Date: 1/27/18 8:37 am
From: John Sterling <jsterling...> [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [EBB_Sightings] Contra Costa county 1/17 WINTER WREN, Hooded Oriole
I looked for the Wren a couple of days ago and heard what I think was a Pacific Wren at that location. I discussed it with Logan. There may be two different birds there so Logan is sending his recording to friends at Cornell to see what they think.

Sent from my iPhone

John Sterling
530 908-3836
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

> On Jan 18, 2018, at 10:13 AM, Logan Kahle <logan...> [EBB_Sightings] <EBB_Sightings-noreply...> wrote:
> Hi All,
> Had a fun day bouncing around some of my favorite Contra Costa county patches yesterday in mostly foggy weather.
> Off to a late start in the morning, I decided to cover my newly-found favorite Richmond hotspot, Point San Pablo. It was decently active overall, but activity was patchier than I am used to for this spot. Several sections (e.g. the area just north of the county park) that are normally full of birds were completely quiet. Highlights included:
> Northern Pintail-1 is a scarce bird on bayside CoCo
> Pelagic Cormorant-2
> Red-shouldered Hawk-1 immature was a good bird here
> Black-bellied Plover-27
> Black Turnstone-7
> Dunlin-83
> Least Sandpiper-17
> Western Sandpiper-6
> Spotted Sandpiper-1
> Willet-1
> Allen's Hummingbird-1 was one of several today. This species seems to have arrived in good quantities in the past few days
> Red-breasted Nuthatch-1 at the county park
> Brown Creeper-1 in the oaks, where the species does not breed
> WINTER WREN-1 (see below)
> Orange-crowned Warbler-2
> Townsend's Warbler-1
> Pine Siskin-1
> Full eBird checklist here:
> A little bit of background and commentary about the Winter Wren. If you are not interested in chasing this bird you can skip the next five paragraphs. In case there was any confusion this is referring to the nominate eastern species, a rare vagrant to California, and not to our resident Pacific Wrens. Two weeks ago, on 1/2, in the afternoon, Augie Kramer and I were birding around the Railroad tracts that run out of the Marina when I heard a bird that sounded to me like a Winter Wren. However, the bird was distant, quiet, and seemed to shut up for long periods of time. At least at that distance and at that time, it did not respond to playback. My recording attempts were unsuccessful. Furthermore, there was a flag chinking right next to us, and I couldn't fully distinguish if the sound was a Winter Wren or the flag (!) Anyway, today upon pulling off at the top of the hill, I was shocked to hear the bird calling right next to the road. I got some recordings, played a bit of playback, and the bird came right in, calling aggressively. I only got a very fleeting glimpse of the bird, and nothing that could have aided in the ID. However, it was calling persistently for over 15 minutes.
> Pending acceptance by the CBRC, this would represent the first Contra Costa and East Bay record, bringing the county list up to 369 species NIB. Thanks to John Sterling and Rob Fowler for ID confirmation in the field.
> Now notes on chasing and seeing the bird. If more than 3 or so people are chasing this birds at the same time, parking will be a small issue. There is a single pulloff (pulloff 1) very near the wren spot. This spot can hold 1, possibly 2, cars. Other than that there is a second pulloff (pulloff 2) about a quarter mile down farther up the road. This can hold another couple cars. Another 150 yards farther up road there is another, slightly larger pulloff (pulloff 3). This can probably hold 3 cars or so. If all of these spots are full, there is also parking in the Marina. However, keep in mind the Marina is technically private. I have talked with the owner and warned her of potential visitors but if you do find yourself needing to use the Marina parking please 1) be courteous of the homeowners and 2) park only in the lot that runs east-west. The lot that runs north-south past the railroad tracks are for homeowners only. These spots have been outlined at the following map: Again, this will only be an issue if more than a couple people are chasing this bird at the same time which (given that its in Contra Costa) may be unlikely..
> As for seeing/hearing the bird, this bird has so far been extremely skulky. Anyone wishing a good view will likely have to bring some patience. It has so far been seen at two locations. Those spots are both visible on the above map. The bird seems to range quite a bit up and down the blackberry/willow ravine. The bird's vocal activity seems to correspond with time of day.. In the morning the bird seems quite vocal, but in the afternoon much less so. The bird can remain quiet for many minutes on end. I ask that playback be used sparingly if at all to ensure the bird doesn't get "taped out". If the bird does stop responding to playback, managing a view could be nearly impossible. So, if you must used playback, please try to keep it to just a few rounds.
> Also, for anyone chasing this bird I strongly recommend checking out the whole area (Point San Pablo) on your visit. The place is huge, full of birds, and ludicrously under-covered. A map with my top favorite birding spots on the peninsula can be seen here:
> Recordings of the bird can be found here:
> Anyway, back to the birding I continued on to Miller/Knox. Landbird activity was decent as was the pond, but the bay was deader than usual. Highlights during the brief visit included:
> Eurasian Wigeon-4 (3 males and a female)
> Common Loon-1
> Osprey-1
> Cooper's Hawk-1
> White-throated Swift-10
> Allen's Hummingbird-1
> Orange-crowned Warbler-1
> Full eBird checklist here:
> I proceeded to Canal Boulevard, where a flyby Red-throated Loon was the soul highlight. Full eBird checklist here:
> From there I headed over to the S 51st st entrance to the Bay trail and Meeker slough. At this point it was already high tide, and so shorebirds were concentrated near the breakwater at meeker. Interestingly, though, the high tide roost seemed to consist almost entirely of avocets. Shorebirds numbers included:
> American Avocet-400
> Marbled Godwit-1
> Black Turnstone-3
> Least Sandpiper-1
> Full eBird checklist here:
> Blasting east I stopped at waterbird regional preserve. The water levels were high and while shorebirds seemed nonexistant, diving duck numbers were high and dabblers were average. Highlights included:
> Mute Swan-1 was more of a lowlight
> Ring-necked Duck-2 were uncommon here, perhaps early migrants?
> Glaucous-winged Gull-1
> Great-tailed Grackle-6
> Full eBird checklist here:
> Heading on to east county I stopped first at Jersey Island mostly prospecting for potential shorebird habitat revitalized by recent rains. No joy. No real highlights here to mention, but the full eBird checklist can be seen here
> Proceeding to Bethel, the habitat was much improved from a visit two days ago. The hole field south of harbor east of bethel island road was flooded and had plentiful ducks and shorebirds. I checked the fields, Piper Slough, Franks Tract, willowest marina. Duck numbers on Franks Tract and piper were decent but not exceptional. Highlights here included:
> Mute Swan-26 present where this species used to be rare. Disheartening to see these invasive creatures spread through the county over time
> Ring-necked Pheasant-7 was the most I have seen in the county at one time. Possibly indicates release?
> American Coot-7800 is their regular concentration here
> Black-necked Stilt-7
> Least Sandpiper-60
> Wilson's Snipe-3
> Greater Yellowlegs-11
> Lesser Yellowlegs-2
> Mew Gull-1
> Western Gull-1
> ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD-1 the population at Willowest Marina has returned on time with the rest of the county's populations
> Merlin-1
> House Wren-1
> Orange-crowned Warbler-1
> HOODED ORIOLE-1 adult male at Willowest Marina may represent the only winter record for the county away from the clifton birds.
> I ended the day with a quick stop at Byron WTP. Unfortunately time commitments thwarted my attempt to end at Clifton Court, but this stop was nonetheless productive. The fields south of the ponds, sporadically flooded, were flooded now and brimming with birds, including a very diverse (5 species) goose flock. Highlights here included:
> Snow Goose-5
> Ross's Goose-1
> Greater White-fronted Goose-1
> Cackling Goose-2
> Canvasback-1
> Hooded Merganser-1
> Black-necked Stilt-6
> Long-billed Curlew-103 was a nice count for the county
> Wilson's Snipe-2
> Greater Yellowlegs-1
> Herring Gull-7
> Iceland (Thayer's) Gull-1
> Horned Lark-5
> Full eBird checklist here:
> Anyway, was nice to bounce around the county once again, and had a nice total of 128 species, a good count considering it was only a 7 hour day and I didn't cover any interior areas, hence missing birds like Oak Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, etc
> Good birding,
> Logan Kahle
> San Francisco, CA

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