Unusual visit to Pier 94

Eddie Bartley
 

Took a break from the home remodel project and went with Noreen to Pier 94 late afternoon. She and a grad student at SFSU are doing an interesting Olympian Oyster study that Smithsonian is sponsoring checking for an invasive snail "drill". 

Low tide but the waves were high pushing water up over the rip rap and making oyster studying a bit tricky. Thick smoke hanging in the east bay hills but relatively blue overhead. 

Not many birds but some unusual ones and a rarity that I could not get 100% to species.

First the rarity: I flushed a Caprimulgidae twice, first time at very close range where I had a 3 or 4 second look and second time about a 5 second look, never saw it on the ground. I'm fairly confident it was a Common Poor-will based on the overall grayish look and no wing bars. I tried for about 30 minutes to stalk it in the thick and very dry brush but it is well, very thick and very dry in the area: the SW corner of the preserve. Last seen landing in the area by the largest Toyon along the wall. Urge caution in this section if you go to look for it.

Other unusual birds were an AMERICAN PIPIT in the marsh, a PACIFIC LOON out on the bay. 

Another unusual sight was an adult Peregrine Falcon in the "Hansen pond". Just sitting there for at least 10 minutes, taking a drink every once in a while, A dozen Mallards and another dozen gulls didn't seem too bothered. Always wonder about rodenticide when I see a raptor drinking water but it looked alert and then was gone when I checked on it again. 

Happy Trails!

Eddie Bartley

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