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Indigo Bunting missing from Lafayette yard
Sat, 15 Mar 2003 15:04:04 -0800
From: Maury Stern

Dear Birders,

The Indigo Bunting has not been seen in my Lafayette backyard now for 3 days. The last sighting was Wednesday, March 12, and that was after an absence of 2 days. If the bird returns, I will post it again and you can still call to see the bird.

Maury Stern

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Swallows galore at Briones Dam near Orinda
Sat, 15 Mar 2003 16:07:49 -0800
From: Kitty O'Neil

Today I walked across the dam from the Briones Overlook Staging Area (EBMUD Trail Permit required) on Bear Creek Rd near Orinda and saw swallows galore! Violet-Green Swallows, Tree Swallows, and Cliff Swallows. They were swooping all over the grassy surface of the dam.

Happy birding!

Kitty O'Neil
Orinda, CA

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker still near Sunol
Sat, 15 Mar 2003 18:22:20 -0800
From: Steve Huckabone

I saw the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at the previously reported location in Sunol Regional Wilderness this morning from about 10:15 to 10:30. The Acorn Woodpeckers chased it frequently, making it difficult to view for more than a few minutes. While waiting for the sapsucker to show up I searched the trees along the creek and found Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush and a spectacular male Rufous Hummingbird. In the creek upstream from the metal bridge were male and female Common Merganser. Good birding.

Steve Huckabone
Alameda County
Livermore California

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Lake Merritt
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 16:08:01 -0800
From: Tim Daly

On Saturday, Mary and I spent the afternoon at Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. She walks by the lake everyday on her way to and from work and invariably arrives home with a bird story.

We started out at the channel where at least one pair of Barrow's Goldeneye remain. We took a few pictures:

On the other side of the lake she has been seeing a large raptor perched on the high-rises. On Saturday it was on the antenna atop the black building near the nature center. She usually sees it after work on the art-deco building. Turns out to be the Red-tailed Hawk we had been spotting over the winter roosting in the dead trees of one of the islands:

No sign of the Tufted Duck or Cattle Egret.

A pair of Cooper's Hawks was in the grove of trees next to the toll gate at the park entrance:

Then we went to the corner of 21st & Franklin and waited for a pair of Peregrine Falcons to show up on the Kaiser building. Around 6 PM one of them came and circled the building several times and then landed on the side near the top. (Hard to see any perch up there but Mary sees them up there 2 or 3 times a week lately.) It didn't stop for long but swooped down overhead where we got a look at face and underwing. A look thru the scope revealed the tell-tale guano marks near the roost.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows more about this pair. Do they nest in this area?


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Pileated Woodpecker & Yellow-bellied Sapsucker continue
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 21:06:09 -0800
From: Dave Quady


Today I heard Redwood Regional Park’s Pileated Woodpecker call twice, at 9:50 and at 10:00 AM. I had just entered the park from the end of Waterloo Dr (off Skyline Blvd) when the bird first called. I couldn’t localize its call then, but its second call seemed to come from the drainage down the Tres Sendas Trail. It did not call again before I left at 10:45 AM.

Near the Tres Sendas/ West Ridge Trails intersection stands an isolated 8-foot-tall Monterey pine tree stub that shows evidence of Pileated Woodpecker workings. It might be productive to stake out that tree early in the morning in hopes the bird comes in to it.

At Sunol Regional Wilderness the male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker flew into a live oak near the Wilderness Room at about noon. The tree it chose is a large live oak between the picnic tables and the creek, a short distance away from the building in the direction of the steel bridge. The tree’s trunk bears a circular metal tag with the number "14" on it. This is in the same general area where others have reported the bird. The sapsucker worked its way up the trunk, evidently picking insects as it climbed. I lost track of it in leaves near the top of the tree, and did not relocate it before I left at 12:45 PM.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

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Re: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker near Sunol
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 21:59:01 -0800
From: Chris & Cyndie Illes

Having the week off we decided to try for the sapsucker at Sunol Regional Park. Lots of nice birds and sounds around but were about to give up and go home when we found him.

Best view was laying on our backs on the picnic table.

We found it in the oaks between the bridge and the buildings at the visitor center parking area. Actually right above the picnic table closest to the water and bridge the entire time we saw it.

Nice male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Red on throat, above bill, long white wing patch, not much yellow on underside at all in most lighting conditions. We thought we saw red on the back of the head. It may have been another bird associated but we couldn't re-find the other bird or the red patch on the back of the head.

Chris & Cyndie Illes
San Jose, CA

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