Friday at Heather Farm Walnut Creek


It only takes a day to make a difference, sometimes a few minutes.  Yesterday we had over 50 Ring-necked Ducks on the large, mostly natural pond in Heather Farm Park, located in the Ygnacio Valley of Walnut Creek.  This morning when I had a good clear view of the pond, it was less than 10, a number to which David Kent agreed.
But after I rode my bike around the concrete pond and back toward the wooden railing, I counted 91 Ring-necked Ducks.  They must have flown in during the few minutes I was riding elsewhere, this is certainly not a number of ducks which would have all been hiding.
David also had a Townsend's Warbler, found in the trees near the trail intersection between the two ponds.
Neither of us had arrived early enough to see Black-crowned Night-Herons on the lawn between the railing and the parking lot, but this is where they seem to be early in the day.
Plenty of sparrows, still, along with the other expected birds.  I have been told that the Tropical Kingbird was seen this week, possibly Tuesday.  A few Red-winged Blackbirds are now sticking around during the day.  Previously, maybe 100 of them came in late in the day, but they would leave at sunrise.  The noise they made was--well, loud.
Yesterday, Fred Safier and I checked a large flock of gulls on the north ball fields, they were all Mews except for one Ring-billed Gull.  today there was one Ring-billed, though about 15 of them and one Mew Gull were on the lawn south of the concrete pond.  I did notice that a bunch of gulls were on the soccer field between the north and south ball fields, but did not go look closely.
Robins and Cedar Waxwings continue at the north end of the park in the trees near the bridge over the Contra Costa Canal.  To the eat are bushes which have some kind of small blue berries.  The birds also bathe in the small ditch which goes around the corner of the dog park at this location.

Hugh B. HarveyWalnut Creek