Ducks and Geese Galore in Orinda

Kir Pridatko

Hello everyone.

Today, 11/14, I was able to do two loops around Briones reservoir in Orinda, eventually spending most of my day out. The timing of my long outing could not be better, since the ducks and geese numbers increased ten-fold since last week. I had between 30 and 40 high flyovers of geese and ducks flocks, observing 4 sp. of geese, including three separate sightings of SNOW GEESE, first for me in the Lamorinda area. It must be a great time to score SNGO in other nearby locations, like Valle Vista. 5 CACKLING geese were observed from the Overlook area on my second loop.  A Pacific (black) merlin was also present there in the morning. 
Ducks activity on the water was also spectacular, especially at sunrise; all species yielded new high numbers for the location, including 10 CANVASBACKS. In the second half of the day, the increased wind brought all ducks from the central waters to the tower/overlook area. They formed a dense raft of about 200-250 ducks, mostly widgeons, shovelers, buffleheads, goldeneyes, and ring-necked. But the distance was too much for my binoculars to sort them accurately. I hope these numbers of ducks will continue, and someone will be able to scope them thoroughly for scaups or redheads.

Highlights in my checklist:

Happy birding,
Kir Pridatko