Date   
GGAS Fort Mason Field Trip - Tropical Kingbird, etc.

David Assmann
 

The 25 participants in the GGAS Fort Mason field trip started the morning with great views of the TROPICAL KINGBIRD in the large evergreen tree at the entrance to the Community Garden.  It posed for at least 20 minutes, and at one point flew out to chase an AMERICAN CROW. Also in the garden a NASHVILLE WARBLER foraged in plain sight, and a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER put in a very brief appearance. A GREAT HORNED OWL was on the back side of the palm tree behind the General's House.  Moving down to Aquatic Park, we not only found three BLACK TURNSTONES and a WANDERING TATTLER, but also all five grebe species, including the RED-NECKED GREBE, which would only stay on the surface for 3-5 seconds at a time.  There were also three COMMON LOONS, a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, 2 HORNED GREBES and a perched BELTED KINGFISHER. We looked for Bluebirds in the Great Meadow, which we didn't find, but we did find the FOS swallows for Fort Mason - two TREE SWALLOWS and at least one VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW. There were four warbler species in total, including two ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS. Total species count for the morning - 58!


Local Interest - Heron's Head, Candlestick Rock Wren

David Assmann
 

Started the morning at Heron's Head, where the highlight was watching an OSPREY building (expanding) a nest in the Hunter's Point Shipyard (scope needed). Pier 94 had 128 MEW GULLS and at least 50 AMERICAN WIGEONS.  At Last Port at Candlestick Point, I found one of the continuing ROCK WRENS, along with a nice YELLOW-SHAFTED NORTHERN FLICKER.  WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were everywhere at Candlestick (at least 80 of them), and a number of them were singing. There were 216 RUDDY DUCKS in the cove alone.


Lake Merced notes

Dan Murphy
 

This morning I did an early season survey of the nesting colonies at the lake.  There was no activity at the North Lake or the South Lake colonies.  The single nests near the boat docks has a single adult Great Blue Heron standing on it.

The Mesa was where the action was.  There were 5 active Great Blue Heron nests and another possible one.  The cormorants are active there too.  I counted 16 active Double-crested Cormorant nests.  One pair of cormorants occupied a heron nest that had a pair of herons a couple of weeks ago.  There were 3 Cinnamon Teal east of the Mesa over by Harding.  They flew to the cove between the Mesa and Cypress Point.  Singing birds included 2 Wrentits, a Common Yellowthroat, 2 Purple Finches and a Marsh Wren among others.  A Raven was pulling cypress branches off a tree nearby, no doubt to get this season's nest going.

Good birding,
Dan Murphy

Anyone see the FOS Wilson's Warbler at Chain of Lakes?

sarah barsness
 

Twice this week, I have heard what I am certain is a Wilson's Warbler at the north end of North Lake. Last night I was within a few yards of his singing but he would NOT make an appearance! Anyone else heard or seen him?

Sarah Barsness


Re: Anyone see the FOS Wilson's Warbler at Chain of Lakes?

Dominik Mosur
 

Hi Sarah,

I haven't seen any Wilson's Warblers yet this year. Over the past 15 years or so the average first arrival date for them in our area is roughly around the 3rd week of March (~ 3/20) with a particularly early bird singing around 3/10 a few years back.

A Wilson's singing in February would be exceptionally early so I hope you or someone else can confirm it.

Dom


On Feb 24, 2016, at 11:42, slbarsness@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Twice this week, I have heard what I am certain is a Wilson's Warbler at the north end of North Lake. Last night I was within a few yards of his singing but he would NOT make an appearance! Anyone else heard or seen him?

Sarah Barsness


Ocean Beach

ron3872@...
 

This morning I was at Ocean Beach and I am not sure who was following who but a WILLET seem to be following me back to Judah. I first spotted it around Noriega. We seem to play tag with the high surf. I had trouble identifying it so if this is incorrect please correct me.  http://img.gg/LeURU9g 


Lots of SNOWY PLOVERS and SANDERLINGS


Happy birding

Ronnie Jones SF

Winter pelagic - Saturday is ON

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hi folks

     There are a few spots left on this Saturday’s winter pelagic out of Half Moon Bay. Conditions are predicted to be clear, no rain so lots of light for photography and with low winds. A large, long period (not steep) swell is expected, but without much wind on it we are anticipating to be in nice birding weather particularly for winter. We will be looking for winter specialties, hopefully Black-legged Kittiwakes, Ancient Murrelet, Short-tailed Shearwater, Black-vented Shearwater and we will be heading out deep enough to look for albatross. Winter is a great time for Laysan in with the Black-footed, and while exceedingly rare we shall have our eye out for the endangered Short-tailed Albatross. Few trips head out at this latitude during winter, this appears to be the only one this season!

   If you are interested, you can contact me or book directly online: http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/

Thanks and great birding.

 

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Brown Booby

Bonnie Bompart
 

Brown Booby present in usual spot on rock off of the Cliff House now.

Bonnie Bompart
San Francisco

Tropical Kingbird and other local interest at Fort Mason this morning

David Assmann
 

The TROPICAL KINGBIRD https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidasf/24896794889/in/dateposted-public/continues to fly catch at the south end of the Great Meadow at Fort Mason.  A NASHVILLE WARBLER was in a Ceanothus shrub in the garden.  A GREAT HORNED OWL was on the side of a Palm tree behind the General's House.  A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was in the Battery, and the RED-NECKED GREBE continued in Aquatic Park.

 



Flock of robins

William Grant
 

A flock of 70-90 robins just landed on the apartment building on Pacific Ave. between Van Ness and Franklin. (8:30 a.m. Feb. 26.)


Would they be migrating?


Bill Grant

Local Interest - Gnatcatcher and Brown Booby

David Assmann
 

Started the morning at Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park, where PACIFIC WRENS were singing non-stop at three different locations. One of the RUDDY DUCKS in North Lake has transitioned into breeding plumage. At the Cliff House, the BROWN BOBBY was easily visible as it rested on Arch Rock. Last stop was Presidio Hills where a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was in an oak tree (same spot where the Oak Titmouse was seen a few years ago).  This is undoubtedly the same bird Rob Cullison saw on February 15th, and Brian Turner had on the CBC in December.


Laysan Albatross, kittiwakes etc. Half Moon Bay

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hi all,

   Great pelagic trip yesterday, we had a big swell day but not much wind so conditions were pretty good out there. One of the highlights was getting up close to Maverick’s and watching some of the world’s best big wave surfers plying their craft! Sadly, had we stuck around a bit longer there we might have found the Northern Gannet, as it was seen here by land based observers a tad later than when we were there. We did encounter small numbers of Black-legged Kittiwakes out there, including a nice one right in the outer break wall of the harbor. These were both in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Lots and lots of Common Murres, many of them in breeding plumage. The Rhinoceros Auklets were stunning and in full feather! Small numbers of Cassin’s Auklets were about, but unfortunately no Ancient Murrelets. We had a few albatross once we birded the shelf edge, and just as we started heading back to shore in San Mateo county a gorgeous adult Laysan Albatross came in. Half Moon Bay has become THE harbor to head out from to look for this species, the success rate here is pretty high particularly in early season trips (July is a good time). Very few shearwaters were about, as is expected in winter, but we did see 3 Pink-footed, 1 Sooty and 1 Black-vented. A few Northern Fulmars showed up as well, but not a lot of them.

   A troubling gull which came right in to the boat was initially identified as a Glaucous Gull, and it certainly is mostly that, but had some dark on the primaries clarifying that it is more likely of mixed parentage….but perhaps mostly Glaucous Gull. This bird was in San Francisco about 20 miles offshore! Photos here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/

     Mammals were great with breaching young Humpback Whale, a few other Humpacks around (rare here in winter until recently), Grey Whales, Long-beaked Common Dolphin, Harbor Porpoise, Harbor Seal, CA Sea Lion, and a possible Steller’s Sea Lion which we could not get a good look at. Water is warmer than expected for this time of year, in the 57 F zone. It was a very good winter pelagic, with some punctuated periods of excitement and nice camaraderie on the boat. Good fun.

Good birding!

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

(No subject)

Brian Fitch
 

I started the morning at North Lake Merced during the dawn hour, looking unsuccessfully for rails, but a calling Merlin flew over the wooden bridge.

At the Sutro Baths, Red-throated Loons are showing molt, and a few were already in alternate plumage.  The Brown Booby made a single fishing foray before returning to its perch under attack from Western Gulls, and two Pelagic Cormorants were showing white on the rear flanks.  A very dark morph Pomerine Jaeger flew north close behind the rocks, and three Marbled Murrelets were also in flight.  A Song Sparrow was collecting nesting material east of the pool.

Over at the Buffalo Paddock in GG Park, a male Rufous Hummingbird was on the north fence, flaring its tail multiple times before flying off.

Brian  Fitch

(No subject)

Peter & Amy
 

Are the RTL's actually in Sutro Baths or out towards the rocks?

Amy Kuhlmann

On Mar 1, 2016, at 10:42 AM, Brian Fitch fogeggs@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

I started the morning at North Lake Merced during the dawn hour, looking unsuccessfully for rails, but a calling Merlin flew over the wooden bridge.

At the Sutro Baths, Red-throated Loons are showing molt, and a few were already in alternate plumage.  The Brown Booby made a single fishing foray before returning to its perch under attack from Western Gulls, and two Pelagic Cormorants were showing white on the rear flanks.  A very dark morph Pomerine Jaeger flew north close behind the rocks, and three Marbled Murrelets were also in flight.  A Song Sparrow was collecting nesting material east of the pool.

Over at the Buffalo Paddock in GG Park, a male Rufous Hummingbird was on the north fence, flaring its tail multiple times before flying off.

Brian  Fitch

(No subject)

Brian Fitch
 

I've never seen a loon in the baths, as they probably wouldn't have enough room to take off again.  Most of them are way out, but there are always a few close to the terrace, and within easy binocular view.  One close-in bird today was in mid molt, showing a white stripe on the the newly gray cheek.
Brian Fitch

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Peter & Amy <oshunoxt@...> wrote:
Are the RTL's actually in Sutro Baths or out towards the rocks?

Amy Kuhlmann

On Mar 1, 2016, at 10:42 AM, Brian Fitch fogeggs@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

I started the morning at North Lake Merced during the dawn hour, looking unsuccessfully for rails, but a calling Merlin flew over the wooden bridge.

At the Sutro Baths, Red-throated Loons are showing molt, and a few were already in alternate plumage.  The Brown Booby made a single fishing foray before returning to its perch under attack from Western Gulls, and two Pelagic Cormorants were showing white on the rear flanks.  A very dark morph Pomerine Jaeger flew north close behind the rocks, and three Marbled Murrelets were also in flight.  A Song Sparrow was collecting nesting material east of the pool.

Over at the Buffalo Paddock in GG Park, a male Rufous Hummingbird was on the north fence, flaring its tail multiple times before flying off.

Brian  Fitch


Cackling Goose

David Assmann
 

A CACKLING GOOSE was in with several CANADA GEESE on the ball fields on Treasure Island this morning.


Palm Warbler, Red-Necked Grebe at Aquatic Park

David Assmann
 

Just took a walk in the pouring rain to Aquatic Park, where the continuing PALM WARBLER was bobbing its tail as it stood on the fence on Hyde just north of Jefferson.  The RED-NECKED GREBE, swimming close to shore, is starting to show some brownish-orange on its neck,


Belated Report - Yellow-Shafted Flicker at Crissy Field

David Assmann
 

On Tuesday, while walking back from the protected area at Crissy Field (where I did see four SNOWY PLOVER on the docks), I took a picture of a NORTHERN FLICKER.  I didn't realize until today when I looked at the picture that it was a YELLOW-SHAFTED NORTHERN FLICKER.


Cliff House Sea Watch

Alan Hopkins
 

This morning I did a sea watch for about an hour from the Cliff House. All the shorebirds were roosting on the cliff below the Cliff House and not on any of the offshore rocks. Highlights offshore were:

1 Long-tailed Duck, in flight with scoters.
1 Adult Black-legged Kittiwake
1 Rhino Auklet with Common Murres
1 Pacific Loon between the rocks.

A walk from Lincoln Way to Pacheco St and back on Ocean Beach:

30 Snowy Plovers
300 Sanderlings
1 Western Sandpiper.

Alan Hopkins

Brown Booby

Bonnie Bompart
 

Present at Cliff House on largest triangular rock below peak about half way down the white washe