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Swallow nest destruction
Fri, 5 Jul 2002 09:49:45 -0700
From: Pat Matthews

Just a note about nestling survival: here at the Res occasionally a nest gets knocked down and babies tumble out. I have had great success replacing the Cliff Swallow mud nest with a simple cardboard box tied or wired in place. Once I wired a cardboard "chin strap" to support a partially broken nest, and several times we have rescued babies and placed them in neighboring nests. The foster parents continued to feed the younger adoptee even after their own brood flew away.

And in the Believe It Or Not file, I had heard of this but it happened here, folks. A nest that was built under a dock ramp vibrated loose from the foot traffic and wave action, tumbling babies into the water. One of the parents actually rescued a baby, and managed to get it to shore safely. S/He "carried" the nestling in her/his beak, not lifting it from the water, but supporting it enough so together they thrashed to safety.

Ranger Pat Matthews
San Pablo Reservoir
7301 San Pablo Dam Road
El Sobrante, CA 94803
Office: 510.223.8489   Cell: 510.453.7454

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Information on binoculars
Sat, 6 Jul 2002 09:38:34 -0700
From: Pat Matthews

There is a very good article discussing and comparing the latest binoculars and scopes in the June-July issue of Outdoor Life. Of course, they refer to them as "hunting optics." Still, they did a good job and cover the entire price range. You can skip the last section on rifle scopes if you want.

Also, an excellent California company, Acorn Naturalists (Resources for the Trail and Classroom), carries a small line of dependable inexpensive binoculars starting with those suitable for children up to that lightweight spare for the car. There are 6 models ranging in price from $19.95 to $124.95. Their online catalog is available at

or by phone at 800.422.8886. Reliable, low-priced optics are hard to find, so I wanted to pass this on.

Ranger Pat Matthews
San Pablo Reservoir

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Hayward Regional Shoreline
Sat, 06 Jul 2002 22:39:18 -0700
From: Larry Tunstall

This morning's Golden Gate Audubon Society field trip at Hayward Regional Shoreline (in Hayward) attracted a fairly large group.

We met at the W Winton Ave trailhead, walked south past the city pollution/compost area, around Mt Trashmore (more formally known as the W Winton Ave Landfill), north to Oro Loma Marsh, then out near the radio towers and back to the starting place. Bob Lewis was the official leader with assistance from Dave Quady.

Highlights included Wilson's Phalaropes in the city ponds, two juvenile White-tailed Kites posing in easy binocular range with an adult, a Peregrine Falcon diving into shorebird flocks at Oro Loma, and a single Horned Lark on the mudflats there.

Almost all of the regular wintering shorebird species had at least a few individuals present already - exceptions being turnstones, Red Knot, and Dunlin. Willets and peeps are already around in large numbers.

The following is what I caught of a composite list for the group, plus a few species seen in the parking lot after most people had departed. With the large group, I'm sure I missed a few species spotted during the morning (perhaps Bob or Dave can supply any omissions from this list).

Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture (after walk)
Cinnamon Teal
White-tailed Kite (juveniles seen)
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Long-billed Curlew (juveniles seen)
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
dowitcher sp.
Wilson's Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern (juveniles heard)
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Nuttall's Woodpecker (at parking lot before walk)
Black Phoebe
Western Scrub-Jay (after walk)
American Crow
Horned Lark
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling (after walk)
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow (juveniles seen)
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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Hayward Regional Shoreline addendum
Sat, 06 Jul 2002 23:17:31 -0700
From: Larry Tunstall

Bob Lewis adds the following to this morning's list:

Double-crested Cormorant (flyover)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (immature, flyover)
Canada Goose (at a distance)

He also notes that we had only distant scope views of the phalaropes and that the species identification (as Wilson's) is only probable, not certain.

Thanks, Bob.

Larry Tunstall, El Cerrito CA

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