Black Diamond Mines Thursday April 18


For many years Mt. Diablo Audubon Society has done an annual field trip to Black Diamond Mines Regional Park.  The big targets are Canyon Wren and Grasshopper Sparrow, both of which were missed this year.  In the past we have found such notable birds as Townsend's Solitaire and Lawrence's Goldfinch.  
We did have many of the regularly expected species for this location, but this year during lunch and before we did our checklist, one member asked about a bird perched on a fence in the direction of the upper parking lot bathrooms.  It as just far enough away to warrant using the scope, so I was very surprised to find that this bird was a Green-tailed Towhee.  The bird had the bright rufous crown, black-and-white marks on the face and the bright white throat, easily visible because it was facing us.
Before everyone could see it through the scope, the Towhee flew uphill to some trees and was ultimately lost to our view.  Interestingly, though, the bird appeared to be tailless when it flew.
After calming ourselves, we went through the checklist and tallied 60 species identified.  Bob Dunn's eBird list is here:   Moving downhill to the visitor center parking lot, we added 4 species after Bob Left--American Kestrel, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing and Yellow Warbler. bringing the group total to 64 species for the day.
Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek