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Fwd: Trumpeter swans in Livermore
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:45:01 PST
From: Janet Hanson

Cathy, thank you for your report. I am forwarding it to the East Bay birding listserve where it will reach a broader audience and hopefully get some answers for you.

Janet Hanson
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

Subject: Trumpeter swans in Livermore
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 11:34:41 -0800
From: Cathy Aaron

Hi, there...I was unsure who would be interested, so I went out to the web and did a search for birding ... found your group!

I just wanted to report my sighting yesterday, 2/23, about 5:00 PM, around the No. Livermore exit on the north side of highway 580 near Livermore. A wonderful trumpeter swan was just circling just above the hills right next to the freeway ... I almost got in a wreck, I was so astounded! I could not pull over fast enough to see exactly where he was headed, but it seemed to be toward the marshy creekbed area near the WalMart off the freeway. I know these birds winter in the delta area, but have there been many other sightings on this side of the hills? We did see an entire wedge flying high back in December when we were up in Bodega Bay (that was the weekend it snowed in SF!), but I have never seen individual birds in the TriValley area before.

Thanks for your interest and any information you can provide.

Cathy Aaron
Principal Systems Analyst
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue, P.O. Box 808, L-613
Livermore, CA 94551
phone: 925.423.2286
fax: 925.422-3867

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Re: Trumpeter swans in Livermore
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 18:44:07 -0800
From: Mike Feighner


Just got back from investigating the location of the reported swan. In the creek between I-580 and Walmart there was nothing. I drove the fields along North Livermore north of I-580 also nothing. I tried at Frick Lake along Laughlin Road where the Solitary Sandpiper was reported late last July, also nothing except for a couple Black-necked Stilts, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup... Next, I tried the pond next to the small library in the Springtown District from where I reported the Aleutian Canada Goose a couple years ago, nothing exciting here either.

Trumpeter Swans are a rare occurrence in California and appear on the state's list of review species, meaning 5 or fewer sightings per year. It took me years to actually find any in California which I did with 5 Trumpeter Swans at Claire Eagle Lake in Trinity County on 12-29-98. Tundra Swans are the expected specie east of the Delta and in the Sacramento Valley. I have not yet seen a Tundra Swan in Alameda County.

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA

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Swans in Alameda County
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:36:05 PST
From: Steve Glover

East Bay Birders,

I guess I don't really need to reemphasize the rareness of Trumpeter Swan in California or even the degree of dificulty in seperating them from Tundras. I will say that i'm not sure if it is even possible to differentiate a lone bird in flight from the freeway. Either way, I'm glad Mike went out to check anyway.

While we are it, a quick summary of their status in Alameda County. This species is a rare but annual visitor along the entire bayshore of Alameda Co. Not surprisingly, a large percentage of the records come from the 2 Christmas Bird Counts in the area with an average of a sighting every other year or so if you combine the 2 counts. Most of the numbers have been modest but a few have involved numbers as large as 136, 149 and 193. There is no place in Alameda county where they are regular, you pretty much just have to spend a lot of time along the bay and wait for some to fly over. Although I know of 2 recent records for San Ramon, CCC, I have no records for the Livermore Valley. They may very well have occurred but I don't have the record.

Another note of caution: Mute Swans, an introduced species, are now breeding at least as close as the Concord Naval Weapons Station. We have had to deal with Mutes identified as Tundras the past 2 years on the Mt. Diablo CBC and if I hadn't gone back later in the day and inspected them more carefully I would have carelessly done the same 2 years ago.

Happy Swan Hunting.
Steve Glover

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Slow turnaround at Best
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 22:14:58 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

In general, service at Best has deteriorated noticeably in the past few months. It is not yet clear whether this is just the usual post-Christmas surge in activity, or whether the recent purchase of Best bodes ill for the future.

At any rate, within the past few days, it has sometimes been taking more than an hour for a message to get sent out to the list after you send it to EBbird. As far as I know, every message does go out eventually, so please don't send the message again for at least a few hours. I understand that there have been some server problems recently, so I'm hoping that this really lousy service will be a very brief-lived phenomenon.

Your "list mom,"
Larry Tunstall

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Sat, 27 Feb 1999 04:47:09 PST
From: Steve Glover

Hello everyone,

In case there was any confusion over my recent post, I meant to summarize the Alameda County status of Tundra Swan and not Trumpeter Swan, for which there are no East Bay records.

Steve Glover

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Coyote Hills Regional Park: Merlin
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 22:48:41 PST
From: Bill Scoggins

Hello Coyote Hills bird watchers,

This morning I joined 45 friends and neighbors to plant oaks and other trees at Coyote Hills Regional Park. While planting near the intersection of Nike and Bay View trails I heard 3 Common Yellowthroat warblers singing off and on for a couple of hours.

From 1 to 5 PM I searched the area from Lizard Rock to the visitor's center and up to Hoot Hollow and found the birds listed below:

3 Pied-billed Grebe, 3 Eared Grebe, 9 Canada Goose, 2 American Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 32 Mallard, 1 Cinnamon Teal, 38 Northern Shoveler, 3 Common Goldeneye (all female, 1 with the Buffleheads), 34 Bufflehead (2 males, 32 females - it's wonderful to watch 30 in flight), 49 Ruddy Duck, 2 Great Egret, 3 Turkey Vulture, 3 White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier (pair handing off mouse in midair near entrance kiosk!), Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk (pair + one immature), American Kestrel female, Merlin (this female has been here all winter, check both parking lots), 4 Ring-necked Pheasant, California Quail (1 female at visitor center), 17 American Coot, 5 Mourning Dove

Great Horned Owl pair was hooting a duet back and forth at 4:40 PM. The male was located in the Acacia trees next to the tall conifer where they nested last year at Hoot Hollow. Check the tallest conifer on the Glider trail at the edge of Hoot Hollow for the nest. Last year, after their nest tree fell down during El Nino, the owls took this nest from red-tailed hawks. The hawks had used the nest for the previous 3 years. The nest was empty when I checked it several times today; so I don't know who is claiming it this year.

2 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Allen's Hummingbird, 1 Nuttall's Woodpecker (by voice), 1 Black Phoebe, 4 Western Scrub-Jay, 4 Common Raven, 7 Bushtit, 9 Marsh Wren, Bewickâs Wren (1 seen, 2 by voice), 1 Winter Wren (at Hoot Hollow, has been seen here since Christmas Bird Count), 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet (by voice), 1 Hermit Thrush, 34 American Robin (many at Hoot Hollow), 2 Northern Mockingbird, 1 California Thrasher (singing at visitor center), 8 European Starling, 9 House Finch, 3 Common Yellowthroat (by voice), 45+ Yellow-rumped Warbler, 5 California Towhee, 1 Fox Sparrow, 2 Song Sparrow, 65+ Golden-crowned Sparrow, 6 White-crowned Sparrow,  14 Dark-eyed Junco, 3 Spotted Towhee, 5 California Towhee, Red-winged Blackbird (2 males singing in the marsh), 15 Western Meadowlark

Happy bird watching,

Bill N. Scoggins
Castro Valley, CA
What's going on at Coyote Hills?

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Dublin Ross's Goose (Alameda County)
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 17:10:26 -0800
From: Mike Feighner


This morning at about 9:30 AM I spotted s flock of geese along the north side of I-580 just west of the El Charro exit. I exited at the next turn-off and returned to the Le Charro exit to examine the geese more closely. In all there were a total of 21 CANADA GEESE (one of which was a Cackling Goose), and one adult ROSS'S GOOSE.

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA

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Re: Dublin Ross's Goose (Alameda County)
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 19:45:03 -0800
From: Rich Cimino

Last year we had 4 Ross Geese in Pleasanton feeding on the old Morh Ranch Off of Santa Rita and Valley.

This ancient Playa and Vernal pools where these Geese are found almost yearly along with many shore birds and Raptors is scheduled for destruction this spring.

The grand city of Dublin and the Tiawin owner Ms Jennifer Lin (Ms Lin once tried to destroy 1500 valley Oaks 5 years ago in Happy Valley Pleasanton eastern foothills for a golf course) are planning a shopping mall for these endancered habitats.

The Playa have been mapped for drainage tiles soon after spring in the year 2000. After this winter the Playa and the Vernal pools will not exist.

Rich Cimino

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