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Birding EBB's Latin Quarter
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 10:44:18 -0700
From: Arlene Gemmill

As EBB and NBB have ostentatiously excluded San Francisco from their circles I want to underline that we have birds, lots of birds.

As example here is the list that I, an only so-so birder, compiled in just one hour in the S.F. Presidio, walking down Arguello Blvd.from Inspiration Point to the Main Post. If I had continued other couple of blocks I would have reached Crissy Field and the ocean and added another couple of dozen species:

( + indicates that there were young birds so probably nesting)

Hooded Oriole +
Red-shouldered Hawk +
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Pacific-slope Flycatcher (heard but not seen)
American Robin
California Towhee
House Finch +
Purple Finch
Lesser Goldfinch +
Selasphorus hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Winter Wren
Cedar Waxwing
Pygmy Nuthatch
Wilson's Warbler
Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Downy Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (heard but not seen)
Northern Mockingbird

Check us out when you're in the neighborhood,

Arlene Gemmill

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The end of Bethel Island Road
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 14:35:08 PDT
From: Denise Wight

Hi EBBirders,

This morning, in an attempt to do some birding at the end of Bethel Island Rd in east Contra Costa County, I found that there is no longer easy access to the levee road that heads west. The small old, wooden gate by the larger green gate has been replaced with a newer one and a numbered padlock, not just chained as Steve Glover reported in his June 1st post. I'm not one to jump locked gates that are obviously posted No Trespassing, especially while leading a class. Last year I was personally told to get off the property below the levee by a man who said he was the owner's son, so sneaking in from the back is out. This is such a wonderful spot for Yellow-breasted Chat, migrants, etc., it saddens me to think birders may no longer have access. If anyone knows more about this, please let me know.

Regardless, from the road, there were Blue Grosbeak, Black-chinned Hummingbird, one close White-faced Ibis fly-over, and many other expected species.

Burrowing Owls and Swainson's Hawks were seen along the road into Clifton Court Forebay.

Denise Wight
Martinez, CA

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Raven chorus at Joaquin Miller
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 18:49:02 -0700
From: Tom Condit

At mid-day today (Monday, July 24) we were treated to a concert by two or more Common Ravens in Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park, near big meadow. Some of the calls were obvious raven calls, others more high-pitched like a crow's caw, still others so low and mechanical that Marsha speculated briefly they might be a machine of some sort.

We finally located two ravens, both in the middle branches of trees. One was leaning forward along a branch in a begging posture and giving pretty much a regular raven call, although I assume it was actually a begging call to those who understand Raven. The other was sitting on a tree. It would put its head down and give the low mechanical call, then stretch its head and neck upward like a bittern and give a high sharp caw-like call. The whole thing was very reminiscent of an adolescent human male going through voice change. The high, sharp call was responded to twice by a dog barking.

Tom Condit

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Re: Birding EBB's Latin Quarter
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 21:14:47 -0700
From: Doug Shaw

Arlene Gemmill wrote:

As EBB and NBB have ostentatiously excluded San Francisco from their circles I want to underline that we have birds, lots of birds.


You could always join SF birds, another e-group listserv.

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Hayward Shoreline
Mon, 24 Jul 2000 21:40:31 -0700
From: Debbi Brusco

I took a walk about an hour before sunset tonight on the trail by the interpretive center. There wasn't much water. Among others, I saw a pair of Black Skimmers flying, and got a brief look at one of them skimming. I also saw a Caspian Tern, and a Whimbrel next to a Long Billed Curlew.

There was also a sparrow I didn't recognize; the wind was blowing and it was across the channel, but what I could see was this: clear breast and pretty strong triangular rufous face patch and possibly head stripe(s)/cap - at least, there appeared to be rufous on the top of the head. The face patch was surrounded by a creamier color than the breast. Any ideas?

Debbi Brusco

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Re: The end of Bethel Island Road
Tue, 25 Jul 2000 11:15:02 PDT
From: Steve Glover

Denise and all,

This kind of thing has come up repeatedly over the years at Piper Slough. I have had a lot of contact over the years with the landowner, the landowner's nephew, and all of the bulldozer operators and have never been told that I couldn't walk on the levee itself. I think that this is because the levee is public property and they couldn't legally stop you if they wanted to. I have been told to stay up on the levee, particularly while the destruction is actually taking place, but even that seems to depend on who finds you out there, how bad their attitude is, and probably how much they abhor birdwatchers. A man who identified himself as the landowner's nephew told me last year that they were having problems with fishermen planting marijuana in the willow clumps. The one thing that is prohibited out there is fishing and I am told that the reason for that is that fishermen climb on and sit down on the rocks that line the levee, causing them to degrade at a faster rate. Since these things must be very expensive I can understand that.

The last time I was there the locals were still walking their dogs on the levee so my guess is that they put on the lock and put up the signs to scare away as many fishermen and pot-planters as possible even though they can't legally keep you out.

Incidentally, there has always been a No Trespassing sign on the gate. If anyone is worried about this situation then I would suggest getting a hold of the Bethel Island Municipal whatever-it-is and ask exactly what is going on. In the meantime I will continue to go out there as I always have. If you get out there let me know what you see.

Steve Glover
Dublin, CA

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Re: Birding EBB's Latin Quarter
Tue, 25 Jul 2000 11:37:05 -0700
From: Rebecca Freed

In response to Arlene's message, there is an SFBirds mailing list. To sign up, see this Web page:

To read the SFBirds archives, see this Web page:

Rebecca Freed
Berkeley CA

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Hermit Warbler
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 20:33:37 PDT
From: Brian Fitch

Today on Vollmer Peak in Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley Hills, there was an immature female Hermit Warbler amongst a mixed flock of nuthatches and chickadees. They were in the pine grove on the north side of the hilltop, around 11 AM.

Brian Fitch

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