Sutro Baths Migrants

Brian Fitch

While there was nothing very unusual at Sutro this morning, it was wonderful to finally see normal conditions return to the coast.  The wind was not tearing everything up or missing in action, the waves were not monstrous, and clarity was perfect.  Multiple feeding flocks were present, and bird numbers were once again good enough to make things interesting.  Murres were out in the hundreds, 15 Pigeon Guillemots were by the nesting rocks, 30 Whimbrel were way out and heading north, and 8 Brant flew right by the rocks at eye level in full sun. 

My first of the year Caspian Tern flew out of the Gate, which made me wonder why their migration patterns have changed in recent years.  They used to appear in mid to late March along the coast and head into the Gate or further north, but now they seem to appear on the Bay and not start hunting the ocean until much later; I saw them Bayside 2 weeks ago in San Mateo.  This implies to me that they're coming in from the south over the South Bay from Monterey, but I haven't witnessed this personally.  My first Humpback was also busy feeding NW of the terrace.

Over at Middle Lake, I was surprised by a Nashville Warbler in the willows, and a female Spotted Towhee along the dry lake shore.

Brian Fitch

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