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  1. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Thanks Chris - there's nothing like clean air, early morning light and still water to make birds look brilliant. Unfortunately that was all the birding I got on this trip, and it looks like it may be all the Conference Birding for a good while given the way the Coronavirus is affecting global...
  2. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    The rail was an absolute trooper, and continues a good run of Conference Birding rails that rather improbably includes Bogota Rail and Sora in November, and Plumbeous Rail in Lima in May. Out on San Leandro Bay I was pleased to find both Black-necked and Slavonian Grebes - that latter...
  3. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Thanks Chris. It's always special when a bird unexpectedly grabs your attention. I also feel a strong sense of privilege when connecting with a bird that breeds in some impossibly bleak and remote corner of the globe I'll probably never see - in this case the Yukon delta. A bit of digging found...
  4. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Thanks Nick Wednesday morning just worked - a bit of online research suggested the Martin Luther King Jr shoreline as a good area within a few minutes Uber ride south of my hotel in the port district of Oakland. The sun was rising over the hills behind me, there was little wind, the tide was...
  5. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    A cracking day indeed and the geese were the icing on the cake. Cedric offered the opportunity to look for Varied Thrush (which I very much still need!)on the way back, but I decided that seeing the geese in such perfect conditions - as opposed to the roaring hoolie in which I normally see them...
  6. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Thanks Chris, Pete and James. Bushtits they were Nutcracker. We still had unfinished business. Within the flock lurked the smaller but otherwise very similar Ross's Goose, which occurs in significantly smaller numbers among the thousands of Snow Geese in the Sacramento Valley each winter...
  7. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Having dipped on the Mountain Plovers we crossed the Sacramento River and followed the levee road clockwise round the low-lying and distinctly estuarine Sherman Island in pursuit of two of my top targets - Snow Goose and Ross's Goose. Before that a brief stop on the Sacramento River produced...
  8. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    Here's a few photos I did not have time to upload before jumping on the flight home: 1. Mixed blackbird flock 2. and 3. California Thrasher 4. Lincoln's Sparrow 5. Here be Rock Wrens (and also Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Black Phoebes and a very large number of Clark's/Western Grebes)...
  9. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    This week's conference takes place in Oakland on the western side of San Fransisco Bay, and stepping off the redeye from Hong Kong I was met for a day's birding by Cedric Duhalde and taken straight to the steep coastal cliffs at Devil's Slide where we almost immediately found my first lifer - a...
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