Date: 12/30/20 1:50 pm From: Chuq Von Rospach via groups.io <chuqui...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Ed Levin Park 12/30 (also east bay hills)
I went out to do some leisurely birding this morning, starting on Marsh Road, driving out Calaveras to the site of the old Bald Eagle tower nest, and then visiting Ed Levin.
Marsh road was pretty quiet bird-wise, with the stream dry waiting for rain and no significant cattle being pastured. That said, I found Acorn Woodpecker groups in three different locations, a number of Kestrels, a nice family of quail and a number of Magpie. I also scared a mule deer and enjoyed listening to a moderately distant coyote calling. The road out Calaveras was also not birdy, but it was nice to see the Acorn Woodpecker family out by where the nest was still going strong in the oaks there.
Ed Levin was quite busy with people, with a full lot at the dog park and lots of fishermen ringing the pond. In a tree in the NW corner of the lake I drove past the Osprey hanging out watching the lake from a perch (and went back to verify the bird). In the lot above and S of the lake I ran into about six photographers all talking to each other about whether the Osprey was still around and whether it would show up. I pointed them at the tree. According to them, the pond was stocked this morning and they expect it to be busier tomorrow.
On the pond was a single white pelican, lots of cormorants and coots, a few mallards and ruddies, and for fun, a single Herring and single California gull. Above the lake I quickly saw the continuing Tree Swallow I found there last visit, and then realized it had a friend. Watching the second swallow for a while, I got a few very nice looks at the bright green on the back glittering in the sunlight, meaning we have both a wintering tree swallow and a wintering violet-green swallow hunting above Sandy Wool. A black-crowned night heron flew out of some rushes when a fisherman settled down too close and crossed the lake to a new roosting spot.
The elm area was also fairly busy, but I had a nice but not unusual selection of little birds to sift through. Highlight would be a Bewick's Wren.
Popped by the Eagle nest on the way home and again found a nest but no birds. Sort of defines 2020 for me.
On the feederwatch side of things, I've had a Pale Adult Male (Oregon) Junco visiting the ground under the feeder for about a week now. I really should try to get photos....
Chuq Von Rospach http://www.chuq.me Email: <chuqui...>
Silicon Valley, California
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