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Re: Clark's Grebes breeding at San Pablo Reservoir
Mon, 7 Jun 2004 09:16:20 PDT
From: Steve Glover

Hi all,

Rusty's nesting Clark's Grebes were indeed the first to be confirmed nesting in Contra Costa County. There still is no confirmation for Western Grebe. This reservoir was thoroughly birded by Bob and Barbara Brandriff during the atlas project from 1997 to 2002 and there was no sign of nesting during that time period.

Nice work Rusty!

Steve Glover

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Berkeley hummingbirds and a Delta heron
Mon, 07 Jun 2004 11:30:24 -0700
From: Tom Condit

The hummingbirds of the Allston Way nest in Berkeley have fledged and left. The nest is still there to look at.

Last weekend a Great Blue Heron was either carrying nesting material to the rookery trees by Frank's Place on Bethel Island, or had something tangled on its foot and was just flying into the trees to rest - it wasn't possible to tell which from where we were.

Tom Condit

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Uncommon Emeryville visitors
Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:26:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Peter Diegutis

Good Morning

From the end of Emeryville Peninsula, you can look through the Golden Gate into the eastern Pacific Ocean. From the bridge, you can fly to my homeland in Australia and, depending on your route, you might never see land. This possibility, however, probably does not explain the lonely, green Budgerigar that I spied at close quarters, on my morning walk around the marina.

I got a more distant view of another uncommon visitor. I believe, though I cannot be absolutely certain, that a Least Tern was also fishing the waters off the pier. This made 3 tern species for the morning when a Forsterís Tern and Caspian Tern showed up also.

Have a nice day.

P.S.  I hope that my compatriot budgie-friend was not planning a trans-Pacific escape back to his Outback home. Itís a very long way!

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Warbling Vireo nesting in Dimond Canyon, Oakland
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 07:19:09 -0700
From: Matt Ricketts

Sorry to have not posted this earlier, but last Sunday I decided to visit Dimond Canyon / Sausal Creek (Oakland) for the first time from the El Centro Ave trailhead. I had heard about the riparian restoration effort here and wanted to see how it was going and what birds were breeding there. I was impressed with the job that Friends of Sausal Creek have done - the willows and alder plantings seem to be coming along with a pretty healthy blackberry understory.

Anyway, as I was trying to find the only singing Warbling Vireo I heard along the entire trail, I happened to look up and see the female (uttering the harsh chit chit call) fly to a nest directly above the trail. I didn't see any sign of nestlings (feeding behavior), so I'm guessing she was still incubating eggs. The nest is approximately. 80 feet off the ground in a group of willow branches overhanging the trail, a little ways south of the circular opening in the trail (resembling an amphitheater) with a circle of five stumps. Probably the best way to locate the nest is to simply walk to this clearing, turn around, and walk back down the trail until you see a group of willow branches over the trail, stemming from a willow on the left (south) bank. The nest is pretty small (2 inches wide by 3 inches deep), but it's visible from the trail if you look hard enough. I don't know how noteworthy this sighting is (have they been documenting breeding in urban Oakland before?), but it's good to see a riparian obligate nesting in an urban restoration zone!

Other species of local interest include: Pacific-slope Flycatcher (about 6 singing), Wilson's Warbler (2), and a healthy number of Song Sparrows. American Robins were all over the place (saw two nests), as were California Towhees. No Black-headed Grosbeaks, unfortunately.

Matt Ricketts

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Re: Warbling Vireo nesting in Dimond Canyon, Oakland
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 09:07:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Harris

Matt et al.,

A few years ago we had a Warbling Vireo nest here on the Mills College campus. I'm pretty sure they also nest along Redwood Creek and some of its smaller tributaries in Redwood Canyon, but I have not actually found a nest.

John H. Harris
Biology Department, Mills College
Oakland, CA

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Least Terns at Emeryville Marina
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 11:50:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Peter Diegutis

Good Morning

Itís not everyday that you see more Least Terns than Forster's Terns. And itís an even rarer day in which you see more terns than gulls. But such was my morning walk around Emeryville Peninsula. Overall, I estimate that 4 to 6 Least Terns fished the waters around the peninsula. The best place to observe the birds is the fishing pier at the end of the marina, where they patrol low and close overhead.

The local contingent of American Goldfinch was conspicuous. However, the peninsula Budgerigar was nowhere to be seen.

Have a nice day.

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Re: Least Terns at Emeryville Marina
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 14:51:05 -0700
From: John Shiurba


I have also noticed an abundance of Least Terns this summer. I mostly find them on my weekly excursion (for dog-walking) to the Albany Landfill (Albany Bulb). Today the Least Terns outnumbered the Forster's Terns and Caspian Terns by 3:1 each.

Directions: from Hwy 80, take Buchanan St west to the end, park in the lot for the Albany Bay Trail, and head north on the trail until you can see the water (about 100 yards), When the tide is in a bit the Least Terns can often be seen very close up.

John Shiurba

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Byron at dusk
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 23:06:17 -0700
From: Mark Miller

Hi Everyone--

I spent some time Friday night June 11 at the east end of Camino Diablo in Byron looking for nighthawks. I didn't see any, but the stilts were making quite a racket, and two Burrowing Owls were hunting in the fields on the north side of the road.

Mark Miller
Pleasanton, CA

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