I was "botanizing" the serpentine paths between Baker and Marshall beaches and heard a singing Wrentit to the east of the trail, close to Marshall Beach. I also got a quick look at the bird - - even managed to take a couple of fuzzy photos. I have *heard* Wrentit singing at Lobos Creek, but this is a first city sighting for me.
Highlights from a bike ride through the Presidio late this afternoon were a GREEN HERON at Crissy Lagoon, and...newly installed interpretive signage at the wooden platform overlooking the bayside WPA!
Fort Miley East 6/4/10 - nesting Nuttall's Woodpecker confirmation
After work I walked around Fort Miley East (open scrub/grassland and Monterey Pine woodland between VA hospital and Legion of Honor/Lincoln Park golf course.)
The "Trickster's" presence: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33576979@N02/4670236613/
set off the calls of a male and female NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER. A recently fledged juvenile joined them. Following the food carrying female I was able to locate the nesting cavity in a snag. Climbing 15 feet up into a nearby tree I perched precariously for a few minutes and was able to document a second juvenile emerging from the cavity, begging for food:
This is the 2nd known nest of Nuttall's Woodpecker in San Francisco. The first was found by Kevin Liberg at the Potrero Rec Center earlier this year.
Interestingly both nests are located in Monterey Pines, a tree that has been targeted for mass removals throughout City parks and the Presidio.
Other notables found at Fort Miley this afternoon included:
WILSON'S WARBLER (an obvious migrant feeding in radish away from nesting habitat)
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (a male foraging near the Nuttall's snag)
PINE SISKIN (fly-over)
PURPLE FINCH (closely associating male/female pair)
I saw a EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE fly over the Legion of Honor as I limped back to by car, after having a bit of trouble in descending the wet pine tree I had climbed earlier.
Lazuli Buntings Western Tanagers American Kestrel Downey Wood pecker
Where and when are the best places to see these birds ?
Am being dazzled by a magnificently colored male Hooded Oriole, which is popping in and out of my Glen Park garden as I write.
It stops on the fence, preens, shakes the mist off its feathers, flies into the Siberian Elm, swoops along the lane at the side of the house, back up into the tree, repeat. How can one work with such a showy distraction beckoning?!
serenity in early May
Lewis Ellingham <magicpool@...>
Doubtless now all this is but a memory:
and Mr Rabbit weighing down the edge of my book
Easterly offshore air flow
So I can hear the sound of cars on 280 lingering in the air long after
they¹ve passed ‹ signaling offshore easterly flow. Temp is 59F, and the two
together should make for a balmy still air morning.
If you¹re up tonight, cock your ear to the air...it¹ll sound different and
have a special quality to it.
Roberta Guise, MBA
Guise Marketing & PR
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Baby Bird Bonanza
Well, while this may be a disappointing period for migrants, breeding season for the locals is well underway. By now, most of you have likely seen (or heard) fledgling House Sparrows, Finches and Robins in your neighborhoods. Baby birds are making their appearances everywhere!
In the Pacific Heights parks that I've been intermittently monitoring there has also been lots of activity. While I have seen numerous nesting failures, recent days have been rewarding. In Alta Plaza Park I am watching a House Finch nest and an incipient second brood of Bushtits. More importantly, from a conservation standpoint, White-crowned Sparrows have once again successfully bred in or about the dense, shrub-like junipers at the northeast corner of the park, and are likely nesting elsewhere in the area judging by the number of individuals singing away. On Monday I was fortunate to spot two brand new fledgling WC Sparrows being fed by a parent in a juniper, whereupon one of the fledglings haltingly flew and landed less than two meters from me! I was able to get a few pictures on my recently purchased digital camera before it realized its precarious position and hid.
While two previous Anna's Hummingbird nests that I spotted in Lafayette Park were failures, another active nest located in a pine at the upper circle has miraculously survived, despite being buffeted by the high winds and its location right off the path trod by numerous exercizing humans and their dogs. The two chicks are nearly ready to fledge. I was able to get a few pictures of the stoic baby hummers in their nest on Monday and Tuesday. I think the photos are rather amazing, seeing as how they were obtained with a compact point-and-shoot with a piddling 3X zoom.
I've posted these photos in a new album called Baby Birds 2010 on the SFBirds photos page - with more (hopefully) to follow. The album is open; i.e. any SFBirds group member can add their photos to it, and I would encourage anyone who has an interest to share their observations of local nesters with the group. Just be mindful to refrain from causing possible disruption to the nesting birds who, after all, have plenty of difficulties with humans and predators in this urban environment we share.
Happy baby pictures!
Corona Heights 6/3/10
A few noteworthy sightings from Corona Hill today.
In the morning WESTERN WOOD PEWEE flycatching from snags on the north side of the hill is getting on the late side. An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was in the grove east of the Randall Museum terrace The Ash-throated was later seen foraging in fennel growing on the rocks above the museum parking lot where I managed to get an image:
Last year an ATFL spent a week on the hill between June 7th and June 14th, a late date for a migrant but perhaps a bird dispersing from its breeding territory.
The blooming Sticky Monkey Flower (Mimulus) has been attracting dispersing/migrating Allen's Hummingbirds for the past several days. Allen's Hummingbird is one of our first "spring" migrants to arrive (mid January records are common) and one of the first "fall" migrants to depart (by late May, early June) from the county.
A male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD flying over headed north could be a dispersing/failed local breeder.
A couple of DOWNY WOODPECKERS, present since the end of the third week of May are dispersing breeders from nearby (perhaps Buena Vista Park) but I've never found evidence of them breeding on Corona Hill itself. CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES are back at Corona Heights for the first time since a brood fledged from the nesting box donated by Habitat Potential.
A couple of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS foraging over the hill could be the same ones reported by Brian Fitch a few days ago as possible nesters in nearby Buena Vista Park.
For the 3rd time in 7 seven days, the male RED-SHOULDERED HAWK made a brief visit to the hill this afternoon. As in the previous two instances it flew off carrying an Alligator Lizard. Higher and later than average rainfall this year has contributed to more vegetation and a corresponding boom in insects. As a result I've been seeing many more lizards than in the past two summers.
Lobos dunes 6/3/10 - wrens and stuff
Walked the boardwalk around Lobos dunes this morning (7:10-7:55 a.m.)
A singing HOUSE WREN in the top of a pine was an unexpected late migrant.
Beside the more common resident species I was pleased to hear singing BEWICK'S WREN, WRENTIT and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.
A female WESTERN BLUEBIRD was fly-catching in the northwest corner of the dune scrub.
Earlier I stopped at Stow Lake where I wasn't as stoked by the presence of (39a, 6j) CANADA GEESE.
misc. observations 6/2/10
Checked out Chain of Lakes this morning before work (7:15-8:15 a.m.)
At North Lake a CLIFF SWALLOW seemed out of place among the Barn/Tree/Violet-green Swallows:
I don't usually see Cliff swallows in the city away from their only remaining colony site (concrete bridge @ S. Lake Merced.) They formerly nested in the Presidio but then so did California Quail.
The pair of RING-NECKED DUCKS continue and (3) PIED-BILLED GREBE chicks seen were almost the size of the adults but still bearing the juvenile face patterns.
(~20) CEDAR WAXWINGS were in the trees on the north island. Waxwings often linger into the first week of June but soon they will have moved on to their breeding grounds.
Walking the edges of the GGP golf course west of North Lake birds of local interest (possible breeders) were singing PURPLE FINCH (2) and WILSON'S WARBLER (2)
At Middle Lake I heard a couple of singing WILSON'S WARBLERS as well but not much else. Spring migration sure has been slow this year.
Around midday I had to run a work related errand in to the Southeast part of the City so I took my lunch break at Candlestick State Recreation Area.
I checked out the newly created freshwater pond at the former site of "Rock City." I was "overjoyed" to see that the pond is already being used by park goers exactly as was intended:
Nearby, a pair of KILLDEER were frantically trying to distract the perceived threat away from a pair of tiny chicks.
A RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD was singing near the pond. This wetland area was created last September but has immense habitat potential both as nesting site and migrant shorebird trap.
Scoping the waters and bay edge between Candlestick Point and Hunter's Point I had a few birds of interest:
COMMON LOON (alt. plumage)
SURF SCOTER (2m, f, all 3 looking quite worn)
GREATER SCAUP (9m, 7f)
Aechmophorus grebes (55)
SNOWY EGRET (3)
CASPIAN TERN (16, roosting on HP)
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (2)
AMERICAN AVOCET (2)
Two WESTERN GULL nests are active on Double Rock.
Walking back through the parking lot that is slated for housing developments I saw a male AMERICAN KESTREL being mobbed by a Red-winged Blackbird. The Kestrel later captured and ate a Blue-eyed Darner dragonfly on top of a light post before posing:
Beside the long thriving pair on Bernal Hill, American Kestrels seem to be absent from the City in the summer and are in major decline throughout their entire range. Causes aren't certain but their reliance on insects/invertebrates for food seems to run counter to the heavy use of pesticides across the country. Keep that in mind next time you buy the bug killer at your local home improvement box store.
Walking back to the car I heard a WHITE-THROATED SWIFT calling unseen overhead. WT Swifts have long been suspected of nesting in the area (perhaps in the top of Candlestick Park)and are present here each summer but I'm not aware of any confirmations to date.
Mammals of interest seen today:
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)
CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRREL(Spermophilus beecheyi)
Both have been extirpated from all other areas in San Francisco and the planned development of Candlestick Park threatens their survival in our fair City. Be sure to visit this park soon before the sold-out empty suits that claim to represent us have it their way and turns this last quiet corner of San Francisco into another urban wasteland.
Chain-of-Lakes & Glen Canyon
Happy Memorial Day !
From 12:00- 1:30 PM I birded my way around the Chain-of-Lakes in Golden Gate Park.
At NORTH LAKE: the late-lingering pair of Ring-necked Ducks continues. The light conditions were such that I could actually see the drake's neck collar ! Also continuing was the drake Gadwall. Also of interest were: Hairy Woodpecker (2), Downy Woodpecker(1), Cedar Waxwing(10) (a beautiful sight, bathing below me at edge of lake), Wilson's Warbler(5).
MIDDLE LAKE: Two Great Blue Herons and one Snowy Egret, a Steller's Jay, a singing Wilson's Warbler and White-crowned Sparrow.
SOUTH LAKE: An adult Black-crowned Night Heron plus another singing Wilson's Warbler. A pair of Red Crossbills were calling as they flew overhead.
Driving back up Park Presidio, with my windows rolled down, I heard a Hutton's Vireo singing at Golden Gate Park's ROSE GARDEN, at Fulton Street.
Late in the afternoon, my wife and spent a couple hours in GLEN CANYON PARK. A White-throated Swift zigzagged across the sky. Two Downy Woodpeckers included one adult carrying food for young. A single Nuttall's Woodpecker was present as well. A group of 9 Cedar Waxwings was passing up the canyon. One male Hooded Oriole and one female Bullock's Oriole were foraging in the riparian zone. A female Lesser Goldfinch was seen adding material to a nest under construction in a cypress.
Peter J. Metropulos
Misc 5/30 and 5/31
Not much to add to the reports from East Wash/ Lincoln Park yesterday.
I did have a male Nuttall's Woodpecker at Fort Miley East, ( only the second time I have ever had that species in LP)
Also had a couple of White-throated Swifts over the gold course, a Laz Bunting at the VA hospital overlook and a Pac Slope Flycatcher at the east wash.
Birded Mount Davidson briefly this morning. Not much about.
Did have 3-4 Grosbeaks calling and singing. The only one I got a visual on was a Black headed Grosbeak.
One of the other might have been RB Grosebeak based on call but could not find it to verify.
Had a single Red Crossbill, one young Band-tailed Pigeon, three OS Flycatchers and one Western Wood Peewee.
Potrero Hill Today
It was much quieter at the Rec Center this morning. The only migrant I could find was a singing male Western Tanager. The adult male Nuttall's Woodpecker was feeding a fledgling in a Eucalyptus tree. I did not see the adult female, and there seemed to be no activity at the site of the nest cavity.
Great Blue Heron 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Western Gull 2
Eurasian Collared-Dove 8
Mourning Dove 5
White-throated Swift 5
Anna's Hummingbird 8
Nuttall's Woodpecker 2
Black Phoebe 1
Western Scrub-Jay 2
Barn Swallow 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1
Pygmy Nuthatch 3
American Robin 5
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 6
Cedar Waxwing 5
California Towhee 2
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Western Tanager 1
Brewer's Blackbird 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Hooded Oriole 3
Bullock's Oriole 2
House Finch 20
Lesser Goldfinch 8
House Sparrow 15
In Crocker-Amazon Park this afternoon, on the tree-covered hill east of the
soccer fields I had a White-tailed Kite. The bird was perched and was first
found by call, not the usual ³kewt² call, but a harsh raspy call combined
with a soft short whistle, initially I thought it was a juv bird of some
variety but upon seeing it, it was clearly an adult, with no cinnamon
visible. It was being harassed, with little commitment, by a group of
Ravens. Later I saw it hovering and giving the normal ³kewt² call. I¹ve seen
kites in this area occasionally before, and on adjacent hillsides of San
Bruno Mt. regularly, but generally not at this time of year.
The hillside also had a modest but nice show of wildflowers, including large
patches of Buckwheat ( perhaps worth checking for hairstreaks when a gale
isn¹t blowing), Brodiaeas, Checkerbloom, Soap plant and Bellardia , a
non-native, but one I don¹t think I¹ve seen in the city before.
San Francisco CA
There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a
human being.-- James Joyce
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Potrero Hill , 05/30/10
There were a few migrants at Potrero Hill,
(2) Western Tanager
(1) Western Wood Pewee
(3) Ash throated Flycatcher
Nesting Birds included
Mourning Dove on nest.
The Nutall's Woodpeckers were feeding young.
Hooded Orioles were feeding young.
American Robin gathering worms.
Calvin D Lou
Western SF, 05/30/10
I visited several locations in western SF this morning, with the following observations of local interest:
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER 1
Hooded Oriole 1
Pine Siskin 1 (fly-over)
Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
W. Wood-Pewee 1
Swainson's Thrush 2
Bullock's Oriole 1
(+ 1 verse of song that sounded like a Townsend's Warbler, which would be late -- but I could not locate the singer and it went silent)
S. end of Great Highway @ Sloat (1.5 hr seawatch):
Surf Scoter 20+
Com. Loon 4 (1 alt., 3 basic)
Pacific Loon 5 (all basic)
Brown Pelican 6
Glaucous-winged Gull 1 (1st-cycle)
Com. Murre 110+
Pigeon Guillemot 6
Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from the NW corner of the Zoo)
N. Lake Merced wooden bridge:
Swainson's Thrush 1
S. Lake Merced concrete bridge:
Green Heron 3
Spotted Sandpiper 3 (somewhat surprising group on this date)
Glaucous-winged Gull 2 (1st-cycle)
Caspian Tern 2 (fly-overs)
Cedar Waxwing 13
Com. Yellowthroat 1 (singing)
Pine Siskin 1 (fly-over)
5.30 Local Interest
Western Tanager 1-2
Kobbe and Upton
Eurasian Collared-Dove 10+
Purple Finch 2-3
Hooded Oriole 2
Western Wood-Pewee 2
Others were covering the same spots so I'm sure more will come...
Around 8AM this morning, a White-winged Dove flew by Corona Heights hill,
just below eye level and heading south. At first sight, it looked like just
another Rock Pigeon, but something in the flight style was different, and
upon getting the bird in bino view, the dark outer wing and white crescent
shaped patches were clearly visible. The bird passed over the edge of CH
Park, and my last view of it some seconds later was as it approached Diamond
CH also had a Western Wood-Pewee, many waxwings, a pair of Western
Tanagers, and a singing Lazuli Bunting, while Buena Vista Park had an Olive-sided
Flycatcher, another W W-Pewee, a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, two Cassin's
Vireos, one singing, two singing Warbling Vireos, and two singing Western
Re: Heron Nest at the Palace of Fine Arts
Hi Walter,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I found your post and joined this group to provide an update.
I was down by the Palace of Fine Arts this afternoon. The resident pair of great blue heron are actively building a new nest in the tree across the lake (a douglas fir, I think).
Does this mean there's a second brood on the way?
--- In SFBirds@..., Walter Kitundu <kitundu@...> wrote: