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Re: East Bay birders in the newspaper
Tue, 9 Mar 2004 08:58:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Floyd Hayes

Entertaining article. Any chance the rest of us could cash in on Chilson's deal?!?:

Chilson, the Concord birder, said he paid several dollars apiece for his two ultimate birding trips to the Aleutian Island of Attu.

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Wild Turkeys in the Oakland flatlands
Tue, 9 Mar 2004 09:03:16 -0800 (PST)
From: John Harris


Yesterday, two Wild Turkeys were seen on the campus of Mills College. The birds were walking around on the roof of the student union! Mills is located just below Hwy 580 near its intersection with Hwy 13. Most of the turkey sightings in the last couple of years seem to have been above 580 and 13 to my recollection - this might be the first Oakland sighting in the flatlands. Anybody know of others? It's not unusual to have some wildlife on the campus, as there is a more or less permanent stream, an oak/bay woodland on the east side of the campus, and other open space. Deer are seen occasionally as well as the usual suburban fauna like skunks, opossums, raccoons.

John H. Harris
Biology Department, Mills College
Oakland, CA

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Hooded Oriole in Oakland
Tue, 09 Mar 2004 11:42:36 -0800
From: Judi Sierra

I saw the first Hooded Oriole (male) of the year in my flatland backyard today.

Judi Sierra - Oakland

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Nesting birds in Orinda
Tue, 09 Mar 2004 12:28:31 -0800
From: Kitty O'Neil

Just saw an American Crow fly by my window with nesting material. A great spring sight to go with the warm weather.

I also noticed a Great Blue Heron working on one of the nests by San Pablo Reservoir (next to the East Bay Municipal Utility District building, permit required).

Happy Spring!

Kitty O'Neil
Orinda, CA

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Re: Nesting birds in Orinda
Tue, 9 Mar 2004 13:07:10 -0800
From: Roger Hartwell

The Great Blue Herons at San Pablo Reservoir showed up this year on about January 26 when fifteen birds descended on the rookery trees all at once. Over the next few weeks they paired up and settled in, by which time the numbers grew a bit. We usually end up with over 20 nests, not including Great Egrets which nest later.

Roger D. Hartwell
EBMUD, Fisheries and Wildlife
500 San Pablo Dam Road
Orinda, CA

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Hayward Regional Shoreline
Tue, 9 Mar 2004 16:13:47 PST
From: Bob Richmond

Today at Hayward Regional Shoreline:

Both the Surfbirds and oystercatchers are usually seen on an incoming tide when the water is high enough to cover most of the rocks so they have very few hiding places. I was there for close to 2 hours before they were seen. I don't think that they flew in.

Good Birding

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East Bay birders and Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
Tue, 9 Mar 2004 21:41:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Bob Power

Hi all:

East Bay Birders have long supported the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory both in the East Bay and on Hawk Hill. East Bay birds of prey have long played a major role in migrating from or to Hawk Hill. And a far stretch beyond.

Volunteer to Count and/or Band Birds of Prey with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory!
Fall 2004 Recruitment meetings coming soon:
GGNRA Headquarters - Upper Fort Mason, Bldg 201, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, April 17th, 10 a.m. to 12:30 PM
Monday, April 19th, 7 to 9:30 PM
Thursday, April 22nd, 7 to 9:30 PM

Need an insider's opinion before you take the plunge? contact me. Preview: It's awesome! But I'm neutral.

Bob Power

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Orange-crowned Warbler in Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley Hills
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 10:16:55 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I am forwarding the following message to the list for Michael Butler:

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 09:23:30 -0800

I saw and heard my first Orange-crowned Warbler of the spring on the Upper Pack Rat Trail above the Nature center in Tilden Nature Area at about 8:00 AM. I heard the whinny (the little horse of the forest, as Ranger Naturalist Alan Kaplan would say) and then got to see it sing at close range. Also had good looks at Golden-crowned Kinglet and singing Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Michael Butler

Posted to EBB by Larry Tunstall

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White-crowned Sparrows in Berkeley Hills
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 11:08:22 -0800
From: Phila Rogers


I've lived in these here hills [above the UC Berkeley campus] for 75 years and can't remember such a prolonged period of warmth for this early in the year when even at night all you need is a light blanket. Maybe all this warm weather is responsible in part for the big influx of White-crowned Sparrows on my deck feeder - a feeder that is usually dominated by Golden-crowned Sparrows along with a couple of Fox Sparrows. The bushes are full of White-crowned Sparrows singing, most unusual when I rarely even have one.

Has the Common Raven invasion begun? For the first time in the neighborhood a pair looks like they're setting up housekeeping in a tall, nearby conifer. The Ruby-crowned Kinglets are singing. Ditto Purple Finches and just about everything else. The Fox Sparrow is tuning up getting ready for the serious business up north (or in the Sierra?)

Phila Rogers

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Anna's Hummingbird families in Berkeley
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 16:02:36 -0800
From: Judith Dunham

Hi EB Birders,

I want to add my pre-spring sighting to the other recent reports. Off and on today, an adult Anna's Hummingbird was feeding a youngster in our backyard. The young one can fly on its own but tends to hang out in the bare branches of an apple tree or along the edge of a live oak. It sits preening and exercising its wings while waiting for the next food delivery.

On my wanderings in downtown Berkeley, I observed another Anna's Hummingbird picking at the lettering and trim on the Pegasus Books building at Durant & Shattuck - gathering either webs for its nest or insects for its young.

Spring is within sight.


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Snow Buntings over time in California
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 21:02:14 -0800
From: Hugh Harvey

Concerning the recent Snow Buntings, one at San Leandro and one at Clifton Court Forebay, here is what Grinnell and Miller have to say in their 1944 opus The Distribution of the Birds of California. This happens to be the very last entry, which is on page 576.

Status - Known only from the statement by Belding (Condor, 5, 1903:19) that a flock visited Marysville, Yuba County, in the winter of 1872-73. No specimen was preserved. The species is of arctic breeding range, coming south irregularly in winter to the northern tier of states. We know of no record nearer California than Harney County, eastern Oregon.

This is probably most indicative of the growth in the birding population. I think I remember a recent posting somewhere mentioning something like 100 sightings for California now.

Hugh B. Harvey

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Greater White-fronted Goose (?) at Laney College, Oakland
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:38:56 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I am forwarding this message to the list for Bob Hall:

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:31:43 -0800

I was at Laney College in Oakland today and saw a bird that appeared to be a Greater White-fronted Goose. It was feeding on the lawn with the Canada Geese. I'm not a regular on East Bay Birds so you all may already know about this bird. The reason I can't fully commit to my identification is that Sibley's guide shows a domestic Graylag goose that looks similar, however the goose I saw had belly streaking like a Greater White-fronted Goose. Is this a friendly neighborhood pet bird?

Also, earlier in the day on an excellent Golden Gate Audubon trip to Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline we had Burrowing Owl, Eurasian-American Wigeon hybrid, Clapper Rail and a heard but not seen Virgina Rail.

Bob Hall
San Francisco

Posted to EBB by Larry Tunstall

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Re: Snow Bunting at Clifton Court Forebay
Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:39:05 PST
From: Phil Gordon

Greetings Birders,

Today the Snow Bunting eluded me (hiding as I walked by) until, on my way back from where he said he had gone, I discovered that Steve Hampton had it along the Clifton Court Forebay shoreline. This was clockwise, about three-quarters along the first bend in the levee, leading away from the parking lot. My first photograph was at 2:45 PM. We found that the bird can hunker, hidden below small ledges or linger on rip/rap rocks (in the shade), especially when the American Pipit (a reported companion) stands exposed nearby. The bunting moved away from the reservoir edge up to patches of a 3-to-6-inch herb and snipped and tore off small (yellow) composite flower heads to eat with gusto. When the American Pipit appeared in the same patch, and after about 4 or 5 minutes flew back about 120 feet, the Snow Bunting followed and sat motionless in the shadow of a "lakeside" rock as the American Pipit perched conspicuously on a closer rock in the sunlight. I left at 3:52 PM. Also of note here was an immature female Peregrine Falcon, Violet-green Swallows (passing through), Clark's Grebe, and (seen by Steve only) a Red-breasted Merganser and Forster's Tern (of at least 32 species).

Phil E. Gordon
Hayward, Alameda County

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