Cassin's Vireo, Tufted Duck, Nesting Cormorants - Lake Merritt
Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey lead a monthly Golden Gate Audubon walk at Lake Merritt in Oakland (for details go to: http://www.goldengateaudubon.org/field-trips/field-trips/). This morning's walk was eventful! A highlight was a CASSIN'S VIREO - a life bird for more than one of us - in a line of oaks just south of Children's Fairyland where we also had two TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS.
We started the walk at the Rotary Nature Center, where we had excellent looks at the continuing TUFTED DUCK. Photo here:
We also saw the continuing RING-NECKED DUCK, a COMMON MERGANSER, a COMMON GOLDENEYE, more than one breeding-plumaged HORNED GREBE and EARED GREBE, and fly-bys of a BROWN PELICAN and two COOPER'S HAWKS.
The DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT rookery is the showpiece of the lake right now with dozens of nests in the snags and trees on the islands across from the Rotary Nature Center. We observed courtship displays, birds carrying nesting material, and many birds sitting on nests.
In the fenced-in garden, some of our group saw a RED-MASKED PARAKEET, and Hilary saw it again - or another - later as she crossed Perkins and Grand.