Eastern Phoebe Granger's Wharf Martinez Regional Shoreline


A number of birders were looking for the Eastern Phobe today, a bird first found yesterday by Rebecca Matsubara and reported to eBird.  This is at Granger's Wharf at the very north end of Berrelessa Street.

When I arrived something after 11 AM, Robert Rafael was looking with another birder.  They told me that Teale Fristoe had seen the Eastern Phoebe earlier, but the two of them finally left.  After a while I, too,  wandered farther out through the Shoreline and eventually stopped near the hulk of the schooner Forester.  

Finding nice log on which to sit, I scoped the river and found a huge raft of ducks.  I counted over 250 Common Goldeneyes and had two male Barrow's Goldeneyes mixed in.  There were at least 100 Buffleheads, Scaups and maybe less than 30 Surf Scoters.

When I returned toward Berrelessa, I sat at a picnic table and waited some more for the E. Phoebe.  Eventually, Ethan Monk arrived and after a short time he found the bird in a tree right next to the street.  The Phoebe then flew even closer to us, flew to the ground a couple of times, went to the bushes at the far edge of the lawn, then crossed the trail to a bench north of the bathroom. 

Derek and Chris Heins arrived in time to see and photograph the Phoebe on the metal bridge over Alhambra Creek.  It flew upstream--to the south--and was last seen by Ethan in a backyard.

Chris Wills arrived, and Albert Linkowski came from farther out in the Shoreline.  He said the raft of ducks was much larger and he was going to put 500 Common Goldeneyes on his eBird list.  Derek & Chris, Ethan and Albert all headed out to the edge of the river to look for the ducks. I finally left around 2 PM. 

An eBird report indicates that Sarah Lynch arrived about 2:14.  She saw the Eastern Phoebe and left after birding for 13 minutes.

I am wondering if the Eastern Phoebe has some kind of route it is flying and comes around every hour to hour-and-a-half.  Maybe it feeds for a while, and then decides to just sit somewhere where we cannot see it? 

Still, thanks to Rebecca for finding it and to Ethan for spotting it and getting me on it.  I am sure there will be more reports on eBird:

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Alan Bade

The Eastern Phoebe continues today near the Grainger's wharf entrance to the Martinez shoreline, and was pretty easy to see. We arrived about 10:30. After checking out how many night herons were in their tree, we immediately saw a phoebe hawking insects from just west of the parking lot near a bench. Sure enough, it was the Eastern along with a Black phoebe, though they didn't seem to be associating with each other. It was about 250 feet west of the large northern bridge. It seemed to prefer this area, as on our way back after birding elsewhere, it was still there. A small group of birders "marked the spot", so to speak.
One nice bicyclist noticed the group of birders focusing on the phoebe in the trail, stopped, waited, and then actually turned around to keep from flushing the bird. All remarked how polite that was, and appreciated.

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill