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Oystercatchers at Berkeley Marina
Thu, 01 Jan 2004 18:36:37 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I am forwarding this message to the list for Phila Rogers:

Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2004 17:15:06 -0800

This afternoon after the morning's tempest had subsided I checked out the Berkeley waterfront to see what the storm might have blown in. Mostly the usual suspects - Ruddy Ducks, scaups, Buffleheads - but in the big lagoon east of César Chávez Park three birds all dark, slightly larger than a Willet with fairly broad wings flew back and forth, the leader calling with an insistent loud voice. On one of their passes, I was able to see the big bright orange beaks and realized they were Black Oystercatchers. Two of them landed on the rocks and I was able to observe them close enough so I could get a good look at their orange-ringed eye. For me, an auspicious beginning to a new birding year.

Phila Rogers

Posted to EBB by Larry Tunstall

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Black-and-white Warbler continues at Lake Merritt
Thu, 01 Jan 2004 19:53:52 -0800
From: Emily Serkin


I relocated the Black-and-white Warbler at Lake Merritt in Oakland across the street from the Garden Center and down a ways (away from the entrance). It was pretty easy to find initially as it was in the company of the only large group of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the area. However, after seeing it briefly, foraging near the base of the trunks of trees, I was unable to find it again.

Apologies to the birder from Monterey; I looked for you after finding the bird but I guess you'd left by then.

Good birding in '04,
Emily Serkin

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Yellow-billed Magpies near Martinez
Thu, 01 Jan 2004 20:29:28 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I am forwarding the following message to the list for Nathan Crawford:

Tuesday, December 30, 2003 5:24 PM

I want to pass on two reports of birds of interest.

The first report is of 2 Yellow-billed Magpie in Baypoint, in an area that is not far from southern Martinez. I have been seeing one with regularity since the summer. Seems to show up in the neighborhood once or twice a month. Today they were seen in a field to the south, that is heavily fenced with barb wire. In the center of the field two Yellow-billed Magpie were trying to oust a White-tailed Kite from its roost. After they succeeded in this, along came a Red-tailed Hawk and shooed them farther to the south. To reach this area, if you take the Willow Pass Rd exit from Hwy 4 and then take a left at the bottom of the off ramp, you then take Willow Pass Rd under Hwy 4 to Evora Rd, then make a right on Evora Rd, go up the hill and you'll come to a light, at the light make a left on Driftwood Dr, take Driftwood for about three-quarter mile to a barbed-wired field on the right side of the road. They have been seen up and down Driftwood though, so if you're desperate take your time and watch the area.

The other report I would like to make is the returning presence of a couple of Hooded Mergansers (last year I had 10 females and 2 males at this canal) in a canal off of Golf Club Rd. They were hanging around near the little bridge that crosses Golf Club Rd, near the tennis courts at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Sometimes you have to walk the canal to the east a bit before you'll see them - they like to wander up and down the canal. Best thing to do would be to park at the Safeway located at 200 Golf Club Rd, in Pleasant Hill, Walk through the little park to the west and over to the bridge - you can walk up and down this canal for miles so take your time and have fun - there are lots of other interesting water birds in the area as well.

Good Birding
Nathan Crawford

Posted to EBB by Larry Tunstall

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