Date   
Skywatch -- Lewis's Woodpecker & Sandhill Cranes, 10/7/18

Paul Saraceni
 

Today (10/7) during late morning and afternoon, I did sporadic skywatches from my deck, looking at the skies over Cole Valley, Buena Vista Park to the E, and Tank Hill/Twin Peaks to the S.  Unlike yesterday, raptors were fairly limited to small numbers of 4 species (Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Cooper's & Sharp-shinned Hawks), except for a high-flying, southbound NORTHERN HARRIER observed late this afternoon.


I did have a couple of sightings of interest, presumably attributable to the strong N/NE winds of last night and this morning.


At 11:20 AM, a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER flew a direct path S over Cole Valley until out of view over Tank Hill.


Around 12:20 PM, I observed a high-flying group of 7 SANDHILL CRANES for a few minutes.  I picked up on them high over Cole Valley and they continued flying NE over Buena Vista Park until out of view from my vantage point.


I also observed 200+ Band-tailed Pigeons flying S in 2 groups, a few Northern Flickers and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 2 Hermit Thrushes in the yard below.


Butterflies on the move this afternoon included pulses of California Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals heading S/SE.


Paul Saraceni

San Francisco 

Sparrows and other sightings at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Lots of sparrow activity on the lawns today - two CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, at least six CHIPPING SPARROWS, two SAVANNAH SPARROWS and nine FOX SPARROWS.  When I arrived in the garden, about a dozen NORTHERN FLICKERS (including one Intergrade) flew in - at least six more were seen later. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS are now present in large numbers - at least 125 spread throughout Fort Mason. An ACORN WOODPECKER was an unexpected sight (perhaps one of the Lafayette Park birds). Two WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were walking along the hillside west of the garden. There were two RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS - one in the garden and one in the Battery. Flycatchers included one PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, and a SAY'S PHOEBE. A HOUSE WREN continued in the garden, and there was a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET in the Battery.  A HOODED ORIOLE showed up in the garden, and the Battery had at least seven BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS. One WESTERN TANAGER was also in the Battery.

Crissy WPA

mbzlat
 

Today, 8 Oct,  at the Crissy Wildlife Protection Area there were five Snowy Plovers including the banded bird LW:YY which has returned to overwinter for the eleventh year. Also in the WPA were 1 Long-billed Curlew, 15 Killdeer, 6 Western Meadowlarks, and 1 Wilson's Snipe that flushed up from the back dune and flew over to the lagoon.

The movement of California Tortoiseshell butterflies was quite dramatic as the stream of eastward bound individuals was constant from 10am - noon, many of them spending some time basking on the beach most frequently alighting on the wet sand.

Matt Zlatunich

Battery Godfrey & Cole Valley (Prairie Falcon) Skywatches, 10/8/18

Paul Saraceni
 

This morning (10/8) with continued (though lighter than yesterday) N winds, a number of observers (me, Hugh C., Alan H., Peter P., Josiah C., Rob C., Aaron M.) were up on Battery Godfrey for various portions of the first couple of hours.  While plenty of birds (esp. Northern Flickers, Varied Thrushes, Yellow-rumped Warblers) were moving, the flight was just a fraction of what was observed by some of those folks and others (not me) on 10/7.  Below are observations of interest (not a complete list) while I was present (6:45-9:30 AM), using my numbers; don't know what others observed after that time window.

Band-tailed Pigeon 150+ (multiple flocks flying SE)
Surfbird 16 (on rocks below the Battery)
Parasitic Jaeger 4 (1 flying E over the GG Bridge; 3 together in the Channel)
Herring Gull 3 
Elegant Tern 120+ (in the Channel) 
Common Loon 5 (high fly-bys)
N. Harrier 1 (flying NW)
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Cooper's Hawk  2 
Sapsucker sp. 1 (perhaps the most interesting bird of the morning that got away; Josiah C. spotted it flying N amidst some Flickers; to several of us it did not appear to be a Red-breasted, but we'll never know as it kept flying N out over the Channel and away from us)
Northern Flicker 250-300+
Merlin 1 (flying N) 
Peregrine Falcon  2
Say's Phoebe 1 
Violet-green Swallow 3
Tree Swallow 5 
House Wren 2 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Varied Thrush 90+
Swainson's Thrush 1
Hermit Thrush 2 
W. Bluebird 11 
American Pipit 4 (calling fly-overs) 
Cedar Waxwing 40+
Purple Finch 3
Pine Siskin 4 
Lesser Goldfinch 3
Spotted Towhee 2 (in scrub bordering the Battery)
W. Meadowlark 40+
Nashville Warbler 1 (in the cypress above the bluff; 1st spotted by Aaron M.) 
Yellow Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 60+ 
Black-throated Gray Warbler 3 
Townsend's Warbler 2

Later I did a midday skywatch for an hour from my deck in Cole Valley. The highlight was a striking PRAIRIE FALCON that came in from the S and flew directly overhead before continuing on a NE flight path until out of view. 8 W. Meadowlarks flying NW overhead were my first for this location.  A Golden-crowned Kinglet was in the cypress trees behind my house.

California Tortoiseshells were observed on the move from both locations.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

Palm warbler, etc presidio

Josiah Clark
 

Yesterday afternoon while pedaling through the Presidio I stopped by the chapel at the corner of Lincoln and Storey at the edge of ft Scott.
On the front lawn away from the big group of white crowned sparrow’s were a palm warbler, three chipping sparrows and a bright Lark sparrow. There were still lots of California tortoise shells flying around.

Possible Blue-headed Vireo

Rudyard Wallen
 

Hey folks, 

But probable CAVI :) Seemed brighter than CAVI, stronger wing bars, clear divide between hood and back.  Dark tertials sharply edged with white. 

On asphalt trail the runs parallel to, and just south of, JFK. Just west of the tunnel the goes the the lawn of the Conservatory.  
https://goo.gl/maps/hk7MqG9SP742

Rotating between three coast oaks.  Lost it about 30 min ago.  (2:15 now)

I walked south off path and this is the view of the cupola where I was standing, note the conifer. A mob of STJA came in and pushed it up hill. 

Offline for a while.  Photos in an hour or so.

Rudy
SF


via Cher Ami




Eastern Kingbird Sue Bierman - from Max

Jonah Benningfield
 

Hello all,
Max (my brother) just called to let me know that he has an EASTERN KINGBIRD at Sue Bierman Park, at the corner of Washington and Drumm. He mentioned that it was calling, but he only has a flip phone so he can’t email about it or take a photo.

Also, just because I’m emailing anyways I should mention that Crissy Field today had two Mew Gulls (first I’ve seen here so far this season) and a Canada goose that’s not one of our usuals. Either Lesser or Dusky; still working it out.

all the best,
Jonah B.

Interesting conditions 10/8/2018

 

Brisk west/SW winds late morning early afternoon brought some unexpected birds within sight of Corona Hill.

On a lunch time hawkwatch from noon to 13:00 I had to duck behind rocks to keep from freezing. It was worth it however with a NORTHERN HARRIER (female type)flying north halfway into the session. This bird was probably at about 850' up as it cleared 550' Corona Hill by a good football field length.

Coming down the hill as winds continued to increase, (2) Turkey Vultures flew by north east of the hill, below eye level (~450').

Then around 14:00 as I was dumping compost in the Randall Museum parking lot I spotted a skein of (~120) small geese flying overhead from the direction of Sutro Forest toward the bay. I raced inside for optics but by the time I got back outside they were just blips on the horizon flying toward Berkeley.

Luckily I had other chores to do outside today so when another skein of (40~) flew by southbound over the museum at 14:50 I was ready with binoculars at my side to get good looks at the speckled bellies of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.

Speaking of hawkwatches, I owe the list a correction.

From 10/6/2018 when I reported "18 Cooper's hawks" flying over Corona to only 2 Sharpies, that didn't quite sit right with me. I suspect that the excitement of my first big City raptor push in over three years mixed with the thrill of seeing first one and then a second Broad-winged got me touched with a case of the "sloppies". Had I kept it together I would've responsibly reported "15 Coop/Sharpies - distant birds, AND 3 Cooper's hawks", instead of trying to fake like I've been on hawk hill for 20 years with Herb and Tim.

Back to my studies,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Re: Interesting conditions 10/9/2018

 

And of course always check the date. That's 10/9/2018, today.

DM
SF

On Oct 9, 2018, at 19:37, Dominik Mosur <@DMosur> wrote:

Brisk west/SW winds late morning early afternoon brought some unexpected birds within sight of Corona Hill.

On a lunch time hawkwatch from noon to 13:00 I had to duck behind rocks to keep from freezing. It was worth it however with a NORTHERN HARRIER (female type)flying north halfway into the session. This bird was probably at about 850' up as it cleared 550' Corona Hill by a good football field length.

Coming down the hill as winds continued to increase, (2) Turkey Vultures flew by north east of the hill, below eye level (~450').

Then around 14:00 as I was dumping compost in the Randall Museum parking lot I spotted a skein of (~120) small geese flying overhead from the direction of Sutro Forest toward the bay. I raced inside for optics but by the time I got back outside they were just blips on the horizon flying toward Berkeley.

Luckily I had other chores to do outside today so when another skein of (40~) flew by southbound over the museum at 14:50 I was ready with binoculars at my side to get good looks at the speckled bellies of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.

Speaking of hawkwatches, I owe the list a correction.

From 10/6/2018 when I reported "18 Cooper's hawks" flying over Corona to only 2 Sharpies, that didn't quite sit right with me. I suspect that the excitement of my first big City raptor push in over three years mixed with the thrill of seeing first one and then a second Broad-winged got me touched with a case of the "sloppies". Had I kept it together I would've responsibly reported "15 Coop/Sharpies - distant birds, AND 3 Cooper's hawks", instead of trying to fake like I've been on hawk hill for 20 years with Herb and Tim.

Back to my studies,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Re: Possible Blue-headed Vireo

Rudyard Wallen
 

Here's an album of photos. I threw them all in just to show that the traits were consistent from every angle.  The first thing I noticed about this bird by eye was its overall brightness and contrast- the very blue grey head contrasting with a green back, the strong spectacles, and the excessive yellow, and the strong neat line between the white throat and malar. Through bins the olive mixed with yellow on the sides became apparent.

Spectacles enhanced by a black line below and a dark forehead above.
The two-toned spur onto the breast

Photos show the outer 2 primaries have reduced or missing white edges- not sure if this is pattern or wear, or both.
No green shows in the all grey hood.
In one photo there's a faint breast band, wasn't visible by eye.
Though possibly a softer trait- "...outer rects (r6) with distinct white edges when fresh." ID Guide to NA Birds, Pyle.
Rects seem to indicate HY or SY.

Seems a fair match with this Monterey bird https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49068612
But I have no experience with  BHVI so here you go.


-Rudy
SF

Re: Possible Blue-headed Vireo

Peter Pyle
 

This is an HY by the brown primary coverts contrasting with the replaced greater coverts and the tapered rectrices. So confirm HY male Blue-headed Vireo. May be a first confirmed SF City record? Congrats Rudy. Peter

At 09:09 PM 10/9/2018, Rudyard Wallen wrote:
Here's an album of photos. I threw them all in just to show that the traits were consistent from every angle. The first thing I noticed about this bird by eye was its overall brightness and contrast- the very blue grey head contrasting with a green back, the strong spectacles, and the excessive yellow, and the strong neat line between the white throat and malar. Through bins the olive mixed with yellow on the sides became apparent.

Spectacles enhanced by a black line below and a dark forehead above.
The two-toned spur onto the breast

Photos show the outer 2 primaries have reduced or missing white edges- not sure if this is pattern or wear, or both.
No green shows in the all grey hood.
In one photo there's a faint breast band, wasn't visible by eye.
Though possibly a softer trait- "...outer rects (r6) with distinct white edges when fresh." ID Guide to NA Birds, Pyle.
Rects seem to indicate HY or SY.

Seems a fair match with this Monterey bird <https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49068612>https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49068612
But I have no experience with BHVI so here you go.

<https://flic.kr/s/aHsmrtA61c>https://flic.kr/s/aHsmrtA61c
best shot here <https://flic.kr/p/2bThktZ>https://flic.kr/p/2bThktZ

-Rudy
SF

Re: Possible Blue-headed Vireo

Alan Hopkins
 

Great find Rudy! I might have expected there to be more striking yellow on the flanks, but other wise very nice. I found one on Bay View Hill a number of years ago but no one else saw it, so it is on my list but unconfirmed by others. I hope it sticks around. This shows the advantage of checking spots where others aren't birding.
 
Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA



On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 9:24 PM, Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:


This is an HY by the brown primary coverts
contrasting with the replaced greater coverts and
the tapered rectrices. So confirm HY male
Blue-headed Vireo. May be a first confirmed SF
City record? Congrats Rudy. Peter

At 09:09 PM 10/9/2018, Rudyard Wallen wrote:
>Here's an album of photos. I threw them all in
>just to show that the traits were consistent
>from every angle.  The first thing I noticed
>about this bird by eye was its overall
>brightness and contrast- the very blue grey head
>contrasting with a green back, the strong
>spectacles, and the excessive yellow, and the
>strong neat line between the white throat and
>malar. Through bins the olive mixed with yellow on the sides became apparent.
>
>Spectacles enhanced by a black line below and a dark forehead above.
>The two-toned spur onto the breast
>
>Photos show the outer 2 primaries have reduced
>or missing white edges- not sure if this is pattern or wear, or both.
>No green shows in the all grey hood.
>In one photo there's a faint breast band, wasn't visible by eye.
>Though possibly a softer trait- "...outer rects
>(r6) with distinct white edges when fresh." ID Guide to NA Birds, Pyle.
>Rects seem to indicate HY or SY.
>
>Seems a fair match with this Monterey bird
>But I have no experience with  BHVI so here you go.
>
>
>-Rudy
>SF
>
>





Townsend’s Solitaire at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

In plum tree in garden 

Re: Possible Blue-headed Vireo

Brian Fitch
 

I found one on Sept 19th, 2010, in cypresses along the Vista Grande Canal, and was with three other good birders, but the bird disappeared into the Olympic Club before they could pick it up.

I've read a lot of on-line argument about Solitary Vireo differentiation, so I'm glad to learn that there are actual marks that separate the three.  Congrats Rudy.

Brian Fitch


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 10:09 PM Alan Hopkins <alanhopkins@...> wrote:
Great find Rudy! I might have expected there to be more striking yellow on the flanks, but other wise very nice. I found one on Bay View Hill a number of years ago but no one else saw it, so it is on my list but unconfirmed by others. I hope it sticks around. This shows the advantage of checking spots where others aren't birding.
 
Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA



On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 9:24 PM, Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:


This is an HY by the brown primary coverts
contrasting with the replaced greater coverts and
the tapered rectrices. So confirm HY male
Blue-headed Vireo. May be a first confirmed SF
City record? Congrats Rudy. Peter

At 09:09 PM 10/9/2018, Rudyard Wallen wrote:
>Here's an album of photos. I threw them all in
>just to show that the traits were consistent
>from every angle.  The first thing I noticed
>about this bird by eye was its overall
>brightness and contrast- the very blue grey head
>contrasting with a green back, the strong
>spectacles, and the excessive yellow, and the
>strong neat line between the white throat and
>malar. Through bins the olive mixed with yellow on the sides became apparent.
>
>Spectacles enhanced by a black line below and a dark forehead above.
>The two-toned spur onto the breast
>
>Photos show the outer 2 primaries have reduced
>or missing white edges- not sure if this is pattern or wear, or both.
>No green shows in the all grey hood.
>In one photo there's a faint breast band, wasn't visible by eye.
>Though possibly a softer trait- "...outer rects
>(r6) with distinct white edges when fresh." ID Guide to NA Birds, Pyle.
>Rects seem to indicate HY or SY.
>
>Seems a fair match with this Monterey bird
>But I have no experience with  BHVI so here you go.
>
>
>-Rudy
>SF
>
>





Cackling Goose Palace of Fine Arts

C Lou
 


There is a CACKLING GOOSE with Canada Goose at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Josiah's three CHIPPING Sparrows were still by the chapel in the Presidio.

Calvin Lou
SF


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Re: Eastern Kingbird Sue Bierman - from Max

Jack Hayden
 

Has anyone followed up on this sighting? I did go yesterday evening with fading light. Hundreds of crows were flying by, heading south, and the most parakeets I've ever seen here were making a racket as they settled in for the night. The only other bird I saw or heard was a Black Phoebe.

Jack Hayden
Albany, CA


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 4:48 PM Jonah Benningfield via Groups.Io <falco1440=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello all,
Max (my brother) just called to let me know that he has an EASTERN KINGBIRD at Sue Bierman Park, at the corner of Washington and Drumm. He mentioned that it was calling, but he only has a flip phone so he can’t email about it or take a photo.

Also, just because I’m emailing anyways I should mention that Crissy Field today had two Mew Gulls (first I’ve seen here so far this season) and a Canada goose that’s not one of our usuals. Either Lesser or Dusky; still working it out.

all the best,
Jonah B.



Fort Mason Today - Townsend's Solitaire, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Clay-Colored Sparrow

David Assmann
 

Another really active day at Fort Mason.  In addition to the TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidasf/30298644287/in/dateposted-public/ which spent several minutes in the garden, there was also a LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH on the west side of the garden, and one of the CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS was still along the road leading to the General's House. There were a number of sparrow species, including a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and a  SAVANNAH SPARROW in the garden and two CHIPPING SPARROWS on the way to the Battery. Had a SWAINSON'S THRUSH in the garden, and a HERMIT THRUSH in the Battery. There were 2 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS - one at the top of a tree. Five warbler species were seen.

Blue-headed Vireo continues, G.G.P.

Lee Guichan
 

Hello,
This afternoon about 2:15pm, I re-found one Blue-headed Vireo; it was with one Townsend's Warbler very high in a tree that had a squirrel nest, saw it for about 6 seconds then lost sight of it. It was at the west corner of John F. Kennedy (across the Conservatory of Flowers) & Nancy Pelosi Drive, up the slope of lawn. The tree was near cut tree trunks laying on the ground.
Dominik M. was there about 15min. later.

Thank you, Rudyard Wallen for finding it yesterday.

Other birds seen were one Warbling Vireo, two Stellar's Jay, one CA Jay, three song birds, five American Robins, two Anna's Hummingbirds, two Coopers Hawk, two Ca Towhees, 11 Bushtit, one Hutton's Vireo, three Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

Lee Guichan
San Francisco

 

Blue-headed Vireo continues, G.G.P., S.F.

Lee Guichan
 

(Tues.Oct. 10) in case you missed late post, copy below.

Hello,
This afternoon about 2:15pm, I re-found one Blue-headed Vireo; it was with one Townsend's Warbler very high in a tree that had a squirrel nest, saw it for about 6 seconds then lost sight of it. It was at the west corner of John F. Kennedy (across the Conservatory of Flowers) & Nancy Pelosi Drive, up the slope of lawn. The tree was near cut tree trunks laying on the ground.
Dominik M. was there about 15min. later.

Thank you, Rudyard Wallen for finding it yesterday.

Other birds seen were one Warbling Vireo, two Stellar's Jay, one CA Jay, three song birds, five American Robins, two Anna's Hummingbirds, two Coopers Hawk, two Ca Towhees, 11 Bushtit, one Hutton's Vireo, three Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

Lee Guichan
San Francisco

N waterthrush

Brian Fitch
 

Currently calling and showing at the recent hotspot on the south side of middle lake
Brian fitch