Previous Message

Rock Wren / Arrowhead Marsh Questions
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 09:17:11 PST
From: Collin Murphy

Dear EB Birders:

January 20 during a Golden Gate Audubon Society Arrowhead Marsh bird count [in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, Oakland], I spotted the Rock Wren in the same vicinity as it has been reported recently. It was in the rip-rap to the west of the footbridge, just north of the parking lot. It was first seen about 10:20 AM, and pointed out to Anna Wilcox's Ohlone Audubon group. When I returned to the site about 12:10 PM, it was still there, not seeming at all shy.

A question: One of the three Clapper Rails we saw today was near enough to note its vibrant orange bill color. The illustrations in my guides do not show such a bright color. Is this a seasonal or a regional variation?

Some other observations: Two kayakers entered the restoration area (it was very high tide). I asked them if they knew they were in a conservation site and they did not. They left immediately. Am I correct in assuming that there is no sign to warn boaters? Is it actually illegal to enter this area by water without permission??

There was a Burrowing Owl just inside the fenced-off area at the entrance to the MLK Regional Shoreline off Swan Way. This land is just south of the restoration area and I remember hearing that it is slated for development. This particular owl has been seen repeatedly at the very same spot for the last several weeks and I am hoping that it isn't planning to nest in an ill-fated spot. Does anyone have any information about this site?

Thanks and happy birding,
Collin Murphy

Reply #1    Subject Index

American Redstart
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 14:04:13 PST
From: Mark Rauzon


The American Redstart was in the laurel(?) trees directly behind the tennis courts on Mecartney Rd, off Island Dr in Alameda on Friday at 12:30 PM. Its chip is more insistent than the Yellow-rumped Warblers, but it's hard to hear over the leaf blowers, airplanes and vehicle traffic. Good luck.

Mark Rauzon

Subject Index

Kayaks in EBRPD marshes
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 20:01:59 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Collin Murphy asked whether kayaks are allowed in the new Mitigation Marsh near Arrowhead Marsh at Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline in Oakland. I have never seen any posting at the entrance to that area by water. The Shoreline brochure (of course not updated since the addition of the new marsh) marks Damon Marsh (north of Garretson Point) and Arrowhead Marsh as "Restricted wave area - no boats or jet skis". In the rules and regulations it says: "Motorized boats and hovercraft are not allowed in marshland areas."

It certainly would appear that kayaks, canoes, and rowboats have free passage in the marsh areas. I have seen kayaks and canoes poking around in the passages through Arrowhead Marsh at high tide. If the boaters are reasonably quiet, it doesn't seem to disturb the birds very much.

Thursday morning I was at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline [Point Richmond] having another look for the Sage Thrasher (no luck). Someone was throwing a frisbee for his dog out into the area near the boardwalk. I pointed out that this was an area intended to provide wildlife habitat, and that it might be more appropriate to play frisbee with the dog on the lawns across the street. He said that he'd love to, but that dogs are not allowed off leash on that side of the street. I looked at the East Bay Regional Park District rules, and indeed dogs must be on leash in any "parking lot, picnic site, lawn or developed area." In other words, you can let them run free only in the likely wildlife habitat! The rules do say that "no dogs or other animals are permitted at any swimming pool, beach, wetland or marsh, or the Tilden Nature Area." It would be nice if some wildlife areas could be posted to keep the dogs out, though.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

Original Message    Subject Index

Redstart and hummer
Sun, 06 Jan 1980 12:01:01 -0800 [Happy Y2K, Bruce!]
From: Bruce Mast

Spent about 2 hours looking for the American Redstart [in Alameda] yesterday morning [January 22, 2000]. When I arrived at the tennis courts around 8:30 AM, the trees there were completely quiet. Most of the action was up in the trees around the community center on the other side of the ball field (chickadees, American Goldfinches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Downy Woodpecker). The redstart finally showed up in the trees next to the tennis courts about 10:30. Its call sounded to me like a cross between the note of a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Black Phoebe. In fact, I first found the bird just as I was about to leave when I went to double-check what I thought sounded like a phoebe (there were a couple in the general vicinity earlier that morning). From the lack of black on the throat and minimal yellow on the wings, I would agree the bird is either an immature male or a female.

While scanning the tennis court trees for the redstart, I noticed a female hummingbird (presumably Anna's) on a nest. The nest is in the large pine closest to the tennis court gates on the back side. It's on a branch about 40 feet high that sticks out directly opposite the courts, about 2 feet from the end.

P.S. Burrowing Owls were standing around blinky-eyed at both Berkeley Marina and Arrowhead Marsh. Both were where previously described in recent e-mails.

Bruce Mast

Subject Index

Next Message