Date   

Spreckels Lake Short-billed Dowitcher

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders,
      Waders are unusual anywhere in GG Park. A Short-billed Dowitcher was strolling among the gulls at Spreckels Lake this morning c 11:15. Photos are on ebird. I would be surprised if it were a Long-billed, but not shocked as I’ve been wrong before attempting to assign a species to dowitchers. Anyway, a playful child flushed it to air where it was immediately attacked maybe 10-15 feet off the ground by a Peregrine. The alert dowitcher dodged the one attempted ambush and escaped without losing a feather to be last seen whirling east over the trees. I wonder if the falcon’s presence had kept it mingling with the pigeons and loafing gulls for safety?? The falcon, according to another birder, soon caught a pigeon.
Russ Bright
SF


Re: Yellow bellied sapsucker

Chris Vance
 

Thanks Brian! Found the tree and the bird if only briefly. It was in the tree with red berries and it dropped below the top of the tan fence. A gardener is now in the yard trimming the tree with red berries. 
Chris
 


On Mar 5, 2021, at 9:56 AM, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:


I just spent some quality time with what's likely the former Manor House/Buena Vista sapsucker that I discovered in late 2020.  I walked up to Corona before 8, as both previous sightings were during that hour.  I hung out for a while in the dirt patch, which is accessed off of 15th, by a narrow walkway west of the tennis courts, then hiked up the very poorly executed trail that meanders up the steep hillside.  After more than an hour, I finally sat down on a log which is not far below the upper end of trail, where you have an excellent view of the mostly conifererous grove, and just after 9, the Yellow-bellied flew in from the west and landed in a cypress.  It did a little quiet pecking in this and a few other trees, including the big, dead, multi-branched pine, made several fly-catching sorties, and eventually dove down over the dirt patch and into the first yard west of the tennis courts.  A large fruit-bearing tree there has many sapsucker wells which can be seen from the dirt patch, but visibility was impossible from the hill, and I left around 9:15.  The bird was utterly silent, even as it pecked, flew, and snapped at flying insects.
Brian Fitch


On Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 8:09 AM Rachel Lawrence <Rachelalawrence@...> wrote:
Refound yesterday by Rob Cullison continues in dead pine viewable east of dirt patch at end of dog park , Corona Heights. Likely same bird as in Buena Vista you can see the trees in Manor Park from here 


Re: Yellow bellied sapsucker

Brian Fitch
 

I just spent some quality time with what's likely the former Manor House/Buena Vista sapsucker that I discovered in late 2020.  I walked up to Corona before 8, as both previous sightings were during that hour.  I hung out for a while in the dirt patch, which is accessed off of 15th, by a narrow walkway west of the tennis courts, then hiked up the very poorly executed trail that meanders up the steep hillside.  After more than an hour, I finally sat down on a log which is not far below the upper end of trail, where you have an excellent view of the mostly conifererous grove, and just after 9, the Yellow-bellied flew in from the west and landed in a cypress.  It did a little quiet pecking in this and a few other trees, including the big, dead, multi-branched pine, made several fly-catching sorties, and eventually dove down over the dirt patch and into the first yard west of the tennis courts.  A large fruit-bearing tree there has many sapsucker wells which can be seen from the dirt patch, but visibility was impossible from the hill, and I left around 9:15.  The bird was utterly silent, even as it pecked, flew, and snapped at flying insects.
Brian Fitch


On Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 8:09 AM Rachel Lawrence <Rachelalawrence@...> wrote:
Refound yesterday by Rob Cullison continues in dead pine viewable east of dirt patch at end of dog park , Corona Heights. Likely same bird as in Buena Vista you can see the trees in Manor Park from here 


Re: Fulmar & Shark

Brian Fitch
 

The facial profile and body-fin proportions of today's shark reminded me of the Great White many of us witnessed on Al Jaramillo's October 2012 trip to the Farallons.  But that general gestalt appears, at least in on-line photos, to be shared with other species like Tiger or Mako.  So thank you Peter for the seasonal and especially behavioral cues that weren't readily findable on-line.  This shark was definitely lunging with mouth agape, and not breaching.  Thresher has a very different look than what I saw this morning.

Brian


On Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 3:58 PM Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:
Hi Brian -

I would guess (tentatively) either thresher shark or white shark
based on your description of size and behavior. No other sharks
around here typically jump out of the water and many are not gray
dorsally. March is the month in which young white sharks (10-12')
start practicing preying on mammals and this sort of behavior (often
misses) toward just about anything on the surface is expected. Prior
to this age they feed on fish. Thresher usually is more of a
warm-water species and I've mostly seen them jump in fall rather than
spring (and especially might not expect this in a cold-ocean spring
such as this one). 10-12' would also be quite large for a thresher.
So my leaning would be toward a white shark.

Peter

At 02:03 PM 3/4/2021, Brian Fitch wrote:
>A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths
>terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an
>exciting set of other oceanic animals.
>
>Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam
>past heading into the Gate around 7:15.  What appeared to be the
>same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me
>and North Rock. A single distant spout was likely my first Gray
>Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about,
>and only one sea lion passed by.
>
>The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the
>city.  I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants
>when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging
>out of the water at a diagonal.  I could see the angular open jaws,
>the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but
>nothing behind that.  It appeared to be completely steel gray as far
>as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor
>Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length.  I've
>been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our
>waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that
>I'll be able to ID it exactly.
>
>Brian Fitch


Re: Fulmar & Shark

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello all,

 Adding to what Josiah commented, we had foraging frenzies here on Tuesday (here being Half Moon Bay). Gulls, cormorants, and lots of Red-throated Loons. I had not seen Bottlenose Dolphins for some time, and three sightings this week. I was guessing it was anchovy. The fishing folks are telling me that there is also krill being found in stomachs of fish a bit to our south and further offshore. The wind we are getting is April wind, in late Feb early March. Totally in agreement with Josiah, winter is different now.

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Josiah Clark
Sent: Thursday, March 4, 2021 7:08 PM
To: Peter Pyle <ppyle@...>
Cc: Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...>; SF Birds <SFBirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Fulmar & Shark

 

What a cool sighting! I agree with Peter. Several sf birders watched a thresher shark breaching repeatedly at Baker Beach a couple years ago. This was the first ever Inaturalist record for the species for the city. This is a species I see quite often and sometimes hook while Salmon Fishing, sometimes almost hitting the kayak. The one we saw at Baker Beach with small but they can get up to over 1000 pounds I believe.Their massive tail is not always obvious as they jump. 

I noticed Dominic witnessed a large feeding frenzy just a week ago. Meanwhile my fishing friends caught the first halibut of the season. IIt seems the bait fish season has begun. Thresher sharks are all about bait fish, so no concern for swimmers or surfers. 

This does mean we have a seriously different ocean on our hands. Basically more anchovies in the winter than anyone’s ever seen, from what I can tell. This is also the reason we are seeing humpback whales in winter, something we never ever used to see.

 Suddenly I’m thinking about salmon. With every season realizing it could be the last one.

 

Josiah Clark | Habitat Potential | Consulting Ecologist | 415.317.3978

License #1043929



On Mar 4, 2021, at 3:58 PM, Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:

Hi Brian -

I would guess (tentatively) either thresher shark or white shark based on your description of size and behavior. No other sharks around here typically jump out of the water and many are not gray dorsally. March is the month in which young white sharks (10-12') start practicing preying on mammals and this sort of behavior (often misses) toward just about anything on the surface is expected. Prior to this age they feed on fish. Thresher usually is more of a warm-water species and I've mostly seen them jump in fall rather than spring (and especially might not expect this in a cold-ocean spring such as this one). 10-12' would also be quite large for a thresher. So my leaning would be toward a white shark.

Peter

At 02:03 PM 3/4/2021, Brian Fitch wrote:

A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an exciting set of other oceanic animals.

 

Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam past heading into the Gate around 7:15.  What appeared to be the same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me and North Rock. A single distant spout was likely my first Gray Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about, and only one sea lion passed by.

 

The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the city.  I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging out of the water at a diagonal.  I could see the angular open jaws, the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but nothing behind that.  It appeared to be completely steel gray as far as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length.  I've been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that I'll be able to ID it exactly.

 

Brian Fitch

 







Re: Fulmar & Shark

Josiah Clark
 

What a cool sighting! I agree with Peter. Several sf birders watched a thresher shark breaching repeatedly at Baker Beach a couple years ago. This was the first ever Inaturalist record for the species for the city. This is a species I see quite often and sometimes hook while Salmon Fishing, sometimes almost hitting the kayak. The one we saw at Baker Beach with small but they can get up to over 1000 pounds I believe.Their massive tail is not always obvious as they jump. 
I noticed Dominic witnessed a large feeding frenzy just a week ago. Meanwhile my fishing friends caught the first halibut of the season. IIt seems the bait fish season has begun. Thresher sharks are all about bait fish, so no concern for swimmers or surfers. 
This does mean we have a seriously different ocean on our hands. Basically more anchovies in the winter than anyone’s ever seen, from what I can tell. This is also the reason we are seeing humpback whales in winter, something we never ever used to see.
 Suddenly I’m thinking about salmon. With every season realizing it could be the last one.

Josiah Clark | Habitat Potential | Consulting Ecologist | 415.317.3978
License #1043929

On Mar 4, 2021, at 3:58 PM, Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:

Hi Brian -

I would guess (tentatively) either thresher shark or white shark based on your description of size and behavior. No other sharks around here typically jump out of the water and many are not gray dorsally. March is the month in which young white sharks (10-12') start practicing preying on mammals and this sort of behavior (often misses) toward just about anything on the surface is expected. Prior to this age they feed on fish. Thresher usually is more of a warm-water species and I've mostly seen them jump in fall rather than spring (and especially might not expect this in a cold-ocean spring such as this one). 10-12' would also be quite large for a thresher. So my leaning would be toward a white shark.

Peter

At 02:03 PM 3/4/2021, Brian Fitch wrote:
A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an exciting set of other oceanic animals.

Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam past heading into the Gate around 7:15.  What appeared to be the same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me and North Rock. A single distant spout was likely my first Gray Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about, and only one sea lion passed by.

The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the city.  I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging out of the water at a diagonal.  I could see the angular open jaws, the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but nothing behind that.  It appeared to be completely steel gray as far as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length.  I've been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that I'll be able to ID it exactly.

Brian Fitch








Re: Fulmar & Shark

Peter Pyle
 

Hi Brian -

I would guess (tentatively) either thresher shark or white shark based on your description of size and behavior. No other sharks around here typically jump out of the water and many are not gray dorsally. March is the month in which young white sharks (10-12') start practicing preying on mammals and this sort of behavior (often misses) toward just about anything on the surface is expected. Prior to this age they feed on fish. Thresher usually is more of a warm-water species and I've mostly seen them jump in fall rather than spring (and especially might not expect this in a cold-ocean spring such as this one). 10-12' would also be quite large for a thresher. So my leaning would be toward a white shark.

Peter

At 02:03 PM 3/4/2021, Brian Fitch wrote:
A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an exciting set of other oceanic animals.

Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam past heading into the Gate around 7:15. What appeared to be the same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me and North Rock. A single distant spout was likely my first Gray Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about, and only one sea lion passed by.

The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the city. I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging out of the water at a diagonal. I could see the angular open jaws, the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but nothing behind that. It appeared to be completely steel gray as far as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length. I've been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that I'll be able to ID it exactly.

Brian Fitch


Fulmar & Shark

Brian Fitch
 

A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an exciting set of other oceanic animals.

Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam past heading into the Gate around 7:15.  What appeared to be the same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me and North Rock.  A single distant spout was likely my first Gray Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about, and only one sea lion passed by. 

The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the city.  I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging out of the water at a diagonal.  I could see the angular open jaws, the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but nothing behind that.  It appeared to be completely steel gray as far as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length.  I've been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that I'll be able to ID it exactly.

Brian Fitch


Yellow bellied sapsucker

Rachel Lawrence
 

Refound yesterday by Rob Cullison continues in dead pine viewable east of dirt patch at end of dog park , Corona Heights. Likely same bird as in Buena Vista you can see the trees in Manor Park from here 


Red-throated Loon at Candlestick Point

Mick Griffin
 

Also at Candlestick point yesterday this Red-throated Loon molting into breeding plumage, quite close to shore south-east corner..







Mick Griffin
LONDON TILE
415.302.1489






CA Thrasher Photo

David Nelson
 

This is a photo I took at 1:20 am, of the CA Thrasher at Candlestick Point Park about 1:20pm today. It was cooperative if you stood very still.

Good birding!
David W. Nelson


CA Thrasher at Candlestick Point

David Nelson
 

Still here across from the restroom building at the end of the point (SE).

Good birding!

David W. Nelson


California Thrasher

Chris Vance
 

I made a mistake by saying the thrasher was on the southwestern side of the spit at Candlestick Pt.  
Here is where I saw the thrasher: 37.708682, -122.374811. It is southeastern.
Chris Vance


Re: Vireo reports

Adam Winer
 

As Dominik notes, there are exceedingly few records of any members of the "Solitary" Vireo complex at this time of year.  The image attached below is the eBird barcharts for the combined Bay Area counties - you'd conclude from this data that Plumbeous Vireo is equally likely if not more so than Cassin's, but none are likely at all.  (No, I'm not suggesting people saw Plumbeous.)  And none of those January/February/early March records in eBird are from San Francisco.  I can't say that any one of these records is certainly erroneous, but I can say that the notion that *all* of these reports are correct strains credulity.

At any rate, the basic rule applies:  these would be exceptional records, and therefore they need good documentation.  Even if one was seen well enough to confidently identify it as a "Solitary" Vireo, you'd still need careful elimination of both Blue-headed and Plumbeous Vireos.  And note that at this time of year, these would all typically be on the dull side, making identification even more challenging.

image.png

-- Adam Winer

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 8:22 PM Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:
John,

A Cassin’s vireo at this time of year in SF would almost certainly be an overwintering bird.

While we have a couple of winter records over the years, this seems to me a very normal occurrence of one inexperienced observers making an erroneous report that then convinces other inexperienced observers that’s it’s not time to start reporting the species.
This happens every year and is part of the learning process. No harm done.


On Mar 1, 2021, at 19:20, John Facchini <john.facchini@...> wrote:


Hello Dominik,

I followed up on Ken's post and saw a vireo that was mostly gray and had clear (but not very bold) white spectacles - the bill eliminated kinglets and warblers.  I only saw one and didn't hear any vocalizations.  I was focused on making sure I got a clear look at the spectacles and didn't get much of a view of the underside of the bird.  I was comfortable with a cassin's vireo ID.  Your post makes this seem like either an exceptional sighting or a mistaken ID.  I don't mean to ruffle any feathers and am ok removing my sighting from ebird if you would like me to. 

Regards, 
John Facchini

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 2:10 PM Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:
With all due respect to those posting: Regarding these reports of multiple Cassin’s Vireos from multiple locations , please note that over many decades now a typical arrival
Date for Cassins Vireo in SF is around the first days of April. A few exceptionally early birds have been noted by the third week of March.

Cassin’s vireos winter in Mexico. There’s typically a pulse of migrants noted in SoCal before we start seeing them up here.

Good birding,

Dominik


On Mar 1, 2021, at 10:40, Ken Moy <ken.moy62@...> wrote:


Hi all, 2 Cassin's vireos (1 seen, 2 heard) on Oak Woodlands on the wooden box steps leading to Stanyan and Fulton.

Good birding.

Ken Moy


Re: Vireo reports

 

John,

A Cassin’s vireo at this time of year in SF would almost certainly be an overwintering bird.

While we have a couple of winter records over the years, this seems to me a very normal occurrence of one inexperienced observers making an erroneous report that then convinces other inexperienced observers that’s it’s not time to start reporting the species.
This happens every year and is part of the learning process. No harm done.


On Mar 1, 2021, at 19:20, John Facchini <john.facchini@...> wrote:


Hello Dominik,

I followed up on Ken's post and saw a vireo that was mostly gray and had clear (but not very bold) white spectacles - the bill eliminated kinglets and warblers.  I only saw one and didn't hear any vocalizations.  I was focused on making sure I got a clear look at the spectacles and didn't get much of a view of the underside of the bird.  I was comfortable with a cassin's vireo ID.  Your post makes this seem like either an exceptional sighting or a mistaken ID.  I don't mean to ruffle any feathers and am ok removing my sighting from ebird if you would like me to. 

Regards, 
John Facchini

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 2:10 PM Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:
With all due respect to those posting: Regarding these reports of multiple Cassin’s Vireos from multiple locations , please note that over many decades now a typical arrival
Date for Cassins Vireo in SF is around the first days of April. A few exceptionally early birds have been noted by the third week of March.

Cassin’s vireos winter in Mexico. There’s typically a pulse of migrants noted in SoCal before we start seeing them up here.

Good birding,

Dominik


On Mar 1, 2021, at 10:40, Ken Moy <ken.moy62@...> wrote:


Hi all, 2 Cassin's vireos (1 seen, 2 heard) on Oak Woodlands on the wooden box steps leading to Stanyan and Fulton.

Good birding.

Ken Moy


Re: California Thrasher continues at Candlestick Park - ACCESS ISSUES

Chris Vance
 

I saw the California Thrasher this afternoon at 1:15 on the south western corner of the park. Hundreds of ground squirrels at this park which was maddening as they are about the same size as the thrasher. And no raptors in sight.
All the best,
Chris Vance

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 1:57 PM Robbie Fischer <robbie22@...> wrote:
Joe Morlan and I tried to visit Candlestick Park this morning to look for the thrasher. We were unaware that all parking lots are closed and dilapidated RV'S and other vehicles line Hunter's Point Expressway in front of the park. We were uncomfortable parking our car for fear it would be vandalized so we did not stay. 

Just a heads up for anyone trying for the California Thrasher.

Robbie Fischer
Pacifica

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 01:45:07 PM PST, David Assmann via groups.io <david_assmann=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


The CALIFORNIA THRASHER found Thursday at Candlestick Park continues this morning.  It was almost at the end of the spit in the south eastern corner of the park.


Vireo reports

 

With all due respect to those posting: Regarding these reports of multiple Cassin’s Vireos from multiple locations , please note that over many decades now a typical arrival
Date for Cassins Vireo in SF is around the first days of April. A few exceptionally early birds have been noted by the third week of March.

Cassin’s vireos winter in Mexico. There’s typically a pulse of migrants noted in SoCal before we start seeing them up here.

Good birding,

Dominik


On Mar 1, 2021, at 10:40, Ken Moy <ken.moy62@...> wrote:


Hi all, 2 Cassin's vireos (1 seen, 2 heard) on Oak Woodlands on the wooden box steps leading to Stanyan and Fulton.

Good birding.

Ken Moy


Re: California Thrasher continues at Candlestick Park - ACCESS ISSUES

Robbie Fischer
 

Joe Morlan and I tried to visit Candlestick Park this morning to look for the thrasher. We were unaware that all parking lots are closed and dilapidated RV'S and other vehicles line Hunter's Point Expressway in front of the park. We were uncomfortable parking our car for fear it would be vandalized so we did not stay. 

Just a heads up for anyone trying for the California Thrasher.

Robbie Fischer
Pacifica

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 01:45:07 PM PST, David Assmann via groups.io <david_assmann@...> wrote:


The CALIFORNIA THRASHER found Thursday at Candlestick Park continues this morning.  It was almost at the end of the spit in the south eastern corner of the park.

_._,_._,_

--
Robbie Fischer
Pacifica, CA


Cassin's vireos in Oak Woodlands @ GGP

Ken Moy
 

Hi all, 2 Cassin's vireos (1 seen, 2 heard) on Oak Woodlands on the wooden box steps leading to Stanyan and Fulton.

Good birding.

Ken Moy


Cassin's vireo by Middle Lake

Loretta
 

Hi Folks,

I saw a Cassin's vireo yesterday morning, around 9:15 am. It was in the tall pines in the meadow south of Middle Lake, directly in front of the parking lot. Two Townsends were foraging in the general area as well.

Clear spectacles, a short rising call.

It flitted around for about 15 minutes, then disappeared. I wasn't able to refind it.

Apologies for the delayed report.

Good birding,

Loretta

1 - 20 of 25343