Date   
Sparrow note

fgsafier
 

I am posting again, although I did not see the sparrow this morning, but Hugh Harvey explained to me how to make sure that my info also goes to sialia.com.

On my usual morning walk today* (technically one hour later than usual due to the time change) I turned from Cherry Lane east onto the Contra Costa Canal Trail. Normally there is a Cal Towhee pair there, but when a small brown bird flew across the trail it didn't look right. In fact it was a White-crowned Sparrow. It went into some underbrush and I started counting WC Sparrows for my eBird report. But one of the sparrows looked different. Black and white stripes extending back further on the head than on a White-crown, bright white throat, and the clincher: clear yellow spot on the lores. White-throated Sparrow, unmistakable. https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53666065.

* that was yesterday, March 10.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Johan Langewis
 

I spent about 3 hours at Valle Vista in Moraga today, saw/heard 59 species. Included was a single Orange-crowned Warbler feeding on the white blossoms of a fruit (wild plum?) tree near the trail leading up to the bridge. FOS for me. Also seen was a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) molting into breeding plumage. A Lincoln’s Sparrow was seen near the horse corral shed, in the brush on the lake side of the trail. Other highlights were 6 Wood Ducks and 11 Common Mergansers. All of the mergansers were female. Complete list on eBird.

Johan Langewis
Oakland

East County 3/10 (and a Yellow-billed Magpie question)

Ethan Monk
 

Hi All,

Did a quick afternoon run through some East County sites this Sunday, nothing too extraordinary but a few sightings of note.

Morgan Territory Road:

I drove from the intersection of Morgan Territory Road to around mile marker 4 until turning around, birding in breaks in the rain. The most noteworthy sightings included a large flock of Lark Sparrows (I counted 39) hanging out together in a break in the rain, and several flocks of Lesser Goldfinch, most heard only, but one flock on the road numbered 29. No Lawrence's (yet) but in a few weeks this might be a good area to check for breeding individuals. 

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53687283

Knightsen: 

Another fruitless quest for the Yellow-billed Magpies, I believe my 5th or 6th in the past 6 months. I have checked practically all of town at this rate, the school, the Eucalyptus along Knightsen Ave., Hotchkiss Rd., etc., etc. I also know several others that have looked for the Magpies recently and have failed. Does anyone know when these birds were last seen? I am beginning to wonder whether they nest at this locale anymore? eBird's last credible report from this vicinity comes from September 2017 (Dunn). Have they been seen since? Unfortunately, it appears to me that Contra Costa may have lost its last Magpies? 

Deer Ridge Golf Course:

Quick check for the Roadrunner. Last I know of this bird being seen is in the Fall of 2017. I am not sure if this bird still lives in the area, but I only spent 10 or so minutes in the general vicinity of where it hung around back when it was first found in 2014, so I could have easily missed it.

Holland Tract:

Spent around 2.5 hours at Holland Tract. I drove all of the public levee road and then walked into the Central Tract Marshes and out to the first ponds (

37.984710, -121.607795). In these ponds there was one male Wood Duck, probably one of the hundred or so that are resident in the Central Tract Marshes, among Goldeneye, Gadwall, Gallinule, and others. Good groups of geese are present still with about 200 Snows (no Ross's as far as I could tell) and 140 White-fronts. Swans and Cranes were also present. A flock of 30 Snipe flushed out of the flooded fields--quite a large number, for me. Coinciding with Spring, swallows have begun to move in, and there were good numbers of Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows (these mostly male). Two Cliff Swallows and one Violet-green Swallow, quite rare for East County, were flying around, as well. Kingbirds should show up in a week or two.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53687191

Ethan Monk

Richmond: Snow Goose & Eurasian Wigeons continue, oyster-harvesting Oystercatchers

Lee Friedman
 

Tuesday at the Richmond Marina the Snow Goose with the 8 Greater White-fronted Geese continue in the lawn areas.


At Miller-Knox, two Eurasian Wigeons continue in the pond. Also, the Black Oystercatchers seem to be harvesting oysters from the bay. Perhaps this is due to the restoration efforts that began several years ago around the Richmond Harbor area.


Here are a few photos:

Snow Goose: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/46451085975/in/dateposted-public/


Eurasian Wigeon: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/32424227797/in/dateposted-public/


Black Oystercatchers with Oyster: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99583878@N06/46642855314/in/dateposted-public/


The full list of species with additional photographs are on the checklists:


Miller-Knox: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53758428


Richmond Marina: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53758666


Good birding,

Lee Friedman

Nutall's woodpecker returns. Oakland Laurel

Marcus
 

Late morning, a few minutes of banging on the tree.  Extra loud.  Then flew away. Signal time?

I was correct about the local plum blossoms. They did not burst out until teh last week of February and it took then a while to fully bloom so indeed a more normal start to the year - as global warming did indeed push thing earlier except for this year.


Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA

Possible Kamchatka Gull in CoCo County

albertlinkowski
 

Yesterday (13/3/2019) at West County Wastewater District - Sewage Ponds, located by Richmond Pkwy just west of San Pablo. Contra Costa County (exact address include in attached  eBird checklist), I found, this interesting and quite untypical I think Mew Gull. The Gull was relatively large, almost  Ring-billed Gull size  (side by side for cf) with conspicuous unmarked large / long yellow bill and strikingly bright (pale gray) eyes what in my opinion may be the basis to consider it as the so-called Kamchatka Gull. Adult bird (in winter plumage) was together with another Mew Gull (2nd Winter immature, also photographed). During observation I also saw the third Mew gull (not affiliated with these two)  clearly smaller, and with an obvious smaller bill   Albert W. Linkowski

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53799858

Nutall's woodpecker returns. Oakland Laurel - the Female has arrived

Marcus
 

This morning, heard the tapping and grabbed my camera and checked. No bird but did hear a distant tap. Then a few minutes later the female showed up and started tapping around the same places the male was yesterday, paying particular attention to one spot.  So question here, to they smell freshly pierced wood, does the male leave a scent or taste?

No construction debris yet. I do have pics but can't deal with them until later.

Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA


On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 4:28:34 PM PDT, Marcus <scrod2000@...> wrote:


Late morning, a few minutes of banging on the tree.  Extra loud.  Then flew away. Signal time?

I was correct about the local plum blossoms. They did not burst out until teh last week of February and it took then a while to fully bloom so indeed a more normal start to the year - as global warming did indeed push thing earlier except for this year.


Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA

Harris's Sparrow in walnut Creek

fgsafier
 

Tracy Farrington asks me to post his sighting of a Harris's Sparrow in the Castle Tree picnic area, across from the ball field lawn in Castle Rock park, Walnut Creek.

Fred Safier

Harris's Sparrow, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, Walnut Creek

tracy_farrington
 

I wish to thank Fred Safier for posting the HARRIS'S SPARROW, on my behalf.
I was unable to do so as reception was extremely poor. I've had some requests for
directions and a few details regarding the location of this bird. It was found at about
9am, this morning, by John Missing, and myself, on and around the little grassy
ball field on the right as you proceed into the park, a little ways beyond the swimming pool.
These geo-coordinates should put you very near: 37.889240, -121.992393
Here's a Google Maps link. There's a gravel lot at the end of Castle Rock Rd.
The entrance, by foot, is a little further.
https://goo.gl/maps/afQDTYPDwAt
Look for flocks of Golden-crowned Sparrows foraging on the grass, and at the leafy/gravely 
margins of the field. It was among about 20-30 when It was spotted.
Good birding, all.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

Re: Harris's Sparrow, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, Walnut Creek

John Missing
 

I will posting pictures shortly along with an associated eBird checklist.



John Missing


On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 3:26 PM tracy_farrington via Groups.Io <tracy_farrington=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I wish to thank Fred Safier for posting the HARRIS'S SPARROW, on my behalf.
I was unable to do so as reception was extremely poor. I've had some requests for
directions and a few details regarding the location of this bird. It was found at about
9am, this morning, by John Missing, and myself, on and around the little grassy
ball field on the right as you proceed into the park, a little ways beyond the swimming pool.
These geo-coordinates should put you very near: 37.889240, -121.992393
Here's a Google Maps link. There's a gravel lot at the end of Castle Rock Rd.
The entrance, by foot, is a little further.
https://goo.gl/maps/afQDTYPDwAt
Look for flocks of Golden-crowned Sparrows foraging on the grass, and at the leafy/gravely 
margins of the field. It was among about 20-30 when It was spotted.
Good birding, all.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

Re: Harris's Sparrow, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, Walnut Creek

John Missing
 

And here is the link to the eBird checklist with pictures of the Harris's Sparrow.  Tracy Farrington deserves credit for picking this bird out of a flock of about 25 GCSP.


On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 3:26 PM tracy_farrington via Groups.Io <tracy_farrington=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I wish to thank Fred Safier for posting the HARRIS'S SPARROW, on my behalf.
I was unable to do so as reception was extremely poor. I've had some requests for
directions and a few details regarding the location of this bird. It was found at about
9am, this morning, by John Missing, and myself, on and around the little grassy
ball field on the right as you proceed into the park, a little ways beyond the swimming pool.
These geo-coordinates should put you very near: 37.889240, -121.992393
Here's a Google Maps link. There's a gravel lot at the end of Castle Rock Rd.
The entrance, by foot, is a little further.
https://goo.gl/maps/afQDTYPDwAt
Look for flocks of Golden-crowned Sparrows foraging on the grass, and at the leafy/gravely 
margins of the field. It was among about 20-30 when It was spotted.
Good birding, all.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

Black-chinned Hummingbird - Antioch yard - 3/15

Paul Schorr
 

This morning an immature male Black-chinned Hummingbird appeared in our yard. The bird was vigorously hawking insects from high locations in the yard and aggressively protected the feeders. This is only the third time in nineteen years that we have seen this species in our yard.

Good birding

Paul Schorr
Antioch

Harris's Sparrow continues, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, Walnut Creek

tracy_farrington
 

A little after 8, this morning, the HARRIS'S SPARROW was re-found by myself and 
a pleasant group of eight other birders. It was seen quite well in and around the grassy
ball field just beyond the pool. As was the case, yesterday, it was commingling with about
20+ Golden-crowned Sparrows. In addition, there were about half a dozen LARK SPARROWS.

Spring beckons, so get outside and enjoy the birding.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

Harris Sparrow, Tropical KB Mar 18

Dave Weber
 

Visited Castle Rock Rec Area and Heather Farms today. Met up with Don Pendleton at Castle Rock. At least 50 Golden-crowned Sparrows were at the north end of the baseball field near the pool restrooms but no Harris’s. While Don went back to his car (someone has to leave!) I found the Harris’s Sparrow skulking in dense undergrowth behind the fence in the Caste Trees Picnic area at 1 pm. Don returned and was able to see it. We then went to Heather Farms for the Tropical Kingbird which has been absent on my last several attempts. We saw it while we were walking on the west side. It was on the east side flying between trees north of the observation deck.

 

Dave Weber,

Milpitas

Dumbarton Pier (5MR effort)

Matthew Dodder
 

Eric Goodill and I explored the Dumbarton Pier today, an area neither one of us had been to before, mostly because a small sliver of the levy trail falls within Eric's "5-mile-radius", and we wanted to check it out. We found 37 species during our short visit, including 2 PELAGIC CORMORANTS on the old rail bridge, as well as two PEREGRINE FALCONS (perhaps nesting one of the old buildings over the water). The only other raptor ecnountered was an OSPREY flying over the water. BARN SWALLOWS showed up near the lot, as well as a single TREE SWALLOW. There were great numbers of CLARK’S and WESTERN GREBES, a single RED-THROATED LOON and a number of unsurprising birds.

There were dozens of PAINTED LADIES in the area, most on the move, but occasionally one would stop and rest, allowing us to admire them briefly.

Registration for Spring Birding Classes is now open at the Palo Alto Adult School:
https://paadultschool.org/class/birding-nature/

Matthew Dodder
Mountain View

UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons

Anne Krysiak
 

The Peregrine Family nesting on the Campanile has laid it's first egg of 2019.
You can watch the nestcam at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaJuC-rxVAQ.
The outside camera is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5BofDM7eAQ

Koster Rd. pond and Recology CLOSED to birding

Noah Arthur
 

This is a little out of our area, but I can’t seem get it to post on CV Birds and it’ll be of interest to East Bay birders as well...
On my visit to the Koster Rd. gravel pit pond in Tracy today, I was informed by a workman that the gravel pit is private property and trespassing is not permitted. 
Also, I stopped by the canal at the Recology facility where gulls sometimes congregate, and found that No Trespassing signage has now been installed. 
Noah ArthurOakland, CA

Harris's Sparrow still in Walnut Creek

fgsafier
 

Thanks to Marty Lycan, who pointed me toward the correct flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows, I was able to see this rarity that was first reported by Tracy Farrington. This was at 10 AM between showers, in Castle Rock Park.

Fred Safier

Re: UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons

Carolyn Arnold
 

Thank you Anne! The second egg appeared sometime this morning, I think just before 8 am!
The cam lets you go back up to 4 hours, and you can see the eggs at 8:00, 9:41, and 10:48, and 11:18.
It looks like dad came in soon after the egg was laid, and relieved mom for an hour to go feed.
Since then, it’s been mom sitting…

With a 29-33 incubation period, that means hatching sometime starting the week of April 15th..


On Mar 19, 2019, at 5:33 PM, Anne Krysiak <vakrysiak@...> wrote:

The Peregrine Family nesting on the Campanile has laid it's first egg of 2019.
You can watch the nestcam at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaJuC-rxVAQ.
The outside camera is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5BofDM7eAQ


Carolyn Arnold
(510) 590-1172 (cell)

Mute Swan, McNabney Marsh

photohutch
 

Birders,

While I was driving north on 680 yesterday, I notice several large white birds hanging out in McNabney Marsh. Most were the relatively common American White Pelicans, but one bird was by itself. As I sped past, I clearly noticed upswept wings and a black knob on it's bill. Clearly not a pelican, and definitely a Mute Swan. Quite surprising, so I checked on eBird. Apparently it's been there since at least Saturday. One was reported at Shollenberger on Saturday, as well. Didn't realize they are beginning to hang out in our area.

Happy birding!

Steve Hutchcraft
Alamo, CA