Chipping Sparrows at Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch

Paul Schorr

Today we observed several Chipping Sparrows at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch. This was a new species for us at this park, bringing the total species that we have observed there to 112.

Good Birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Nestbox update

Johan Langewis

I left home this morning at 8AM and there were still 7 eggs. I returned at 1PM and three eggs had hatched. This is a Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Nest started Feb 25, eggs laid March 28 & 29. Photos show mom eating egg shells. Light source is infra red, so not quite true B & W.

Johan Langewis

Hayward Shoreline/Frank's Dump yesterday

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi everybody. Yesterday morning I birded Hayward Shoreline via West Winton Avenue, hoping for fallout from the sto-rm. It was excellent birding, with high numbers and diversity of both landbirds and shorebirds.

At the parking lot the hummingbird diversity was striking, with numerous ANNA'S and ALLEN'S, as well as single COSTA'S and 1 or 2 BLACK-CHINNED. FOX and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and CALIFORNIA TOWHEE were in myoporums, and SAVANNAH and SONG SPARROWS were numerous everywhere; the trees had many YELLOW-RUMPED and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and a single, very vocal COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. The best bird was a HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER that perched for extended periods in the bushes, showing well its dusky grayish colors and small, mostly dark bill.

At Frank's Dump, the shorebird flocks were mainly WESTERN SANDPIPERS, WILLETS, and MARBLED GODWITS, with RED KNOTS, DOWITCHERS, DUNLINS, LEASTS, AMERICAN AVOCETS, two BLACK-NECKED STILTS, and a single BLACK TURNSTONE mixed in.  A breeding PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER was with a group of BLACK-BELLIED. Also, I got a brief view of a strange sandpiper that looked a little smaller than a dowitcher, with a long, Dunlin-like bill and nonbreeding Dunlin-like upperparts, but black arrowheads on the lower flanks. Any ideas? CASPIAN and FORSTER'S TERNS, G-WINGED and WESTERN GULLS; ducks included AMERICAN WIGEONS, both SCAUP, and a COMMON GOLDENEYE.

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

WE have chicks


Charlie Brown was on the nest in the past 1/2 hour and acting differently than I've seen him act before. It did look like he was passing food to a chick which I could not see. Usually he will pass food to Lucy in the open at the sentinel tree where he normally perches during the day. She has not been taking it to the nest, but flies off to eat it herself.

Yesterday Charlie was seen taking a mouse directly to the nest, but the weather was too bad to sit in the rain and watch what happened after that.

This morning I could see a body form in the nest that made me think that both adults were on the nest, then Charlie flew to his sentinel perch. Earlier this past month when both birds were on the nest covering the eggs they were not distinguishable as two bodies, rather a large body mass as I saw today.

When I put the scope back on the nest within 2 or 3 minutes I could see Lucy going through the same motions as though she was feeding a chick.

Then glory of all glories a little head popped up and surveyed the neighborhood followed by another. For sure a pair, maybe we will see four before the week is out.

I'm not so sure that Yahoo displays my e-mail address properly in this group, so if anyone wants to come view the family please make an appointment via uuuu4x@....


Greater White-fronted Geese in Fremont 4/12/10

George Chrisman

Today at lunch hour, there were 8 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in the flooded fields along Cushing Parkway south of Auto Mall Parkway, near the Lam Research Campus. This area is in the Warm Springs Section of Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The fields are flooded with vernal pools, and there were hundreds of shorebirds in them today, including over 75 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, STILTS, AVOCETS, DOWITCHERS, & GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Dozens of ducks and geese, including CINNAMON TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, & AMERICAN WIGEON. This is the most bird life I have seen in this area this year, except for the ponds at the Linear Parkway off Nobel Drive.

Good Birding,

George Chrisman
Burlingame, CA

Re: Nestbox photos

Johan Langewis

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

On Apr 12, 2010, at 2:06 PM, Lisa Owens Viani wrote:

what species is this?

From: Johan Langewis <jlangewis@...>
To: EBB_Sightings <EBB_Sightings@...>
Sent: Mon, April 12, 2010 1:56:38 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Nestbox photos

Attached are photos taken April 1, two days after eggs were laid. Photos are of my TV screen, as there is no direct connection to the computer. Eggs were laid 3/28 and 3/29. No hatching yet (4/12), but I expect them to hatch at any time. I'll let you know. com/photos/ 49266924@ N04/

Johan Langewis

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Nestbox photos

Johan Langewis

Attached are photos taken April 1, two days after eggs were laid. Photos are of my TV screen, as there is no direct connection to the computer. Eggs were laid 3/28 and 3/29. No hatching yet (4/12), but I expect them to hatch at any time. I'll let you know.

Johan Langewis

White-Crowned Sparrow

Steve Taylor

When I looked at the feeder in the backyard this morning there were 11
White-Crowned Sparrow's all out on and under the feeder enjoy their
breakfast of thistle.


San Ramon

Cedar Waxwings

Russ Wilson <russdot@...>

About 3:30 p.m. yesterday (Saturday) a flock of Cedar Waxwings landed on the telephone wires across the street from my house, so I began counting. I got to 250 when they were joined by another flock. I started to add the new arrivals when a third flock flew in. I estimated the total number to be at least 625.

Russ Wilson
El Cerrito, CA

Walnut Creek Birds


The White-throated Sparrow continues in Heather Farm Park as of this morning. It came out of the Coyote Brush very briefly this morning, along with maybe 10 White-crowned and one Golden-crowned Sparrow. This is at the south end of the equestrian area.

In our patio to the north of the park, the Chestnut-backed Chickadees have been showing a marked increase of activity today, leading us to believe that eggs have hatched inside the bird house. Guess I will have to make a run to buy some meal worms tomorrow.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Red-throated Loon at Ferry Point, Alameda

Judith Dunham

After concluding a blustery and wet but productive workday at the Alameda Wildlife Refuge around 11:30, I cruised the Alameda shoreline. I spotted the Red-throated Loon along Ferry Point close to shore, not far from where the USS Hornet is berthed. The bird is transitioning from winter to breeding plumage but still has a good amount of speckling on the back.

Also in this general area were up to 65 Western and Clark's Grebes seeking shelter from the wind and whitecaps, along with 2 Eared Grebes in full breeding plumage. Brown Pelicans, numbering 13, were on the breakwater with a scattering of gulls, mostly Westerns. I did not have my scope and the visibility was poor, so I was unable to identify the other, more distant birds in the Ferry Point basins, which seemed to include another loon or two and additional grebes.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, California

Link to USS Hornet and directions with map:

They are called Charlie Brown and Lucy


They are a mated pair of White-Tailed Kites. We expect to see chicks or evidence of chicks within the next two weeks.

They began nesting the last week of Feb there about and within two weeks we could see activity that indicated eggs in the nest.

This is in a very populated suburban neighborhood and I'm not too sure how my neighbors would take to lots of birders descending here. I've introduced some of my closest neighbors to the nest activity and none are interested.

My driveway is the only vantage point that I have discovered in the neighborhood. I would welcome any birders who wish to observe if they would give me a heads-up email. I check e-mail throughout the day about every 2 hrs.

The Contra Costa County breeding bird atlas section is 585 / 205, near Olivera Crossing.

Patterson Pass fall-out

Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...>

This morning from 8:00Am to 11:00am I birded the Patterson Pass RD willows. Thinking the weather front would force migrants to seek shelter in the only suitable habitat for miles. Although the weather was a bit rough I was happy with the results. Nothing rare but still what passes for a fallout for Patterson Pass.

Black-throated gray Warblers (10-12) almost outnumbered Orange-crowned Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Nashville Warblers (2), Wilson's Warbler (4), Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Bullock's Oriole, Ash-throated Flycatcher. Other nice birds included Lark Sparrow, Horned Lark, Rock Wren, Western Kingbird and singing Hermit Thrush.

The willows along the road from 5.90 - 6.21 held the most birds.

On a side note I have not seen feral cats in the willows but the pullout at 6.21 had a 3 lb pile of cat food. Not a good sign.

Steve Huckabone
Livermore, CA
Alameda County

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...>

Saturday I had 3 Ash-throated Flycatchers around the parking area at the north end of Lake del Valle. Also recorded 4 Wilson's Warblers in the riparian and several Barn Swallows mixed in with other swallows. Good birding.

Steve Huckabone
Livermore, CA
Alameda County

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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