Date   
Early Western Tanager

David Assmann
 

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

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

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.

Sabine’s Gull in Sutro Bath

Peter Pyle
 

Adult. 08;30. Will post photos. P

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

Sabines

Brian Fitch
 

On the wall at sutro. 9 am
Brian fitch

Re: Sabines

Brian Fitch
 

I did a sea watch at the Sutro Baths this morning between 8 and 10:30.  I put in extra time because the atmospheric clarity was outstanding, and I really expected some notable migrants to fly by.  I also checked the bath pool several times over the first hour, with nothing unusual. 

Jim Carmack showed up, and while we talked, Paul Linnemeyer arrived and surprised us with the news that the Sabine's Gull had returned.  We all ran over to the south wall and watched the bird for 40 minutes or so, as it mostly stood on the seawall near other gulls, looking unwell, but also preening at times, and flying briefly to avoid aggressive larger gulls.  At one point, it upchucked a small brownish pellet, a behavior that may have reflected it's ill health, or perhaps something pelagic gulls do at times?  Around 9:40, a fisherman and then some tourists scared the bird off around the Cliff House and out of sight.  Jim obtained some nice shots of the gull standing, stretching, and flying off.

The only definite migrants here were singletons of Osprey, Whimbrel, and Barn Swallow, all heading north over the sea.

I then checked western GG Park, and at Middle Lake found Bob Gunderson for the second time of the morning, and he was tracking what turned out to be a Nashville Warbler, possible the previously reported individual, or a new arrival.  Good teamwork today!

Brian Fitch


On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 9:01 AM Brian Fitch via Groups.Io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

On the wall at sutro. 9 am
Brian fitch

Sutro and Middle Lake Apr 4

Dave Weber
 

Brian Fitch’s posting earlier reminds me to send this. I also was at Sutro Baths this morning but apparently too late for the Sabine’s Gull. The fisherman was there and tourists came and went. There was a near-breeding-plumaged Red-necked Grebe not too far out. Then went to Middle Lake just for the heck of it. The south end was warblery (a valid adjective?) with Wilson’s, Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, Yellowthroat, Audubon’s & Myrtle, and a Nashville Warbler. Also a Pacific Wren at eye level.

 

Dave Weber,

Milpitas

Re: Sutro and Middle Lake Apr 4 (the future)

Dave Weber
 

Yes, I saw them tomorrow, in the future. They will be there, just like they were today!

 

DW

 

From: William B. Grant <wbgrant@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 3:26 PM
To: Dave Weber <dwbirdster@...>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Sutro and Middle Lake Apr 4

 

So you saw them on Thursday?

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Weber
Sent: Apr 3, 2019 3:20 PM
To: sfbirds@groups.io
Subject: [SFBirds] Sutro and Middle Lake Apr 4


Brian Fitch’s posting earlier reminds me to send this. I also was at Sutro Baths this morning but apparently too late for the Sabine’s Gull. The fisherman was there and tourists came and went. There was a near-breeding-plumaged Red-necked Grebe not too far out. Then went to Middle Lake just for the heck of it. The south end was warblery (a valid adjective?) with Wilson’s, Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, Yellowthroat, Audubon’s & Myrtle, and a Nashville Warbler. Also a Pacific Wren at eye level.

 

Dave Weber,

Milpitas

Re: Sabines

Richard Bradus
 

Thanks Brian!
Good teamwork, indeed. I arrived a bit after noon to find Josiah Clark intently filming the Sabine's as it swam about the pond. We watched it for the better part of an hour, saw it get attacked quite savagely by a couple of immature Western Gulls but recover (though appearing fatigued or perhaps ailing) and resume its serene swimming.

Josiah's eBird checklist and some of my photos are here:


On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 1:20:44 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:


I did a sea watch at the Sutro Baths this morning between 8 and 10:30.  I put in extra time because the atmospheric clarity was outstanding, and I really expected some notable migrants to fly by.  I also checked the bath pool several times over the first hour, with nothing unusual. 

Jim Carmack showed up, and while we talked, Paul Linnemeyer arrived and surprised us with the news that the Sabine's Gull had returned.  We all ran over to the south wall and watched the bird for 40 minutes or so, as it mostly stood on the seawall near other gulls, looking unwell, but also preening at times, and flying briefly to avoid aggressive larger gulls.  At one point, it upchucked a small brownish pellet, a behavior that may have reflected it's ill health, or perhaps something pelagic gulls do at times?  Around 9:40, a fisherman and then some tourists scared the bird off around the Cliff House and out of sight.  Jim obtained some nice shots of the gull standing, stretching, and flying off.

The only definite migrants here were singletons of Osprey, Whimbrel, and Barn Swallow, all heading north over the sea.

I then checked western GG Park, and at Middle Lake found Bob Gunderson for the second time of the morning, and he was tracking what turned out to be a Nashville Warbler, possible the previously reported individual, or a new arrival.  Good teamwork today!

Brian Fitch

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 9:01 AM Brian Fitch via Groups.Io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

On the wall at sutro. 9 am
Brian fitch

Buena Vista Migrants

Brian Fitch
 

I finally encountered my first-of-spring mixed migrant flock at BV this morning.  In the north side oaks near the maintenance area, there were two Warbling Vireos, two or three Cassin's Vireos, an Orange-crowned, a male Black-throated Gray, and two Wilson's Warblers, along with Hutto's Vireos, nuthatches, chickadees, bushtits, and Townsend's Warblers.  On the eastern slope, a silent Pacific-slope Flycatcher was flicking and hawking intensively.

Brian Fitch

Fort Mason Warbling Vireo, Orchard Oriole

David Assmann
 

The ORCHARD ORIOLE was singing virtually non-stop in the Community Garden at Fort Mason this morning. A WARBLING VIREO was on the east side of the garden. I'm now seeing a PIGEON GUILLEMOT regularly in Aquatic Park, as well as two COMMON LOONS in almost full alternate plumage.  The number of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS has dropped dramatically, and the remaining ones are in alternate plumage, with many of them singing. For the second time this week a CASPIAN TERN flew over.

NW SF sightings today

Oscar Moss
 

Today I birded around GGP and the Presidio.

Started by meeting Brian Turner at Elk Glen Lake, and we birded over to Mallard Lake. Not anything rare, but Brian noted that Red-winged Blackbirds are beginning to engage in territorial defense in the reeds. A few Fox Sparrows still around, haven’t seen nearly as many as a few weeks ago.

On the coastal bluffs in the presidio along the battery to bluffs trail, Wrentit, Spotted Towhee, Bewick’s Wren all singing on territory.

After that, headed up to Ft Scott, to find that 2 Cliff Swallows were present among other swallows. Probably returning birds found by Brian Fitch last year, coming back to nest again (?). Also lots of Band-tailed Pigeons around, and one Caspian Tern was flying toward Crissy.

At Crissy, nothing more than the usual suspects. 3 Caspian Terns, 2 male Greater Scaup, lots of Ruddy Duck, alternate Horned Grebe, one Belted Kingfisher.

Travelled to Stow Lake, where I joined up with Ruddy W. There was a worn 1cy Olympic Gull, but nothing else really crazy. So we headed to the Botanical Gardens. Here the highlight was nice looks at a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in an oak right near the southern maintenance shed, next to California Native Garden.

A fun time
Oscar

Fort Mason Local Interest

David Assmann
 

Had my fos VAUX’S SWIFT flying over the Community Garden this morning and my first CASSIN’S VIREO in the Battery. Yesterday there was a BLUE GRAY GNATCATCHER in the garden and had WILSON’S WARBLERS both days. The ORCHARD ORIOLE was singing in the garden this morning.

94 species by bike w/Jonah Benningfield

Josiah Clark
 

Over the course of about seven hours and 20 miles Jonah and I got a good eyefull and earful of spring birding by bicycle in southwestern SF.
We had 71 species in the first hour as we resurrected my old Presidio “big hour” routes. Jamming all around like in decades passed, it felt like nothing had changed...
Presidio highlights included:
-restored tidal action and exposed mud at Crissy! And -2 short-billed dowitchers there
Elsewhere 5 swallow species, 4 species woodpecker, 5+ Wilson’s Warblers, 4 hooded orioles, 1 singing OC Warbler, 4 Bewick’s Wrens, 7 getting late Ruby-cr Kinglets , 6+ pine siskins, purple finch, California Red-winged Blackbirds on territory at Mt. Lake, 16 BC nightherons was the high count there 2 days ago there
- courtship flights of Cooper’s and migrating Sharp-shinned hawks, lots of other raptor movement over the ridges
In GGP we Met up w Brian Turner and Oscar Moss
-stow lake- no sign of wintering goldeneye, shovelers, wigeon or mew gulls but 7 GB heron nests
-Lots of singing Townsend’s Warblers all around
- 1 Lincoln’s sparrow-Ggp windmill
-the GH owl with 3 chicks by the buffalo paddock!
-5 Red Cross bills battery caulfield rd presidio – Jonah only, 95 species for the day for him, he wins!
Looking forward to more epic rides with the next generation of SF birders. They are quite the clutch.

Sora @ Elk Glen in gg park

Daniel Scali
 

Hi,

Sora was giving nice looks on the water’s edge in a clump just to the right of the pipes that feed the lake if facing the water — farthest east end.  Tons of Twinberry covering the pipes (with a hungry Ocwa) if that helps with location. That is, until a gardener came 1 minute into my first SF Sora and drove it deep into hiding. It’ll probably hightail it after the crazy noise goes away but you never know. If you strike out consolations could be fos Hermit warbler, and the usual warblers looking mighty dapper. A female Rwbl might even nearly walk over your shoe if you stand still enough.

Happy bird trails,
Dan Scali sf 

Fort Mason and other local interest

David Assmann
 

Yesterday morning the WANDERING TATTLER was walking along the edge of the shore in Aquatic Park, less than 10 feet away from me. The RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was on the hillside above the path leading up from Aquatic Park.  The ORCHARD ORIOLE was singing non-stop again. A MERLIN was sitting on top of the headquarters building.  Today I found the ORCHARD ORIOLE again, but not the other species. Hundreds and hundreds of COMMON MURRES were flying just offshore at the Cliff House this morning. WILSON'S WARBLERS were on the Battery to Bluffs Trail. At Fort Scott, a CHIPPING SPARROW was near the ballfield.

Sutro: Sabine's Etc.

Brian Fitch
 

I did a sea watch from 7-9 this morning at the Sutro Baths.  Common Murre numbers were very high, with a probable minimum of 20,000, most heading north, but many on the water or swirling around in other directions.  One group of three Red-necked Phalaropes flew by northbound, and around 8:55, a/the Sabine's Gull flew out of the Golden Gate and out to sea, trending southwest.  If it was the bird that Peter discovered last week, then it's flight strength suggests a return to some health, though the strong winds could have moved a different individual inshore.  Two Humpbacks were much earlier than I recall seeing them in SF, and they spent the first hour feeding halfway to the horizon.

Around 8:30, a small shorebird flew by quite close, in full light, and just above eye level.  It was roughly Sanderling sized, with a weak wing stripe, a perfectly straight black bill, no clear supercilium, a greyish-tan wash over the head and upper breast, gray-brown mantle with no rufous or other notable marks, and a dark central tail stripe like many Calidris have.  It appeared to be a basic plumaged Baird's.  After spending some time with multiple references, and ignoring the apparent size, the straight bill rules out most of the similar Calidris, the tail pattern excludes others, and the lack of a notable supercilium removes Semipalmated Sandpiper from the running.  I'm aware that such an occurrence would be quite rare in spring on the West Coast, and while also being early, it doesn't seem to be unprecedented. 

Brian Fitch

Warblers at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Warblers were on the move last night - this morning I had my fos HERMIT and YELLOW WARBLER in the garden. There's also a very bright ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER that could be mistaken for a Yellow without close examination. There appeared to be more YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS than earlier in the week. Oriole identification is likely to be a little trickier the next few days - a young male HOODED ORIOLE was on the east side of the garden this morning, while the ORCHARD ORIOLE was on the west side. Fox Sparrows seem to have left, and I could find only two GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS. A bright male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH was also in the garden.

[EBB-Sightings] Royal Tern Alameda

Peter Pyle
 

FYI SF

Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2019 23:37:45 +0000 (UTC)
From: "John Luther" <aplomado-falcon@...>
To: East Bay Birds <ebb-sightings@groups.io>,
Countybirders Countybirders <countybirders@...>,
Countybirders <countybirders@groups.io>
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Royal Tern Alameda

Hi All,
While doing a bird survey at the Alameda Reserve, Alameda Point, Alameda I observed a single Royal Tern. Â It was calling while flying over and by me at about 9:30 AM today April 11. Â This area has no public access, but the bird could go north, south or west over or along the bay. Â It was flying NW towards SF when last seen. Â It had very white underwings with no large black area as seen on Caspian Terns also in the area. Â The bill was orange red not the deep red of the Caspian Terns and the bill was thinner (but not as thin and long as an Elegant Tern) than the Caspian Terns. Â The overall bird seemed less bulky "slimmer" than a Caspian.
Also seen in the area by the breakwater was a single Brant and 8 Brown Pelicans. Â There are now over 200 Caspian Terns at their colony in the SF county portion of the Alameda Reserve. I looked for the Royal Tern in the colony area, but did not find it there. Â
John LutherOakland