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Black Diamond Mines
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 15:48:14 PST
From: Steve Glover

Hello atlasers and east bay birders,

This morning I had an atlas training class at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near Antioch. We never really got far from the parking lot but there was some interesting activity. In the parking lot at the far south end of the road a pair of Western Bluebirds were visiting a nest cavity. They were not noted carrying nest material so I assume they were "prospecting" for a suitable nest site. Several House Wrens were singing in the vicinity. A pair of Western Scrub-Jays were carrying nest material to a nest we could not locate. A pair of American Kestrels were copulating and chasing away other raptors that happened by. There was a "Slate-colored" type Dark-eyed Junco that we were only able to observe for a brief time before the flock flushed. This bird was near the visitor center. 5 or 6 Lincoln's Sparrows were in the reedy ravine south of the parking lot. A brilliant (at least in terms of plumage) male Phainopepla was calling and feeding, often inconspiculously, from mistletoe right next to the trail just a few yards south of the end of the road. This is often a hard bird to find in the county but they are often found in this area in winter. Two accipiters were circling overhead at about 10 am. The smaller one was clearly a Cooper's Hawk. The larger one probably was as well since it was shaped much like the other Cooper's but it amazed me how large it looked. When flapping the wingbeats seemed extremely deep and labored. We never got to really study the birds as they drifted into the sun and then away from us. I believe that the bird was a Cooper's but it just goes to show how careful you need to be when trying to identify distant accipiters, particularly when you are hoping it is the rare one.

good birding (and nest-finding)
Steve Glover

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Re: Hermit Thrush and Mockingbird songs
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 16:03:43 -0800
From: Ore Carmi

I have been hearing hermit thrushes singing softly, or whistling their song, here and there in Berkeley, the past month or so,


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Alameda County Bird Box Reports
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 07:52:21 -0800
From: Mike Feighner

Hello East-Bay-Birds:

Just called the bird box (415) 681-7422 as I do at the start of each day. There are a total of three reports from Alameda County and none over EBB.

1) Mike Rogers (who would definitely report over EBB if he were subscribed and had the time) reports a total of 5 Glaucous Gulls at the Fremont Lagoons and the continuing presence of the Oldsquaw in the Berkeley Marina.

2) Several good birds along Patterson Pass Road

3) a Black-and-White Warbler

Yesterday I added a new yard bird here in Livermore. It was a heard-only Downy Woodpecker that was not actually in my yard, but I count everything that I hear or see from the yard. I have been at this address a little more than 5 years now. Anyone on EBB also keeping a yard list? If so what birds? and How many?

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA

Yard List Reply #1    Yard List Reply #2    Yard List Reply #3    Yard List Reply #4    Yard List Reply #5    Yard List Reply #6    Yard List Reply #7    Yard List Reply #8    Yard List Reply #9    Yard List Reply #10    Yard List Reply #11    Yard List Reply #12    Subject List

Re: Yard List
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 08:22:56 -0800
From: Kay Loughman

I keep a yard list. The current one was started in June 1993 and contains only birds seen, both fly-overs and those that stuck around. As of August 1997 there were 82 species on the list. Haven't updated it recently; but I suspect I couldn't add more than one or two species. Intensive new construction in the neighborhood is making our area less and less attracive to wildlife of any sort.

Kay Loughman

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Re: Yard List
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 15:43:51 PST
From: Bob Lewis

Yes, we keep a house list, of everything seen from the house and yard. It has 64 species since 1991, including a Merlin last month. The only actual house birds (seen inside the house) are House Wren (really! came right in the front door and couldn't get out the back window) and an Anna's Hummingbird.

Bob Lewis
Berkeley CA

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Re: Yard List
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 17:13:30 PST
From: Collin Murphy

Dear EBB:

I, too, have kept a list of birds in my Berkeley yard as well as those seen overhead. During the past year, I had 33 species, including a flock of White Pelicans going over. My only "real" house bird (a la Bob Lewis) was a Mourning Dove that flew in one door and out another, apparently escaping from a Sharp-shinned Hawk that I then saw in the yard. My favorite is a male Spotted Towhee who favors one of my feeders.

I also am in the process of collecting Yard Bird data from people in the East Bay who are associated with Bob Lewis/Rusty Scalf's birding class. I am compiling the data by ZIP Code, and have classified the species as to whether or not they are associated with feeders. So far, the composite total is 76 species, with 30 associated with feeders, with 14 participants to date. Anyone else who wants to add a yard list for birds seen over the past year, please e-mail it to me along with your ZIP Code. If you would like to see the current list, let me know. Thanks,

Collin Murphy
Berkeley CA

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Re: Yard List
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 19:59:36 PST
From: Monte Tudor-Long

The Yard List that I keep is in dire need of organization and compilation - but it appears to have around 70 birds on it.

This is a list of everything seen or heard in (or from) my parents' yard in Pleasanton, dating to 1988.

Monte Tudor-Long

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Bird Art Exhibit
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 20:32:57 -0800
From: Judy

I've just seen the bird art exhibit at Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek and it's terrific. It's at 1931 1st Ave. Go to see the incredible watercolor of a red-tail by Carl Brenders at least! The exhibit closes in May. The live eagles, hawks, osprey and other animals are spectacular, even tho some are missing wings. ( Especially because they are right over your head) I got to see them get their showers and meals this afternoon. It's sure nice to see such a large spacious building after that teeny one they used to have. Open 10 to 5 on weekends, or call for weekday times.

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Sunol Regional Wilderness
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 22:25:14 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

Today Ore Carmi and I birded in Sunol Regional Wilderness. We climbed up Indian Joe Creek Trail and Cave Rocks Rd, then went down Cerro Este Rd, and back to the Green Barn on Camp Ohlone Rd. This 5.5-mile walk with a climb (and a later descent) of 1300 ft took us from 8 AM to around 4 PM, with plenty of pauses for birding.

The day began auspiciously with a pair of Oak Titmouse copulating just outside the entrance of the Green Barn. Much later we watched a pair of Bewick's Wren apparently gathering nesting material in bushes along the canyon walls of Alameda Creek not far west of Little Yosemite. We had great looks at an adult and an immature Horned Lark patiently feeding about 10 feet off the trail and ignoring us (this was after we had crossed the Cerro Este ridge and started down into Alameda Creek valley). We saw a lovely White-tailed Kite soaring overhead, as well as a Golden Eagle. We also saw a very large dark bird with a white or nearly-white head. Unless Golden Eagles in immature plumage are still around, this must have been a Bald Eagle. It was soaring high overhead, so we didn't have a great look at it.

Here is our list:

Mallard, Turkey Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk (?), Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, California Quail, White-throated Swift, Anna's Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Black Phoebe, Horned Lark, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Steller's Jay, Western Scrub-Jay, Yellow-billed Magpie,American Crow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Bushtit, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick's Wren, House Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Wrentit (heard), California Thrasher (heard), European Starling, Hutton's Vireo (heard), Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler (both Myrtle & Audubon's), Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Western Meadowlark, Lesser Goldfinch.

Wildflowers are beginning to make an appearance. We saw lots of California poppies, buttercups, Johnny jump-ups, brodeia, and a lot of others I don't know. No spectacular fields of color yet, though. Hills are a lovely green, creeks are running nicely enough to make a nice sound but not enough to be a nuisance to cross, and trails are muddy enough to be a nuisance only in a few spots. In short, it's a great time to visit Sunol. We'd recommend a weekday if you can do it, though, because there were enough people and dogs to sometimes make it hard to hear the birds, especially along Alameda Creek.

Good birding, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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Re: Yard List
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 22:30:46 -0800
From: Larry Tunstall

My yard list for our house just north of the El Cerrito Plaza BART station began almost exactly 3 years ago when we moved here. I only count birds actually seen in the yard or in our trees, but the only birds seen from the yard but not in the yard are gulls that are constantly flying over.

I have 33 species on the list so far. I have a lot of feeders, as well as native plants. So far, no birds actually in the house, though a few have suffered unfortunate consequences when trying to fly through closed windows.

I'd be interested in adding a set of yard lists on the EBBC website. Please send me your yard list and your location (a general description is probably better than the exact address). Include the number of years you've kept the list.

Thanks, Larry

Larry Tunstall
El Cerrito CA

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