Date   

Highlights from SF bike big day 4/21/17

Josiah Clark
 

Rob Furrow, Brian Turner, Mike Carozza and I had a great day yesterday circumnavigating the city by bicycle for a hard fought total of 127 species.
We missed virtually all migrants despite many eyes searching hard in many prime spots in what most expected to be very good migration conditions. In general the spring seems very early to us with the bulk of the migration yet to happen. There were some raptors moving but not much else. The ocean was very quiet with little flying.
Highlights and birds of note for the day included
Lake Merced: sora, wrentit, Wilson's snipe, Lincolns sparrow, 5 singing yellowthroats . Ft funston- RN phalorope, osprey, Pine lake- band-tailed pigeon, Mclaren park- n flicker, vaux's and white throated swifts, candlestick - house wren, meadowlark, bufflehead, lesser scaup among over a couple thousand continuing scaup, herons head- Savannah sparrow, aquatic park wandering tattler, ft. Mason- wt sparrow, Lafayette park- acorn woodpecker, Oak woodlands- warbling vireo, Stowe lake-Hooded Merganser, cliffhouse surfbird, pigeon guillemot. Misses included: fox sparrow, hermit thrush, yellow legs, dowitchers, kestrel, kingfisher, snowy plover, black bellied plover, spotted towhee
We put in about 15 hours. The route started around lake Merced, ft funston, pine lake and then crossed the city to Mclaren Park, candlestick, herons head, pier 94, ft. Mason, Lafayette, golden gate park, cliffhouse and lands end.


Local Lingerers

Kimberly Jannarone
 

Hi Birders,


Today in a very quiet, still Buena Vista Park I heard a/the NASHVILLE WARBLER singing in the oaks near the maintenance yard.  One WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (the white-striped one) continues near a brush pile immediately west of the tennis courts.  Five TURKEY VULTURES circled overhead.  One SHARP-SHINNED HAWK circled briefly overhead before disappearing.  One HAIRY, one DOWNY, and two NUTTALL's were in the tall trees near the dog run near Haight Street.


AND.  One coyote--thick, coarse gray-brown coat--ran up the path (unfortunately pursued by a huge dog).  There have been one or two coyotes in tiny BV since the fall.  One unexpected bonus of this is that, for the first time in my years at the park, there are more on-leash dogs than off-.


Yesterday morning in McLaren Park, one CASSIN'S VIREO was singing in the willows near McNab pond.  Also, one RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was foraging in the same area--a bird that I at first thought was a Hutton's Vireo carrying food, but on longer looks I noted that the Kinglet's bill had some kind of encrustation on it--perhaps a serious build-up of gummy material, or perhaps a bill deformation--at any rate, it had a couple big lumps on it.  The Kinglet was foraging successfully, but stopping often to try to wipe its bill.  It landed above my head and I could see its skinny black legs with yellow-pink feet and its black wingbar.


Local breeders continue to do their thing: Birds seen carrying food and/or nesting materials in BV included CBCH, Juncos, Bushtits, Robins, Pygmy Nuthatches, and Song Sparrows.


Happy Earth Day,

Kimberly Jannarone

SF


Telegraph Hill Local Interest

auntiestrophe
 

Hi,

Highlights during a sunny, calm walk around Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill: Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, and a pair of Hooded Orioles on the upper Filbert Steps palm. 

Good birding!
Carlo Arreglo
Point Reyes/San Francisco


Final scouting and retrospective on SF big days

Josiah Clark
 

After dropping off a load of plants to bay natives nursery I made an uneventful check of herons head. On the way to Mclaren park park a white-throated swift was flying under the overpass on the 280 by Cesar Chavez. (Under freeways are a nesting site so worth checking on this little know and possible SF breeder.)
At Mclaren park's Mcnab pond a warbling vireo was with wilsons, orange crowned yellow rumped warblers were in the willows. Also hutton's vireo with food there. This rarely birded spot has the best and largely untapped riparian restoration opportunities in the city.
Crissy field had 15 western, 5 semipalmated plovers among the more usuals.
With winds dropping to 1mph tonight, in the morning four of us will be doing a big day by bike throughout the city.
During the 90's there were many teams attempting and the record hovered in the 130's, but never reached 140.
Finally in the early 2000's, a team led by Hugh Cotter, Alan Hopkins and Paul Saraceni shattered the record with 149 on an epic, late April spring day, which included a soaring short-eared owl above Mt. D and good luck with everything else. Such is the magic of a big day quest. In all likelihood that species total for a single team in this city will never be beaten, for many reasons.
During my scouting it was a reality check as to how much the city has changed since then. But with or without a record, the magic of a spring big day is always worth the ride.


Fort Mason - Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's, Yellow Warbler

Mike Carozza
 

Slow morning got interesting at the very end.  Most activity was happening at my last stop in flowering eucs behind the general's house.  


BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK male in the euc just left and behind the general's house.  YELLOW WARBLER in the same tree and nearby.  VAUX's SWIFT overhead.  BULLOCK'S ORIOLE on Great-Horned Owls usual palm tree perch.  HOODED ORIOLE in the same area, and an unidentified oriole was also in the mix.  Probable Kingbird flying robin-like away towards the battery in the distance, but I can't say with 100% certainty that it wasn't a Robin. 


No Surfbirds, though I've looked.  David, where do you find them?


-MC


BV Park: Two WTSP and 6 Warbler species

Kimberly Jannarone
 

Hi Birders,


A glorious sunny morning at Buena Vista Park, still damp from the night's light rain, yielded a notable variety of warblers in the park.  


Most unusual for this spot was a NASHVILLE WARBLER foraging in a short oak near the boardwalk. I heard what I assume what was this bird's song earlier in another part of the park: a two-parted song with the first phrase consisting of clear, syncopated notes, and the second part descending into a trill.


In small mixed flocks (like, really small: one was just three birds), I also had TOWNSEND'S, YELLOW-RUMPED, ORANGE-CROWNED, WILSON'S, and one gorgeous, fresh-plumaged BLACK-THROATED GRAY.  Even better: all were singing.


Two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS persist at the park.  One white-striped bird in fresh plumage foraged near a brush pile just west of the tennis courts; the other was tan-striped with ragged tail feathers (presumably molting). The tan one was singing by the maintenance yard.


Yesterday morning at Mount Davidson, I bumped into Dom, who pointed out two OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS hawking gypsy moths.  Later a WESTERN KINGBIRD took up a post at the fallen dead tree.


Good birding,

Kimberly Jannarone

SF


Lafayette Park, Apr.13th, Cassin's Vireo

Lee Guichan
 

Hello,
Looked at photos from April 13th, at Lafayette Park, one Cassin's Vireo which I could not identify was in the upper circle, on the nortwest side. There was low light and light drizzle.

Lori Lee saw one Cassin's Vireo at Lafayette Park, April 16th.

Lee Guichan
San Francisco
 


Re: Golden Gate Park

Kay Voyvodich
 

Yes, based on a quick photo search, it was bright and solid enough to have been a Summer Tanager - and DEFinitely not an American Robin. Thanks!


Golden Gate Park

Kay Voyvodich
 

Saw what appeared to be a solid red bird flit by this morning at 8am during a walk near North Lake in the western section of Golden Gate Park. I'm by no means an expert birder, but this bird was bright enough to seem like a cardinal - I know, I know. We do not have those around here, so I was very surprised, and I'm sure, very wrong. Any other bird it could have been with that amount of red in our region this time of year? 


Western Wood Pewee, Cassin's Vireo, Warbling Vireo

David Assmann
 

Birded with Dan Harris this morning starting at Fort Mason, where the highlight was a WESTERN WOOD PEWEE on the east side of the garden.  Also observed a number of WILSON'S WARBLERS, and a few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS. Second stop was Kobbe and Upton, where we observed at least four HOODED ORIOLES, as well as a CASSIN'S VIREO and a WARBLING VIREO in the same tree.



Mallard Lake, S.F., Wild Turkey

Lee Guichan
 

Hello,
There was a Wild Turkey at Mallard Lake, Sat. April 15th, Gary W.  saw it at the stream.
Sorry for the delayed report.

Lee Guichan
San Francisco, CA


Alvaro's pelagics - 2017 dates up online.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello folks.

    I hope you are all easing into a great spring of birding. I just wanted to quickly let you all know that the initial schedule for our pelagic trips is up online:

http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/

 

The spring trip this year will be on May 20th, out of Half Moon Bay. We are running trips from Half Moon Bay, Monterey Bay, to the Farallon Islands, and back on the schedule this year – Cordell Bank, out of Bodega Bay. This year we are collaborating with the Redwood Region Ornithological Society, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Ohlone Audubon Society, Monterey Seabirds, and our spotters are a who’s who from the Sequoia Audubon Society. We look forward to having fun with our friends out in the high seas, documenting, photographing and enjoying seabirds and marine mammals this year – come on board, hot coffee and treats are waiting for you on board 😊.

 

Take care, and e-mail me directly if you have any questions. Looking forward to a great seabirding season.

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Bernal Hill, Cliff House and Spreckles Lake.

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders, 

      At 3 this afternoon on Bernal Hill there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher hawking bugs from atop the summit tower and a pair of Chipping Sparrows along the path around it. On an earlier AM trip to the Cliff House, at low tide, I failed to refind the Red Knot among an otherwise good variety of shorebirds, and yesterday's Red-necked Phallarope was gone from Spreckles Lake.

Russ Bright

SF



BV Park

Kimberly Jannarone
 

Hello Birders,


Today at Buena Vista, the WHITE-THROATED Sparrow song was still going strong, and I saw not one but two of these late winterers.   RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, many TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS, and one GOLDEN-CROWNED Sparrow were still here, and I second Richard's comment about how precious this window of time is when we can enjoy their songs.  If you don't know "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody," you can hear it right now.


New arrival: PACIFIC -SLOPE FLYCATCHER, and my FOS for the park CASSIN'S VIREO.


Two male NUTTALL's WOODEPECKERS were actively competing for a female's attention, and I saw two DOWNY WOODPECKERS doing a major face-off, with head raising, swaying, and tail-splaying.


Two HUTTON'S VIREOS were defending territory (I assume a nest in an oak), making their awesome screeching sound as jays roamed nearby.


Birds seen carrying food and/or nesting material include Cal Towhee, Song Sparrow, Juncos, Bushtits, P-Nuts, and Ravens.


Good Spring Birding,

Kimberly Jannarone

San Francisco


Pine Lake - one day late

sarah barsness
 

On a late afternoon walk yesterday (around 5PM) around Pine Lake, I got clear views of both a female Bullock's Oriole and a MacGillivray's Warbler. Both were in the wooded area at the westernmost end of the lake. No sign of the young, male, HOOR or the BTGW that I saw the day before. Pine Lake is not always super-birdy, but it often has nice surprises!


Forgive a non-SF side note: I recommend a trip to Lake Merritt to watch the intense nesting activity of the DBCO colony!


Happy Spring! Sarah Barsness


Fort Mason GGAS Field Trip - Merganser, Orioles, Peregrine, Kingbird, Kite

David Assmann
 

It turned out to be an interesting morning before, during and after the GGAS field trip at Fort Mason. Prior to the trip starting, a female COMMON MERGANSER was in Aquatic Park.  When the trip started, we had excellent looks at the continuing male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE and three HOODED ORIOLES.  The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was still in the garden, and a PEREGRINE FALCON flew over.  In the Battery we watched several species of swallow, along with a WHITE-THROATED SWIFT. The rain started to come down at 9:15 so we ended the trip, but the few birders who remained were treated to the sight of a WESTERN KINGBIRD. A few minutes later, as we were watching two RED-THROATED LOONS in the Bay, a WHITE-TAILED KITE flew over.



Buena Vista Park

David Armstrong
 

During a brief lull in the rain this morning I walked through BVP, where there was a White-throated Sparrow feeding on the paved path on the east side of the hill. At the summit, 5-6 Vaux's Swifts were close overhead and a Nuttall's Woodpecker was calling. I also heard an interesting junco song - started with the typical trill then continued half an octave lower. I hadn't heard that one before. 

On a belated, and uncountable note, while biking on the bayside last month we saw an African Collared-Dove at India Basin. That one threw me for a loop. It was near where SF's last Yellow-Billed Magpie used to hang out.

David


Re: Confusing time of year

Dominik Mosur
 

Richard's empidonax looks fine for a Hammond's flycatcher.


On Apr 15, 2017, at 18:16, Richard Bradus grizzledjay@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Well, lots going on all over, with winter birds departing, migrants passing through, and locals and new arrivals starting to breed. It's worth stopping to listen a bit more than usual, with the chance to hear at least part of the songs of our winter visitors before they leave us - Yellow-rumped and Townsend's Warblers, the beautiful tones of Fox Sparrows (Lori Lee was lucky to catch one singing away in Lafayette Park early this morning) and the rush of notes of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet (though they may be about gone from the area). And, the changes that come with breeding plumages of some of these; I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I may not have bothered before to check out the Golden-crowned Sparrows this late in the season - they look a bit like really thick-striped White-crowns with a dollop of bright yellow (rather than the usual gold) on top.

At Lafayette Park multiple species are already breeding, and there has been an influx of interesting visitors, including at least four Hooded Orioles. As others have noted in the past couple of days, the first Pacific-slope Flycatchers have appeared. Early yesterday morning David Assmann and Lori Lee briefly saw another empid that they couldn't identify with confidence, noting that it had a strong round eye ring. Arriving later in the morning, I managed to see a definite (vocalizing) Pac-slope and also a paler empid, and was able to get a few photos, which I posted with my eBird report: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35972102 . I'm not sure that it was the same bird they saw, but I question if it was a variant "Western" or perhaps a Dusky; unfortunately Lori did not re-find the bird this morning. If anyone is interested, or if they visited the park and also saw it, I'd love to know what you think.

Happy listening, and keep those reports coming!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Buena Vista and local interest

Kimberly Jannarone
 

Hi Birders,

This morning at BV I had my first big mixed flock of the season: one oak tree near the tennis courts had Warbling Vireos, Orange-Crowned, Townsend's, and Wilson's warblers, Bushtits, Chickadees, Pygmy Nuthatches, Juncos etc. In the realm of birds I expect to miss any day now, I also had WHITE-THROATED Sparrow (singing), GOLDEN-CROWNED Sparrow, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and HERMIT THRUSH. Plus all the singing Townsend's Warblers, who are very loud right now.

Yesterday at McLaren Park, I had a singing CASSIN'S Vireo, and the willows were full of OC, YR, and WILSON's warblers.

Nesting is off the hook; watching the birds carrying twigs, caterpillars, and beaks full of dog hair has been extremely entertaining.

Good birding,
Kimberly Jannarone, San Francisco


Confusing time of year

Richard Bradus
 

Well, lots going on all over, with winter birds departing, migrants passing through, and locals and new arrivals starting to breed. It's worth stopping to listen a bit more than usual, with the chance to hear at least part of the songs of our winter visitors before they leave us - Yellow-rumped and Townsend's Warblers, the beautiful tones of Fox Sparrows (Lori Lee was lucky to catch one singing away in Lafayette Park early this morning) and the rush of notes of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet (though they may be about gone from the area). And, the changes that come with breeding plumages of some of these; I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I may not have bothered before to check out the Golden-crowned Sparrows this late in the season - they look a bit like really thick-striped White-crowns with a dollop of bright yellow (rather than the usual gold) on top.

At Lafayette Park multiple species are already breeding, and there has been an influx of interesting visitors, including at least four Hooded Orioles. As others have noted in the past couple of days, the first Pacific-slope Flycatchers have appeared. Early yesterday morning David Assmann and Lori Lee briefly saw another empid that they couldn't identify with confidence, noting that it had a strong round eye ring. Arriving later in the morning, I managed to see a definite (vocalizing) Pac-slope and also a paler empid, and was able to get a few photos, which I posted with my eBird report: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35972102 . I'm not sure that it was the same bird they saw, but I question if it was a variant "Western" or perhaps a Dusky; unfortunately Lori did not re-find the bird this morning. If anyone is interested, or if they visited the park and also saw it, I'd love to know what you think.

Happy listening, and keep those reports coming!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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