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Wild Turkeys in Berkeley Hills
Tue, 20 Jan 2004 15:14:34 -0800
From: Allen Fish

Dear fellow birdfolk --

I gotta admit it - my family and I have become enamored of a flock of three female Wild Turkeys that have been making repeat visits to our yard/viciniity along Buena Vista Way near the top of Cedar St in Berkeley. We've been seeing them maybe every other day for at least a month  ... until about a week ago -

Now my kids (4 and 2 years old) are clamoring - what happened to them? Are they okay? And I'm curious too, so I told them I'd send this note out to you all -

Anybody seen a trio of female turkeys wandering aimlessly around the Hills?

Thanks for your help - good birds -

Allen Fish

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Re: Wild Turkeys in Berkeley Hills
Tue, 20 Jan 2004 15:35:06 -0800
From: Roger Hartwell

There many Wild Turkeys in this area. That's not a comment on the populace, but a wildlife observation. Your trio may very well have moved on to greener pastures, in the non-metaphorical sense.

Roger Hartwell
Orinda, California

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Re: Male Tufted Duck at Channel Park, Oakland
Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:12:42 -0800
From: Judi Cooper

I followed up on the report of Doug Greenberg regarding the Tufted Duck near Laney College. Never having driven to this area I finally found my way to Laney College. Finding parking was the real problem but after a few U-turns I found a space on 7th St between Oak and 5th. I walked back to the channel which goes under 7th St and found the duck in the channel with a small group of scaup on the side of 7th St which is across the street from Laney College.

The scaup were all sleeping but the male Tufted Duck was diving and diving and although I knew it was him, his tuft was not showing. Finally he stayed up long enough for the tuft to come loose from the back of his head. I was able to get very close and take digiscope pictures. I didn't feel that he had as full a tuft as I have seen before on other ducks. However, this is a year bird and I am not complaining - thank you Doug.

Judi Cooper

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Ferruginous Hawk in Fremont Hills
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:06:02 PST
From: Phil Gordon

Greetings EBBirders,

Yesterday, while I was checking Hayward-Fremont Christmas Bird Count boundaries, an adult, light-morph Ferruginous Hawk flew over my car while parked about 1,400 feet from the end of Morrison Canyon Rd, Fremont, Alameda County. I drove about 400 feet to the valley where it disappeared and thought I had it (quite distant white-breasted buteo) perched on a double-high fencepost, but it flew off as an adult Red-tailed Hawk - displaced by an adult Golden Eagle. Soon the Ferruginous Hawk appeared and perched nearer on a telephone pole, where I could clearly see its orange-cinnamon flags (thighs), dark against the light beast and sides. The telephone pole perch was located near an old ranch house at 2554 Morrison Canyon Rd (apparently a land bank property held by East Bay Regional Parks as "Closed until made accessible and safe for public use").

Curiously, the telephone pole sits right on the circle boundary of the Ohlone Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and the bird would have been counted here (but, probably was a bird counted in the Hayward Hills to the north).

Beware that travel up Morrison Canyon Rd. directly off Mission Blvd., Fremont, is very hazardous, since most of it is a narrow, one lane wide, road. A better (safer) approach is from Hwy 680, take Vargas Rd (in Fremont Hills), north to the intersection with Morrison Canyon Rd, go right (east) to the area described above.

Happy Birding,
Phil E. Gordon
Hayward, Alameda County

P.S. Good views here of southern San Francisco Bay Area.

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Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 13:29:22 -0800
From: Travis Hails

Today I found a Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow at Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline (Oakland). It was seen by about 40 participants on Courtenay Peddle's Golden Gate Audubon birdwalk.

The bird was at the southeast corner of the triangular island immediately west of the long pier which extends north toward Arrowhead Marsh. This is not the new, fenced marsh.

The Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow was with 6 to 8 Marsh Wrens that were also at this corner nearest the long pier. It would come up into the dead sticks above green bushes with yellow flowers. It would then drop down behind the island.

Note that I first saw the bird about 10:15 AM and left it at noon, which coincides with the super high (7.1 feet) tide at 11:15 AM. This tide could have forced the bird from a more-preferred location.

Travis Hails

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Sharp-tailed Sparrow at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 14:23:17 -0800
From: Courtenay Peddle

Hello Folks,

During a Golden Gate Audubon Society trip Wednesday morning to Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, Oakland, Travis Hails spotted an unusual sparrow that a group of us, including Emilie Strauss, identified as a Sharp-tailed Sparrow, likely Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. The bird was at the righthand end of the island with the concrete sculpture on it, adjacent to the boardwalk. It was skulking amid the gum bush and dead mustard plants.

We also got satisfying looks at numerous Clapper Rails and a single Sora, in addition to the usual suspects.

Good birding!
Courtenay Peddle

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Black-throated Gray Warbler at Lake Merritt, Oakland
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 17:22:00 -0800
From: Judith Dunham

Hi Everyone,

I decided to take the afternoon off (what a great boss I have) and went to Children's Fairyland at Lake Merritt in Oakland to see if I could find the Black-and-white Warbler. Although I never located it, I did see very clearly the Black-throated Gray Warbler. I got a good enough look at it that I believe it is a male, a very natty bird. Other birds were active: Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Oak Titmice, Bushtits, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers - and the Townsend's Warbler that others have mentioned, another stunning bird. As described by other birders, the location is to the right of the entrance to Children's Fairyland in the canopy above the purple mushrooms. I first located the black-throated gray in some trees to the right of the 'shrooms, but the bird moved outside Fairyland into the surrounding trees, as did the other birds I saw along the fence.

As I was following a flock of Bushtits in the hope of locating the Black-and-white Warbler, I heard a tapping sound nearby. A City of Oakland white panel truck was parked along the Fairyland fence, and I assumed that the truck's driver was working with a tool of some sort at the back of the truck. But when I turned by head, I saw a California Towhee on the ground flying up and tapping its bill at its reflection in the truck's hubcap. The slightly domed hubcap had angled sides in which the bird could see its image. After continuing this behavior for about a half minute, the bird went to the passenger side of the truck and did the same, each time flapping its wings, jumping in the air, and tapping at its reflection. Quite an interesting sight. It made up for missing the Black-and-white Warbler.

Judith Dunham

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Blue-winged Teal in Livermore
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 19:03:10 -0800
From: Steve Huckabone

The Blue-winged Teal continue at the Livermore sewage treatment facility. I've checked the past two mornings around 7:15 AM and the birds are still present.

Steve Huckabone
Alameda County
Livermore California

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