East Contra Costa County Jan. 18


Didn't leave the house until after 9:30, but wanted to visit Holland Tract despite the wind.  And it was windy.  Going out on Delta Road, after the school I saw 5 Long-billed Curlews in the field where we used to look for Burrowing Owls.

Lots of ducks on the north side of the road going toward the marina.  I used the scope resting on the window frame of the car.  I had the nerve to park closer around the bend toward the marina so I could attempt to see the birds better, even though the car was bouncing in the wind.  I was asked to leave, "I know you're just bird watching and all, but we got to keep the marina traffic going through."  Yeah, like there is a lot of traffic there.  Oh, well, a deep subject.

I headed toward Jersey Island Road and while I was heading out toward the Bradford Island Ferry landing, saw a ship heading downstream from Stockton.  Almost out to the landing I found a flock of about 100 Snow Geese.  A Prairie Falcon was soaring in the wind, as were some Red-tailed Hawks, a Raven and Turkey Vultures.

Driving toward Piper Slough from Bethel Island, between the defunct golf course and the entrance to Bethel Harbor, another flock of Snow Geese was on the left.  They numbered about 300, and were joined by an equal number of Greater White-fronted Geese.  When I returned south 15 minutes later, almost all the Snow Geese were gone.

Just before the trees where we look for the Black-chinned Hummingbird, the field to the left is partially flooded.  There were some more Greater White-fronted Geese, Least Sandpipers, Wilson's Snipe, Red-winged Blackbirds and Crows.

Did I mention that it was windy?

I turned off at Bay Point and drove Port Chicago Highway to the closure and the road which crosses the RR tracks to the chemical plant.  The ship I had seen earlier was just passing the loading dock at the weapons station.  I would have thought it would be farther downstream for all the puttering around I did.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek