Conversation in the Vineyard.. schedule

This is the schedule of events for the Conservation in the Vineyards program as they stand on Tuesday February 26, 2019.

National Endowment Logo 3

May 2:  6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Arrivals

There will be a reception and hosted cocktail party at the Vineyard Inn. The hospitality room is on the ground floor. Just ask. It won’t be hard to find.

Friday May 3: Various tours as follows.

Breakfast will be ready at 7 AM for the early starters.

8:00 AM – 12 PM. Trophy Room Tour The first van will depart between eight and 8:30 and it will take nearly an hour to arrive at Rich Pierce’s trophy room in Clayton. Box lunch will be provided. Return by noon. (Limited to 20 people)

38 inch mule deer cropped and resized

This 38 1/2 in wide buck is one of the larger bucks in Rich’s collection, maybe not the largest.

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM  Friday Ohlone Conservation Bank. Rob Fletcher will load his truck up with four guests and take them on a tour of the Ohlone Preserve Conservation Bank. This is a great time of year to view butterflies and wildflowers. (Limited to four guests)

11:00 AM Friday: Holm Ranch. Load up and travel to the Holm Ranch where former Livermore Chapter Chair Bob Holm will show you some of the best blacktail habitat in the East Bay Area. He’ll also provide a group of 8 people with a barbecue lunch. (Limited to 8 guests)

Emilee and (dad) Greg Selna Deer

Greg and Emilee Selna with a Holm- Ranch buck killed on a donated youth hunt.

11:00 AM until 4:00 PM Friday. Wine tasting at Livermore Valley wineries. Passes and transportation will be provided.

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Friday Tour a ranch and wind farm with owner Janice Marciel. Come learn about Wildlife Barriers in the Altamont Hills – wind turbines, freeways and aqueducts. The Altamont Hills are home to many threatened and endangered species.

Friday and Saturday Tour Leader Janice Marciel

Janice Marciel will lead a tour of her ranch and wind farm.

Friday Evening 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM McGrail Vineyards

Social gathering at McGrail Vineyards. Hosted McGrail wine, heavy appetizers and a sausage table with some of your favorite venison – deer and elk.

This is a great opportunity to spend time one-on-one with MDF leaders, biologists, and land managers while trying out Livermore wines. Enjoy the fabulous view of the surrounding East Bay hills.

Saturday May 4. Open Space Tour 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM and load up the 4X4 pickups at 8 AM. This will be a caravan into Southeast Alameda County. The tour will be guided by many local experts and MDF supporters.

Here are some of the things you’ll be looking for:




The tour will cover three different management regimes. Although these open space lands may look the same, the underlying management goals are significantly different.

1.  The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission manages watershed lands throughout the Bay Area. Read about it.  SF PUC San Antonio Reservoir

The mission of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is to provide their customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests, and that sustains the resources entrusted to their care.

Tour Leader Clayton Koopmann BIO Clayton third person short version with photo

2. East Bay Regional Park District East Bay Parks Stewardship

More information

Bio Doug Bell Bell_BioV2_2019 one pg

3. Fletcher Conservation Lands FCL web site

What is a private conservation bank?

About Rob Fletcher  Rob Fletcher Manager, FCLands

Joe DiDonato biologist Joe DiDonato bio

Saturday Evening 6:00 PM to 10 PM at Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Poppy Ridge 2014

Sit down and enjoy the views. Choose from four meal options. Hosted bar.

Hear what MDF leaders have to say about the state of MDF, the Endowment Fund, major MDF projects and the future. We will ask for your financial support.

Side by side flyer









Double Band Day

double-banded-mallard.jpg A couple years ago I shot a mallard drake on the last day of the season, as I approached the bird I could see a metal band on its leg. As I lifted it from the water I could see a second band on its other leg. It was late morning and this greenhead was my third of the morning. It was a very appropriate time to call and end to the 2005/06 waterfowl season.

At the time, it was unclear to me why a duck would be banded twice. I found out later, when I reported the find, that the second band was a $100 reward band. I eventually surmised the double “reward” banding was an effort to determine how many banded ducks were being killed and not reported.

I’d guess that my average for bagging banded birds is about one every two years. I’ve been hunting ducks for forty years and I’ve got 11 bands to my credit. However, the bands all been recovered during the last 15 years as during that time frame we’ve hunted on a club that has a high percentage of mallards and mallards are the duck most likely to be banded. I didn’t bag a single banded bird until 1993.

Last week I hunted on a day when the weather was very cold and I found the only spot on our club where the mallards were coming in to feed. It was a seldom-hunted pond that had a lot of watergrass and smartweed. It’s right next to camp and the ducks are typically leery of coming into this pond during daylight, except when it gets cold and they get very hungry, as was the case this day.

By early afternoon I had my limit of mallards and one bull sprig. Sitting down to pluck the birds and relax while watching the others who were still hunting, I realized that one of the mallards was banded. What a pleasant surprise. But the biggest surprise was revealed as I lifted the pintail. It had a band as well. My first banded pintail and also the first time I’ve ever bagged two banded birds in one day.

Once back home I eagerly submitted the numbers to Laurel Maryland over the internet. The sprig was banded in August of ’07 in Alaska and the mallard was banded that same month in Alberta, Canada.

Over the years I’ve bagged a couple other ducks that were banded in Canada with the farthest-banded bird being a snow goose from the Northwest Territories. I once bagged a banded Canada goose that was banded 12 years prior to the date I shot it. In general, most of the banded waterfowl I’ve shot were adults when banded so the age was at least the difference between the date I shot it and when it was banded. The exception was the Canada goose which was too young to fly when banded. Most of the banded mallards I’ve taken were banded in California or Oregon, but two mallard drakes were banded in Alberta..

I’ve found that shooting only greenheads seems to increase the number of banded birds one recovers in California. My guess is that mallards are the duck most often banded and that drakes are preferred because the return from banding will be maximized, so, if you want to collect bands, concentrate on mallards and don’t shoot hens – a good practice anyway.

Here’s a chronological list of my band recoveries, banding locations and dates:

Species                 Band date  Location Banded  Recovery date             

Canada Goose             6/23/81       New Dayton, AB        12/22/93

Mallard Drake              7/29/94       Benicia, CA                10/19/96

Mallard Drake              7/02/94       Benicia, CA                  1/04/07

Lesser Snow Goose     7/12/02       Banks Is. NWT            1/04/03

Mallard Drake              8/30/99       Tilley, AB                   12/29/03

Mallard Drake              8/03/02       Summer Lake, OR       1/25/04

Mallard Drake              7/31/01       Gustine, CA                12/07/05

Mallard Drake              8/10/03       Benicia, CA                  12/2/06

Mallard Drake              6/14/05       Summer Lake, OR      10/20/07

Pintail Drake                 8/8/07         Fairbanks, AK            12/29/07

Mallard Drake              8/8/07         AB                             12/29/07