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Tropical Kingbird
Fri, 08 Jan 1999 06:52:39 -0800
From: Doug Shaw

Hello All:

The Tropical Kingbird was still present Thursday 1/7 in Hidden Valley Park, Martinez. The park is near the school at Center Ave. & Glacier. The bird was silent in the pea soup fog at 10:00, but was perched at eye level at 20 feet away in the lowest eucalyptus on the hillside.

Doug Shaw

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Re: Hooded Merganser at Lake Merritt
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 09:12:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Tom Condit

Bob Brandriff wrote:

I've only seen the Cattle Egret once.

The cattle egret ("Macafee," as the bird feeders call him) tends to hang around at the back of the closest island inshore. You can see (him?) best most of the time from the area of the old flight cage.

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Lake Merritt Cattle Egret
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 10:29:11 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Tom Condit wrote:

The cattle egret ("Macafee," as the bird feeders call him) ... [snip]

Actually, it is named "McCatty" after Steve McCatty, an Oakland A's pitcher of roughly the era when the Cattle Egret began wintering at the lake. However, a fairly subtle "pun" and it's no surprise that these days people mishear the name. In fact, some of the feeders may even have it wrong!

If you want to be sure to get a good look at it, I'd recommend coming during the 3:30 PM feeding. It usually will be on the north side of the Nature Center, waiting to be tossed a fish, or on the island nearby if people scare it away from its usual spot. However, this year the Black-crowned Night-Herons and gulls have been playing a good zone defense, making it almost impossible for a feeder to get a fish passed to the egret, so it may soon need to adopt some new strategy if it is to get fed!

Best wishes from one of those mumbling Lake Merritt bird feeders,

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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White-throated Sparrows
Sat, 9 Jan 1999 09:33:54 PST
From: Denise Wight

Two more spots for White-throated Sparrows:

5 Jan 1999 - Carquinez Regional Shoreline parking lot in Martinez. Across the road, west of the graveyard.

7 Jan 1999 - End of Harbour Way in Richmond. In the eucalyptus trees at the southwest corner, along Harbor Channel. This bird has very dark facial feathering, (most likely pitch and/or soot?) so much so that the color of the lores are difficult to see.

Both tan stripe type.

Denise Wight
Martinez, CA

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Essays by Rex Burress on EBBC website
Sat, 9 Jan 1999 19:23:21 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

I've added a new feature to the EBBC website at

This directory will contain nature essays written by Rex Burress, former chief naturalist at Lake Merritt in Oakland, now living on the Feather River. I've posted his newest essay there (about the Oroville Christmas Bird Count), and will add new ones as I get them. I'll also within the next few days post some of the essays he has sent me over the past month or two that haven't been distributed to EBbird.

Good birding, Larry

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Early Barn Swallow
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 20:40:39 -0800
From: Lillian Fujii

Today at Hayward Shoreline, there was a Barn Swallow among many Tree Swallows. The Barn Swallow was only seen by the ponds not open to the public. Access to this area is possible if you go on one of the Interpretive Center bird walks, like we did today. The group was also treated to long and close views of Clapper Rail.

Happy Birding.
Lillian Fujii

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Albany Adult School at Coyote Hills 1/9
Sat, 9 Jan 1999 20:50:50 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Bob Lewis forwards the results of his Albany Adult School class visit to Coyote Hills Regional Park on Saturday Jan 9. Weather was clear and cool, with 25 students attending. Highlights were very good looks at California Thrasher and Varied Thrush. The full list:

5 Eared Grebe, 5 Pied-billed Grebe, 2 Double-crested Cormorant, 2 Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1 Snowy Egret, 3 Great Egret, 2 Great Blue Heron, 35 Canada Goose, 10 Mallard, 5 Gadwall, 15 Green-winged Teal, 5 Northern Pintail, 50 Northern Shoveler, 2 Cinnamon Teal, 200 Ruddy Duck, 100 Canvasback, 2 female Bufflehead, 30 American Coot, 1 Virginia Rail (flushed across the second pond), 4 American Avocet, 2 Black-necked Stilt, 6 Killdeer, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 Least Sandpiper, 10 Ring-billed Gull, 1 Mew Gull (seen by a few), 1 Herring Gull, 10 California Gull, 2 Turkey Vulture, 2 White-tailed Kite, 6 Northern Harrier (at least 2 in courtship flight), 1 Cooper's Hawk (seen by only a few), 3 Red-tailed Hawk, 3 California Quail, 1 male Ring-necked Pheasant (seen by a few), 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 4 Northern Flicker, 2 Downy Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Barn Swallow (seen by a few), 40 Tree Swallow (all over the place!), 4 Western Scrub-Jay, 2 Common Raven, 10 Bushtit (seen at entry), 5 Marsh Wren (one seen very well for some time), 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Hermit Thrush, 50 American Robin, 2 Varied Thrush (on grass near visitor center), 3 Northern Mockingbird, 1 California Thrasher (seen well along road by parking lot), 35 European Starling, 3 Common Yellowthroat, 2 Spotted Towhee, 3 California Towhee, 5 Song Sparrow, 20 White-crowned Sparrow, 20 Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2 Fox Sparrow, 2 Brewer's Blackbird, 2 House Sparrow, 6 House Finch.

Total 62 species.

Posted to EBbird by Larry Tunstall.

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