Recent sightings in/around Walnut Creek


Most of my birding is done around Heather Farm Park, which is near our house.  Once in a while I go farther afield, including Garin Regional Park last Friday.

But close to home I have been watching a Downy Woodpecker nest in the park.  Yesterday she came and he left the hole.  Today he came and she left; he promptly entered.  It has been about 12 days since incubation may have started, so any day now we should be seeing more activity as they start feeding young.

Rosalie Howarth sent me photos over the weekend of the Caspian Tern over the big pond in Heather Farm.  They were both taken late in the day.  Sunday morning another friend and I saw it something after 8:30.

The same friend saw the Wood Duck pair yesterday, but when I arrived at the boat ramp area, I did not see them.  Instead, I saw a female Red-winged Blackbird on the ground.  In just a moment, a male came out of a low bush nearby and they copulated--a new one for my list.

Late Sunday afternoon, Rosita and I left the house to walk into Pine Canyon.  It was mostly quiet, so we were looking at Chinese Houses, Mt. Diablo Globe Lilies and Hummingbird Sage.  The Sticky Monkeyflower is also quite nice.

We heard a Wrentit near the Castle Rocks, and also an Ash-throated Flycatcher.  There are still a number of Golden-crowned Sparrows along the road, especially near the group picnic area and ball field.  The knot hole where I had seen White-breasted Nuthatches just two weeks ago now has Tree Swallows.

As we walked out and some cows were low on the hill and along the fence line, two Lark Sparrows were on the ground behind them, doing their sparrow thing on the ground.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek