Battery Godfrey & Cole Valley (Prairie Falcon) Skywatches, 10/8/18

Paul Saraceni

This morning (10/8) with continued (though lighter than yesterday) N winds, a number of observers (me, Hugh C., Alan H., Peter P., Josiah C., Rob C., Aaron M.) were up on Battery Godfrey for various portions of the first couple of hours.  While plenty of birds (esp. Northern Flickers, Varied Thrushes, Yellow-rumped Warblers) were moving, the flight was just a fraction of what was observed by some of those folks and others (not me) on 10/7.  Below are observations of interest (not a complete list) while I was present (6:45-9:30 AM), using my numbers; don't know what others observed after that time window.

Band-tailed Pigeon 150+ (multiple flocks flying SE)
Surfbird 16 (on rocks below the Battery)
Parasitic Jaeger 4 (1 flying E over the GG Bridge; 3 together in the Channel)
Herring Gull 3 
Elegant Tern 120+ (in the Channel) 
Common Loon 5 (high fly-bys)
N. Harrier 1 (flying NW)
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Cooper's Hawk  2 
Sapsucker sp. 1 (perhaps the most interesting bird of the morning that got away; Josiah C. spotted it flying N amidst some Flickers; to several of us it did not appear to be a Red-breasted, but we'll never know as it kept flying N out over the Channel and away from us)
Northern Flicker 250-300+
Merlin 1 (flying N) 
Peregrine Falcon  2
Say's Phoebe 1 
Violet-green Swallow 3
Tree Swallow 5 
House Wren 2 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Varied Thrush 90+
Swainson's Thrush 1
Hermit Thrush 2 
W. Bluebird 11 
American Pipit 4 (calling fly-overs) 
Cedar Waxwing 40+
Purple Finch 3
Pine Siskin 4 
Lesser Goldfinch 3
Spotted Towhee 2 (in scrub bordering the Battery)
W. Meadowlark 40+
Nashville Warbler 1 (in the cypress above the bluff; 1st spotted by Aaron M.) 
Yellow Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 60+ 
Black-throated Gray Warbler 3 
Townsend's Warbler 2

Later I did a midday skywatch for an hour from my deck in Cole Valley. The highlight was a striking PRAIRIE FALCON that came in from the S and flew directly overhead before continuing on a NE flight path until out of view. 8 W. Meadowlarks flying NW overhead were my first for this location.  A Golden-crowned Kinglet was in the cypress trees behind my house.

California Tortoiseshells were observed on the move from both locations.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

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