I visited various sites around the Presidio over the past two days, and
found a few fun birds.
In a 20-minute foray to Lobos Dunes, I found a Red-breasted Sapsucker, a
House Wren, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and a
flyover Red-winged Blackbird.
At Funston and Clement, I found my patch bird Orestera Orange-crowned
Warbler contently foraging in the narrow greenbelt behind the building.
In the afternoon around 4:00pm, I visited Crissy Field where I found a
late-flying Broad-winged Hawk being mobbed by crows. It was interesting
to compare the two in size, as the hawk was not all that much bigger.
At the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon, I found a couple Yellow Warblers, my
first two Ring-necked Ducks of the season (an adult male and a
second-year male), and two Aluetian Cackling Geese standing on the
grassy slope just north of the lagoon (and in front of some houses),
completely isolated from the Canadas on the lagoon.
Started the day by leading a walk for San Francisco Nature Education at
El Polin Springs from 10:00 to 11:30. It was incredibly hot, but we
found some interesting birds nonetheless. Among them was three Say's
Phoebes at once, the most I've ever seen in the city outside of the
bayside, a calling Varied Thrush, several House Wrens, a few Lincoln's
Sparrows, a calling Golden-crowned Kinglet and two Aluetian Cackling
Geese flying over with a group of Canada Geese. These may have been the
same geese from the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon.
With sweltering heat and clear skies, I decided to head up to the
Battery Godfry. I was not alone in my thinking, as Hugh and Paul were
already at the spot. In an hour of skywatching, we saw a few Cooper's
Hawks and Turkey Vultures, many Red-taileds, including a spiffy
dark-morph bird, a flock of 28 Boneparte's Gulls first spotted by Paul,
a high-flying Common Loon and several large-ish flocks of Surf Scoters.
I then headed down to Crissy to see if any interesting birds had popped
into the field. The Wildlife Protection Area was very active, and there
were 32 Killdeer, ten Least Sandpipers, four Snowy Plovers, and a single
Say's Phoebe. The lowlight was a Heermann's Gull who's wing had caught
on fishing wire on the Coast Guard Pier. At the Lagoon, I found three
Snowy Egrets, a Great Egret, a Willit, a Long-billed Curlew, and to my
amazement, a Black-necked Stilt! Looking at eBird though, I found out
that last year's bird (which departed in February), had arrived on
October 18th, so this is likely the same returning bird (given that
there was just one previous Presidio record).
Finally, I checked the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon once again. Sure
enough, the Geese were gone. The same two Ring-necked Ducks were around,
as were two shovelers, a first for me at this location.