Date   

Hooded Merganser pair still at Heather Farm Park on Sat. Feb. 18 at noon

Ellen
 

Our group went down to Heather Park Farm in Walnut Creek (noontime) and it took us only an hour to find the Hooded Mergansers. One male and one female. They
feed and preen in the large natural pond, around the island within the pond, usually
seen neath the tree that the Cormorants rest in. The hammerhead crest on this guy
is gorgeous. The adult female has a beautiful brownish crest, and she was preening a good 20 minutes, while the male was feeding voraciously. I got a pretty close look and realized that the bill was so much smaller and thinner than I thought it would be. Also, the tail is longish and darkish. If you have a bit of time, it is so worthwhle to head down to HPF for this lovely pair of Hooded Mergansers.
Good Luck and productive birding,
Ellen Gierson
Oakland, CA


RING-NECKED Ducks & HOODED MERGANSERS at Heather Farms Park

purrboycasey
 

I photographed these ducks with good success on the morning of Feb 17, after reading the reports of their presence by Tracy Farrington and others. There were two pair of HOODED MERGANSERS and several pairs of RINGED-NECK DUCKS, which flapped appropriately for me. See photos at http://pick14.pick.uga.edu/mp/20p?see=I_LHT/0050
at bottom of page. Click on photos to get details: two steps of clicks for higher magnification. There were also BUFFLEHEADS, which I did not photograph.

Larry Thompson
Livermore, CA


Re: Varied Thrush at TIlden's Botanic Garden

broadwell.richard
 

I was also at the Botanical Garden about the same time and saw the Varied Thrush in the Redwood section of the garden. We looked above the parking lot as well as saw more Varied Thrush, along with a Downy Woodpecker and a Brown Creeper.
 
Pic of Thrush
www.flickr.com/photos/43668664@N06/6900407939/in/photostream/
 
 
Richard

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


Raptors.....and more

Michael Marchiano
 

Saturday mornings hike into Briones Regional Park off old Briones Road led
to sighting several Red Tails, a pair of White Tail Kites, a male Northern
Harrier, Kestral, and a Golden Eagle. In the Lagoons we spotted,
Bufflehead, Gadwalls, Am.Coots, Ring Necked Duck, Mallards, and a Pacific
Pond Turtle the size of a dinner plate.
--
Michael Marchiano
*The Naturalist*
mmarchiano@...
925-372-6328

We will never be at peace until we are willing to understand, respect and
live in harmony with all other living things.


Re: Virginia Rail? at Richmond Eastshore Park

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Clapper Rail. Very nice.
Bob Power
Oakland, Ca



________________________________
From: jorj7 <george@...>
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Sent: Sat, February 18, 2012 5:09:27 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Virginia Rail? at Richmond Eastshore Park


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




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


Cranes at sunrise in Staten Island

Juan Benjumea
 

Last week in two occasions I had the opportunity to observe a Sandhill Crane fly out at sunrise in Staten Island near the Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve in Lodi. The result is a number of pictures of the cranes having the rising sun as background.

Juan Benjumea
Hayward

http://www.flickr.com/photos/juanben/


Burrowing owls & more-Emeryville to Richmond

kathy jarrett
 

GGAS Bicycle - Emeryville Marina
Park to Point Isabel, Richmond, via Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley. Sat Feb 18
 
Six hearty souls began the day with
a Horned Grebe, Common Golden Eye, Ruddy Duck and a pair of Buffleheads in the cold at the
Emeryville Marina. We then moved to the rocks on the south side of Powell St.
west of the fire station and because of the high tide we saw an amazingly large
group of shore birds including Willets, Least and Western Sandpipers, Whimbels,
and Marbled Godwits. Offshore there were large rafts of Ruddy Ducks and Scaup.
Going north toward Berkeley we found Sanderlings and Black Turnstones on the
shore and Surf Scoters and Wigeons in the bay. At Cesar Chavez Park we saw one
Burrowing Owl in the fenced off area and one farther along the trail on a rock
at the water's edge. Behind Golden Gate Fields we found Black-bellied Plovers,
cormorants and a Spotted Sandpiper near the dilapidated pier. In the mudflats
at Buchanan and I-580 we found Avocets, Green-winged Teal, Shovelers and
Pintails. 51 species in about 8 miles. It warmed up enough for us to have lunch
at the Dog Park.
Horned Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Northern Shoveler
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Greater Scaup
Surf Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Spotted Sandpiper
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon (I)
Burrowing Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
American Crow
American Robin
European Starling (I)
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird

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


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]