Brewer's Sparrow @ Mt. Davidson, et al., SF, 09/02/07

Paul Saraceni

I started the day at Mt. Davidson, then headed to the SE Bay-shore in search of shorebirds.

At Mt. D., beautiful morning with a decent movement of western migrants, though a bit less diversity than eariler in the week.

Highlight, at 7:55 AM, was a BREWER'S SPARROW just below the summit and also perching above the top of the Ravine. I first picked up on it when it flew out of the area of the blackberry bramble on the slope up to the summit. It then proceeded to perch in various shrubs and trees, finally perching about 20' up in a euc, where it preened for several minutes before flying south off the hill. Overall, a small, grayish-brown, relatively non-descript, long-tailed sparrow with a tiny bill; streaked grayish-brown crown and nape, without a noticeable central stripe; complete, distinct white eye-ring; grayish-brown supercilium but otherwise indistinct facial markings; grayish, unstreaked underparts. This is the 3rd Mt. D. record and 1st for fall.

Other observations of local interest:

Am . Kestrel 1 m.
Band-tailed Pigeon 1
Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird sp. 15+ f./imm.
Hairy Woodpecker 1 m.
W. Wood-Pewee 1
Warbling Vireo 3
Steller's Jay 5 (together; most I've ever observed @ Mt. D.)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 (top of Ravine)
House Wren 2-3
Swainson's Thrush 1
Yellow 10+
Wilson's 1
W. Tanager 12+
Bl.-head. Grosbeak 6
Lesser Goldfinch 40+
Pine Siskin 20+

I then headed to Candlestick Cove, timing my visit with low tide and mudflats. Was nice to be able to spend an hour or so picking through a large (800-1000) flock of peeps in the City -- that being said, 90% were Least Sandpipers with perhaps 10+ Western Sandpipers mixed in, as well as 3 Black Oystercatchers, 60+ Semipalmated Plovers, 20+ Black-bellied Plovers, 20+ Willets, 2 Whimbrel and 2 Long-billed Curlews nearby. 4 Elegant Terns were flying in the vicinity. Most interesting at this location was a GREEN-WINGED TEAL probing muddy pools on the mudflat with its bill.

A quick stop at Yosemite Creek produced 20+ Black-bellied Plovers, 1 Whimbrel, and 1 Red-necked Phalarope.

Finally, I headed over to India Basin and Heron's Head where the highlight was more close studies of the continuing BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER as it fed in a cordgrass pool on the south side, and was enjoyed by fellow birders Leslie, David, and Nathaniel. The "usual" shorebird species, as previously reported by others, were present; 5 Greater Yellowlegs was a good number for the City.

Also, dragonflies observed today on the Bay-side:
Common Green Darner 2
Blue-eyed Darner 1
Variegated Meadowhawk (many)

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco, CA

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