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No luck with mystery duck at Albany Bulb
Tue, 22 Jul 2003 23:46:34 EDT
From: Brian Fitch

We couldn't find the "mystery duck" today in the high-tide waters at Albany Bulb.

On Monday we spotted a high-flying juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk over the lower slopes of Wildcat Peak in Tilden Regional Park, and found a Rufous Hummingbird near the boardwalk south of Jewel Lake. The bird was very orange, and fanned its tail diagnostically for those of us who had binoculars.

Brian Fitch & crew

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Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling in Berkeley backyard
Wed, 23 Jul 2003 16:15:39 -0700
From: Lisa Owens-Viani

I have the most amazing sight in my backyard in Berkeley. An adult towhee is being followed about for hours on end by a very persistent baby cowbird that begs constantly for food. The towhee frantically tries to keep up, feeding it with weed seeds and bugs. Although I knew about cowbirds and their habits, to see this in action is unbelievable. No baby towhees in sight; the cowbird seems to be all-consuming...


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Clapper Rails at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland
Wed, 23 Jul 2003 22:49:11 -0700
From: Mark Wales

Today at about 2 PM just after high tide I was fortunate enough to be out on the pier at the Arrowhead Marsh [in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline, Oakland] and we saw 4 separate Clapper Rails within the space of about 15 minutes! One continued to feed regularly through out that time off the small island, the other's put in shorter appearances all around the pier. It's the biggest congregations of Clapper Rails I've seen. Does this mean they've bred well this year?


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RFI: Soras at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland?
Thu, 24 Jul 2003 09:07:34 -0700
From: Judi Cooper

Is anyone seeing Soras at Arrowhead Marsh?

Judi Cooper

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Re: Soras at Arrowhead Marsh
Thu, 24 Jul 2003 10:05:10 -0700
From: Peter Dramer

Rail surveys by East Bay Regional Park District in recent years have rather uniformly produced Virginia Rails and Soras each in numbers approximately equal to half the number of Clapper Rails seen. During the most recent survey the number of Clapper Rails increased dramatically while only a single Sora was seen. Where, normally, about 15 Soras would be seen there was only the one Sora.

No explanation, except that perhaps the Clapper Rails are out-competing the Soras.


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Common Murre at Point Isabel, Richmond
Thu, 24 Jul 2003 14:45:47 -0700
From: Doug Greenberg

This morning (Thursday) I saw a Common Murre very close to the rocky shore at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in south Richmond. It appeared to be fighting hard against the strong current / westerly wind to stay far enough away from the rocks to avoid harassment by dogs (Point Isabel is a very popular area for off-leash dog walking).

Doug Greenberg

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Common Murres at Berkeley Marina
Thu, 24 Jul 2003 18:03:07 PDT
From: Brian Fitch

No luck with live owls, but we found fresh feathers and pellets under the cypresses along the road into C�sar Ch�vez Park at the Berkeley Marina.

Our highlight was a Common Murre standing penguin-like on a rock, looking exhausted or unhealthy. From the nearby beach we had eye-level viewing of the poor bird. This was on the shoreline running along the dirt road that connects the marina hotel and the frontage road, by the creek outlet. Around 2 PM, I spotted another murre in the open bay, slowly drifting into the mouth of the boat basin. Both birds were adults in alternate plumage.

Brian Fitch & crew

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