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Common Snipe
Tue, 06 Mar 2001 18:29:47
From: Peter Dramer

In Hayward there is a small seasonal wetland that abuts Hayward Regional Shoreline. A group of twenty Common Snipe there last week became a group of forty today. Experience indicates to me that this bird, in the Bay Area, occurs most often in numbers of one or two. To appease my curiosity I would like to ask everyone what experience they have with Snipe numbers in the Bay Area? How common or uncommon are 40 Snipe?

This wetland, unfortunately, is not accessible to the general public. This area also immediately abuts the property where the new Calpine power plant is to be constructed.


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Re: Common Snipe
06 Mar 2001 18:56:56 -0800
From: Les Chibana


While my experience along the Bay edge has been to find only a few at a time, other areas can be quite different. On a recent trip to Merced National Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos, we saw perhaps no more than 6 at a time, but we kept seeing them all around the auto tour. The largest concentration that I've seen was near Hollister a couple of years ago. I estimated a few hundred; the people who alerted me to this area estimated a thousand when they first discovered them! It appeared to be a temporal occurence that was dependent on the soggy conditions of that year. I haven't seen anything approaching the same numbers since then.

Les Chibana

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Hayward Shoreline
Tue, 6 Mar 2001 19:06:12 PST
From: Bob Richmond

The following was seen today at Hayward Shoreline:

Chestnut-backed Chickadee - 1
Costa's Hummingbird - 1 female at Winton Ave in a flowering Eucalyptus
Black Oystercatcher - 3 (1 adult, 2 immatures)
Common Snipe - 37 (where Peter saw 40), several hours later none were seen
'Eurasian' Green-winged Teal - 1 male


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Re: Common Snipes
Tue, 6 Mar 2001 21:36:59 -0800
From: Don Lewis

Every winter there are 10 or 12 or more Common Snipe in a group along the marshy shore of Upper San Leandro Reservoir near the Valle Vista Staging Area in Moraga. And that's just along the small segment of shore near the road and horse corral.

I've not visited there this year but will bet that they are there.

Don Lewis
Lafayette, CA

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Re: Common Snipes
Wed, 7 Mar 2001 09:59:26 PST
From: Steve Glover

Peter and all,

I haven't tracked down too many sightings of large flocks of snipe in the East Bay but that may be partially due to the fact that snipes aren't particularly rare and thus get neglected in observations columns in local newsletters. I once had well over 100 in a temporarily flooded field on Cypress Rd near Bethel Island in early spring and Denise Wight had 81 in Martinez on 7 January 1995. I'm sure there are others but they apparently were never published anywhere. If anyone else has any sightings of large flocks in the East Bay I would love to hear about them.

Steve Glover

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Wed, 07 Mar 2001 10:47:16
From: Peter Dramer

Thank you all for your Snipe info. The info that I have gotten, from 1,000 Snipe near Hollister to the ones and twos in the Bay Area, is helpful. The immediate Bay Area does not seem to attract them in larger numbers.

The effect of the new Hayward power plant on this seasonal marsh is uncertain other than that it will be a large looming structure. It is to be located at the end of Enterprise Ave where there are now four radio towers.

The reason that Bob did not find the Snipe later in the day was because, earlier, two project managers from the Calpine project were walking about in the marsh to see if they could find a way to drain the future rain runoff from the plant.

There are expected to be as many as 15 consultants working on that project. While the proposal for the plant is still out for public review the behind-the-scenes activity indicates that it is already a "done deal."


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