Sutro bath Heermann's gull with white wing patches

Rob Garriock <rgarriock@...>

Today I observed a gull fly into sutro bath with white wing patches. It was that rare color form of a HEERMANN'S GULL. This was the only HERRMANN's GULL I observed today. There was also a large flock of BLACK TURNSTONES (10-15 birds). Offshore there was some good feeding activity including a pod of 10 or more dolphins (White-Sided?). Nothing special of the feathered kind except for 3 COMMON MURRE.

Later Today near my home a Dead Young Male TOWNSEND'S WARBLER was on the steps leading down to the 17th and Clayton intersection. Beautiful bird.

cheers, Rob San Francisco.

Sora & Wilson's Snipe action at Lake Merced

Marc <crannif@...>

Went to the cement bridge at Lake Merced again today around 4pm and saw a SORA, four (4) WILSON'S SNIPES, a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, two (2) MARSH WRENS, and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.

Links to a few pics:



SF coasts, 12/05/09

Paul Saraceni

Hugh Cotter and I birded a few locations on the ocean and bay sides of SF.

Highlights were 2 hybrids.

On the west side of the south impoundment of L. Merced, we again observed the presumed hybrid Red-breasted x Red-naped Sapsucker, still faithful to the dying pine covered with sapsucker wells near the rocky drainage. Since we first observed it 2 weeks ago, it's plumage seems to have developed a bit, as it is now showing more well-defined white wing patches and is also showing a brighter yellow wash on its belly. It called several times and chased a Ruby-crowned Kinglet from the wells.

At India Basin Open Space on the bayside, there was a drake hybrid Eurasian x American Wigeon. This bird has the rufous-colored head of a Eurasian, but with a greenish eye patch. In the same flock were a couple of striking white-morph drake American Wigeons -- showing white or cream colored foreheads and cheeks. The flock later moved to the shore of Heron's Head park.

Other observations of local interest:

Lesser Scaup 1 m. (s. L. Merced)
Common Goldeneye 3 (2 @ Yosemite Creek, 1 @ Heron's Head)
Black Scoter 20+ (the regular flock just off the s. parking lot of the Great Highway)
Red-br. Merganser 1 f. (HH)
Green Heron 1 (calling nr. concrete bridge, s. L. Merced)
Pelagic Cormorant 1 imm. (Warm Water Cove on bayside)
Common (2), Pacific (10+), Red-thr. (20+) Loons (off of s. parking lot, Great Highway)
Peregrine Falcon 3 (1 on s. tower of GG Bridge, 2 over Yosemite Creek)
Black Oystercatcher 10 (2 fly-bys @ s. parking lot, 5 @ Yosemite Creek/Double Rock, 3 @ HH)
Black-necked Stilt 2 (HH)
Am. Avocet 7 (6 @ HH, 1 @ Pier 94)
Whimbrel 6 (Yosemite Creek/Double Rock)
Gr. Yellowlegs 3 (2 @ HH, 1 @ P94)
Herring Gull 4 (2 @ s. L. Merced, 2 @ HH)
White-thr. Swift 2 (flying over Candlestick Park)
Say's Phoebe 1 (HH)
Am. Pipit 2 (calling fly-overs @ Battery Godfrey)
Lincoln's Sparrow 2 (HH)
Purple Finch 2 (calling fly-overs @ BG)
Red Crossbill 1 (calling fly-over @ concrete bridge)

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

Hairy Woodpecker at Sutro Heights

Joe Morlan

Today I took my Ornithology class to Sutro Heights Park and the Cliff

New was a HAIRY WOODPECKER in the same tree with a Downy for direct
comparison. A female RED CROSSBILL (Type 2) was at Sutro Heights.
Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Hutton's Vireo were also seen.

Full list is at:

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at)
SF Birding Classes start Feb.9
California Bird Records Committee
Western Field Ornithologists

GGP & Sutro

Alan Hopkins

There was a White-throated Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow in the williows on Strawberry Hill near the Chinese Pavilion. The Pintail was in ts usual spot. There were Red Crossiblls in the trees near the Boat House.

The albino gull was on Lloyd Lake as were six Hooded Mergansers. The Wood Duck was on Elk Glen Lake.

I heard a flock of Bluebirds over Middle Lake, but did not see them.

There were 50+ Red-throated Loons off Point Lobos, the Peregrine was on Mile Rock, there were a few Murre fly-bys, but best of all was a Sea Otter just below the observation deck.

Alan Hopkins

ps just got Steller's Jay as a yard bird!

Corona Heights 12/5/09: SELASPHORUS sp. et al

Dominik Mosur

Birded the hill around work on the lunch hour (12:30 - 1:15 p.m.)


SELASPHORUS sp. hummingbird (in oaks/scrub, north side of park, possibly the same Selasphorus that I first found here in mid October, subsequently refound several times by myself and Brian Fitch)

NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER (female, working the large euke in the open space next to 168 Museum Way, just before it becomes the Randall Museum parking lot, this is also probably a continuing bird that was first found here in August)

Also of note:
Orange-crowned Warbler (lutescens, also another likely continuer/wintering bird)
Turkey Vulture (fly-over, 12:45-12:50 p.m.)
light/pale morph HY Red-tailed Hawk (fly-over, 1:00p.m., driven off by ravens)
American Kestrel (the Randall bird!, showing nicely on the fence above the parking lot/Caution Falling Rocks signs)

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur

White-throated Sparrow at my feeder

Logan Kahle <logan.kahle@...>

Hi all,

This morning I saw a 1st winter White-throated Sparrow at my feeder. This is a new feeder/backyard bird for me.

Good birding,

Fw: possible VESP and BARS sunday HHP

Logan Kahle <logan.kahle@...>

Sorry All,

The possible Vesper Sparrow was actually a Savanah Sparrow.

Good birding,

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Logan Kahle <logan.kahle@...>
To: SFBirds@...
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 8:29:49 PM
Subject: [SFBirds] possible VESP and BARS sunday HHP

Hi all,

On Sunday I birded Heron's Head Park (and Radio Rd.) with a group. The highlights (at HHP) were 2 (possibly 1) Says Phoebe, a Barn Swallow (seen by me and another birder) and a (possible) Vesper Sparrow (see photos). The yellow appearance on the head was mostly the sun.
Hirundo forever,

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

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

Eurasian Wigeon at HHP 12/3/09 fide Al Demartini

Dominik Mosur

from the NorCal BirdBox. Al also had a hybrid AmericanXEurasian there as well.

I think this may be the first EUWI for the City this year.


Twin Peaks area 12/4/09

Dominik Mosur

**Warning, this post contains some off-topic ranting weaved in cleverly among the bird reports**

Checked out a couple of spots around Twin Peaks on my lunch break finding several birds of local interest.

Driving on Twin Peaks Drive where it turns left (the other road becomes Clarendon) I heard bushtits out the window as well as a Vermivora like chip. I stopped and looked through the dense ornamental plantings across from Twin Peaks X Mountain Spring streets.

Here I found a good mix (by December city standards at least) of sparrows/warblers:
Townsend's Warbler
(4)Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warblers
(2) Song Sparrows
(2) Fox Sparrows
plus a couple of RCKinglets and the aforementioned Bushtit flock.

I then birded around the Twin Peaks reservoirs (both the open reservoir and the covered res. across the street from there.)

The birding at the covered res.has gotten rather poor since the goats were brought in about 6 weeks ago. Much of the sweet fennel which had been attracting (150+) strong flocks of finches and sparrows is now gone and with it so are most of the Emberizids. The goats left most of the much less productive french broom intact. What a great a way to diminish bird diversity! :(

The cotoneasters here are also putting out many berries. As a result I heard no fewer than a half dozen Hermit Thrushes "chup"ing and "whee"ing away along with a couple of American Robins. But the real highlight was hearing the eerie whistle of VARIED THRUSH.

The edge of the euke stand next to the Sutro Radio tower had a flock of 8-10 Yellow-rumps and 4-5 RCKinglets. A Steller's Jay was heard calling from deeper in the euke stand.

The open reservoir area was pretty quiet except for an Anna's Hummingbird, (2) house finches, a black-and-white domestic shorthair (cat) and some songbird feathers on the ground (possibly White-crowned.) No sign of the Wrentits which were singing/calling here in the spring (odd considering they are such sedentary birds, hmmm....)

As citizens of this fine City we can always call on the SPCA to come and trap feral cats. However after spaying/neutering them and giving them a clean bill of health, the shelter will then release them, usually to the same spot where they were picked up. A brilliant SF birder once suggested in a letter to Audubon magazine that we should set-up reservations for feral cats. Since other population controls are not desirable in this day and age, perhaps its time to look into this more seriously.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur

Western Tanager continues at Corona Heights 12/03/09

Dominik Mosur

For what it's worth, the (wintering, or at least attempting to winter) female WESTERN TANAGER was "pittrick!"ing loudly from the big Myoporum next to 168 Museum Way, at about 4:30 p.m. today.

I had failed to locate her on pre-work and lunch time birding forays earlier in the day. Other notables today included:

Red-shouldered Hawk (flying over heading NE/downtown, noon)
American Goldfinches (6 flying over around noon)
(9) Cedar Waxwings, (30+) American Robins and (2) Hermit Thrushes were all taking advantage of the fruiting non-native Cotoneasters behind the museums.
A handful of bird seed scattered on the museum terrace and near the stairs has been brining in a (60+) sparrow flock of White/Golden-crowns, DE Juncos and a couple of House Sparrows for over a week. Let's hope they pull in something cool by the CBC.
The male American Kestrel (which was being looked for by a visiting birder this morning) can usually be found in the top of one of the trees growing on the east side of Museum Way. Climbing to the top of the south face of the hill via the one of the two staircases offers the best vantage point.

Don't forget that this Sunday is the 1st of the month, Arboretum walk meets at 8 a.m., 9th ave. entrance.

On a sad off-topic note, today I found a dead baby Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (~ 7"TL, 0.25" wide) that appeared to have trapped itself in one of the tanks in the museum green house. The comforting thing is knowing that we still have garter snakes reproducing at this isolated and heavily (mis)used park.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

juv. Ferruginous Hawk

bauersteven1 <>

Today at about 1:40 PM a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk came through the Marin Headlands, crossed the Gate and appeared to make landfall over the Marina Green.


Chat with Messenger straight from your Hotmail inbox.

Returning Merlin in Noe Valley

Adam Winer

A Merlin is once again wintering in Noe Valley, its third year if it's
all been the same individual. It's fond of perching on a pole jutting
out of the large apartment building in the 4100 block of Cesar Chavez
Street, happily quite visible from my dining room window. Looks like
an adult male columbarius.

Adam Winer


Allyn Bissell <abinsf07@...>

A Peregrine was again in the vicinity of Green & Steiner at 7:35 this morning, flying to and landing atop a tall tree near Scott and Vallejo.

Allyn Bissell
San Francisco

[BIRDWEST] N. Calif. BirdBox 03 December 09

Mark Eaton

Mark Eaton

Begin forwarded message:

San Francisco Co.
On Dec 2, a male HARLEQUIN DUCK was seen at Heron's Head Park in eastern SF.
(Cindy Schwartz)

local interest (long, no vagrants) 12/2/09

Dominik Mosur

Checked the birdy (east) side of Lafayette Park this morning with Pat McCulloch from 8-8:30 a.m.

Of interest (to me) were:
lutescens spp. ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER (probably a wintering bird)
Townsend's Warbler (m,f giving great looks from 5-10 feet away in a Coast Live Oak)
Yellow-rumped Warblers (at least 10, all the ones we got looks at were Audubon's)
Fox Sparrow (2)
GC Sparrow (2 unseen, singing birds)
Downy Woodpecker (f)
Hermit Thrush (2)
American Robin

At least a dozen American Crows mobbing a Common Raven are not a common sight at this park according to Pat who birds here regularly. Also seen were year round residents like Pygmy Nuthatches (8), CB Chickadees, Black Phoebe, DE Juncos and a Red-masked Parakeet.

Earlier (around 7:45 a.m.) I saw a Cooper's Hawk fly out of a New Zealand Christmas Tree near the intersection of Franklin and Golden Gate (across the street from the Unemployment office.) It looked like a juv., perhaps the same bird Pat has seen outside his window a few blocks away.

A stop at newly restored Buena Vista Park (8:45-9 a.m.) yielded several calling GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLETS in the treetops. I did manage a quick look at a male but others (perhaps 2-3) went unseen.

At lunch time I took a quick tour of Mt. Davidson (11:15-12:15 p.m.) Notable here were:

American Kestrel (male, on the eucalyptus snag)
Red-tailed Hawks (pair, soaring, displaying)
Hairy Woodpecker (m, this is one of the few spots in the city that I know of where this species breeds)
Steller's Jay (2)
HOUSE WREN (probably continuing/wintering)
a Dendroica flock of over 60 birds (mostly A.'s YRWAs but also at least 8 Townsend's)
Purple Finch (female, w/House Finches)

Driving back to the Randall over Twin Peaks:
American Kestrel (female, hovering over south side grasslands)

Finally as I pulled back into the Randall Museum parking lot I saw "our" wintering male Kes perched in the top of a pine. Three Kestrels in one hour in SF is uncommon in my experience excluding fly-overs during prime time raptor migration.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur

Cow Hollow Peregrine

AllynB <abinsf07@...>

A Peregrine was perched atop the cross at St. Vincent de Paul Church at Green and Steiner at 7:45 this morning, then flew north over the Marina.

Allyn Bissell
San Francisco

VESP photos

Logan Kahle <logan.kahle@...>

Sorry for the Email difficulties, here are the photos:

possible VESP and BARS sunday HHP

Logan Kahle <logan.kahle@...>

Hi all,

On Sunday I birded Heron's Head Park (and Radio Rd.) with a group. The highlights (at HHP) were 2 (possibly 1) Says Phoebe, a Barn Swallow (seen by me and another birder) and a (possible) Vesper Sparrow (see photos). The yellow appearance on the head was mostly the sun.
Hirundo forever,

NAB Reminder

Jeff N Davis

Dear North American Birds contributors,

The fall season has come to a close. Please submit your noteworthy
bird records from the Northern California Region for the period 1
August Ė 30 November to the appropriate Subregional Editors (SREs) by
10 December.

SREs diligently keep track of records within their counties. By
sending your records to the SREs, you are contributing to their
county files as well as to North American Birds. If you wish to send
records to the Regional Editors, we welcome them. But please send
records to the SREs as well. If you have a noteworthy record from a
county without an SRE, please send it to the Regional Editors.


Alameda (ALA)
Bob Richmond
24650 Amador St. #15
Hayward, CA 94544

Alpine (ALP), Calaveras (CLV), Modoc (MOD), & Yolo (YOL)
John Sterling
29 Palm Ave.
Woodland, CA 95695

Amador (AMA) & El Dorado (ED)
Tim Steurer
4042 Bancroft Dr.
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Butte (BUT), Colusa (COL), Glenn (GLE), Tehama (TEH), & Yuba (YUB)
Bruce Deuel
18730 Live Oak Rd.
Red Bluff, CA 96080

Contra Costa (CC)
Steve Glover
5108 Shelly Ray Rd.
Keller, TX 76244

Fresno (FRE)
Gary W. Potter
2183 Walton Ave.
Sanger, CA 93657

Humboldt (HUM)
Rob Fowler
2277 Heather Ln., Apt. D
Arcata, CA 95521

Kings (KIN)
Jeff Seay
7815 N. Palm Ave., Ste. 310
Fresno, CA 93711

Lake (LAK)
Jerry R. White
P.O. Box 113
Kelseyville, CA 95451

Lassen (LAS)
Ken Able
Bobís Creek Ranch
535-000 Little Valley Rd.
McArthur, CA 96056

Madera (MAD)
Jeff N. Davis
7815 N. Palm Ave., Ste, 310
Fresno, CA 93711

Marin (MRN)
Ryan Terrill
1619 El Dorado St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Mariposa (MRP)
David Vander Pluym
1683 Buena Vista St.
Ventura, CA 93001

Mendocino (MEN)
Bob Keiffer
P.O. Box 354
Hopland, CA 95449

Merced (MER) & San Benito (SBT)
Kent Van Vuren
26 Vista Dr.
Salinas, CA 93907

Mono (MNO)
Kristie Nelson
P.O. Box 402
Lee Vining, CA 93541

Monterey (MTY)
Don Roberson
282 Grove Acre
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Napa (NAP)
Murray Burner
210 Monte Vista
Napa, CA 94558

Nevada (NEV)
Rudy Darling
12143 Big Blue Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959

Placer (PLA)
Ed Pandolfino
5530 Del Rose Crt.
Carmichael, CA 95608

Plumas (PLU) & Sierra (SIE)
Colin Dillingham
400 First St.
Quincy, CA 95971

Sacramento (SAC)
Chris Conard
2405 Rio Bravo Cir.
Sacramento, CA 95826

San Francisco (SF)
Mainland: Mark Eaton
1524 36th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94122

San Francisco (SF)
Farallones: Jim Tietz
P.O. Box 373
Shaver Lake, CA 93664

San Joaquin (SJ)
Frances Oliver
1817 Songbird Pl.
Lodi, CA 95240

San Mateo (SM)
Peter J. Metropulos
2940 Turk Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Santa Clara (SCL)
William G. Bousman
321 Arlington Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Santa Cruz (SCZ)
David Suddjian and Steve Gerow
801 Monterey Ave.
Capitola, CA 95010

Shasta (SHA)
Bob Yutzy
P.O. Box 990237
Redding, CA 96099

Siskiyou (SIS)
Ray Ekstrom
2209 Delphic Rd.
Montague, CA 96064

Solano (SOL)
Robin Leong
336 Benson Ave.
Vallejo, CA 94590

Sonoma (SON)
Ruth Rudesill
P.O. Box 371
Kenwood, CA 95452

Stanislaus (STA)
Harold Reeve

Trinity (TRI)
John E. Hunter
P.O. Box 4483
Arcata, CA 95518

Tulare (TUL)
Steven Summers
2553 W. Michelle Ln.
Porterville, CA 93257

Tuolumne (TUO)
Steven Umland
15818 Parkridge Ave.
Sonora, CA 95370


Mike Rogers
(waterfowl through quail and herons through shorebirds)
499 Novato Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Steve Rottenborn
(loons through frigatebirds and larids through alcids)
983 University Ave., Bldg. D
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Jeff Davis
(doves through thrushes/Wrentit)
7815 N. Palm Ave., Ste. 310
Fresno, CA 93711

Ed Pandolfino
(thrashers through finches)
5530 Delrose Crt.
Carmichael, CA 95608

The Reporting Deadlines are:

Spring Summer Fall Winter

Season ends May 31 July 31 Nov 30 Feb 28

Observer reports to Subregional Editors (SREs)

June 10 Aug 10 Dec 10 Mar 10

Observer reports to Regional Editors (if not sent to SRE)

June 10 Aug 10 Dec 10 Mar 10

SRE reports to Regional Editors

June 20 Aug 20 Dec 20 Mar 20

Regional Editors final text to ABA office

July 10 Sep 10 Jan 10
Apr 10

Please send reports in our database format: species, date(s)
[including year], locale separated by a space from county
abbreviation, number of birds, and observers, and then, on a second
line, any comments. Please separate these sections by a
"tab" (except just a space between locale and county abbreviation).
Here's an example of the correct format:

Grace's Warbler 12/13/98-2/20/99 Jacks Peak
MTY 1 RFT, mob

A second record for the Region (the first was 6/26/91 at Deer
Spring, Glass Mt. MNO) which wintered with a large flock of
Townsend's & Hermit warblers at the very top of Jacks Peak in Jacks
Peak Regional Park. Details by Tintle and others are enclosed.

Many thanks to all contributors and Subregional Editors who make
these reports possible!


Jeff Davis, Ed Pandolfino, Steve Rottenborn, and Mike Rogers

Northern California Regional Editors

(North American Birds is a quarterly journal of ornithological record
published by the American Birding Association. For details see

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

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