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Eastern Contra Costa County on 10 November
Sat, 11 Nov 2000 10:01:01 -0800
From: Calvin Lou

hello All,

I did a little birding in Eastern Contra Costa county yesterday.

At Jersey Island, there were two Ferruginous Hawks, one adult and one juvenile.

At the Holland Tract, in the field just over the bridge, I saw 8 Sandhill Cranes and 4 Cattle Egrets in the with the flock of cows. Also a Green-backed Heron flew across the waterway here.

At Clifton Court Forebay, the ducks and gulls numbers are starting to build. Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls; Common Goldeneyes and Ruddy Ducks; Western, Clark's and Pied-billed Grebes.

At Iron House Sanitary District ponds [Oakley], Bonaparte's and Mew Gulls are present. A few Greater Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers.

At Waterfront Road [east of Martinez], there were Cinnamon Teals, Green-winged Teal, a few American Widgeon, etc.

At Mallard Reservoir, off of Bates Ave [north of Concord, near Clyde], there were Gadwall, Ring-necked Ducks, some Ruddy Ducks, and many coots.

Calvin Lou

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Hidden Lakes Open Space, Martinez
Sat, 11 Nov 2000 15:01:37 PST
From: Denise Wight

Hi EB Birders,

This morning I led my beginning bird class for Wild Birds Unlimited around Hidden Lakes Open Space in Martinez. The highlights included a white morph White-throated Sparrow, seen in the gully below the north foot bridge, a flyover flock of American White Pelicans (11), and a flyover Golden Eagle. Both pelicans and eagle were first spotted, about 10 minutes apart, circling high above the Eucalyptus grove, then heading south along the same aerial path.

Here's the trip list:

American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Green Heron
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
American Coot
California Gull
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna’s Hummingbird
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Oak Titmouse
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
California Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

Denise Wight
Martinez, CA

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Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Sun, 12 Nov 2000 21:52:40 PST
From: Denise Wight

Hi EB Birders,

Just outside Contra Costa County today, there were at least 400 Yellow-headed Blackbirds on the other side of the Antioch Bridge in Sacramento County. Right after you get off the bridge, make a right onto Sherman Island Road, and check the fields on the way out to the levee for blackbird flocks. A tracker was plowing the corn fields, attracting thousands of blackbirds, some egrets, hawks, etc. The Yellow-headed Blackbirds were mixed in with other blackbird species. A huge flock made up of almost entirely Yellow-headed Blackbirds flew rather low, directly over our heads. I would say 400 was a conservative number.

Denise Wight
Martinez, CA

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Speaking of yellow...
Mon, 13 Nov 2000 08:54:28 -0800
From: Lisa Viani

Denise Wight wrote:

Just outside Contra Costa County today, there were at least 400 Yellow-headed Blackbirds on the other side of the Antioch Bridge...

Speaking of yellow - I have lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers here for the winter (I'm in Richmond), as I'm sure most of you do. Yesterday I watched one pecking for about 15 minutes at a mushy persimmon left on my tree. I was thrilled that my "ploy" (of leaving the fruit for the birds) actually worked.

Best, Lisa Viani

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Birdwalk at Richmond Marina Bay
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 20:39:53 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Just a reminder that there'll be a birdwalk Thursday morning on the Richmond bayshore, meeting at 8 AM at Shimada Friendship Park. From Hwy 580, take the 23rd St / Marina Bay exit and go south (toward the bay) on Marina Bay Pkwy. Just stay on that street as it twists through the housing development until you see the small park on your left. If you get to the end of the road in a parking lot for Vincent Park, you've gone just a little too far.

We'll be visiting rocky shore, mudflat, tidal marsh, and riparian habitats, all on a short loop near the starting place. We'll probably be birding until about noon, but you can leave earlier because it will always be a quick walk back to the cars.

If time permits, there'll also be a chance to visit the new Rosie the Riveter monument.

We'll go in light showers, but not in steady rain. Be prepared for cold winds. Bring a scope if you have one. Hope to see you there.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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Cassin's Finch
Wed, 15 Nov 2000 12:09:16 -0800
From: Kay Loughman

EBBirders,

Yesterday and today I've had an adult male Cassin's Finch visiting my feeders at Gravatt & Stephens in the Berkeley/Oakland hills. The bird has been seen at both seed feeders, but is spending more time at the one not visible from the street. The first sighting yesterday came only minutes before I read an e-mail from Steve Kelling at BirdSource which described how montane species were being spotted all over the western and southwestern US. Timely!

Kay Loughman

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