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Upper San Leandro Reservoir
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 12:30:06 -0800
From: Marty Lycan

Good birding today at Upper San Leandro Reservoir from the Valle Vista Staging Area near Moraga (EBMUD Trail Permit required). Over 40 species in a couple hours.

Highlights: Golden Eagle, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks getting frisky, Orange-crowned Warbler, dozen Wood Ducks, and at least half a dozen Varied Thrushes in woody area just past bridge to the right.

Marty Lycan

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More Wild Turkeys in Berkeley
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 14:43:33 -0800
From: Judi Sierra

On my way home from the birding-by-song walk in Tilden Regional Park Nature Area, there were 4 Wild Turkeys in the road at Golf Course Rd and Grizzly Peak Blvd. I think 1 male and 3 females. Traffic seemed to have come to a stop and people appeared puzzled as to what they were looking at. I trust Larry will give a report on the walk itself.

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Backyard activity in Oakland Hills
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 16:08:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Joy Maxion

Lots of birds feeding in the yard yesterday and today. Highlights were 2 Band-tailed Pigeons, a single Oak Titmouse, and more Pine Siskins than I have had all winter. There were about 10 at the thistle feeders, most of the week end. There is a Bewick's Wren checking out the bird houses already.

Good Birding!
Joy Maxion
Oakland (Sheffield Village area )

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Backyard activity in Walnut Creek
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 16:17:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Diane P.

Yes, Spring seems on the verge of happening. I've had Lesser Goldfinches and American Goldfinches hanging off my thistle feeder like wallpaper past few days. They are a little better behaved than the House Finches however (who have violent squabbles over the perches at the sunflower chips feeder). This afternoon, my yard has been taken over by American Robins (here to eat the ripe berries on the ivy wall on my backfence). One robin just sat for about 20 minutes in one of my birdbaths. Was odd. (I wonder if he was too full of berries to move!) Finally gave himself a thorough bath and then flew off (rather heavily, I thought).

Diane (Walnut Creek, near Northgate High School)

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Tilden Regional Park Nature Area
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 17:43:35 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Quite a good-sized group turned out this morning in the Tilden Regional Park Nature Area (Berkeley Hills) for a birdwalk led by John Robinson of Lanius Software. The focus was on identification of birds by their songs and calls, and the birds cooperated by providing a nice variety of examples without being so noisy as to become too confusing.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers were singing, we saw and heard a lot of woodpeckers, some saw a few elusive Varied Thrushes, and a small flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets provided good looks and songs on the Upper Packrat Trail.

By the way, John said that he is still leading monthly walks for Wild Bird Center of Walnut Creek, though he is not sure whether their website calendar is the current one. He promised to send me the current schedule so that I can be sure that the postings on the calendar are correct.

Here is what I caught of the day's list. The group was so large that it almost became two groups on the Packrat Trail, so I probably missed some things from the other part of the group.

I'm sure John heard many more species that he didn't call out, to help us all focus on particular songs we were learning.

By the way, I was up at Grizzly Island (Solano County) on Saturday and there were lots of swallows all over the place (Barn, Cliff, and Violet-green).

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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Skip gets a life-bird
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 18:42:03 -0800
From: Dennis Braddy


In spite of getting his first dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk and great views of a perched Merlin on our dog-and-bird-walk late yesterday afternoon, Skip begged-off on doing a post. His less than chipper mood was understandable given the brand new stitches in his hip from having a cyst removed.

Today was a different story. Right off the bat Skip added a new life-bird; a Bewick's Wren chatted apparently to itself (not the usual scolding) at the corner of Norris Canyon and Bollinger Canyon Rds. In the same area we heard a bellyaching Red-shouldered Hawk. Minutes later at Norris Canyon Rd and Marsh Dr we had a Merlin that looked identical to yesterday's bird. The Merlin flew into the top of a nearby redwood and gave us several minutes of study before moving on. As the two of us stood on the path above Bollinger Canyon Elementary gazing out over San Ramon a distant speck ever so slowly grew into the neighborhood juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. It eventually swooped up and landed somewhat clumsily in the tree right beside us. Neat.

We had a total of 28 bird species on today's walk - respectable, but not a record. Our best day was either 30 or 31 birds depending on whether you ask me or Skip. I have to admit that Skip has the better memory (and hearing), but then he's 50 (human) years younger than me. By the time we got home Skip was really pumped. Of course the prospect of dinner and a treat almost always improves Skip's spirits.

Dennis and Skip
San Ramon

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