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)
PARASITIC JAEGER 2 (flying N)
POMARINE JAEGER 1 (flying N)
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.