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New yard bird
Thu, 1 Jul 1999 10:27:06 -0700
From: Bob Brandriff

East Bay Birders:

I am working at home this morning and just looked out the window to see a nice male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at our front-yard feeder! I hope he sticks around; we have about 4 to 5 Black-headed Grosbeaks regularly feeding here.


Bob Brandriff
Park Hills Rd.
Berkeley, CA 94708

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Re: New yard bird
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 12:26:52 -0700
From: Kay Loughman

Hi all,

I had one of these guys at my feeders in June 1997. It stayed for several days. What a treat!

Kay Loughman

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Arrowhead Marsh
Thu, 1 Jul 1999 21:34:35 -0700
From: Larry Tunstall

This morning (Thursday), Ore Carmi and I birded Arrowhead Marsh, the new "Mitigation Marsh," and Doolittle Pond in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline (in Oakland) between 7:30 and 11 AM.

We saw most of the same birds as Courtenay has been reporting. The Willets were indeed pleasing in their slightly more festive summer garb, and Ore spotted a Burrowing Owl just as I was expressing skepticism that they could possibly be in the area where I had been told they were to be found (on the west side of the road in to Arrowhead Marsh). The tide was very low, so there weren't many birds around, but this did give us the pleasure of seeing Clapper Rails venturing out onto the mudflats. We also had a lovely view of a Marsh Wren singing on the top of reeds near the boardwalk.

We saw one chick of Black-necked Stilts, but most of the stilts were reacting to our presence as if they had chicks around, whereas the American Avocets were being relatively calm and quiet. Ore asked a question to which I don't know the answer: Do the shorebirds that nest here just stay year-round, or do they also migrate?

Here's our list:

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea albus)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) - several nearly grown youngsters
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - pair doing aerial interactions
Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) - many - 1 fledgling seen
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americanus)
Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)
"peeps" (Calidris mauri or Calidris minutilla)
Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia) - one possible in winter plumage
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri)
Rock Dove (Columba livia)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) - heard only
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) - many of them
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - one seen carrying food
California Towhee (Pipilo crissalis)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) - just one heard only
Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) - many, 1 fledgling seen
American Goldfinch (Carduleis tristis) - heard only

A word of warning: East Bay Regional Park District employees objected to our parking out of the way near the trail across the south end of the new marsh (really still looking mostly like a bare field). There are three parking spaces for the disabled there and no signs to forbid parking by the side of the road, but apparently they don't like other parking. I don't know whether you could get towed or a ticket, but it seems possible.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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