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American Redstart, Sage Thrasher
Sat, 15 Jan 2000 08:56:03 PST
From: Steve Glover

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I headed out to Alameda to look for the wintering American Redstart. While looking John Luther, Luke Cole and Joelle Buffa pulled up. We eventually found the bird but it was a little ways away from where it was previously seen. From Doolittle Drive turn onto Island Dr. In a few blocks there will be a shopping center on the right and a gas station on the corner. Turn right at the gas station which is Mecartney. In a block or two there will be some fenced-in tennis courts on the right. The bird has been seen at the parking lot just beyond the courts. Today it was elsewhere. If you are standing on the sidewalk facing the tennis courts then go around the courts to the right. There is a sidewalk running perpendicular to Mecartney. In a couple hundred yards or so you will come to a canal. The bird was between the tennis courts and the canal. It called only once. This bird is not black and orange so be looking for a "yellowstart."

We then headed to Richmond to look for the Sage Thrasher at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond that was found by Ken Burton a couple of weeks ago. Luke spotted it first in the line of trees/shrubs that runs perpendicular to the road across the street from the parking lot. Note that this is the first lot you come to. This vegetation would be between the blue and yellow Ramblers building and the small weedy field that has the boardwalk. It eventually flushed and seemed to fly to the large willow clump where it would have been nearly impossible to find. The male Eurasian Wigeon was still in the pond on the parking lot side of the road. Actually it was feeding on the lawn on the opposite side of the pond.

Steve Glover

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Tufted Duck, etc., on January 14
Sat, 15 Jan 2000 11:44:24 -0800
From: John Luther

Hi All,

As you have seen from the previous post, Luke Cole, Joelle Buffa and I were with Steve Glover yesterday for the morning. Some interesting birds we saw when not with Steve are reported here. At Arrowhead Marsh [Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline], we saw a male and female Eurasian Widgeon and three Blue-winged Teal. At the end of Ashby Ave at the rocky point [Point Emery], we had a flock of Black Turnstones with one Ruddy Turnstone and a separate group of 5 Surfbirds with a Whimbrel. At the end of Powell Street past the marina there was a male Eurasian Widgeon in the open bay. The female Tufted Duck found on the Oakland Christmas Dec 19 was still at Lake Merritt in the duck feeding area behind the Rotary Science Center.

John Luther

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Lafayette Reservoir
Sat, 15 Jan 2000 12:06:56 -0800
From: Maury Stern

There were 2 Wood Ducks at Lafayette Reservoir yesterday, each with a silver band on the left leg. There was a pair of Hooded Mergansers today. Both species were along the reeds in the west side of the reservoir. The adult Bald Eagle has been seen sporadically the past 2 weeks.

Maury Stern

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Burrowing Owl at Berkeley Marina
Sat, 15 Jan 2000 12:19:42 -0800
From: Dorothy Gregor

There's a Burrowing Owl at the Berkeley Marina who's out early in the morning on the east side of the path that goes around the north park [César Chávez Park]. He's seen on the rocks near the shore shortly before the path curves - about "2 o'clock" on the horseshoe the path makes around the park [as seen on a map view].

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Martin Luther King Shoreline
Sun, 16 Jan 2000 14:06:35 -0800
From: Courtenay Peddle

Hello folks,

In addition to the Usual Suspects today at Arrowhead Marsh, I had an Osprey and a Rock Wren (perhaps the rock wren that Rusty Scalf found in October). The wren was in the rip-rap on each side of the fishing pier beside the last parking lot. It was very shy.

Good birding!
Courtenay Peddle

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American Redstart and other interesting birds
Sun, 16 Jan 2000 16:16:43 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I started out this morning in the surprising lack of rain by looking for the American Redstart in Alameda - on Bay Farm Island near the tennis courts at Leydecker Park on MeCartney Rd, just west of Island Dr. I found it along the path to the lagoon east of the tennis courts, just north of the ballfield. It was giving a repeated call that sounded to me something like a Yellow-rumped Warbler call, but louder and sharper. As Steve Glover pointed out, you might better think of it as a "yellowstart." Though it was moderately shy and very active, it wasn't too hard to get fairly good looks at it. After that I wandered along the lagoon for a while - nice looks at a variety of ducks in the water, as well as the ones that practically climb up your legs looking for handouts.

Then to Arrowhead Marsh where the Barrow's Goldeneye was at the mouth of San Leandro Creek, the new marsh was fairly quiet, but lots of the usual birds were scattered around. Highlight was a Burrowing Owl sitting in the mouth of a burrow right at the side of the road, staring placidly at people in cars a few feet away like a hobbit happy in his Hole and having no intention of going on any adventures. This was in the bank by the parking lot halfway between Swan Way and the Arrowhead Marsh parking lot.

Then on to Lake Merritt Channel, where there were several dozen ducks in the space between 12th St and 10th St, including both species of goldeneyes, Buffleheads, and both species of scaup.

At Berkeley Aquatic Park, the water was extremely high despite the low tide in the Bay, so there weren't too many birds to see. Two hawks were up on the radio tower too high for me to identify with just binoculars, but the high one looked as if it might have been the peregrine. I saw one Redhead in the south pond.

Out to the Bay and Point Emery, where more Redheads were visible along with large rafts of scaup. I watched a Red-tailed Hawk swoop up from the end of the point with a large rodent in its clutches as it headed back into Aquatic Park to find a pleasant spot for lunch. The Sanderlings were on the mudflats south of Point Emery, and one Black Turnstone was poking around the point itself, which was mostly deserted of both birds and people at extremely low tide.

My final stop was at the Seabreeze Market at University Ave for a sandwich. The Brewer's Blackbirds poking around at the foot of the tables and diners were joined not only by several Red-winged Blackbirds, but also by White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows.

All in all, a very satisfying morning in fine weather that came as a wonderful surprise.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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American Redstart and Sage Thrasher
Sun, 16 Jan 2000 21:33:33 -0800
From: Mike Feighner

East Bay Birders:

This morning, I tried for both the Eurasian Wigeon and Sage Thrasher in Richmond and the American Redstart in Alameda. I was successful in all three pursuits.

At Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline the male Eurasian Wigeon was still on the lawn west of the pond. This is the bay-side of the pond.

There were four or five other birders there searching everywhere. The Sage Thrasher was not in the same location that Steve Glover had reported but in a bush next to the parking lot. I understand from the other birders that this is the original location. There are two No Parking signs along the east side of the parking lot. The Sage Thrasher Bush is the one next to the 2nd (north) No Parking Sign.

I must have arrived at the American Redstart place after Larry was there this morning. The area where both Steve and the others and Larry this morning found the bird was completely dead. All of the activity was around the parking lot. The American Redstart the not the most cooperative I have see. It was in the rightmost Monterey Pine at the east end of the parking lot. It was a mixed flock with Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Orange-crowned Warbler, Chickadees, Bushtits, and one Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA

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Fwd: [SBB] Glaucous Gull
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 12:31:15 -0800
From: Mike Feighner


The e-mail was sent out origianally to South-Bay-Birds. This Glaucous Gull was seen at Fremont Lagoons just inside of Alameda County.

However, Hidden Lake is in Milpitas just inside Santa Clara County.

Sorry to those who may get this e-mail twice.

Mike Feighner

Monday, January 17, 2000 11:54 AM
From: Nick Lethaby
To: south-bay-birds list
[SBB] Glaucous Gull

I had a 1W [first winter] Glaucous Gull at the Fremont Lagoons on Saturday, along with at least 5 Thayer's Gulls.

Sunday, there were about 10 Thayer's Gulls (along with 3 or 4 birds that might have been Thayer's but were probably hybrids) on Hidden Lake. The nearby power lines held a Peregrine Falcon and an adult Cooper's Hawk.

Nick Lethaby

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Hayward Shoreline
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 18:44:22 -0800
From: Tom Condit

At mid-day today, there were at least two Short-eared Owls (and a possible third) and eight Snow Geese at the Hayward Regional Shoreline north of the flood control channel at the end of West Winton Avenue. One of the owls was very actively hunting and gave Marsha Feinland and myself great views of itself flying and perching from every angle. The geese were also alternately flying and settling down to graze with the Canada Goose flock on the first hillock north of the channel.

Also seen:

Northern Harrier
White-tailed Kite (or Black-shouldered or whatever its name is this week)
Buteo sp. - probably Red-tailed Hawk
Anna's Hummingbirds
White-crowned Sparrows
Savannah Sparrows
Song Sparrows
California Towhee
American Crows
Eurasian Starlings
Mourning Doves
House Finches
Turkey Vultures
Long-billed Curlews
Marbled Godwits
Black-bellied Plovers
gull sp.
"peep" sp.
Greater Yellowlegs
Northern Pintails (on the pond north of the goose hillock)
American Wigeons
Great Egrets
Snowy Egrets
ground squirrels

and probably a few others we've forgotten.

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Continued Presence of Eurasian Wigeon, Barrow's Goldeneye, American Redstart
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 22:57:50 PST
From: Phil Gordon

Greetings East Bay Birders,

Monday afternoon my wife Pat and I found ourselves at Garretson Point [in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline] looking for Blue-winged Teal (didn't find), Eurasian Wigeon (nice male snoozing on the shore of Arrowhead Marsh beside San Leandro Bay), and Barrow's Goldeneye (striking male swimming from bay under the pedestrian bridge - close!).

At about 4:30 PM in the intermittent drizzle we began a search for the American Redstart found by Rusty Scalf(?) on 19 December around the Harbor Bay Isles Tennis Courts along Mecartney Rd as described by Steve Glover. Two other birders had been looking. One (from Chico) said she heard a different chip. In the same area Steve described we too heard the chip; it helped us look more carefully into a backlit group of treetop Yellow-rumped Warblers (8), one of which was smaller/slimmer, chipped more sharply and gave a glimpse of the yellow-margined tail. The bird (we feel the warmer color of the yellow indicated an immature male) chipped so consistently that we could locate it several different times in the flock of "Audubon's" Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets when helping the others find it as well. It foraged in the White Alders and the Canary Island Pines (about halfway between the Tennis Courts and the Canal). We celebrated our new Alameda County Bird with hot Mocha and chocolate!

Viva el dia de compleanos de Martin Luther King!

Happy Birding,
Phil Gordon

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