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Re: Burrowing Owls at the Berkeley Marina
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 12:05:21 -0800
From: Dorothy Gregor

I live here in the Berkeley Marina and I'm writing to ask all of you to be careful in your observations of the Burrowing Owls. A couple of years ago I witnessed people seeing how close they could get to the owls before they would fly, there are feral cats and, of course, off-leash dogs that the owls must avoid. As a consequence they left for awhile and now they're back. At least the birding group should avoid putting stress on the birds.

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Re: Burrowing Owls at Berkeley Marina
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 13:56:50 -0800
From: Doug Vaughan

Dorothy wrote:

At least the birding group should avoid putting stress on the birds.

Quite right, and I was a guilty party (just once!) this morning, trying to photograph one of the birds. They appear to tolerate passersby, even at ten feet or so, but if you approach them directly and take up a position with camera or binoculars, they seem to get edgy at 25 or 30 feet.

Along the east perimeter, the paved path is very close to the rocks, and I don't know how the owls are to be "protected" there. On the north side, the path is generally farther from the rocks, and the birds might be given a little peace if people and their dogs were restricted to the path. Perhaps someone could be approached in this regard?

Doug Vaughan

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Berkeley Aquatic Park and Mira Vista Field in Richmond
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 14:02:23 -0800
From: Lory Poulson

On Thursday in the middle pond at Aquatic Park (Berkeley) there was a male Hooded Merganser resting on the pilings and a male Common Goldeneye diving near the pilings.

People near Mira Vista field (Richmond) may have noticed a Spotted Towhee calling (especially in early morning) in one of the shrubby islands of dense brush surrounded by grassy open space in the northern section; and late yesterday a woodpecker and a nuthatch were calling in the trees (sorry no specific identifications on those).

(Mira Vista field is the plot of land adjacent to Mira Vista School, on Hazel Ave. Neighbors persuaded the school district not to sell to a developer, so instead of some 40 homes there is a large open space with several natural springs and a small introduced pond. Paths are maintained and mulched by locals; bird, animal and native plant populations have been documented; and many native trees and plants have been added.)

Lory Poulson

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Wild Turkeys in Berkeley?
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:11:24 -0800
From: John Poole

One of the parents at my school (Jefferson Elementary) reports seeing a Wild Turkey in North Berkeley near Milvia St.

Does anyone have any info about turkeys in this area? I assume that someone may be raising Wild Turkeys in their back yard.

John Poole

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New yard bird - American White Pelican in Orinda
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:37:22 -0800
From: Ray Witbeck

While having an enjoyable lunch in my backyard and enjoying this gorgeous weather I was able to add a new species to my yard bird list - a single American White Pelican high overhead slowly making his way west over the Oakland Hills.

Also had a flock of Cedar Waxwings competing with the American Robins for the berries.

Good birding!
Ray Witbeck
Orinda, CA

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Wild Turkey in Albany
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 16:09:59 -0800
From: Lisa Owens-Viani

I saw one Wild Turkey walking down Santa Fe St near Solano Ave not too long ago.

Lisa Owens-Viani

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Wild Turkeys redux
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 18:01:01 -0800
From: John Poole

My problem with Wild Turkey sightings is that I have never heard of any flocks in the Berkeley Hills. This appears to be a solitary bird. I believe that there is someone living in the Milvia area with a small collection of wild animals. Perhaps he/she is missing a turkey (and Thanksgiving is over!).

John Poole

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Re: Wild Turkeys redux
Fri, 21 Feb 2003 18:10:28 -0800
From: Bob Lewis

Hanno and I had 4 Wild Turkeys at the intersection of Fish Ranch Rd and the tunnel turnoff in early February. It was early morning, and the birds actually ran toward the car ... not sure that's a normal Wild Turkey reaction.

Bob Lewis

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Bald Eagle and Heronry at San Pablo Reservoir
Sat, 22 Feb 2003 13:10:33 -0800
From: Kitty O'Neil

This morning I took a nice walk to the San Pablo Reservoir. And at last I finally saw the Bald Eagle. Awesome. Sitting in a pine tree looking out over the water. It was completely visible and identifiable down to the yellow talons. (Directions below)

And I thought the highlight of the walk was the Great Blue Heron rookery! Saw about 6 nests though there may be more. The herons were coming and going and making a lot of very deep grunting sounds. Saw more than 20 Great Blue Herons in and around the area. (And a lot of turtles sunning themselves too.)

Saw about 40 species all told.

Great birding!


I started at the Orinda Connector Trail (intersection of Wildcat Canyon Rd and Camino Pablo/San Pablo Dam Rd) and hiked to the south end of San Pablo Reservoir (EBMUD Trail Permit required) where I saw the Bald Eagle.

The Rookery:

The nests are high up in the eucalyptus trees on the north side of the maintenance building (the one with the gas pumps). This building can also be reached along the driveway from San Pablo Dam Rd to the boat ramps at San Pablo Reservoir. [Editor's Note: The EBMUD staff request that you check in at the office before roaming around the maintenance yard birding - enhanced security measures are in effect because of terrorist concerns.]

Kitty O'Neil
Orinda, CA

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