Cassin's Auklet, Red-necked Grebe at al, South-end Seawatch, SF, 11/2/13

Paul Saraceni
 

This morning I conducted a seawatch from the south-most parking lot of the Great Highway, 7:15-10:25 AM. Except for a few brief periods when the fog moved in a bit before retreating, conditions were good with overcast skies, visibility out to the horizon, and moderate west wind. A lot of birds were moving and I enjoyed my best seawatch in quite a while.

At 8:40 AM I observed a CASSIN'S AUKLET flying N, only ~50 yards out. Just the 2nd of this species I have ever observed from shore in SF.

At 10:25 AM I observed a RED-NECKED GREBE flying N not far out from the surf. It landed and then disappeared under a swell.

There was quite a nearshore movement of jaegers -- my numbers below are conservative and I endeavored to not double-count, based on plumage differences.

A strange sighting was what otherwise appeared to be a male Surf Scoter in flight (typical head markings and same size and structure as other Surf Scoters it was flying with), but having bright white on the outermost-1/3 of its wings (not white wing-patch as on a White-winged Scoter). A plumage aberration I have never seen before. If you are sea-watching there keep an eye out for this individual.

Other observations of local interest:

Greater Scaup 1 f. (in flight and on ocean w/Surf Scoters)
Bufflehead 1 m. (landed on ocean amidst Surf Scoters)
Surf Scoter 420+
White-winged Scoter 5
Black Scoter 4 m., 1 f.
Common Loon 8
Pacific Loon 17
Red-thr. Loon 23
Pelagic Cormorant 3
Brown Pelican 60+
Am. Coot 1 (on ocean paddling near a W. Grebe; I've observed a few migrant coots on the ocean here over the years, but perhaps this is the individual reported by Dom a few days ago)
Sanderling 120+
Red-necked Phalarope 3 (fly-bys over ocean)
POMARINE JAEGER 8
PARASITIC JAEGER 11
Elegant Tern 40+
Com. Murre 7
MARBLED MURRELET 2 (flying N @ 9:50 AM)
Am. Pipit 1 (calling fly-over)

Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins 2

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

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