New yard birds today! A Bewick’s wren and fledgling seen on the deck and in the Redwood.


Not one, but two walks around the Alameda Marina today garnered 2 Black Crowned Night Herons, many Black Phoebes and Barn Swallows, a Mourning Dove, 2 Rather Ratty looking Robins, one Sanderling, 3 DC Cormorants, 4 MALLARDS, 3 DC Cormorants, many gulls and Canada Geese bathing in the fountains, 1 American Coot, 1 mystery duck, many House Finches, 1 YC Sparrow and 2 anna’s Hummingbirds.


Watched a flock of Ravens in the Redwoods today – they were cleaning the BBQ grills and dancing on the picnic tables.


Now here is a first – the Stellar Jays are stealing the squirrels food! Hah! There has been a very spiffy but very petite dark-eyed Junco visiting my deck for the last 4 evenings – very dapper! And the Titmouse has discovered the suet!

Today in Alameda 2 White pelicans flew over,  2 Willets were foraging at the shoreline at low tide, 1 Long Billed Curlew, a small flock of Sanderlings and one mystery bird were also seen. The mystery bird was about the size of a stocky willet with a stubby bill a white band above the tail and greyish brown overall. Several Forester’s Terns were flying and diving in the channel.


I haven’t been keeping up, but here is an update.

The Spotted Towhee has been singing a lot, sometimes from the back fence. no good pix yet. Finally more than one lonely scrub jay – they look like fledglings – very fluffy.
The feeders are super busy. Lots of regularly visiting Anna’s hummers, plus House Finches, American and Lesser Gold Finches, Chickadees, Stellar and Scrub Jays, California Towhees, Oak Titmice, and Song Sparrows. The Red Breasted Nuthatch is back, too. Ravens are around enough that the parrots now do an excellent Raven call.
The squirrels like the sprouts that grew underneath the bird bath – wonder who spilled seed in there…..maybe they were making sprouts all along! The titmouse just found the sprouts too!
The squirrel log is a big hit too. Keeps them busy for a long time – sounds weird to hear-scrape-scrape-scrape-but hey, better than knocking the feeders down. The first one lasted about 3 weeks.
Had a new yard bird two days ago – My parrots and the Jays and everyone else were screeching up a deafening racket – for good cause – a Cooper’s Hawk was checking things out!

On Bay Farm island, we have been seeing Least Terns, Brown Pelicans, White Pelicans, Great and Snowy Egrets, Song Sparrows and Towhees.

At Ashby Beach we have had Foresters’ Terns, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Coots, Canada Geese, Turkey Vultures and the usual assorted Gulls, with a few Western and Clark’s Grebes.

At Lake Temescal we saw a brand new Mallard Duckling with mom yesterday – just one! The Coots and Mallards, Black Phoebes, Barn Swallows, Ravens, Pied Bill Grebes, Great Blue Heron and even an Osprey have all made appearances.


The Spotted Towhee has been visiting every day. He/she loves to scratch and throw things in my potted plants – a real forager.I even got a couple of lousy pics through the window – perhaps he will get used to me soon.  I have been putting roasted meal worms (yum!) and some seed out – hope he keeps coming! The titmice, stellars, California towhees and chickadees are very busy as well.


A walk through Piedmont cemetery was a peaceful way to spend a particularly noisy day. The birds were many, including American Goldfinches, House Finches, Black Phoebes, Western Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Ravens, Scrub Jays, Chestnut Backed Chickadees, Bushtits, and Cooper’s Hawk that was calling madly – I finally found it in a palm tree – it took off when I saw it and I could see an apparently empty nest. It seemed too small to be a hawk nest, was this the site of a crime?


Lovely walk on Bay Farm Island  today with Willets and Snowy Egrets, at home the Spotted Towhee spent a long time throwing leaves and foraging in one of my potted plants, Chickadees, Titmice, Stellars, California Towhees,and Nuthatches all present.


Lake Temescal seemed a bit quiet today birdwise – probably because it has been anything but quiet peoplewise lately. Best spot was a beautiful Green Heron with bright orange feet flying across the lake.


Backyard birds today – 2 Oak Titmice, 3 Chestnut Backed Chickadees, 4 Stellar Jays, 2 Red breasted Nuthatches, 4 California Towhees and one Spotted Towhee- first time on the deck!


The Nuthatch family returned today – the baby managed to knock himself out on the window. I brought him in and held him until he woke up, then when mama returned I let him go and off they flew. Oak Titmouse, Scrub Jay, Chickadees, Stellar Jays, Goldfinches and Robin all checked in. The squirrel managed to spill about a pound of birdseed from the squirrel proof feeder. There was a single Western Grebe at Ashby Beach.


Finally got all the new feeders put together and hung – they have already been visited by the Scrub Jay, Towhees, Chickadees, Stellar Jays, Goldfinches, Song Sparrow (had his bath again this evening) and best of all, Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Nuthatch with their new fledgling!


In spite of all the chaos and construction (or destruction), all the usual suspects managed an appearance, including Robins, Oak Titmouse, a pair of Red Breasted Nuthatches, Chestnut backed Chickadees, Goldfinches, Song Sparrow, Stellars’ Jays, Anna’s Hummingbird, and my faithful Towhee who is hopping on only one leg.


At Cesar Chavez we saw a few Clark’s Grebes, 2 Scaup, several Canada Geese, and lots of Gulls. There were also geese at Emery point. At Lake Temescal we had Robins RW Blackbirds, Barn Swallows, Stellars and Scrub Jays, Black Phoebes and Mallards. (and Rock Doves of course) The highlight was a yet to be identified raptor in a treetop being harassed by Jays. It had a rather falcon-like appearance. The last yellow Iris is fading quickly, but the buttercups and orange monkey flowers are blooming.

At home, the Robin made a visit and the Song Sparrow was just here for his nightly bath.


Had some nice looks at a busy Brown Creeper in my Oak trees today.


An Osprey seen at Lake Temescal with a large fish- first sighting of Osprey here for me. It was a pretty big fish – he/she had to circle the lake 3 times to get enough altitude to head back to the hills – a nest maybe?


A late afternoon walk around Lake Temescal today was fairly quiet, we saw Ravens and Turkey vultures overhead, Coots, Mallards, PB Grebe chicks, Song Sparrows, Chickadees, Rock Doves with one White Dove,Towhees on the trail and the Black Phoebes and Barn Swallows swooping and diving over the lawn area.

At home, the big excitement was a visit by a California Towhee to our living room.


Lake Temescal has another Mallard mom with 5 ducklings, the baby Pied Bills are getting very independent, Black Phoebes are busy and the Barn Swallows have lots of new small flies to catch, Song Sparrows, Robins and Red Winged Blackbirds continue to sing, no coot babies in sight yet, the Great Blue Heron continues to hang out and the Cormorants were drying their wings in the sun.


Alameda today, we had Snowy Egrets, Forsters’ Terns, Western Grebes,Eared Grebe, Heerman’s and Ring Billed Gulls, Rock Doves, Canada Geese, Mallards and Barn Swallows, Towhees and lots of ground squirrels. At home the Chickadees, House and Gold Finches, Towhees,Nuthatches, Stellar Jays and Bushtits and Robins were all singing their respective parts in the bird chorus, the Anna’s Hummers continue to visit the flowers and the Song Sparrow was just here for his evening bath.


Catch-up time again – Mrs. Pied Bill Grebe actually has 4 chicks, all nearly as big as she is, but still begging loudly in the middle of the lake. Monkey flowers are blooming, first ripe blackberry seen on 5-26, first damsel flies seen on 5-27, first dragonflies seen on 5-28, the yellow Iris are almost gone, but the pink Buddleia is glorious.


Bird of the day was a gorgeous Green Heron with bright orange feet and bill in flight over Lake Temescal.


Missed photo ops – include a just bathed, soaking wet Raven on a rock about three feet from where i was standing, a DC Cormorant catching a huge fish buzzed by Great Blue Heron trying to snatch the fish with his feet, and Mama Pied Bill Grebe with 3 chicks. Oh well.


Sometimes life has a way of forcing priorities on one….birds of late include a Red Breasted Nuthatch who comes to the birdbath every evening for a nice drink, a Robin singing morn and night, Raven continues to visit and be harrassed by the Stellars, Anna’s Hummers are looking for nests, Chickadees , Goldfinches and Bushtits are busy in the trees. At Lake Temescal, a Forester’s Tern , Cormorants, Ruddy Ducks, Black Phoebes, Red Tailed Hawks, Coots, Pied Bill Grebes, Towhees, Song Sparrows, Marsh Wrens, Robins, Rock Doves, Crows, Barn Swallows, Black Crowned Night Heron, and Mallards – Mrs. Mallard now has only two surviving ducklings.


Beautiful day at the beach! A Brown Pelican put on quite a show for us (that would be me and the dog, but he was not paying much attention). The Pelican had the water mostly to him-her self, and was making the most of it. I counted over 50 dives, many of them successful. But it seems like a lot of work for one dinner. That last hard twist just before hitting the water is very dramatic….but I am glad I am not doing it! Other than the Pelican, just a couple of Ring bills and a pair of Western Grebes. Arrived home to a deafening, shrill chorus of what sounded like a thousand Stellar Jays screaming and diving at the Raven who was again sitting in the oak tree. They finally drove him off, but he just returned for a brief look around. I wonder if the Raven knows……………………………………………….where the nests are.


Summertime in Oakland – listening to the symphony of birds song all day, with solos from the Song Sparrows, Robins, Bushtits, Goldfinches, Oaktitmice, Stellars, Towhees and Chickadees. Right now in the rosy light of sunset, a lovely duet is being performed with Robin as soprano and Song Sparrow as alto.The Mallards were putting on an aerial display at the lake, mama mallard still has five ducklings. Coots and barn swallows were diving and flying respectively. Addendum to 5-10 post-there  were several white doves at Ashby Beach yesterday.


Sunny and windy at Ashby Beach at high tide today. A pair of Forester’s Terns was synchronized diving in the spaces between swimming dogs, a White Pelican complete with its harassing contingent of gulls took turns diving just offshore with a Brown Pelican who had an even larger harassment contingent of gulls – poor bird could hardly have seen where it was going…also had several Ravens, a flyover Great Egret and a flyover Great Blue Heron. Yesterday at home we had a Raven in the oak tree being soundly scolded by a Stellar Jay.


All of a sudden it’s summer again – sad that spring disappears so abruptly, no chance for a lingering farewell. At home today we had a guest appearance by two Band Tailed Pigeons -such elegant birds in their white collars and tails.The Robins are singing as well as the Chickadees and Goldfinches. The Stellars continue to play Bad Cop, attempting to chase everyone else away from the feeders. At Temescal I could only count 5 ducklings today, did get a glimpse of the Pied Bill Grebe between dives. The pair of Ruddy Ducks lingers – perhaps they will breed here? The Cormorants were plentiful, some diving and some drying their wings on the floats at the perimeter of the seimming area. The Killdeer and Rock Doves on the beach have been replaced by human swimmers and sunbathers.The Blackbirds are calling as are the Song Sparrows and Black Phoebes. There are lots of flying insects keeping the Phoebes and the Swallows busy and well fed. Saw the first Swallowtail butterfly today.


Sunny now turned to imminent rain – the soft light makes everything especially beautiful. The Stellars chased away a pair of Mourning Doves at home…grrrrr. House Finches and Goldfinches were at the thistle feeder, Towhees chipping as usual. I do hope the Mourning Doves return….speaking of cooing makes me think of hooting – have to try and remember to go out and listen for the Great Horned Owl tonight. In addition to the “regulars” at Lake Temescal, I heard a new call I have yet to ID and a lonely Killdeer was on the beach!

Mostly cloudy today, with the Mr. Sun making intermittent sneak appearances. At home, the Towhees continue their cheeps, the finches are busy at the thistle, the Stellars are carting away huge pieces of the poppy seed rolls I set out for the squirels (getting even I suppose). The Stellars continue to dive bomb the squirrels every chance they get. At Temescal, Mrs. Mallard seems to be down to 6 ducklings from 8. The Song Sparrows, Robins and Blackbirds were happily singing, the Coots s-cooting around the lake making their funny coot sounds, no sign of the Pied Bill – she must be sitting!. Three Canada Geese flew over, the Rock Doves are as numerous as they are fat, the Ruddy Ducks are (still/always) sleeping. The Black Phoebes were plentiful, as were the Barn Swallows. I’ve seen birds chase quirrels, but today I saw a Black Phoebe strike a squirrel quite hard – it was quite effective the squirrel took off, either to save his dignity or nurse his wound (or his pride).


Cloudy with a bit of rain…Saw all the same birds in the same locations as yesterday, with the addition of a turkey vulture.


Another lovely warm rainy day – we saw all the same birds we saw yesterday with the addition of a Downy Woodpecker seen at home.. As it began to clear this evening, the storm seemed to coalesce into a large white fog bank and the sky turned a lovely shade of rosy pink.


Rain and more rain – but it is a soft, warm spring rain, not a harsh storm – birds at home included Bushtit, Chickadee (CB), Oak Titmouse, Lesser Goldfinches, Stellar’s Jays, Ravens and Song Sparrow arrived at dusk for his nightly bath. For such a little bird, he certainly does make a big splash! At Lake Temescal, everything is in bloom – yellow Iris, Vetch (a gorgeous regal purple and a lot of it this year), Swamp Milkweed, Swamp Verbena, Joe Pye Weed, Summer Snowflake, Cherry Trees and even the berries are beginning to bud. We saw one Ruddy Duck today, several Coots, Mallards – all male save one proud mama with 7 ducklings, Bush Tits, Song Sparrows, Red Winged Blackbirds, Rock Doves, Scrub Jay, one Anna’s Hummingbird, Barn Swallows (and a whole of cheeping coming from the holes in the cement freeway wall), Towhees and at least 3 Black Phoebes.


On a lovely rainy day at Lake Temescal, we saw Mallards, including mom with 8 ducklings, Coots, Pied Bill Grebe looking very secretive, Rock Doves, Robins, Red Winged Blackbirds singin in the rain, Bush Tits, Song Sparrows, Black Phoebes, Barn Swallows, and Chickadees. No luck on the Western Tanager….

At home we had Goldfinches, Bushtits, Towhees, Stellars and Ravens.


A cool, sunny day spent at home with injured Mr. Puppy and injured Papageno (lovebird). Backyard (and frontyard) birds included Chickadees, Goldfinches, Towhees, Stellars, Song Sparrows, Bush Tit, Robin and Ravens (overhead). I wish the Band Tailed Pigeons would return.


Backyard birds today include Stellar Jays, Chickadees,American and Lesser Goldfinches, Oak Titmouse, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Ravens (overhead) and Towhees.


Lake Temescal was lovely and crowded. Lots of serenading Song Sparrows, Mallards and Coots were present in small numbers, lots of Cormorants flying and drying, House Finches, Barn Swallows and Rock Doves and Towhees…most exciting is the possibility of Western Tanagers nesting – will check it out tomorrow.

AAArrrrgggghhhh – just heard there was female Red Necked Phalarope later this afternoon – that will teach me to go early…


Sunny and breezy at Cesar Chavez Park, with a very good and patient dog helping me spot some very busy (and noisy) Foresters’ Terns, Barn Swallows, Black Phoebe, Savannah Sparrows, Scaup, Clark’s Grebe, Ring Billed Gulls, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Heron, Common Ravens, American Crows being chased by Brewers and Redwinged Blackbirds, Red Tailed Hawk, and House Finches…not to mention the still blooming wild flowers!


Ashby  Beach was sunny and cool with a chilly wind today, but the birds were great – we had a pair of White Pelicans diving with Forsters’ Terns, a couple of dozen Scaup, a very Double Crested Cormorant, a Western Grebe, a dozen Sanderlings, Ring Bills, and a Black Bellied Plover, a Great Egret flyover, a few Ravens and two Swallows ( ?sp) and on the way out, a White Throated Swift (I think). Sadly, there were two dead W. Grebes on the beach.


Even hotter today – Ashby Beach had a handful of Sanderlings, noisy Ring Bulls, and a small flock of Scaup.

At home we had Lesser and American Goldfinches and Towhees, one Robin and Stellars, who were very quiet -are they incubating already?


Summer is here – well over 80 degrees today – a few Scaup at Ashby Beach and a Forsters’ Tern flyover was about it – too many people I guess.


A lovely, breezy, sunny and very birdy day! At home, the Stellars seem to have finished construction and are quite miffed that the squirrels have broken the suet feeder – AGAIN! The Goldfinches were busy with the thistle feeder and the song Sparrow had a very exuberant bath, Robin made a visit, but didn’t stay long.

At the bottom of the hill, a Raven flew by with nesting material and a Bewicks Wren made a scoot across the street.

At Chavez, it was a veritable choral competition between the Red Winged Blackbirds and the House Finches – they were also competing for the tops of the bushes. Brewers’ Blackbirds, Meadow Larks, Savannah Sparrows, a Black Shouldered Kite, Ring Billed Gulls, a large raft(?) of Western Grebes, a single Ruddy Duck, several Buffleheads and competing Forsters’ Terns (are we developing a competition theme here?) made up the rest of the list. On the lampost at Emery Point was a handsome full helmeted Peregrine having a late lunch. Shorebirds were abundant at the very low tide, but too far out to ID, and a large raft of Scaup was also seen.


From cold and windy to VERY warm and sunny – a walk down the hill gave us lots of Towhees chipping away, Robins cheering us up, Song Sparrows serenading, Ravens careening, Red Breasted Nuthatches calling, and American and Lesser Goldfinches singing.


At a very windy Ashby Beach  we saw Ring Bills, Western Grebes, Sanderlings, Ravens and a Red Tail.


Recent interesting events include 2 pairs of Stellars Jays building nests in the backyard, and the first mallard duckling hatched at Temescal.


Ashby Beach

Sunny with some clouds and a good breeze at the beach today – Buffleheads, Scaup, Cormorants, Ravens, Ring Bills and a Western Grebe were the only birds seen.


Backyard and Temescal

A little rain today, and lots of clouds – happy to report that Mr. Red Breasted Nuthatch now has a Mrs! American and Lesser Goldfinches, Song Sparrow, Scrub Jay, Stellars Jays, Chickadees, and Towhees in the yard: Ruddy Ducks, Rock Doves, Pied Bill Grebe, Cormorants, Barn Swallows and Black Phoebes, Marsh Wrens and Song Sparrows at the lake.


Bay Farm Island

Quite a lovely day, both weather wise and bird wise. The rain stopped by mid-day and we had some sun and clouds for the afternoon. Birds along the channel included American and Lesser Goldfinches, Anna’s Hummingbird demonstrating his dare devil diving skills, Song Sparrow, Golden Crowned Sparrow, Double Crested Cormorants, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Willets, Least Sandpipers, Yellow-Legs, Dowitchers, Pacific Golden Plover, Black Bellied Plover, Surf Scoters, Western and Clarks Grebes, Eared Grebe, Black Crowned Night Heron, Scaup, Coots and Mallards. On the channel we found an egret rookery, with both Snowy and Great Egrets busily nest building, courting, displaying their fine feathers, having sex and making all their strange prehistoric sounding burblings and yells and screams.



A rainy day – busy on the back deck, though – visitors included Scrub Jay, Stellars Jays, Song Sparrows, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Chickadees, Towhees,and  American and Lesser Goldfinches – and of course the squirrel club.


Ashby Beach

Sunny and warm, we had a flock of about 40 Sanderlings, 1 Willet, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew fly -by, a small flock of Scaup, one pair of Buffleheads, one Western and one Clark’s Grebe, Ring bills, Ravens, and one Great Egret.


Today’s visitors included one Scrub Jay, one Robin, one Towhee, one Chickadee, 2 Stellars, several Lesser Goldfinches, one American Goldfinch, one Red Breasted Nuthatch and one song Sparrow.


I’ve missed a few days, so here is a list of the birds seen since the last post.

Finally got a SURFBIRD, found behind the Seabreeze Market along with Black Turnstones, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Scaup, Clark’s Grebes, Black Oystercatcher, Ring Bills, Red-tailed Hawk, and Great Blue Heron. At Chavez there have been multitudes of Redwinged Blackbirds and Brewers’ Blackbirds, Meadow Larks, House Finches, Golden and White Crowned Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Forsters’ Terns, Clarks Grebes, Ruddy Ducks, Willets, Great Egret and Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier,Ravens,  Black Turnstones and Sanderlings.

In the backyard, visitors have included a Woodpecker heard drilling, return of the Scrub Jay, Stellars Jays, Lesser and American Goldfinches, House Finches, Song Sparrows, Towhees, Chickadees, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Bewicks Wren, Ravens and Redtailed Hawks.


Ashby Beach

Another lovely day, but it made the beach crowded with people which is not good for birdwatching…saw only Ring-Bills and two Scaup.


The big event of the day was that the squirrels knocked down the seed feeder and it disappeared…..saw one Chickadee, 2 Song sparrows and 2 Towhees, heard the Nuthatch and the Bushtits.


Ashby Beach

Not much to report from the beach – just a handful of Scaup, Ring Bills and a Crow.


A very warm day – Towhees and Stellars were busy chowing down, Chickadees were calling, as were the Red Breasted Nuthatches and Song Sparrows and Bushtits. Three Red Tailed Hawks were soaring, leg-dropping and calling at close range.


Ashby Beach

It was a very warm, sunny, unbirdy day – we saw only one pair of Shovelers on the water, a small flock of Sanderlings, two Ring Billed gulls and one Turkey Vulture.


Saw only the usual suspects, 4 Stellar Jays, 2 Towhees, 1 Chickadee, and one Song Sparrow.


Yolo County Wetlands

Saw many, many birds today -a large flock of gorgeous Yellow Headed Blackbirds, Red Winged Blackbirds, Northern Shovelers, Cinnamon Teal, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Necked Stilts, Marsh Wrens, American Bitterns (calling and flying), Mallards, Coots, Moorhens, Song Sparrows, Golden Crowned Sparrows, Nothern Harriers, one Great Blue Heron, one Great Egret and one Wilson’s Snipe. Also seen in Davis were 3 Yellow Billed Magpies, many Crows and Rock Doves, 2 Mockingbirds and two Anna’s Hummingbirds.


Ashby Beach

Sunny and breezy, fairly quiet birdwise – we saw 8 Scaup, 1 Bufflehead, 5 Sanderlings,1 Raven, a few Ringbills and one cormorant.


Sonoma Cornerstone

Sunny and warm, we had a good variety of bird sightings. We saw several operatic Mockingbirds, lots of Blackbirds  (Redwing and Brewers’), 1 Hummingbird, possibly Selasphorus but too backlit to be sure, Golden Crowned Sparrows, one White Crowned Sparrow, lots of Turkey Vultures, a couple of Red Tailed Hawks, House Finches, American Goldfinches, several Western Bluebirds, Black Phoebes, an unidentified Flycatcher, a cooperative Brown Creeper, several Juncos and lots of flyover Ducks and Crows and Ravens.


UCB Botanical Garden

Saw and heard many Song Sparrows, an Anna’s Hummer, 2 Stellar Jays, 1 Red Tail and one other raptor (to be identified), California Towhees, Bushtits, one unidentified whistler and one other bird not yet ID’d. Plus – one Red Eared Slider and three Western Fence Lizards and many, many, many Newts having a virtual orgy in the pond.


Ashby Beach

Today we had all the birds of yesterday, plus 2 Willets, a Turkey Vulture buzzing us on the beach and a Crow scarfing up mussels.


New yard birds today – 2 Bushtits!


Ashby Beach

Lovely day – spotted 4 Buffleheads, 4 Scaup, 1 Western grebe, small flock of Sanderlings and a couple of Cormorants at the beach. A Great Egret was hunting on the lawn near the on ramp and 2 canada Geese flew over.


Ashby Beach

Stormy today with a rare bit of sunshine – we saw one Western Grebe, 2 pairs of Buffleheads, 3 pairs of Scaup, a flock of about 30 peeps on the beach as well as 1 Crow, 1 Cormorant, the usual Gulls and a Northern harrier hovering at the grassy area near the on ramp at Emery point.


Lake Temescal

Cold cloudy and windy today – of note were about 8 Barn Swallows perched on a leafless tree, 4 Canada Geese, 6 Ruddy Ducks, four of which were female. 3 Song Sparrows and the usual Cormorants and Rock Doves. Bushtits were heard but not seen.


Cesar Chavez Park

Sunny and breezy – saw 2 Ravens, 8 Meadowlarks, heard 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Red Winged Blackbirds, 2 Brewers’ Blackbirds, LOTS of Buffleheads and Scaup, one Eared Grebe,and lots of Gulls (ring-billed). On the drive back there was a northern Harrier male hovering over the marsh beside the freeway.


Saw just one song Sparrow, three Towhees, and two Stellars.


Ashby Beach

Sunny and windy with choppy surf – the gulls were searching in vain for someone to steal food from, including hovering over mr. puppy as he swam. Otherwise we saw 2 pairs of Buffleheads, 3 Western Grebes and 6 Scaup.


Nothing new – 4 Stellars, 2 American Goldfinches, one Junco, 3 Towhees and the Song Sparrow was heard.


Ashby Beach

Mid-tide today, still sunny and warmer – only one Scaup, one pair of Buffleheads and the three Western Grebes and two Cormorants were on the water, later joined by a pair of Canadian Geese. We had the usual Ring Bills and a small flock of peeps and a Great Egret and a pair of Geese (same pair? fly over.


Ashby Beach

Only three tiny clouds in a very blue sky, but there was frost on the roof this morning…

There were a dozen Scaup sp., one pair of Buffleheads and three Western Grebes on the water. On the shore we saw three Sanderlings and one Willet. The usual Ring bills were present of course, and one (presumed) Red Tail was circling the power tower at Aquatic Park.


One Song Sparrow, one Stellars Jay and two Towhees seen this evening.


Ashby Beach

First day of daylight savings was sunny and decidedly NOT warm…but a good day for a happy dog – birds weren’t many but were interesting and varied. I saw 2 pairs of Buffleheads, 4 pairs of Scaup, one pair of Shovelers, one Western Grebe, Western and Ring Billed Gulls dropping their mussels on rocks, , one Willet, 3 DC Cormorants, one pair of Canada Geese, one Crow, and the highlight of the day was a small flock of sandpiper type birds that I think were Surfbirds!


Visitors seen today include CB Chickadee, Song Sparrow, Ca. Towhees, and Stellar Jays.


Pescadero Beach

A gorgeous day, a gorgeous beach and some gorgeous birds….including Brown Pelicans, Red Winged and Brewers’ Blackbirds, Western Sandpipers (I think), Black Oyster Catchers, Double Crested Cormorants, Black Turnstones, White Crowned Sparrow, Western Gulls, and Snowy Egrets.


Cesar Chavez Park

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like spring! Birds seen today include courting Red-winged Blackbirds, House Finches, and Brewer’s Sparrows (I think), as well as Crows. Ravens and Meadowlarks. Also seen were a single Savannah Sparrow, Great Egrets(2), Snowy Egret(1), Western and Ring Billed Gulls, Willets(2), and Marbled Godwits (3), and a single Bushtit and a single imm. Golden Crowned Sparrow.


A bit busier today, with American and Lesser Goldfinches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Oak Titmouse, California Towhees, Stellar Jays, and singing Song Sparrows all making several appearances.


Cesar Chavez Park

Sunny with beautiful clouds and a brisk breeze – the white Tailed Kite was hovering, the Ravens were courting, the Song Sparrows were singing and the Meadow Larks were flitting.


Cesar Chavez Park

Gorgeous day with lots of sun – no jacket required – and stunning cloud formations, but not very birdsy. Saw only 3 Ravens, 1 Savannah Sparrow, many Canada Geese and lots of Ring Bills. The multitudes of shorebirds and gulls were again seen from the freeway south of Emeryville. The ducks seem to have flown (north?).


Just Towhees and American and Lesser Godfinches…2 of each.


Ashby Beach

Sunshine and clouds – and really beautiful, at least for dogs and people – the huge rafts of ducks were nowhere to be seen – just six Bufflehead, one Shoveler, one Western Grebe, one Sanderling, two small flocks of Western(?) Sandpipers, one Raven and the usual Ringbills. Driving home, there were LOTS if shorebirds gathering on the Eastshore low tide flats south of Emeryville, but, alas, I was driving.


Just two Towhees, an Anna’s Hummingbird and a Golden Crowned Sparrow to report.


San Francisco

A mostly rainy day in the city – gulls, rock doves and a raven – boring!


Lake Temescal

Managed to hit the single hour of sunshine today – but the birds were still scarce. A Great Blue Heron, a Pied Bill Grebe, many, many coots, many Mallards, two Cormorants, two Towhees, one Black Phoebe, lots of gulls,and  four Turkey Vultures – but where have the Ruddy Ducks gone ???



A cold, windy and rainy day – all sensible birds were hiding in a warm place…the few that ventured out for some free food on the back deck were the ever present Towhees, one Oak Titmouse, two Stellar Jays, one possible Bluebird, and two Red Breasted Nuthatches heard singing a duet.

Cesar Chavez Park

Two Savannah Sparrows, eight Crows, one Raven, one Great Egret, two Canada Geese, two American Wigeons, one Cormorant and many hardy Ring Billed Gulls joined a slightly manic dog and a miserable me in the sleet (in Berkeley?) and wind.

Hope to post a list of the trip birds tomorrow.


San Diego River Estuary

Where to start – we saw a LOT of birds today! White and Brown Pelicans (more of the former than the latter),  Anna’s Hummingbirds, Yellow Warbler, Says Phoebe, Black Phoebe, House Finches, Killdeer, Pacific Golden Plover, Dowitcher sp., Western and Least Sandpipers,Yellow Legs sp., Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits, Willets, more sandpipers TBI (to be identified), Little Blue Heron ( adult and juvenile), Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Northern Pintails, Buffleheads, Northern Shovelers, Cinnamon Teals, Blue Winged Teals, Ruddy Ducks, American Wigeons, Forster’s Terns, Horned Grebe, Pied Bill Grebe, Ravens, Starlings, Rock Doves, Osprey, and two other hawks while driving.


San Diego Harbor

No serious birding today, just a quick stop by the water on the way out of the airport…one Eared Grebe, two Cormorants, many Rock Doves, many Heerman’s Gulls, both adult breeding and first and second winter juvies, LBB’s – sparrow sp, and Starlings. And of course the Star of India – oh, wait that’s not a bird….


Lake Temescal

The storm continues – there are now two Lake Temescals – one of which (the one in the middle of the lawn which is now three times larger than it was yesterday) was being pumped into the other…much to the chagrin of the Mallards. The White Crowned Sparrow flock now numbers in the 20′s. There were 8 Cormorants drying their wings on the beach, oddly only 2 Rock Doves and two Ring Billed Gulls were seen. There were two busy Black Phoebes, 2 Marsh Wrens, two Towhees, two RW Blackbirds, 2 Buffleheads 2 Pied Bill Grebes and 2 Canvasbacks, in addition to the Ruddy Ducks (still sleeping) and the Mallards and Coots.


Cesar Chavez Park

A stormy day – clouds, sun, rain, wind and hail – made for few birds, but Savannah Sparrows were about as were the Raven pair, one pair of Canadian Geese and a hovering White Tailed Kite, a few Ring Billed Gulls, one Forster’s Tern and a happy dog made it worth the trip.


A day without a walk….too sad – only tow Towhees have braved the downpour to make it to the deck for a snack.


Lake Temescal

Cloudy, with some sun -Three very fancy White Crowned Sparrows, three Black Phoebes, three Robins (do I detect a pattern here?), one Marsh Wren, one song Sparrow, sleeping Ruddy Ducks – one male was awake! – pair of Canvasbacks (sleeping), pair of Buffleheads, one Ring Necked Deck, lots of Mallards including one pair staking claim to the “new pond” in the middle of the lawn, the usual large flock of Rock Doves, one Great Blue Heron, many Coots, one Crow, several Bushtits, two Pied Bill Grebes, and two hybrid ducks -one with black head, red breast, white belly and red and white butt, the other with black head, white breast and butt and red belly – all made for a pleasant and birdy walk.


Cesar Chavez Park

Walked during a lull in the storm – greeted by a full helmeted Peregrine on the light post on the way in and a Great Egret hunting along the chain link link fence surrounding the reserve. Saw 3 Savannah Sparrows and only 4 Ravens. The usual Ring Bills and the Scaup, Bufflehead and Wigeon flocks were offshore. The Canada geese were again under the overpass.


Ashby Beach

It was sunny and cloudy today. The Scaup, Bufflehead, and American Wigeon flocks were floating and basking in the brief sunshine and one Western Grebe was hunting close to shore. The Ring bills were harassing the lucky gulls who found some tasty bite, usually resulting in a new owner. One Peregrine seen briefly on the tower at Aquatic park. No ravens or crows appeared today – strangely. The Canada Geese were loafing on the grass under the overpass. Six Sanderlings were busy chasing the surf and a couple of Coots made an appearance.


Lake Temescal

Rainy afternoon, the Coots were foraging in two large flocks on the lawn, Mallards, Ruddies and the pair of Canvasbacks were sawing logs in the middle of the lake. One hybrid duck seen on the beach – black head, white breast, red back and lower belly. The Robins have arrived, Bushtits were in abundance, several Black Phoebes were practicing mosquito control, two Song Sparrows, one White Crowned Sparrow and one Marsh Wren all very active during the brief break in the rain. Treat of the day was not one, not two, but three close encounters on the trail with a majestic Blue Heron. And the RW Blackbirds were singing – hooray!


Lake Temescal

Coots, Ruddies, Mallards, Rock Doves, Black Capped Night Heron, Scrub Jays and a large flock of bushtits were seen in a fast walk around the the lake.

Cesar Chavez Park

A large flock of Ravens with a few Crows enjoyed a mussel banquet. There was a good sized pile of white and grey feathers along the middle trail – no bones, no guts. The Red Shouldered Hawk was seen on a lamp post beside the freeway. A Peregrine was reported on the Aquatic Park Tower after I left.


No wild birds today – just Phoebe, Pele and the Papagenos.


Lake Temescal

Cloudy with rain threatening – the pair of Canvasbacks was napping with the Ruddy Ducks, saw the female Bufflehead, but no sign of the male. Coots were out in force, but only 3 Ring billed Gulls. One blackbird was heard, one song sparrow seen. The Anna’s Hummers were beginning to practice their courtship dives. Two DC Cormorants were seen, one diving, one drying. The Rock Doves were asleep on the wires.


A lovely Spotted Towhee posed on the fence, but not long enough to get a photograph. The Bewick’s Wren made a brief appearance, along with an Oregon Junco. The Robins were in the lower Oaks and 2 Band Tails were seen. The ever present Towhees competed with the Squirrels for the seed and one CB Chickadee had some suet.


Cesar Chavez Park

Gorgeous, sunny day, full moon already up at 4:30PM- the plum trees are confused and in full bloom as are the Camellias – the Magnolias are getting started, but the bulbs and Cymbidiums are only budding. The park was crowded with dogs and kites and humans. The only birds seen were Ravens and Crows. Behind the Seabreeze Market were gulls and godwits and egrets and canada geese – and the missing meadowlarks.


Two new BYB’s today – a gorgeous black Capped Chickadee and a Sooty Fox Sparrow, both viwsiting the upper deck.


Lake Temescal

Another lovely rainy day – the Ruddy Ducks are now in full breeding plumage and quite lovely. The Pied Bill Grebe chicks are almost full grown. The Coots are looking handsome with their black heads and white bills contrasting with their grey bodies. Mallards are also looking good. It was a surprise to see a pair of Buffleheads and a pair of very good looking Canvasbacks. Two DC Cormorants and the usual flocks of gulls and Rock Doves were seen as well as both an adult and a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron. Anna’s Hummers are getting territorial and one Song Sparrow staked a claim to a comfortable reed.


Cesar Chavez Park

A rainy day – at last! Make that a rainy, 6 rainbow day at that……one mixed flock of sparrows, a large flock of ravens as well as Mr. and Mrs. Resident Raven and one Harrier Hawk and two Ring billed Gulls.


The Towhee family hiding from the rain on the deck, a Song Sparrow singing from the wires, the Robin flock was in the lower oaks with just a single Robin visiting the deck. The Stellars were here and a single Scrub Jay visited the suet feeder, which  the *!&%!* squirrel knocked down THREE times.


Cesar Chavez Park and Ashby Beach

A single Savannah Sparrow, a Great Blue Heron and Mr. and Mrs Raven and a buzz-by hummer were the only birds seen in the park. The Red Tail was on a lampost on University. The tide was very, very low and the Wigeons and Buffleheads and a single young Western Grebe were hunting close to shore, Scaup farther out Mallards flew over again, along with 3 Canada Geese. Saw two Great Egrets at Ashby and a Snowy Egret at Seabreeze along with LOTS of Ring Bills.


The Bewick’s Wren made another visit to the deck and a good sized flock of Robins were playing tag in the oaks below. One Robin (very handsome!) made a visit to the deck for a drink. A single Band Tailed Pigeon has visited once or twice. The Towhee family are regulars – I think there are five now. One Red Breasted Nuthatch at the suet, 2 Chickadees and both Titmice were present. A pair of Goldfinches had the thistle to themselves. A single Scrub Jay was around and a single Stellar’s Jay vied with the squirrels to see who could eat the most sunflower seeds. The plum trees are blooming, camelias are in full show and the magnolias are opening.


Ashby Beach

The lonely coot has finally been joined by its flockmates. Scaups, Buffleheads, Western Grebes, American Wigeons also on the water. Mallards, Canadian Geese, Ring Billed Gulls and a single Great Egret were doing flyovers. A Red Tail watched from the lamp post.

Ashby Beach

Scaups, Buffleheads, Western Grebes, American Wigeons, Mallards, Canadian Geese, Ring Billed Gulls, American Crows, Sanderlings, and the single American Coot again present. Wigeons were very close to shore, as was an Eared Grebe.


Ashby Beach

Scaups, Buffleheads, Western Grebes, American Wigeons, Mallards, Canadian Geese, Ring Billed Gulls, American Crows, Sanderlings, and a single American Coot were all present and accounted for.


Ben and Yeung’s wedding is fast approaching and I am off to Brazil for the festivities – so no posts until my return at the end of the month.


Ashby Beach

2-4-PM, Still summertime in the middle of winter

Low tide, 2 Scaup pairs a young Western Grebe and 4 Buffleheads were diving close to shore, keeping Puccini company as he swam his laps. Saw only a single Sanderling flying by today. The Ring Bills were looking for handouts and 6 Canadian Geese and 1 DC Cormorant flew over. One lonely Brown Pelican flew from Berkeley marina to Emery Point.


Ashby Beach

2-4 PM, another summer day in January (scary!)

Low tide, Scaups and Buffleheads remained too far out to see well. 1 Western Grebe was fishing close to shore, 3 Sanderlings were picking and running at water’s edge. Two Ring Bills and 1 DC Cormorant flew over. The Peregrine was on the light post at Emery Point.


Cesar Chavez Park, Sea Breeze, Frontage Road

2-4 PM

We had 1 Red shouldered Hawk on the light post on the way in, 3 Meadow Larks (surprisingly in the meadow), a partially demolished squirrel carcass near the big flax – (courtesy of a dog? a White Tailed Kite? the Harriers?)  A very cooperative Savannah Sparrow grazed (?) for a good 15 minutes about 10 feet from our shady spot on the grass and the Peregrine and a Mourning Dove on light posts on the way out. SeaBreeze had 20 Canadian Geese, 1 Snowy Egret , and many gulls. The diving ducks were present at Ashby Beach and Emery Point. 1 Great Blue Heron was standing squirrel patrol beside the Ashby on ramp.


Cesar Chavez Park, Sea Breeze, Frontage Road


Must have been nap time for birds – 1 Raven, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Black Phoebe, 1 peregrine on the light post on the way out, the usual Ring Billed Gulls and that was it for Chavez. Seabreeze had 5 Canada Geese, 2 Snowy Egrets, 1 Great Egret and lots of gulls. The Scaup, Buffleheads and Golden Eye flocks were present at Ashby Beach and Emery Point.


Ashby Beach

Sunny and warm again – a barefoot day

15 Sanderlings worked the shoreline, a Western Grebe dove repeatedly very close to shore, 4 Buffleheads floated fairly close in – the larger flocks stayed out too far to I.D. Ring Bills flew back and forth between Emery Point and Seabreeze. The Red Shouldered Hawk chose a light post along the frontage road.



Cesar Chavez Park and  frontage road

Very warm and sunny, another record breaker

A Red Shouldered Hawk was surveying the Seabreeze pond from the street lamp and the Harrier pair was scouting the big meadow. The Meadow Larks (30) were gleaning in the grasses and the House Finches (15) adorned various shrubs. Two Savannah Sparrows provided alerts each time a dog wandered near as they quickly departed. Ring Billed Gulls and the Raven pair also provided conversation. Along the frontage road were the usual flocks of Scaup, Bufflehead, Golden Eyes, Wigeons and Western Grebes. A Great Blue Heron hunted near the shoreline.


Ashby Beach

Wigeons continue, as well as the Western Grebes, and hundreds of Scaup, Coots, Golden Eyes, and Buffleheads rested and dove fairly close to shore. The Ring Billed Gulls were shouting for the man that often feeds them and the Sanderlings were scooting along the shoreline. A Great Egret hunted near the old pier posts and 5 Canadian Geese gathered on the grass beside the on-ramp.


Ashby Beach

12-2 PM, Sunny and warm, tide fairly high, bringing the birds in close to shore.

12 American Wigeons, 3 Coots, 6 Western Grebes,1 Brown Pelican, 1 Forster’s Tern,  Buffleheads, Scaup and Goldeneye flocks were further out. 8 Sanderlings were patrolling the surf line. Driving west on the frontage road were 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Great Egret and many gulls.



Cesar Chavez Park

Summer in January – sunny and warm, low, low tide! 2-4PM

1 WT Kite perched on last year’s nest tree, 1 Harrier leaving as we arrived, 2 DC Cormorants, 7 House Finches sunbathing on various shrubs, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Snowy Egret, and 1 Great Egret hunting with many gulls and Willets on the mud flats, 2 Crows, Scaup, Bufflehead, Golden Eye flocks persist.


2 Towhees, 3 Goldfinches, 1 Song Sparrow



Cesar Chavez Park

Sunny with a cool breeze, 12-2pm

A pair of Harriers hunting together with occasional aerial displays, a pair of Ravens foraging in the compost, the House finches reappeared en masse, but the small pine was occupied by one of the Ravens, so the finches made do with a leafless shrub. The Meadow Lark flock seems to have grown to about 30 and the males are sporting their handsome yellow jackets. Two Savannah sparrows, 2 DC Cormorants, 2 Canadian Geese, 3 Crows and the usual Gulls and ducks and the resident blue Heron finished up the tally.

A sorrel like leafy plant had 3 white 5 petaled blossoms.


Six Goldfinches, 4 Lesser, 2 American were rapidly emptying the thistle feeder, the Chickadees (2) were gleaning in the oaks, The Towhees were cleaning up the Deck and the Bewick’s Wren appeared on the deck and then had a nibble at the suet feeder.


Alameda Shoreline

Partly cloudy

2 Willets, 1 Avocet, 20+ Coots, 1 Eared Grebe, 1 Bufflehead, 15 Crows, 1 Raven, 2 Mallards, Gulls, Many Peeps too far to ID, tide remains really low.

Herring spawn predicted for January 18th.


Cesar Chavez, SeaBreeze Market

Sunny and warmer, low, low tide

The House Finches (20 today) embellished the little pine again, the Meadow Lark flock was zipping from here to there -  carefully avoiding the happy dogs. The Kite was hovering near the shoreline and a Savannah Sparrow did its low zoom from hillock to hillock. Three White Crowned Sparrows conversed with a single Golden Crown. I heard some calling from above and looked up to see two grand white V’s side by side against the bright blue cloudless sky…Snow Geese, heading north.


Mostly sunny, low,low,low tide

Cesar Chavez, SeaBreeze Market, Frontage Road

12 House Finches looking like holiday decorations with their suits sitting in a row on top of a small pine, 15 Meadow Larks, 1 White Tailed Kite, 2 model airplanes, 1 Turkey Vulture, same flocks of Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads and Scaup sp., Ring Billed Gulls, 2 DC Cormorants, 1 GC Sparrow, 2 Snowy Egrets, 1 Great Egret, 15 Canada Geese, 1 Peregrine Falcon on light post at Powell.


Just the squirrel on the suet feeder – again!



Cesar Chavez and SeaBreeze Market

Cloudy, light rain

1 Savannah Sparrow, 5 Ravens, 1 Great Blue Heron, Ruddy Ducks and Buffleheads, 30 Canada Geese,

50+ Gulls, 3 Great Egrets, same flocks of Bufflehead, Scaup,W. Grebes etc. at Ashby Beach, 1 Peregrine Falcon on California Hotel


2 California Towhees, 3 Ravens doing aerial displays



Cesar Chavez Park

Sunny and cool, 2-4PM

2 Great Blue Herons, 1 Black Phoebe, 1 Northern Harrier (female), 30 Ruddy Ducks, 4 Buffleheads,

1 White Crowned Sparrow, 15 Canada Geese, 2 American Crows (adult feeding fledgling), many California and Ring billed Gulls


2 Am. Goldfinches, 1 CB Chickadee, 2 Stellars Jays, 2 Califonia Towhees, 1 Raven



Cesar Chavez Park

2-4 PM, sunny and cool

1 House Finch, 3 Meadow Larks, 2 Ravens, 1 WC Sparrow, 7 Gulls

SeaBreeze Market

15 Canada Geese, 50-60 Gulls, 1 Willet

(Same flocks of Bufflehead, Scaup,W. Grebes etc. at Ashby Beach)

1 Peregrine Falcon on lightpost along 880


1 CB Chickadee, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Oregon Junco, 2 California Towhees, 1 Bewick’s Wren (I think)



Cesar Chavez Park

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Partly cloudy, breezy

20+ Meadow Larks,

30+ mixed flock WC Sparrows, GC Sparrows, House Finches, 10 Canada Geese, 1 Great Egret, Gulls

(Same flocks of Bufflehead, Scaup,W. Grebes etc. at Ashby Beach)

Rain overnight and in a.m., partly cloudy p.m.

3 American Gold Finches, 1 Oregon Junco, 1 Oak Titmouse, 2 California Towhees



Ashby Beach

2:00 -3:30 PM  Partly cloudy, breezy, chilly

500+ Scaup sp., 2 Western Grebe, 2 Pied Bill grebe, 1 Redhead, 2 DC Cormorant, 6 Buffleheads,

15 Canada Geese, 1 Red Tail Hawk, 3 Ring Billed Gulls, 1 Foresters Tern, 2 California Gulls, 2 Sanderling, 3 Ravens, 1 Barn Swallow


Mostly foggy

4 California Towhees, 2 CB Chickadees, 1 Stellars Jay

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