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Scaup and others, Contra Costa County


Ethan Monk
 

Shorebird migration has been going on for a while now, but the passerines have started moving through the past couple of days. This morning at Pt. San Pablo this was highlighted by a Warbling Vireo and a somewhat early Black-throated Gray Warbler. Rare at the point was a Lesser Yellowlegs in the Gun Club Marsh, a Pacific Wren across the street, and a likely long continuing Hairy Woodpecker at the county park. I checked Pt. Isabel for the first time since the Scaup discussion on here and found 8 scaup, about half of the summering flock: All of them were Greater Scaup. The Lessers can tend to segregate themselves out, so it is possible the 1-3 Lessers were in a place I couldn't see them from my Contra Costa vantage point.

While I'm here, some miscellaneous sightings of note:

--Last Monday a (the?) quite freshly dead Murre was beached at Vincent Park.

--Last weekend in the delta, I counted 189 staging Bank Swallows--126 of these in Contra Costa county, the rest on Sacramento's Sherman Island. Tree Swallows were present in good numbers (3-400), too, with large numbers of immatures.

--In terms of hummingbirds, the last Allen's females and immatures left a week ago, and the first Rufous arrived on the 15th in Alamo/S Walnut Creek. There seems to be a problem with this every year, but it is best to count female-type selasphorus as Rufous/Allen's unless you have conclusive photos of the tail feathers until at least half way through August. For anyone keeping track, the Costa's at my house left the 20th.

Oh, and I couldn't find the flock of Wilson's Phalaropes at Richmond Pond today. They seem to have left. Good birds for Richmond--it's a bummer they weren't noted on here.

Good birding,
Ethan