Habitat Potential Shaping San Francisco field trip highlights yesterday

Josiah Clark

The Birding by Bike field trip put on by Shaping SF and Habitat Potential yesterday was a raging success.
28 participants, 16.5 miles, 1300 feet elevation, 81 species in 5.5 hours.

Nothing rare but a few highlights included:

Singing Wilson’s Warblers- Fuscia dell/oak woodlands, log cabin trail
also singing OC Warbler at the log cabin

Rhododendron Dell/Lilly pond -Hutton’s vireo, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwings, hairy woodpecker, 18 fly by Band-tailed pigeons
Stowe lake-2 hooded mergansers, 1 continuing female Common Goldeneye, 3 singing Pacific Wrens.
Also a Great-blue heron nesting talk by Nancy DeStafanis who was diligently watching over the 7 nests along with a Red-tailed Hawk there.
Singing Townsend’s and Yellow-rumped Warblers, multiple locations
Bison Paddock- Bluebirds in the boxes I put up, Nuttall’s white-crowned sparrows in the scrub I planted years ago with Ggp gardeners and volunteers.
Extensive Scope views of the great horned owl nest across the street among the blossoms and masses of onlookers
Cliff house – just 1 Surfbird, 2 Black Turnstones. Also a pair of black oystercatchers, 4 Pigeon Guillemots
Lobos creek- Bewicks wren and the endangered SF Wallflowers in bloom
Crissy Field-2 greater scaup, 2 Red-breasted mergansers.
The Lagoon channel is filled in and non-tidal right now. It will soon become a massive eutriphied algal bloom if it remains that way. The lagoon water level was higher than I’ve ever seen it , meaning no shore line and not a single shorebird.
Watching one of the 70+ ravens of the day raid an Allen’s Hummingbird nest right in front of us while riding along Land’s End was a bit sad for everyone, but a very illustrative education for the group.
Brewers blackbird’s were a species that was quite sparse, perhaps just 10 noted all day.

A real highlight was being together as we traveled through multiple habitats while using zero gas on what was at times a very, very hot March day for SF.
In a city with so many weekend warriors flooding in to beat the heat, a field trip like this would be impossible these days anyways.
I realized being among beginning birders is my highest calling in birding.
Onwards, and never stop looking.

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