Date   
Blue-footed Booby on Farallones today

Peter Pyle
 

via Pete Warzybok.

Heron's Head Park

auntiestrophe
 

Hello,

Work and being out of town has gotten in the way of SF birding so it was good to be back and checked out Heron's Head. The White-tailed Kite continues, 2 Osprey were visible. Struck out on the Ridgway's Rail but we were treated to the surprise sight of a female American Kestrel mixing it up with a juvie. Cooper's Hawk before both beat a hasty retreat. Quite a size difference between the two!
 
Best,
Carlo Arreglo
San Francisco

Local Interest: Yellow Warbler, etc.

David Assmann
 

Bob Gunderson and I found a YELLOW WARBLER, a WILSON'S WARBLER and a RED CROSSBILL in with a hundred + finches and goldfinches on the hillside above El Polin Spring this morning. At Crissy Field Lagoon, two BELTED KINGFISHERS were at the eastern end of the Lagoon.  There were six shorebird species, including a SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER, KILLDEER, MARBLED GODWIT, WILLET, WHIMBREL and LONG-BILLED CURLEW.  Yesterday Dan Murphy and I spotted a GLACOUS-WINGED GULL at Lake Merced.


Play Day at the Beach

Brian Fitch
 

Yesterday morning, my wife and I spent a couple of hours with our grand kids on the coast, at the foot of Lincoln in SF.  While digging a wind shelter/sand castle, I looked up and saw a juvenile Elegant Tern swooping down on a Sanderling flock at the edge of the surf.  The tern continued its apparent play for several minutes, each time sending the shorebirds running in various directions, but never making any contact, or landing.  I've never witnessed this behavior, and it ended only after passing humans flushed the Sanderlings.

Shortly afterward, we noticed three Bottlenosed Dolphins just beyond the breaker line, and proceeded to watch them lolling and sometimes frolicking in the swell.  Two were apparent adults, and the third was noticeably smaller, at most 3/4th's regular size.  After watching for a while, my wife surmised that the adults might be involved in the continuation of the species.  With that possibility in mind, I soon proved her right, as the pair were seen at the top of a breaking wave, belly to belly, and the male broke away in time for me to see his anatomical details through my binoculars.  Another first, and while we kept the young humans (ages 7 & 4) in the dark concerning what type of play the dolphins were taking part in, it left us wondering about the third, smaller individual, and sex-ed among cetaceans.

Around 12:30, as we were preparing to leave, I stood up to scan for any tubenoses on the horizon, and instead discovered the huge flipper of a Humpback, as it splashed back and forth slowly, but repeatedly.  For several minutes, nothing but the flipper or an occasional spout were visible, until the leviathan finally turned upright, showed its hump, and dove out of sight.

Other avian species were as described in previous reporters' posts.
Brian Fitch

Hermit Warbler at Pier 94 restoration area (3 August)

Ken Schneider
 

I visited Pier 94 and Heron's Head Park this afternoon, mainly looking for shorebirds.  I didn't find anything unusual, but was pleased and a bit surprised to see a migrant HERMIT WARBLER foraging in the shrubs at the Pier 94 restoration area.  I even managed a decent digiscoped photo - my eBird checklist is here:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19321245

I think the Hermit Warbler is either a HY male or an AHY female based on limited black on the throat (seen best in other photos)...

Good birding!

Ken Schneider
Noe Valley


Farallons - Brown Booby and Northern Gannet

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

SF Birders,

 

   Our Alvaro’s Adventures trip to the Farallons today was a great one! After seeing a bunch of Tufted Puffins, murres, and guillemots as we drove up to the island excitement broke out when we saw the Northern Gannet flying over sugarloaf. Eventually it landed, and began displaying to a Western Gull. So cool that he decided to be there for us, instead of at Alcatraz!

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/14834321353/in/photostream/

 

The complete unexpected bird was just a couple of hundreds of yards away, an adult female Brown Booby! After looking closely at the photos I decided it was a female. The bill is yellow based, and there is a dark area in the blue face right before the eye.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/14834321573/in/photostream/

 

We are back on the Farallons next week. The next trip with spots are SF offshore birding on Aug 16th, and Monterey Bay on the 23d.

 

Good Birding.

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Sutro Baths and Cliff House. Point Lobos Closure.

Lori Lee
 

Head's up: Point Lobos Lookout is going to be closed through the end of August 2014. They're removing a leaking fuel pipe from the bath's functioning era. Entire bottom trail is blocked. From the top trail you're blocked where the stairs up the cliff ends. So there's a top view, but the north is blocked by cypress. 


There was a nice collection of shorebirds today around noon on the rocks below the Cliff House Western Viewing platform. 


10 surfbirds

10 black turnstones

1 wandering tattler 


Also 

5 Heermann's gulls in what looked like transitional plumage

good collection of terns (elegant?) visible by scope

brandt's cormorants, western gulls, brown pelicans, in abundance.

additional pigeon guillemots, a black oyster catcher. 



HHP 8/2/14

Dominik Mosur
 

The Black Skimmer was not seen again after about 7:30. I watched it make a pass over a group of feeding Double-crested Cormorants in India Basin, it then turned SE and appeared to continue out onto the open bay. I lost sight of it when I paused to send the message out to SFBirders, and did not see it again in the next hour.

Other sightings of note:
Spotted Sandpiper - 2, in worn alt., first summer migrants I've encountered in SF
LeastSandpiper- first juv. arrival w/3adults
Marbled Godwit - 1
Elegant Terns - ~20 including first juveniles I've seen on the Bayside this summer
Savannah Sparrow - 4

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Black Skimmer at Heron's Head8/2/14

Dominik Mosur
 

Flying around India Basin... I'll keep the list updated.

Dom

Willow Flycatcher at Sydney G. Walton Square, SF?

Thorsten Claus
 

I had lunch there yesterday, sitting at the north side on the bricks of the stairs when I noticed a tiny flycatcher hopping through the gras, very unusual, hunting for insects for about 15 minutes without flying once, just waiting, pouncing, a hop, and waiting. The little guy was either blind or exhausted or sick, I could come up quite close before it hopped away.

These guys look all the same to me, but I think it was a Willow Flycatcher because of the missing eye ring and no brownish color - can someone take a look at the iPhone photos?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3647th9vlgd6ypg/2014-07-30%2012.19.45.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxi2s8bqew3fee7/2014-07-30%2012.19.25.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9s4xelrzgermxy6/2014-07-30%2012.19.26.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbxh4u4whcazlx8/2014-07-30%2012.19.44.jpg

Cheers,
Thorsten Claus
San Francisco

No Salvin's, but warm water birds heading north!! Half Moon Bay pelagic.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello folks,

 

   Unfortunately we could not re-locate the Salvin’s Albatross yesterday although we tried hard in good waters with plenty of Black-footed Albatrosses. We did however find that warm water species are arriving early and in numbers, with Black Storm Petrel the most common storm petrel out there, giving great views both in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. We encountered Wilson’s Storm-Petrel three times, again in both counties. There were various “Mexican Murrelet” stops, some with birds flying away from the boat and unidentifiable, to amazing close up and personal looks. Craveri’s Murrelets were seen in both San Francisco and San Mateo counties, including a group in San Mateo that was not only easy to see, but calling! They had this neat trill, that Curtis Marantz likened to a Bohemian Waxwing. I only wished I had my mike there to have recorded it. It was like nothing I have heard at sea, so ringing and musical, and loud for a small bird! Photos here:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/14775712436/in/photostream/    ID fanatics might note that this Craveri’s actually has a white chin, or at least my photo appears to show that. They are supposed to have a black chin, perhaps the photo is misleading, or this feature is not 100% reliable.

 

Scripps’s Murrelet was found with certainty only in San Mateo county, with a couple of pretty close ones to the boat:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/14775712756/in/photostream/

 

South Polar Skua was found on three occasions, in both counties. However it was not a good jaeger day, but a nice dark morph Parasitic was superb early on in the trip. Two Common Terns were in San Francisco, and a good smattering of Sabine’s Gulls were about.

 

PREDICTIONS FOR THE SEASON – The warm water is in, and close to shore. This is not the blue colored, nutrient poor “tuna water” but greener and more nutrient rich water. This is where the murrelets are, and where we found the storm petrels. I think that these conditions are going to continue, with the very warm water in Baja still pretty strong there. Trips in the next month should have great opportunities for both Scripp’s and the sought after Craveri’s murrelets. What Guadalupe Murrelet is doing, we do not yet know as they have not been observed up here so far. The early and strong arrival of Black Storm-Petrels is interesting! My guess is that this may be the year to look for Least Storm-Petrel once the storm-petrel flocks form. I think we were close to a flock the other day, but just could not find it. California wide, look for Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel down south. Crazy prediction? Lots of Buller’s will come in, a boom year, and we will have to be looking hard for Wedge-tailed Shearwaters very soon. This is promising to be a very interesting seabirds season in central California.

 

Next few trips with remaining spaces:

Aug 16 – heading to San Francisco waters of the Pioneer Canyon.

Aug 22 – Half Moon Bay pelagic. Will aim to go to both SF and SM counties.

Aug 23 – Monterey pelagic.

 

Good birding!

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Local Interest: Fort Mason Hermit Warbler, Bullock's Oriole

David Assmann
 

Two migrants at Fort Mason this morning - a HERMIT WARBLER and a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE. Both were in the Community Garden.

Correction: Salvin's Albatross chase trip? Wed JULY 30th

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

My apology for wasting time and band width. Yes, Wed July 30th, this coming Wednesday J

 

Hello folks,

 

   I have been contacted by several folks who are wanting to find out if we could put on a chase trip for the Salvin’s Albatross we found yesterday. The next open day for the boat is Wednesday Aug 30th. Please let me know if you are interested, in order to secure that the boat goes, I will start with a price of $170 and with critical mass, I can decrease that price point. E-mail me at alvaro@..., or 650-504-7778

 

Thanks for the interest!

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Salvin's Albatross chase trip?

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello folks,

 

   I have been contacted by several folks who are wanting to find out if we could put on a chase trip for the Salvin’s Albatross we found yesterday. The next open day for the boat is Wednesday Aug 30th. Please let me know if you are interested, in order to secure that the boat goes, I will start with a price of $170 and with critical mass, I can decrease that price point. E-mail me at alvaro@..., or 650-504-7778

 

Thanks for the interest!

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Banding Workshops in Tiburon, Oct-Nov

Peter Pyle
 

Excuse the cross-postings and the pitch.

In conjunction with Richardson Bay Audubon Center we will be offering two three-day weekend workshops on banding birds this fall, October 24th-26th and November 14th-16th. Besides teaching on-hands experience with bird-banding (to both beginners and non-beginners), and (a lot) about molt and age-determination, some fun and informative lectures on birds and marine ecology, evening bat detection, a little on-site birding, etc., will be part of the deal. All meals provided.

If you or someone you know would be interested in joining us, the link below provides full details.

Thanks and good birding,

Peter

http://www.coastalzone-ca.com/Home%20Page/Pyle-Banding_Workshop-Decription-and-Schedule-final.pdf

Acorn Woodpecker, Lafayette Park

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all

While keeping tabs on the resident Red-tailed Hawks in Lafayette Park I was surprised around 9:45 this morning to see the distinctive pattern of an Acorn Woodpecker flashing its prominent white wing patches as it flew over the amphitheater and about the upper circle area. Apparently solitary, it did not vocalize (also unusual) and unfortunately I was unable to track it through the eucalyptus trees. Presumably the warmth and unseasonable lack of fog tempted it to fly into The City (from Marin?) and explore.

So, including my sighting of a Pileated here in 2009, I've now seen all of the western Bay Area usual species of woodpecker in Lafayette Park, with the exception of a Hairy, interestingly enough.

Hope you all can get out and enjoy this warm spell - maybe some other surprise visitors will appear (Lewis' perhaps??).

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Re: Parrots in the Sunset

M. Bruce Grosjean
 

Very interesting Siobhan and thanks for the report. As some here know, I’ve posted my observations and pictures of these birds for many years, so I know how much controversy they can foment. What may be of interest here is that the flock that frequents my area (just east of McLaren Park) is actually much smaller than in previous years. We have a mated pair that eats seed and feeds from our apple tree close to every day, but the most I’ve seen around here is five birds at once. I mention this because your sighting could indicate the flocks are spreading in area but not necessarily expanding in numbers. I haven’t seen any large flocks (50+) in years.

Black Skimmer, new Caspian Tern colony Alameda Pt, San Francisco Co

John Luther
 

Hi Birders, 
 
Today while doing a bird survey at Alameda Point in a restricted area with no general public access we observed a Black Skimmer and the new (this year) Caspian Tern colony.  The area where the birds were seen is on the 48 or so acres of landfill that is in San Francisco County, but accessed through the city of Alameda in Alameda Co.  This is the first Black Skimmer we have seen in the area.  The Caspian Tern colony has over 100 adults and today we observed 12 young.  We saw 5 banded adults with various combinations of color bands.  On one large band I was able to read the band number.  I will report if and when we find out where these birds were banded.
 
John Luther
Oakland   

Re: Kestrels in Mission Creek Community Garden

Bettina Cohen <bettina.cohen@...>
 

Just had an excellent look at one juvenile Kestrel that was perched high up in the cypress preening itself and enjoying the glorious afternoon sunshine. I saw it as I approached from the sidewalk along the roundabout and was treated to a lengthy view from the paved lot behind the community garden.

Bettina


On 7/22/2014 12:38 PM, oshunoxt@... [SFBirds] wrote:
 
Is it possible that two pairs of kestrels would have nests in two adjoining trees (the eucalyptus and the cypress)?  Or do yearlings stay with the adults to help with new babies?  Last week I saw four adult birds (I now think they were kestrels) dive bombing a Great Blue down the creek and there are kestrels in both trees but I can't see any nests in either tree and think I only hear one nest in the cypress.

Amy

Re: Kestrels in Mission Creek Community Garden

Dominik Mosur
 

Hi Amy,

Kestrels have become extremely rare as nesters in our area so I would discount the possibility of multiple pairs. However they are known to produce 2nd broods in a season at latitudes as far north as Ontario so you may have seen juveniles from a first brood.

Great work. This is the first solid documentation of successful nesting by American Kestrel in San Francisco and in fact anywhere on the Peninsula in a number of years, that I'm aware of.

Dominik


On Jul 22, 2014, at 12:38 PM, "oshunoxt@... [SFBirds]" <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Is it possible that two pairs of kestrels would have nests in two adjoining trees (the eucalyptus and the cypress)?  Or do yearlings stay with the adults to help with new babies?  Last week I saw four adult birds (I now think they were kestrels) dive bombing a Great Blue down the creek and there are kestrels in both trees but I can't see any nests in either tree and think I only hear one nest in the cypress.

Amy