I went to my sister's house in Fremont for Christmas dinner, so, as is my custom, I went over early and did some birding. First stop was Chetwood Street in Oakland. I arrived at 8:10 and within minutes I heard a voice call out and looked up to see a fellow on one of the apartment balconies, I'm assuming it was Travis Halls because he talked about finding the bird (but I forgot to ask his name), he was pointing across the street and the SUMMER TANAGER was sitting there in full view. I snapped off a few quick pics before the bird flew across the street and over 665 Chetwood and out of sight. I waited around for a few minutes hoping it would come back so I could get better pics but to no avail.
Next it was off to Berkely Marina to look for crossbills. On the way in I found a flock of 19 WILD TURKEYS near the boat launch parking lot. This surprised me a bit, but probably shouldn't have as I had found one at Emeryville Marina when looking for the godwit a few weeks ago. I parked near Skates and walked around a bit listening but did not hear any crossbill sounds. I wandered around a bit more and found Red-breasted Nuthatch near the boat launch and then three GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS that were associating with the nuthatch, or possibly another, near HS Lordships. A few moments later I saw and then heard 18 RED CROSSBILLS in the cypresses just north of where I saw the kinglets. Two-for-two on the targets.
I next headed to Alameda to look for the kingbird. I arrived at 335 Beach Road and began searching. I walked up to the park and made a circuit but did not turn up a kingbird. I headed back to my car and when I got there I decided to play the call to see if I could lure the bird out. As soon as the call started to play the TROPICAL KINGBIRD flew in from the eucs and landed on the fence behind the house. I snapped of a few pics and headed off for my next target.
Next stop was Quarry Lakes Park in Fremont. It only took me about 15 minutes to find the RED-NECKED GREBE associating with the Eared Grebe flock. It was visible from the parking lot above the boat launch.
I can't remember if I have ever chased four birds in one day and gotten them all before. And all before 1:30. Went to my sister's and had an excellent prime rib dinner (home made), too.
And as the lady I ran into at Berkley Marina said to me, Happy HanuQuansMas,
Ralph Baker, Riverbank