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Re: Lake Merritt 12/15 mutants?

avwh <allenvhirsch@...>
 

I was at Lake Merritt yesterday and found some odd combination ducks: a shoveler/goldeneye mix maybe, an eared grebe with yellow eyes, another odd eye hybrid, and a couple other oddities (goose mutants, maybe?), shown here:

http://allenh.zenfolio.com/p250543246

I'd love someone to ID these, if possible. They were all near the Lakeside Grill mid-afternoon yesterday.

--- In EBB_Sightings@yahoogroups.com, Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...> wrote:

Yesterday I went to Lake Merritt, hoping for a Hooded Merganser, which I never
found. I don't think one has been reported from there yet this year, although a
female was there last December.


The Lake Merritt Channel was very birdy, including a large flock of both COMMON
and BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, SCAUP, MALLARDS, BUFFLEHEADS, etc. A THAYER'S GULL was
with GLAUCOUS-WINGED, WESTERN, and RING-BILLED on the channel. A BELTED
KINGFISHER was hovering and chattering over the channel, and eventually settled
in a poplar tree beside the water.


Both COMMON and BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were also present on the lake near the
out-flow, as well as an immature male SURF SCOTER. All the usual ducks were
present in the north branch of the lake, and the male TUFTED DUCK was by the
fountain in the NE corner. The Tuftie apparently got a haircut; his pony tail is
gone but he still has a small fluffy patch from which the tuft would protrude.


The possible 'Pink-sided' Junco was GONE. There was a lot of truck activity
between the fountain and the lawn bowling lawns, and very few birds. The trucks
were in the process of hauling away the mounds of wood chips where the juncos
usually forage. I'm thinking the mystery junco may not come back, since its
feeding habitat is disappearing. I eventually found most of the junco flock,
scattered throughout the area, but the Pink-sided was absent.

Noah Arthur, Oakland 


Lake Merritt 12/15

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>
 

Yesterday I went to Lake Merritt, hoping for a Hooded Merganser, which I never
found. I don't think one has been reported from there yet this year, although a
female was there last December.


The Lake Merritt Channel was very birdy, including a large flock of both COMMON
and BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, SCAUP, MALLARDS, BUFFLEHEADS, etc. A THAYER'S GULL was
with GLAUCOUS-WINGED, WESTERN, and RING-BILLED on the channel. A BELTED
KINGFISHER was hovering and chattering over the channel, and eventually settled
in a poplar tree beside the water.


Both COMMON and BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were also present on the lake near the
out-flow, as well as an immature male SURF SCOTER. All the usual ducks were
present in the north branch of the lake, and the male TUFTED DUCK was by the
fountain in the NE corner. The Tuftie apparently got a haircut; his pony tail is
gone but he still has a small fluffy patch from which the tuft would protrude.


The possible 'Pink-sided' Junco was GONE. There was a lot of truck activity
between the fountain and the lawn bowling lawns, and very few birds. The trucks
were in the process of hauling away the mounds of wood chips where the juncos
usually forage. I'm thinking the mystery junco may not come back, since its
feeding habitat is disappearing. I eventually found most of the junco flock,
scattered throughout the area, but the Pink-sided was absent.

Noah Arthur, Oakland


Two Merlins, Two Sapsuckers

scfloyd2000
 

Rich Nicholson and I previewed Sunday's CBC today. Our count circle includes part of Coyote Hills RP and part of Don Edwards NWR, Ardenwood Farm, and a lot of territory on either side of Hwy. 84 west of I-880. As we were leaving CHRP around noon, a MERLIN flew right up the road straight at my car so that I had to swerve to avoid hitting it. The bird ended up perching by the entry kiosk. A PEREGRINE FALCON was perched on an electrical tower along Paseo Padre south of the park. Later, we found a MERLIN standing in a small muddy puddle on a farm road by the parking lot at Ardenwood Farm. The merlin appeared to be hunting whatever happened to be in the puddle. We also visited Mirabeau Park in Newark (Haley at Mirabeau) where we found TWO RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS in the pepper trees north of the children's playground.

Other highlights of the day included two EURASIAN WIGEONS on the bay way north along the levee road accessed under the Dumbarton Bridge by the fishing pier. This afternoon, a GOLDEN EAGLE flew west across South Marsh at CHRP to perch on a telephone pole favored by a RED-TAILED HAWK that took issue with the intruder. The hawk flew repeatedly at the eagle's head. The eagle leaned forward, lifted its wings, cried out at the other bird - and didn't budge. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK perched in a tree by the Quarry staging area. We found four BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS in the area along with a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE.

Stephanie Floyd
Fremont


Bittern is back in Fremont

Charlotte Allen <c.allen@...>
 

One of the American Bitterns who frequented the Pacific Commons
Linear Park marsh last winter was back this afternoon on the edge of
the pond closest to the industrial park. This is the first time this
year that I've seen it. A Snowy Egret eventually chased it off.


Charlotte Allen
c.allen@comcast.net


Hayward Shoreline (12/15)

Bob Richmond
 

Seen at the shoreline today -

Ring-necked Duck - 1 male seen in a marsh near the Interpretive Center. I have
seen them in less than

half the years I have been going to the shoreline.

Sora - 1 in a small channel just west gof the P.G.E. substation at Grant Ave.

Common Moorhen - 1 seen in San Lorenzo Creek up stream from the rairoad bridge.
This is the first I
have seen at this location.

Black Oystercatcher - 4 seen at Hayward's Landing.

Surfbird - 3 seen at Hayward's Landing.

Barn Swallow - 3 seen on the way out to Johnson's Landing.

Lesser Goldfinch - 8 near Mt. Trashmore. I have 23 records fron 1983 through
2009. I have 20 records this

year.


Good birding

Bob


Long Tailed Duck off of Berkeley Pier

richard s. cimino
 

Near 11AM the Long Tail Duck was observed more to southwest from the far
end of the Berkeley Pier.
The LTDU was seen in a raft of Scoter's, Grebe's, Loons, Scaup and other
Ducks.
Actually if you count 10 street lamps from the far end of the pier and
scope to the SW is where I found it.
So during the period I was able to observe the LTDU my scope was lined
up with the Water Gate building on the Emeryville shore.
The bay waters were being driven southwest towards shoreline along the
frontage road.
Thanks to an early morning call from Zack regarding the Long Tail Duck
off the Berkeley Pier to make my day.
Rich Cimino,
Pleasanton


East Contra Costa Christmas Bird Count

rosita94598
 

Hugh,

I am unable to post on EBB. Could you send this info?

"The East Contra Costa bird count on 12/14 has already had a post by Ted Roberston re: their group's 110 species day. Of note for the count also was a 15-raptor day that included 4 Bald Eagles, 7 or 8 Golden Eagles, 4 Prairie Falcons, Peregrine, Osprey, Ferruginous, Merlin, but no Rough-legged. The count has a preliminary total of 141 species.

Jimm Edgar
Co-compiler

Hugh B. Harvey
Mt. Diablo Audubon
field trip chair


Berkeley Pier Long-Tailed Duck 12/15

zachary.baer2
 

I walked out the Berkeley pier this morning to see if anything was moving after the rain all day yesterday. I made it all the way out to the end of the pier without noticing much of anything worth noting. However, while standing at the end of the pier looking to the southeast about 300 yards away was a female LONG-TAILED DUCK. I saw the bird for over 5 minutes but after moving on to a pair of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS that were also hanging out on the south side of the pier I was unable to re-locate the long-tailed duck.

Good Birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA


Brentwood Swamp Sparrow

Ted Robertson
 

Just completed a CBC along Holland Tract and Orwood today east of Brentwood. Of the 110 species our team of Jim Tietz, Josiah Clark and Juan-Carlos Solis spotted, our most unique bird was the Swamp Sparrow. It was seen at the end of Orwood Rd., just past where the road goes up and down a steep hill over a large water pipe. Park at the first left fork by the abandoned giant orange-red wood chipper. The SWSP was opposite the wood chipper in the riparian area just across and below the dirt road. A Lincoln Sparrow was near the SWSP.
Some other highlights in the Holland Tract area included Yellow-headed and Tricolored Blackbirds, Ferruginous Hawks, American Bittern flyover, and lots of Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans, Ross and Snow Geese, and Aluetian ssp of Cackling Geese.

Ted R.


Ted Robertson


Hayward Shoreline (12/11)

Bob Richmond
 

Yesterday (12/11) at the shoreline -

At Grant Ave., the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek, and south along the bay to Ora
Loma Marsh yielded nothing unusual. A Peregrine Falcon was the best bird seen
but is usually seen this time of year.

White-winged Scoter - 1 male at San Leandro Marina.

Barrow's Goldeneye - 1 female at San Leandro Marina.

Black Oystercatcher - 2 at San Leandro Marina (4 at Hayward's Landing on 12/10).

Surfbird - 3 at San Leandro Marina.


Good birding,

Bob


grouse in Briones?

amy_email_1 <amy_email_1@...>
 

I just recently joined this group so I'm a little late in reporting and asking about the bird I saw on Nov 23 (late afternooon)near the Sindich Lagoon in Briones Park. He had his back to me with his tail fanned
out. There was a 1-2" band of white on the distal end of the tail feathers. When he turned his head I could see a yellow eye comb. The back of the bird was 'speckled' brown/black. The bird was on the ground, behind a tuft of tall dry grass, making occasional calls (typically two pretty monotone sounds then an ascending tone call). I did not see a neck sac. He didn't move much. Any thoughts on the bird identity? My best guess is dusky grouse but the tail tip band seemed so white. I'm pretty new to birding but I was able to watch this bird for several minutes through binoculars. Thanks for any input.


Coyote Hills Merlin (Pictures)

hsrandhawa
 

A Merlin was perched on a tree east of Quarry parking Area. (Next to
marsh boundary) Myself and Vivek spent almost 40mins (8:10AM till 9AM)
watching the Merlin stretch and relax. After record handheld shots in
bad light, we got the tripods, flash, cable release etc in bid to
improve the shot and bird obliged watching all this activity below.

Later a Cooper's Hawk flew in nearby tree and Merlin too off after
sometime, dived towards Coop, and finally flew off towards marsh.

Later we saw two Blue-gray Gnat-catchers in the bushes west Side of
Quarry Parking. A Rock Wren was super busy gleaming bugs from big rock
cliff up at end of Quarry parking lot. A Say's phoebe and Loggerhead
Shrike were active on the hill top. A Flock of Waxwings flew in and flew
out of berry tree uphill.

Overall a good day for birding. Later a stop at union City Library pond
had two male wood ducks.

Merlin shots can be seen here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarbhloh/
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarbhloh/>

harjeet singh


three teal day

calete94501 <chrisbard@...>
 

Today at Garretson Point in Oakland at the vernal pool there were three species of teal: Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal and Green-winged Teal. Also, a Blue-winged Teal was resting on the shore beyond the entrance to Damon Slough.

map--
http://www.ebparks.org/parks/mlk

Chris Bard
Alameda


Eurasian Wigeon (4) -- Albany Crescent

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Hi all,

The Wigeon flock(s) at Albany Crescent were crowded on the north side near
Richmond's Central Ave. I counted 4 Eurasian Wigeon among the 550 American
Wigeon. I think this is the same number of Eurasian Wigeon that Rusty had back
in September or October.

Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA


Washington Park 12/11 - Baltimore Oriole continues

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>
 

The female BALTIMORE ORIOLE continues was still at Washington Park today. The
row of eucalyptus trees that the bird frequents are now blooming much more
extensively, with larger numbers of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRDS taking nectar from the trees. The oriole appeared twice in the
upper portion of its usual eucalyptus tree, viewed from the southwest corner of
the raised baseball field in Washington Park. This field is the more northern of
the two fields, the one farthest from the bay. Also present in the trees were a
few NUTTALL'S WOODPECKERS and, surprisingly, at least one WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
taking nectar from the flowers.


There were lots of the usual ducks and shorebirds along the beach: SCAUP,
BUFFLEHEAD, SURF SCOTER, AMERICAN WIGEON, and RUDDY DUCK; and WILLET, MARBLED
GODWIT, BLACK TURNSTONE, DUNLIN, DOWITCHERS, and GREATER YELLOWLEGS. There were
also many FORSTER'S TERNS.


Noah Arthur, Oakland.

P.S.  the possible 'PINK-SIDED' JUNCO was at its usual spot at Lake Merritt
yesterday and the day before.


Owls and more in Claremont Canyon!

Kay Loughman
 

In an amazing vocal performance, three species of owls were heard early this morning by birders in Claremont Canyon (north Oakland). While standing in the same place, over the space of 1.5 hrs, we heard

Great Horned Owl - five or more, vocalizing at the same time,
Northern Saw-Whet Owl - two (duet), and
Western Screech-Owl - at least one, maybe two

The bird walk was sponsored by the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, and led by Dave Quady. The group stopped at several locations along Claremont Avenue between Gelston St. and Grizzly Peak Blvd. In all, 28 bird species were seen or heard.

SPECIES LIST

Red-shouldered Hawk
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Hutton's Vireo
Cedar Waxwing
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Bewick's Wren
Bushtit
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Wrentit
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Lesser Goldfinch
House Finch
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee

Of additional interest were inky cap mushrooms (Coprinopsis lagopus, per Debbie Viess), and coyote brush covered with wintering ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens, per Ken Schneider).


Re: Mallard-Shoveller hybrid?--Pinole

Joe Morlan
 

On Sat, 11 Dec 2010 07:59:57 -0800, Hilary Powers <hilary@powersedit.com>
wrote:

Some of the mutt ducks at Lake Merritt look like that, except for having
no white on the head.
A large collection of photos here:

http://10000birds.com/manky-mallards-domestic-feral-or-just-plain-odd-mallards.htm

Some are not unlike the original description.
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu
SF Birding Classes start Feb 8 http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/
Western Field Ornithologists http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/


Re: Mallard-Shoveller hybrid?--Pinole

Hilary Powers <hilary@...>
 

On 12/10/2010 9:44 PM, Joseph Dodge wrote:
At lunch today I was in downtown Pinole. I stood on a little
footbridge to check out the ducks--just a bunch of mallards I
thought. Well, one was different. Had the bright green head and a
normal yellowish green bill, except it had a white crescent at the
base of the bill like a blue-winged teal or female scaup, and a
bright white chest like a shoveller.
Some of the mutt ducks at Lake Merritt look like that, except for having
no white on the head. The shoveller cross is an interesting idea, but
I'd expect it to show up in the bill as well as the coloring - so I
suspect the cross is with something domestic. There's a Canada Goose
hybrid at the lake now with a white area above the beak (and a wide
blond bib, and half a domestic goose's fat butt)....

It was normal size, so no kind of goose hybrid, and it wasn't
enclosed like all those strange ducks at Lake Merritt, so I don't
think it's category of random domestic waterfowl.
But the enclosure at Lake Merritt doesn't constrain the ducks; it just keeps people away from them. You'll see many of the birds that hang out there all over the lake and up on the lawns - including the white-chested mallard-oids.

I think that they arrive by midnight duck-putting. (That is, people who get tired of their company in the backyard slip down to the lake and drop them over the bars, promising the kids that they can go visit Ducky but she'll be lots happier with friends around....) The same thing probably happens at other parks with duck collections.

--
- Hilary Powers - hilary@powersedit.com - Oakland CA -
- Freelance copyediting and developmental editing -
- "Making Word Work for You" - www.the-efa.org/res/booklets.php -
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Mallard-Shoveller hybrid?--Pinole

Jay
 

At lunch today I was in downtown Pinole. I stood on a little footbridge to check out the ducks--just a bunch of mallards I thought. Well, one was different. Had the bright green head and a normal yellowish green bill, except it had a white crescent at the base of the bill like a blue-winged teal or female scaup, and a bright white chest like a shoveller. The back was all brown unlike it's companions. It was normal size, so no kind of goose hybrid, and it wasn't enclosed like all those strange ducks at Lake Merritt, so I don't think it's category of random domestic waterfowl. There seems to be a version of the Shoveller with this white crescent, so I'll stick with 2 species rather than 3. :) Maybe this is more common than I think, but I thought I'd post it.

If anyone's interested it's near Fernandez Park in Pinole. Just north of San Pablo Ave. between Tennant and Pinole Valley Rd. Follow the creek from San Pablo north to a footbridge.


Jay Dodge
Berkeley


Eastern ALA CBC scouting

Bob Power <rcpower@...>
 

Hi all,

I drove my route for the Eastern Alameda CBC this afternoon. I stopped counting
Kestrels at 20. Last year's entire circle had 133. Looks like it will be a good
year for Kestrels.

About a 1/2-mile north of 580 on Doolan Rd. is a wetland sink. There was a Wisp
of Snipe here (18).
About a 1/4-mile north of 580 on Livermore Ave there was a treefull of
Eurasian-collared Doves (12).

If you have time on your hands and want to see some nice country next Friday,
let me know. I can do this sector alone, but it would be more fun with company.


Good birding,

Bob Power
Oakland, CA

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