Blackburnian Warbler

Michael Gertz

Botanical Garden, during the GGAS walk. Found by Ginny's group and seen by many. Female/juvenile bird... Dull peachy wash. Pretty corporative. Stayed mostly in the large Guatemala conifer. In the meadow just north of the Redwood Grove. A few folks got photos.

Ash-Throated Flycatcher and Ferruginous Hawk at Fort Mason

David Assmann

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was quite vocal in the Community Garden slightly after dawn this morning. Migrant numbers are tapering off - had one WESTERN TANAGER, two PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and two YELLOW WARBLERS. One RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was associating with many PYGMY NUTHATCHES in the garden.  There were nine SAVANNAH SPARROWS in the Great Meadow. Our wintering bird numbers are picking up - 7 TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS, at least 30 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 3 HERMIT THRUSHES and five FOX SPARROWS. Best bird of the day came slightly after noon, when a FERRUGINOUS HAWK flew over (just after a TURKEY VULTURE had come by). A RED-TAILED HAWK was soaring close to it, making it easier to note the differences between the two.


Alan Hopkins

This morning there was a Black and White Warbler on Strawberry Hill behind the Chinese Pavilion at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. The bird was with a small group of western migrants.

Alan Hopkins 

Yellow headed blackbirds Ggp

Josiah Clark

This didn't send earlier..
Here at Hellman hollow and just saw several yellow headed blackbirds flying west towards the polo fields w waves of mixed blackbirds. Larger size, white in wing and large yellow head all seen well on at least one but I think there were several.

Josiah Clark  I  Consulting Ecologist  I  I  415.317.3978

Nature's Acres Nursery I  Bay Area Native Plants  I
Josiah Clark  I  Consulting Ecologist  I  I  415.317.3978

Nature's Acres Nursery I  Bay Area Native Plants  I

Local Interest: Western Meadowlarks

David Assmann

There were four WESTERN MEADOWLARKS in Crissy Field this morning, and at least 14 in the Great Meadow at Fort Mason, including a few that flew to the top of a tall Eucalyptus tree. A TRI-COLORED BLACKBIRD was in the blackbird flock at Crissy Field, and an AMERICAN PIPIT flew over. There was one unbanded SNOWY PLOVER in the protected area.

Belated Report: TeamSF Point Blue Birdathon September 27th (Long)

Mark Eaton

Alan Hopkins, Matt Zlatunich and i did a big day in SF on the Sunday the 27th, attempting to leverage the scouting from the Rare Bird Roundup the day previous. With the best weather in recent memory (high overcast over the western half of the city and relatively comfortable temperatures), we were encouraged as we embarked on our day.

We had some good birds and I can safely say that this is the first and last time that I’ll do a big day in CA when the best bird was the continuing PAINTED BUNTING at the maintenance yard in GGP.  Looking for stakeout birds is typically a fruitless endeavor on big days, but with the number of participants, Matt managed to relocate the bunting within minutes of arriving.  The other hot spot of the day was (wait for it) Fort Mason, where both CHIPPING and CLAY-COLORED SPARROWs were well seen by all.  Frustratingly, only Matt got one a VESPER SPARROW outside of the community garden which we chased around the lawn to the bemusement of the many people enjoying the sun in the vicinity.

Lowlights were 0 for vireo though several were seen the day before and other hard-to-grasp misses such as Bushtit, Red-breasted Nuthatch (many the day before), Bewick’s Wren, and Wilson’s Warbler.  Fortunately, as is traditional, we’ve added the results from Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI) to the cumulative total.  

Matt kept a nice lep list for us:

Pipevine Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Orange Sulphur
Gulf Fritillary
Red Admiral
West Coast Lady
Fiery Skipper

And our mammal list was short but interesting:

Humpback Whale
Harbor Porpoise
Coyote (first for a big day for me, I think)
California Sea Lion

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Ring-necked Duck
Surf Scoter
Ruddy Duck
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Pink-footed Shearwater SEFI only
Sooty Shearwater
Brandt's Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Black Oystercatcher
Black-bellied Plover
Snowy Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Wandering Tattler SEFI only
Greater Yellowlegs
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope SEFI only
Pomarine Jaeger SEFI only
Parasitic Jaeger
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot SEFI only
Rhinoceros Auklet SEFI only
Tufted Puffin SEFI only
Sabine's Gull SEFI only
Heermann's Gull
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull SEFI only
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Barn Owl SEFI only
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl SEFI only
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Sapsucker sp.
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon SEFI only
Western Wood-Pewee
"Western" Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch SEFI only
Pygmy Nuthatch
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet SEFI only
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
American Pipit SEFI only
Cedar Waxwing
Lapland Longspur SEFI only
Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warbler SEFI only
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Western Tanager
Painted Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch SEFI only
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

132 bird species.


Sep 26 "Green" Birdathon in SF - Belated Post

Brian Turner

Belated post here on the “green” birdathon Ivan Samuels and I did by bike in San Francisco last Saturday 9/26 (team name: Helmet-capped Carbonsuckers). We primarily explored the north and western edges of the City, starting at Battery Godfrey, proceeding east to Fort Mason, then doubled back through the Presidio interior and worked our way south to Lake Merced, where we ended the day.

The ocean was a particular highlight with great visibility and very good numbers of Parasitic Jaegers chasing terns, three loon species, a Marbled Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet and a flock of Northern Pintails headed south. We also unexpectedly tallied Mew Gull and White Fronted Goose at Lake Merced. Osprey and House Wren were a bit of a surprise in Lobos Dunes. We  picked up on four Say’s Phoebes over the course of the day and, as others have pointed out, Red-breasted Nuthatch is back in force. Western Tanagers were still in good abundance.

Notable misses from last year’s biking birdahon (which I did solo 5 days earlier) were Wilsons Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. We may have had a Grosbeak chip at North Lake, but not strong enough to count, and no Pewee or Willow Flycatcher either. Having decided to dig a hard in the western half of the City we missed the predictable suite of shorebirds to be expected in the Southeast. But (likely due to the addition of Ivan) we identified 5 more species total rounding out a solid 105 for the ride. 

See you out there & good birding,

Brian Turner

Tropical Kingbird


The Tropical Kingbird continue at North Lake in Golden Gate park

it can be seen at the North end were some birders call the beach area it is down by some stairs

steve Kass
San Francisco

Have a great day 😃

West Golden Gate Park Wednesday


Tried for a couple of the previously reported rarities at North Lake and the South Wind Mill, but did not find them.  There was a Tanager-like sound high in the red-flowering eucalyptus tree at the north end of the lake, but the music from a nearby Tai Chi group made it difficult to hear, and then it was gone.  I was surprised to see immature Coots and a Pied-billed Grebe young enough to still have its striped head and pink bill.  There were also 9 Ring-necked Ducks.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

Trop Kingbird(s)

Brian Fitch

At least one and possibly two Tropical Kingbirds were at North Lake around 9:45, seen flycatching from the middle and north islands.  Lee obtained a photo of one perched on the middle island.

At Fort Miley West, there were 10-12 Red-breasted Nuthatches in the pines around the batteries.  I hope some of them spend the winter as they used to.

Brian Fitch

Least flycatcher, Nashville warbler Lobos creek

Josiah Clark

A morning walk looking into the oaks and willows along the creek produced good comparisons of "western" flycatcher near a Least Flycatcher. The least being notably shorter billed, grayer and smaller. The flock had a dullish Nashville among more common western migrants. A fly over red-throated loon was a first for me at this location. Also sparring Bewick's on House Wren and California voles appear to have moved in in force.

Josiah Clark I Consulting Ecologist I I 415.317.3978

Nature's Acres Nursery I Bay Area Native Plants I

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lee-Hong Chang


Just saw a male Lawrence's Goldfinch near lone pine tree in front of Planet Granite at Crissy Field. It was associating with a flock of House Finches.

Good birding,
Lee Chang, SF

Blackpoll Ferry Park Photos

Mark Rauzon

The Blackpoll Warbler was still present at Sue Berman Park at 3pm. The sun was on the poplars by the metal sculpture and the Blackpoll came down low where I was able to get a clear photograph of it in the sun.

Thanks to Michael Gertz, am smiling.

Mark Rauzon

Summer Tanager continues

Aaron Maizlish

The Summer Tanager continues on the south side of North Lake in Golden Gate Park. I found him at 2:05 PM almost directly under the pedestrian bridge. He was in the reeds below Eye level to the west. Kind of an intriguing bird. He has a very dark bill, no real wings stripes, and a lot of red coming in on the tail, which I take to indicate a hatch year "Western" male. The bird was reported by Steve Tucker on Saturday but I don't believe had been seen since. I will put up some photos tonight.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco

Blackpoll Ferry Park

Michael Gertz

The Blackpoll is still in the Poplars at Ferry Park. Red-breasted Nuthatch there today at lunch as well. 

keep smiling, 

michael gertz
Potrero Hill, SF

Painted Bunting update

Jeff Fairclough

The Painted Bunting was seen this morning at 7:35 am (Monday 28th).  Same staging area east of the Murphy (south) Windmill, Golden Gate Park; about 25 yards east of the South Windmill Deepwell Pump Station in the low brush habitat.  It was a brief appearance, enough for one very good look and and a couple of partial views as it hid in a plant of about the same green and yellowish coloration...then flew off.  We didn't see it again before we left at 8:25 am.  Though a Tropical Kingbird made an appearance at 8:00 am and landed on a bare branch just south of the Pump station, then shortly afterwards disappeared into a nearby tree.

We took a walk around North Lake afterwards, very birdy!  Nice to meet Brian Fitch.  Didn't see the Summer Tanager, though a few Westerns and plenty of Warblers.  Thanks to all for finding the Painted Bunting!

Jeff Fairclough and Laurie Graham,

South San Francisco

Belated sightings from the September 27th

Mark Eaton

Alan Hopkins, Matt Zlatunich and I did our Point Blue birdathon yesterday.  I’ll send out a full report later, but there were a few unusual sightings that I should have posted yesterday.  We had likely the same CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at the same location on the lawn west of the community garden that Aaron mentioned and Matt got good looks at a VESPER SPARROW in the same vicinity.  I’ll post the full result later today.


Re: Cont. Clay-colored

Aaron Maizlish

Also this morning (8:10 am) I found a different Clay-Colored Sparrow at Fort Mason. It was on the lawn briefly with several White-Crowned Sparrows, just a few feet north of the northern perimeter of the community garden.

On Sep 28, 2015, at 10:41 AM, Brian Fitch fogeggs@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:


The Clay-colored Sparrow was still at Crissy Field despite the weekend mobs, this time along the northern edge, above the closed area of the main path.  It was with the Wh-cr Sparrows.  The only other highlight was a Long-billed Curlew in flight, kettling with and scolding a Red-tailed Hawk.

Brian Fitch

Cont. Clay-colored

Brian Fitch

The Clay-colored Sparrow was still at Crissy Field despite the weekend mobs, this time along the northern edge, above the closed area of the main path.  It was with the Wh-cr Sparrows.  The only other highlight was a Long-billed Curlew in flight, kettling with and scolding a Red-tailed Hawk.

Brian Fitch

SF Rare Bird Round Up - Sept. 26, 2015- Summary Highlights

h cotter

A number of birders took part in the SF Rare Bird Round-Up yesterday in San Francisco.

Highlights included.

Parasitic Jaegar - up to 40 birds or more
Pomarine Jaegar - 10 plus birds
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER - first for the event - Seen by Paul Saraceni at the south end of Ocean Beach
Acorn Woodpecker - Presidio
Blackpoll Warbler - 2 - Sutro Height Park - H Cotter- South side
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1 - Sutro Heights Park - H Cotter - East side.
Clay-colored Sparrow - Crissy Field - Mark Eaton, Alan Linda Swanson and Ken Schneider
PAINTED BUNTING - GGP Maintenence Yard- Bob Hall, Brian Fitch and Juan Garcia - First for the even -second official City record.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE- Telegraph Hill - Miachael Gertz - First for the event.
Hooded Oriole - GGP Maintenence Yard- Bob Hall, Brian Fitch and Juan Garcia

Many other common migrants were seen also making a good day in the City.

Hugh Cotter
Alan Hopkins