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2006 Trip Reports

Arrowhead Marsh Bicycle Trip
December 31, 2006
Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett
# of participants: 12
# of species: 58

The big news is that we finally saw a Burrowing Owl at Arrowhead Marsh. The owl was about 100 feet north of the parking area for the Kingfisher/Plover picnic site, on the left side and within about 15-20 feet of the road. It was down in its burrow with only its head sticking out. If you go soon, there is a bit of white debris, probably a tissue, just left of the entrance to the burrow. Since it was a high winter tide we also saw lots of Clapper Rails and a couple of Virginia Rails. A Merlin posed in a tree for a long time near the Plover Picnic Area, as did a Flicker. There were lovely close views of Canvasbacks, Buffleheads, Cinnamon Teals, Pintails, Shovelers, Wigeons, Ruddy Ducks and Surf Scoters. We started from East Creek Point trailhead just south of the
High Street Bridge; as we have experienced before, this is a great place to see ducks and scoters on a calm winter morning. It was fairly cold this morning and the sun peeked out only briefly while we were watching the owl. Another visitor reported seeing a Sora just after we left the viewing platform. It was great to have so many people join us for a wonderful morning of bird watching!

Lake Merritt
December 27, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails and Hilary Powers
# of participants: 2
# of species: 35

Today was clear, windy and cool. We had a good assortment of grebes, ducks and geese, but our only raptor was a Red-tailed Hawk.

Lake Merritt
December 23, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails
# of participants: 10
# of species: 41

We set off under cloudy skies. Five minutes of heavy rain were all we got; we got lucky! The juvenile Coopers Hawk was quite cooperative, allowing us good scope views. It’s that time of year when we can view both Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup and Greater Scaup, Eared Grebe and Horned Grebe.
Other species included Peregrine Falcon, Belted Kingfisher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Townsend’s Warbler.

Lake Merritt
December 17, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails
# of participants: 10
# of species: 41

We had good looks at a Peregrine Falcon this morning and had close-up looks at Horned and Eared Grebe, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Greater and Lesser Scaup as well as Ring-billed, California, Western, and Glaucous-winged Gull.

Merrie Way, San Francisco
December 10, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 8
# of species: 48

Stormy weather gave way to sun as the morning progressed. On today’s species list we had all three species of Cormorant, Merlin, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Elegant Tern, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Orange-crowned Warbler.

San Francisco Botanical Garden
December 3, 2006
Leader(s): Allan Ridley, Helen McKenna, Ginny Marshall
# of participants: 45
# of species: 39

We had a fabulous sunny, cool, crystal clear morning. Amazingly we spotted a Western Tanager on today’s trip. Other highlights were the Golden-crowned Kinglet, three Varied Thrushes, a Nashville Warbler, Red-breasted Sapsucker and White-throated Sparrow.

Arrowhead Marsh Bicycle Trip
December 2, 2006
Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett
# of participants: 3
# of species: 44

Only three people on this very nice if somewhat cool day. Starting from the Oakland side of the High Street Bridge we bicycled to Arrowhead and back, an easy 10 miles or so. Arrowhead Marsh had Clapper Rails on view at the high tide. Ducks were seen in the channel in large numbers: both Lesser and Greater Scaups, Canvasbacks, Ruddy Ducks, a few Cinnamon Teal and one Blue-winged Teal. American Wigeons and Pintails are in the wetlands at Arrowhead. One Say’s Phoebe was seen on the chain link fence near the long-term parking lot at the southern end of Arrowhead
and a Peregrine Falcon was seen on one of the parking lot light poles. On our return trip we stopped quickly for the sound of Clapper Rails, and saw two fighting in Damon Slough (the channel adjacent to 66th Ave/Zhone Way) near the parking area.

Alameda Creek and Coyote Hills Bicycle Trip
November 26, 2006
Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett
# of participants: 4
# of species: 49

All but four people had the good sense to stay home; the trip down to Coyote Hills was cool but quite birdy, but after lunch the rain was unremitting for the whole 10 miles back to Fremont BART. Highlights were a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks on the trail just east of I-880 and the White Pelicans in the DUST marsh at Coyote Hills.

Lake Merritt
November 23, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails and Hilary Powers
# of participants: 9
# of species: 43

This month the variety of ducks in the lake has sharply increased. The Tufted Duck is back, also the Ring-necked Duck and the Barrow’s Goldeneye. We found three Cackling Canada Geese, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing, Townsend’s Warbler and Lesser Goldfinch.

Redwood Shores Bicycle Trip
November 12, 2006
Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett
# of participants: 3
# of species: 53

The trip was originally scheduled for Saturday November 11, but rain caused us to do the trip the next day. Only three of us enjoyed this trip. Blair and I discovered a new way to take public transit to San Mateo County on weekends: AC Transit runs the M bus from Hayward BART (also Castro Valley BART) every two hours and the trip from Hayward BART to Foster City City Hall takes only 25 minutes. The west end of
the line is Hillsdale Mall/Caltrain Station. Many shorebirds were seen on the bay south of the San Mateo Bridge, including the Turnstones. The sewer ponds at the end of the Redwood Shores peninsula continue to be good for ducks. Belmont Slough produced two pairs of Hooded Mergansers.

Land’s End
November 12, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 25
# of species: NR

We had a perfect autumn morning of birding. A CNBC TV camera crew were out filming a story on birding. Our entire group saw a Rock Wren.

Aquatic Park, Hyde Street Pier
November 12, 2006
Leader(s): Carol Kiser
# of participants: 3
# of species: 19

Today’s walk yielded a relatively high number of species, compared with our summer and Fall walks so far this season. Forster’s Tern, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler and Golden Crowned Sparrow were all on our day list.

Pinnacles National Monument
November 6, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
# of participants: 13
# of species: 39

The grand finale of this trip were four California Condors soaring overhead with two Golden Eagles that came in for size comparison. Wonderful! Other notable birds included California Quail, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Yellow-billed Magpie, Western Bluebird and Lark Sparrow.

San Francisco Botanical Garden & Strybing Arboretum
November 5, 2006
Leader(s): Allan Ridley, Helen McKenna, Ginny Marshall
# of participants: 55
# of species: 36

This month we discovered a possible owl roost. A mixed group of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Anna’s Hummingbirds and a Townsend’s Warbler were very agitated and mobbing an unseen subject in a dense ivy covered shrub just outside the perimeter fence. The Ruby-crowned Kinglets had their red crests raised in alarm. We saw a Cackling Canada Goose, a pair of California Quail, two Red-breasted Sapsuckers and two Orange-crowned Warblers as well as Pine Siskin.

Wintering Raptors and Waterfowl of Solano and Yolo Counties
November 4, 2006
Leader(s): Terry Colborn
# of participants: 16
# of species: 75

Under partly cloudy skies, the group met in Dixon, before heading south to the Robinson/Flannery Roads area. In route, we saw Turkey Vultures, our first Red-tail Hawk, American Kestrel and a Merlin! Along Robinson Road we had great numbers of Long-billed Curlews, including over 250 that dropped in join those already gathered. Next we scoped the first of two Ferruginous Hawks; the second of which gave everyone excellent views. A flock of blackbirds produced Red-winged, Brewer’s a few Tricolored. A Cooper’s Hawk flushed, giving some participants a brief view, while a skittish Barn Owl retreated from its perch in a nearby Eucalyptus tree to the confines of an old barn. Several Northern Harriers of both sexes coursed their way over the open grasslands. We moved on to Flannery Road where a beautiful Prairie Falcon perched atop a transmission tower afforded everyone diagnostic views. Scanning the treetops and fence lines, our leader picked up the flight of a small flock of medium-sized, pale looking shorebirds flying low to the ground. We soon found a flock of 75-90 Mountain Plovers winging their way back and forth over an open pasture.

We moved on to the Yolo Basin – Vic Fazio Wildlife Area near Davis. The morning overcast gave way to sunny skies, and as we entered the refuge, a hovering White-tailed Kite greeted us. During our lunch stop, we heard a nearby Sora and Virginia Rail calling, as a skein of Snow Geese flew overhead; sharp eyes picked out 2-3 Ross’ Geese. They were soon followed by a small flock of White-fronted Geese. As we drove the auto tour loop, our first stop produced stunning in-the-scope views of a very cooperative American Bittern as it stalked for prey near the road. An obliging Sora responded to the leader’s call, and gave us decent, but brief views. Vern Bothwell called our attention to a bird in his scope that was on the ground feeding – it turned out to be a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon on a kill! We watched closely as it devoured what appeared to be a coot. At our last stop, Tim Howe spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk perched in a tree near the levee, for our eleventh raptor of the day!

Coyote Hills Regional Park
November 4, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
# of participants: 4
# of species: 68

Today’s highlight was a Peregrine Falcon of “Peal’s” race, but we encountered a fine diversity of species. Eight species of ducks, including Cinnamon Teal and Green-winged Teal were sighted. The Peregrine was one of eight raptor species. We saw Virginia Rail and Common Moorhen, and heard a Sora. Wilson’s Snipe, Say’s Phoebe, Bewick’s Wren, American Pipit, Common Yellowthroat and Western Meadowlark were also on our day list.

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
October 29, 2006
Leader(s): Matt Ricketts
# of participants: 6
# of species: 50

We found Eurasian Wigeon among a flock of American Wigeon off the west shorline. Two Varied Thrushes were high in the eucalyptus just southeast of the shuttle turnaround. Other species included Spotted Sandpiper, Cedar Waxwing and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

Heron’s Head Park/Pier 94
October 29, 2006
Leader(s): Eddie Bartley
# of participants: 14
# of species: 36

This site is a bird oasis in an urban industrial/edge of the bay landscape. Golden Gate Audubon and other local agencies and volunteers are in the process of restoring the vital salt marsh and upland habitat. A nice mix of ducks, raptors, gulls, shorebirds and land birds are making use of this area including Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, American Kestrel, Mew Gull, Say’s Phoebe, and Western Meadowlark.

Coyote Hills
October 28, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails
# of participants: 9
# of species: 42

The scheduled leader for this trip was called out of town, and Travis Hails kindly filled in. The ponds in the park were dry. There was a little water in the main pond at the Visitor’s Center, but none in the ponds to the south. The major highlight of this trip was the White-throated Sparrow. The Virinia Rail, Sora, and abundance of Common Moorhens were also memorable.

Jewel Lake in Tilden Park
October 27, 2006
Leader(s): Phila Rogers
# of participants: 7
# of species: 20

This area provides good habitat for a variety of residents and winter birds. A small flock of Cedar Waxwings fed on Elderberries. We also found Norther Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler, and Spotted Towhee.

Lake Merritt
October 25, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey
# of participants: 12
# of species: 34

Today’s highlight was a huge flock of roughly 30-40 Brown Pelicans mixed with Double-crested Cormorants near Grand and Lakeside. There was a good number of Ruddy Ducks and a few Bufflehead on the lake, also many Eared Grebe and a few Pied billed Grebe. We had excellent scope looks at a female Belted Kingfisher and discussed the Lake Merritt habitat restoration project with the naturalist at the Nature Center.

Glenn Canyon Park
October 22, 2006
Leader(s): David Armstrong
# of participants: NR
# of species: 27

Red-shouldered Hawk, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush and Townsend’s Warbler were all seen on this trip. Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and Western Meadowlark were also on our day list.

Aquatic Park, Hyde Street Pier
October 22, 2006
Leader(s): Carol Kiser
# of participants: 5
# of species: 13

It was a sunny, mild morning for our two hour walk. We saw Brown Pelican, Heermann’s Gull, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler, but no sparrows.

Merrie Way, San Francisco
October 22, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 12
# of species: 38

We found a Tri-colored Blackbird flock, very rare at this spot. We also saw Ring-necked Duck, Surf Scoter, Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Western Meadowlark and Purple Finch.

Twentieth Annual Pt. Reyes National Seashore Birding Blitz
October 22, 2006
Leader(s): Leon Abrams, Cathy Purchis, Harry Fuller
# of participants: 15
# of species: 104

This trip featured multiple habitats in a small area. You never know what will appear at Pt. Reyes. Today we had a frolicking Humpback Whale at Limantour as well as Harbor Seals and Mule Deer. The outstanding bird of the day was a late Bullock’s Oriole, but we also found all three species of Loon, all three species of Cormorants, White-fronted Goose, Wood Duck, Virginia Rail, Sora, Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, Common Snipe, seven Gull species, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler, Tri-colored Blackbird and Pine Siskin.

Lake Merritt
October 21, 2006
Leader(s): Travis Hails
# of participants: 4
# of species: 35

It was very warm and windy by the lake. We saw low numbers of birds except for Eared Grebe, Pied Billed Grebe, Brown Pelican and, of course, Canada Goose. We found Hermit Thrush and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and both Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup as well as a couple of Bufflehead on the lake.

Coyote Creek Field Station, South Bay Wetlands
October 15, 2006
Leader(s): Howard Higley
# of participants: 6
# of species: 86

The highlight of the day was a banding demonstration at Coyote Creek by staff members of the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. But this full day trip also yielded a fine diversity of species including Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Virginia Rail, Sora, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Bonaparte’s Gull, Burrowing Owl, Varied Thrush, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Tri-colored Blackbird.

Meeker Slough
October 15, 2006
Leader(s): Marilyn Nasatir
# of participants: 15
# of species: 37

This walk took place starting at 3 pm and ending about 4:30, when the tide had started coming back in after our trip earlier in the afternoon. Our group included a participant from New Guinea. The trip highlighted the restoration work at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station near Meeker Slough. This trip yielded a greater diversity of ducks (7 species) and gulls.

Meeker Slough
October 15, 2006
Leader(s): Marilyn Nasatir
# of participants: 14
# of species: 29

This walk took place starting at 12:30 pm and ending about 1:30. Our group included two participants from the Bahamas. The trip highlighted the restoration work at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station near Meeker Slough. We had a fine assortment of shorebirds including Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Avocet, Willet, Whimbrel, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Dowitchers. Western Meadowlarks were also seen.

Eastern Golden Gate Park’s Oak Woodlands
October 14, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 23
# of species: 33

Today’s clear highlight was a vagrant American Bittern. We also found a Peregrine Falcon, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Townsend’s Warbler.

Folsom to Sacramento on the American River Bicycle Trail
October 6 & 7, 2006
Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett
# of participants: 11
# of species: 45

The great expanse of oak woodland surrounding the American River Parkway between Folsom and Sacramento is in stark contrast to the surrounding urban area and its crowded streets and highways. It is also a refuge for wildlife. In addition to the birds seen, we saw a couple of deer, many squirrels, and one coyote.
For four of us the trip started Friday morning with a bicycle ride from our homes to the Emeryville Amtrak Station. We had relaxing trip to Sacramento on the Capitol Corridor Train, and we had views of the Pinole shoreline and the Suisun Marsh possible only from the train. The Suisun Marsh was a haven for egrets and ducks, and the numbers of these birds was incredible. A friendly Amtrak conductor who had lived in Folsom chatted with us and told us how to get from the Sacramento Amtrak Station to the American River Trail. Leaving the station we headed toward Old Town and the Sacramento River, barely riding on any streets at all. Riding on a good paved trail, we reached the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers in about a mile, where Mile 0 of the trail is. The trail stretches some 31 miles or more to Folsom Lake, passing through many parks on its way. We ate lunch at Discovery Park and arrived at our hotel in Folsom about 4 p.m. We did some birding on the way.
On Saturday morning we met 7 more people in Folsom and biked down the river. Cedar Waxwings near Folsom and Acorn Woodpeckers near the Nimbus Dam were among the highlights. Four of the group turned back toward Folsom and two took longer to reach Sacramento, but five of us arrived in Sacramento around 3:30. The train trip back was equally enjoyable. We saw some 45 species. Those seen only on Friday or from the train are noted at the end.

Strybing Botanical Gardens, San Francisco
October 1, 2006
Leader(s): Allan Ridley and Ginny Marshall
# of participants: 40
# of species: 34

The Canada Geese continue to increase in number since our first three seen two months ago. Today thirty geese were on the Great Lawn or on the main pond area. Warblers, vireos and flycatchers were abundant today. We also saw a Red-breasted Sapsucker, but there was a notable absence of finches for this season.

Lake Merritt
September 27, 2006
Leader(s): Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey
# of participants: 8
# of species: 23

A female Belted Kingfisher posed on one of the islands for excellent scope looks. A few Ruddy Ducks were still in breeding plumage. Several Eared Grebes were feeding just off shore. A male Townsend’s Warbler was feeding with a flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

Merrie Way and Land’s End
September 24, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 20
# of species: 48

Today we found a Lark Bunting, the only one seen in San Francisco so far this year! A Burrowing Owl sitting on a rock off shore was the first Land’s End sighting on record. Vaux’s Swift were also seen today, as well as American Pipit, Parasitic Jaeger, Caspian Tern, Elegant Tern, and Townsend’s Warbler.

Mori Point, Pacifica

September 17, 2006

Leader(s): Andrew Kleinhesselink

# of participants: 16

# of species: 62

Harbor Porpoises off the point were quite active. We discussed the environmental restoration plans for Mori Point, which is a new part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. A Loggerhead Shrike was seen on the central ridge of Mori Point.

Point Reyes
September 16, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
# of participants: 17
# of species: 78

A Pileated Woodpecker was at Muddy Hollow and a Parasitic Jaeger was off Limantour as well as a White-winged Scoter. An American Bittern was at Olema Marsh, and a large number of Wood Ducks were at Five Brooks.

Emeryville to Richmond Eastshore State Park Bicycle Trip

September 16, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 14

# of species: 60

We had wonderful weather and wonderful birding for the 23 miles of the trip. Some of the highlights of the day were the Black Turnstones and Sanderlings foraging at high tide on the shoreline between Powell St. and University Avenue, and the Eurasian Wigeon amongst the American Wigeons in the bay near the viewing platforms on Buchanan west of I-580 in Albany. We also had lots of Black-bellied Plovers, Yellowlegs and Semipalmated Plovers. And thank you to the many people involved in the S.F. Bay Trail Cleanup! There were an amazing number of bags of trash accumulated by these volunteers.

Hyde Street Pier and Hyde Street Harbor, Aquatic Park
September 10, 2006
Leader(s): Carol Kiser
# of participants: 1
# of species: 9

We had a cold, foggy morning, and the birds were quite few in number. We found one Forster’s Tern’ the parrot flock streaked by as noisy as usual.

Lands End, San Francisco

September 10, 2006

Leader(s): David Armstrong

# of participants: 12

# of species: 41

We covered Fort Miley West, West Wash, Fort Miley East, East Wash, Coastal and El Camino del Mar trails. We encountered no rarities, but a few Western migrants and species of local interest such as Hairy Woodpecker and a first-of-season Say’s Phoebe. Other species included Winter Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak.

 

Alviso, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR Bicycle Trip

September 9, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 8

# of species: 40

Our loop was from Alviso Marina County Park to the Visitor Center via road, then back via marsh, approximately 11 miles. The day started badly for 6 of us who had planned to take the Capitol Corridor train; we had to scramble home to get vehicles but managed to arrive more or less on time. After that the birding was excellent along the road and through the marsh. Red-necked Phalaropes, Eared Grebes and Northern Shovelers were among the birds spotted, as well as Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Point Isabel to South Richmond Shoreline

September 7, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Lewis

# of participants:

# of species: 49

The shell mounds were covered with birds. Black-bellied Plovers were in all stages of molt. We saw two Red Knots, one basic and one still in partial alternate plumage. The short-billed Dowitchers ID’s were all juvenile with patterned tertials. We found a Common Murre and a Brewer’s Sparrow and also a Red-necked Phalarope.

San Francisco Botanical Garden-Strybing Arboretum

September 3, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley, Ginny Marshall, Helen McKenna-Ridley

# of participants: 45

# of species: 33

Today’s theme was the return of Fall with an abundance of warblers – Yellow, Orange-crowned, Wilson’s, Townsend’s. Also Willow and Pacific-slope Flycatchers and the regular Black Phoebe. White-crowned Sparrow, Warbling Vireo and suddenly fifteen Canada Geese, up from six or eight last month.

Merrie Way and Fort Miley

August 27, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 26

# of species: 38

On a cool and overcast morning we observed arriving migrant landbirds. A school of fish created a swirl of feeding seabirds including diving Brown Pelicans and feeding Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Other species included Wandering Tattler, Elegant Tern, Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thursh, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager.

Mono Lake and Vicinity
August 25-27, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf and Emilie Strauss
# of participants: 12
# of species: 121

We had excellent views of Sage Grouse and Red Crossbills and encountered large numbers of Evening Grosbeaks. The weather was outstanding as we hiked Deadman’s Summit, Lundy Canyon and Lake Crowley. Other species included Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, White-faced Ibis, Eurasian Collared Dove, Cassin’s Vireo, Pinyon Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, American Dipper, Mountain Bluebird, Sage Thrasher, many warbler and sparrow species.

Lake Merritt

August 23, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 7

# of species: 27

We found Common Terns for the first time on this trip and had good scope looks at Belted Kingfisher, as well as good comparisons of Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Western Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull.

Richmond Shoreline from Rydin Road
August 20, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
# of participants: 18
# of species: 50

Three Black Skimmers were clear highlights, as well as a Common Murre. We saw begging fledgling White-crowned Sparrows-very late!

Corona Heights

August 18, 2006

Leader(s): Lew Ellingham and Charles Hibbard

# of participants: 5

# of species:

Today’s highlights included five Allen’s Hummingbirds, large numbers of house finches that seemed to be eating radish seeds, a flock of about 20 Dark-eyed Juncos and about 20 Anna’s Hummingbirds. A pair of Red-masked parakeets spent a half hour eating cotoneaster berries.

Quarry Lakes, Alameda Creek, Coyote Hills Bicycle Trip

July 29, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 11

# of species: 46

We met at the Fremont BART station at 8 am and after a brief look at the Tule Pond we headed over to the Alameda Creek Trail. Greater Yellowlegs and Black-necked Stilts were at the BART weir. We made a circuit of Willow Slough and rode by the west side of Lago Los Osos. We saw baby Western Grebes in the water as well as a nest with four eggs, presumably a Western Grebe’s, and also a pair of Coots with an egg.

There were lots of Anna’s Hummingbirds and an immature Black-Crowned Night Heron on Willow Slough. On the Alameda Creek Trail again, we saw an immature Green Heron, Common Moorhens, and all the birds one usually sees in the creek: Mallards, Canada Geese, Snowy and Great Egrets and an occasional Great Blue Heron as well as Black Phoebes and Pie-billed Grebes. As we neared Coyote Hills we saw a group of about 75 White Pelicans. Riding through the marsh on the DUST and Cochenyo Trails toward the visitor center, we encountered a group of Black-necked Stilts and Long-billed Dowitchers. From the Bayview Trail we saw Avocets and Red-necked Phalaropes in the Salt Ponds. The Western/Least Sandpipers were abundant but too far away to call. We also saw a Kestrel and Northern Harrier at Coyote Hills. It was a really beautiful day on the trail, warm and sunny. We added the House Sparrow at the Fremont BART station after riding approximately 22 miles on this trip.

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park

July 26, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 6

# of species: 22

Amazingly, there are still some young cormorants in the nest; either the parents are time-sharing these nests or they are raising second clutches this year. Two young Cooper’s Hawks played around the lake, staying in sight of one another and working on their predatory skills with no success. We had good comparative looks at Ring-billed Gull, California Gull and Western Gull, and also at Forster’s Tern and Caspian Tern.

Merrie Way, Lake Merced

July 23, 2006
Leader(s): Harry Fuller
# of participants: 22
# of species: 45

Seabirds were abundant, and we found the first Wandering Tattlers of the season. Migrant shorebirds have arrived. We observed juvenile Clark’s Grebes and Osprey feeding.
Berkeley Meadow, Berkeley Beach, Albany Marine Reserve and Shell Islands
July 23, 2006
Leader(s): Dave Quady
# of participants: 20
# of species: 39

Shorebirds are returning; we observed Marbled Godwit, Semi-palmated Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Short-billed Dowitcher, Black-bellied Plover, Western and Least Sandpipers and others. Also Caspian Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Northern Harrier and White-tailed Kite.

Corona Heights

July 22, 2006

Leader(s): Charles Hibbard, Lew Ellingham

# of participants: 5

# of species: 23

We were pleased to find two tanagers on our walk today, and San Francisco’s Red masked Parakeets flew by. Other species were “the regulars” such as Downy Woodpecker, Pygmy Nuthatch, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch. Unfortunately, we also encountered fourteen off-leash dogs.

San Leandro to Hayward on the S.F. Bay Trail Bicycle Trip

July 15, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 8

# of species: 44

Biking from the San Leandro BART station and the SF Bay Trail from San Leandro to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center and back was 21.5 miles for a beautiful, birdy day. The tide was out for much of the trip, only coming back in after lunch. We found many shorebirds back from their breeding grounds in the far north, and baby and adult Black-Necked Stilts as well as many American Avocets. There were lots of Semipalmated Plovers and Western Sandpipers and a few Least Sandpipers. Cliff Swallows mobbed the roof of the Interpretive Center as we shared lunch and conversation before braving the wind back to the trailhead.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

July 2, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley, Helen McKenna, Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 40+

# of species: 31

The group watched parents feed two hungry Pygmy Nuthatch chicks just outside the nest hole. Several other species were feeding fledged juveniles. A Brown-headed Cowbird called from atop a Monterey Cypress at the edge of the great lawn. A male California Quail called from tree branches twenty feet up telling his mate and chicks to hide out as we approached.

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park

June 28, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 6

# of species: 24

While we did not see as many species as we would on a winter trip, we had beautiful long scope looks at baby egrets (both Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets) and a baby Cooper’s Hawk while its mother watched us from a nearby tree. Young Double-crested cormorants half-drowned their parents while begging for food. Two Great Egrets provided their full display-not to be missed!

Merrie Way, Lake Merced

June 26, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 15

# of species: 50

We visited San Francisco’s largest heronry and the only breeding pair of Clark’s Grebe at Lake Merced. San Francisco ‘s only colony of Pigeon Guillemot was also on our route today. Other species seen included Ruddy Duck, Western Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Brandt’s Cormorant, Green Heron, Black Oystercatcher, Caspian Tern, and Common Murre.

Randall Museum and Corona Heights

June 16, 2006

Leader(s): Charles Hibbard, Lewis Ellingham, H. Goodale

# of participants: 10

# of species: 26

Today’s trip encountered a large number of Brown-headed cowbirds (8) and an escaped Red-masked Parakeet, but no Juncos. We did find local species such as Pygmy Nuthatch, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Northern Mockingbird, Lesser Goldfinch and American Goldfinch.

Hyde Street Pier, Aquatic Park, Fort Mason

June 11, 2006

Leader(s): Carol Kiser

# of participants: 2

# of species: 20

Our walk participants found Brown Pelican, Black Phoebe, Barn Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, White-crowned Sparrow and our bonus was the Cherry-headed Conure flock overhead.

Arrowhead Marsh Bicycle Trip

June 10, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 5

# of species: 43

It was a cool and generally overcast 16 miles, but with lots of nice surprises: baby Coots, juvenile Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets at the Edgewater Seasonal Wetland at Garretson Point, and a Horned Grebe near shore at the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary. Our total route was 16 miles, from the East Creek Trailhead near High Street and Tidewater in Oakland, through Arrowhead Marsh, then north on Doolittle Drive to Bay Farm Island, and ending at Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary in Alameda.

Strybing Arboretum

June 4, 2006

Leader(s): Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 33

# of species: 28

Today we watched two heroic Pygmy Nuthatches successfully repel three squirrels from their nest home several times, spreading their wings to look larger. A Red-shouldered Hawk dove swooped down and caught a gopher just thirty feet from the group. And four male California Quails sparred and chased each other over one female. A Mallard had four ducklings in tow.

Yosemite National Park

June 2-4, 2006

Leader(s): Dave Quady and Bob Lewis

# of participants: 17

# of species: 74

Seventeen birders enjoyed terrific weather, the return of trip leader emeritus Dave Cornman, and a nice selection of birds on our annual visit to the western reaches of Yosemite National Park. In all, 74 species were identified and seen or heard by at least one leader and one participant. They included seven woodpeckers, six flycatchers, five warblers, and the nesting American Dippers that were undaunted by Foresta Creek’s surging waters. We again mourned the apparent extirpation of Willow Flycatchers from Hodgdon Meadow (as of 1999), and were disappointed to miss the Great Gray Owl in Chevron Meadow for the fourth straight year. But the Spotted Owl seen by everyone who owled on Friday evening and the Northern Pygmy-Owl that ranged Hodgdon Meadow campground on two mornings were some consolation. Quite unusual were a Great Blue Heron perched high in a ponderosa pine, a Swainson’s Hawk that cruised over Tamarack Flat (elevation 7000 ft.) and a “Western” – presumably Pacific-slope – Flycatcher that sang for us there.

Land’s End and Presidio

May 28, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 12

# of species: 41

Nesting seabirds were a highlight of this trip: Brandt’s Cormorant, Western Gull, Pigeon Guillemot. Nesting landbirds were also found, including what we believe is the only pair of nesting Western Bluebirds in San Francisco. Chestnut-backed Chicadees and Pygmy Nuthatches were other nesters. Juvenile birds included Red Tailed Hawk, White-crowned Sparrow and Chestnut-backed Chickadee.

Contra Costa Canal-Martinez Regional Shoreline Bicycle Trip

May 28, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 7

# of species: 45

Green Heron, Hooded Oriole, Western Kingbird and Red-shouldered Hawk were highlights of the trip. We started at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek and birded there, on the Contra Costa Canal Trail to approximately Taylor Blvd, then at the Martinez Regional Shoreline. We also saw quite a few birds on Alhambra Way going into Martinez, including a family of Killdeer. The Sunday Farmer’s Market in Martinez had fresh apricots and cherries for our lunch. The weather was sunny but not too hot for that uphill climb out of Martinez. We finished the day having bicycled 23 miles.

Point Reyes National Seashore

May 19, 2006

Leader(s): David Wimpfheimer

# of participants: 7

# of species: 89

This seven hour trip covered an excellent mixture of breeding landbirds and waterbirds. Some migration of seabirds is still going on. We saw five swallow species, Purple Martin, Common Moorhen, Red-necked Phalarope, nesting Great Horned Owl, breeding plumage Horned Grebe, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatchers.

Garin Regional Park

May 14, 2006

Leader(s): Anne Hoff

# of participants: 7

# of species: 37

We had a sunny, hot morning which was filled with lots of bird song. We found one Western Kingbird and many Western Bluebirds and Bullock’s Orioles. We watched a busy mother Robin feed her young on her nest. A Black-headed Grosbeak pair foraged fortunately close to our group.

Condor Watch 2006

May 13, 2006

Leader(s): Alan Fish and Bob Power

# of participants: 15

# of species: 54

We saw fifty four species on this trip but the real treat was California Condors; all the others were just extra. We also saw American Kesrel, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-billed Magpie, Canyon Wren, California Thrasher and Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

Altamont Pass

May 9, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Lewis

# of participants: 13

# of species: 25

This park is the newest addition to the EBRPD. It is in the shadow of the Altamont Pass windmills, and is visited by a number of raptors, which occasionally tangle with the windmill blades. We took the Tamcan/ Brushy Peak Loop, and sighted Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier and American Kestrel. In addition, there were a lot of Western Kingbirds, Bullock’s Orioles and a calling Sora. GGA is working with the wind industry to try to minimize bird kill at the nearby windfarm.

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

May 7, 2006

Leader(s): Malcolm Sproul

# of participants: 10

# of species: 50

There were no unusual species this year, but we had a beautiful, clear day and we found Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Hutton’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo, California Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock’s Oriole.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

May 7, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley, Helen McKenna, Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 35

# of species: 31

Twenty or so singing Song Sparrows were scattered through the Arobretum serenading us at each turn. An Accipiter (Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawk) hunted smaller birds on the Great Lawn. We found the first Hooded Oriole of the season.

Las Gallinas

May 4, 2006

Leader(s): Bruce Bajema

# of participants: 7

# of species: 52

As always, this trip provides a wonderful mixture of water birds, raptors, gulls and passerines. The duck species are diminishing, but there are still Gadwall, Mallard, Cinnamon Teal and Northern Shoveler. Also California Quail, Green Heron, Osprey, Clapper Rail, 4 species of Swallow.

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

April 30, 2006

Leader(s): Emily Serkin

# of participants: 17

# of species: 41

We saw a Golden Eagle nest with a chick. The adult eagles were much in evidence, soaring right over our heads at one point. Also seen: California Quail, American Kestrel, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Bewick’s Wren, House Wren, Wilson’s Warbler, Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

Coyote Hills Regional Park

April 30, 2006

Leader(s): Anne Hoff

# of participants: 5

# of species: 50

We watched a Marsh Wren boldly build a nest right in front of us. We saw a good number of raptors, Common Moorhen, Allen’s Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole.

Lake Merritt

April 26, 2006

Leader(s): Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 3

# of species: 27

We had a gorgeous, sunny morning and enjoyed scoping the Double-crested Cormorants nesting on the islands. Many nests now hold one or two hungry chicks. The Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons are all in breeding plumage and are in full display. Two male Nuttall’s Woodpeckers fed and chased each other around the trees at th e e dge of the lake, giving us good long looks.

Eastshore State Park

April 25, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Lewis

# of participants: 4

# of species: 71

A blitz of four areas of East Shore State Park yielded 71 species, including some rarities, such as Blue-winged Teal, Wandering Tattler, Red-necked Phalarope and Ash-throated Flycatcher. Most plentiful were the Western Sandpipers, but there were also good groups of Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitcher and Marbled Godwit as the tide receded.

Lake Merritt

April 24, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 1

# of species: 28

We had a beautiful, warm morning. The Double-crested Cormorant chicks are warming up their flight muscles. The Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons are stunning in their breeding plumage. We found a pair of nesting Nuttall’s Woodpeckers playing touch-tag. We discovered a Black Phoebe nest and a Cooper’s Hawk nest.

Albany Bulb

April 23, 2006

Leader(s): Hilary Powers and Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 7

# of species: 24

Despite threats of rain, we had a warm, clear morning with stunning views of the bay. Our best encounter was watching a flock of eight Black Oystercatchers arriving at the rocky jetty at th e e nd of Albany Bulb. They joined an existing group of at least five others to form a sizable group. We also had good scope looks at displaying Red-winged Blackbirds, Kildeer, Ruddy Duck and American Goldfinch as well as Anna’s Hummingbird and Allen’s Hummingbird.

Tilden Regional Park

April 23, 2006

Leader(s): Lewis Cooper

# of participants: 8

# of species: 33

It was a cool, grey day with light mist at the finish. There was a lack of bird song today, although Black-heaed Grosbeak, Wilson’s Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler were vocal. Warbling Vireo were silent, although they were singing two days earlier. Annas and allens Hummingbirds were seen. Swainson’s Thrush and Cassin’s Vireo were heard, not seen. Brown Creepers were seen, also one Sharp-shined Hawk. Local nesting Red-shouldered Hawks were also silent today. Red Fox was seen earlier and photographed near Jewell Lake.

San Francisco Birds at Merrie Way

April 23, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 10

# of species: 46

Today we saw more than 300 Cedar Waxwings despite having a terrible, cold, rainy day. A calling and drumming Nuttall’s Woodpecker, unusual for San Francisco, advertised his availability. Red Crossbills were in town; a Red tailed Hawk was feeding its young in a nest. We also found a nesting Robin and Black Phoebe. A Grey Whale and California Sea Lions were off-shore.

Aquatic Park, Hyde Street Pier

San Francisco

April 23, 2006

Leader(s): Carol Kiser

# of participants: 1

# of species: 19

We had a cold, cloudy morning with some mist but were rewarded by seeing a Common Loon in full breeding plumage. A pair or Northern Mockingbirds welcomed us to the Community Garden . We also saw Brandt’s Cormorant, Golden-crowned Sparrow and the Cherry-headed Conure flock.

Point Reyes National Seashore All-day Blitz

April 22, 2006

Leader(s): Leon Abrams, Cathy Purchis

# of participants: 17

# of species: 82

Despite a cloudy, foggy day, we totaled a good number of species including Wood Duck and nine other duck species, Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, four Grebe species, Common Murre

Mines Road

April 22, 2006

Leader(s): Dave Quady

# of participants: 16

# of species: 71

Beginning at 8:00 am in Livermore, the group birded the entire length of Mines Road and the San Antonio Valley, recording 71 species by 3:30 pm, when the official trip ended because of the leader’s prior commitments. Afterward, some birders continued down Del Puerto Canyon to seek additional species.

A cool, overcast day and this year’s late spring perhaps contributed to the apparent scarcity of summer migrants, and also our difficulty finding several of the relatively common resident species. Still, there were highlights, beginning with the peacefully snoozing Barn Owl at the beginning of the trip and continuing with brilliantly colored male Bullock’s Orioles throughout the day. One big disappointment was missing Lewis’s Woodpeckers for the first time in at least eleven years. In this area the bird’s breeding range has declined greatly in recent decades, probably owing to European Starlings’ success at displacing them from nest cavities. They once occupied many miles of habitat along our route, but in recent years have succeeded in breeding along only one short stretch of road. A poor (or non-existent) acorn crop last winter may have been the final blow that eliminated this charismatic species from the area. Here’s hoping they return!

Corona Heights

April 21, 2006

Leader(s): Brian Fitch, Lewis Ellingham

# of participants: 5

# of species: 43

The highlight of today’s trip was clearly the Lazuli Bunting. The oddity was the Scrub Jay with a white wing. Caspian Terns were conspicuous overhead, We also saw Hermit Thrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Hooded Oriole, Bullock’s Oriole.

Iron Horse Trail Bicycle Trip

April 20, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants:

# of species: 31

Burrowing Owls will soon have no home in Dublin . A pair was seen very close to a chain-link fence surrounding a property that is already being developed. It made me sad to see these brave little birds standing by their burrow. Other species seen on this trip include White-tailed Kite, American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow and Western Meadowlark.

Las Gallinas

April 20, 2006

Leader(s): Bruce Bajema

# of participants: 12

# of species: 63

Many ducks are still here, including Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck. Other species included American White Pelican, Green Heron, White-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk, Clapper Rail, Snowy Plover, Caspian Tern.

Alcatraz Island

April 19, 2006

Leader(s): Christian Hellwig and Pamela Llewellyn

# of participants: 10

# of species: 16

The breeding season has been delayed due to the cold and rain. The Western Gulls are staking out and defending their nesting territory. The Park Service has roped off areas of the island for nesting activity and visitors are respectful of the birds. We had good looks at Pelagic Cormorant, Black Turnstone, Pigeon Guillemot and a group of about ten Red-throated Loons in the bay, also a Western Kingbird.

Mitchell Canyon

Contra Costa County

April 16, 2006

Leader(s): Michael Butler

# of participants: 3

# of species: 31

A rainy day forced us to end the trip early; this was too bad, since a scouting trip on the previous Monday had lots of birds and bird song. We did see a Cassin’s Vireo, Hutton’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Lazuli Bunting, Spotted Towhee.

Las Gallinas Ponds

April 13, 2006

Leader(s): Bruce Bajema

# of participants: 7

# of species: 60

We were fortunate to have a cloudy morning that cleared to sun in the midst of a very rainy cycle. Unusual finds today were the Western Kingbird and the Western Bluebirds. We also had an excellent assortment of ducks including Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser. Also California Quail, Osprey, Clapper Rail and four species of Swallow (Tree, Violet-green, Cliff and Barn).

San Francisco Bird Song

April 8, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 23

# of species: 59

The group visited Land’s End, Sutro Heights, Golden Gate Park and Lake Merced, for an all day field class, listening to nearly forty species calling or singing. We saw the first Brown Pelicans of the year, and also ID’d Red Crossbill, Pied-billed Grebe, Wilson’s Warbler and Hutton’s Vireo as well as Ring-necked Duck, Merlin, Sora, Caspian Tern.

Richmond Shoreline from Rydin Road
April 4, 2006
Leader(s): Rusty Scalf
# of participants: 9
# of species: 45

We saw a good number of shorebirds including two Whimbrels, three Red Knots, two Black Oystercatchers and many hundreds of Western Sandpipers. We saw both Black-bellied Plover and Semipalmated Plover, and many Dowitchers, Dunlin, Avocets, Willets and Marbled Godwits. Other species included Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallow

San Leandro to Hayward on the Bay Trail Bicycle Trip

April 1, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 3

# of species: 59

The weather ranged from cool and rainy to warm and sunny. We biked 21.5 miles starting at the San Leandro BART. Trail damage at Hayward Shoreline forced us to take city streets to return. We found the first Allen’s Hummingbird ever on this trip at the trailhead in San Leandro . Another first was the Common Moorhen at the Pond in Heron’s Bay between Llewelling and Grant Streets. We saw both Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitcher, Common Goldeneye and Whimbrel.

Honey Lake

March 25-26, 2006

Leader(s): Dave Quady

# of participants: 18

# of species: 65

Eighteen birders enjoyed a challenging but exhilarating weekend searching for displaying Great Sage-Grouse, Bald Eagles, and other winter specialties of northeastern California.

Heavy rain on Friday night forced us to slog through mud and high water on Saturday morning, only to find that a large herd of pronghorns had flushed the birds before we reached the lek. Alas, the grouse did not re-assemble, so we saw no display, and got only medium-poor looks at the birds. Disappointing! During the rest of Saturday, intermittent rain, snow, and high winds wiped out most land birding. But those who persevered did see a good sample of waterfowl and raptors during breaks in the weather. In contrast, Sunday’s weather was delightful: crisp, clear blue skies, moderate temperatures, and no wind for our journey to Eagle Lake . Among the day’s highlights were a stirred-up mob of birds who mistook the leader for a Northern Pygmy-Owl; Tundra Swans, Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles and Mountain Bluebirds in Willow Creek Valley; and stunning looks at a male Williamson’s Sapsucker as it called and drummed territorially in snowy conifers near Eagle Lake.

Land’s End, San Francisco

March 26, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 30

# of species: 50

The clear highlight of this trip was a male Harlequin Duck. We also found the first Pigeon Guillemot of Spring, two pair of nesting Pygmy Nuthatches and an Allen’s Hummingbird sitting on a nest. Also Ring-necked Duck, Caspian Tern, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Barn Swallow, Townsend’s Warbler.

Lake Merritt

March 22, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 6

# of species: 39

The Ross’s Goose was swimming in the lake and later foraged on the grass by the playground. The Great Egrets are in breeding plumage and beginning to dance. We had excellent scope views of a huge flock of Cedar Waxwings and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee vigorously cleaning out a nest hole. The Eared Grebes are starting to get into their breeding plumage.

Aquatic Park

March 19, 2006

Leader(s): James Sword, Park Ranger

# of participants: 4

# of species: 13

James Sword substituted for Carol Kiser as leader on this trip. Red-breasted Merganser, Mew Gull, Yellow-rumped Warbler were among the species seen. The Cherry-headed Conure flock was an extra bonus species.

Las Gallinas

March 19, 2006

Leader(s): Pamela Llewellyn

# of participants: 11

# of species: 49

The White Pelicans were displaying their breeding “centerboard” on the ridge of their bills as described by Peterson. A first year male Northern Harrier was in full courtship display with an adult female. We saw a good assortment of ducks, raptors and shorebirds, also Say’s Phoebe, Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Western Meadowlark.

San Francisco Bird Blitz

March 18, 2006

Leader(s): Alan Hopkins

# of participants:

# of species: 113

There were not many species that eluded this year’s blitz team. Highlights included Wood Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, all three Cormorant species, Sora, Black Oystercatcher, Surfbird, Great Horned Owl, Orange-crowned Warbler.

Lake Merritt

March 18, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails

# of participants: 5

# of species: 42

We enjoyed perfect weather. The island was most active with nesting Double-crested Cormorants and Black-crowned Night Herons. White-throated Swifts were moving through as were Barn Swallows, and White Pelicans were in flight above the lake. Most of the Scaup are now Greater (about 95%). We still have Common Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser, but no Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Corona Heights

March 17, 2006

Leader(s): Lew Ellingham, Charles Hibbard, Brian Fitch

# of participants: 7

# of species: 37

We were relieved to have sun this morning after severe rain overnight. We saw four species of hawks: Sharp-Shinned, Red-tailed, Cooper’s and American Kestrel. And we saw both hybrid and western Northern flickers, also Townsend’s Warbler. The down-side: many off-leash dogs.

Albany Bulb and Shoreline

March 13, 2006

Leader(s): Michael Butler

# of participants: 10

# of species: 49

Bob Lewis came and gave an excellent presentation on the Breeding Bird Survey. Many of our participants want to get involved. Birds seen today included Cavasback, Surf Scoter, Black-bellied Plover, Black Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, Pelagic Cormorant, Orange crowned Warbler, Allen’s Hummingbird, American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon.

Presidio, San Francisco

March 12, 2006

Leader(s): David Armstrong

# of participants: 10

Our hardy participants braved challenging conditions to bird the Presidio on this morning’s field trip. Highlights, many of them seen thanks to Matt Zlatunich’s stakeouts and alert spotting, included the following: Ring-necked Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Black Scoter, Red-throated Loon (2 in alternate plumage), Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Snowy Plover, Great Horned Owl.

Arrowhead Marsh

March 12, 2006

Leader(s): Courtenay Peddle

# of participants: 4

# of species: 49

Although the wind was strong and showers threatened, we were able to spot many good birds including Clapper Rail, Eurasian Wigeon, Greater White-fronted Goose, Mew Gull. We were pleased to see the return of the Burrowing Owl after several years’ absence.

Coyote Hills

March 11, 2006

Leader(s): Pamela Llewellyn

# of participants: 3

# of species: 52

It was a cold, cloudy morning. We found 3-4 Common Yellowthroats, also Eurasian Wigeon, American Bittern, White-tailed Kite, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, White-throated Swift, Hairy Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, Tree Swallow.

Alcatraz Island

March 9, 2006

Leader(s): Pamela Llewellyn and Christian Hellwig

# of participants: 8

# of species: 14

This trip was an opportunity to see the residents and breeding birds of Alcatraz Island up close. Most notable species were the Brandt’s Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant and Pelagic Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron and Western Gull.

San Francisco Botanical Garden – Strybing Arboretum

March 5, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley and Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 35

# of species: 37

This morning a Fox Sparrow was dancing on its claw-tips on a bench. Perhaps he was engaging in digging practice? We got good looks at a Peregrine Falcon and copulating Red-shouldered Hawks. We saw a Bullock’s Oriole for the second month in a row. A pair ofHooded Mergansers were on the pond and we saw a hybrid Flicker. We also saw California Quai, Green Heron, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Townsend’s Warbler.

Palo Alto Baylands Bicycle Trip

February 27, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 2

# of species: 40

It was really cold and windy, with some sprinkles of rain. Any sane person would have stayed home, but the leaders bicycled 15 miles anyway and were rewarded with a Clapper Rail sighted at Palo Alto Baylands, huge numbers of Northern Shovelers at Mountain View Shoreline (500-1000), and a fine assortment of ducks and shorebirds.

Land’s End, San Francisco

February 26, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 26

# of species: 44

In spite of the cold, rainy weather, there were several birders from Marin Audubon as well as GGAS regulars. We found ocean birds such as Red-throated Loon and Brandt’s Cormorant, Surfbird, Thayer’s Gull and Common Murre. We also saw a nesting Anna’s Hummingbird and heard many birds singing despite the elements.

Arrowhead Marsh Bicycle Trip

February 26, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 4

# of species: 57

The weather was good: not too warm, but mostly sunny. We saw Clapper Rails from the viewing platform and many ducks including the Eurasian Wigeon in the seasonal wetlands. We bicycled 20 miles, also seeing Common Loon, Greater White-fronted Goose, Green-winged Teal and Western Meadowlark.

Coyote Hills

February 25, 2006

Leader(s): Anne Hoff

# of participants: 25

# of species: 57

The theme of this trip was raptor rapture (7 species!), with some species interacting. The weather was perfect, sunny and about 65 degrees. We heard a Ring-necked Pheasant and saw Common Moorhen, Allen’s Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Tree Swallow, Hermit Thrush, Common Yellowthroat, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch.

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park

February 23, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails and Hilary Powers

# of participants: 7

# of species: 44

The Double-crested Cormorants had started nesting in the last 24 hours. A Black Phoebe returned to her next site on the side of the Parks building. A Cooper’s Hawk was seen with nesting material just before the start of the trip. The Egrets are in their mating plumage, but are not nesting just yet. Other species included Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Spotted Sandpiper, Downy Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing.

Cache Creek Nature Preserve

February 18, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Power

# of participants: 11

# of species: 53

Highlights of this trip were the Common Merganser, Yellow-billed magpie, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. We also saw Wild Turkey, California Quail, Common Moorhen, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, Common Yellowthroat, Spotted Towhee, and Western Meadlowlark.

Berkeley Meadow and Berkeley Shoreline

February 18, 2006

Leader(s): Dave Quady and Mona Mena

# of participants: 4

# of species: 53

We had a chilly morning of birding at the Berkeley Meadow and Shoreline and the base of the Berkeley Pier. Highlights included watching a female Anna’s Hummingbird feed her two nestlings; a nice variety of dabbling ducks in a pond in the Berkeley Meadow; a pair of Northern Harriers, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a male American Kestrel hunting over the meadow. By chance, we were able to study five gull species at close range along the shoreline. A Common Loon demonstrated its adeptness at playing hide-and-seek with us under the Berkeley Pier.

Candlestick and Heron’s Head Parks,
San Francisco

February 12, 2006

Leader(s): David Armstrong

A few highlights from this morning’s field trip included a Pelagic Cormorant, four Common Loons and many Common Goldeneye, also a Whimbrel and two Say’s Phoebes at Candlestick. At Heron’s Head we saw Black-necked Stilt and Canvasback, also American Avocet, Semi-palmated Plover, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, American Kestrel, Savannah Sparrow.

Emeryville to Richmond on the Bay Trail
Bicycle Trip

February 11, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 15

# of species: 67

We did not see the Northern Water Thrush or the Tufted Duck, but we did see the Hermit Thrush, Red-crested and Hooded Mergansers. The Black-crowned Night Herons were not only in their usual roost in the willows of the south pond, but were in a large pine overlooking the middle pond. A large group of American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts were on the west shore, with Forster’s Terns overhead. In Emryville we passed large groups of Surf Scoters. We had excellent looks at Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Willets and Black Turnstones waiting out eh high tide near Trader Vic’s. Large groups of Ruddy Ducks were out on the Bay to the south, toward the toll plaza. We say many Eared Grebes on the Bay. We found a group of Sanderlings just south of University Avenue, mingled with Black-bellied Plover and Surfbirds. Two Kestrels and Northern Harrier were in the Berkeley Meadow area. At Albany Beach there was one Pelagic Cormorant along with a group of Black-bellied Plovers and Double-crested Cormorants. Other species included Common Loon (in the Richmond Marina) and Green-winged Teal.

Panoche Valley

February 11, 2006

Leader(s): Chris Carpenter

# of participants: 5

# of species: 64

Long-eared Owls continue at Mercey Hot Springs. We also found Barn Owl, Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Greater Roadrunner, Acorn Woodpecker, Cassin’s Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-billed Magpie, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Western Bluebird, Phainopepla, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Tricolored Blackbird.

Alcatraz Island

February 9, 2006

Leader(s): Pamela Llewellyn and Christian Hellwig

# of participants: 10

# of species: 15

We had a sunny, warm morning to discover the resident birds of Alcatraz . We found a possible pair of nesting Burrowing Owls. Also seen were Black Oystercatcher, Western Gull, Anna’s Hummingbird, Black Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

San Francisco Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum)

February 5, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley and Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 40

# of species: 43

A Bullock’s Oriole was feeding the the Alder catkins in the J. Muir Area along with Pine Siskins, Purple Finches and House Finches. We saw huge flocks of Band-tailed Pigeon. Other species included Belted Kingfisher, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, but no California Quail were seen today.

Merrie Way, San Francisco Presidio

February 4, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 28

# of species: 61

Today we saw wintering birds that are uncommon in much of the Bay Area including Surfbird, Merlin, Whimbrel, Red-necked Grebe, and Pelagic Cormorant. A Harbor Seal was in the Bay and Harbor Porpoises were off Land’s End.

Berkeley Marina, Aquatic Park, Cesar Chavez Park

January 29, 2006

Leader(s): Anne Hoff

# of participants: 5

# of species: 42

We watched a Burrowing Owl at Cesar Chavez Park being spooked repeatedly by an off-leash dog in an on-leash area. The Northern Waterthrush was still at Aquatic Park. Other species included five species of Grebe: Pied-billed, Horned, Eared, Western, Clark’s, as well as Hermit Thrush and Townsend’s Warbler.

Lake Merritt

January 28, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails

# of participants: 2

# of species: 47

Beneath threatening skies, but with only sprinkles, I had 2 attendees. In addition to the excellent comparisons of Eared Grebe and Horned Grebe, Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup and close-up Gull observations, we had Gadwall, Belted Kingfisher, Brown Creeper, Lesser Goldfinch, Junco, House Wren, Peregrine Falcon and Cooper’s Hawk.

Arrowhead Marsh

January 28, 2006

Leader(s): Kathy Jarrett

# of participants: 4

# of species: 39

The bicycle component was cancelled but four of us ventured to the marsh, even one on bicycle. Despite the cold and wind we had great views of the Clapper Rails at high tide, and glimpsed a Sora and Common Yellowthroat by the Pier. We walked the circuit around the restoration area and saw lots of ducks and a Peregrine Falcon at the south end. The rain started as we headed back to the parking lot. Other species included Greater White-fronted Goose, Green-winged Teal, Surf Scoter, Common Goldeneye.

Berkeley Yacht Club and Berkeley Meadow

January 27, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Lewis

# of participants: 12

# of species: 41

The Berkeley Meadow had just opened, so after looking at Oystercatchers on the Berkeley Breakwater, we walked through the meadow. A male Kestrel was devouring a mouse; five species of sparrow were seen, along with lots of finches who were flitting in t the blackberries. Green-winged Teal swam across the seasonal pond.

Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park

January 25, 2006

Leader(s): Travis Hails, Hilary Powers, Ruth Tobey

# of participants: 8

# of species: 42

There is a new White Pelican in the lake; it appears to be a rescue bird. A mixed flock of Barrows and Common Goldeneye were practicing their mating head bobs. An Annas Hummingbird was sitting on her nest. We had good looks at Ring-necked Duck, and very distant looks at a Red-breasted Merganser.

Bodega Bay

January 22, 2006

Leader(s): Bruce Mast

# of participants: 22

# of species: 55

We were blessed with crystal clear skies, balmy temperatures, and calm conditions. We declared the trip a success before finding our first bird.

Among the highlights, as many as a half-dozen Red-necked Grebes were working the waters on both sides of the east jetty off of Doran Park and a couple more were seen from the fishing pier at Spud Point Marina. The fishing pier also gave us great opportunities to compare and contrast Red-throated Loons and Common Loons. Brants were numerous both in the harbor and on the bay east of Doran Beach and Red-breasted Mergansers were fairly common. A pair of Black Oystercatchers was patrolling the beach at Campbell Cove, seen from Doran Park.

The tide was out all day so shorebirds were challenging specks on distant mudflats. From Doran Park, we had unsatisfying views of peeps and we missed Dunlins entirely. A little closer in, we were able to compare Snowy and Semipalmated Plovers. From Smith Brothers Road, we found a mixed flock of Black and Ruddy Turnstones (mostly Black).

A couple birders who remained to the bitter end were treated to 11 Red Knots on the Spud Point mudflats.

Merrie Way

January 22, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 17

# of species: 44

Our group was treated to a good assortment of wintering seabirds such as Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Brandt’s Cormorant; also Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird. We also had a mix of habitats, hence Pygmy Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Townsend’s Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow and others.

Corona Heights

January 20, 2006

Leader(s): Brian Fitch, Lew Ellingham, Charles Hibbard

# of participants: 13

# of species: 27

Our group got striking views of Townnsend’s Warblers, Pigmy Nuthatches and Black Phoebe. Unfotunately we also encountered about 12 off-leash dogs at various spots around the hill; none were in the official dog run.

Las Gallinas

January 15, 2006

Leader(s): Pamela Llewellyn

# of participants: 14

# of species: 69

We had a clear, cool morning and saw an excellent assortment of water birds including two female Hooded Mergansers, American White Pelican, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Mew Gull, White-throated Swift, Say’s Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, American Pipit, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, Savannah Sparrow.

Sacramento Delta

January 14, 2006

Leader(s): Harry Fuller

# of participants: 18

# of species: 68

Despite a horrible, cold and wet day, we were rewarded with 68 species. One Vermont birder got two lifers. We had Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans, waterfowl galore and wonderful views of raptors including Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon. Also Ring-necked Duck, Wilson’s Snipe, Say’s Phoebe, Tree Swallow.

Winter Raptors of Robinson Road

January 8, 2006

Leader(s): Bob Power and Michael Butler

# of participants: 16

# of species: 23

While this trip did not yield a large number of species, we were treated to excellent looks at Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon and Mountain Plover as well as American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon. Other species included Loggerhead Shrike and Tree Swallow.

Palo Alto Baylands and Mountain View Shoreline

January 7, 2006

Leader(s): Dan Murphy

# of participants: 25

# of species: 78

We had a beautiful, clear morning and saw an outstanding number of ducks, shorebirds, raptors and others. We saw both Eurasian and American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal,   Common Merganser, Ring-necked Pheasant, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Bonaparte’s Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Belted Kingfisher, American Pipit, Common Yellowthroat.

San Francisco Botanical Garden–Strybing Arboretum

January 1, 2006

Leader(s): Allan Ridley and Ginny Marshall

# of participants: 20

# of species: 39

We had an excellent flyover of a Peregrine Falcon, and the interaction between a Red tailed Hawk and a Raven was quite exciting. We had close up views of a Red-breasted Sapsucker and a nice group of five California Quail. Other species included Orange-crowned Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Pine Siskin.