Date   
Seawatch -- Ancient Murrelet, 4/13/19

Paul Saraceni
 

Yesterday (Saturday, 4/13) morning I conducted a short seawatch from the south-end of the Great Highway (7:45-9:15 AM), joined by Hugh Cotter towards the end.


Winds were variable, waves were high, and decent visibility at the beginning was reduced by the encroaching offshore marine layer by the time we finished.


The highlight was a single ANCIENT MURRELET flying S by itself.


There were still 2 BLACK SCOTERS (1 m. & 1 f.) out in the surf, and 40+ Surf Scoters flying and on the water.


There was a small flight of loons heading N in pulses, with 80+ Red-throateds (about 50/50 basic/alternate plumaged) and 30+ Pacifics (most in alternate plumage), and 2 Commons on the water.


Evidence of shorebird migration featured good numbers of Whimbrel, Willets (in breeding plumage), Marbled Godwits, and Sanderlings on the beach, and 3 Least Sandpipers flying N over the ocean.


Late Saturday afternoon during a beach walk there was an OSPREY flying N over the surf near the Noriega entrance to Ocean Beach.


Paul Saraceni

San Francisco

Fort Mason Local Interest

David Assmann
 

There were a few unexpected birds at Fort Mason this morning, and a handful of migrants.  Two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were flying in front of Alcatraz, and two CACKLING GEESE flew over Fort Mason. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was in the avocado tree in the garden, and a WHITE-THROATED SWIFT flew over. A bright adult male HOODED ORIOLE was making the rounds, and hopefully will stay. The ORCHARD ORIOLE marked its 145th day at Fort Mason by singing and chattering. A WILSON'S WARBLER was in the garden. Birds seen on the weekend, but not today, were the WANDERING TATTLER on the pier, a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE south of the garden, and a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK in the garden.

Possible return of the Lazuli @ McLaren Park

Daniel Scali
 

Hello all,

I got out there early this morning, mainly roving around the wooded and weedy patches from the Jerry G amphitheater west to upper pond. A highlight was a nice singing Pacific-slope Flycatcher. As I wandered, I heard a couple of faint song bits that to me could have only come from 3 birds. The Beert/Dzeet (from Nathan Pieplow’s naming work) I heard was, I think, a Lazuli Bunting, House Wren, or Lesser Goldfinch. LEGOs are trickster so you never know and between the other candidates, the LAZB has been a lot more common at the park from mid-spring to summer than HOWR (counting the irruption-like occurrence of the Lazulis last year starting around this date). If this does mark the return of the Lazuli Buntings, I worry that they may not stick around to breed in the park. The weedy fields that last year they seemed to favor, made up primarily of wild radish, seem to be more managed this year or suppressed by poison hemlock, possibly by natural succession. (?) A lot of construction is happening this spring as well; primarily path repaving. McLaren is a great park — I hope to see you out there.

Good birdling,
Dan Scali SF

Black & white warbler @ Middle Lake

Ken Moy
 

On a quiet day otherwise filled with nesting behavior, I had a good 2 minute look at a Black & white warbler in the tree tagged 3704 @ Middle Lake @ 11:10am. Very contrasty individual with throat and cheeks that appeared white but the underparts were also pretty cleanly white. Couldn't decide between first year male and mature female.

Good birding to all,

Ken Moy

Spring Migrants

Joachim Gonzalez
 

A quick trip in Fuschia Dell/McLaren Lodge yielded some good old spring migrants. Nothing rare but 3 Wilson’s Warbler, my FOS Cassin’s Vireo, and my FOS Western Tanager. None of the migrant empids coming in though. 

Good Birding
Joachim Gonzalez

Flight Day and SWHA

Jonah Benningfield
 

SF birders,
Fun morning at the Battery today; someone else might post a detailed report but highlights included (3) Great-tailed Grackles (Presidio bird for me!), Black-headed Grosbeak, Acorn Woodpecker, and good numbers of Lazuli Bunting, Western Kingbird, Collared Dove, Bullock's Oriole, and Band-tailed Pigeon. Live warbler migration was cool as well.

I did go to class, and while walking back out the front doors I was treated to nice views of a light morph SWAINSON'S HAWK, which circled overhead a few times before flying off towards Crissy Field. Ten minutes later, I rolled down to Crissy and had what was likely the same SWHA bombing southeast over the lagoon, headed toward the financial district. 

all the best,
Jonah B.

Great migrant day at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

I knew the day would be exceptional when I flushed a WILSON'S SNIPE as soon as I entered the Community Garden (the last time a Snipe was seen at Fort Mason was in 2012). Migrants kept appearing throughout the three hours I spent at Fort Mason, including seven species of warblers - COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (garden), ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (garden and Battery), NASHVILLE WARBLER (Battery), YELLOW WARBLER (Battery), BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Battery), TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (garden), and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (everywhere). A BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was in the garden, a WESTERN KINGBIRD landed in the Eucalyptus trees north of the garden, and a WARBLING VIREO was in the Battery. A very drab looking WESTERN TANAGER was in the hedge across from the garden, two SAVANNAH SPARROWS showed up on the western fence of the garden. A VAUX'S SWIFT flew over the garden. Meanwhile the ORCHARD ORIOLE continues to sing and rattle in the garden. A feeding frenzy was going on in the Bay, with over 1,000 gulls and Cormorants, and the side of Alcatraz is now covered with BRANT'S CORMORANTS (well over a 1,000).  The east winds are not expected to continue, so tomorrow will undoubtedly be quieter. The only other highlight to report from earlier this week was an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER at the top of a Cypress tree in the East Wash on Tuesday.

Local Interest in southern SF

Oscar Moss
 

This morning I had a very productive morning on Mt Davidson. Many Cassin’s Vireos were hanging out and singing in shrubs and cypresses along the euc edge. 2 hammond’s Flys were hanging out together and one chased the other. By the south trailhead. Other migrants were around as well. 6 Black-headed Grosbeaks were in a bush together. A bright male Western Tanager was in a tree on the eastern slope, providing amazing views. Warblers were also present: Yellow-rumped, Nashville, Black-throated Gray, Townsends, and Hermit. 2 Bullock’s Orioles.

At the end of the day I went to bernal Hill looking for raptors. Lots around but no Swanson’s Hawks! Lol. Most exciting was this Hammond’s/Dusky Flycatcher on the north side of the hill. I think Hammond’s but would appreciate feedback. Link to photos here:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55110788

Also a Western Kingbird.

Oscar

Re: Flight Day and SWHA

H Cotter
 

Just to add that I also had a flyover Townend's Solitaire from Battery Godfrey this morning - the pale wing stripe very obvious in flight.

Hugh


On Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 7:27 PM Jonah Benningfield via Groups.Io <falco1440=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
SF birders,
Fun morning at the Battery today; someone else might post a detailed report but highlights included (3) Great-tailed Grackles (Presidio bird for me!), Black-headed Grosbeak, Acorn Woodpecker, and good numbers of Lazuli Bunting, Western Kingbird, Collared Dove, Bullock's Oriole, and Band-tailed Pigeon. Live warbler migration was cool as well.

I did go to class, and while walking back out the front doors I was treated to nice views of a light morph SWAINSON'S HAWK, which circled overhead a few times before flying off towards Crissy Field. Ten minutes later, I rolled down to Crissy and had what was likely the same SWHA bombing southeast over the lagoon, headed toward the financial district. 

all the best,
Jonah B.

Spring @ Eastern GGP on Thursday, 4/18

Ken Moy
 

Started the morning at Stow Lake where the Great Blue Herons are engaged in the iconic Spring activity of nesting and raising young. Large flock of Cedar waxwings mostly replaced yellow rump warblers high in the eucalytptus. Of Spring migrants, I had a Warbling vireo at the west end of the reservoir on Strawberry Hill, a Cassin's vireo near the burnt log at the top of the hill and a Hermit warbler nearby. Was joined by Brian Turner and we spotted both the first hermit warbler and a second one. Spent the rest of the leisurely morning on the Log Cabin Trail where BT got me on a Wilson's warbler in the clearing south of the log cabin and Black throated gray warbler in the eucalyptus by the log cabin. I spotted an orange crowned warbler in shrubs. I continued to the oak woodlands in GGP. Spotted a female Black headed grosbeak just east of the look out where the road from Arguello  comes into the park. In the woodlands east of McLaren Lodge and up the newly installed wooded steps, I spotted a black throated gray warbler, many Townsends warbler, a Hermit warbler and a Nashville warbler,

Happy birding to all,

Ken Moy

Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Orioles at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

With a return to westerly winds, migrant activity slowed to a trickle at Fort Mason this morning. The highlight was having three oriole species - ORCHARD, HOODED and BULLOCK'S - in the plum tree at the north end of the garden at one time. HOODED ORIOLES have returned - I counted a minimum of five - and probably seven. The other highlights were a singing BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that fly by me at eye level behind the General's House and an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER in the Eucalyptus trees northwest of the garden. Otherwise, the only other new migrants today were a number of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS in full alternate plumage.

Palm warbler @ Strawberry Hill

Loretta
 

Hey Folks,

It's been pretty quiet so far, but here was a brown-capped Palm Warbler chasing off a few Yellow-rumps in the trees at the top of the falls.

Good birding!

Lorētta




Mid April sightings

 

4/21/19

Bank Swallows (5) back at Fort Funston and a non-adult male White-winged Scoter with Surfs off shore this morning. Small flocks of peep sp. (probably mostly Westerns but hard to tell as birds quickly disappeared behind swells) flying north.

4/19

Savannah Sparrows (with this local population a state sub-species of special concern) confirmed breeding at Candlestick State Recreation Area--Yosemite Slough Restoration Unit. An adult was seen bringing food to a nest in a French broom/bacharis/wire fence amalgamated cluster.

4/17

A surprise was hearing (and eventually visually confirming) a singing WRENTIT in the baccharis - broom scrub on plateau on the south side of Yosemite Slough. This bird was not detected again on later visits.

4/15
An adult Mute Swan was on the Impound Lake side of the Lake Merced concrete bridge in the evening. It was not there the next day. This is the first Mute Swan I've ever seen in San Francisco not derived from the released/maintained (non-countable) swans at the Palace of fine Arts. There is a thriving/expanding population in the North Bay (Marin/Sonoma/Solano et al)

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
Sent from my iPhone

Fort Mason GGAS Field Trip

David Assmann
 

Lots of warbler and oriole activity for today's GGAS field trip.  In addition to the continuing ORCHARD ORIOLE in the garden, there were three BULLOCK'S ORIOLES (1 in the garden and two behind the General's House), and at least 7 HOODED ORIOLES (3-4 behind General's House, 2-3 in Battery and one in the garden).  Warblers seen (mostly in the garden) including ORANGE-CROWNED, YELLOW, NASHVILLE, YELLOW-RUMPED, TOWNSEND'S and WILSON'S.  There are now at least eight active ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD NESTS (two have chicks that barely fit that will fledge soon). The WANDERING TATTLER was on the shore of Aquatic Park, and a PIGEON GUILLEMOT and a COMMON MURRE swam close together near the Fort Mason Piers. The bonus was a young ELEPHANT SEAL on the beach at Aquatic Park.

Weekend highlights-brant, wt sparrow

Josiah Clark
 

On Saturday morning I did a seawatch with Sam Saffron where the highlight were 30 northbound Brant in the somewhat elusive strong nw spring wind condition.
Also many breeding plumaged Pacific loons, some very close and at least 30 Bonaparte’s gulls.
On Sunday morning I did a “big hour” by bicycle in the presidio with Jonah Beddingfield.
We had 74 species for the hour, including 5 swallow species, 5 Warbler species(btgw at mt lake), a lone Dunlin at Crissy Field and a white-throated sparrow at the head of dragonfly creek.
Time to bid best wishes to many of our wintering birds. Most have moved north and the rest will be heading that way soon.
Good birding!
-Josiah Clark, Consulting Ecologist

Ggp this morning

Josiah Clark
 

A remarkable morning for migrants in Golden Gate Park this morning.
Migrant Bh grosbeak, pac slope flycatcher, w tanagers, bt Gray Warbler, hermit Warbler, oc Warbler, warbling vireo alongside lingering Townsend’s and yr warblers. Met up there w Brian T and Rob C.
Also some band-tailed pigeons flying over, so keep looking up today.
Good birding
J-

Re: Ggp this morning

H Cotter
 

A little quieter than GGP at Battery Godfrey this morning - highlighted by a Lark Sparrow.

Other migrants included:
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Bullocks Oriole
  • Hooded Orioles
  • Swainson's/ Hermit Thrush ( Likely Swainson's)
  • Lazuli Buntings
  • Western Tanager
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • BT Grays, Wilson's, Townsend's, Y-Rumps
  • Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hugh


On Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM Josiah Clark <josiah.clark621@...> wrote:
A remarkable morning for migrants in Golden Gate Park this morning.
 Migrant  Bh grosbeak, pac slope flycatcher, w tanagers, bt Gray Warbler, hermit Warbler, oc Warbler, warbling vireo alongside lingering Townsend’s and yr warblers. Met up there w Brian T and Rob C.
Also some band-tailed pigeons flying over, so keep looking up today.
  Good birding
  J-


Re: Ggp this morning

Brian Turner
 

Notable birds to add from this a.m. at Elk Glen Lake were Palm Warbler and singing Nashville Warbler.

Good birding!

Brian Turner


On Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 10:57 AM H Cotter <chatwren@...> wrote:
A little quieter than GGP at Battery Godfrey this morning - highlighted by a Lark Sparrow.

Other migrants included:
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Bullocks Oriole
  • Hooded Orioles
  • Swainson's/ Hermit Thrush ( Likely Swainson's)
  • Lazuli Buntings
  • Western Tanager
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • BT Grays, Wilson's, Townsend's, Y-Rumps
  • Nuttall's Woodpecker
Hugh


On Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM Josiah Clark <josiah.clark621@...> wrote:
A remarkable morning for migrants in Golden Gate Park this morning.
 Migrant  Bh grosbeak, pac slope flycatcher, w tanagers, bt Gray Warbler, hermit Warbler, oc Warbler, warbling vireo alongside lingering Townsend’s and yr warblers. Met up there w Brian T and Rob C.
Also some band-tailed pigeons flying over, so keep looking up today.
  Good birding
  J-


DUSKY Fl. and other migrants on Mount Davidson this morning 4/23/19

 

With mostly clear skies and a light offshore (east/southeast) breeze this morning it was a good time to visit your local hilltop patch.

Most interesting to me of the migrants noted passing through was a cooperative and calling DUSKY Flycatcher.

Photos and full list:


Dominik Mosur
San Francisco 


Fort Mason Migrants

David Assmann
 

Good morning at Fort Mason as well.  LARK SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW, LAZULI BUNTINGS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and HOODED ORIOLES.