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Western Tanagers in Pleasanton
Sat, 15 May 2004 14:14:09 -0700
From: Rich Cimino

Today Saturday morning Dave Bowden and I made our way to Patterson Pass east of Livermore. It was cold and very windy. We were able to see:

The highlight of the morning was four beautiful female Western Tanagers plus one handsome male Western Tanager in the trees across from my home here on Ridgewood Rd in Pleasanton. We set a scope and watched them from 9:30 to 11:30 AM.

From my driveway Dave also spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk over Del Valle Creek. Then Dave noticed a pair of Western Scrub-Jays building a nest in some nearby tree.

Rich Cimino
Dave Bowden

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Western Tanager in Walnut Creek too
Sat, 15 May 2004 15:58:46 -0700
From: Laura Gee

Hi all,

About 3:30 PM today, Saturday, a beautiful male Western Tanager briefly flew into my backyard. Saw him through the window and then he flew off to parts unknown. I live in Walnut Creek at the north end of Overlook Dr. I wonder if they are moving through right now. It's a first for my backyard birds list.

Earlier in the week while we were away, a houseguest also saw a male Black-headed Grosbeak on Sunday and Monday at our platform feeder. The grosbeaks usually come through during spring and fall migration.

Laura Gee

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Sunol Regional Wilderness
Sat, 15 May 2004 17:13:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob Power

Hi all:

House Wrens and Oak Titmice ruled the morning (well, and my favorite European Starlings) at Sunol Regional Wilderness. For the second day in a row I was able to witness a White-throated Swift love-spiral (it's got to be scary for one of them) that looks like a black-and-white pinwheel for 5 seconds or so. Yesterday's demonstration was at Mitchell Canyon near Clayton.

Other highlights of the morning were Swainson's Thrush, very active and numerous Ash-throated Flycatchers, perched and soaring Golden Eagle, and a singing Black-throated Gray Warbler at the south end of the parking loop.

Also of note, yesterday morning at dawn I went to the Stream Trail at Redwood Regional Park from the Redwood Rd entryway. Swainson's Thrushes (Thrushi?) were singing in at least four spots between the entry kiosk and the parking area at the end of the road. Four Great Horned Owls were also calling at dawn. One owl was yelping in a different manner than an adult's screech; I took it to be a fledgling.

Good birding,
Bob Power

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Tanagers and such and an oriole question
Sat, 15 May 2004 17:26:36 -0700
From: Phila Rogers

Dear Birders:

The Western Tanagers are also moving in my garden here in the Berkeley Hills. The last two days I've been watching a gorgeous male feeding in the crown of my ever-lively oak tree giving both his double call note and a few stanzas of song which sounds like a slightly weary American Robin. The Nuttall's Woodpecker pair nesting in a hole in a eucalyptus snag in my neighbor's garden have just fledged one offspring. I'm also hearing the light chirpings of young Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

Now that summer is almost here finches dominate my sunflower and niger feeders - House Finches and an occasional Purple Finch and a plethora of goldfinches, both American and Lesser Goldfinches.

Can anyone tell me where I can go locally to see nesting Hooded Orioles?

Phila Rogers

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Bethel Island area and Black Diamond Mines Preserve
Sat, 15 May 2004 17:43:39 -0700
From: Derek Heins

Highlights of my day were a Blue Grosbeak at the south end of Sandmound Blvd near Bethel Island, Burrowing Owl on a fencepost just past a windmill on Delta Rd in the same area, and Canyon Wren at Black Diamond Mines. On a Golden Gate Audubon Society field trip a couple years ago we saw a family of five (yes, owls) at the same spot.

I started the day at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near Antioch where it was very windy. The best birding was from my car at the head of the parking lot where species seen are noted with an (*). Included in my walk were Black Diamond Trail and Ridge Trail. Species seen at Black Diamond:

Good birding,
Derek Heins

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Editor's Note: The "Cave Swallows" almost certainly were Cliff Swallows.

Re: ... an oriole question
Sat, 15 May 2004 23:38:51 -0700
From: Dave Quady

Phila and others:

On April 14, two male Hooded Orioles were yakking away in a bottlebrush in the front yard of 1248 Haskell St in Berkeley. Before I got very close, they flew off to the north, out of view. I thought I heard one more bird, but could not pick it out before its calls ended. There are palms along that block of Haskell (in backyards) that I suspect hide a nest or two. Also, a deciduous tree in the back yard of 1206 Haskell held a year-old Sharp-shinned Hawk that may have been eyeing an out-of-view backyard feeder.

Jeffrey Black had reported the oriole location to EBB the previous week, and I thank him for doing so. I haven't been back to check on the birds since my first visit.

If you bird along this street, be courteous about looking into people's yards. The resident at 1206 was very curious about what I was looking at, but also cool about what I was doing once I explained it.

Dave Quady
Berkeley, California

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