Western edge of San Francisco

Mark Eaton <mark@...>

Today, I birded a few spots in the fog in extreme western SF. The Cliff
House was quiet other than a flock of about 8 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES very
close to shore. On Ocean Beach near Lincoln, there was a small mixed flock
in the area of a small pool including what I identified as a juvenile
RING-BILLED GULL. The bird was quite a bit smaller than both the Western
and California Gulls with a delicate bicolored bill and long primary
projection. The mantle pattern showed dark centers with broad white edges.
The underparts were fairly clean white and some streaking on the upper
breast. Assuming the id is correct, one wonders if this is an early
arrival. Also, there were hundreds of ELEGANT TERNS at the tide line.

At the south end of Ocean Beach, there was a feeding frenzy with large
numbers of expected species including lots more Elegant Terns. I was amazed
not to find a jaeger chasing the terns with this amount of activity. The
only other birds of note were another flock of 5 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and
another single also flying by.

At the south end of Lake Merced, I found a distant bird north of the
concrete bridge that appeared to be entirely white. It had me going for a
while until an _Aechmophorous_ grebe swam up and started to feed its
leucistic juvenile. I was running late so I didn't have time to grab my
scope and identify the parent to species.

Mark W. Eaton
NEW email address: mailto:mark@...
Personal Web Site: http://www.markeaton.org
SFFO Web Site: http://www.sffo.org
SFBirds mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBirds

Singing is hard.
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