Black Swifts and others Point San Pablo 9/29

Ethan Monk

Hi All,

A bit of a late post, and a somewhat shorter one than normal. I birded Point San Pablo Sunday (as well as a few other spots in Richmond which I won't cover here). Winds NW about 7mph and clear skies in the hours I was there, about 6:30-9. About 15 flickers and 30 scrub-jays were in direct flight travelling N to the tip of the point, and then departing over the bay towards Marin all morning. 3 Black Swifts were the highlight of the morning, which came in from the NE about 8am and flew directly over my head at the top of signal hill, and were in view for about 15 seconds as they flew over the bay directly towards Mt. Tam. My photos are poor, and admittedly don't particularly resemble Black Swifts, but the birds were clear in my binoculars (and with my naked eyes)--large, all black, heavy weight swifts, flapping with deep strokes over my head and then across the bay. By the time my camera was out, the birds were practically specks on the horizon. Some other highlights: 3 Pine Siskins and 2 Red-breasted Sapsuckers flew over heading South, as did a flock of 5 actively migrating Yellow Warblers, and 2 Chipping Sparrows were hanging around by the water/oil tanks. It was also a good movement day for Fox Sparrows, with a conservatively estimated 27 birds roaming around the area between the water tanks and the marina, alone. Multiple were singing. Interestingly, all White-crowned Sparrows I took a close look at were Gambel's (this should/might? change soon, the wintering birds appear to be mainly pugetensis).
Throughout the morning, depending what you consider a migrant I tallied maybe 100-130 migrating birds?
Full checklist here:

Good birding,