Concord yard birds

johnsandyca <johnsandyca@...>

After returning from the MDAS Pine Canyon walk, I took refuge in my kitchen and watched the birds on my patio. There were two continuing White-throated Sparrows, a male Rufous Hummingbird, four California Quail and a surprise visit from a female Black-headed Grosbeak.
Sandy Ritchie

Richmond - Rufous Hummer, House Wren

Lory Poulson <poulsongluck@...>

Sorry for the late post, but in case it's of interest:

Late Thursday afternoon (roughly 5-7 pm, still sunny and warm), Alvarado
Park was very birdy near the entry to the Belgum Sanitarium site (northern
end of Wildcat Canyon, see links below): highlights were Adult Male Rufous
Hummingbird and House Wren (1 or possibly 2, very audible and active); also
present were Western Bluebird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Cedar
Waxwing, Nuttall's Woodpecker, White-Crowned Sparrow, Junco, Scrub Jay, and
lots of cows.

An Adult Male Rufous Hummer also visited our Richmond backyard a week
earlier. Although Selasphorus Hummers have been seasonal visitors, this is
the first Adult Male RUHU (who could resist that?) we've observed since
moving here in 1997. What a joy: its stunning appearance -- and a positive
identification at last!

During the week of the Spring Equinox, more unusual activity: Over the
years, we've often seen a Bewick's Wren working the yard (including every
nook and cranny of the patio umbrella); one day during the week of March 22,
3 Bewick's Wrens were present...and one appeared to chase another off.
Similarly, while we're accustomed to seeing a solitary Hermit Thrush in the
yard (a daylighted creek is nearby), on the day after the Bewick's sighting,
there were 2 Hermit Thrushes. Alas, there have been no repeats of the
multiple sightings -- but it was fun while it lasted!

For more on Alvarado Park and the Belgum Sanitarium site:

Good birding!

Lory Poulson

MDAS Trip to Pine Canyon April 10


It was cold and threatening to rain, but a few good birds were found among the 59 species identified this morning. I have been gone for the last week, so was late in joining the group, which was returning along the area just above the dam which holds no water. Some of us paused to view the Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea) and two Mt. Diablo Fairy Lanterns.

As we returned past the dam and reached the intersection with the Shell Ridge Loop Trail, we had a Rufous Hummingbird in the Black Sage on the south-facing hillside. Also present were a visible Wrentit and Hermit Thrush.

Farther into the canyon before I arrived, the group had many views of the Peregrine Falcons, White-throated Swifts, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, along with the many expected species, but they only heard Black-headed Grosbeaks. Only 4 warblers species were identified: Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Gray and Wilson's.

At or near the Castle Rock picnic area, Bullock's Orioles, Western Bluebirds and one Western Kingbird were present.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Big Break and Marsh Creek Trail

kathy jarrett

GGAS Big Break and Marsh Creek Trail Bicycle Trip, Sat Apr 10,
Highlights: Western Kingbirds, Green Heron, Bonaparte's
Gulls, pair of Northern Harriers.

We started at the new trailhead which is the
first right just past Vintage Parkway and went out to the new fishing pier to
have a good view of the water. The wind was in our faces and there was the
threat of rain, so we went nearly to Sunset Rd on the trail before turning back,
about 17 miles in all. Between Delta and Sunset Roads the trail passes a sewage
treatment plant where we saw the Antioch? Primrose and a Fremontia tree in
bloom. The Bonaparte's Gulls and a large number of Northern Shovelers were at the Ironhouse Sanitary District Sewage
ponds which are only a short distance in from the trailhead at Fetzer and Jordan Lanes.
37 species
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Canada Goose
Northern Shoveler
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Northern Harrier
Swainson's Hawk
American Kestrel
California Quail
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
Bonaparte's Gull
Rock Pigeon (I)
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Black Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling (I)
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
House Finch
House Sparrow (I)

North Berkeley - Merlin


Yesterday evening around 6 a Merlin circled the eastern perimeter of
Cedar Rose park some forty feet above the ground then headed west and
out of view.

Jack Hayden

Niles Staging Area along Alameda Creek


This afternoon, less than a five-minute walk from the Niles Staging Area on Old Canyon Road, just off Niles Canyon Road near Mission Blvd. in Fremont, hundreds of CLIFF SWALLOWS are collecting mud from the creek banks and building nests under the old bridge.  With just binoculars, you can clearly see the bright and busy birds at work.  Just steps from parking lot, around 2:00 at least sixty CEDAR WAXWINGS were flying back and forth into the trees on either side of the creek and landing on the rocky banks of the creek to drink water.  Twelve RING-NECKED DUCKS continue west of the bridge, with a SPOTTED SANDPIPER bobbing along on the shoreline, and a male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE chattering from the trees by the red house near the bridge. 
Stephanie Floyd

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swallows....way up high up in the sky

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>

Yesterday afternoon around 6 while trying to locate Mercury with my
telescope I was surprised to see swallows flying by, so far away that they
were barely larger than Venus. This was at 50x - they were not even
visible in my 10x40 binoculars. I could not identify them to species, but
if I had to guess, I'd say Cliff. They were circling a bit and seemed to
be drifting off to the south. Could there have been an insect swarm up
there? My guess is something on the order of two thousand feet high and a
mile away.

Jaan Lepson

W. Screech-Owl in Tilden

phil capitolo

This morning between 0556 and 0558, I heard the bouncing-ball call of a W. Screech-Owl about 1/2 a dozen times. After the third or fourth bouncing-ball, I think I also heard what I saw described as the "double note" call. The observation ended with repeated single notes at not quite 2/sec that alone would have had me thinking N. Saw-whet Owl.

So, not sure if I heard two birds/species, but am confident of at least 1 W. Screech Owl.

It sounded like the bird(s) was west of the Merry-Go-Round, between Central Park Drive and Wildcat Canyon Rd.

Hayward Shoreline and San Leandro Marina

Bob Richmond

Today at the Hayward Shoreline and San Leandro Marina -

White-faced Ibis - 15 flew overhead near the park office. This is my earliest April record at the shoreline. The previous early April record was April 12.

Black Oystercatcher - 4. 2 at Hayward's Landing and 2 at San Leandro Marina.

Surfbird - 18 (estimate) at the San Leandro Marina.

Red Knot - hundreds (as usual), many in breeding plumage and some still in winter plumage.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher - 1 at Winton Ave. is the first one I have seen at the shoreline this year. They are usually a bit later at the shoreline than many other areas.


Fw: Great Blue Heron nest - pics

Nancy Mix

Spotted 2 Great Blue nests at Lake Herman, east of Benicia. Take Lake Herman Rd from I680. Walk across dam to have an eye level view of 2 active nests in the dead tree in the creek.
Also, Bullock's Oriole nearby

--- On Thu, 4/8/10, Verne Nelson <verne_nelson@...> wrote:

From: Verne Nelson <verne_nelson@...>
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Great Blue Heron nest - pics
To: EBB_Sightings@...
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010, 12:40 AM


This nest is on private property in Alameda and I feel I should not
disclose its location. The birds are not bothered by people, but I
think the human residents would be. I was told the nest has been used
for about six years. This is an album of parents feeding their young.
The photo order was shot as it occurred.
http://www.pbase. com/vnelson/ great_blue_ herons_album
<http://www.pbase. com/vnelson/ great_blue_ herons_album>

great blue heron nest

clark stanton

Speaking of great blue heron nests, there is one in a tree next to (just north) of the 16th tee on the Alameda North golf course.

Hayward Shoreline

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline -

American White Pelican - 12. This is my 4th April record at the shoreline and 3 have been in 2007 or later.

Brandt's Cormorant - 1. This is my second spring record at the shoreline, the first was about 1 month ago.

Black Oystercatcher - 1 at Hayward's Landing.

Wandering Tattler - 1 at Hayward's Landing. This is my 4th April record at the shoreline.

Ash-throated Flycatcher - 1 at Winton Ave. This is the earliest spring record I have for the shoreline. Before today, April 14th was the earliest.

Townsend's Warbler - 1 male at Winton Ave. I usually only see a few each year at the shoreline.

Hooded Oriole - 3, 1 male and 2 females in the trees along Frank's Dump East. All of my spring records at the shoreline are from 2007 or later.

Spotted Towhee - 1 at Winton Ave. is one of only 6 spring records I have at the shoreline.


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Great Blue Heron nest - pics


This nest is on private property in Alameda and I feel I should not
disclose its location. The birds are not bothered by people, but I
think the human residents would be. I was told the nest has been used
for about six years. This is an album of parents feeding their young.
The photo order was shot as it occurred.

Garin RP: Costa's Hummer but no Hammond's

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi. The Hammond's Flycatcher did not show at Garin today, although I spent a while at both of the park bench locations along the trail. At the first bench, I walked through the swampy forest and found mainly Yellow-rumped Warblers, also a few Pacific-slope Flycatchers, a Bewick's Wren, both towhees, Warbling Vireos, Robins, Annas & Allen's Hummingbirds, Song Sparrows, etc. The best bird I found there was a female Costa's Hummingbird on a willow twig directly across the trail from the bench.

The second bench, where the Hammond's is supposed to be, had many of the same birds as the first. There were more hummers, including an imm male Rufous. Also a hyperactive adult male Wilson's Warbler.

Jordan Pond had Red-winged Blackbirds, but, surprisingly, the Mallards were all in the swampy forest. Around the parking lot were: Black-headed Grosbeak (singing male), Cooper's, Sharp-shinned, and Red-tailed Hawks, and House Wren (very gray - threw me for a loop at first).

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland.

Ariel battle over lake Temsecal!

jchiropolos <jchiropolos@...>

At 7 pm last night I watched a caspien tern fishing over lake Temescal in Oakland. At 7:15 an osprey flew in. The tern however, was not happy with the intruder and screeching, climbed and repeatedly dive bombed the osprey in an attempt to drive the osprey away. The osprey held it's
flight pattern and ignored the tern. After about five minutes of osprey harassment, the tern resumed it's fishing, screeching loudly whenever it's flight pattern brought it close to the osprey. Neither bird caught a fish while I was watching.

Intersting behavior.... and birds I was surprised to see at Temescal....

Lake Temescal Warblers

Arthur Robinson

Wondering where else the orioles might be that have been popping up around the area, I went to Lake Temescal this morning. I didn't find any orioles today, but in addition to the regulars, among the interesting sightings were

Wilson's Warbler (male)
Orange-Crowned Warbler (very vocal, one or two seen)
Osprey (with occasional Raven escort)
Selasphorus Hummingbird
Spotted Towhee
Wrentit (heard and brief glimpse).


Arthur L. Robinson
247 4th Street, #201
Oakland, CA 94607

Re: Lesser Yellowlegs at Coyote Hills 4/5/10

Ken Schneider

Although I hadn't yet seen George's post when I visited Coyote Hills RP this morning (4/6) before work, from 0615-0750, I also detected several AMERICAN BITTERNS at the park this morning. THREE bitterns were giving their deep "pump-er-lunk" calls from the marsh from about 0640-715, two on either side of Patterson Ranch road just east of the Quarry Staging Area and one called near the entry kiosk. I never saw any of these birds. I also heard at least two VIRGINIA RAILS, but did not hear any Sora or Black Rails this morning. I saw several GREATER YELLOWLEGS, but missed the Lesser Yellowlegs today.

Two COMMON RAVENS were carrying sticks to a crude nest on one of the power towers north of the entrance road and several female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS were also carrying nesting material. This is a nice time to visit Coyote Hills as the vegetation is quite lush, with dense fields of flowers near Paseo Padre and very green marsh plants.

Ken Schneider

Redwood City

Lesser Yellowlegs at Coyote Hills 4/5/10

George Chrisman

This evening, there were two LESSER YELLOWLEGS in the flooded field north of the entry kiosk at Coyote Hills Regional Park. Both were together and were feeding actively. There was a KILLDEEER alongside them for a good size comparision. There were also 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS on the south side of the entrance road just past the kiosk.
There was also an AMERICAN BITTERN sitting high in the tules near the corner of the quarry parking lot and the main road. Its golden striped plumage stood out against the green tules in the fading light at the end of the day.

George Chrisman
Burlingame, CA

Garin RP, Hayward


I have to sheepishly admit that I'd forgotten a Hammonds Flycatcher had been seen there recently and I didn't come prepared to look for it. I did see an Epidimax along the creek but from the pic-nic area side. I assumed it was a Pac slope. It had a a tear shaped to the rear  eye ring. I was most impressed by it's very crisp, very white wing bars. It was moving a lot so didn't get a good look at the tail.

I watched two 1st year BULLUCKSs Orioles battle it out mid air for 3 bouts. A flurry of yellow and white tumbling around. Another bright bird was a male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT near the creek about half way to the pond from the footbridge.  Also  WARBLING VIREOS.

A juvenile GOLDEN EAGLE WAS circling high above a westerly hill. What I assume was the same COOPER'S Hawk was seen several times. First harassing a Red-tail Hawk, then  momentarily landing on a trail nearby.  Then bemoaning that I hadn't at that point seen any Orioles or much of anything, I rounded a corner and it was perched on a signpost. later it was agin chasing after the Red-tail.
Judi Sierra- Oakland

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Hooded orioles in Berkeley


Male and female hooded orioles seen together at the UC Botanical Gardens on Centennial Rd today about 11 AM. They were on a wire and then flew into a tree behind the restrooms near the front entrance.

Singing warbling vireos and orange crowned warblers and also Townsend's warblers seen in CA section near top of the hill by picnic benches under the oak trees.

Also saw 3 surfbirds and 4 black oystercatchers about 50 Yards south-west of point Emery on the mud during low tide. Point Emery is off of the Ashby Exit on 80 West in Berkeley. Turn left when exit the freeway and look for the parking area on a very small peninsula on your right.

Harold Newman