photos Re: [SFBirds] Sabine's Gull in Sutro Bath

Peter Pyle

At 08:30 AM 4/2/2019, Peter Pyle via Groups.Io wrote:
Adult. 08;30. Will post photos. P

Sabine’s Gull in Sutro Bath

Peter Pyle

Adult. 08;30. Will post photos. P

Habitat Potential Shaping San Francisco field trip highlights yesterday

Josiah Clark

The Birding by Bike field trip put on by Shaping SF and Habitat Potential yesterday was a raging success.
28 participants, 16.5 miles, 1300 feet elevation, 81 species in 5.5 hours.

Nothing rare but a few highlights included:

Singing Wilson’s Warblers- Fuscia dell/oak woodlands, log cabin trail
also singing OC Warbler at the log cabin

Rhododendron Dell/Lilly pond -Hutton’s vireo, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwings, hairy woodpecker, 18 fly by Band-tailed pigeons
Stowe lake-2 hooded mergansers, 1 continuing female Common Goldeneye, 3 singing Pacific Wrens.
Also a Great-blue heron nesting talk by Nancy DeStafanis who was diligently watching over the 7 nests along with a Red-tailed Hawk there.
Singing Townsend’s and Yellow-rumped Warblers, multiple locations
Bison Paddock- Bluebirds in the boxes I put up, Nuttall’s white-crowned sparrows in the scrub I planted years ago with Ggp gardeners and volunteers.
Extensive Scope views of the great horned owl nest across the street among the blossoms and masses of onlookers
Cliff house – just 1 Surfbird, 2 Black Turnstones. Also a pair of black oystercatchers, 4 Pigeon Guillemots
Lobos creek- Bewicks wren and the endangered SF Wallflowers in bloom
Crissy Field-2 greater scaup, 2 Red-breasted mergansers.
The Lagoon channel is filled in and non-tidal right now. It will soon become a massive eutriphied algal bloom if it remains that way. The lagoon water level was higher than I’ve ever seen it , meaning no shore line and not a single shorebird.
Watching one of the 70+ ravens of the day raid an Allen’s Hummingbird nest right in front of us while riding along Land’s End was a bit sad for everyone, but a very illustrative education for the group.
Brewers blackbird’s were a species that was quite sparse, perhaps just 10 noted all day.

A real highlight was being together as we traveled through multiple habitats while using zero gas on what was at times a very, very hot March day for SF.
In a city with so many weekend warriors flooding in to beat the heat, a field trip like this would be impossible these days anyways.
I realized being among beginning birders is my highest calling in birding.
Onwards, and never stop looking.

Male Hooded Oriole

David Nelson

Hooded Oriole calling near to of eucalyptus, north of Upton Ave. at Upton Ave. sign. North of 1337 Pope St. Heard then seen by Kris Dunlap & David W. Nelson

David W. Nelson

Early Western Tanager

David Assmann

A short visit to Fort Mason this morning yielded a WESTERN TANAGER, on the hillside above Aquatic Park.

Odds and Ends last 3 days

David Assmann

On Thursday I had my FOS WILSON'S WARBLER at Fort Mason. Yesterday there were two WILSON'S WARBLERS at Middle Lake.  Today I had my FOS BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER in the Community Garden at Fort Mason. The WANDERING TATTLER was on the pier, a COMMON LOON was in full alternate plumage, and a PIGEON GUILLEMOT showed up. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS are moving through - I had at least four in various spots at Fort Mason. The ORCHARD ORIOLE continues, although he remained hidden this morning, chattering from inside a Bottle Brush.

Bald Eagle, Lake Merced

Richard Bradus

Interesting morning!

I waited until the fog cleared before heading out to the concrete bridge area of Lake Merced, foolishly thinking that I would be able to see the Gallinule. In mid-day? No such luck. But it turned out OK, actually great.

While checking out and listening to the marsh wrens in the reeds near the east side a bit after 11am I looked up and saw a very large, long-winged bird circling off to the east. When I saw the full white tail my pulse rate jumped and, yup, there was the white head. Unbelievable! I managed to get a few long-range photos as it circled, rather rapidly for this species, harassed first by what looked like a Western Gull (!) and then some crows. It actually flapped its wings a few times to get some distance from them before making its way south - it probably flew right over SF State and then the SF Golf Club, seemingly headed for Serramonte (or Crystal Springs?).

I'll try to upload some photos when I submit an eBird list later. And there were a couple of other surprising sightings (for which I was unable to get photos), including a House Wren that popped up right near me and a female Red-breasted Merganser on a fly-by!

It really does help to keep looking up!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Golden Gate Audubon storms into April


Hi All,


Well, hopefully the storms are all over, but Golden Gate Audubon’s Birdathon fund-raiser hits its stride in April with many great trips and events.
For you SF birders, some of our SF leaders will be leading some excellent trips:

- Dominik Mosur will lead a “behind the gates” walk at the South Bay salt ponds reclamation project (4/20).

-       - Dan and Joan Murphy will lead two different trips; one around the city and one on the Peninsula (4/6, 4/13).
Alan Hopkins will lead a 6 hour walking and birding tour of the Presidio (4/13).

 Click on the link to see all the great Birdathon trips and events:

Happy spring and good birding,
Steve Lombardi
GGAS field trip coordinator

2 Oriole Day at Fort Mason, Western Kingbird, Pacific Slope Flycatcher

David Assmann

I paid my first visit in over a week to Fort Mason this morning, and had a few good migrants. A nice adult male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE was in a Eucalyptus tree north of the garden, and a WESTERN KINGBIRD  and a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER were in the Battery. The ORCHARD ORIOLE was rattling and singing in the garden. The FOX SPARROWS are starting to sing as well. The LINCOLN'S SPARROW was in the garden and two WESTERN BLUEBIRDS were near the Franklin entrance to Fort Mason. The female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD continues to sit on a nest just off the path leading down to Aquatic Park. A CASPIAN TERN flew over Aquatic Park.

Re: Fort Mason RFI


Thanks to those who responded. I was able to find a 4-hour spot right next to the garden, and after half-an-hour of searching I finally found the continuing ORCHARD ORIOLE in a rose bush at the center of the garden. I only had a couple of brief looks at him before he flew off and hid in a tree at the top of the stairs behind the maintenance shed, though. (I did manage one picture from below but it only shows his belly and part of a wing!) I also tried twice today, once in the morning and once in the evening (had an appointment at UCSF Medical Center at 1:00), for the Summer Tanager at Glen Canyon Park but both of those attempts were unsuccessful. I did find a new favorite banding code, though, OROR.

Ralph Baker, Riverbank

Lake Merced concrete bridge area

Lee-Hong Chang

Saw a female plumaged Red-Breasted Merganser at NW corner of concrete bridge at Lake Merced around 5 pm today (March 26). Meanwhile, Common Gallinule made a brief appearance at previously reported spot - near a bare willow at NE corner of the bridge - too.

Good birding,
Lee Chang

Wild Turkeys 42nd and Ulloa

Peter Pyle

Posted yesterday at about 4 pm on Nextdoor. Short video shows two birds walking around on the sidewalk in front of a pink house. I can't quite age/sex them but not adult males.

Might SF have another 'invasion'?

Cheers, Peter

Recent miscellaneous observations


The evening of 3/22/18, the continuing SUMMER TANAGER was very vocal above 1313 Bosworth at the side entrance to Glen Canyon Park. The bird called continuously from about 19:15 when I pulled up until 19:23 which was right around the "official" posted sunset.

On Corona Hill, the first Hooded Oriole was calling in the oaks above the 15th Street tennis courts.

Other sightings of note in recent days:

3/6/19 -

A Varied Thrush and a White-throated Sparrow were with the crowned Sparrow flock just off the trail in Coon Hollow in the East Oak Woodland/Golden Gate Park.

3/8 -

One person with a bag off food coaxed (70) Common Ravens into one small area at the south base of South Twin Peak.

3/9 -

A Band-tailed Pigeon was "singing" at Laguna Honda.

3/16 -

On Bayview Hill both the "pure" Red-breasted and Red-breasted x Red-naped Sapsucker were still working the eukes at the top.

3/19 - Early morning on Mount Davidson a pair of Ravens interrupted their nest construction to attempt to drive a Great Horned Owl off of the old red-tail nest in the ivy covered euke just above the "ravine"

3/20 - (2) (Aleutian )Cackling Geese were with Canada Geese in the Hunter's Point Shipyard fields across the fence from Yosemite Slough Restoration Area/Candlestick SRA. Construction here appears finished (for now), the community garden pond is brimming with water and the place looks ripe for a fine spring migration.

3/21 - a healthy count of (17) Wilson's snipe flew out at dusk at Heron's Head.

The first spring migrant Wilson's Warbler I've encountered was singing at Laguna Honda that morning.

That's all for now but more to come with spring migration picking up daily.

Good luck out there,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Flicker caught in Rat Trap!

angie geiger

Dear Fellow Birders,
Tragically, I learned of one more hazard facing birds this morning. I heard noises in the yard and looked out to see a Northern Flicker dragging around a rat trap. We were able to free the bird of the trap and take it to Wild Care in San Rafael, but it's leg had been nearly severed and they did not think it would survive. 

We have many pesky rats in San Francisco, but laying traps outdoors will do little to nothing to dent the population. Clearly other animals can get caught in them as well. So, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but please, no rat poison and no outdoor rat traps.

Angie Geiger

Re: Fort Mason RFI

Dominik Mosur

Hi Ralph ,

Plenty of free parking on a weekday morning.


On Mar 21, 2019, at 11:24, Ralph via Groups.Io <sharks_hockey_maniac@...> wrote:

Hello All,
I will be in San Francisco on the 26th and would like to do a little birding at Fort Mason. Can anyone tell me if there is any free parking nearby?
Ralph Baker, Riverbank

Fort Mason RFI


Hello All,
I will be in San Francisco on the 26th and would like to do a little birding at Fort Mason. Can anyone tell me if there is any free parking nearby?
Ralph Baker, Riverbank

Summer Tanager

Oscar Moss

For anyone who cares, I’m currently watching man adult male summer Tanager at glen park. Probably the same one seen by Russ bright last march, and was seen in someone’s yard earlier this year in the nearby neighborhoods.

Also if note was a feeding Black-throated Gray Warbler with some Townsend’s in a nearby tree.


Orchard and Hooded Orioles, Brant - Fort Mason and Lafayette Park local interest

David Assmann

I spent a good deal of the morning scanning the Bay from the Battery and was rewarded with a BRANT that flew quite close to shore, my FOS PIGEON GUILLEMOT and four COMMON MURRES. The garden had the continuing ORCHARD ORIOLE and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. Found a second BUSHTIT nest - this one still under construction (a pair of NUTTALL'S WOODPECKERS are also working on a nest).  A MERLIN sat on the roof of the headquarters, and a WARBLING VIREO was behind the General's House. At Lafayette Park, I was able to find the adult male HOODED ORIOLE that Lori reported yesterday.

Fort Mason GGAS trip

David Assmann

The main highlight for today's field trip at Fort Mason was the number of nests we were able to observe.  We watched a pair of BUSHTITS going in and out of a nest in the Battery, and had good looks at three different ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD nests - one in front of the garden, one in the lower Battery and one at the top of the stairs coming up from Aquatic Park.  We had stunning looks at the overwintering ORCHARD ORIOLE,  which remained in view for at least 15 minutes, at one point sitting a foot away from a bright ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. At least 30 CEDAR WAXWINGS foraged in the garden.  The WANDERING TATTLER was on the pier in Aquatic Park. Swallows have returned - we saw both a BARN SWALLOW and a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW. A pair of WESTERN BLUEBIRDS were near the entrance way to Fort Mason. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS were singing, and two participants reported hearing a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher.

Sick Sanderling

Richard Bradus

While enjoying a beautiful walk before noon along the north waterfront I came across a lone sanderling at the Golden Gate Yacht Club harbor that was acting strangely. I first saw it foraging atop a seaweed covered concrete block, wobbling as it rapidly walked back and forth (like doing a two-step). At first I though it was some kind of foraging behavior to flush insects, but when it flew across to the concrete walkway and continued its tottering it was clear that something was wrong. Interestingly, it had no trouble trotting straight ahead (as we usually see Sanderlings do), but otherwise it continued to wobble back and forth as it pecked at gull droppings and other tidbits in its path.

With the marked change to warm weather, could this be toxic algae poisoning? As someone walking by observed, it looked like it was drunk - but I doubt this was a St. Paddy's day aftermath.

Lots of human activity, quite a few small crabs out on the rocks, but not much other avian activity, though I did see my FOS Rough-winged Swallows checking out the rigging on a couple of the moored boats.


Richard Bradus
San Francisco