Wednesday morning in Heather Farm Walnut Creek
I left a little later today, about 8:30, so I did not actually see some of the regular, human morning park visitors. But the birds were still there, including three White-crowned Sparrows. Like others reported yesterday, their numbers plummeted overnight Monday to Tuesday. The Golden-crowned Sparrows are still present and looking ever sharper with their broad black stripes and the yellow and white patches on their crowns.
A Green Heron was around, as was a Common Moorhen. Two Killdeers were very vocal flying around over the area west of the big pond.
Yesterday three of us watched a mother Mallard shepherd her dozen new ducklings past us toward the pond. I did not see them today, nor have I seen any sign of goslings since the seven I saw on Palm Sunday.
While on the west side of the pond watching the sparrows, I heard a song I was having trouble to identify. It was equally hard to find the source, but after at least five minutes of looking, I finally found a beautiful male Wilson's Warbler high in the willows. Well, I am not sure I actually heard one last year, so maybe it has been two years. No wonder it seemed strange.
I was more familiar with the squawks and other weird sounds of the Great-tailed Grackle I was hearing. It was on the pond side of the reeds on the west side, and it was not until I reached the wooden railing near the parking lot that I had a good chance to see it. Still, it was going in and out of the reeds when I finally did see it; pretty hard to find even though it was quite vocal.
Hugh B. Harvey