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Pine Grosbeaks and Osprey
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 13:06:21 -0800
From: Marian Whitehead

A few days ago I saw 3 pair of Pine Grosbeaks at my feeder, the first. I am new at this sport so I don't know if this sight is unusual

Sunday I saw an Osprey hovering near Point Isabel. Does he nest nearby?

Marian Whitehead

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Re: Osprey near Point Isabel
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 14:16:25 -0800
From: Lisa Viani

Marian Whitehead wrote:

Sunday I saw an Osprey hovering near Point Isabel. Does he nest nearby?

I saw an Osprey in that same area a lot last winter.

Lisa Viani

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Western Tanager in Richmond backyard
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 21:14:52 -0800
From: Phil Maynard

This last weekend I had an interesting variety of birds in my urban backyard here in Richmond (near Hwy 80, 0.5 mile north of Albany Hill). Including the first-of-the-season Black Phoebe, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Cedar Waxwings. But the backyard-life-list bird was a male Western Tanager that has spent the last 3 days eating Cotoneaster berries (like Pyracantha). It was nice to watch such a beautiful bird up close.

Phil Maynard

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Bonaparte's Gulls off Berkeley Pier
Tue, 28 Nov 2000 10:34:04 -0800
From: Rebecca Freed

These are probably common, but they were a first for me - Sunday afternoon there were a couple of Bonaparte's Gulls (in winter plumage) roosting among the peeps and Western Gulls on the wooden pilings beyond the Berkeley Pier.

Rebecca Freed
Berkeley CA

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East Bay ducks
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 13:09:42 -0800
From: Kirk Swenson

A birder friend of mine and his beginning birder girlfriend were visiting the Bay Area from Portland over the Thanksgiving weekend. They expressed an interest in seeing waterfowl so on Saturday I took them to Lake Merritt (Oakland), Berkeley Aquatic Park, the Emeryville waterfront, and Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline (Oakland). Totals for the day were 19 species of ducks and five grebes. Highlights were female Tufted Duck at Lake Merritt (along with the expected Barrow's Goldeneyes and Cattle Egret) and female Hooded Merganser at Berkeley Aquatic Park.

Today (Thursday) I was pleasantly surprised by a flock of 30 or more Barrow's Goldeneyes visible right next to shore from the Amtrak train about five minutes out of Martinez (on its way to Richmond) at about 9:45. The flock appeared to be exclusively Barrow's, although I wasn't able to scrutinize every bird even though the train was moving fairly slowly and I had my binoculars with me. (This train is supposed to be in Emeryville by 9:30 but was running 45 minutes late.) Unfortunately, it's hard to give better directions than that, but it was probably about halfway between Martinez and Crockett. This is the first time I've seen Barrow's Goldeneyes from the train. Common Goldeneyes are generally only seen in small numbers along this route.

I ride this train regularly between the bay area and Davis and the birding from the train can be quite good. I've seen over 60 species from the train, which isn't shabby considering I'm supposed to be getting work done along the way.  ;-)  I should mention that I was on the train from which the Martinez puffin was reported, but I must not have been looking out the window at that point.

Kirk Swenson
Davis, CA (formerly in El Cerrito)

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Eastern Contra Costa County Christmas Bird Count
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 17:48:29 -0800
From: Jimm Edgar

East Bay birders,

Mt Diablo Audubon Society is planning to organize a new Christmas Bird Count for the east county on December 23, 2000. If any of you have an interest in this part of Contra Costa County and would like to participate please call me. This first year will be a low-key affair, though official with National Audubon Society.

Jimm Edgar

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Barrow's Goldeneye and Blue-winged Teal
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 17:53:07 -0800
From: Don Lewis

This morning at Arrowhead Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, Oakland, in addition to the usual cast of characters there was a male Barrow's Goldeneye at the south end of Airport Channel, just past the first parking lot.

There were two male Blue-winged Teal at the nearby Garretson Point, at the north end of Edgewater Drive.

Don Lewis
Lafayette, CA

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