Notes from Walnut Creek


Today there were two Caspian Terns flying over the large, mostly natural pond in Heather Farm Park.  A Great-tailed Grackle was still announcing his maleness, I guess one could say.  There is not another for miles, so I am not sure who he is trying to impress.  One usually comes from Martinez for a day or so each year, but this guy has stuck around in the mornings for a couple of weeks, now.

Four Swallow species again over the pond and I heard two Wilson's Warblers, one north and one south of the pond.  We also had two new families of Mallards, one of five the other of nine.  I noted a Starling feeding a fledgling.  And we have had two Junco fledglings around our house north of the park.

Rosita and I left the house about 6 PM yesterday and went to Pine Canyon.  It is not such a great time to do birding, and we heard more than we actually saw.  Ash-throated Flycatcher, White-breasted Nuthatch, Acorn Woodpecker and Wrentit were notable.  Violet-green Swallows were flying over the canyon at the second meadow which has a bench at the top. 

We hung out there well over an hour just watching and listening.  As the sun went behind the hills to the west and the Castle Rocks became shaded, the temperature dropped rapidly and we headed back to the car.  It was a very pleasant evening.

The flowers were one of our chief attractions.  The Elegant Clarkia and Ithuriel's Spears were quite numerous in the appropriate locales.  We also had some really nice Mariposa Lilies after the top of the dam and the sandstone wind caves.  The Hummingbird Sage is finished blooming, always one of my favorites.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek