SW SF 4/2/2020 + misc. notes


On Thursday April 2nd I walked from my residence in the outer Sunset District to Sunset Blvd and along that greenbelt to Lake Merced/Sunset Circle. From there I worked the edge of Lake Merced clockwise starting with riparian habitat around Sunset Circle/wooden bridge, The Mesa and Mesa Overlook, concrete bridge, gun club and marsh to the John Muir Dr. @ Skyline Jct. I then crossed over to Fort Funston walking up to Battery Davis via the Horsetrail then south through the abandoned Dunes /main parking lot to the Native plant nursery and from there down to the beach. I then walked Ocean Beach north to Lawton and back home. This walk covered 18 kilometers but I was never more than 45 minutes from my residence and following the shelter in place recommendations of only leaving for essentially exercise a shorts ways from home while maintaining proper social distance with all other citizens passed.

Bird observations of note:

Cinnamon Teal - male and female at Wooden Bridge

Horned Grebe - concrete bridge, continuing molting/mostly basic bird. Uncommon here.

Band-tailed Pigeon - single high flier with group of (11) Eurasian Collared Doves north over the lake was interesting

Sora - calling (unprompted) at Mesa and Concrete Bridge

Snowy Plovers - 13 at south seawall roost on Ocean Beach. after escaping my attention a few days previously good to see a few holding on but these will soon depart for breeding areas. Of course a designated exclusion zone would over time almost certainly result in breeding in SF county , the logistical headache this could cause for the agency managing Ocean Beach makes it understandable why this has yet to be tried.

Bonaparte's Gull - alternate plumage migrant north over gun club around noon , first I've noted this spring

Merlin - failing to capture Tree Swallows on multiple attempts near the cormorant rookery

American Kestrel - wintering bird continues at Fort Funston

Wrentit - an apparent lone male continues to sing at the Mesa going on 3-4 years (more?)

Bewick's Wren - two birds singing, one on each side of the Mesa cormorant rookery was notable for lake Merced. None detected at Fort Funston.

Spotted Towhee - singing on Mesa , good bird for lake Merced

Common Yellowthroat - minimum of 7 singing along route was a good count

Wilson's Warbler - minimum of 11 singing along route was a good count. While certainly some are migrants, at least a few of these will linger at traditional breeding sites around the lake

No Bank Swallows noted yet at either Lake Merced or at the fort Funston colony site as of the afternoon of 4/2.

Additional notes:

On 3/27/20 seawatching early a.m. (Pre work meditation) into a brisk NW wind w/Joachim Gonzalez and Logan Kahle (maintaining 3meters distance) we noted (12) first of spring migrant Red-necked Phalaropes north just beyond Seal Rocks.

On 4/1 a Barn Owl flew over my intersection in the outer Sunset about four blocks from Golden Gate Park @ 10:30pm (evening exercise)

Yesterday, 4/2, on an early morning seawatch from the Cliff House (4) Brant north at the horizon made me glad I dragged out the scope.

This morning (4/4) on my way into work I stopped to walk up a drizzly Mount Davidson for exercise. Songbirds were scarce but it was interesting to watch a pair of Common Ravens attempting to drive off an active and vocal Great Horned Owl (lots of action 8-8:15a.m.)

Good health to all,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

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