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Snow Bunting at San Leandro Marina
Sun, 25 Jan 2004 15:20:21 -0800
From: Rusty Scalf

Just got a phone call from Bob Richmond.

He has been watching a Snow Bunting near the San Leandro Marina. To find the bird, go to the Marina. Once at the Marina, drive south as far as you can. Park. Walk first west, then north. The bird is near station 15 of the par course. He tells me it's the second Alameda County record.

He sounded sober.


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Chasing rarities in Oakland
Sun, 25 Jan 2004 17:09:16 -0800
From: Dennis & Patricia Braddy


We decided to stay close to home today and look for some recently reported East Bay rarities. Starting in the forenoon we found the male Tufted Duck near Laney College in Channel Park south of 7th St in Oakland. Our first of the year Barrow's Goldeneyes were not in Peralta Park where we usually find them, but in the northwest arm of Lake Merritt.

At midday after an hour and a half of birding around Children's Fairyland I finally said, "I give up on the Black-and-white Warbler." Ten seconds and as many steps toward the car later Pat called, "Black-and-white Warbler!" It was gleaning insects mostly from the undersides of large tree limbs just outside the Fairyland entrance. While waiting for the Black-and-white we had Townsend's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Hutton's Vireo, Hermit Thrush, and Red-breasted Sapsucker.

At the peak of the afternoon high tide at Arrowhead Marsh (Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline) and ten minutes after Pat returned to the car to avoid hypothermia, three of the seven birders present simultaneously called the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Everyone had good to excellent scope views. The sparrow was best seen from the boardwalk looking south toward the near corner of the triangular island with a concrete sculpture.

Dennis and Patricia Braddy
San Ramon

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Re: Snow Bunting at San Leandro Marina
Sun, 25 Jan 2004 18:40:34 PST
From: Bob Richmond

The directions to the San Leandro Marina Snow Bunting previously given were inexact. I probably was not understood since I was talking on a cell phone and the wind was blowing about 10 mph. To reach San Leandro Marina, take the Marina Blvd exit from Hwy 880 in San Leandro. Go west on Marina to the end. Here it will bent 90 degrees to the left (street name unknown). Keep going on this road to the end (a gate will be across the road). Park in the parking area to the right. From this parking area a paved trail goes to the west but bends to the north fairly soon. A par course is along this trail. The Snow Bunting was found at around 3:10 PM and was still present when I left with Phil & Pat Gordon at around 4:45 PM. Dave Quady was still looking at the bird.

Good birding

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Re: Snow Bunting at San Leandro Marina
Sun, 25 Jan 2004 19:16:43 -0800
From: Dave Quady

Rusty Scalf wrote:

Just got a phone call from Bob Richmond, He has been watching a Snow Bunting near the San Leandro Marina. ... He sounded sober.

And he looked sober when I got there at 4:30 PM, as he and Phil and Pat Gordon kept the bird (which appeared to be an adult male) in view. Seemingly unconcerned by people walking and bicycling by, the bird worked the edge of the paved path along the bay, on the spit of land that separates the Small Boat Lagoon from San Francisco Bay. It remained in the vicinity of par course station 15 (as Bob's follow-up clarifying e-mail said) until 4:50 PM or so, then flew south, to the rocks along the bay shoreline near station 16. At 5:00 PM the bird flew further south, past station 17, and I could not relocate it.

Many thanks to Bob Richmond, to Rusty, and to the Gordons for their help!

About 5:30 PM I ran into Emily Serkin, who unfortunately had been confused by the original directions and searched around the golf course further south, hence missed the bunting. As a consolation prize, she did see a male Mountain Bluebird on the golf course fenceline near the East Bay Dischargers Dechlorination Facility building, which is just south of the Alameda Flood Control Channel. She and I did not relocate either bird as we walked south along the bay shoreline, from station 15 past the dechlorination building.

Were I to look for the bird tomorrow, I think I'd start at the north end of the spit (at the entrance to the harbor) and work south, checking grassless areas along the paths as well as the rocks along the shoreline. Good luck to those who try; I hope the bird sticks.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

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