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Directions to 5199 Clifton Court Rd
Byron, CA 94514

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of 5199 Clifton Court Rd
Byron, CA 94514

Link to More info on Snow Bunting

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Clifton Court Forebay is near the south eastern corner of Contra Costa county, Calif., near Byron.

Forebay access is via Clifton Court Rd off of Byron Hwy (Hwy J4). There is a gravel parking lot at the end of Clifton Court Rd.

As far as I could tell, for the most part the bird appeared to be working the levee slope (the side facing the Clifton Court Forebay water) between the gravel parking lot area and further to the north, moving frequently. But at one point it was also spotted in the grassy area near the parking lot, so I wouldn't completely rule out the grassy area between the paved levee and the dirt road. (Sorry I can't be more specific -- I told you it was very frustrating to re-locate!) At least the bird was fairly noticeable because of the white (and black and some tan) plumage. The last I saw of the bird was at around 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2004, and it was seen flying to the west south west direction from the parking area, and appeared to land in the restricted area on the south side of Clifton Court Rd., but still near the water. (See above map).

Update Feb. 28, 2004:

Online reports and Northern California Bird Box messages indicated that the Snow Bunting continued this morning, Feb 28, as early as 8 a.m. and at least as late as 11:30 a.m. (Not sure about the afternoon.) The bird was seen  in the above-described levee area, but at about 1/8 miles to perhaps 1/4 miles from the gravel parking lot. Check levees as well as the grassy area. At least some reported this morning that the bird was on the side of the dirt road (dirt levee), which parallels the paved levee. (The two levees parallel each other, between which is a grassy area.)

Update Feb. 29, 2004:

(I'm told) the bird continued this morning, seen in the grassy area near the gravel parking lot, as well as on the levee nearby, affording good views by birders present. It flew away at around noon to the inaccessible (restricted) area south of Clifton Court Rd. [I got there at around 12:30 p.m.] The bird was re-located at around 1:45 p.m. on the paved levee not far from the parking area (~3 minute walk?), and it continued on the levee top and sometimes on the levee slope (water-side) until it flew away at around 2:30 p.m., back toward the general direction of the parking area. (I left there shortly thereafter, so I'm not sure after that.)

Update March 1, 2004:

Online reports indicated that in spite of the rain as well as very strong winds in the afternoon, the Snow Bunting heroically continued in the previously described areas not far from the gravel parking lot, both in the morning as well as in the afternoon. (Not all birders were able to see the bird, however, depending on the timings of their arrivals and departures.)

Update March 2, 2004:

An online report indicated that, under the clear sky this morning at 10 a.m., the Snow Bunting continued at the previously reported area about 5 telephone poles away from the gravel parking lot, on the side of dirt road (dirt levee).

[Note about references to "dirt levee/dirt road" above: Actually it is more like gravel, certainly not just dirt. Maybe I should have called it "outer levee of reservoir" to be clearer.]

Last updated: 03/02/2004  (No more daily updates.)