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Birding with the A's - Peregrine Falcon
Mon, 10 Jun 2002 23:34:05 -0700
From: Jennifer Rycenga

Tonight at the Oakland Coliseum (Go A's! - they won 8 to 6!), we had a Peregrine Falcon flyover at around 8:15 PM. It was flying northwest, presumably going to a roost. Does anyone know more about peregrines at Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, or other areas near the Coliseum?

Jennifer Rycenga
Berkeley, California

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Peregrine Falcons in Oakland
Tue, 11 Jun 2002 07:37:25 -0700
From: Mark Eaton

Peregrines certainly have roosted on the Kaiser (?) building downtown [near Lake Merritt] - I'm not sure what their current status is. Given how strong a flyer peregrines are (I've had them 50 miles offshore), the Coliseum doesn't seem all that far away....


Mark W. Eaton
San Francisco Field Ornithologists:

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Peregrine Falcons at Oakland Coliseum
Tue, 11 Jun 2002 07:41:57 PDT
From: George McRae

I think there would be good hunting at the Coliseum. The fans leave enormous amounts of garbage which attracts scavanger birds like pigeons which would be easy pickings. There's always bats at the ball park after sundown which is neat as well.

Would a peregrine take a bat?

George McRae

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Update on Cooper's Hawk nest in Berkeley
Tue, 11 Jun 2002 10:27:04 -0700
From: Rita Elmwood

There are at least 2 (probably 3) Cooper's Hawk chicks in the nest at Russell St and Pine Ave in Berkeley. They look pretty healthy, very fluffy white and were very active yesterday, flapping wings and looking around. I think they will fledge in 7 to 10 days, based on last year's schedule. If not in the nest, look for an adult in one of the pine trees in front of the Magness Museum.

Thanks to those who gave directions to view the Golden Eagle nest in Sibley. Watch out for the poison oak if you choose, as we did, to find a better viewing site farther up on the hill.

Rita & Leonard

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Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
Sat, 15 Jun 2002 17:27:07 PDT
From: Steve Glover

Hello everyone,

This morning I birded the Nortonville section of Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve south of Antioch. This area is west of the main unit of the park, reached by heading over the hill and past the old cemetery. I had a singing Canyon Wren in this area in March of 1992 (where does the time go?!) but saw no sign of them last year. Today I was fortunate. Near the bottom of the Coal Canyon Trail, a pair of adults were entering an abandoned mine shaft with food in their bills. They never sang but gave their little "policeman's whistle" fairly often. As you head up the canyon you will quickly see a small cliff face on your left with a small hole covered by bars. Just ahead I flushed an apparent family group out of the dry streambed. I believe there was just a single nest confirmation for the county before this: Kevin Hintsa and Bob Richmond found three fledglings in Pine Canyon, Mt Diablo, in June of 1991.

Lawrence's Goldfinches were all over this block, unlike last year, but all were flybys.

A leucistic Spotted Towhee was the other highlight of the day. It was at the very base of Coal Canyon. It's entire head and most of it's underparts were white, its flanks were rusty, and it's wings and uppertail were black. Neat.

Good birding,
Steve Glover

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RFI: Stores with good selection of binoculars
Sat, 15 Jun 2002 18:16:53 -0700
From Joan Bernstein

Can anyone suggest stores - preferably in the East Bay, but San Francisco is OK too - with a reasonably wide section of binoculars to try out, particularly mid-range in cost ($250 to $400 maximum)? I am aware that most models can be obtained more cheaply mail order, but my husband really wants to try before he buys, having just had to send back a highly recommended pair that really didn't suit him.

Joan Bernstein

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Great-tailed Grackles nesting at McNabney Marsh
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 23:16:03 -0700
From: Nathan Crawford

Hi birders!

Today at McNabney Marsh east of Martinez at about 6:30 PM (a good time to bird here as this is roadside birding and there are less obnoxious trucks moving through.) I had 1 male, 1 female, and 2 juvenile Great-Tailed Grackles at the intersection of Waterfront Rd and Waterbird Way. The birds were observed on the fence posts where they would roost and call. At one point I observed the juveniles begging from the female. I also observed the birds fly out into the marsh and then fly back to the intersection.

I have been out of the Bay Area for some years and was informed by Larry Tunstall that:

Grackles have been moving into this area over the past few years. A pair of Great-tailed Grackles nested successfully at Shadow Cliffs a year or two ago. Others have been seen all over the Bay Area in the past year. Steve Glover confirmed nesting at McNabney Marsh just about two years ago

but I don't think there has been a report yet this year.

Good Birding!

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