15 this morning 4 sanderlings were at the small beach that is just N of where the road on the west side of Golden Gate Fields goes down from the higher parking lot to the big northern parking lot.
-Shirley Doell

Re: Fw: White-winged Junco Link for photos

Jay McEntee <jaymcentee@...>
 

To add additional evolutionary perspective to this individual, it is worth taking a look at the paper attached. Divergence between juncos is extremely recent. From molecular data, it's a challenge even to distinguish pink-sided juncos from yellow-eyed juncos (see all the red in the pie charts in Figure 1b). It's quite possible that the plumage differences among subspecies were generated from standing genetic variation for these characters that was present before the populations diverged, and that genes that code for things like 'white-wings' likely subsist at low frequencies in present-day populations of other juncos (hence the existence of white-winged dark-eyed juncos). It seems probable to me that in-betweenish individuals with mosaic characteristics come into being fairly regularly for most junco populations, even without hybridization. That possibility should probably get taken into consideration in cases like this, especially where divergence is
known to be so recent. Throw hybridization on top as a possibility also, and this makes for a really rich ID challenge. Great find!

Jay


________________________________
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@...>
To: 'EastBayBotanist' <dpbot@...>; EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 11:02 PM
Subject: RE: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos


 
Hi all,

I spent a while looking at and measuring juncos at the museum collections
long ago in a far away land, in fact it was a university project for the
same Rising of book fame. What is somewhat unexpected is that from various
lines of evidence it appears that White-winged may in fact be more closely
related to Pink-sided, than it is to Slate-colored; it just happens to look
like Slate-colored. In any case the traditional features were the larger
size (White-winged is the largest of the Dark-eyed Juncos), the greater
extent of white on the tail, and the white on the wings. Two features that
are not as noticeable on museum specimens but are in real life include the
more masked appearance of White-winged as compared to Slate-colored, and the
greater extent of dark on the breast, reaching farther down on the breast
than on Slate-colored. Both of these features are similar in Pink-sided,
which is interesting. In any case, I am not sure what the bird is in the
photos. It does not look particularly masked, so it may be a Slate-colored
with white on the wings, however it may warrant more photos and perhaps some
side by side with Oregons to compare features.

Regards

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

chucao@...

Half Moon Bay, California

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

www.fieldguides.com

_____

From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of EastBayBotanist
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 6:47 PM
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos

I am not an expert. However, I have a copy of Sparrows of the United
States and Canada (The Photographic Guide) by Beadle and Rising.

Regarding White-winged Junco:

larger in size than Slate-colored with large bill
not as dark slate-colored as Slate-colored
outer 3 rectices (4,5 and 6) white (or mostly white), with white usually
on the 3rd

The bill-size on the photos corresponds well with images in Beadle and
Rising.

However, I think without an image of the tail this identification might
well be equivocal, but I'm leaning towards White-winged.

I hope the bird returns and better images are obtained.

Michael Park
Berkeley

--- In EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com> , Bob Power <rcpower@...> wrote:

Sibley shows a distinctive contrast between most of the head (medium
gray) and
the eyes/lores (black) for White-winged. The bird in the photo doesn't
show that
kind of contrast; to my eye. I believe Ken is correct in that it's a
variant of
Slate-colored Junco with white wing bars.
Bob Power
Oakland, CA



________________________________
From: Ken Schneider kschnei1@...
To: EBB_Sightings@... <mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, February 17, 2012 9:54:59 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos




Nice photos of an interesting junco, Larry.

I have a dim recollection that Slate-colored Juncos can also
occasionally show
wing bars - can any of our local experts comment on whether this bird
truly
appears to be a White-winged Junco or might instead be an unusual
variant of
Slate-colored Junco (also a cool bird)??

Thanks,
Ken Schneider
San Francisco

--- In EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com> , Larry Cawthorn golacula1@ wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
<https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#570971231
0508129090>
12310508129090
0


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: golacula1 golacula1@
To: EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:46 AM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco



Â

I managed to get 2 photos of a White-winged Junco at my backyard
feeder in
Brentwood.
https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
<https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#570971231
0508129090>
12310508129090
0

Larry Cawthorn




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



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


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




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

Kingbird in Richmond

albertlinkowski
 

Here are a few bad photographs taken February 17, 2012 around Meeker Slough, Richmond, CCCo, but at least you can see Kingbird! (bad lighting and a long distance)
Also in the area was Allen's Hummingbird.

Albert Linkowski

Click on the link under the first photos to open the entire albums


https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/odimm1OyJdz5a3BGvAEYEdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink


https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/oL-vwNBbRtYkvhzbQeLJdNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

Heather Farms Lake, Walnut Creek

DD
 

2 Pair of Hooded Mergansers were still present today among other birds which include.

Buffelheads
Cackling Goose
Ring-necked Duck
Western Bluebirds
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Oak Titmouse

1 Green Heron
picture can be seen here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ddsimages/6894809569/in/photostream


Davor Desancic
Fremont, CA

Re: Fw: White-winged Junco Link for photos

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hi all,



I spent a while looking at and measuring juncos at the museum collections
long ago in a far away land, in fact it was a university project for the
same Rising of book fame. What is somewhat unexpected is that from various
lines of evidence it appears that White-winged may in fact be more closely
related to Pink-sided, than it is to Slate-colored; it just happens to look
like Slate-colored. In any case the traditional features were the larger
size (White-winged is the largest of the Dark-eyed Juncos), the greater
extent of white on the tail, and the white on the wings. Two features that
are not as noticeable on museum specimens but are in real life include the
more masked appearance of White-winged as compared to Slate-colored, and the
greater extent of dark on the breast, reaching farther down on the breast
than on Slate-colored. Both of these features are similar in Pink-sided,
which is interesting. In any case, I am not sure what the bird is in the
photos. It does not look particularly masked, so it may be a Slate-colored
with white on the wings, however it may warrant more photos and perhaps some
side by side with Oregons to compare features.



Regards



Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

chucao@...

Half Moon Bay, California



Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

www.fieldguides.com

_____

From: EBB_Sightings@... [mailto:EBB_Sightings@...]
On Behalf Of EastBayBotanist
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 6:47 PM
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos





I am not an expert. However, I have a copy of Sparrows of the United
States and Canada (The Photographic Guide) by Beadle and Rising.

Regarding White-winged Junco:

larger in size than Slate-colored with large bill
not as dark slate-colored as Slate-colored
outer 3 rectices (4,5 and 6) white (or mostly white), with white usually
on the 3rd

The bill-size on the photos corresponds well with images in Beadle and
Rising.

However, I think without an image of the tail this identification might
well be equivocal, but I'm leaning towards White-winged.

I hope the bird returns and better images are obtained.

Michael Park
Berkeley

--- In EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com> , Bob Power <rcpower@...> wrote:

Sibley shows a distinctive contrast between most of the head (medium
gray) and
the eyes/lores (black) for White-winged. The bird in the photo doesn't
show that
kind of contrast; to my eye. I believe Ken is correct in that it's a
variant of
Slate-colored Junco with white wing bars.
Bob Power
Oakland, CA



________________________________
From: Ken Schneider kschnei1@...
To: EBB_Sightings@... <mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, February 17, 2012 9:54:59 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos




Nice photos of an interesting junco, Larry.

I have a dim recollection that Slate-colored Juncos can also
occasionally show
wing bars - can any of our local experts comment on whether this bird
truly
appears to be a White-winged Junco or might instead be an unusual
variant of
Slate-colored Junco (also a cool bird)??

Thanks,
Ken Schneider
San Francisco

--- In EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com> , Larry Cawthorn golacula1@ wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
<https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#570971231
0508129090>
12310508129090
0


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: golacula1 golacula1@
To: EBB_Sightings@...
<mailto:EBB_Sightings%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:46 AM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco



Â

I managed to get 2 photos of a White-winged Junco at my backyard
feeder in
Brentwood.
https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
<https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#570971231
0508129090>
12310508129090
0

Larry Cawthorn




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










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

Re: Fw: White-winged Junco Link for photos

Michael Park
 

I am not an expert. However, I have a copy of Sparrows of the United
States and Canada (The Photographic Guide) by Beadle and Rising.

Regarding White-winged Junco:

larger in size than Slate-colored with large bill
not as dark slate-colored as Slate-colored
outer 3 rectices (4,5 and 6) white (or mostly white), with white usually
on the 3rd

The bill-size on the photos corresponds well with images in Beadle and
Rising.

However, I think without an image of the tail this identification might
well be equivocal, but I'm leaning towards White-winged.

I hope the bird returns and better images are obtained.

Michael Park
Berkeley


--- In EBB_Sightings@..., Bob Power <rcpower@...> wrote:

Sibley shows a distinctive contrast between most of the head (medium
gray) and
the eyes/lores (black) for White-winged. The bird in the photo doesn't
show that
kind of contrast; to my eye. I believe Ken is correct in that it's a
variant of
Slate-colored Junco with white wing bars.
Bob Power
Oakland, CA



________________________________
From: Ken Schneider kschnei1@...
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Fri, February 17, 2012 9:54:59 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos




Nice photos of an interesting junco, Larry.

I have a dim recollection that Slate-colored Juncos can also
occasionally show
wing bars - can any of our local experts comment on whether this bird
truly
appears to be a White-winged Junco or might instead be an unusual
variant of
Slate-colored Junco (also a cool bird)??

Thanks,
Ken Schneider
San Francisco

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., Larry Cawthorn golacula1@ wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
12310508129090
0


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: golacula1 golacula1@
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:46 AM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco



Â

I managed to get 2 photos of a White-winged Junco at my backyard
feeder in
Brentwood.
https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#57097&#92;
12310508129090
0

Larry Cawthorn




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




Re: MDAS trip to Sunol on Wed. 2/15

Eugenia Larson
 

Birders:



A pair of Varied Thrush and at least two different White-throated Sparrows
were seen by participants on the Mt. Diablo Aud. Soc. field trip to Sunol
Wilderness Reg. Park on Wed. of this week. Two of the sparrows were seen
just below the parking lot to the right of the bridge by early birders.
Later, a White-throated Sparrow was seen below and just beyond the Owl
Nesting Box near the education building. The Varied Thrush were also in
this area below the Owl Nesting Box and then the male flew up high in the
trees and perched for about five minutes before disappearing. On our walk
toward "Little Yosemite" Bob Dunn spotted a pair of Golden Eagles soaring
high over the road for all to see. From the bridge on Calaveras Road two
male Wood Ducks and one male displaying Hooded Merganser were in the creek
on the right (east) side of the road as we left the park in the afternoon.



Good Birding.



Eugenia Larson

Reminder Great Backyard count has started

judisierra
 

Fun and you don't have get up to do it.
Judi Sierra

Dear GBBC participants,

Today marks the first day of the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count! Will we break a new record this year? With your help, it just might happen!

As of 3:00 PM Friday we have:

Checklists: 2,537
Species: 354
Birds: 172,637

Our northernmost submission in the GBBC so far is from Arctic Bay, Nunavut!

As a reminder, everything you need to count can be found at www.birdcount.org and you can count each day through Monday, February 20. Each participant is eligible for great prizes in drawings that take place after all the data are entered.

Don’t forget to submit your photos. We’ll post a selection of them to the GBBC photo gallery, and every photo submitted is automatically entered into our photo contest.The Carolina Wren photo above was sent in today from GBBC participant, Susan Ellison.

East Bay -Tropical Kingbird, Black Scoter and BT-Gray Warbler

C Lou
 

Hi All,

This morning at 815am, the TROPICAL KINGBIRD put in a brief appearance at the 51th Street
location behind the fence. The bird flew up in the air just above the tree line, flycatching
for insects before disappearing. Never saw again for my stay to 900am or so. Returned
briefly at 1020am, no Kingbird. Other birders may have more positive results.

The male BLACK SCOTER was in the Richmond Marina.

The BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER continues at Heritage Square on Hollis Street.

Calvin D Lou
San Francisco

Antioch Marina - this morning

Paul Schorr
 

This morning we birded the Antioch Marina area which is located at the north end of 'L' Street. Following the paved walkway around the marina will lead to an eastern portion of the Dow Wetlands. Interestingly, we could hear barking sea lions in the river to the west of the marina.

Noteworthy sightings included:

20+ Great-tailed Grackles
4 Eurasian Collared-Doves
1 Belted Kingfisher
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Orange-crowned Warblers
4 Fox Sparrows
1 Virginia Rail (heard)
1 Sora
2 Common Yellowthroats

Additional species observed were:

Canada Goose
Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Common Gallinule
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Bustit
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Brewer's Blackbird
House Sparrow

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch

Re: Fw: White-winged Junco Link for photos

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Sibley shows a distinctive contrast between most of the head (medium gray) and
the eyes/lores (black) for White-winged. The bird in the photo doesn't show that
kind of contrast; to my eye. I believe Ken is correct in that it's a variant of
Slate-colored Junco with white wing bars.
Bob Power
Oakland, CA



________________________________
From: Ken Schneider <kschnei1@...>
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Fri, February 17, 2012 9:54:59 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco Link for photos




Nice photos of an interesting junco, Larry.

I have a dim recollection that Slate-colored Juncos can also occasionally show
wing bars - can any of our local experts comment on whether this bird truly
appears to be a White-winged Junco or might instead be an unusual variant of
Slate-colored Junco (also a cool bird)??

Thanks,
Ken Schneider
San Francisco

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., Larry Cawthorn <golacula1@...> wrote:


https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#5709712310508129090
0


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: golacula1 <golacula1@...>
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:46 AM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] White-winged Junco



Â

I managed to get 2 photos of a White-winged Junco at my backyard feeder in
Brentwood.

https://picasaweb.google.com/109282299380238524005/February162012#5709712310508129090
0

Larry Cawthorn








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

Cackling Goose at Heather Farm

tracy_farrington <tracy_farrington@...>
 

This afternoon around 2pm, I observed a group of eight CACKLING GEESE all of which remained in a nice little flotilla as they paddled about the natural pond. Judging by the very visible white neck ring (and the subspecies range map in the 6th edition National Geo Field Guide), I imagine these to be leucopareia, the "Aleutian" race. I make this posting as I have not read about the bird at Heather Farm of late. Any other observations?

Good birding,
Tracy Farrington

Re: Richmond area in the AM then Hayward Shoreline (2/16)

George A Suennen
 

Hello again,

Just to recap the comments so far, 9 confirm it's a Tropical Kingbird and
1 wonders if it could be a Cassin's Kingbird. I went out again this morning
to see if I could get a better shot with the morning sun, but there was a
Kestrel sitting on the phone wire about the fence where I saw the kingbird
yesterday. So it wasn't there.

At least I got a good shot of an American Kestrel:

http://birds.jorj7.com/2012/120217-Richmond-Eastshore-Park/slides/0217-100742-01.html

Thanks for all the input,
George
http://birds.jorj7.com