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Great-tailed Grackle in Oakley
Mon, 24 May 2004 15:32:37 PDT
From: Phil Gordon

Greetings Birders,

In eastern Contra Costa County, on Saturday, 22 May, at 5:55 PM I had a male Great-tailed Grackle "singing" atop the roof peak of 1238 Fetzer Ln, Oakley. Is this the second individual since the one reported in 1998? I would guess the nearby Northern Mockingbird was deferring that perch to the "imposing" grackle. This house borders the trailhead (west side) of the Big Break Regional Trail. Earlier on the trail I had, along with Common Yellowthroats and a nest-building Western Scrub-Jay and myriads of Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows, two late (nesting?) Northern Shovelers and a Swainson's Hawk.

This location (as described by Steve Glover in the Mount Diablo Audubon Society website) is off Hwy 4 east of Oakley - turn northeast (left) on Vintage Pkwy then right on Walnut Meadows Dr and then left on Jordan Ln to the intersection of Fetzer Ln. Street-park near the marked trailhead; one can see the cyclone fencing of the sewage ponds beside which the asphalt trail/road runs along its perimeter.

Happy Birding,
Phil Gordon
Hayward, Alameda County

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American White Pelicans over Oakland Hills
Wed, 26 May 2004 10:32:19 -0700
From: John Langewis

This morning at about 10:05 AM I had a flock of about 50 American White Pelicans fly over my yard in the Oakland Hills. They were headed in a southwest direction. Due to their moving around in the flock and quick passage I was unable to get an exact count. This is species number 90 for my yard. Complete yard description.

Johan Langewis

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Hummingbirds in Berkeley
Sat, 29 May 2004 19:24:35 -0700
From: Tom Condit

The hummingbird nestlings on Allston Way are getting big enough to stick out of the nest.

There was a Selasphorus hummingbird in the African desert section of the UC Botanical Garden yesterday which had no apparent green anywhere on it. A pair of Selasphorus hummers were doing a display flight together over the Anzac section. Lots of green on them.

Tom Condit

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Berkeley Hills
Mon, 31 May 2004 12:14:03 -0700
From: Kay Loughman

This is amazing. For the third time since 1997, I have an adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visiting my feeder. I became aware of the bird around 10:15 this morning, and have seen it several times since - both feeding and drinking from the fountain on the deck. Both the feeder and the fountain are visible from the sidewalk, through the gate at the west edge of the property. The bird is quite skittish, and flies if he detects movement - so use caution when viewing.

There are also many Black-headed Grosbeaks (including a couple of young-of-the-year), House Finch and Purple Finch, American Goldfinch and Lesser Goldfinch, California Towhee and Spotted Towhee, Western Scrub-Jay and Steller's Jay, Anna's Hummingbird and Allen's Hummingbird ...

Kay Loughman
Gravatt Drive at Stephens Way (northern intersection) (on the hill behind the Claremont Hotel)

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Grasshopper Sparrows near San Ramon
Mon, 31 May 2004 13:34:32 -0700
From: Dennis Braddy


The Grasshopper Sparrows at Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve near San Ramon seem to have sorted out their territories. Though I saw and heard 4+ singing Grasshopper Sparrows along a half-mile stretch of Red Tail Hawk Trail this morning, as far as I could tell, none were within 100 yards of one another. It's hard to get an accurate count of the sparrows (hence 4+); they often fly directly away from you and out of sight over the hill and then a few seconds later another identical (the same?) sparrow suddenly starts singing right behind you. It's kind of spooky.

Dennis Braddy
San Ramon

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