Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 16, 2015

Birding Arrowhead Marsh 7/15/15

Yesterday I went on the Golden Gate Audubon Field trip to Arrowhead Marsh at Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline at low tide. The highlight of the morning was watching a number of Ridgway’s Rails who were walking around the mudflats relatively close to the group. Probably the best and longest views I have had of them. There were also a large number of shorebirds for so early in season including Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs , Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Marbled Godwit, and Least Sandpiper. The group saw a total of 39 species. Also seen were a Harbor Seal, Ray and Ground Squirrels.

Here are links to photos of the rails taken by one of the participants:

Click read more to see full bird list

Arrowhead Marsh Bird List 7/15/15
Canada Goose  20
Mallard  25
Lesser Scaup  2
Common Goldeneye  1     possibly ill; I saw him once earlier 10 days ago.  Alone for both sightings; 1st day, frantic preening on his back with his bill. Today, he was first seen alone in the water, and then resting on shore.
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Brown Pelican  12
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret  2
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ridgway’s Rail  4
Black-necked Stilt  11
American Avocet  8
Black-bellied Plover  2
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  3
Willet  20
Lesser Yellowlegs  4
Marbled Godwit  22
Least Sandpiper  15
Western Gull  4
Glaucous-winged Gull  1
Least Tern  1
Caspian Tern  1
Forster’s Tern  8
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Black Phoebe  12
American Crow  2
Violet-green Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  28
Cliff Swallow  26
Marsh Wren  1
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Song Sparrow  6     Ones sparrow had a whiter head than song, white stripes, smaller, head greyer
House Finch  2

View this checklist online at


  1. […] Birding Arrowhead Marsh 7/15/15 […]


  2. Dear Mr. Steinman,
    I had wandrered in Arrow Head in Spring just to look for the rails and shore birds, there was nothing but the heat ! May be wrong time/tide & wrong spot. Would you please share/advice me the time & spot (trails, section…) for the Ridway’s rails and advice me any other close-by birding heaven . I live two hours away to the Bay.
    By the way, I appreciate your wonderful informative links to the outdoor/nature life, I have used them to establish my horizontal view. Thank you, thank you !
    Hung Hoang


    • The area where we saw the Rails was opposite the parking area near the observation tower. It was low tide. Usually I have seen rails at high tide.
      The other area I have seen rails is along Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline about a mile from the parking area (near the dog park).
      My favorite East Bay Birding areas include:
      Pt. Isabel
      Eastshore State Park in Emeryville and Berkeley
      Albany Mudflats
      Lake Merritt
      Upper San Leandro Reservoir ( East Bay Mud Lands requiring an easy to get permit)
      Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline
      Else Roemer Bird Sanctuary in Alameda

      I would encourage you to use eBird to see what birds people are seeing in each location and when they are seeing them. It is a great resource.


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