6/27/10 : breeding notes etc. in the SE

Dominik Mosur

Did a tour of the Southeast side of the city this morning (7:10 - 10:30 a.m.) starting at Bayview Hill - Candlestick SRA - Yosemite Slough/Double Rock - Heron's Head/India Basin finishing with 54 total species (a pretty good total for the area covered considering the time of year.)

Most interesting was the presence of a female LAZULI BUNTING with a begging juvenile in tow on the steep grassy hillside on the Southwest side of Bayview Hill. I hadn't noted this species here since mid-May although Adam Winer did have a female on the hill 6/13/10/, but it appears that they pulled of a successful breeding attempt.

Other stuff of local interest:

GREATER SCAUP (m,f in the Bay off Double Rock)
SURF SCOTER (2m, 2f " )
RUDDY DUCK (alt m, " )
BUFFLEHEAD (continuing at HHP)
COMMON LOON (basic, off Candlestick point, continuing summering bird) )
PELAGIC CORMORANT (2 at end of Heron's Head pier)
BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS (6 flying together high over Candlestick Rec area then Yosemite Slough then out over bay, a 7th was on Double Rock, another pair was at HHP along with the now nearly full grown chick)
MARBLED GODWIT (HHP, very worn, likely summering locally)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (2 over Bayview Hill, never confirmed but suspected of breeding in the area)

SAVANNAH SPARROW (2, HHP a good distance apart could represent two separate territories and possibly breeding here, one was singing repeatedly. I also heard a probable 3rd Savannah Sparrow giving chips from some bunchgrasses in the Candlestick Parking lot that is due to be developed for condos in the future)

There was a Common Buckeye butterfly in the Candlestick lot as well.

There has been much talk in recent months on SFBirds about Nuttall's White-crowned Sparrow (our endemic breeding sub-species) and efforts to restore their breeding habitat in Golden Gate Park and other parts of the city. However Bryant's Savannah Sparrow (a California species of special concern) has been entirely ignored it seems. In contrast to the White-crown of which there are dozens if not hundreds of breeding pairs left in the city, the Savannah Sparrow is down to a handful of breeding pairs at most and its habitat is imperiled by proposed "re-development" of the baylands in southeast San Francisco.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

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