Date   

Fall classes

Joe Morlan
 

Birders,

As you may know, all my Fall birding classes have been rescheduled to start
in November. The updated schedule is on my web page:

http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/fall09.htm

Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. My eye seems to be much
improved and the prognosis appears to be good.

I look forward to seeing many of you in November if not before.

--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu
SF Birding Classes start Nov. 3 http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/
California Bird Records Committee http://www.californiabirds.org/
Western Field Ornithologists http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/


Re: Crissy Field Duck

Juli Chamberlin
 

Might the larger mallards we see in and around SF be the Rouen (Roan)
variant? My uneducated guess is that there are many large domestic mallard
variants, not just the Rouen, but i wonder if anyone knows the domestic
breed history of mallards in SF. I've seen two drakes in Stow Lake (last
April) that were easily twice the size of the others i observed.

~Juli Chamberlin

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 12:57 PM, Mark Eaton <marksffo@gmail.com> wrote:



The Mallards in SF are largely a genetic mess. First of all, there
are those that have been domestically bred but look more or less like
normal mallards except they're too big. Also, they've widely
interbred, particularly with domestic Muscovy Ducks leading to all
sorts of bizarre plumage variations. Basically, all large ducks found
in SF should be viewed as largely/totally of domestic origin. Wild
ducks will invariably look like something you can find in your field
guide.

Mark
---
Mark Eaton
mark@markeaton.org <mark%40markeaton.org>


On Sep 28, 2009, at 12:16 PM, Michael Rotter wrote:

Hello all,

This morning at around 7:30am I made a quick stop at Crissy Field
Lagoon to
enjoy the recently returned Coots. There was also a few mallards
swimming
around and I noticed one was somewhat an unusual dabbling duck. It
was a
very dark looking mallard with a black bill and a very promonate
white patch
on its breast. All the markings were very similiar to a mallard. I
thought
for a bit it could be a teal but the size and the uniform coloration
and the
breast spot disuaded me from "calling: it. The duck seemed to be
staying
very close to one particular male mallard. Im not sure what this
duck could
be other than some kind of molting or variant mallard but any
guesses would
be appreciated. Nothing else that unusual in the lagoon but lots of
cool
birds as always.

Cheers,
Michael Rotter






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Re: Crissy Field Duck

Mark Eaton
 

The Mallards in SF are largely a genetic mess. First of all, there are those that have been domestically bred but look more or less like normal mallards except they're too big. Also, they've widely interbred, particularly with domestic Muscovy Ducks leading to all sorts of bizarre plumage variations. Basically, all large ducks found in SF should be viewed as largely/totally of domestic origin. Wild ducks will invariably look like something you can find in your field guide.

Mark
---
Mark Eaton
mark@markeaton.org

On Sep 28, 2009, at 12:16 PM, Michael Rotter wrote:

Hello all,

This morning at around 7:30am I made a quick stop at Crissy Field Lagoon to
enjoy the recently returned Coots. There was also a few mallards swimming
around and I noticed one was somewhat an unusual dabbling duck. It was a
very dark looking mallard with a black bill and a very promonate white patch
on its breast. All the markings were very similiar to a mallard. I thought
for a bit it could be a teal but the size and the uniform coloration and the
breast spot disuaded me from "calling: it. The duck seemed to be staying
very close to one particular male mallard. Im not sure what this duck could
be other than some kind of molting or variant mallard but any guesses would
be appreciated. Nothing else that unusual in the lagoon but lots of cool
birds as always.

Cheers,
Michael Rotter





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Crissy Field Duck

Michael Rotter <mjrotter@...>
 

Hello all,

This morning at around 7:30am I made a quick stop at Crissy Field Lagoon to
enjoy the recently returned Coots. There was also a few mallards swimming
around and I noticed one was somewhat an unusual dabbling duck. It was a
very dark looking mallard with a black bill and a very promonate white patch
on its breast. All the markings were very similiar to a mallard. I thought
for a bit it could be a teal but the size and the uniform coloration and the
breast spot disuaded me from "calling: it. The duck seemed to be staying
very close to one particular male mallard. Im not sure what this duck could
be other than some kind of molting or variant mallard but any guesses would
be appreciated. Nothing else that unusual in the lagoon but lots of cool
birds as always.

Cheers,
Michael Rotter


El Polin this morning and Yesterday around Twin Peaks

Rob Garriock <rgarriock@...>
 

Starting Yesterday there was a flyover of 30+ swifts (VAUX'S) around noon at my home. At 6pm I walked up to twin peaks and had a WRENTIT call between near twin peaks radio tower down the slope in the direction of Sutro tower.

El Polin had many WC SPARROWS and AMERICAN and LESSER GOLDFINCH. Of interest around the spring was a female COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, TOWNSEND'S and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and WESTERN TANAGERs. A RUBY CROWNED KINGLET and 4 woodpeckers (NORTHERN FLICKERs, DOWNY (female), HAIRY (male) and NUTTALL'S (female). WESTERN-type Flycatcher and what looked like a Selasphorus-type hummingbird at a distance.

El polin area has lots of exposed dirt that is attracting many birds to the area.

cheers rob
rob garriock, SF


9/27/09 misc. sightings

Dominik Mosur
 

This morning on Bayview hill I had the following of local interest:
NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER (male)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS (5 flying over about 8:30 a.m.)

Also DOWNY WOODPECKERS (2), SPOTTED TOWHEES (2), a FOX SPARROW, WRENTIT (singing male) and a WESTERN TANAGER eating islais cherries near the fenced of radio tower area.

Later while leading a walk at Last Port and Heron's HeadPark (HHP) for Golden Gate Audubon to raise awareness of the upcoming development at Candlestick State Rec Area we had some of the following of local interest:

VAUX'S SWIFTS (12+, spotted by Eddie Bartley over Bayview Hill)
EARED GREBES (5, just south of county line)
ELEGANT TERNS (2 at 'Stick, 14 at HHP)
SURF SCOTER (male, Candlestick)
RUDDY DUCK (2, India Basin/HHP)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (2, HHP)
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (2, HHPd)
SPOTTED SANDPIPERS ('STick and 2@ HHP)
LEAST SANDPIPERS (8, HHP)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (4, HHP)
WILLET (6, HHP)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (8, HHP)
WHIMBREL (HHP)
LONG BILLED CURLEW (HHP)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (3, HHP)
BELTED KINGFISHER (female, HHP)
Accipiter (distant flyover at Candlestick)


In the late afternoon I went up to Battery Chester to see if there were any flocks. Found a small one composed of (2) TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS, a YELLOW WARBLER, (2) HUTTON'S VIREOS plus a couple of creepers/p.Nuthatches/chickadees. A HAIRY and a Downy Woodpecker were both in the area calling.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur


Re: possible Jaeger at the Marina Yacht Club Harbor?

Adam Winer
 

The photos are clearly of an immature jaeger, almost certainly a young
Parasitic. Nice sighting!

Cheers,
Adam Winer

On Sunday, September 27, 2009, slewitzky <slewitzky@yahoo.com> wrote:


















Hi Peoples,

This is my first post here and i am somewhat new to birding so please accept my apologies in case this entry makes no sense.

I was birding with a friend at the Golden Gate Yacht Club near the Wave Organ where we spotted a very dark bird chasing an Elegant Tern in flight. This bird was a strong flier as it seemed to easily catch up to the tern even with the tern's amazingly evasive maneuvers.
We could only guess at the bird's motives (an attempt to steal the tern's non-existent catch?) but after several assaults it landed on the water and took a bath.

It had an almost white bill with a black tip and had white feathers under it's primaries.
does anyone have any ideas what this could be?

I tried attaching a photo, but here's a link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/slomofoto/3960894351/sizes/l/

Thanks!

Steven
























possible Jaeger at the Marina Yacht Club Harbor?

Steven Lewitzky
 

Hi Peoples,

This is my first post here and i am somewhat new to birding so please accept my apologies in case this entry makes no sense.

I was birding with a friend at the Golden Gate Yacht Club near the Wave Organ where we spotted a very dark bird chasing an Elegant Tern in flight. This bird was a strong flier as it seemed to easily catch up to the tern even with the tern's amazingly evasive maneuvers.
We could only guess at the bird's motives (an attempt to steal the tern's non-existent catch?) but after several assaults it landed on the water and took a bath.

It had an almost white bill with a black tip and had white feathers under it's primaries.
does anyone have any ideas what this could be?

I tried attaching a photo, but here's a link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/slomofoto/3960894351/sizes/l/

Thanks!

Steven


Re: A few SF observations, 9/26-27

h cotter
 

The Pec was also present at about 6 PM.
There was also a Wilson's Snipe in the pickleweed on the North west side of the lagoon.


At around 5.40 PM from Crissy a large flock of approx. 75 Greater WF Geese were towards the east bay flying high heading south.


Hugh

----- Original Message -----
From: paulsaraceni@comcast.net
To: "SFBirds" <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2009 6:33:13 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: [SFBirds] A few SF observations, 9/26-27






During yesterday's Rare Bird Round-up, Brian Turner and I observed a BLACKPOLL WARBLER at the summit of Mt. Davidson around 8 AM. After foraging in a euc, the warbler flew off to the south.

Other birds of local interest at Mt. D. included 1 Willow Flycatcher in the East Bramble, 3 House Wrens (4-trail X, Ravine, north slope), 1 Bl.-thr. Gray Warbler (summit), and 1 Bl.-head Grosbeak (Ravine).

At Glen Canyon Park, we observed a singing Bewick's Wren (above the day care center). During a brief transit through GGP we found a female N. Pintail in among the Mallards in the south channel of Stow Lake.

This afternoon during a brief visit to Crissy Field, the juv. PECTORAL SANDPIPER (found yesterday by Mark Eaton) continued along the western shore of the lagoon, loosely consorting with a couple of Killdeer. At one point, it flew off to the west with a Killdeer and appeared to set down in the "wildlife protection area" of the beach, but was back on the lagoon 20 minutes later. Also nearby was a W. Meadowlark. The only other shorebirds on the lagoon were a Willet and a Marbled Godwit.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


A few SF observations, 9/26-27

Paul Saraceni
 

During yesterday's Rare Bird Round-up, Brian Turner and I observed a BLACKPOLL WARBLER at the summit of Mt. Davidson around 8 AM. After foraging in a euc, the warbler flew off to the south.


Other birds of local interest at Mt. D. included 1 Willow Flycatcher in the East Bramble, 3 House Wrens (4-trail X, Ravine, north slope), 1 Bl.-thr. Gray Warbler (summit), and 1 Bl.-head Grosbeak (Ravine).


At Glen Canyon Park, we observed a singing Bewick's Wren (above the day care center). During a brief transit through GGP we found a female N. Pintail in among the Mallards in the south channel of Stow Lake.


This afternoon during a brief visit to Crissy Field, the juv. PECTORAL SANDPIPER (found yesterday by Mark Eaton) continued along the western shore of the lagoon, loosely consorting with a couple of Killdeer. At one point, it flew off to the west with a Killdeer and appeared to set down in the "wildlife protection area" of the beach, but was back on the lagoon 20 minutes later. Also nearby was a W. Meadowlark. The only other shorebirds on the lagoon were a Willet and a Marbled Godwit.


Paul Saraceni
San Francisco


A few repeats

fogeggs
 

A short walk on Corona Heights this morning turned up a Merlin, about 30
Vaux's Swifts, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler. During a midday hour on
Twin Peaks, I found only a few very distant raptors heading south over the
Mission District, a couple of Sharpies over Sutro Forest, and a flock of 35
Greater White-fronted Geese that flew in from the NE, over the city, and
apparently out to sea.

Brian Fitch


GGP Clay-colored Sparrow

Kevin Liberg
 

At about 9:00 this morning I saw what I believe was a Clay-colored Sparrow, by the maintenance area just west of the Bercut corral. I was struck by the bold buffy superciliam, and the unmarked gray nape. I did not see the rump. Shortly after the bird flushed, I saw the female-type Summer Tanager described by Brian Fitch in the same area.

Rob Cullison showed up but we were unable to re-find either bird. A Lincoln Sparrow then popped up in the maintenance area just as we were talking about seeing them there in previous years. We circled back about an hour later but it was pretty quiet by then.

Earlier, I saw 2 foxes at Middle Lake.

Kevin Liberg
San Francisco


Rose-breasted Grosbeak, etc.

Dan Murphy
 

A first fall Rose-breasted Grosbeak was eating berries at the NW corner of North Lake In GGP this morning.  Also at North Lake was a Hairy Woodpecker in the woodlot across the street from the grosbeak and another at the SW end of the lake.  There were a few other common migrants.  Middle Lake was quite dead, with only a few common migrants and a Belted Kingfisher.  Stow Lake featured a female Pintail and 2 Band-tailed Pigeons.

Good birding,
Dan Murphy





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Summer Tanager continues

Mark Eaton
 

The adult male SUMMER TANAGER continues at the west end sex club, a.k.a the hedges between the soccer fields and the maintenance yard. The bird was quite shy and you needed to climb the little ridge between the pedestrian pathway along the Great Highway and the maintenance yard, right in the middle of the club, shall we say.

Mark
---
Mark Eaton
mark@markeaton.org


Lewis's Woodpeckers etc.

Alan Hopkins
 

There were two Lewis's Woodpeckers flying over the Simonds Loop Area in the Presidio, I don't think they stopped. I also saw a Robin-sized black bird with a white rump land in a eucalyptus near the Letterman Center. I did not notice any white in the wing. There was also a fly-by Western Kingbird and a small flock of Vaux's Swifts.

This morning at Lake Merced there was a single male Wood Duck on the enclosure and a Tennessee Warbler at MH2.

Mark Eaton and I scoped Battery Godfry but few birds crossed in the hour we were watching.

Alan Hopkins


Luke Cole Challenge - Marin to SF

Eddie Bartley
 

From a rather hot Hawk Hill perch Noreen and I watched a few uncommon
species travel into SF air space and eventually to SF land over a couple of
hours yesterday. About 20 - 30 BLACK SWIFTS continued on mixed in with many
hundreds of Vaux's. Followed one OSPREY over the gate along with many
accipiters and Red-tails. Picked up on a MERLIN coming from Mt. Tam as it
flew at break neck speed over Alcatraz then hit land at Aquatic Park
flapping like mad the whole time. Several large flocks of Band-tails made
the passage. A PEREGRINE FALCON perched on the north tower. The only other
uncommon birds were several BROAD-WINGED HAWKS none of which were witnessed
by us to make the crossing. We spent a couple of hours on the slopes of Mt.
Tam trying for Spotted Owl but dipped on that.

Don't know whether that helps the SF list for the challenge or not but this
was our two cents.

Happy Trails!

Eddie Bartley


Round-up highlights East GGP 9/26/09 - Sabine's Gull, Black-chinned Hummingbird

Dominik Mosur
 

This morning I teamed with Andrew Rush and Pat McCulloch, birding Buena Vista and East Golden Gate Park.

The highlight of our day came around 9:30 a.m. when we saw a first year SABINE'S GULL land on the lake near the island in the northeast corner of Stow Lake. Having only seen this bird before on a pelagic trip out of Monterey it was quite a treat for me and Andrew and a life bird for Pat. The Sabine's Gull appeared to linger for only a few minutes, taking a drink and then flying off.

A couple of hours later, while birding the John Muir pond in the west end of the Strybing Arboretum, Andrew and I both got on a small, green-backed, female/immature type hummingbird that showed some of the field marks of a BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD.

This hummingbird appeared smaller and slimmer than an Anna's, with cleaner/paler gray underparts that contrasted more with the upperparts than on an adult Anna's. What really got our attention, and eliminated the possibility of a newly hatched Anna's Hummingbird (which was my initial thought) was the long, down-curved appearing bill.

Also at the John Muir pond we had great extended looks at a CHIPPING SPARROW, when it wasn't being chased around by an aggresive Dark-eyed Junco.

Other notables for us included: fly-over ELEGANT TERNS (2) on Strawberry hill (furthest "inland" that I've ever noted this speceis), my F-O-F FOX SPARROWS at the Rhonodendron dell, and CALIFORNIA QUAIL (3m 4f) working the east edge of the lawn backing Rhonodendron Dell on the Cal Academy Side.

Earlier, Buenav Vista Park gave us our only BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARLBER of the day.

This evening, near dusk, I also observed (2) basic plumage FORSTER'S TERNS foraging at South Lake Merced. I think we may have missed this species earlier.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur


Re: 2009 San Francisco Rare Bird Round-Up Highlights- Addendum

h cotter
 

Forgot to mention 3 White-fronted Geese seen over GGP.


Hugh

----- Original Message -----
From: htcotter@comcast.net
To: "sfbirds" <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:23:56 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: [SFBirds] 2009 San Francisco Rare Bird Round-Up Highlights






The annual San Francisco Rare Bird Round Up combined this year with the Luke Cole Challenge proved to be very successful in spite of the weather.

Highlights in no particular order:

Sabines Gull - Stowe Lake, GGP
Two reports of Black Chinned Hummingbird, one at the John Muir pond in the arboretum and one from Telegraph Hill.
Two Blackpoll Warblers - One at Mount Davidson, one at the Community Garden in the Presidio
Pectoral Sandpiper - Crissy Lagoon
Orchard Oriole - Fort Mason Community Garden
Two Summer Tanagers ( as per Brian's earlier email) in GGP

From Hawk Hill we heard of Broad-winged Hawks and many Black Swifts heading into SF.

In addition there were a number of uncommon/FOS birds including Shoveler, Wigeon, Pintail etc.

We will post a full list as soon as we have it together.

Thanks to all who participated and those who found these great birds.
The Luke Cole Challenge continues through tomorrow so keep posting those sightings.

Hugh Cotter

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


2009 San Francisco Rare Bird Round-Up Highlights

h cotter
 

The annual San Francisco Rare Bird Round Up combined this year with the Luke Cole Challenge proved to be very successful in spite of the weather.


Highlights in no particular order:


Sabines Gull - Stowe Lake, GGP
Two reports of Black Chinned Hummingbird, one at the John Muir pond in the arboretum and one from Telegraph Hill.
Two Blackpoll Warblers - One at Mount Davidson, one at the Community Garden in the Presidio
Pectoral Sandpiper - Crissy Lagoon
Orchard Oriole - Fort Mason Community Garden
Two Summer Tanagers ( as per Brian's earlier email) in GGP


From Hawk Hill we heard of Broad-winged Hawks and many Black Swifts heading into SF.


In addition there were a number of uncommon/FOS birds including Shoveler, Wigeon, Pintail etc.


We will post a full list as soon as we have it together.


Thanks to all who participated and those who found these great birds.
The Luke Cole Challenge continues through tomorrow so keep posting those sightings.


Hugh Cotter


Summer Tanagers

fogeggs
 

The Western Golden Gate Park team of Robert Garriock, Bob Toleno, Juli
Chamberlain and myself turned up two Summer Tanagers this morning. The first
bird was an adult male that flew into the hedge that separates the soccer
fields at the far west end of the park from the large maintenance yard near the
south windmill. It sat out in the open for about a minute before flying
across the yard and into trees nearer the windmill, where we didn't refind
it.

The second bird was flycatching in pines near the compost pile of the
maintenance area just west of the Bercut corral, which is west of Middle Lake
across Chain of Lakes Drive. It was yellow-brown, with a red tail and vent,
and judging from our field guides, was likely an adult female, though the
limited descriptions didn't rule out a first year male.

Other birds of interest included a FOS female American Wigeon at North
Lake, two adult Cooper's Hawks perched by Middle Lake and the Buffalo Paddock,
Western Wood-Pewee, Say's Phoebe, and Lincoln's Sparrow by the soccer fields,
and a Marsh Wren at North Lake.
Brian Fitch

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