Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek May 21


Spent about two hours riding my bike and walking around various corners of the park this morning. The highlight, I guess, would be the Great-tailed Grackle, which was making a bunch of noise on the west side of the large, mostly natural pond. It is not a first time, but it maybe happens once a year, sometimes a couple of times. Luckily, they have never stayed very long.

I did see the male Nuttall's Woodpecker with a fledgling in the eucalyptus tree at the corner of the equestrian parking lot. A nice male Yellow Warbler was there, also. A Red-tailed Hawk was watching the grassy Hale property from a power pole up the slope from the same corner. I heard a Western Tanager somewhere between there and the pond, but could not ever locate it. Western Bluebirds were along the fences there, too.

Otherwise, the Chickadees, Bushtits, White-breasted Nuthatches and Titmouse families were all active today. The only swallows I saw were over the grassy Hale property, Barn and Violet-green Swallows.

Today I saw only one Pied-billed Grebe; sometimes it is two. They have nested here in the past and I am wondering if it is already or will happen again this year.

We had a Killdeer family on the ball field across from the wooden railing parking lot, but I could not find them today. Well, one adult was north of the bathrooms early, but gone when I checked later. Since the dog park is closed, some of the dog people have been using the grassy ball fields, despite the no dogs signs at almost every gate. Maybe the Killdeer family has moved, but the two kids were not flying age yet.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek