Junco Fledgling Visits Our Patio


Our friend, Bob, was visiting our Walnut Creek house after the two of us took a between shower walk around Heather Farm Park. As we sat talking, I noticed a streak pass the window. Thinking a Lesser Goldfinch must have then hit our sliding glass door, I looked around the corner. Instead of a goldfinch, it was a fledgling Oregon Junco, which was following an adult into the patio. I showed it to Bob and grabbed the meal worm container from the refrigerator. Hoping they wouldn't spook, I slid open the door and tossed a big spoonful of worms onto the cement.

About the same time the juncos arrived, so did a CA Towhee, but I put enough worms out that the fledgling junco was fed 8-10 worms before the towhee scarfed up the rest.

This was definitely cool.

Hugh B. Harvey
Just north of Heather Farm Park
Walnut Creek

Little Drummer Boy

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>

Hi All,

For the past 5 days a Nuttall's Woodpecker has been drumming in my
neighborhood. He regularly visits at least 4 trees, based on distance and
direction of the drumming. I've enjoyed its staccato rapping - not sure
if I've heard any drumming from home before. It also lets loose with a
loud, strident "klee-klee-klee-klee!" vocalization that I've not heard
before (and don't see mentioned in Sibley).


Jaan Lepson
Livermore, ALA

The Heartbreak of Predation

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>

Hello all,

Once again Mourning Doves have nested in my yard. This time they chose to
build in a hanging basket of epiphyllum cactus under the eaves in front of
my office. Good choice - nice and dry and not too obvious. Meanwhile, a
pair of crows are nesting in the top of the neighbor's redwood - you can
see where this is going.

The dove chick hatched and all was going well until a couple of days ago,
when I noticed a crow spending too much time nearby in the front yard.
Sure enough, after a couple of days we saw that the dove was gone and the
basket was still swinging. I went out to check, and a crow flew off from
the adjacent juniper tree. We must have just missed the predation event.

As I've said before, it's a wonder we have any doves at all!

good birding,

Jaan Lepson

CA Towhee bigger and stronger than Juncos


Starting yesterday morning, I noticed the CA Towhee, which was joined by a second one, has been taking the meal worms from our patio. If the Oregon Junco arrives first, it can grab a beakful of worms, otherwise the CA Towhee is much to big for the Junco to compete. The Junco lands nearby, but does not move in to grab worms. The Towhee(s) will grab them all. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees have not figured out that we put some worms for them into a little basket near the peanut feeder.

Meanwhile, a female Anna's Hummingbird and female Lesser Goldfinch continue to take nesting material. Sometimes it is the commercial material, sometimes raw wool.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Dublin Park - Tassajara Rd

Ken Wilson <kaeagles@...>

I stopped by a small opem space off Tassajara in Dublin today around 3 PM: I'm not sure if it's called Tassajara Park or Dublin Regional.
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vultures (several)
Wild Turkeys (4)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Oak Titmouse
Spotted Towhee (2)
California Towhee (2)
Lesser Finches
Bullock's Oriole - 1 male/2 females
Yellow-rumped Warbler (many)
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttail's Woodpecker
Western Scrub Jay (several)
Wilson's Warbler (2)
Bewick's Wren (3)
Anna's Hummingbird
Ken Wilson

Black-chinned Hummingbird, Antioch

Paul Schorr

This afternoon we had our FOS Black-chinned Hummingbird in our backyard.

Good Birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Birding Niles Hotspots today


Three of us from Ohlone Audubon braved this morning's changeable weather for some birding in Niles, turning up 48 species.  Highlights were as follows.
Niles Community Park:
40 cedar waxwings
1 Allen's hummingbird
3 common mergansers in the Alameda Creek channel
Chase St. access to Alameda Creek trail:
1 Bullock's oriole in the field
Niles Staging Area along Alameda Creek:
6 ring-necked ducks
2 common mergansers
1 spotted sandpiper
1 band-tailed pigeon (flyover)
1 western kingbird (flyover)
Misson Adobe Nusery:
4 Pacific slope flycatchers
1 orange-crowned warbler
1 Wilson's warbler
1 black-throated gray warbler
2 black-headed grosbeaks
4 hooded orioles
1 red-breasted nuthatch
1 Allen's hummingbird
Stephanie Floyd

Hayward Shoreline Yellow-b. Chat

bdisme51 <bdisme51@...>

Went to the Hayward Shoreline at the west end of Winton Avenue this morning right as the rain ended and the sun came out. I had a singing Yellow-breasted Chat in the trees across from the park office.

I also walked out to the City of Hayward ponds. The Red-necked Phalarope count was up to about 40 birds and I refound 2 of the 4 Black Skimmers reported by Bob Richmond yesterday.

The trees around the parking lot still had Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped and Wilson's Warblers, Cedar Waxwings, Hermit Thrush and a Pacific-sloped Flycatcher. Did not refind the Nashville Warbler or Cassin's Vireos reported yesterday.

Bob Dunn
San Leandro

Re: Patterson Pass and Mines Rd (Dusky Flycatcher and Blue Grosbeak)

Eric Pilotte

As supporting evidence of the Dusky Flycatcher Zach and I saw on Sunday at Patterson Pass, I've uploaded a photo to the Yahoo Group 'Photos' folder for others to see (it is pending moderator approval at the moment). We spent 30-45 minutes studying the bird, and although the photo is imperfect to say the least, it is helpful as it shows the eye-ring. We also heard the bird giving a 'whit' call multiple times. Anyhow, feel free to email Zach and me with any comments/questions/thoughts on the picture/bird.

Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

--- In EBB_Sightings@..., "zachary.baer2" <zachary.baer2@...> wrote:

Today I birded with Eric Pilotte along Patterson Pass Rd and then onto Mines Rd. I have listed the highlights below:

Patterson Pass MP 4.98
1 BLUE GROSBEAK (Male) seen initially right next to the road and then worked its way North along the fence row up over the hill with the wind turbines.
2 Ash-throated flycatchers

Gate near Mile 5.5
3 Burrowing Owls

MP 5.9 to MP 7.1
1 DUSKY FLYCATCHER actively flycatching low on either side of the larger group of trees right near MP 5.9
3 Nashville Warblers
2 Black-headed Grosbeaks
1 Yellow Warbler
6 Black-throated Gray Warblers

Mines Rd
1 WESTERN RATTLESNAKE sunbathing on the road
2 Say's Phoebe

Good Birding,

Zach Baer
Berkeley, CA

Nest box update

Johan Langewis

To review: Chestnut-backed Chickadees laid 7 eggs 3/28 and 3/29. 4 hatched 4/13 Photos posted previously. Since then (Measurements taken from TV image, ratio calculated to get true length):

4/13 At hatching chicks ~ .75" long

4/15 1.1"

4/16 1.5"

4/17 1.7" Fuzzy tufts appear on head. Dark lines on back and wings appear, probably feather tracts. A row of dots appears on wings.

4/18 1.9" Row of dots on wings is now a row of ridges.

4/19 2.1" Dark areas expanding, feathers developing on wings.

4/20 Chicks are getting too big and fat to measure. More fuzz on bodies, feathers on wings longer.

See photos:

Johan Langewis

8 warbler day at Mitchell Canyon

Ted Robertson

Took a furlough day today and birded Mitchell Canyon on the north
side of Mt. Diablo. It was an 8 warbler species day; 4 Wilson's, 10
Orange-crowned, 5 Black-throated Gray, 2 Yellow-rumped (Audubon's), 9
Nashville, 4 Townsend's, 1 MacGillivray's, 1 Hermit. Most of the
warblers were spotted feeding in the coast live oaks (Q. agrifolia)--
it seemed that every other grove of oaks had warblers in them. Also
saw a pair of male Lazuli Buntings, and Warbling and Hutton's
Vireos. Flycatchers included several Ash-throated and Pacific-slope
and 1 Hammond's.
Flowers were great too, the highlight being the Broomrape
parasitizing the chamise, (Orobanche bulbosa) along the Red Road Trail.

--Ted R.--

Ted Robertson
Lawrence Hall of Science

Winton Ave - possible Plumbeous Vireo

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi. This morning, I did an exclusively songbird-birding trip to the Winton Avenue entrance at Hayward Shoreline. It was excellent birding, with numerous small songbirds in the trees and bushes around the parking lot and down the trail:
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Cassin's Vireo
Horned Lark (seen during an unsuccessful try for the Lapland Longspur at the dump)
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Hermit Thrush (heard only)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (both subspecies)
Orange-crowned Warbler
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-winged Blackbird (including a male with golden-orange-yellow lesser coverts)

 The most interesting bird was another Solitary-group vireo, similar in shape to the Cassin's (perhaps slightly bigger and less warbler-like), but much grayer. It was all in grayscale, with almost no hint of creamy/buffy in the flanks and plain white belly. It gave me prolonged views in an opening of the myoporum thicket. My first impression was that it looked like a Gray Flycatcher, but the "glasses" and bill shape ruled out Empidonax flycatchers. The auriculars contrasted sharply with the throat. The best conclusion, based on plumage, seems to be Plumbeous Vireo, but I know Cassin's can be very gray this time of year. Opinions are welcome.

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

Hayward Shoreline

Bob Richmond

today at the shoreline -

Green Heron - 1 on the telephone wires across the Winton Ave. from the park office.

Red-necked Phalarope - 3 in the city ponds, seen from the south end of Cogswell Marsh. These are the first I have seen here since 1 was here on 4/01.

Black Skimmer - 4 seen from the public trail in Cogswell Marsh.

Nashville Warbler - 1 at Winton Ave.


MDAS trip to North Briones Regional Park


It was cool and breezy this morning, but 8 birders still counted 52 species at North Briones. After coming out of the trees to the grassland, we found a female Mallard with 2 ducklings at the first of the Maricich Ponds. As we climbed the Crest Trail, we found Lark Sparrows, Horned Larks and American Pipits. Then, along the ridge we had a Golden Eagle being harassed by three crows and a Red-tailed Hawk. The hawk was about 1/3 the size of the eagle, but dove at it repeatedly. At the first of the Sindicich Lagoons, we had two male and one female Gadwall. The second, and larger pond had a pair of Buffleheads and a Double-crested Cormorant. Behind the pond was a distant Lazuli Bunting. Western Bluebirds seemed to be everywhere. A pair of White-tailed Kites were acting in a romantic way and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks were seen copulating. As we returned to the parking area we had Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, an Ash-throated Flycatcher and a nice singing Orange-crowned Warbler.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Double Crested Cormorants, Adult Breeding Pair, Marina Bay Harbor, Richmond, Ca.


Sunday at Marina Bay, Loon and Grebe


The following two species were seen in breeding plumage along Peninsula
Drive, Marina Bay Richmond, this past Sunday:

A lone Common Loon:

4 Horned Grebes:

Happy birding,

Armando <>

Garretson Pt. - Sunday, 4/18

Amy McDonald <amymcd@...>

Hi All,

Garretson Pt. was a great spot on Sunday for close-up shorebirds and waterbirds in transition to alternate plumage. Highlights were as follows.

- SPOTTED SANDPIPER 1 (with spots)
- WESTERN SANDPIPERS 700 (looking very sharp)
- DUNLIN 450  
- AMERICAN COOT 8 tiny chicks, north end of the pond

Amy McDonald
San Jose, CA

Wildcat Canyon

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>

Satuday Jim Chiropolis and I birded Wildcat Canyon sans bikes.
Highlights were a Western Bluebird joining two Western Kingbirds on a
fence near San Pablo Ridge Trail, one MacGillivray's Warbler seen and
another heard, a single Chipping Sparrow heard along Havey Canyon, Lark
Sparrows, three Grasshopper Sparrows and Bullock's Orioles. We also
enjoyed the frequent presence of Bank-tailed Pigeons. We started the
walk at the end of Rifle Range Road.

Derek Heins

Patterson Pass migrants

richard s. cimino

Jim Ross and I made our way to Patterson Pass today about 3 PM.
We missed birders Zach Baer and Eric Pilotte, they reported a Blue Grosbeak.
Their sighting supports the mid April Blue Grosbeak typical arrival date.
We did met Steve Huckabone and his wife around RM 6.04, so we had to stop birding long enough to chat.
That only lasted twenty seconds, because the large cottonwood trees in that area were so full of migrants.
RM 5.47 scan the hill side on the south side of the road. There are now two pairs of Burrowing Owls a few hundred feet apart.
RM 5.90 to RM 6.21
1 Willow Flycatcher in an area of the large cottonwoods, very low directly above the creek. This Flycatcher lacked an eye ring.
1 Ash-throated Flycatcher
1 Western Kingbird
2 Black-headed Grosbeaks
2 Bullocks Oriole
1 House Wren
5 Nashville Warblers
3 Wilson Warbler
6 Black-throated Gray Warblers - one female
5 Audubon Warblers - all males
1 Selasphorus Hummingbird - moving very fast
1 Shrike
2 Hermit Thrush's
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
4 White-crowned Sparrows
5 Golden-crowned Sparrows
2 Chipping Sparrows
Lark Sparrows - several
California Towhees
Rich Cimino

Nesting Juncos in Walnut Creek


Our Chestnut-backed Chickadees have not yet learned that we are putting out meal worms in the morning. This morning I noticed a California Towhee in our patio early, so I quickly tossed a little seed and then some meal worms. The Towhees were collecting them like crazy last summer when feeding babies, but this one practically walked on them and didn't seem to pay attention.

while the Towhee was still present, an Oregon Junco came in and picked up 3-4 worms and flew off. It did this twice more before I left for church. It must have a nest somewhere nearby, possibly in the redwood trees which are along Treat Boulevard a couple of houses away.

We are still having some White-crowned Sparrows come, they like the meal worms, too. I did not see any Zonatrichia sparrows in Heather Farm Park Thursday or today.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek