Mountain View Sanitary-Msartinez on Saturday


To celebrate America's Wetlands Month, three of us from Mt. Diablo Audubon led a walk around Mt. View Sanitary in Martinez. We started at the McNabney Marsh observation platform, with the Killdeer nest right next to the sidewalk. From the platform we watched White Pelicans, Great-tailed Grackles and American Avocets. Walking through the tunnel and inside the facility to Moorhen Marsh, we found European Collared-Doves, Green Herons, heard a common Yellowthroat and we had a number of singing and one seen Marsh Wrens.

When we stood under the large palm tree in the middle of the marshes, I started telling the story of the 5th grader in Antioch who spotted a Barn Owl in the palm tree at Contra Loma Reservoir. She did this during the discussion about Barn owls in palm trees at Mt. Diablo Audubon's "No Child Left Inside" education program with Jack London School in Antioch. Sure enough she found a Barn Owl, saying something like. "Do you mean like this?"

While I told the story, I also mentioned that the Hooded Orioles like palm trees, too. Sure enough, someone in the group said, "Do you mean like this?" We enjoyed seeing the orioles in the middle of the marsh.

As we left the marsh, one participant pointed out a small bird deep in the grass. We all looked at a darkish bird with a large bill and yellow gape, but obviously still having pin feathers sticking out all over its body. The adult Great-tailed Grackle nearby gave us a clue that it was probably the parent of the young bird we were viewing.

39 species were identified in the less-than-three-hour event. Thanks to Irene Chang and Kelly Davidson of Mt. View Sanitary.

Hugh B. Harvey
Mt Diablo Audubon Society
Walnut Creek