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Rock Wrens at Mission Peak Regional Preserve, Fremont
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 08:22:12 -0700
From: Debbie Wong

On my way to Mission Peak yesterday morning (Saturday June 26), there were the usual suspects: Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Cliff Swallows (many) and Tree Swallows (two), etc.

The surprise was a pair of brave Rock Wrens at the top (the rock outcrop, about 50 feet to the south of the official summit). One of them was packing and eating some bright orange (potato?) chips on the ground. One's rump was more cinnamon than the other. Both had very pale (almost not there) eyelines. One had more prominent breast streaking. To me, they both had whitish tips on tail feathers (instead of buffy tips).

One of them stayed very close to me (5 to 8 feet away) on and off for 20 minutes. At times it was too close for my bins to focus. None made a sound. Can't ask for everything!

Debbie Wong

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Fledged Cooper's Hawk in Pleasanton
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 11:37:06 -0700
From: Rich Cimino

The last two weeks, a pair of adult Cooper's Hawks have been very active in the neighborhood of Santa Rita Rd at Valley Ave to Del Valle Rd to Hopyard Rd, which is about a half mile radius from their nest site in the Pleasanton Aquatic Center.

Today Sunday at 8:15 AM we were walking my dog "The Babe" in the park behind the swimming pools. On the Cyclone fencing behind the rear activity center a few feet from the rear parking area was an immature Cooper's Hawk sitting enjoying life. We stood and listened for 10 minute watching, then six crows came across the soccer field chasing two adult Cooper's Hawks. Once they hit the heavy tree area, the crows put the brakes on and the Cooper's Hawk adults landed, then began calling. Then the immature bird began the hunger call, the three of them perched in the dying pine at the fence line. Once the adults noticed us, they flew high into the sycamores in the area of last year's (2003) nest site.

This year (2004) I have seen the adults here in this area since January. I first noticed the immature Cooper's Hawk on Monday June 21 at 8 PM about a quarter-mile from the park in the residential area perched very low in tree on Golden Ave, Pleasanton. So the bird has been out of the nest for at least a week now.

Thanks for reading a long report
Rich Cimino

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Re: Pied-billed Grebe nest in Berkeley Aquatic Park
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 11:56:07 -0700
From: Rich Cimino

Just a footnote to Rusty's Pied-billed Grebe report.

I have an old newspaper report from Pleasanton dated 1980. Dr Howard Cogswell had been called into the old Camp Parks sewage ponds on Stone Ridge Rd and Hwy 680 by Zone 7 water district and SRWSD. They were draining the ponds.

Howard had his picture in the paper moving a Pied-billed Grebe nest with chicks here in Pleasanton. His comment was, Well, I thought these birds only nested in the Sierras.

Dr Cogswell was very active with the Ohlone Audubon, as well he taught at Hayward University. Who else can add some words of Howard's ornithological accomplishments? Remember Water Birds of California, by Howard Cogswell, printed 1977?

Some nostalgia regarding birding in the East Bay. Nothing important but it may add to the historical distribution of birds in the East Bay. It never hurts for new East Bay birders to learn about some of the birders before them and their achievements.

Rich Cimino

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Re: Grasshopper Sparrows at Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 12:22:40 -0700
From: Dennis RashÈ

This morning, about 8 AM, Diane Bent, Andrew Pleva, and myself went to the Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve to look for the Grasshopper Sparrows. We started at the Morgan Rd entrance and went up Grayfox trail. The hill is very steep. (I understand there is an easier trail to take off of Bishop Ranch to Paddock Dr. Is that correct?) About 100 yards past the junction on Red Tail Hawk Trail, just as Dennis Braddy had reported, we found them. They were playing and chasing each other near what appeared to be an old watering trough with a blue bucket. We watched them for close to 15 minutes and saw at least two juveniles. They stayed mostly in the thistle just above the blue bucket. We counted 10, but didn't hear them sing. We had great looks at them through the scope and good looks through our binoculars when they were landing on the road in front of us. Thanks, DB.

Take care,
Dennis RashÈ

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Re: Grasshopper Sparrows at Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 13:31:27 -0700
From: Dennis Braddy


You can take Red Tail Hawk Trail starting from Paddock Drive, but it's almost twice as far to where the Grasshopper Sparrows are. Also, taking Grayfox Trail from the Morgan Drive entrance to Red Tail Hawk Trail and then returning along Stream View Trail makes for a nice loop.


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Dr Howard Cogswell
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 15:58:04 -0700
From: Debbie Viess

How delightful to see Howard Cogswell's name on this list. He has been a good friend for over 25 years, and his knowledge of California birds is incomparable. As a matter of fact, he is still compiling a massive database for the phenology (the occurrence of birds over time) of California birds, with sightings taken from both field notes and published literature; I assisted Howard in this endeavor for several years. When we were both working at Cal State Hayward (he as a professor, and myself managing Dr Schusterman's pinniped lab), I would tag along on his class field trips, and was highly amused as the teens and 20-somethings fell panting by the wayside as Howard, well into his 60s, plowed indomitably forward. He was particularly adept at ear birding, a skill that I sorely lack. One of my proudest moments was attending the dedication of the Cogswell Marsh in Hayward, spearheaded by his friend and protÈgÈe Dave Reinsche [Doc Quack], a beautiful honoring of a great man while he was (and is, dammit!) still alive.

As coincidence would have it, I am visiting with him and his wife Bessie tomorrow, and I will let him know that his name came up on this list. If you are an old friend, give him a call; although he has moved to a retirement facility, he has the same phone number that he had for many years in Hayward.

And on a birding rather than birder note - last night, on a twilight hike in Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, my husband and I were privileged to observe Bushtits dust bathing. And I do mean bathing. They found an area of the trail that was thick with pools of dust, and they literally dove in and "swam" thru it, splashing with their powdery water. They must've seen us standing there, but they surrounded us back and front and "splashed" merrily. It looked like a family group, guess that the kids were having their Saturday-night baths. I wonder if the dust has the same effect as diatomaceous earth in eliminating insect pests? By fledging time, their old nests must be crawling with lice. At any rate, a good time was had by all.

Debbie Viess

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Shasta finds more fledglings
Sun, 27 Jun 2004 21:51:45 -0700
From: Judi Sierra

On our daily run this morning at Strawberry Canyon above the UC Berkeley campus I stopped, and consequently Shasta was forced to stop, to try and locate a stationary Red-shouldered Hawk that was calling. Shasta was more interested in the squacking chorus of Steller's Jays and pulled me forward towards them. They were upset by 2 Great Horned Owl fledglings sitting in 2 bare branches hanging low over the connector trail. Great Horned Owls are not Shasta's favorite species as she remembers as a small puppy two low flyovers directly overhead by adults and is thankful she is intact and large enough now not to appear appetizing. Speaking of appetizing, she continues to frequently see the (still) 18 Wild Turkey chicks on the trail with 4 adults.

Judi Sierra - Oakland

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