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Piper Slough on 1 Nov
Thu, 2 Nov 2000 22:14:22 PST
From: Steve Glover

Hello all,

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours out at Piper Slough at the north end of Bethel Island in eastern Contra Costa County. Overall the birding was pretty good with 54 species seen or heard.

Somewhat unusual birds, at least for this location, included the following:

Canvasback  11 flying east, the first I have ever had there, strangely enough.

Golden-crowned Kinglet  16, a new high count, the old high count being just two. They are probably all over the place as the habitat at Piper Slough - willows and brambles - isn't exactly their first choice.

"Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco  Two.

Pine Siskin  Two, only the second record there.

Common Moorhen  A new high of 6, all around the distant edges of the reeds to the north and west. I didn't always scan the water carefully there so I can't say if this is normal or not.

Winter Wren  One.

Other birds of interest included Tree Swallow (125), House Wren (4), Orange-crowned Warbler (5), Sandhill Crane (total of 41 in several flocks over the islands to the north), Fox Sparrow (9), Common Raven (4 flying northwest), Great Horned Owl, and Pied-billed Grebe (75).

On the way out there I saw a flock of 35 Cattle Egrets along Cypress Rd on the way to Bethel Island.

Steve Glover

Subject Index

Selasphorus hummer, leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, Hooded Mergansers
Sun, 05 Nov 2000 20:33:41 -0800
From: Lillian Fujii

Hi Birders,

Today, Steve Hayashi and I had a young male Selasphorus hummingbird at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley. Its territory is next to the "Bed 606" sign in the South American section of the garden. The partially leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, previously reported I don't remember when, is still flying above the garden.

Also, yesterday, there were at least 5 Hooded Mergansers (2 males, 3 females) at Upper San Leandro Reservoir in Moraga. From the Valle Vista Staging Area, take the Rocky Ridge Trail to the reservoir. East Bay Municipal Utility District trail permit required; scope required to see the mergansers. There are many birds here; Golden-crowned Kinglets in abundance at both locations.

Lillian Fujii

Subject Index

Hayward Regional Shoreline
Sun, 05 Nov 2000 22:14:58 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

The group on Rusty Scalf's Golden Gate Audubon Society walk Sunday morning at the north end of Hayward Regional Shoreline had good looks at a wide variety of shorebirds and others. Out on the bay, too far for identification even with scope, there were many thousands of ducks ranging as far north and south along the bay as we could see.

We began at the Grant Ave trailhead, walked to the Bay Trail and south to Ora Loma Marsh, and then back to the starting point.

The following list is my attempt to summarize the group's sightings. Numbers are very approximate and apply only to the birds within good sighting distance - there were many more farther away.

Clark's Grebe - 4 (plus more Aechmophorus sp.)
Brown Pelican - 1
Double-crested Cormorant - 2
Great Blue Heron - 1
Great Egret - 2
Snowy Egret - 7
Turkey Vulture - 6
Canada Goose - 30
American Wigeon - 15
Mallard - 20
Northern Shoveler - 12
Green-winged Teal - 5
Osprey - 1
White-tailed Kite - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Black-bellied Plover - 15
Killdeer - 1
Black-necked Stilt - 100
American Avocet - 350
Greater Yellowlegs - 3
Willet - 500
Long-billed Curlew - 15
Marbled Godwit - 1000
Western Sandpiper - 100
Least Sandpiper - 15
Dunlin - 350
dowitcher sp. - 800
Mew Gull - 4
Ring-billed Gull - 10
Western Gull - 20
Glaucous-winged Gull - 1
Forster's Tern - 50
Rock Dove - 35
Anna's Hummingbird - 2
American Crow - 6
Marsh Wren - several heard
European Starling - 20
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 7
Savannah Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
Lincoln's Sparrow - 4
White-crowned Sparrow - 10
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 2
Red-winged Blackbird - 10
Western Meadowlark - 1
House Finch - 12
American Goldfinch - 4

Most of the shorebirds were seen in the Ora Loma Marsh (not named on any map I've seen), which lies between the Winton Ave entrance (Hayward's Landing) and the sewage plant. It was just after high tide when we were there, and this had concentrated the shorebirds in the marsh where they were readily viewed from the trail.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA
East Bay Birders Circle:

Subject Index

Another Pileated Woodpecker sighting
Mon, 6 Nov 2000 09:00:30 PST
From: Sylvia Sykora

Yesterday morning around 11:00, I saw a single Pileated Woodpecker in Redwood Regional Park, south of previous sightings in Joaquin Miller Park and the Melville Drive neighborhood. The bird was watched for two or three minutes as it foraged in Monterey pines adjacent to a narrow, unofficial footpath uphill from the West Ridge/French Trails intersection. This bird appeared smaller than the bird I saw in June, perhaps no more than 14 inches in length. It was backlit, so no plumage details were visible. I've noticed before along this trail large oval holes in several snags which suggest Pileateds have been at this location in the past.

Subject Index

Vesper Sparrow and Redheads
Mon, 6 Nov 2000 21:01:33 PST
From: Denise Wight

Hi E.B. Birders,

Last Friday, at César Chávez Park in Berkeley there was a Vesper Sparrow in with the Savannah Sparrows in the weedy field just a few yards north of the gas tower.

Today, on the south side of Point Emery in Emeryville there were 24 Redhead.

Denise Wight
Martinez CA

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