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Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Hills
Fri, 7 May 2004 11:31:29 -0700
From: Ted Robertson

This morning on my way to work, I stopped for an hour's worth of birding at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park, Berkeley.

A few highlights:

18 birds spotted.

Good Birding this Weekend,

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

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Grasshopper Sparrows in San Ramon
Fri, 07 May 2004 21:26:11 -0700
From: Dennis Braddy


Skip and I returned to Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve this afternoon to see if the Grasshopper Sparrow we found near the south end of Red Tail Hawk Trail last weekend is still on territory. Indeed, he is. In fact he has company. We found three Grasshopper Sparrows, at least two of them singing and a pair keeping company.

Dennis Braddy and Skip
San Ramon

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Mitchell Canyon near Clayton
Fri, 07 May 2004 22:03:58 -0700
From: Dennis Braddy


Our first stop this morning was the trail at the end of Regency Dr in Clayton. It seemed that every tree contained a singing House Wren. In one oak was a very bright adult male Yellow Warbler and nearby a black-capped Wilson's Warbler.

We then drove over to the Mitchell Canyon entrance of Mt Diablo State Park. Arriving just after the 8:00 AM opening time, we headed up the main trail. Its head protruding from a surprisingly small hole in a snag by the creek, the previously reported Western Screech-Owl was dozing and catching a few early morning rays. At one nest hole a Hairy Woodpecker delivered a huge grub, and at another nest hole a Hairy Woodpecker removed a fecal sack. We passed a family of three Hutton's Vireos, one of them begging for food. A male Phainopepla flew over, headed back down the canyon. A Cassin's Vireo sang from across the creek, but did not reveal itself. A singing Common Yellowthroat was equally elusive. Only slightly less elusive was the Lazuli Bunting that we finally spotted on the opposite side of the canyon. Two miles from the trailhead three Western Tanagers gradually worked their way downstream. A Golden Eagle flew over White Canyon as we ascended Red Road. A Western Wood-Pewee returned to its perch with a bumblebee which it beat senseless and then swallowed. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher played hide-and-seek, but eventually gave good views. Fairly common along the trail were Warbling Vireo, Black-headed Grosbeak, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Orange-crowned Warbler. The 58 species we had today also included Bullock's Oriole, Cooper's Hawk, White-breasted Nuthatch, California Thrasher, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

Dennis and Patricia Braddy
San Ramon

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Accipiter questions
Sat, 8 May 2004 17:58:21 -0700
From: Rusty Scalf


This morning I led an Albany Adult School group to Sibley Regional Park. We saw one each of Sharp-shinned Hawk and Coopers Hawk. Both adults.

Might the "Sharpie" be a late migrant? Or is this date ambiguous? I know that a very few nest in the area.

The Cooper's Hawk amazed me because it was displaying: Rump feathers puffed out: the bird flew about with big slow bouncy wingbeats, and did so for quite a while. I never saw a second bird. I thought that Cooper's Hawks were early nesters and display activity like this is more a March thing. Any comments?

We also found an active Pygmy Nuthatch nest near the mountain top, and had a couple of late migrants: Townsend's Warblers and Hermit Warblers. Orange-crowned Warblers and Lazuli Buntings were in full song. Nice day.

Rusty Scalf

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Blue Grosbeak and Grasshopper Sparrow
Sun, 9 May 2004 18:23:10 -0700
From: Steve Huckabone

Hi East Bay Birders,

I spotted the Blue Grosbeak just east of the summit on Patterson Pass Rd east of Livermore Saturday afternoon.

This morning in Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve (San Ramon) I walked up the steep Gray Fox Trail to the south part of Red Tail Trail and easily located the Grasshopper Sparrow reported by Dennis Braddy. Had close-up views through the scope of the singing bird.

Good birding.
Steve Huckabone
Alameda County
Livermore California

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Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Pleasanton
Mon, 10 May 2004 08:03:37 -0700
From: Rich Cimino

Sunday morning along the trail in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park (Pleasant City - Golden Eagle entrance) from 9:30 AM to 1 PM. I had several Western Wood-Pewee's, a Hammond's Flycatcher, several pairs of Spotted Towhees. Near the summit a juvenile old Golden Eagle was slowly coasting by the ridge line which gave us nice views. Past the ridge line on toward Sinbad Canyon there are many, many Western Bluebirds. Down at the cattle pond there are hundreds of western red-legged tree frogs and so may tiny babies hopping around and large bullfrogs.

Directions: Hwy 680 exit Bernal, go left to Foothill Rd, turn left again, go a mile to the stop sign, thru stop sign several 100 feet, on the right is the entrance to the Golden Eagles Farms. There is a guard station. The guard will ask if you are a Pleasanton resident. If you are, he'll let you into the park, follow the signs to the trail head.

This is the City of Pleasanton Park. It connects with the East Bay Regional Park to the south on the summit.

This is also an easier trail into Sinbad Canyon and Sinbad Creek.

Rich Cimino

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Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Hills
Mon, 10 May 2004 08:15:47 -0700
From: Bruce Mast

I took a quick stroll up the Curran Trail in Tilden Regional Park (Berkeley Hills) Sunday morning while my wife swam laps around Lake Anza. Highlight was a MacGillivray's Warbler just below the dam. A couple of Hammond's Flycatchers were calling, as were Western Tanagers. Winter Wren has been singing at the bottom of Wildcat Canyon Gorge the last couple times I've visited, including yesterday. Cliff Swallows have a very active nesting colony under the eaves of the swim center building - always a treat to get close up and personal.

Bruce Mast
Oakland, CA

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