Alhambra Valley, between Pinole and Martinez
Fri, 2 Jan 2004 17:53:19 -0800
From: Patrick King
Around where Alhambra Valley Rd intersects Bear Creek Rd, there are some interesting pastoral areas for observing birds. Near the intersection across the street from the vineyard this morning was a Say's Phoebe. It was around a Black Phoebe and a couple of Western Bluebird, hunting here and there from different fencing. The vineyard and nearby creek areas are abundant with birds. Many dozens of American Robin were here today. Killdeer nested here last year.
Just off Bear Creek Rd, at Hampton Rd was a Loggerhead Shrike perched on a phone wire. This flat area had Western Kingbird last spring and summer - worth a try for anyone heading toward the Hampton Trail later in the Spring. At the far west end of the flatland this morning were 15 to 20 Wild Turkey.
Several evenings ago, I saw a Great Horned Owl further down Alhambra Valley Rd toward Martinez at 5.30 PM. It was at the farm that is located at the bottom of the long grade that begins to ascend toward the old pig farm, the one where the road looks down on a large pond. It vanished by the time I found parking off the road. Any information about Great Horned Owls in this area would be appreciated.
Martinez / Berkeley
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Hooded Mergansers at Berkeley Aquatic Park
Fri, 2 Jan 2004 18:14:01 -0800
From: Doug Greenberg
There was a pair of Hooded Mergansers present this morning at the south end of Berkeley's Aquatic Park, very close to the road that connects to Hwy 80.
Doug Greenberg, Berkeley, California
Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley Hills
Fri, 2 Jan 2004 18:17:01 -0800
From: Patrick King
There were five Bufflehead on Jewel Lake in Tilden Nature Area (Berkeley Hills) this morning, including three adult males. A pair of Bufflehead wintered here last year. A goldeneye (Common Goldeneye?) was frequently diving. This is possibly one of the same birds that was reported last month. The local Great Blue Heron and Mallards were present.
A pair of Wrentits were busy in the bushes between Jewel Lake and the main path. What made this interesting to me were the almost continuous low buzzy call notes they were making, perhaps provoked by my presence.
I went to Jewel Lake specifically to observe the Swamp Sparrow reported by Joe Morlan and Robbie Fischer. I had a look at it a couple of weeks ago, next to the drinking fountain along the main path, but it was not there today. The low thicket area (behind and to the left of the fountain) where it disappeared into a couple of weeks ago appears to be trampled in a few places. If someone else sees this bird, please report it to the list. There were a lot of other sparrows visible in the rain around the path and behind the visitor's center, including Fox Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and the usual numbers of Song Sparrow.
Martinez / Berkeley
Sat, 03 Jan 2004 09:55:56 -0800
From: Courtenay Peddle
I like to spend an early new year's day looking for birds only within the city limits of Oakland. January 1 was much too stormy. So I went out January 2, which was a mixed bag. I was able only to bird the flatlands. When I went into the hills, I was hailed and sleeted on and saw not one bird. But my total of 87 species was not bad, I think, and I didn't see a pelican, a Killdeer, a loon or a Cinnamon Teal. Here's the list:
Long-eared Owl in eastern Alameda County
Sat, 3 Jan 2004 16:55:40 -0800
From: Steve Huckabone
Today I found a Long-eared Owl in the tamarisk trees at Mountain House. I found the bird at around 9:30 AM and later returned to photograph it at 3:30 PM.
To get to this location from Livermore take Hwy 580 east, take the Grant Line Rd exit, go left back under the freeway. Following Grant Line Rd go approximately 1 mile and turn left on Mountain House Rd, then take an immediate left back along Grant Line Rd. There is a little store, bar, bait shop on the corner. Follow the road south for a hundred yards or so. I marked the location using a stick stuck in the dirt with a white cup. Park at this marker. I marked the best viewing location with another stick and cup just inside the tree line.
Alameda County, Livermore, California
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