Re: Swainson’s Hawk

Brian Fitch
 

This morning I drove a short distance and then hiked into and around the Presidio.  Except for a brief check of Crissey, social distancing was easy, and without all of the on and off leash dogs that crowd the parks in my immediate neighborhood.  It was also nice to walk on real earth instead of concrete.  Spring arrivals were few, as migration seems late in arriving here, but there was a single singing Lazuli Bunting, which avoided my ever seeing it as it moved from the scrub at west Crissey and up onto the western bluffs.  Other interesting occurrences included a female Hairy Woodpecker working several telephone poles at Ft Scott, my FOS Pacific-slope Flycatcher in the unmowed grass at Ft Scott, a California Scrub-Jay trying multiple times (and failing) to take an adult Bushtit at Thompson reach, and Hooded Orioles in the palms at the Farallons HQ, at Thompson Reach, and the regular pair at Kobbe & Upton.

Then home in time to rest a little before spotting a Swainson's Hawk from my kitchen window as it flew over the Mint, with another flying directly over me a half an hour later as I was up on the roof.  A third likely Swainson's went by between the others, too distant to see marks, but the flight pattern and shape, especially the long pointed wings, looked like the other two.  That one flew north over the Upper Mission district without riding any thermals as the others did.  Both of the close birds showed creamy coverts, darker flight feathers, some darkness on the body and the aforementioned long pointy wings.  I lost both when making my reports, so I didn't see which direction they cut in when leaving their thermals.

Last Friday, April 3rd, I spent the early morning hours sea-watching from the Sutro Baths terrace, another great social distancing site.  It seems that no one but me is willing to stand in the freezing wind and stare at the open ocean for several hours.  It was my first good watch in a while, with a northbound female Long-tailed Duck, a Northern Fulmar, a Wandering Tattler, several overdue FOS Marbled Godwits, and the first big push I've seen of northbound Caspian Terns.

On April 6th, there were three Coyotes at Buena Vista Park, just a short walk from my home, where I've not yet seen or heard them.  These were seen at close range while re-finding the three White-throated Sparrows reported in BV the previous day.    A long walk from home on the 2nd brought me a heard Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on the west side of Twin Peaks.  On March 31st, a Bullock's Oriole teased me with chatter while it was hiding on one of North Lake's islands.  And the gallinule briefly showed itself at the concrete bridge at S Lake Merced on the 29th.
Brian Fitch



On Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 12:09 PM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Soaring over market and Duboce heading slowly north
12:11 pm
Brian Fitch

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