Lewis Woodpeckers - Raptors - and feral pigs....


Jim Chiropolos
 

I birded Brionnes reservoir today - three Lewis Woodpeckers on the ridges. There were very very few sparrows at Brionnes. Thinking there would be more Lewis Woodpeckers - we drove to Alahambra valley road three miles away from Brionnes and sure enough, we found one on the ridge above the road. Alahambra valley road is a great spot for raptors - but numbers seem to be about 1/3 of non drought years (why I love to patch bird). Rich Cimino posted about not many raptors on Patterson pass road - I think it is very likely drought related.

Finally, my friend Kir reported seeing 23 feral pigs at Valle Vista. I have amazingly never seen one, but I have seen their damage on native flower beds at Mt. Diablo. This is the first time I have heard of them in the Berkeley hills - this must be a range expansion I did not know about. Kir said they have been around Valle Vista for around three years and the group he saw had three generations present. I’m curious if any one knows of maps showing where pigs are in the bay.


There is definitely some dynamic range expansion - pigs, an invasion going on (Lewis Woodpeckers) and drought has  local populations of many bird species at very low numbers. From a natural history perspective, its a really interesting time for population dynamics.

Happy Thanksgiving 
Jim Chiropolos 
Orinda

Tomorrow, I think I will try to find more Lewis Woodpeckers in new locations.


Edward Vine
 

A few weeks ago, I saw 4 feral prigs at Valle Vista - in the dried out part of the Reservoir, walking from one island to another. First time for me. But I talked a birder who birds there regularly and he sees them often now: he saw 50 that day!

Ed

On Thu, Nov 24, 2022 at 2:42 PM Jim Chiropolos <jnc@...> wrote:

I birded Brionnes reservoir today - three Lewis Woodpeckers on the ridges. There were very very few sparrows at Brionnes. Thinking there would be more Lewis Woodpeckers - we drove to Alahambra valley road three miles away from Brionnes and sure enough, we found one on the ridge above the road. Alahambra valley road is a great spot for raptors - but numbers seem to be about 1/3 of non drought years (why I love to patch bird). Rich Cimino posted about not many raptors on Patterson pass road - I think it is very likely drought related.

Finally, my friend Kir reported seeing 23 feral pigs at Valle Vista. I have amazingly never seen one, but I have seen their damage on native flower beds at Mt. Diablo. This is the first time I have heard of them in the Berkeley hills - this must be a range expansion I did not know about. Kir said they have been around Valle Vista for around three years and the group he saw had three generations present. I’m curious if any one knows of maps showing where pigs are in the bay.


There is definitely some dynamic range expansion - pigs, an invasion going on (Lewis Woodpeckers) and drought has  local populations of many bird species at very low numbers. From a natural history perspective, its a really interesting time for population dynamics.

Happy Thanksgiving 
Jim Chiropolos 
Orinda

Tomorrow, I think I will try to find more Lewis Woodpeckers in new locations.






--
Edward Vine

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Building 90R2002
Berkeley, CA 94720-8136

Phone:     1-510-486-6047
Email:    elvine@...