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American Robins
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 17:25:01 -0800
From: John Luther

Hi All,

This afternoon I was scanning Round Top (elevation 1761 feet) and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve from my home, which is south of there on the south side of Shepherd Canyon in the Oakland hills. I noticed American Robins in large numbers flying from the east and southeast towards Round Top. At 4 PM I put my scope on one spot to the east and south of the top of Round Top to try to estimate the number of birds flying towards the mountain. My rough estimate was about 300 birds per minute (realize I was only counting those birds flying through my scope view). I kept watching until 4:40 when numbers seemed to be reduced. My overall estimate was over 10,000 robins!! Of course this is a very rough estimate, but compared to years when the Oakland Christmas Bird Count has had 2,000 or 4,000 robins (I don't know what the total was last year), this is very high.

I would suggest that the persons who have that area on Sunday might want to be on the grassy hill along the fence line southeast of Round Top by about 4 PM to count robins. I also saw at least one Red-tailed Hawk, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a Northern Harrier. I wonder what small birds might have been flying by? At least one Golden Eagle is often in the area, but I did not see one today. There are often many Common Ravens in this area also. A couple of days ago there were 14 ravens "playing" on the grassy hillside.

If someone knows who does this area for the CBC, please pass this on to them in case they are not online.

John Luther

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Re: American Robins
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 17:31:47 -0800
From: Mark Eaton

I too noticed very large numbers of American Robins the afternoon I spent in Tilden Regional Park (Berkeley Hills) a few weeks back. While I made no attempt to count them, it was easily in the thousands.


Mark Eaton
SFBirds Web Page
SFBirds mailing list

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Re: American Robins
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 19:18:42 -0800
From: Jerrie Arko

American Robins everywhere!! I have seen a few hundred in the backyards along here. I can see three neighbors' yards and two of them have loads of red berries (cotoneaster? pyracantha?) and I have a splashing pond for the birds. I spent lots of time this morning watching robins splash around, fly to a tree branch, preen every feather into perfection, and go for another bath! What fun! Robins do seem to enjoy bathing and I imagine there are lots of puddles around for them.

I also saw a few Ceder Waxwings filling up on the berries. In my front yard there were loads of Dark-eyed Juncos, Mourning Doves, California Towhees, House Finches, American and Lesser Goldfinches, and one lovely little Ruby-crowned Kinglet sitting in the spruce tree, scolding someone! His little red feathers kept popping up and down.

And the dishes aren't done and the shopping got put off until tomorrow....

Jerrie Arko, El Cerrito, CA

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San Leandro Creek walk
Sat, 15 Dec 2001 14:50:10 -0800
From: John Luther

I just returned from a walk up San Leandro Creek (in San Leandro) as a scouting trip for the Oakland Christmas Bird Count tomorrow. I walked in the creek about 2 miles (you need your knee-high wading boots) from San Leandro Blvd almost to Hwy 580. Nothing unusual (unless you count a Golden Pheasant), but here are the results.

Turkey Vulture 8
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Golden Pheasant 1
Mourning Dove 6
White-throated Swift 1
Anna's Hummingbird 21
Nuttall's Woodpecker 1
Black Phoebe 1
Western Scrub-Jay 6
Common Raven 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 15
Bushtit 90
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 1
Bewick's Wren 3
Winter Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 22
American Robin 30
Northern Mockingbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 40
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 200
Townsend's Warbler 9
California Towhee 12
Fox Sparrow 4
Song Sparrow 8
Golden-crowned Sparrow 6
Dark-eyed Junco 40
House Sparrow 3

John Luther

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San Pablo Reservoir
Sat, 15 Dec 2001 16:29:45 -0800
From: Pat Matthews

Counted 88 female Common Mergansers and 5 males by the launch ramp. Watched an adult (female?) Bald Eagle steal a fish from the Osprey and fly with it to a tall pine on the east shore. Also watched an immature Cooper's Hawk harass several Killdeer on the lawn at the Main Rec.

Very good day.
Ranger Pat
San Pablo Reservoir
El Sobrante, CA

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