Lapland Longspur over Ocean Beach, 12/2/18

Paul Saraceni

This morning around 8:30 while scanning gulls at Ocean Beach from the seawall walk between Ortega & Pacheco Sts., I heard the flight rattle call of a LAPLAND LONGSPUR and quickly picked-up on the bird as it flew overhead and N over the beach until out of view. I did not observe it land. From the same location I also observed a group of 4 calling AMERICAN PIPITS flying SE overhead.

From this location I scoped a small flock of 4 (3 m./1 f.) RING-NECKED DUCKS flying NW over the ocean.  While readily findable on City lakes, those of us who sea-watch rarely observe this species over the ocean in SF.

A Killdeer briefly touched down along the edge of the surf S of Sloat, a behavior that I have not previously observed from this species at Ocean Beach. 

The number of gulls on the beach was way down from the frenzy of Thanksgiving week, and those gulls that were assembling on the beach at this location were constantly flushed by walkers and dogs until they gave up and flew off.  Prior to that among 100+ gulls there was a nice selection of plumages of Herring, "Thayer's" (Iceland), and Mew Gulls among the other regulars (Californias, Westerns, Glaucous-wingeds, and a few Herring x Glaucous-winged candidates).

A later stop at Battery Godfrey produced just a few observations of local interest, including: a flock of 15 Greater Scaup flying E high over the GG Channel, 40+ Surf Scoters on the water below the bluff, 7 Common Murres flying through the GG Channel, 2 continuing House Wrens around the Battery, and 3 Turkey Vultures that briefly landed atop the cypresses S of the parking lot.

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco 

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