Black Oystercatchers, San Leandro Channel


Apparently all the riprap Alameda had to add to the Bay Farm Island
shoreline to prevent the Bay from reclaiming its own has created feeding
habitat for Black Oystercatchers. I've seen a group of 5
oystercatchers along the shoreline for months. The sightings are often
but occassional anywhere along the one mile bike/pedestrian path on Bay
Farm Island from Shoreline Park to the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal.

On Monday afternoon, I watched the group as it bathed and then hunted
the rocks near Shoreline Park. Here is one preening after a bath.

It was low tide and only the San Leandro Channel contained water. Elsie
Roemer Sanctuary to the north was a vast mudflat. I think bathing
becomes attractive under these conditions because the remaining waters
are "fresh" and are the drainage of San Leandro Creek (at
Arrowhead) and East Creek (at Garretson).

The bird abundance of Elsie Roemer across the way (viewed with scopes
and binoculars) is best seen from Shoreline Park which is at the
intersection of Seaview Parkway and Brunswick. It's best to Goggle
Map the intersection for location and directions as the streets are not
on a grid pattern.

Re: Tufted Duck??

Glen Tepke

I saw it last Thursday evening, 3/25, in the bread line by the Rotary Nature Center.

Glen Tepke

----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. H. Cant" <jgcant@...>
To: "EBB Sightings" <EBB_Sightings@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:05:18 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] Tufted Duck??

Can anyone tell me if they have seen the male Tufted Duck at Lake Merritt in the last few days?

Thanks very much,

John G. H. Cant

Black Rails continue at Coyote Hills RP

David Quady and Nancy Boas


Oregon birder Diane Pettey heard two Black Rails and three Clapper Rails calling pre-dawn last Friday, March 26. The rails called from the marsh, from both sides of the speed bump that's just past the park's entrance kiosk.

Sorry for the late post.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

Mines Road, Lake Del Valle SRA, Eastern Alameda County

Eric Pilotte

Zach Baer and I did a quick run through Mines Road, Lake Del Valle, and into the far stretches of eastern Alameda County yesterday. While we didn't have any luck with our target birds (Lawrence's Goldfinch, Lewis's Woodpecker, Roadrunner, Cassin's Kingbird, and Bald Eagle), it was a beautiful morning and we ended just as the rain began. Highlights include:
- 9 Rufous-crowned Sparrows (8 along Mines Road (milepost 6 was best), 1 at Del Valle)
- 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on Mines Road (milepost 6 by old tub)
- 25 Eurasian Collared Doves (21 along Mines Road, mostly in the flats before the road climbs; there were so many we were excited to see a Mourning Dove at one point!)
- 2 California Thrashers on Mines Road (1 singing by tub at milepost 6)
- 2 Phainopeplas (1 on Mines Road, 1 on road into Del Valle)
- 5 Western Kingbirds along Patterson Pass Road and in the eastern part of the county
- lingering wintering songbirds (some likely migrating through) were still in good numbers, while new arrivals were also found in decent numbers.

All of our data was entered into eBird.

Happy Birding!
Eric Pilotte
Benicia, CA

Tufted Duck??

John Cant 793-5216

Can anyone tell me if they have seen the male Tufted Duck at Lake Merritt in the last few days?

Thanks very much,

John G. H. Cant

San Leandro Marina

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi. I birded San Leandro Marina today at high tide, and found a few interesting birds. First was a male White-winged Scoter with Surf Scoters off of the northernmost of the three little "points" that extend into the water from the Marina. The rocky islands at the end of the southern point had many resting shorebirds, mainly Willets, Black Turnstones, and Surfbirds. Also a single sitting and a few flying Marbled Godwits, and a fly-by Black-bellied Plover. Among the many Forster's Terns was one individual that really stood out and I'm assuming it was an early Common Tern, although it was a hard ID. It was darker than the rest, with an obvious dark "wedge" of dark outer-webs on the primaries, and dark-ish edges on at least the outer 1/2 of the tail.

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

Coyote Hills and Del Valle RPs today


This morning at Coyote Hills RP the most plentiful flying creatures were the mosquitoes.  A male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE chattered by the Visitor Center where plastic spikes and mylar strips have been installed under the eaves to discourage nesting BARN SWALLOWS.  Up at Hoot Hollow, a RED-TAILED HAWK was on the nest in the crook of the tree used by nesting great-horned owls in past years.  Photo here:
Mid-morning, I moved over to Del Valle RP because Nancy Christensen had told tales of the displays performed by courting WESTERN GREBES.  The Eagle's View area (turn right after the entry kiosk, then make the first left) was very birdy - 30 species in a small area, including YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, a fly-over GOLDEN EAGLE, and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS - and provided a great vantage point from which to watch a pair of grebes rise and run across the water together side-by-side!  Aside from the grebe display, the best birds were two LARK SPARROWS feeding on the lawn.
At the marina, about 40 CLIFF SWALLOWS were checking out the nesting spots under the ramp with the turquoise railing near the snack bar.  I headed west on the trail that leads to Hetch Hetchy Camp.  Less than a 10-minute walk put me in view of the dark tree that looks like an upside-down bird's foot on the hillside across the lake, and, as usual, a BALD EAGLE was in the tree.  Photo here:
As I headed out, I found a WESTERN KINGBIRD on the fence on the north side of the road less than 1/10 mile from the entry kiosk.  A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was on the east side of the road past the entry kiosk.
Stephanie Floyd

Garin EBRP; Singing Grasshopper Sparrow

richard s. cimino

Old friends, Madeira County birder Lowell Young, Hugh Harvey and I connected this morning to catch up on life and bird some.
A number of birders were already on site viewing the Hammond's Flycatcher.
The Allen Hummingbird nest currently has two babe's playing American Bittern - sitting still with their bills straight up.
Further down the trail we observed or heard all the species ( not in the same volume ) posted by Zach Baer.
Addition sightings were:
Potential of a Winter Wren - which needs to be relocated and substantiated.
On the upper hillside trail we had a very cooperative Singing Grasshopper Sparrow and heard two others.
Good Birding
Rich Cimino

Brandt's Cormorant, Eurasian Widgeon, Lark Sparrow and Migrants-Alameda County


Me and Eric Pilotte went out birding on March 28th hitting the Berkeley
Pier, Garin Regional Park, Coyote Hills and Arrowhead Marsh. The
weather was absolutely amazing, we had the pleasure of meeting several
great birders and even found some good birds. The highlights are
listed below and will also be posted on Ebird.

Berekeley Pier (in the morning, waiting for Eric)
2 Common Loons
1 Brandt's Cormorant (about halfway down the pier diving close to the pier)

Garin Regional Park (birded both north and south of Jordan's Pond)
4 Wilson's Warblers
10+ Orange-crowned Warblers
1 Black-head Grosbeak
2 Bullock's Orioles
3 Pacific-slope Flycatchers
8 Warbling Vireos
1 Townsend's Warbler (singing)

Coyote Hills
1 Eurasian Widgeon (presumably a first year male coming into breeding
plumage, gray body with a pale red-orange head and light buffy
forehead, seen at the pond opposite the visitor center)
1 Bullock's Oriole

Arrowhead Marsh
1 Lark Sparrow (Flushed from the road as we drove in, landed on the
fence with 2 House Finches right near the Burrowing Owl hills)
2 Caspian Terns (Flying around and calling)
2 Clapper Rails (both seen at low tide)

We headed back to the Berkeley Pier to pick-up my car and walked out
the pier one more time. We were able to see the Brandt's Cormorant
again (at least for me Eric never got it in the morning since it flew
towards San Francisco before he arrived)

Good Birding,
Zach Baer

an Leandro and Oyster Bay White-winged Scoter and Eurasian Widgeon


I got out for a few hours in the morning of March 27th to bird the San Leandro Marina
and Oyster Bay Regional Park. The number of surf scoters outside the
marina is the highest I have seen on the east side of bay this year,
over 300. I have listed some of the highlights below.

San Leandro Marina:
1 Male White-winged Scoter
12 Surfbirds
1 Ruddy turnstone

Oyster Bay Regional Park:
1 Male Eurasian Widgeon
1 singing Orange-crowned warbler

Good Birding,

Zach Baer

Nest cam update

Johan Langewis

Due to posting problems in the past I'm not sure anyone got my previous post, so here is the history of the nest cam box I installed:

Jan 1: installed nest cam box on side of house
Jan 13: Chestnut-backed Chickadee (CBCH) inspecting box, did not enter
Jan 23: Still inspecting box without entry
Feb 25: CBCH bringing redwood bark to box, nest construction started
March 14: Staring to line nest with feathers & hair
March 16: Roosting all night in box
March 28: 7:30 PM, started roosting, then very busy, agitated. Laid 3 (4?) eggs.

After laying eggs, the bird covered the eggs with feathers and left the box. She has not returned yet (8:15 PM). More updates later.

Johan Langewis
Oakland, in the hills near Shepherd Canyon & Skyline Blvd

Nesting Chestnut-backed Chickadees Livermore (Alameda County), etc.

Mike Feighner

The last week-end of January I placed a small Sierra-type Redwood A-Frame
Birdhouse I had built years ago 19 feet up the Raywood Ash in my front yard.
I have been observing the pair for weeks around my house and the adjacent
areas. They always seemed never to notice the birdhouse. Yesterday one of
the two peeked inside the house for an inspection. This morning the two
were mating on a limb just outside the birdhouse, and just a few minutes ago
this evening one of the two conducted another quick inspection at the
entrance of the birdhouse and then retreated to an outer branch while the
2nd chickadee entered the birdhouse and did not come back out.

About 40 Cedar Waxwings have also been clearing the berries off my hedge the
past two mornings.

Yesterday, I too checked on the Hammond's Flycatcher at Garin Park with Dave
Weber and Ken Wilson and saw no Hammond Flycatcher, instead Bullock's
Oriole, Northern Rough-wing Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Northern Flicker, Mourning Dove, Western
Scrub Jay, American Robin, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, American
Goldfinch. White-crowned Sparrow. Did anyone else try as well?

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA (Alameda County)

Bald Eagle over Oakland

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi everybody. Today, at Brookdale Park in Oakland (at the end of Nevil Street, near 38th Avenue), I got a distant but identifying view of an adult Bald Eagle flying over the eastern part of the city. I noticed it while I was looking east(?) toward the hills, soaring on a thermal with a Red-tailed Hawk. It nicely showed its all-dark body, typical eagle shape with bulged-back wings, and bright white head and tail. After a couple of minutes, it left the thermal and glided northward until I lost it behind a stand of trees.

Also interesting at the park were Townsend's Warbler, Brown Creepers, a very vocal Bewick's Wren, and male American Goldfinches in full breeding plumage.

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

Hammond's Flycatcher & Golden Eagles

Kathy Robertson

Hi Mike and others:

The HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER was still at Garin on Saturday. I saw it around
2:30 or 3 in the afternoon. It was on the creek side of the trail, just
across from the bench/garbage can/anglers' sign, as previously reported.

In other news, I added a new bird to my yard list at work (Fairmont
Hospital in San Leandro). On Friday afternoon I heard a raptor screaming, and it
didn't sound right for the local Red-tails. I went out to the parking lot
and spotted a soaring GOLDEN EAGLE. It stayed in the area for quite a
while, alternately flying around and landing in a nearby eucalyptus. Most of
the birds in the area were in a panic, except the local breeding pair of
Red-tailed, who were not pleased and were dive-bombing the eagle. After
losing sight of the bird, I went back into my office. A half hour or so later,
I heard the bird again, and this time it had been joined by a second GOEA.
They were both adults. Again, they were alternately flying around the
area and perching, and vocalizing quite a bit (I don't know that I've ever
heard a GOEA vocalize before). Eventually they both flew off to the south,
escorted by the Red-tails.

Good birding,
Kathy Robertson
Hayward, CA

In a message dated 3/28/2010 7:27:46 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
feinerVogel94551@... writes:

Yesterday, I too checked on the Hammond's Flycatcher at Garin Park with
Weber and Ken Wilson and saw no Hammond Flycatcher, <SNIP> Did anyone
else try as well?

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA (Alameda County)

Peanut eating Crow

Ken Wilson <kaeagles@...>

For the past month I've seen peanuts disappear from the feeder and yet I wasn't seeing or hearing our local Scrub Jay. I knew we didn't have a squirrel visiting, so who was taking the peanuts? A rat? A mouse? Well today we finally saw a Crow quietly tiptoe to the tray feeder, causiously look around, and then sneak off with a peanut. He made a few return trips. This was surprising because rarely in the 5 years I've been at this location have I seen a Crow in the backyard.
This is the week I always look forward to because our plant detroying White-crowned Sparrows normally depart for the Spring and Summer. I can uncover the new shoots soon.
Ken Wilson

FOS Black-headed Grosbeak in Berkeley

Kay Loughman

Just had the FOS adult male Black-headed Grosbeak arrive at my feeder. He seemed so relaxed, and stayed so long, I'm guessing he was a returnee. This is the earliest I have recorded this species. Previous early date was April 1.

Amusing aside, at the same time and on the same feeder was an orange-colored House Finch - the first I've seen in a while. Gorgeous orange glow over that part of the deck!

Kay Loughman
in the hills on the Berkeley/Oakland border

Cedar Waxwings

Paul Schorr

For the past two days we have had a flock of Cedar Waxwings, which we estimate to be about 50 in number, foraging on the berries of cotoneaster shrubs in our backyard. They come in waves, gorging on the berries, apparently filling their crops and then flying to adjacent trees. Another wave of birds comes to the berries and the pattern repeats. The waxwings have been accompanied by about six American Robins.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Re: RFI: American Dippers - Sunol Regional Wilderness

Art Edwards <xenops@...>

My sightings of American Dipper in Sunol Regional Wilderness
were all from an area upstream known as "Little Yosemite',
to 200 yds downstream ot the Park Headquarters.

1972 Sept  2  1, 0.2 mile upstream of bridge at the south end of the auto road.

1974 Aug  10  1, at the same spot.
1974 Dec  29  1, at the same spot.

1975 Jan   1  1, at the same spot.  Crippled right leg.
1975 Jan  18  1 (same bird) upstream of park boundary, south of bridge.
1975 Nov  16  1, 0.5 mi upstream of bridge.
1975 Dec   6  1, behind Park Headquarters.

1976 Jan   4  4, 0.5 mi upstream of bridge.
1976 Dec  27  4, 0.25 mi upstream of bridge.

1982 Oct  10  2, 0.5 mi upstream of bridge.
1982 Oct  24  1-2, 0.5 mi upstream of bridge.

1983 Oct   9  1, 100 yds north of bridge.
1985 Oct   6  1, 200 yds downstream of Park Headquarters.

Lack of any later sightings may have been due to drought conditions, or to changes in water
releases from Calaveras Reservoir, leaving the habitat unsuitable for breeding.

My sightings of American Dipper in Niles Canyon:

1974 Dec  14  1 in creek on Niles Canyon Rd., 0.5 mile east of Palomares Rd.
1980 Dec  20  1 in creek on Niles Canyon Rd., 200 yds east of "The Spot" Cafe.
1980 Dec  28  1 at the same spot.
Art Edwards,

----- "richard s. cimino" <rscimino@...> wrote:

Also on the Hayward CBC 2002 (?) we had an American Dipper down Nile
Canyon 1/8th mile west to the railroad bridge.
Rich Cimino
On 3/23/2010 9:26 AM, Joseph Morlan wrote:

On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:37:06 -0000, "ericpilotte"
< ericpilotte@... <>>

If there is a historical breeding territory there, which part of the
creek do they tend to favor?

Historically they used to breed in the area around Little Yosemite.
I don't think they have nested there in recent years.

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at)
SF Birding Classes start Feb.9
< >
California Bird Records Committee
< >
Western Field Ornithologists
< >

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Hayward Shoreline

Bob Richmond

Today at the shoreline -

Green-winged "Eurasian" Teal - 1 male, seen in the seasonal pond to the north of where Winton Ave. makes a left turn (about a 75 degree turn).
            This area I have always called Frank's Dump East. By summer (late spring in some years). Be wary of trafic here especially the trucks on
            week days.

Golden Eagle - 1. Seen from the west end of Depot Road over the city ponds. I have 30 records from 1893-1898, but only 11 since then.

Rufous Hummingbird - 1 male, seen in the row of trees across Winton Ave. from the park office.


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This morning at Garin

Ken Wilson <kaeagles@...>

Today at Garin I saw a few other birders looking for the Hammond Flycatcher. The bird had not been located by the time I departed. I birded along the trail leading to Jordan Pond and beyond. I saw or heard the following besides the normal residents:
Wilson's Warbler (at least 2)
House Wren (several)
Black-headed Grosbeak
Warbling Vireo
Selasphorus Hummer
White-tailed Kite flying
Northern Rough-winged Swallows by Jordan Pond (several)
Bullock's Oriole
Spotted Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler (at least 2)
Ken Wilson

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