Miscellaneous morning observations, SF, 06/20/10

Paul Saraceni

This morning I first visited Mt. Davidson, which was up above the fog line. Highlight was an unseen, briefly-singing Grosbeak in the euc forest -- in the same location where I observed 2 male Black-headed Grosbeaks last weekend, which is what I presume this one was. There is precedent for non-nesting Grosbeaks spending June and even early July at Mt. D.

Other observations of local interest:
Red-tailed Hawk 2 ad. & 2 noisy imms. -- local nesters?
Band-tailed Pigeon 4
Hairy Woodecker 1
Steller's Jay 2
Tree Swallow 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 juv. @ 4-trail X -- with some retained patches of downy gray feathers; clearly fledged from nearby
Wilson's Warbler 3 ad. & 4 juvs. -- indicates recent local nesting success
Lesser Goldfinch 2
Pine Siskin 2
W. Fence Lizard 1

I then headed down to the closed south end of the Great Highway for a 1.5 hr seawatch (8:30-10 AM).
Intriguing was a briefly-scoped Murre @ 9:25 AM that appeared to be in non-breeding plumage with an all dark head and face, contrasting white throat above dark upper breast, dark back and wings. The bird was ~100 yards out and bobbing behind waves for a couple of minutes, before it dove and disappeared. At the distance and under the choppy conditions I was unable to detect particular detail on the bill shape or the presence of any white on the mandible.

Observations of local interest:
Surf Soter 4 m. & 2 f.
Common Loon 1 (alt. plumage)
Pacific Loon 1 (basic)
Red-thr. Loon 1 (basic)
Brown Pelican 10+
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Willet 2
Heermann's Gull 5 ad.
Glaucous-winged Gull 1 1st-cycle
Caspian Tern 6
Common Murre 8 (1 group flying N)

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

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