Heron's Head Black Oystercatcher chick

marybetlach <betlack@...>

I walked Heron's Head at lunchtime today. It was pretty quiet there.
I didn't see the Harlequin duck today. There was a Willet transitioning to breeding plumage. There were 2-3 newly minted Avocet chicks being tended to by nervous parents in the southern ponds. Best of all was a Black Oystercatcher feeding a youngster on the concrete pier north of Heron's Head. This action was occurring in full view at the end of the pier on the part where the concrete slopes into the water. The youngster was about ½ to 2/3 the size of the parent and had a brownish bill, unlike the bright orange of its parents. Perhaps it's the chick that Eddie Bartley spotted several weeks ago. It is encouraging that it has managed to evade the nearby gulls that inhabit the pier thus far.

Mary Betlach

Rose-breasted Grosbeak @ Lafayette Park (P. McCulloch)

Dominik Mosur

Just got a phone call from Pat McCulloch who told me about an adult male ROSE-BREASTED Grosbeak he found at Lafayette Park today 6/21/10.
The bird was seen around 12:15 p.m. In the "grove" next to the tennis courts closest to Gough Street.
Dominik Mosur

Allen's Hummingbird

Anna Davenport <anna.e.davenport@...>

Hi All,

I am not sure if there will be too many males around in early July but from
my project on mapping Allen's hummingbird breeding habitat in Golden Gate
Park between March and May, I can tell you one of the best places to see the
birds would be around North Lake in GGP. Good luck!


HH Harliquin still around

skrefting <skrefting@...>

Saturday around 1:30 the male Harlequin duck was stationary near Herons Head park on the sloped portion of the sunken pier to the north, still accompanied by his current companion the female surf scoter. Also observed the female bufflehead previously sighted (one assumes) near to shore on the north side.

Also at Heron's Head that day - one long-billed curlew, two avocets apparently nesting again (go avocets!), one GB heron (chased off by some avocets, along with some crows). And the usual for this time of year. No sign of the pelagic cormorant, which I've seen there before.


Miscellaneous morning observations, SF, 06/20/10

Paul Saraceni

This morning I first visited Mt. Davidson, which was up above the fog line. Highlight was an unseen, briefly-singing Grosbeak in the euc forest -- in the same location where I observed 2 male Black-headed Grosbeaks last weekend, which is what I presume this one was. There is precedent for non-nesting Grosbeaks spending June and even early July at Mt. D.

Other observations of local interest:
Red-tailed Hawk 2 ad. & 2 noisy imms. -- local nesters?
Band-tailed Pigeon 4
Hairy Woodecker 1
Steller's Jay 2
Tree Swallow 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 juv. @ 4-trail X -- with some retained patches of downy gray feathers; clearly fledged from nearby
Wilson's Warbler 3 ad. & 4 juvs. -- indicates recent local nesting success
Lesser Goldfinch 2
Pine Siskin 2
W. Fence Lizard 1

I then headed down to the closed south end of the Great Highway for a 1.5 hr seawatch (8:30-10 AM).
Intriguing was a briefly-scoped Murre @ 9:25 AM that appeared to be in non-breeding plumage with an all dark head and face, contrasting white throat above dark upper breast, dark back and wings. The bird was ~100 yards out and bobbing behind waves for a couple of minutes, before it dove and disappeared. At the distance and under the choppy conditions I was unable to detect particular detail on the bill shape or the presence of any white on the mandible.

Observations of local interest:
Surf Soter 4 m. & 2 f.
Common Loon 1 (alt. plumage)
Pacific Loon 1 (basic)
Red-thr. Loon 1 (basic)
Brown Pelican 10+
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Willet 2
Heermann's Gull 5 ad.
Glaucous-winged Gull 1 1st-cycle
Caspian Tern 6
Common Murre 8 (1 group flying N)

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

Re: "Remembering Luke Cole"

Alan Hopkins

Thanks so much Siobhan.
Alan Hopkins

--- On Mon, 6/21/10, Siobhan Ruck <siobhanruck@...> wrote:

From: Siobhan Ruck <siobhanruck@...>
Subject: [SFBirds] "Remembering Luke Cole"
To: SFBirds@...
Date: Monday, June 21, 2010, 12:30 AM


A nice (thoughtful) piece on a sad anniversary...,-pioneer-of-environmental-justice-law

Siobhan Ruck

"Remembering Luke Cole"

Siobhan Ruck <siobhanruck@...>

A nice (thoughtful) piece on a sad anniversary...,-pioneer-of-environmental-justice-law

Siobhan Ruck

Early dispersers/late migrants


On our morning walk today, my wife and I spotted a few interesting species.
A lone Barn Swallow flew westward over Buena Vista Hill, and at Corona
Heights, a White-throated Swift and two Violet-green Swallows were hawking
over the peak at different intervals; one of the swallows was a juvenile.
Lastly, the latest Cedar Waxwing I can recall seeing in the Bay Area flew over
on a beeline toward the northeast.

Brian Fitch

Singing Swainson's Thrush on Mt Sutro

Patricia Greene <greene@...>

Heard one, possibly 2, Swainson's Thrush on the Edgewood trail and the lower section of the North Ridge trail. Also had excellent views of a male Hairy Woodpecker.

Pat Greene

Re: Allen's Hummingbird

Matthew Zlatunich

One of the best places in the world (if not the very best) to see Allen's Hummingbird is at El Polin Spring in the Presidio.  In July, adult males may be sparse, but females and juveniles are still be present.
Matt Zlatunich

--- On Thu, 6/17/10, Chris Okon <chrisokon@...> wrote:

From: Chris Okon <chrisokon@...>
Subject: [SFBirds] Allen's Hummingbird
To: sfbirds@...
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 11:12 PM


A British birder who will be visiting the Bay Area wants to see an Allen's
-- can anyone suggest if and where the best bet might be to see one around
in early July?



o o

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

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

Allen's Hummingbird

Chris Okon

A British birder who will be visiting the Bay Area wants to see an Allen's
-- can anyone suggest if and where the best bet might be to see one around
in early July?



o o

Lafayette Park

redhead94109 <redhead94109@...>

Arrived at Lafayette during the 2 o'clock hour. The highlight was
seeing the female Hooded Oriole feed a fledgling. This was in a
medium-sized tree, to your right as you ascend the path. The tree is
just inside the Middle meadow, opposite the tennis courts.
Pat McCulloch

N.Parula on Mt. D 6/16/10

Dominik Mosur

Got a call from Josiah Clark around noon that he had a Northern Parula singing above the La Bica street trailhead in the north side of Mt. Davidson. I'm up here now and was able to get decent looks at the still singing NORTHERN PARULA near the top of an ivy covered cypress.
Good birding,
Dominik Mosur

Red tailed hawk fledglings at Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park.

Brian <acropilot@...>

These <> were taken on Sunday,
June 13 2010, around 6:00 pm.

East GG Park (6/15)

Ken Schneider

I birded for about an hour near the California Academy of Sciences this morning. I thought I should mention that I saw two CALIFORNIA QUAIL (a male and female) perched in a low shrub on the side of one of the paved trails east of the CAS building. Unfortunately, I didn't detect any young birds, despite watching them from a distance for about 15 minutes. Three very persistently begging, charcoal-headed juvenile WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS were following a single adult jay around the area as well.

Ken Schneider
Redwood City

6/14/10 - Lake Merced/SE Bayside

Dominik Mosur

Today I birded Lake Merced (7:40- 9:45 a.m.), Bayview Hill (10-10:50 a.m.), Candlestick SRA (11-12:15) finishing up at India Basin Open Space/Heron's Head Park (12:20- 1:20 p.m.)

A silent ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER working the edge of "quail" restoration area at Harding Park Golf Course was a late migrant. Also observed here were a TREE SWALLOW removing a fecal sack from a nesting cavity in a Monterey cypress and a MOURNING DOVE carrying nesting material. A WESTERN GREBE with two chicks on East Lake was the second brood of this species I've observed this year, first was a pair of Western Grebes w/2 chicks on South Lake in the first week of May. A male and female RUDDY DUCK were swimming together on east lake near the "Mesa" Cormorant/Heron rookery.

At the Impound Lake I watched (3) GREEN HERONS, 2 adults and one juvenile, flying over near-simultaneously, confirming successful breeding. I had previously observed a Green Heron flying over the concrete bridge carrying food on 3/26. (~10) CLIFF SWALLOWS were flying around the bridge and disappearing into nests. Their numbers seem down and nesting delayed compared to previous years. A single EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE was on the wires above the parking lot off John Muir Drive. Other swallows consisted of mostly VIOLET-GREEN and TREE with smaller numbers of BARNS and a single NORTHERN-ROUGH WINGED. No Bank Swallows were observed. An adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON flew over the concrete bridge. A CASPIAN TERN flew over heading toward the ocean but was not seen foraging in the lake itself. An AMERICAN COOT was seen on a nest near the metal fishing pier.

I tallied a total of (5) singing WILSON'S WARBLERS in several spots around Lake Merced but didn't locate a single COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, including near wooden bridge where I had seen a promising, closely associating pair in April.

On the Lake Merced "Mesa" I flushed up a male RING-NECKED PHEASANT. Perhaps now that we've finally rid ourselves of the pesky California Quail these alien birds can replace them as the city mascot!

Onto Bayview Hill where the highlight was sunshine in contrast to the West side gloom and (6) WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS foraging over the south side of the hill. (5) SPOTTED TOWHEES singing matched my earlier total from a couple of weeks ago. I continue to be stymied in locating a Wrentit on Bayview hill this year although I did hear a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD incorporating that species song into its repertoire.

Walking around Candlestick SRA I had (6) BARN SWALLOWS foraging over the open fields around the "new pond." These were probably dispersing breeders from nearby, and included at least one juv being fed in mid-air by an adult. (2) KILLDEER chicks continue and today were seen foraging on the algal mats on the pond itself. One of the chicks cocked its head and scrutinized a pair of COMMON RAVENS as they flew over. (4) MALLARDS resting at the edge of the pond were the first waterfowl I've seen at this spot.

A COMMON LOON on the water of Candlestick was in basic plumage and will probably summer over in the area. (m,f) SURF SCOTERS continue on Yosemite Basin along with (~45) Aechmophorus grebes that will also probably summer over, several of these are the same oiled birds I have noted in previous reports. A bit of a surprise today were (2) vocalizing late migrant SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS on the north shore of Candlestick. (2) BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS and (2) AMERICAN AVOCETS were near Double Rock and (6) CASPIAN TERNS were foraging over the basin. The male AMERICAN KESTREL continues at the Candlestick "parking lot", seen again today foraging on Darner sp. dragonflies. It is still the only Kestrel I've seen or heard of being reported in the city this breeding season and this species appears now on the brink of extirpation from San Francisco. All the birds and animals of Candlestick STATE RECREATION AREA are imperiled by proposed plans to develop this open space.

(4) TURKEY VULTURES flew over Candlestick appearing from over the bay and heading West. They may have been drawn to the area by the rotting corpse smell of a dog that had been buried by its owner (including a quaint bouquet of flowers on top of the grave) near the entrance to the park. The carcass was partly unearthed but the state of decomposition was too advanced for me to determine the breed. A RED-TAILED HAWK was seen swooping down and catching a young Beechey's Ground Squirrel that had strayed too far from its den. One our keystone native mammals, ground squirrels were poisoned by park personnel at Land's End/Sutro Baths several years ago and survive only at Candlestick (though thankfully in their population here appears to be thriving.)

I finished up my day at India Basin Open Space and Heron's Head. At IBOS there were about (~10) RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS near the freshwater ponds and a female was seen carrying nesting material into a willow. A pair of AMERICAN AVOCETS were at the ponds as well but were flushed by a thrown tennis ball and charging dog whose owner ignored the "Do not enter: Sensitive Wildlife Area" signs. After being informed by this observer that she was being photographed the dog-owner promptly left the area. (41) CANADA GEESE, most appearing fully or nearly fully grown were swimming in India Basin.

At Heron's Head I found the continuing female BUFFLEHEAD first reported by Eddie Bartley on 6/7, but failed to relocate the male Harlequin duck that had been seen yesterday. The BLACK OYSTERCATCHER chick was seen with a parent feeding on barnacles at the end of the pier. Black oystercatchers successfully reared a chick here to adult size in 2008 but didn't pull off the feat last year. (6) adult AMERICAN AVOCETS continued on the Heron's Head marsh but no chicks were noted so it looks like their breeding season here may be a bust this year. Late migrant or possibly over-summering shorebirds of note at Heron's Head today included a LONG-BILLED CURLEW and a basic plumage BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER.

Good birding,
Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

sorry you got spammed!

Holly Reed

Somebody spammed you from my email. I notified Yahoo. Hopefully it has stopped. I'll keep you posted if I need to change my email address.

(No subject)

Holly Reed

HH Harlequin duck continues

skrefting <skrefting@...>

Spotted the Harlequin duck at Heron's Head Saturday around 1:30 pm, sitting on a barely exposed rock on the south side across from the granite "steps" on the right side of the trail almost to the tip. Still in the company of a female surf(?) scoter. Maybe we're developing a retirement community.

Also witnessed an apparent gull attack on an oystercatcher nest on the abandoned pier. The gull (prob. 2nd year Western) was eventually driven off, and had nothing in its bill, but most of the action was hidden by the boards, so don't know the actual state of affairs. The nest was between the painted "12" and "13" on the side of the pier.

Interestingly, other gulls showed great interest but did not join in, and the oystercathcers were, as previously noted, quite aggressive in their defense.

Possible late attempt avocet nest near the mounds. Here's hoping...


Bayview Hill, 12/13

Adam Winer

It was a quiet morning on Bayview Hill, with only two migrants - a
silent Ash-throated Flycatcher, and a female Lazuli Bunting. Not much
else was showing, but a calling Wrentit is always a pleasure in the
city; ditto several Spotted Towhees.

Adam Winer
San Francisco, CA

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