.Last Sunday we drove over to Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland, which is one of the best winter birding sites in California. Unfortunately, it was a little early in the year and so we saw a comparatively small range of birds.
The most common water birds there were Western Grebes.
I didn't spot any Clark's or Eared Grebes but there were a few Horned Grebes.
As everywhere we went on our trip, there were Ring-billed and California Gulls aplenty.
An American Pipit was busily beating a large bug to death on a picnic table.
Apart from some Golden-crowned Sparrows, the best bird we saw was a Burrowing Owl. If we had seen no other birds, getting good views of a Burrowing Owl would have made the trip worthwhile!
After Arrowhead, we went over to Lake Merritt, which is also in Oakland. Again it was rather early in the year for this site but we still saw some good birds. The lake had lots of Double-crested Cormorants as well as a colony of Great and Snowy Egrets.
Some young Black-crowned Night Herons allowed us to walk up within a few feet of them.
A Cedar Waxwing looked stunning as it paid a quick visit to the same trees.
Another tree had a Townsend's Warbler.
Our final views were of a bunch of Dark-eyed Juncos grazing in the grass.