Date   
Re: Tropical Kingbird at Lake Merced continues

Lee Rudin
 

Today, Tuesday, at 12:20 pm the TROPICAL KINGBIRD on the west side of the lake, just south of the concrete bridge. The bird was perched on the snag/post)in the tules/cattails. Other regulars already reported seen also.

lee Rudin
Daly City

Ggp yellow warbler

Josiah Clark <josiahbird06@...>
 

A wintering plumaged yellow warbler was in the oaks and flowerless scarlet flowering euc off stanyan, across from the mcdnalds, above the homeless people. This was during an Sf NAP nesting bird training.
On Mar 25, 2013, at 7:08 PM, Dominik Mosur <polskatata@...> wrote:

Spent some time birding around the City today.

From Inspiration Pt. and down the Ecology Trail in the Presidio I heard my first (2) WILSON'S WARBLERS of spring singing away. Other nesting residents of note were (10-12) ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS, BROWN CREEPER, multiple PURPLE FINCHES. A GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and VARIED THRUSH still hanging around were in the Coast Redwood stand.

At Fort Scott I was a little surprised that Hooded Orioles have not returned with this species being detected in other parts of the City already. Fly overs of note were OSPREY, TURKEY VULTURE, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, PEREGRINE FALCON and (4) of the non-local RED CROSSBILLS. A male/female pair of NORTHERN FLICKERS were exchanging vocalizations from perches on the wooded hillside on the west side of Fort Scott above the utility road. Flickers haven't been confirmed nesting in the City for a very long time so it will be interesting if these two stick around or not. Perhaps they are reacting to the recent restoration along the bluffs. After all, Western Bluebirds, a species that hadn't nested in San Francisco since the '30s, reappeared as a breeder at Lobos Creek a few years after restoration opened up the habitat at that site. There were several singing Wilson's Warblers and displaying Allen's Hummingbirds around the edges of Fort Scott as well.

I then headed over to Sutro Baths for a seawatch. On my arrival at 10:30 the wind was coming out of the West at about 6-8 mph. There was a HUGE spread out raft of scoters about 3/4 of the way to the horizon that stretched at least 1.5 mile or so from the Golden Gate Channel south. As the wind began to pick up and shift to a more Northwest direction I noticed the scoters taking flight and heading north. In the next 1.5 hours I counted (~1535) SURF SCOTERS passing by, as well as (6) WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and (79) BRANT in a couple of flocks. (~600) Red-throated Loons were noted flying north, about half in breeding plumage as well as the first (15) PACIFIC LOONS I've seen this spring, all but one of these already in alternate. This of course is just the first trickle of what will be a cascade of migrating Pacific Loons in a few weeks. (28) PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were on the water at the start of the seawatch with many taking flight as the wind picked up as well.

I ended my morning stopping at South Lake Merced. At the east end of the Concrete Bridge I once again heard the weirdly singing Common Yellowthroat. I was able to record a bit of its song if anyone is interested in hearing it. A couple of Wilson's Warblers have arrived here as well, singing from the willows along the trail below the Penguin statue.

In the afternoon I stopped for a quick hike of Mt. Davidson. Once again had my first Wilson's Warbler of the spring for this location and a male ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER continues in the ravine where I have suspected this species of nesting/or attempting to nest for the past two years.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominikmosur/

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today's sightings - 3/25/13

Dominik Mosur
 

Spent some time birding around the City today.

From Inspiration Pt. and down the Ecology Trail in the Presidio I heard my first (2) WILSON'S WARBLERS of spring singing away. Other nesting residents of note were (10-12) ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS, BROWN CREEPER, multiple PURPLE FINCHES. A GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and VARIED THRUSH still hanging around were in the Coast Redwood stand.

At Fort Scott I was a little surprised that Hooded Orioles have not returned with this species being detected in other parts of the City already. Fly overs of note were OSPREY, TURKEY VULTURE, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, PEREGRINE FALCON and (4) of the non-local RED CROSSBILLS. A male/female pair of NORTHERN FLICKERS were exchanging vocalizations from perches on the wooded hillside on the west side of Fort Scott above the utility road. Flickers haven't been confirmed nesting in the City for a very long time so it will be interesting if these two stick around or not. Perhaps they are reacting to the recent restoration along the bluffs. After all, Western Bluebirds, a species that hadn't nested in San Francisco since the '30s, reappeared as a breeder at Lobos Creek a few years after restoration opened up the habitat at that site. There were several singing Wilson's Warblers and displaying Allen's Hummingbirds around the edges of Fort Scott as well.

I then headed over to Sutro Baths for a seawatch. On my arrival at 10:30 the wind was coming out of the West at about 6-8 mph. There was a HUGE spread out raft of scoters about 3/4 of the way to the horizon that stretched at least 1.5 mile or so from the Golden Gate Channel south. As the wind began to pick up and shift to a more Northwest direction I noticed the scoters taking flight and heading north. In the next 1.5 hours I counted (~1535) SURF SCOTERS passing by, as well as (6) WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and (79) BRANT in a couple of flocks. (~600) Red-throated Loons were noted flying north, about half in breeding plumage as well as the first (15) PACIFIC LOONS I've seen this spring, all but one of these already in alternate. This of course is just the first trickle of what will be a cascade of migrating Pacific Loons in a few weeks. (28) PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were on the water at the start of the seawatch with many taking flight as the wind picked up as well.

I ended my morning stopping at South Lake Merced. At the east end of the Concrete Bridge I once again heard the weirdly singing Common Yellowthroat. I was able to record a bit of its song if anyone is interested in hearing it. A couple of Wilson's Warblers have arrived here as well, singing from the willows along the trail below the Penguin statue.

In the afternoon I stopped for a quick hike of Mt. Davidson. Once again had my first Wilson's Warbler of the spring for this location and a male ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER continues in the ravine where I have suspected this species of nesting/or attempting to nest for the past two years.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominikmosur/

GGP highlights today

Josiah Clark <josiahbird06@...>
 

Encouraged by Zack Stender I took a couple hours to join forces and catch up on spring happenings after a month of absence.
Highlights included:

Western Tanager-2 (1 breeding-ready female type sallying at Middle Lake, one wintering pale sort W Purple Finches in Eucs west of the Buffalo Paddock. )
Western Kingbird- Bison Paddock fence in good company

Says Phoebe- (right next to kingbird with black phoebe)
2 Western Bluebirds-pair on either side of nesting box by gate, with flycatchers
Nutall's Woodpecker (1-2) calling one male has been around the area for 3-4 years now
Wilson's Warbler-2  back corners of Middle Lake (1 singing, one seen only)
Merlin- cut through a large flock in thick canopy in a blurr at the back of Middle Lake

Cooper's Hawk- Courtship flight near Bercuit
Great-horned Owls- appear to have fledged, hopefully.
Allen's Hummingbird's- the fog bird, well represented with at least 20-30 apparently all through the blossoms
Nutall's White-crowned Sparrow- at least 5 territories around bison paddock


 The ubiquitous round-about of Cedar Waxwing flocks will keep building critical mass sometime into may, but will not leave entirely until June when the berries of the boreal zone are nearly ripe. No SF breeding records, yet anway.

Our local Red-crossbills
appear firmly on the scene with several heard and seen around the SW
Presidio over the past couple of days.

  Good birding    Josiah

About my trip- not local birds:
Just back from  Burma where I identified about 200 species of birds including many I have always wanted to see. Between unrest, the associated travel bans and the 3-4 week government permit processes, I was unable to access the more world class habitats. As one of the last strongholds of wilderness in SE Asia, about 60% of the country is still forested, it has the biggest freshwater wetland in SE Asia, the biggest tiger reserve and the highest populations of both wild and working Asian Elephants. Rather I was destined to work over the more heavily impacted front country. All of it is changing very fast. Hopefully some of it for the better.  Though I am really a biodiversity junkee at heart, Myanmar (or Burma as many of the people admitted they prefer)  won me over as an amazing place enhanced by a mind blowing diversity of people, who rarely failed to humble and impress. More than anywhere I have ever been, its truly another world over there. 

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Eurasian X American Wigeon at India Basin on Saturday.

Joe Morlan
 

Sorry for the late report, but my ornithology class field trip was able to
study an apparent EURASIAN X AMERICAN WIGEON at India Basin on Saturday,
March 23rd. We also saw one adult CLAPPER RAIL at Heron's Head.

Full list with photos by Peter Seubert at...

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13491623

My digiscoped photos of the hybrid wigeon at...

http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/EurasianWigeonXP1090397.htm
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu
Birding Classes start Apr 2 http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/

hooded oriole, Dolores Park

Lewis Ellingham
 

Bob Gunderson e-mails me "I checked the dates on my Dolores Park Oriole photos and my earliest photo is 3/29 and then again on 4/6 and later" which I suspect places the typical approximate dates for this species' arrival in Dolores Park, contrary to my intuitive memory expressed yesterday when reporting Charlie Hibbard's first sightings this year at this spot. So he's early to on time, not late.

Local Interest: Caspian Tern, Merganser at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

My FOS CASPIAN TERN was a fly-by at Fort Mason this morning. A male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER was in Aquatic Park. I counted 161 CEDAR WAXWINGS - and I'm sure I missed many - lots of flocks flying around. No sign of the Red-Breasted Sapsucker.

Re: hooded oriole, Dolores Park - with Photo Link

GunderTaker <sfgundertaker@...>
 

This morning (3/25) I was able to get a few photos of the Oriole. He was singing his heart out, but remained high in the Fan Palm.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobgunderson/

Bob Gunderson
San Francisco

--- In SFBirds@..., "lewisellingham" <magicpool@...> wrote:

Charlie Hibbard sent me this message this morning: "Hooded Oriole definitely in attendance this morning, in one of the palms just north of the footbridge, glowing in the morning sunlight..." and the day before he said he heard what is likely the same bird. Weekend crowds are so dense, however, that few birds save sturdy house finches and sparrows braved the afternoon. As Ms. Scarlett O'Hara reminded us, however, "tomorrow is another day." This is all quite late in the season for the hooded orioles' return to Dolores Park.

SFBBO Sparrows class starting tomorrow. Spots still open.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hi folks



Stripes and spots and brown plumage leaving you in a daze? Well, help is
here - the SFBBO Sparrows Workshop begins tomorrow. If you are interested:



http://www.sfbbo.org/activities/workshops.php



Good birding,



Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

Biologist

San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO)

524 Valley Way,

Milpitas, CA 95035



www.sfbbo.org

ajaramillo@...

hooded oriole, Dolores Park

Lewis Ellingham
 

Charlie Hibbard sent me this message this morning: "Hooded Oriole definitely in attendance this morning, in one of the palms just north of the footbridge, glowing in the morning sunlight..." and the day before he said he heard what is likely the same bird. Weekend crowds are so dense, however, that few birds save sturdy house finches and sparrows braved the afternoon. As Ms. Scarlett O'Hara reminded us, however, "tomorrow is another day." This is all quite late in the season for the hooded orioles' return to Dolores Park.

North Lake & Sutro Baths

Alan Hopkins
 

I had nice walk around North Lake there was lots of activity the highlight was a
singing Warbling Vireo, there was also an oriole calling but I could not find
the bird. The call was a "chack" type call and not the the "wheet" call of a
Hooded Oriole. There were two Orange-crowned Warblers, lots of waxwings and a
Pine Siskin among all the yellow-rumps.

Off Sutro Baths there was a fair amount of activity but nothing too exciting.
Pigeon Guillemots are back, Brandt's Cormorants were caring nesting
material and a single Bottlenose Dolphin swam by.

Alan Hopkins

Twin Peaks - 3/23/13

Dominik Mosur
 

Spent the lunch hour watching the skies from the north side of Twin Peaks, above the reservoir.

A TURKEY VULTURE, several WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS and BARN SWALLOWS were on the move. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER called a few times from the scrub below and and then appeared to move on. Unlike most small passerines that prefer to move at night BG Gnatcatchers are thought to be diurnal migrants. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER sang repeatedly from the same area.


Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominikmosur/

Yosemite Slough Census today

Eddie Bartley
 

March 23: wonderful weather for our monthly Yosemite Slough Area Search
census today. As is typical for a sunny day this time of year diversity was
low, many resident birds at warp speed breeding behavior and a smattering of
migrants. Duck numbers lower with only 5 species counted. Highlights
include:

1 - Lincoln's Sparrow at the (former) Rock Garden area - probably a migrant.
1 - Northern Harrier skirted by on a northbound heading. Perhaps someone
picked it up at Heron's Head?

Red-winged Blackbirds going nuts - males were displaying like crazy and
chasing each other off of preferred perches while females winnowed over head
assessing their options. One male's epaulets were more orange than red,
lightening to an amber color in the lower part of the tract; Can't recall
seeing that particular color anomaly before.

In the slough itself one of several Horned Grebes has just about completed
it's molt into alternate - gorgeous! Good diversity & numbers of shorebirds
with a flock of 45 SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERS who flew out just as we completed
our count. 23 BB Plovers is higher than we've been seeing, some well into
their spring finery.

Happy Spring Birding!

Eddie Bartley

Local Interest - Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Had my FOS HOODED ORIOLE - female - fly over me just after I arrived at Fort Mason this morning. The RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was moving around a lot - perhaps getting ready to leave. I observed three DOWNY WOODPECKERS for a while this morning - two female and one male. The two females were chasing each other incessantly while the male just watched. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was sleeping in a tree between Fort Mason and Aquatic Park. Several large flocks of CEDAR WAXWINGS moved from tree to tree. I found one ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER, one TOWNSEND'S WARBLER and many YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS turning into alternate plumage. There seemed to be more FOX SPARROWS than normal (at least 8 - 10) - perhaps they are moving through.

Barn Swallows at Kezar

basquebirder
 

Today during P.E., my class went to Kezar Stadium in GG Park to do both X Country and Long-Jump (I participated in the latter). One of our P.E. teachers was absent so we had to be autonomous, which unfortunately proved too difficult for us. My friend began playing an upbeat and "feel-good" song on his Jambox, when suddenly out of nowhere 7 Barn Swallows began flying over the field. The song along with the birds really gave me the impression that spring has arrived, along with the many migrants that will be passing through. Buckle your seatbelts everybody, because spring migration is well on its way!
Other notable birds seen was a single Turkey Vulture flying over.
Great birding everybody!
Cédric

Local Interest - western end of San Francisco

David Assmann
 

Started the day at the concrete bridge at Lake Merced, where two CLIFF SWALLOWS and my FOS BARN SWALLOW were in with multiple TREE SWALLOWS and a few VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS. The four male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES were very vocal. Linda Swanson was also at the bridge, and we also birded together just north of Fort Funston, where there were three WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, along with BLACK and SURF SCOTERS just offshore. A number of RED-THROATED LOONS were flying in both directions. My next stop was South Lake in Golden Gate Park, where a pair of GADWALL and a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS continue. The two GREAT HORNED OWL chicks near the Bison Paddock have "branched" and likely will fledge within a day or day. Bob Gunderson pointed out a BUSHTIT nest practically on the path at North Lake.

Sutro 3/21, Godfrey 3/22

Brian Fitch
 

At the Sutro Baths yesterday, four Brant flew close by and into the mouth
of the Gate, a long raft of Surf Scoters was well out beyond the rocks
where counting them was impossible in the chop, and a flock of fifty
mid-sized (10") shorebirds flew by northbound, showing rich brown upper and
white lower sides, with no other marks discernible.

Today at Battery Godfrey, eight Brant were in the water below the bluff, a
Great Blue Heron flew over southbound, and a Great Egret flew through
westbound. Eleven Turkey Vultures included three SB and eight going north,
while three Osprey, a Cooper's Hawk, and three Red-tailed Hawks joined the
northward flight. Local raptors included displaying Cooper's and two
Red-shouldereds who persisted despite constant Raven harassment.
Band-tailed Pigeon flocks consisted of ten, seven and seventeen birds
heading into Marin, and a distant kingbird species was briefly over the
toll plaza.

On the Batteries to Bluffs trail nearby, Orange-crowned and Wilson's
Warblers were singing in the willows, and Wrentit representatives included
two seen near the north end of the trail, with two more singing further
south.

Brian Fitch

Caspian Terns return to Agua Vista

bitanangan
 

4 on the piers early this afternoon.

Warm Water Cove:
2 Avocets.
2 Molting Golden-crowned Sparrows.

Pier 94:
6 Avocets in the fresh water pools.
At least 1 Savannah Sparrow continues.

Curious white-headed female Red-winged Blackbird (& Meadowlarks) in grass below the suspended tanker alongside the road midway to Heron's Head.

Heron's Head:
7 Avocets.
White-tailed Kite.
Tropical Kingbird (on PG&E fence) along India Basin trail.
2 Savannah Sparrows.

Russ Bright. SF..

Presidio Sightings

Alan Hopkins
 

Presidio bird observations 3/12/2013 to 3/20/2013
I spent a few days camping with Visitacion Valley Middle School students at Rob
Hill in the Presidio with Kids in Parks. On our field trips some of the kids had
binoculars but we did not really do any serious birding. Many of these
observations were seen only by me. I did not use a scope so surly missed some
species in the ocean and along the shore.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Greater Scaup
Surf Scoter
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark’s Grebe
Brown Pelican
Brandt’s Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture: roosting at Rob Hill?
OSPREY: Immigrant Point 3/16
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk: calling on Rob Hill
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
GOLDEN EAGLE: over Lobos Dunes 3/20
American Coot
Killdeer
Willet
Long-billed Curlew: 2
Least Sandpiper: 20
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon: two flocks over Rob Hill
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl (s) Rob Hill
Anna’s Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird
Downy’ Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow: 3
Barn Swallow: 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch: Rob Hill
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper: Rob Hill with nesting material
Bewick’s Wren: Lobos Dunes
Pacific Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird: Lobos Dunes near Hospital, El Polin restoration hillside,
MacArthur St.
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Wrentit: Batteries to Bluffs trail
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing: several flocks
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee: Battery Chester
California Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird: there seemed to be a large movement 3/20
Purple Finch
House Finch
Red Crossbill: small flocks daily from Rob Hill, one bird singing.
American Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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misc. sightings this morning - 3/21/13

Dominik Mosur
 

Started at the south end of Great Highway, across from the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant. Visibility was great after yesterdays rain but the wind was a meek 3-5 mph out of the North and not the brisk NW I had hoped for to bring moving birds in closer to shore.

(7) BLACK SCOTERS continued just past the break at the usual wintering location, (20) RED-THROATED LOONS all but one still in basic plumage flew north in about a half hour. There was a good concentration of shorebirds on the beach: (~110) WILLETS, (20) MARBLED GODWITS, (2) WHIMBRELS, (25) SANDERLINGS and my first-of-spring SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER still in mostly basic plumage. The shorebirds didn't stick around for long, eventually flying off to the north as the foraging habitat was reduced by the tide.

I next stopped at the Concrete Bridge/South Lake Merced. The first CLIFF SWALLOW I have seen this spring was in with multiple TREE and single NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED/VIOLET-GREENS foraging over both sides of the bridge. I didn't see the Tropical Kingbird. While standing around on the east end of the bridge I heard an interesting song that was very similar, though not quite a match for, to that of a Northern Waterthrush. Northern Waterthrush has wintered in this area for several consecutive years and has been reported less than a week ago but when this bird  popped into view it was a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Not sure where it learned it song but it was certainly not the typical "weeta-weeta" of our resident birds that I've gotten used to hearing. Two of the GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES were vocalizing from the utility pole near the parking lot.

On the way over Twin Peaks I stopped to admire a massive flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS. The waxwing flock was roosting in Monterey Pines west of the road just before you get to the base of South Peak. They would fly down into the cotoneasters to feed and them return to their perches. I counted them several times and came up with an average of (850).

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominikmosur/