local interest (long, no vagrants) 12/2/09

Dominik Mosur

Checked the birdy (east) side of Lafayette Park this morning with Pat McCulloch from 8-8:30 a.m.

Of interest (to me) were:
lutescens spp. ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER (probably a wintering bird)
Townsend's Warbler (m,f giving great looks from 5-10 feet away in a Coast Live Oak)
Yellow-rumped Warblers (at least 10, all the ones we got looks at were Audubon's)
Fox Sparrow (2)
GC Sparrow (2 unseen, singing birds)
Downy Woodpecker (f)
Hermit Thrush (2)
American Robin

At least a dozen American Crows mobbing a Common Raven are not a common sight at this park according to Pat who birds here regularly. Also seen were year round residents like Pygmy Nuthatches (8), CB Chickadees, Black Phoebe, DE Juncos and a Red-masked Parakeet.

Earlier (around 7:45 a.m.) I saw a Cooper's Hawk fly out of a New Zealand Christmas Tree near the intersection of Franklin and Golden Gate (across the street from the Unemployment office.) It looked like a juv., perhaps the same bird Pat has seen outside his window a few blocks away.

A stop at newly restored Buena Vista Park (8:45-9 a.m.) yielded several calling GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLETS in the treetops. I did manage a quick look at a male but others (perhaps 2-3) went unseen.

At lunch time I took a quick tour of Mt. Davidson (11:15-12:15 p.m.) Notable here were:

American Kestrel (male, on the eucalyptus snag)
Red-tailed Hawks (pair, soaring, displaying)
Hairy Woodpecker (m, this is one of the few spots in the city that I know of where this species breeds)
Steller's Jay (2)
HOUSE WREN (probably continuing/wintering)
a Dendroica flock of over 60 birds (mostly A.'s YRWAs but also at least 8 Townsend's)
Purple Finch (female, w/House Finches)

Driving back to the Randall over Twin Peaks:
American Kestrel (female, hovering over south side grasslands)

Finally as I pulled back into the Randall Museum parking lot I saw "our" wintering male Kes perched in the top of a pine. Three Kestrels in one hour in SF is uncommon in my experience excluding fly-overs during prime time raptor migration.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur

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