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Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Mon, 03 May 2004 12:10:35 -0700
From: Judi Sierra

Found the White-faced Ibis this morning in what I would call the south end of Arrowhead Marsh area, in the middle pond. Arrowhead Marsh is in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, Oakland. Also found some new Black-necked Stilt chicks and lots of American Avocet chicks in the surrounding marshes.

Judi Sierra Oakland

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Patterson Pass on a calm day
Tue, 4 May 2004 07:32:11 -0700
From: Debbie Viess

Hi All,

Thanks to all the folks that offered me prettier sites to look for the Blue Grosbeak. My husband and I ended up at Patterson Pass east of Livermore again on Sunday, where the weather was calm, the windmills silent and the traffic nil; it was a big help. Still didn't see the grosbeak, but Arlen, our companion of the moment, did. We had good looks at Western Tanagers, a female Black-headed Grosbeak and Lark Sparrows. In hopes of seeing "blues" elsewhere, we took a loooong but very pretty loop down to Del Puerto Canyon (about 15 minutes south on Hwy 5) and back up along Mines Rd, all new areas for us. Highlights of DPC were a male Yellow Warbler, two sightings of Green Herons, and a Wood Duck in a marsh close to where DPC meets Mines Rd. It was a lovely drive on a beautiful day. Along Mines Rd we met a blissful birder from Georgia, clutching a copy of Art Edwards' fine mile marker location key to the birds of the area, and happily checking off his life birds. Whether serendipitous or not, he had also been birding with Art along the road earlier that morning. Sure beats sitting in a conference room, his raison d'etre for his trip; better a family of roadrunners than pie charts, don't ya think?

Debbie Viess

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Ibises and more at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Tue, 4 May 2004 12:47:38 -0700
From: Phila Rogers

Greeting birders:

I spent an hour at Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline in Oakland yesterday afternoon and found two(!) White-faced Ibises on the pond. This is a life bird for me. When one of them opened up its large wings and lifted off the ground trailing its long legs I was bowled over. With its rich, lustrous cinnamon and dark green plumage, it is in stunning contrast to our usual white egrets.

And Courtenay, I heard both a Clapper Rail chorus and at least one Savannah Sparrow singing.

The marsh is lovely right now even though the larger bird populations are gone. As our grassy hills lose their green, the marsh grasses are at their most verdant green.

Even with the winter residents and migratory flocks gone, the marsh is a noisy place, thanks to terns (Forster's Terns and Caspian Terns) and all those anxious avocet and stilt parents.

Phila Rogers

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Donner & Back Canyons, Mount Diablo State Park
Tue, 4 May 2004 13:19:03 -0700
From: Ted Robertson

On May 2nd, I hiked up Donner Canyon (via Regency Road trailhead), crossed over to Back Canyon via the Tick Wood connector trail and down Back Canyon back to the Regency Road trailhead. I also walked downstream 1/2 mile from the Regency trailhead and birded the willows and cottonwoods. To find the trailhead, take Marsh Creek Road and drive east of Clayton. Regency Drive is on the right and is the last stoplight east of town. I've starred the highlights.


Ted Robertson
Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California
Berkeley, CA

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Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, San Pablo
Tue, 04 May 2004 23:59:05 -0700
From: Larry Tunstall

This morning (Tuesday) I started at the Alvarado Area of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park near San Pablo / Richmond and walked up the Belgum Trail to the ridge. Western Tanagers were everywhere around the Alvarado Area and Wildcat Creek Trail. I'm almost certain I heard a Grasshopper Sparrow singing just where Belgum Trail comes over the ridge toward the junction with Clark-Boas Trail. An American Kestrel pair may be nesting again in the dead trees along the old Grande Vista esplanade near the palms as you walk up Belgum Trail - I saw only one of them perched near last year's nest site. No sign of Hooded Orioles in the palms.

When I started around 9:30 AM, there was still a great deal of bird song and activity around Alvarado Area. It quieted down later, but I was still adding species when I quit a little after 11 AM.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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