Seawatch -- Cassin's Auklet et al., 6/8/20

Paul Saraceni

This morning I did a seawatch (7:15-8:45 AM) from the south end of the Great Highway.  After the strong W/NW winds the past several days, there was at least a temporary break with light (but increasing) N/NW winds. The ocean surface was glassy, the tide was out, and visibility was excellent out to the horizon.

The highlight was a CASSIN'S AUKLET I scoped on the smooth water perhaps 50 yards out at most.  After about a minute it took off and flew W.  Perhaps blown in by the strong recent winds.

Other observations of local interest:

Surf Scoter 1 m. (flying N)
W. Grebe 2
Clark's Grebe 2
Killdeer 1 (flying and calling across the Great Highway)
Heermann's Gull 2
Caspian Tern 4
Pigeon Guillemot 21 (flying and on the smooth water)
Com. Murre 880 (many small flocks)
Red-thr. Loon 4 (2 alt., 2 basic) 
Pacific Loon 5 (1 alt., 4 basic)
Com. Loon 5 (4 alt., 1 basic)  
Brandt's Cormorant 15
Pelagic Cormorant 1
Double-cr. Cormorant 6
Brown Pelican 120
Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from across the Great Highway)

Humpback Whale 1
Harbor Seal 1 (in the surf)

A couple of local interest sightings from yesterday (6/7) morning:

I checked the groves of the north portion of Ft. Funston.  A male SPOTTED TOWHEE put in a brief appearance early morning . It was silent and did not exhibit any nesting behavior during my observation.  There were at least 4 Bewick's Wrens calling from different spots.

A "Red-shafted" Flicker (male) was near Vista Grande Canal across from the L. Merced concrete bridge late morning.

Paul Saraceni 
San Francisco

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