Alan’s Summer Tanager, Nestling Creepers, and ghost squirrels

Daniel Scali

Hi all,

Like Alan, I was making the Lincoln Park/east wash rounds again this morning. Yesterday’s vagrants must have thumbed it outta there but I enjoyed some interesting findings nonetheless. I think I saw the bird Alan suspected to be a Summer Tanager. It was fairly still for a couple minutes in the prominent eucalyptus at the west side of the bottom of the east wash. Drab green coloring, no wing bars, and a very long-looking round but not conical bill.

The presumed same Swainson’s Thrush has been singing at the wash for 3ish weeks now — another sang in the riparian where the fire road (?) heads down from the 4th hole fairway to the Land’s End hiking trail. Tied for the coolest thing today were the extremely good views of the inside of a Brown Creeper nest cavity, as the little freckley fellas chose a pretty wide one. The 3 nestlings kept shoving themselves into the cavity roof, basically creeping in place. It was fascinating and funny to witness.

Equally fabulous were the ghosts of 🐿s (squirrels in case the emoji doesn’t show up) chomping on pine and cypress cones all over the place. Try as I might, I could not find a rodent or even a jay causing all of the racket one usually associates with foraging for seeds. Finally it dawned on me. The heat wave is causing the serotinous (resin-sealed) cones to burst, as if the seedlings were being dispersed by wildfire. At one of the pines that was especially loud and generous along the Eagle’s Pt trail, I even got to see the seedlings fluttering to the ground on their “wings.”

Gotta love spring!
Dan Scali

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