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Vollmer Peak Birding


Jim Chiropolos
 

The birding has been good around Vollmer Peak recently.

On Monday, I biked to the summit. 20 ft. Below the summit, I saw an empid flycatcher. I got off the bike - and much to my surprise, it was Hammonds Flycatcher! This is the only Hammonds I’ve seen East of the Mt. Diablo and I’m birding the greater east Bay Area a lot. Cool!

This morning, in the yard below Vollmer, a male Lawrence’s Goldfinch was in the plum tree - then made at least two trips to the yard thistle/nyar feeder. Pretty cool. Lessor Goldfinch are maybe year round the most common yard bird - with 6 or more every day. In seven or do years here - I’ve seen one American Goldfinch and one Lawrence’s Goldfinch - both males.

Band-tailed Pigeons have been common this fall. Yesterday a flock of 90 or more flew low over the house - a spectacular sight! The live oak trees in the area have a good acorn crop - so acorn feeding birds will have a good fall here. I think band-tails are one of the coolest oak woodland birds - along with with acorn woodpeckers.

Watching the flock of 90 made me wish the huge flocks of passenger pigeons were still around - if I’m impressed by 90 - what would a flock of millions be like? For people interested in passenger pigeons- John Greenberg wrote a fascinating book called “A Feathered River Across the Sky” about passenger pigeons which is one of the best and most tragic bird books that I have ever read.

Good Birding
Jim Chiropolos
Orinda