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Re: Young Barn Swallow question
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 09:01:58 -0700
From: Pat Matthews

Regarding Courtenay Peddle's question about breeding Barn Swallows, I don't know the latest known nesting, but I have one here at San Pablo Reservoir that (I just checked) is still incubating her eggs. They love to use the restrooms at the Main Recreation Area, usually building the nest on top of or near the fluorescent light fixtures. The staff here make it a priority to keep the doors open for the birds.

This nest is in the women's restroom on the fixture just as you enter.

Ranger Pat Matthews
San Pablo Reservoir

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Re: Young Barn Swallow question
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 10:33:57 -0700
From: Don Lewis

Last Tuesday, August 13, there was a Barn Swallow feeding at least two nestlings at Boundary Oak Country Club clubhouse on the east side of Walnut Creek.

Don Lewis
Lafayette, CA

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Re: Young Barn Swallow question
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 11:03:14 -0700
From: Roger Hartwell

In addition to the Barn Swallow Pat Matthews reported on eggs at San Pablo Recreation Area, there is also currently a Barn Swallow on eggs at East Bay Municipal Utility District Watershed Headquarters near San Pablo Reservoir Launch Ramp. The pair at Headquarters started incubating within the past week, which suggests the young will leave the nest in mid to late September.

Roger Hartwell
EBMUD, Fisheries & Wildlife

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Re: Young Barn Swallow question
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 20:17:10 -0700
From: Courtenay Peddle

Hello folks,

Gosh, this Birders Circle sure is a neat thing! Thanks for all the responses. We'll just have to keep watching our swallow colonies to see how long they keep producing young.

Good birding!
Courtenay Peddle

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Birds of local interest
Sat, 17 Aug 2002 13:51:50 PDT
From: Brian Fitch

The summer-camp birders found some nice migrants this week. On Monday, a male Rufous Hummingbird was battling with the local Anna's Hummingbirds near the southwest edge of Jewel Lake in Tilden. In the same area, a flock consisting mostly of Warbling Vireos also contained a young male Hermit Warbler. At the small pond below the Little Farm, a male and female Western Tanager were eating berries. The male still retained some orange on the face.

On Tuesday at the Albany Waterfront, the outermost rocks on the peninsula [Albany Bulb] had 2 Wandering Tattlers, 5 Black Turnstones, 3 Spotted Sandpipers, and a line of Brandt's Cormorants flew by just offshore.

On Thursday we saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher by the beach where the Golden Gate Fields hay yards shore turns west toward the Berkeley Marina. It was flycatching in the French Broom.

On Friday at Vollmer Peak, we found 3 Hermit Warblers and a Townsend's Warbler in pines on the northeast slope.

Brian Fitch & crew

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Black Skimmer at Martinez Regional Shoreline
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 08:43:22 -0700
From: Scott Hein

Claudia and I were birding the Martinez Regional Shoreline with Cindy and Les Lieurance on Saturday morning, and almost immediately found a Black Skimmer roosting with a Caspian Tern and some American White Pelicans on one of the sandbars that are just offshore where the creek empties into the bay/river. The tide was coming in and the bird eventually flushed, ending up on the small "beach" on the duck pond that is just south of the parking lot. I was able to get some nice photos of the bird from this spot (although I did have to wait for the Rock Doves and Mallards of questionable parentage to clear the frame before shooting). Here is a link to one of the photos:

Les was also able to capture some good video of the bird:

The bird is banded, and after viewing the band at 60 power through our scope from several different angles, we were able to determine the entire band number, which Les has submitted to Patuxent - it will be interesting to see the report on this bird. Steve Glover thinks this is probably the same bird that was reported on July 12th from the same location by Robert Thomas, and is the first county record away from Richmond.

As a side note, the Martinez Regional Shoreline is a great birding spot, especially right now with the fall shorebird migration underway. If you walk the trails into the marsh, you will find some very nice mudflats. On Saturday we didn't time our visit very well with the tides, and there were still many Least Sandpipers and a few Western Sandpipers, Willets, Semipalmated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, and Black-necked Stilts. It's definitely worth a visit.

Good Birding,
Scott Hein
Concord, California

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Northern Mockingbird with young in Richmond
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 12:11:18 -0700
From: Sheila Dickie

I believe there was correspondence recently about observing birds nesting or having young at this time of year. On Richmond BART station this morning August 19, having heard peeps emanating from somewhere close to the tracks last week, I saw a pair of Northern Mockingbirds on a large shrub just the other side of the fence bordering the track. One of the birds was carrying food and the peeps intensified considerably when the bird disappeared into same shrub. There were actually 3 mockingbirds in sight; one of which was on top of the shrub flashing its wing stripes.

Is it unusual to have mockingbirds nesting so late?

Sheila Dickie
College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley

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Re: Martinez Regional Shoreline
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 13:47:53 -0700
From: Scott Hein

Jean wrote:

How does one get to the Martinez Regional Shoreline? Where is the entrance? I've birded the Mountain View Sanitary site before and know how to get there. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

The Martinez Regional Shoreline is easily accessed from downtown Martinez, and is adjacent to the Martinez Marina. I typically take Hwy 680 North toward the Benecia Bridge, and then take the Marina Vista exit. If you follow Marina Vista into Martinez, and turn right at the old train station (on Ferry St), you will cross the railroad tracks and enter the park.

Follow the road toward the Marina, and then park in the last parking area. There is a path that you can follow along the water's edge toward the west. We initially found the Skimmer on a sand bar that is present at lower tides just offshore from where the creek enters the river.

Here is a link to the East Bay Regional Park website that has maps and other information about the shoreline:

Good Luck!
Concord, California

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Re: Black Skimmer at Martinez Regional Shoreline
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:40:50 -0700
From: Beth Lucas

For what it's worth, the skimmer wasn't there this afternoon. Though, birds do fly! And, hopefully it will appear again.

I did see three Semipalmated Plovers, and two Black-bellied Plovers.


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