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Hummingbird banding
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 09:12:37 PST
From: George McRae

Dear Birders,

Every summer my wife and I are inundated with hummingbirds, and of course all excepting the hardy Anna's Hummingbirds (perhaps 3 or 4 permanent residents) head off to sunny patches. The wonder of it all is where do they go and do the same ones come back. So ... Does anyone band the little fellows? Could I learn how to do it? Would they be too traumatized by it? All the questions.

George McRae.

PS  If any one lives in the Mira Vista Park area of Richmond/El Cerrito give it a visit. Friends of Baxter Creek has been heavily restoring/rehabilitating the creek area and the results have been scads of American Robins and other birds bathing and drinking at and in the creek and feeding on a variety of seasonal berry producing bushes. It's lovely and what a compliment to the Creek people for their efforts to have literally a riot of robins visiting and using the creek. Also Poinsett Park in El Cerrito has a wonderful bunch of Western Scrub-Jays and Steller's Jays using the park. They are terrific and I have been hand feeding two scrub-jays peanuts in my back yard who live at the park. Seen: scrub-jay pair building or repairing a nest in the willows about fifteen feet above the creek.

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Re: Dusky-capped Flycatcher in Alameda County
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 09:55:28 PST
From: Kathy Robertson

This morning at about 8:40 I refound the Dusky-capped Flycatcher at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Mike Ezekiel and I watched the bird forage in the trees along the botanical garden fence for approximately 15 minutes. This was directly opposite the boathouse parking lot.

Kathy Robertson
Hayward, CA

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Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hayward Regional Shoreline
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 15:00:03 PST
From: Bob Richmond

After looking at the Dusky-capped Flycatcher at Lake Merritt (Oakland) sporadically for at least 3 hours, I went with Kevin Hintsa to the Hayward Regional Shoreline to look for the Black Oystercatchers, which have been present for several months. We saw 5, the most I have seen here. While they seem to have been reported a lot the last few years, this winter they could be many places in the bay. Also seen were a Prairie Falcon and an Osprey.

Good birding

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White-throated Sparrow at Sunol Regional Wilderness
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 17:38:13 -0800
From: Akira So

In the Sunol Regional Wilderness [southeast of Sunol] near the visitor center, a White-throated Sparrow (tan-striped variety) was preening its feathers in a brushy area at about 4:30 this afternoon.

Enter the Sunol Regional Wilderness via Geary Road. After driving past the entrance kiosk, go straight (do not turn left toward the visitor center), and then park in the roadside parking lot on the left, immediately after the side road to the visitor center. You will see two toilets, and also a bench a short distance to the right of toilets. The sparrow was in the brushy area just to the left of the bench, on the edge of the parking lot.

Also in the same brushy area were Fox Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Western Scrub-Jays and Spotted Towhees.

Good birding,
Akira So
Pleasanton, CA

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Tuesday at Lake Merritt, Oakland
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 18:37:34 -0800
From: Courtenay Peddle

Hello folks,

The Dusky-capped Flycatcher was still at the Lake Merritt Botanical Gardens today. I saw it first in a red-berry-laden shrub near the composting area, which is at the other end of the gardens from the earlier sightings. About eight of us enjoyed nearly 10 minutes of good looks at the bird before it flew off toward the truck yard in back of the garden.

Here's my complete list for the morning at the lake:

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
American Wigeon (Anas americana)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
California Gull (Larus californicus)
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)
Rock Dove (Columba livia)
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
California Towhee (Pipilo crissalis)

Good birding!
Courtenay Peddle

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Re: Oystercatchers
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 18:47:02 -0800 (PST)
From: John Harris

During the Oakland/Berkeley Christmas Bird Count last Sunday, two Black Oystercatchers were seen on Emery spit (between Ashby and University, accessed from the frontage road.)

[[The reference is to Point Emery, just south of the foot of Ashby Ave, located in Emeryville, Alameda County. Black Oystercatchers have also been seen fairly regularly near the outer end of the Albany Bulb, also Alameda County, and near the breakwater at the boat entrance to Richmond Marina Bay, Contra Costa County. --Larry]]

John H. Harris
Biology Department
Mills College
Oakland, CA

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