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Oakland Area
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 18:31:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Graham Etherington

Hi all,

Here's a summary of the better birds I saw during a short visit around the bay today over the high tide period:

NE corner of the Bay Bridge:

Elegant Tern - 2 (adult + 1st summer)
Caspian Tern - 15

Arrowhead Marsh:

Semipalmated Plover - 8
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Bonaparte's Gull - 5
Greater Yellowlegs - 4
Least Tern - 4

Very low shorebird numbers with no dowitchers, Black-bellied Plovers, and very few Western Sandpipers or Least Sandpipers.

Good birding,
Graham Etherington
UC Berkeley

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Re: Arrowhead Marsh
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 19:52:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tom Condit

Larry Tunstall wrote:

[snip] 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?

There seems to be a period of two weeks or so in late July or early August when there aren't any shorebirds in the Emeryville Marsh. Other than that, I've seen stilts and willets there just about year around. Does anyone know more?

Glad to see the Burrowing Owls are back at Arrowhead. They used to be on the little hill between the parking lot and the canal, then they disappeared from sight for several years.

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Wandering Tattlers at Richmond Marina
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 21:01:33 -0700
From: Lillian Fujii

Today at low tide, there were two breeding plumage Wandering Tattlers at Richmond Marina. They were by the rock breakwater.

Lillian Fujii

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Coyote Hills & Richmond Marina
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 21:33:30 -0700
From: Larry Tunstall

Sunday morning (July 18) Ore Carmi and I, along with Stephen Boddington who is visiting the area from England and Belgium, joined Bill Scoggins' Ohlone Audubon Society walk in Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. It was a lovely morning for birding, pleasantly cool but with light good enough for reasonable identification. The Rock Wren kept ducking out of sight, so only a few got looks at it, though a lot more heard it. We spent some time in Hoot Hollow where an Anna's and an Allen's Hummingbird obligingly posed side-by-side for a size comparison, and where young orioles were busily foraging everywhere. A pair of young Red-tailed Hawks soared and called overhead. Bill showed us one oriole nest, made of plastic Easter-basket "grass" and located about 15 feet from the redtail nest! We ended the morning down at the marsh, where molting shorebirds and ducks posed some real identification challenges. Bill led the group off down the boardwalk, while a few of us lagging behind watched an adult raccoon patiently getting two youngsters to swim across a patch of water between reed beds. Here is my list, including what I caught of sightings by others:

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea albus)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) - ID uncertain
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
California Quail (Callipepla californica)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)
dowitcher (Limnodromus sp.)
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)
Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) - seen by a few
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum) - good views
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
California Towhee (Pipilo crissalis)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) - some in Hoot Hollow
Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii) - many young in Hoot Hollow
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

Noting the time and tide, we decided not to follow the group into the marsh but instead to head up to Richmond Marina to look for the Wandering Tattlers, a lifebird for Stephen. Lillian Fujii and Steve Hayashi were our guides. They say that the tattlers are usually found at low tide on the rock breakwater at the mouth of the harbor. Then as the tide rises, they move inside the harbor and forage along the rock walls of the basin, where they often disappear from sight among the rocks for some time. Lillian and Steve located the tattlers at the breakwater, but the rest of us were puzzling over some shorebirds along the way from Shimada Friendship Park, so they had moved on into the harbor by the time we arrived at the breakwater. After a short time, however, we found the tattlers. At one point they obligingly flew right up to us and landed several feet from us. With some effort, we managed to keep following them along the harbor and get several quite good looks. Just when we were about to leave, we became absorbed in trying to identify a strange duck across the water by the boats. At moments we thought it might be the Harlequin Duck, then perhaps a young or molting Surf Scoter. None of those seemed to fit, and speculation was getting wilder and wilder. Finally it kindly swam across the harbor to within several feet of us, where we discovered it to be a pale yellowish-brown molting Greater Scaup with some odd light patches on its face. The bill and yellow eye, as well as good looks at the wing pattern as it preened, made the identification quite certain.

Here's my listing of what we saw around the marina:

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)
Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)
Wandering Tattler (Heteroscelus incanus)
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri)
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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