Date   

Ross's Goose and Red-necked Grebe Jan 24

Dave Weber
 

The Ross's, Snow, and four GWF Geese were at Spreckels Lake in GGP this morning in the dark. Waited for daylight but no Red-necked Grebe. At 8:20am there was a Red-necked Grebe off the Cliff House beyond the first rocks.

Dave Weber,
Milpitas
by phone


Fulmar at Sutro

Brian Fitch
 

A pale morph Northern Fulmar coursed its way northward this morning off of the Sutro Baths.  It was arcing in the easterly winds, showing the classic 90 degree angle between wings and body, with some dark feathering toward the wing tips.  This was my first city fulmar since 2014.  Also present was a pair of Marbled Murrelets on the water, and the Red-necked Grebe was still at Spreckles Lake around sunrise.

Brian Fitch


BirdNote on KALW

giantscv@...
 

Hey all,


KALW 91.7 has a daily short  program titled BirdNote that has taken the place of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, just before Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Today's was about the Yellow-rumped warbler. Butter butt?

Thanks,

Chris Vance


Spreckels Lake

David Assmann
 

Late this morning, the four GREATER-WHITE FRONTED GEESE, the SNOW GOOSE and the ROSS'S GOOSE arrived at Spreckels Lake, where the presumably returning RED-NECKED GREBE was busy fishing.



Presidio, Polo Fields, G.G. Park

Lee Guichan
 

Hello,
Saturday morning at Crissy Field there was one Ross's Goose, one Snow Goose, fourGreater White-fronted geese & Canada Geese all chopping on the long grass.

Lloyd Lake there were four females & two male Hooded Mergansers.

Sunday morning at Harding Park golf course there was one Merlin sat in a tree for 20 minutes.
Near the wooden bridge there were two Anna's Hummingbirds, three Western Grebes, One Great Blue Heron, one Red-shouldered Hawk, two Red-tailed Hawks, three Common Yellow Throats, one Downy Woodpecker, five Fox sparrows, four Song Sparrows, 7 Ruddy Ducks & two Night Herons.


Polo Fields today about 11:30 am there was one Ross's Goose, one Snow Goose, four Greater White-fronted geese & 25 Canada Geese shortly after they flew to Spreckels Lake except for 20 which flew in later .

I followed them over to Spreckels Lake where they swam in the lake, later they got out to preen.
There was one Red Necked Grebe there,One Pied Billed Grebes, six Ruddy Ducks,  three domesic geese & five Mallard Ducks.

Lee Guichan
San Francisco


Winter Pelagic Feb 24 and Alvaro's Adventures Pelagic schedule 2018

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello Bay Area and Monterey Bay Folks

 

Thanks so much for the participation in last year’s trips. We really appreciate it. We saw some awesome birds out there, rarity of the season was the Wedge-tailed Shearwater we photographed near Half Moon Bay. Of course all sorts of other goodies were seen, including our fine regular seabirds which we are always happy to enjoy. We are looking forward to 2018. Here are some news:

  1. We have a winter pelagic coming up on Feb 24. Kittiwakes, Ancient Murrelets, Short-tailed Shearwater are out there for us to find.
  2. Two Cordell Bank trips this year – out of Bodega Bay!
  3. Four different Farallon Island trips early in the season.
  4. We will be trying a longer Albacore Grounds trip out of Monterey Bay this year.
  5. Morro Bay will be added as a departure – details to come.
  6. We are planning on partnering with the Redwood Region Ornithological Society, Golden Gate Audubon, Santa Clara Valley Audubon, Sequoia Audubon, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and Morro Coast Audubon Society this year. Thank you to all of these organizations.   
  7. Have a look at the schedule, and book trips -  http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/

 

We are so looking forward to enjoying the ocean, the birds, and your company!

If you have questions, contact me privately.

Good birding,

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Sea-watch, etc., 1/21/18

Paul Saraceni
 

This morning I conducted a sea-watch from the south-end of the Great Highway (7:40-10:30 AM), joined by Hugh Cotter towards the end, and then we checked several spots at Lake Merced.

 

Visibility improved and the sea surface smoothed out a bit during the morning, despite the big swells, as the light winds shifted around from NW to SW.

 

At 8:40, a female LONG-TAILED DUCK flew N by itself.


At 8:55, 3 ANCIENT MURRELETS flew S together.


The continuing EASTERN PHOEBE made sporadic appearances during the morning on the barbed wire fence over the entrance to the water treatment plant on the E side of the Great Highway. 


Observations of local interest:

Greater Scaup 9 (1 m./1f. with Surf Scoters on the ocean, 7 fly-bys N)

Surf Scoter 80+

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER 4 (1 m. on the ocean, 2 & 1 flying N, all with Surf Scoters)

BLACK SCOTER  3 m./1 f. (on the ocean)

Red-thr. Loon 20+

Common Loon 4

Brown Pelican 2

Long-billed Curlew 7 (3 & 4 on the beach)

Whimbrel 2 (on the beach)

Marbled Godwit 1 (on the beach; has an injured leg)

Sanderling 1300+ (multiple flocks)

Ring-billed Gull 1 1w (on the beach)

Herring Gull 20+

Iceland ("Thayer's") Gull 30+

Black Phoebe 2

Say's Phoebe 1 (briefly on the same fence as used by the Eastern Phoebe, but not at the same time)

Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from across the Great Highway)


[Belatedly -- from the sea watch site on 1/7 with Hugh were a flock of 9 BARN SWALLOWS flying N low over the beach and a female MERLIN perched on a boulder on the backside of the beach devouring a Sanderling.]


Observations of local interest today from Lake Merced:

Eared Grebe 60+ (on lake N of concrete bridge, apparently feeding around hydrators in the lake)

Merlin 1 (Sunset Circle)

Herring Gull 10+

Iceland ("Thayer's") Gull 20+

Red-br. Nuthatch 1 (in pine tree @ SW corner of Concrete Bridge)

Com. Yellowthroat 1 m. (@ wooden bridge)

White-thr. Sparrow 1 (presume continuing; Sunset Circle with Zonotrichia flock near W edge of parking lot)

BULLOCK'S ORIOLE 1 f./imm. (previously reported by others; in downed branches near W edge of parking lot)


Paul Saraceni

San Francisco


GGAS Fort Mason Trip Today - Yellow Warbler, etc.

David Assmann
 

Another good day at Fort Mason with 49 species seen on the GGAS walk today.  Aquatic Park turned out to be a hotspot again, with two BONAPARTE'S GULLS over the water, along with 4 SNOWY EGRETS repeating their skimming behavior from yesterday.  There were three COMMON MURRES, including one in full alternate plumage sitting on the pier, and two in basic plumage swimming in Aquatic Park.  There were a number of WESTERN GREBES, a CLARK'S GREBE, a BUFFLEHEAD, two HORNED GREBES, two COMMON LOONS, and a RED-THROATED LOON.  One of the WANDERING TATTLERS was foraging out on the exposed rocks near the wall, giving the whole group stunning views from 15 feet away. The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued in the garden, and everyone got great looks at the male YELLOW WARBLER near the tennis courts - it's beginning to get a little striping on its breast.



On raptors/class, a Josiah talk and a bio-blitz

Eddie Bartley
 

Greetings SF Birders,

 

After spending early January birding the lovely Palm Deserts (super-fun was 18 GGAS birders at the Salton Sea) it’s good to be back in SFs somewhat more humid environs.

 

A few notes and happenings we hope you may be interested in:

 

Recent past:

Mushroom Birding at McLaren: yesterday, Jan. 20, CNPS- Yerba Buena held a Mushroom Foray, incidentally recorded only 22 species of birds, highlight being ongoing aerial ballets between adult pairs of Red-tails & Red-shoulders that the plant and fans of fungi all enjoyed. A Hutton’s Vireo in the Live Oak was a note of optimism and the trail work restoration plantings are looking great! Mycologist Alan Rockefeller was amazing at identifying and talking shrooms stories, identifying over 50 species for a group of 60 enthusiastic treasure hunters.

 

The GGAS/CAS “Gulls of California” class field trip to Stowe Lake, also yesterday, included the usual suspects including 7 species of Gulls, robust numbers of Thayer’s (at least 5), meaning Iceland of course, singles of Herring and Ring-billed. Jonah re-found the continuing MANDARIN DUCK just before the walk.

 

Near future:

GGAS Nature Education has been increasing class offerings here in SF, a few folks have said they didn’t know about the Gull and Master Birder programs before they filled, so posting here there are a few openings in the “Raptor’s in Winter” class that is beginning this coming Tuesday evening at Ft. Mason. We also hope to bring the most excellent “Deep Dive into Divers” class, led by Megan Prelinger back later this year too. More information on current offerings and sign ups here: https://goldengateaudubon.org/education/classes/

 

“A Bird’s Eye View of Ecology” is the title of Josiah Clark’s talk for CNPS-Yerba Buena coming up on Feb. 1. It’s free, all are welcome, details here: http://cnps-yerbabuena.org/calendar/speaker-series/

 

Mt. Sutro Bio-blitz March 18: Sutro Stewards is partnering with CAS, CNPS-Yerba Buena, GGAS, etc. on a Bio-blitz of Mt. Sutro open space. They need participants and leaders, birders of course but also etymologists, mycologists, botanists, etc. Come lend your talents, learn from some experts on a fun biology rich day. If you want to lead a group contact Amy Kaeser, Executive Director of Sutro Stewards at amy@....  To sign up to participate: mtsutrobioblitz.eventbrite.com

 

Hope to see you out there!

 

Eddie Bartley

 

 


Candlestick Robbery

Brian Turner <brianturner6@...>
 

Greetings birders,

I regret to report a rather terrifying robbery I experienced this afternoon after 2 hrs of birding Candlestick SRA. At approximately 5 pm I was packing up my vehicle after scoping the shoreline during an ebbing tide along Harney way, just off the on/off ramp of Highway 101.

 A dark gray Honda Accord rolled slowly towards me and before I knew it a man with a kerchief over the lower half of his face jumped out and pointed a pistol at me. I got the message instantly and laid on the ground while his accomplices took my scope and binoculars out of the car and he took wallet out of my pocket. Thankfully I left the experience unscathed physically, but I'm definitely shaken up. 

Be safe out there and stay on your guard, especially when birding solo. In retrospect I realize that I was somewhat of a sitting duck right next to the freeway onramp. 

Brian Turner



Yellow-shafted flicker in GG Park

Megan Jankowski
 

Today at 4:30 I stopped to watch a flock of about 50+ robins at the corner of JFK and Stow Lake Drive in Golden Gate Park. There was a flicker foraging at the base of the tree. It had a clear red crescent on the nape of its neck, brown cheeks and no malar marks, indicating a female yellow-shafted. 

Unfortunately when it flew up it was behind the large trunk of a tree so I did not see its underwing, and several kids on bikes rode through several times scaring the whole flock. I could not relocate the bird and would appreciate if someone else can find it. 

Megan Jankowski
Oakland 


North Lake this moring

Dan Murphy
 

This morning Joan and I birded North Lake in Golden Gate Park.  On the south west side of the lake just north of the first island we had a 1st year male Hooded Oriole.  It flew from the east side of the lake and landed in the bulrush and blackberry along the lake's edge.  It called quite a bit.  At the same time an Allen's Hummingbird could be heard displaying nearby.

Of interest was a Pink-sided Junco that's been visiting our yard.  It's put in brief appearances on Jan 4, 8 and 9, but hasn't been seen since.

Good birding.
Dan Murphy


Drones are BANNED in City Parks

Dominik Mosur
 

Dear Birders,

Prompted by Lee Guichan's recent post about a person using a drone to harass birds at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park (something coincidentally that I myself noted on the Christmas Bird Count at that location as well), I did some research into the legality of flying drones in San Francisco.

I spoke with a supervisor in the park rangers department and was informed that drone flying is BANNED in all city parks. If you encounter someone flying a drone I was told to call Park Rangers and let them deal with it.

To contact the ranger's office you can call McLaren Lodge (415)831-2700 and select option 7 on the menu.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Fort Mason Yellow Warbler and Bonaparte's Gull

David Assmann
 

The pier at Aquatic Park was locked this morning, thanks to the Federal Government shutdown.  This led to some interesting bird behavior.  Two SNOWY EGRETS were perched on the side of the closed pier, and would periodically fly into Aquatic Park, skimming the top of the water with their feet, catching some kind of small prey.  They did this over and over. A BONAPARTE'S GULL was doing its tern-like flight in the same area, and would periodically sit on the water.  There were several HORNED GREBES, a BUFFLEHEAD and a number of WESTERN GREBES in Aquatic Park as well. The YELLOW WARBLER continues over by the tennis courts, a MERLIN was seen several times, and a BAND-TAILED PIGEON landed on a Cypress tree. A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continues in the garden.



Corona Heights GGAS Walk

Brian Fitch
 

Participants in today's Golden Gate Audubon event were treated to a gorgeous day of sun, cottony clouds, and bright green hillsides, with many birds out in force after yesterday's long misty rain.  Below are the species seen or heard for those who requested a comprehensive list.  I don't include numbers in most cases, as I don't accept that an individual or a compact group can gain an accurate count from a single viewpoint, and I don't want to count the same birds twice, thrice, or more as we move around the same small area.
Brian Fitch


Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon - multiple flocks, mostly heading north
Mourning Dove
Red-masked Parakeet
Anna's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker - 1 apparent red-shafted female, 1 hybrid male with red nape, mixed color mustache, and dark orange shafts
California Scrub-Jay
Common Raven - only 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler - many individuals all around the park
Townsend's Warbler
California Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch


Re: Song Sparrows on eBird

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Josiah

Clarification, eBird does not have a “morphna” that you can choose. So morphna is in a group of similar looking subspecies, and the one that is on eBird is rufina. Just so you know that in the real world morphna still exists, but in the eBird world rufina includes morphna.

I hope that makes sense.

Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com



From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Josiah Clark josiah.clark621@gmail.com [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:42 PM
To: Peter Pyle <ppyle@birdpop.org>
Cc: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net>; Dominik Mosur <polskatata@yahoo.com>; SFBirds <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>; Ken R. Schneider <kschnei1@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Song Sparrows on eBird





Great to know all this, especially that rufina is the better name for morphna. There have been more of from this group around sf this year than I’ve ever remembered. At least 5 or 6 including one in the presidio and another in my yard. I’ve noticed slight differences in how the grey and rufous is patterned around the hood, wings and face.

Thanks

J-
On Jan 18, 2018, at 5:49 PM, Peter Pyle ppyle@birdpop.org <mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org> [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SFBirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com> > wrote:



Hi Al -

Appreciate your comments and I agree that a
designation of "merrilli/montana" is problematic.
I believe that merrilli is another
intergrade-swarm taxon from central British
Columbia (akin to altivagans Fox Sparrow and
cismontanus Dark-eyed Junco) so liking it with
any of the three subspecies groups is problematic.

In a detailed specimen-based analysis we (Oscar
Johnson, Jim Tietz, and I) concluded that
merrilli was the most common "rufous" Song
Sparrow in central California. Most of the
specimens identified as morphna at CAS and MVZ
appear to be merrilli. The SF bird appears too
streaky to me for morphna and the field
descriptions of its size seem too large for
cleonensis. It seems rather typical of the
merrilli to me, although caution is always
warranted with these taxa since they can vary to
look like any or all three of the surrounding subspecies groups..

Our paper is here:
http://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Johnson_et_al_2013_The_Subspecies_of_the_SOSP_on_SE_Farallon.pdf
for anyone who wants to dig into this subject further.

Cheers, Peter

At 05:10 PM 1/18/2018, 'Alvaro Jaramillo' chucao@coastside.net <mailto:chucao@coastside.net> [SFBirds] wrote:


Ken, and SF Birds.

I couldn’t help but look at the eBird
designation of that Song Sparrow. I think I need
to send out a note to the eBird folks for
clarification.. But the designation
montana/merrilli is a bit problematic. It is
problematic in a conceptual manner, and
specifically to this bird. The form montana is
what you see on the other side of the Sierras
and northward from that, it is not too different
from a Song Sparrow from the East. Some consider
Montana all the way to the Atlantic to be one
group. If you divide up these Great
Basin/Mountain birds, then as you go north,
montana changes to a darker form merrilli. But
some have considered that to be an intermediate
form with the darker coastal birds. So that is
the conceptual thing, perhaps they should call
this “montana group” to be clear, merrilli
muddies things up as some think it is from the
coastal group, not the mountain-east group.

But specifically regarding this bird, these
darker more grey and rufous birds are coastal
birds from farther north, so West of the
Cascades. They begin as cleonensis to our north,
change to morphna, then rufina etc. Since rufina
is the oldest named in that group, the entire
conglomerate of darker/coastal Song Sparrow of
the Pac NW are called the “rufina group.”
That is what this bird should be identified as in eBird.

Now our regularly occurring Song Sparrow in the
Bay Area (away from Salt Marshes) should be
separated as “heermanni Group.” While
specifically the birds we see are gouldi, the
group name comes from the oldest named in the group, so heermanni.

I expect that montana/merrilli are extremely
rare or non-existent here, perhaps as rare as
weeing a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow in the Bay
Area. I may be wrong, I have not looked up
Grinnell and Miller on this, but it is my
expectation. BTW – there is a Song Sparrow
Facebook group if you all waant to discuss Song Sparrow.

Good birding,

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com <mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com>

www.alvarosadventures.com <http://www.alvarosadventures.com>

From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Dominik Mosur polskatata@yahoo.com <mailto:polskatata@yahoo.com> [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35 PM
To: SFBirds <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com <mailto:sfbirds@yahoogroups.com> >
Subject: [SFBirds] Belated report of Pink-sided
Junco/_merrilli_ Song Sparrow GGP Lloyd Lake 1/14/18

On Sunday morning (1/14/18) at Lloyd Lake in
Golden Gate Park there was a YELLOW WARBLER and
WHITE-THROATED Sparrow, both wintering
'continuers' previously reported in the area.

A bird I had not seen reported there previously
was an interesting SONG SPARROW that appeared
darker than our local types and larger, closer
in overall size to White-crowns feeding nearby.

Additionally there was an 'interesting' looking female Dark-eyed Junco.

Ken Schneider was able to obtain images of the
Song Sparrow and Junco later that morning. These
can be seen here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41912312

Based on input we received from Peter Pyle, the
Song Sparrow is of the northwest ssp _merrilli_
and the junco looks good for a Pink-sided _mearnsi_.

Thanks to Peter Pyle for helping with the ID and
Ken Schneider for obtaining the excellent diagnostic images.

The sparrow flock at Lloyd Lake typical
concentrates along the trail at the northeast
corner, near the pumphouse, where someone regularly scatters seed.

Dominik Mosur

San Francisco

Sent from my iPhone




Re: Song Sparrows on eBird

Josiah Clark
 

Great to know all this, especially that rufina is the better name for morphna. There have been more of from this group around sf this year than I’ve ever remembered. At least 5 or 6 including one in the presidio and another in my yard. I’ve noticed slight differences in how the grey and rufous is patterned around the hood, wings and face. 
  Thanks
 J-


On Jan 18, 2018, at 5:49 PM, Peter Pyle ppyle@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Hi Al -

Appreciate your comments and I agree that a
designation of "merrilli/montana" is problematic.
I believe that merrilli is another
intergrade-swarm taxon from central British
Columbia (akin to altivagans Fox Sparrow and
cismontanus Dark-eyed Junco) so liking it with
any of the three subspecies groups is problematic.

In a detailed specimen-based analysis we (Oscar
Johnson, Jim Tietz, and I) concluded that
merrilli was the most common "rufous" Song
Sparrow in central California. Most of the
specimens identified as morphna at CAS and MVZ
appear to be merrilli. The SF bird appears too
streaky to me for morphna and the field
descriptions of its size seem too large for
cleonensis. It seems rather typical of the
merrilli to me, although caution is always
warranted with these taxa since they can vary to
look like any or all three of the surrounding subspecies groups..

Our paper is here:
http://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Johnson_et_al_2013_The_Subspecies_of_the_SOSP_on_SE_Farallon.pdf
for anyone who wants to dig into this subject further.

Cheers, Peter

At 05:10 PM 1/18/2018, 'Alvaro Jaramillo' chucao@... [SFBirds] wrote:
>
>
>Ken, and SF Birds.
>
>I couldn’t help but look at the eBird
>designation of that Song Sparrow. I think I need
>to send out a note to the eBird folks for
>clarification.. But the designation
>montana/merrilli is a bit problematic. It is
>problematic in a conceptual manner, and
>specifically to this bird. The form montana is
>what you see on the other side of the Sierras
>and northward from that, it is not too different
>from a Song Sparrow from the East. Some consider
>Montana all the way to the Atlantic to be one
>group. If you divide up these Great
>Basin/Mountain birds, then as you go north,
>montana changes to a darker form merrilli. But
>some have considered that to be an intermediate
>form with the darker coastal birds. So that is
>the conceptual thing, perhaps they should call
>this “montana group” to be clear, merrilli
>muddies things up as some think it is from the
>coastal group, not the mountain-east group.
>
>But specifically regarding this bird, these
>darker more grey and rufous birds are coastal
>birds from farther north, so West of the
>Cascades. They begin as cleonensis to our north,
>change to morphna, then rufina etc. Since rufina
>is the oldest named in that group, the entire
>conglomerate of darker/coastal Song Sparrow of
>the Pac NW are called the “rufina group.”
>That is what this bird should be identified as in eBird.
>
>Now our regularly occurring Song Sparrow in the
>Bay Area (away from Salt Marshes) should be
>separated as “heermanni Group.” While
>specifically the birds we see are gouldi, the
>group name comes from the oldest named in the group, so heermanni.
>
>I expect that montana/merrilli are extremely
>rare or non-existent here, perhaps as rare as
>weeing a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow in the Bay
>Area. I may be wrong, I have not looked up
>Grinnell and Miller on this, but it is my
>expectation. BTW – there is a Song Sparrow
>Facebook group if you all waant to discuss Song Sparrow.
>
>Good birding,
>
>Alvaro
>
>Alvaro Jaramillo
>
><mailto:alvaro@...> alvaro@...
>
>www.alvarosadventures.com
>
>From: SFBirds@...
>[mailto:SFBirds@...] On Behalf Of
>Dominik Mosur polskatata@... [SFBirds]
>Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35 PM
>To: SFBirds <sfbirds@...>
>Subject: [SFBirds] Belated report of Pink-sided
>Junco/_merrilli_ Song Sparrow GGP Lloyd Lake 1/14/18
>
>On Sunday morning (1/14/18) at Lloyd Lake in
>Golden Gate Park there was a YELLOW WARBLER and
>WHITE-THROATED Sparrow, both wintering
>'continuers' previously reported in the area.
>
>A bird I had not seen reported there previously
>was an interesting SONG SPARROW that appeared
>darker than our local types and larger, closer
>in overall size to White-crowns feeding nearby.
>
>Additionally there was an 'interesting' looking female Dark-eyed Junco.
>
>Ken Schneider was able to obtain images of the
>Song Sparrow and Junco later that morning. These
>can be seen here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41912312
>
>Based on input we received from Peter Pyle, the
>Song Sparrow is of the northwest ssp _merrilli_
>and the junco looks good for a Pink-sided _mearnsi_.
>
>Thanks to Peter Pyle for helping with the ID and
>Ken Schneider for obtaining the excellent diagnostic images.
>
>The sparrow flock at Lloyd Lake typical
>concentrates along the trail at the northeast
>corner, near the pumphouse, where someone regularly scatters seed.
>
>Dominik Mosur
>
>San Francisco
>
>
>
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>


Re: Song Sparrows on eBird

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Peter and SF Birds

This was a real helpful communication, I think we are on the same page. The crux being what the heck merrilli is!

Take care



Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com



From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle ppyle@birdpop.org [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:17 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net>
Cc: 'Dominik Mosur' <polskatata@yahoo.com>; 'SFBirds' <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>; 'Ken R. Schneider' <kschnei1@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: [SFBirds] Song Sparrows on eBird





Yeah, I would agree that most of the merrilli
that reach coastal California are likely from the
western side of the swarm, as I think we discuss
in our paper. The bottom line seems to be that
these taxa in central BC vary a lot depending in
part on which subspecies group they are closest to geographically.

Peter

At 06:18 PM 1/18/2018, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:
Peter
I guess the issue then is what you consider
merrilli to look like, and in particular if
eBird is lumping montana/merrili, then they are
considering them to look like Eastern/interior
birds not coastal birds. I think you are
considering merrilli to be a coastal type bird,
particularly if you are considering it against
morphna. So this bird has to be called "rufina
group" as that would include cleonensis,
morphna, rufina, and any merrilli populations that are coastal-like.

Photos of interior merrili are much clearer
bellied than the SF bird. Here are British
Columbia Song Sparrow photos from March-May, for
folks to look at. You may have to get a map out
to figure if you are looking at a coastal site,
or an interior site, but it is illuminating to
the variability of morphna and how well striped
interior merrilli type things are. Basically
they look like a montana, but with much rustier tone to the streaks.

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=sonspa&mr=M3TO5®ion=British%20Columbia,%20Canada%20(CA)&regionCode=CA-BC&q=Song%20Sparrow%20-%20Melospiza%20melodia

Fun stuff!
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Pyle [mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:49 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net>
Cc: 'Dominik Mosur' <polskatata@yahoo.com>;
'SFBirds' <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>; 'Ken R. Schneider' <kschnei1@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Song Sparrows on eBird

Hi Al -

Appreciate your comments and I agree that a
designation of "merrilli/montana" is problematic.
I believe that merrilli is another
intergrade-swarm taxon from central British
Columbia (akin to altivagans Fox Sparrow and
cismontanus Dark-eyed Junco) so liking it with
any of the three subspecies groups is problematic.

In a detailed specimen-based analysis we (Oscar
Johnson, Jim Tietz, and I) concluded that
merrilli was the most common "rufous" Song
Sparrow in central California. Most of the
specimens identified as morphna at CAS and MVZ
appear to be merrilli. The SF bird appears too
streaky to me for morphna and the field
descriptions of its size seem too large for
cleonensis. It seems rather typical of the
merrilli to me, although caution is always
warranted with these taxa since they can vary to
look like any or all three of the surrounding subspecies groups..

Our paper is here:
http://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Johnson_et_al_2013_The_Subspecies_of_the_SOSP_on_SE_Farallon.pdf
for anyone who wants to dig into this subject further.

Cheers, Peter

At 05:10 PM 1/18/2018, 'Alvaro Jaramillo'
chucao@coastside.net [SFBirds] wrote:


Ken, and SF Birds.

I couldn̢۪t help but look at the eBird rd designation of that Song
Sparrow. I think I need to send out a note to the eBird folks for
clarification.. But the designation montana/merrilli is a bit
problematic. It is problematic in a conceptual manner, and specifically
to this bird. The form montana is what you see on the other side of the
Sierras and northward from that, it is not too different from a Song
Sparrow from the East. Some consider Montana all the way to the
Atlantic to be one group. If you divide up these Great Basin/Mountain
birds, then as you go north, montana changes to a darker form merrilli.
But some have considered that to be an intermediate form with the
darker coastal birds. So that is the conceptual thing, perhaps they
should call this “montana a groupâ€Â to be clear, merrilli muddies
things up as some think it is from the coastal group, not the
mountain-east group.

But specifically regarding this bird, these darker more grey and rufous
birds are coastal birds from farther north, so West of the Cascades.
They begin as cleonensis to our north, change to morphna, then rufina
etc. Since rufina is the oldest named in that group, the entire
conglomerate of darker/coastal Song Sparrow of the Pac NW are called
the “rufina group.â€Â That is is what
this bird should be identified as
in eBird.

Now our regularly occurring Song Sparrow in the Bay Area (away from
Salt Marshes) should be separated as “heermanni i Group..â€Â While
specifically the birds we see are gouldi, the group name comes from the
oldest named in the group, so heermanni.

I expect that montana/merrilli are extremely rare or non-existent here,
perhaps as rare as weeing a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow in the Bay Area. I
may be wrong, I have not looked up Grinnell and Miller on this, but it
is my expectation. BTW ­ there is a Song Sparrow Facebook group if you
all waant to discuss Song Sparrow.

Good birding,

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dominik Mosur
polskatata@yahoo.com [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35 PM
To: SFBirds <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [SFBirds] Belated report of Pink-sided Junco/_merrilli_ Song
Sparrow GGP Lloyd Lake 1/14/18

On Sunday morning (1/14/18) at Lloyd Lake in Golden Gate Park there was
a YELLOW WARBLER and WHITE-THROATED Sparrow, both wintering
'continuers' previously reported in the area.

A bird I had not seen reported there previously was an interesting SONG
SPARROW that appeared darker than our local types and larger, closer in
overall size to White-crowns feeding nearby.

Additionally there was an 'interesting' looking female Dark-eyed Junco.

Ken Schneider was able to obtain images of the Song Sparrow and Junco
later that morning. These can be seen here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41912312

Based on input we received from Peter Pyle, the Song Sparrow is of the
northwest ssp _merrilli_ and the junco looks good for a Pink-sided
_mearnsi_.

Thanks to Peter Pyle for helping with the ID and Ken Schneider for
obtaining the excellent diagnostic images.

The sparrow flock at Lloyd Lake typical concentrates along the trail at
the northeast corner, near the pumphouse, where someone regularly
scatters seed.

Dominik Mosur

San Francisco

Sent from my iPhone

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Song Sparrows on eBird

Peter Pyle
 

Yeah, I would agree that most of the merrilli
that reach coastal California are likely from the
western side of the swarm, as I think we discuss
in our paper. The bottom line seems to be that
these taxa in central BC vary a lot depending in
part on which subspecies group they are closest to geographically.

Peter

At 06:18 PM 1/18/2018, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:
Peter
I guess the issue then is what you consider
merrilli to look like, and in particular if
eBird is lumping montana/merrili, then they are
considering them to look like Eastern/interior
birds not coastal birds. I think you are
considering merrilli to be a coastal type bird,
particularly if you are considering it against
morphna. So this bird has to be called "rufina
group" as that would include cleonensis,
morphna, rufina, and any merrilli populations that are coastal-like.

Photos of interior merrili are much clearer
bellied than the SF bird. Here are British
Columbia Song Sparrow photos from March-May, for
folks to look at. You may have to get a map out
to figure if you are looking at a coastal site, or an interior site, but it is illuminating to
the variability of morphna and how well striped
interior merrilli type things are. Basically
they look like a montana, but with much rustier tone to the streaks.

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=sonspa&mr=M3TO5®ion=British%20Columbia,%20Canada%20(CA)&regionCode=CA-BC&q=Song%20Sparrow%20-%20Melospiza%20melodia

Fun stuff!
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Pyle [mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:49 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net>
Cc: 'Dominik Mosur' <polskatata@yahoo.com>;
'SFBirds' <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>; 'Ken R. Schneider' <kschnei1@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Song Sparrows on eBird

Hi Al -

Appreciate your comments and I agree that a
designation of "merrilli/montana" is problematic.
I believe that merrilli is another
intergrade-swarm taxon from central British
Columbia (akin to altivagans Fox Sparrow and
cismontanus Dark-eyed Junco) so liking it with
any of the three subspecies groups is problematic.

In a detailed specimen-based analysis we (Oscar
Johnson, Jim Tietz, and I) concluded that
merrilli was the most common "rufous" Song
Sparrow in central California. Most of the specimens identified as morphna at CAS and MVZ
appear to be merrilli. The SF bird appears too
streaky to me for morphna and the field
descriptions of its size seem too large for
cleonensis. It seems rather typical of the
merrilli to me, although caution is always
warranted with these taxa since they can vary to
look like any or all three of the surrounding subspecies groups..

Our paper is here:
http://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Johnson_et_al_2013_The_Subspecies_of_the_SOSP_on_SE_Farallon.pdf
for anyone who wants to dig into this subject further.

Cheers, Peter

At 05:10 PM 1/18/2018, 'Alvaro Jaramillo'
chucao@coastside.net [SFBirds] wrote:


Ken, and SF Birds.

I couldn̢۪t help but look at the eBird rd designation of that Song
Sparrow. I think I need to send out a note to the eBird folks for
clarification.. But the designation montana/merrilli is a bit
problematic. It is problematic in a conceptual manner, and specifically
to this bird. The form montana is what you see on the other side of the
Sierras and northward from that, it is not too different from a Song
Sparrow from the East. Some consider Montana all the way to the
Atlantic to be one group. If you divide up these Great Basin/Mountain
birds, then as you go north, montana changes to a darker form merrilli.
But some have considered that to be an intermediate form with the
darker coastal birds. So that is the conceptual thing, perhaps they
should call this “montana a groupâ€Â� to be clear, merrilli muddies
things up as some think it is from the coastal group, not the
mountain-east group.

But specifically regarding this bird, these darker more grey and rufous
birds are coastal birds from farther north, so West of the Cascades.
They begin as cleonensis to our north, change to morphna, then rufina
etc. Since rufina is the oldest named in that group, the entire
conglomerate of darker/coastal Song Sparrow of the Pac NW are called
the “rufina group.â€Â� That is is what
this bird should be identified as
in eBird.

Now our regularly occurring Song Sparrow in the Bay Area (away from
Salt Marshes) should be separated as “heermanni i Group.â€Â� While
specifically the birds we see are gouldi, the group name comes from the
oldest named in the group, so heermanni.

I expect that montana/merrilli are extremely rare or non-existent here,
perhaps as rare as weeing a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow in the Bay Area. I
may be wrong, I have not looked up Grinnell and Miller on this, but it
is my expectation. BTW ­ there is a Song Sparrow Facebook group if you
all waant to discuss Song Sparrow.

Good birding,

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dominik Mosur
polskatata@yahoo.com [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35 PM
To: SFBirds <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [SFBirds] Belated report of Pink-sided Junco/_merrilli_ Song
Sparrow GGP Lloyd Lake 1/14/18

On Sunday morning (1/14/18) at Lloyd Lake in Golden Gate Park there was
a YELLOW WARBLER and WHITE-THROATED Sparrow, both wintering
'continuers' previously reported in the area.

A bird I had not seen reported there previously was an interesting SONG
SPARROW that appeared darker than our local types and larger, closer in
overall size to White-crowns feeding nearby.

Additionally there was an 'interesting' looking female Dark-eyed Junco.

Ken Schneider was able to obtain images of the Song Sparrow and Junco
later that morning. These can be seen here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41912312

Based on input we received from Peter Pyle, the Song Sparrow is of the
northwest ssp _merrilli_ and the junco looks good for a Pink-sided
_mearnsi_.

Thanks to Peter Pyle for helping with the ID and Ken Schneider for
obtaining the excellent diagnostic images.

The sparrow flock at Lloyd Lake typical concentrates along the trail at
the northeast corner, near the pumphouse, where someone regularly
scatters seed.

Dominik Mosur

San Francisco

Sent from my iPhone

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Song Sparrows on eBird

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Peter
I guess the issue then is what you consider merrilli to look like, and in particular if eBird is lumping montana/merrili, then they are considering them to look like Eastern/interior birds not coastal birds. I think you are considering merrilli to be a coastal type bird, particularly if you are considering it against morphna. So this bird has to be called "rufina group" as that would include cleonensis, morphna, rufina, and any merrilli populations that are coastal-like.

Photos of interior merrili are much clearer bellied than the SF bird. Here are British Columbia Song Sparrow photos from March-May, for folks to look at. You may have to get a map out to figure if you are looking at a coastal site, or an interior site, but it is illuminating to the variability of morphna and how well striped interior merrilli type things are. Basically they look like a montana, but with much rustier tone to the streaks.

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=sonspa&mr=M3TO5®ion=British%20Columbia,%20Canada%20(CA)&regionCode=CA-BC&q=Song%20Sparrow%20-%20Melospiza%20melodia

Fun stuff!
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Pyle [mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:49 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net>
Cc: 'Dominik Mosur' <polskatata@yahoo.com>; 'SFBirds' <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>; 'Ken R. Schneider' <kschnei1@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Song Sparrows on eBird

Hi Al -

Appreciate your comments and I agree that a designation of "merrilli/montana" is problematic.
I believe that merrilli is another
intergrade-swarm taxon from central British Columbia (akin to altivagans Fox Sparrow and cismontanus Dark-eyed Junco) so liking it with any of the three subspecies groups is problematic.

In a detailed specimen-based analysis we (Oscar Johnson, Jim Tietz, and I) concluded that merrilli was the most common "rufous" Song Sparrow in central California. Most of the specimens identified as morphna at CAS and MVZ appear to be merrilli. The SF bird appears too streaky to me for morphna and the field descriptions of its size seem too large for cleonensis. It seems rather typical of the merrilli to me, although caution is always warranted with these taxa since they can vary to look like any or all three of the surrounding subspecies groups..

Our paper is here:
http://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Johnson_et_al_2013_The_Subspecies_of_the_SOSP_on_SE_Farallon.pdf
for anyone who wants to dig into this subject further.

Cheers, Peter

At 05:10 PM 1/18/2018, 'Alvaro Jaramillo' chucao@coastside.net [SFBirds] wrote:


Ken, and SF Birds.

I couldn’t help but look at the eBird designation of that Song
Sparrow. I think I need to send out a note to the eBird folks for
clarification.. But the designation montana/merrilli is a bit
problematic. It is problematic in a conceptual manner, and specifically
to this bird. The form montana is what you see on the other side of the
Sierras and northward from that, it is not too different from a Song
Sparrow from the East. Some consider Montana all the way to the
Atlantic to be one group. If you divide up these Great Basin/Mountain
birds, then as you go north, montana changes to a darker form merrilli.
But some have considered that to be an intermediate form with the
darker coastal birds. So that is the conceptual thing, perhaps they
should call this “montana group” to be clear, merrilli muddies
things up as some think it is from the coastal group, not the
mountain-east group.

But specifically regarding this bird, these darker more grey and rufous
birds are coastal birds from farther north, so West of the Cascades.
They begin as cleonensis to our north, change to morphna, then rufina
etc. Since rufina is the oldest named in that group, the entire
conglomerate of darker/coastal Song Sparrow of the Pac NW are called
the “rufina group.” That is what this bird should be identified as
in eBird.

Now our regularly occurring Song Sparrow in the Bay Area (away from
Salt Marshes) should be separated as “heermanni Group.” While
specifically the birds we see are gouldi, the group name comes from the
oldest named in the group, so heermanni.

I expect that montana/merrilli are extremely rare or non-existent here,
perhaps as rare as weeing a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow in the Bay Area. I
may be wrong, I have not looked up Grinnell and Miller on this, but it
is my expectation. BTW – there is a Song Sparrow Facebook group if you
all waant to discuss Song Sparrow.

Good birding,

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:alvaro@alvarosadventures.com> alvaro@alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

From: SFBirds@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:SFBirds@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dominik Mosur
polskatata@yahoo.com [SFBirds]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35 PM
To: SFBirds <sfbirds@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [SFBirds] Belated report of Pink-sided Junco/_merrilli_ Song
Sparrow GGP Lloyd Lake 1/14/18

On Sunday morning (1/14/18) at Lloyd Lake in Golden Gate Park there was
a YELLOW WARBLER and WHITE-THROATED Sparrow, both wintering
'continuers' previously reported in the area.

A bird I had not seen reported there previously was an interesting SONG
SPARROW that appeared darker than our local types and larger, closer in
overall size to White-crowns feeding nearby.

Additionally there was an 'interesting' looking female Dark-eyed Junco.

Ken Schneider was able to obtain images of the Song Sparrow and Junco
later that morning. These can be seen here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41912312

Based on input we received from Peter Pyle, the Song Sparrow is of the
northwest ssp _merrilli_ and the junco looks good for a Pink-sided
_mearnsi_.

Thanks to Peter Pyle for helping with the ID and Ken Schneider for
obtaining the excellent diagnostic images.

The sparrow flock at Lloyd Lake typical concentrates along the trail at
the northeast corner, near the pumphouse, where someone regularly
scatters seed.

Dominik Mosur

San Francisco

Sent from my iPhone

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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