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

Cliff Swallows - Brentwood - 3/31

Paul Schorr

During a trip to Brentwood today, we drove by the intersection of Fairview Drive and Sand Creek Rd. where Sand Creek flows in the culvert underneath the roads. For the past several years this location has been a favorite nesting and feeding location for Cliff Swallows and today we were not disappointed as many had arrived.

In addition, there were many Painted Ladies migrating throughout the entire Antioch/Brentwood area.

Good birding

Paul Schorr

The Nutall's are back. Sneaky bastards.


I have been waiting all winter and finally they start up. Was getting worried. But like the month long delay in local plum blossom blooms, they seem to have adjusted their timing as well.   Last year's approx start was 3/10/18. Given the current level of damage they must have started around March 29th.

Album has a picture of the pair, the location of the nest and the evidence below.
Marcus Pun
Video Editor / Producer/Editor / Camera
C: 510-384-8085 | H: 510-530-2507
Oakland, CA

Wildlife reminder


A friend of mine was hiking around Brione Reservoir yesterday and encountered a coiled rattler along a trail. So while looking up, make sure to look down.

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

FOS, Bullock's Oriole, San Ramon


We had a FOS adult male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE in our yard this morning.
We haven't seen BUOWs in our neighborhood for a few years, so this was a treat.
Interestingly, the bird spent most of its time feeding on our peanut feeder, and ignoring the nearby oriole nectar feeder.
I don't see anything in the literature about BUOWs eating peanuts or indeed anything but insects, fruit, and nectar.
Guess the bird can't read.

Steve Lombardi
San Ramon

White-throated Sparrows

John Luther

HI All,
Two wintering White-throated Sparrows are still in my yard in the Montclair region of Oakland on the south side of Shepherd Canyon along with the wintering Golden-crowned and Fox sparrows.  A male Black-headed Grosbeak arrived at seed feeder today, April 2, for my first here this spring.  
John LutherOakland

Tropical Kingbird still here, Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek


At 7:45, this morning, the Heather Farm Park TROPICAL KINGBIRD was seen perched in an oak on the
south end of the natural pond. This is now April 3, and the bird is still with us. This last fall, it was first
spotted on September 28, its earliest arrival in the last five years. If pattern holds, it should be
gone by about the middle of next week. If anyone spots it after today, please send me a note.

Happy Spring, everyone.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek