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Heather Farm Walnut Creek and Oakland Middle Harbor Shoreline Monday


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I had to take a friend from Berkeley to a medical procedure, but had time to take a quick spin around Heather Farm before leaving. Had two woodpeckers--a female Downy and the Nuttall's at the nest. Two Green Herons were flying around, two Killdeer chicks are still on the ball fields, lots of Canada Goose goslings and some Mallard ducklings, Barn and Violet-green Swallows, too. Yellow Warblers still in the eucalyptus near the chin-up bars.

Other birders were ahead of me and had a Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, even a distant Northern Harrier. The Caspian Tern was here early and a couple of Warbling Vireos were seen by Tracy Farrington. He also had a bunch of Chickadees.

While waiting for my friend's appointment to be completed, I checked along the edge of Powell Street in Emeryville--absolutely nothing. Point Emery had no available parking space. But I drove to Oakland Middle Harbor Shoreline and drove south to the all-handicap parking along the estuary. And yes, I took a space. Nothing visible along the estuary except for the large containership MSC Rania. It is not that big--only 1089 feet long.

On a mudflat on the way out were quite a few birds, so on the way back I paused and scoped them out the car window. The group included about 60 Marbled Godwits, at least one Long-billed Curlew, three Willets, five or six Black-bellied Plovers in non-breeding plumage, 20-30 Caspian Terns, two Forster's Terns and a bunch of Western and California gulls. Most likely the distant cormorants I saw perched were Double-crested. That was nice.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek