SF County list, Heron's Head, winter bats

Peter Pyle

Greetings all -

Inspired by observing three new birds for my Farallon list from a
Shearwater Journey's trip last fall (gannet, collared-dove, Ruddy Duck),
and at the risk of grumbling in my general direction, being regarded a
cheater, etc., I dusted off my SF County list recently to see what I might
pick up on the city side of the pond, and I have joined this fine list to
keep in the loop.

My Farallon list is at 364 and it's an interesting cadre of species that I
can pick up for the list in the city. I counted 16 that I had previously
seen in SF proper but not on the Farallones (corvids, woodpeckers, hawks,
chickadee, quail, etc.) and have since picked up two on the SF count,
Great-tailed Grackle and Great Horned Owl, as an indication of the sort of
species yet missing from the list. I don't plan a trip across the bridge
simply for a tick, but when I'm down for something else anyway, I might
try and target a few more things.

Today my wife and I visited Heron's Head Park for the first time and I can
see why there is general excitement about it, not just for the birds but
for the great habitat restoration and other eco-promotion that is
happening there. There was a good collection of gulls (7 species) and
shorebirds (at least 7 species), including 3 Black-necked Stilts, a new
species for my county list. No Clapper Rails today, which would also be an
SF bird, but it only gives me a great excuse to return the next time we're
down. Following this we crossed the city via GG Park and Lloyd Lake, where
the fine Hooded Mergansers accounted for #384.

I've enjoyed the bat discussion and had no idea that bats were so uncommon
in SF and San Mateo. Josiah, my impression is that Hoary Bats should be
primarily south of the border at this time of year, but that the other
local Lasiurus, Red Bat, may be more likely along the coast in January. At
the exact same time you were looking at your bat I had what was most
likely a Big Brown Bat flying around above Fairfax, also in the sunset
glow. Here in Marin bats seem to come out in winter whenever the
temperatures warm up a bit, and I've noted Myotis, Red Bat, Big Brown,
Mexican Free-tailed (I think) and lots of unidentified bats at this time
of year.


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