SW SF: Red Knot et al., 10/20/18

Paul Saraceni

This morning I did a seawatch (7:15-9:30 AM) from the south end of the Great Highway. Viewing conditions were very good with overcast skies and glassy seas to begin, with light W/SW winds that gradually increased.

The highlight was a basic-plumaged RED KNOT flying N over the surf just off the beach.

Hundreds of gulls -- mostly Californias and some Westerns -- were on the move N the entire time, loons and W. Grebes have increased in numbers, and Elegant Terns were completely absent while I was watching.

Other observations of local interest:

Greater Scaup 1 f. (flying N with Surf Scoters)

Surf Scoter 45

W. Grebe 60+

Eared Grebe 1 (flying N over the ocean)

Common Loon 11

Pacific Loon 22

Red-thr. Loon 28

Long-billed Curlew 5 (fly-bys)

Marbled Godwit 3 (flying with 2 L.-b. Curlews)

Sanderling 250+



Common Murre 15

Hermit Thrush 1 (calling from across the Great Highway)

Also: Harbor Porpoise 4

After that I headed over to the south Lake Merced concrete bridge for a short visit, where there were other birders present. Species I personally observed included: 2 Green Herons, the continuing Greater White-fronted (2) and Cackling (2) Geese, 8 Eared Grebes, a calling Sora, and a Warbling Vireo and a Black-throated Gray Warbler in a mixed flock in the willows near the fishing pier.  There were hundreds of gulls on the lake, mostly Californias with lesser numbers of Westerns. In a quick scan of the flock I also observed 1 Herring, 2 Glaucous-winged, and 1 sub-ad. Heermann's Gulls.

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco 

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