Re: Peregrine incubating Thursday 3.21.19 pm

Peter Rauch

Lorrie, Maybe their reaction to the bell-ringing that you've observed is
because they partially deaf now?

What, if any, was the basis that GGAS Alan offered for his comment that the
birds don't notice?
(I suppose one might conclude that for the purposes of selecting and
establishing a nest and brood, the bell-ringing didn't make them "notice"
enough to reject the site.)


On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 2:03 PM Alan Kaplan <LNKPLN67@...> wrote:

Hi, Lorrie
Thanks for writing.
You ask a question the audience at the talk on Thursday evening had, too.
Alan from GGRO said they don’t notice the bells! Behavior doesn’t change

For the human effects, on the other hand,
read The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers, a Lord Peter Wimsey novel that
resurrected the almost lost art (or at least increased the appreciation) of
“ringing the changes” on carillons.

On Mar 22, 2019, at 11:31 AM, Lorrie Klosterman <loklosterman@...>

Hi folks,
I've wondered how the peregrines nesting in UC Berkeley's campanile can
tolerate the tremendous "gong" of the bells as they chime out the top of
the hour daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Do they fly out each time?
Because I live a few blocks from campus -- within ear-shot of the bells
-- I watched the nest videocam when I heard the bells from my apartment. To
my disbelief, the bird on the nest had absolutely no reaction. But then,
just as the chimes stopped, the bird shook its head, several times in a
row, in a rhythmic fashion -- which is when I realized that the gongs were
going off on the videocam (barely audible). So there is a slight delay
between real time (my apartment) and what we view on the videocam. Knowing
that, I watched again on the next hour, and listened for the gongs on the
videocam. Sure enough, again the bird shook its head in rhythm with the
gongs. It also sometimes opened its beak very wide, or looked as though it
was going to regurgitate. All of those behaviors seem to me evidence that
the bird is having a physical reaction to the sound. Because its hearing
system (like ours) includes narrow tubes which connect the middle ear to
its throat, the beak/throat movements might be the peregrine's equivalent
of our attempts to "clear our ears" with a change in air pressure. Well, at
least it didn't fly away, which is what I was expecting. What, I wonder,
will happen during the long Sunday afternoon serenade?
Update -- this just in! While writing this, the 11 a.m. bells went off
and the nesting bird had no head reactions this time. I don't know if it's
the same bird as yesterday (do males and females take turns incubating?)
This bird's tail, however, was slightly pumping -- hmm, is this the female
laying another egg?

--Lorrie K.

On Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:09 AM Alan Kaplan <LNKPLN67@...> wrote:
I returned from the GGAS talk by Alan Fish on the falcons and looked at
WebCam 1.
Annie the female was near the eggs and then covered them for
incubation. This was at 2133hrs, Thursday 3,21.19. A great big Thank You to
everyone working on these WebCams at the Campanile.
Best of Boids!
Alan Kaplan

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


At 8:30, this morning, I found the HARRIS'S SPARROW on the mowed lawn south of the red barn, which
is at the south end of the grassy ball field. As before, it was among 20+ Golden-crowned Sparrows. A bit
later, I was joined by Kai Mills and Erica Kawata, and together, we had good looks at this continuing
Just about Spring, folks!
Good birding,
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

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

John Sterling

Just found the sparrow in the one lone horseshoe pit on the south side of the ball field by the picnic tables.
John Sterling
530 908-3836
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

On Mar 23, 2019, at 11:02 AM, tracy_farrington via Groups.Io <> wrote:

At 8:30, this morning, I found the HARRIS'S SPARROW on the mowed lawn south of the red barn, which
is at the south end of the grassy ball field. As before, it was among 20+ Golden-crowned Sparrows. A bit
later, I was joined by Kai Mills and Erica Kawata, and together, we had good looks at this continuing
Just about Spring, folks!
Good birding,
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

White-throated Sparrow at Briones Reservoir

Daniel Fitzgerald

I was out testing a new lens and happened to capture this White-throated Sparrow along Bear Creek Road in the EBMUD property. Fitzgerald

White-throated Sparrow (2nd Attempt)

Daniel Fitzgerald

I was out testing a new lens and happened to capture this White-throated Sparrow along Bear Creek Road in the EBMUD property.  Zonotrichia albicollis

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Zonotrichia albicollis

White-throated Sparrow



Dan Fitzgerald

Cassin's Vireo - Creekside Park 3-23-19


A Cassin's Vireo was present on the Alameda county side of El Cerrito Creek foraging in the willows with an assortment of warblers, tits, chickadees and goldfinches. This was only the second sighting of Cassin's I've had at that park. FOS Wilson's warbler was present.

You can view pictures here:

Jack Hayden

Bullock's Oriole arrival, Castle Rock Regional Park, Walnut Creek


I was birding, this morning, with Paul and Nancy Schorr in Castle Rock Regional Park when we discovered two
bright male BULLOCK'S ORIOLES. The first was in one of the Locust trees just west of the basketball court that's adjacent to the
restrooms in the pool area; the other was in an oak about two hundred yards up the canyon road from there. It's March 24 and
these are, I believe, first of the season for this area. In any given year, I've counted as many as five nesting pair in a stretch of less than a mile
from the pool.
Good birding.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek

Harris's Sparrow - Castle Rock Park, Walnut Creek - 3/24

Paul Schorr

At 11:30 today we rebound the Harris’s Sparrow. We spotted the bird just below the red maintenance barn in left-center field at the large ball field. Many thanks to Tracy Farrington who guided us through the park and helped us locate the bird. As Tracy already reported, finding the Bullock’s Orioles was certainly an additional notable sighting.

Good birding,

Paul and Nancy Schorr

Black Scoters still at Richmond Marina

Joe Morlan

Two male Black Scoters continued at the Richmond Marina today. Both of
them quite vocal as they continually chased after a bewildered female Surf

Photos and checklist:

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Pleasanton Bald Eagle


Today at 3:45 while looking out my office window at Koll Center off Bernal
Avenue in Pleasanton during a conference call without my glasses on I
noticed a fuzzy raptor with white on its tail soaring nearby. I
quickly put on my
glasses to see a much crisper adult Bald Eagle circling over HW680
heading south.

Derek Heins

Surfbirds in San Leandro

Hilary Powers

This morning near low tide, about a dozen Surfbirds were working the rocky sand at the south end of the San Leandro Marina. They were just off the Bay side of the loop trail that runs out from the southern parking lot, between the shore and the lower of the two islands.

That was more individuals than anyone in the Tuesday4Birds group had ever seen at one time, and they were in a huge mixed group - all the usual shore birds, plus more Black Turnstones than we'd seen together before, a couple of Black Oystercatchers, and a black-bellied Black-bellied Plover.

The Surfbirds left before we did, but they might be back for another low tide....

~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~ ~; ~ ~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~

Richmond Ridgway's Rails

Sheila Dickie

Yesterday, March 26, at 3 p.m. I was walking down the Richmond Bay Trail and came to the bridge just north of the 51st Street path and looked West a few yards to see a Ridgway's Rail on the mud preening. Next thing I saw was another rail swimming towards what turned out to be 'her'. They vocalized and then he came up the bank and they mated. Both then continued grooming and he also bathed. As I walked south to the 51st Street path another Ridgway's Rail swam East-West in the channel on my left.

The Snow Goose and its attendant eight Greater White-fronted Geese were on the lawn in the Richmond Harbor near the Rosie the Riveter Memorial along with a good number of Canada Geese.

Sheila Dickie

Black Brant

Bob Richmond

Black Brant. Seen near the Encinal Boat Ramp in the lagoon enclosed by the breakwater. Seen both in the water and on the beach. I first saw it on March 8 but it may have been here longer. Also west of there in the lagoon was a Pacific Loon and a Brant's Cormorant.
Bob Richmond

Arrowhead Marsh least terns

Martha Morrow

Just a heads-up about the least tern and snowy plover sightings on the newly created shell mound “island” at Arrowhead. There are at least 6 decoys there, of both species, which I saw myself during an EBRP work party to finish this year’s efforts on the site 3 weeks ago. To my knowledge, no actual terns or plovers have come to nest there yet.

Marty Morrow
San Leandro

Harris's Sparrow at Castle Rock Park Friday March 29


The previously reported Harris's Sparrow was seen by five birders this morning at the Castle Rock Park softball field.  After several other small sparrow flocks, the Harris's Sparrow was seen in far left field out on the grass.  It was not quite as far as the red barn maintenance building, and this particular flock was the largest we had seen earlier.
A couple of Scrub-Jays were making noise and may have spooked the flock back into the bushes and trees on the slope behind the field.  A drive-around lawn mower might have kept the birds hiding for about 20 minutes, but a few eventually re-appeared on the ground in front of some dead bushes.  Then, the Harris's Sparrow was seen at the very top of a tree and in full sun.  After just a few moments, all the sparrows seemed to fly over our heads and toward the picnic area and creek behind us.
I'm thinking that we probably started walking from the parking lot around 10 AM, maybe a bit earlier.  Thanks to Walt, Steve, Chris and George for the good time.  When we first arrived at the swimming pool area, we heard the chatter of an Oriole, but it stopped and was never found.

Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek

Cassin's Vireo and other migrants at Sunol

Philip Georgakakos

Hi Everyone,

I had a pretty great day of birding at Sunol today, migrants have arrived and many birds are singing. Also, the oaks and willows are starting the leaf out, and the first wildflowers are out. I started around 10 finished at 3.

My route was: visitor’s center -> Flag Hill -> High Valley Camp -> Cave Rocks Road -> Cerro Este Overlook -> back to the parking lot via McCorkle and Canyon View trail. Total of around 7 miles.

Notable sightings
Cassin’s Vireo singing around the visitor’s center
Warbling Vireos(2) near the creek
Big numbers of Orange-crowned warblers ~15
Horned Larks at Cerro Este Overlook
Yellow-billed magpies(2) off Cave Rocks Road
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers off McCorkle trail.

53 species on the day, full list here:

Hope everyone can get out this weekend and enjoy the weather!
Phil Georgakakos

FOS, Hooded Oriole, San Ramon


An adult male Hooded Oriole showed up in our backyard, this morning, about the same date as in the past.

Steve Lombardi
San Ramon

Swamp Sparrow at EBMUD Valle Vista Staging Area

Robert Raffel

This morning I had a Swamp Sparrow at Valle Vista Staging Area. The following link contains pictures and location details.

Robert Raffel

Oriole in Hercules

Susana dT

Sunol Swallows


For any of you who would like close-up looks at swallows and are also sick of driving 680, there are a couple of spots on Pleasanton-Sunol road north of the town of Sunol that are worth a quick stop.

1) Koopman Rd. at 680. This is a southbound-only exit off 680. In a 20 minute stop there yesterday we saw:
Dozens of CLIFF SWALLOWS gathering mud next to the road for their nests on the 680 overpass.
Several NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGS foraging and perching on nearby signs and fences. They're probably ready to nest in the weep holes on the overpass.
Several WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS cruising in the vicinity.
An adult GOLDEN EAGLE on the ground near the road, eventually being chased off by a pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS.
Any number of other commonly seen birds including ZONOS and HOUSE FINCHES.
Here's a Google Maps link:

2) The Verona Avenue pedestrian bridge off Pleas-Sunol Road just south of Castlewood Dr. provides a nice view into the creek and into the adjacent tree tops.
VIOLET-GREEN and ROUGH-WING SWALLOWS forage over the creek and perch on the bridge.
The adjacent vegetation is full of the usual oak-woodland birds.
WOOD DUCKS are sometimes in the creek.
A pair of RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS are on a nest just south of the bridge.

Maybe best of all, you can thumb your nose at 680 from both places.

Good birding,
Steve Lombardi
San Ramon