|Warbling Vireo sporting "drab midsummer" look?|
The overlooked splendors, the inappreciable treasures, the small miracles, perhaps, of a gem of a "park" in our backyard. Accessible by bike from my North Berkeley home, I'm there in forty minutes, dialed in to endless trails for choice, secluded birding spots. There being grueling mountain bike rides to ridge tops hoping to spot Meadowlarks or Horned Larks, certain to see Red-tails circling or an American Kestrel perched on a fence post.
|First sighting of Warbling Vireo - note seasonal (?) difference|
In earlier times, I neglected to appreciate the hills above Berkeley, living as I did below the Oakland hills, always off to Redwood Regional Park or somewhere farther to the southeast. Today, it's a sanctuary, a get-away, a must-do / must have place of spiritual retreat where I go to wind down and just take a long slow look around. Instagram that! Perhaps my affinity owes itself more to proximity and ease of access than to - blasphemy! it being a very beautiful place and ecological wonderland. (After all, where else does a car-free couple have to go?) But now that I know what I know, and being a birder on top of it, I designate this little parcel of protected land, with a creek running through it, to be a V.S.P. - very special place!
|See the two Flycatchers! Who / which?|
|Up close of one of the pair of unID'd Flycatchers|
|Black Phoebe taking a rest from day's feeding activities|
Also seen along Blue Gum Trail - several large male Toms; Anna's Hummingbirds; Crows; Spotted Towhees and - what Mr. Smayles referred to as "Rufous-sided" ones; Golden-crowned Sparrow flocks (ground-feeding as usual).
Around the lake, including the marshy pond area, I see the Wilson's Warblers; Ruby-crowned Kinglets; Steller's Jays; Red-shouldered Hawks; Varied Thrush (!); Adult Male Green-backed Lesser Goldfinches; Black Phoebes; Warbling Vireo; Pacific-slope Flycatcher; Chestnut-backed Chickadees; Bushtits; Brown Creepers; Northern Flicker; Juncos; Mallards; Geese; Buffleheads; Acorn Woodpeckers; and some unID'd flycatchers performing aerial antics over the replenished lake surface, then landing to roost like a pair of love birds in willow branches. Who are you, my friends? I cannot ID you by the book.
|Turtle's-eye view of things|
|John Smayles (sp?)|
Enjoy my other posts on Jewel Lake / Tilden Nature Area / Wildcat Creek @
September 4, 2002
June 3, 2014
July 25, 2014
November 17, 2014
December 11, 2014