white upper breast on raven at Stowe Lake, Tuesday May 7

David Couch

My niece sent me a photo she took of what is apparently a Common Raven but with a bright white patch in the center of it's upper breast beneath the throat. I don't think I can attach a photo here, but you can see it at 

I know (thanks, Sibley!) that ravens have gray roots to their neck feathers, but this appears to be on a different area and is, in any case, quite white not gray.

Any explanation, anyone?
-David Herzstein Couch, Berkeley

Ibis present May 13

Dave Weber

The WF Ibis was a walk-up at 6:10 am in the small pond previously described at Candlestick SRA. Peter Pyle  mentioned two cypresses - good landmark!

Dave Weber,
By phone

WF Ibis still present

Peter Pyle

Candlestick Park. Directions to pond - From north entrance turn-around, walk east than north along paved paths for 5-8 min. Pond is between two M cypresses and the bay. Hiding a bit in cattails @ 2:30 pm. P

Selasphorous on nest at Strybing

Dal Leite

[Nest location removed by moderator]

Photo here:

Candlestick Pt. Ibis

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Middle of the day, didn't know where I was going, but it's still there. The White-faced Ibis was very actively foraging in the small algae filled seasonal pond in the north end of Candlestick Pt. Rec. area, seemingly oblivious to some odd resident mallards and other visitors. Odd outing - there were almost no birds on the bay, very few shorebirds (no peeps, just a Killdeer) but lots of Red-wing Blackbirds and what appeared to be two pairs of Mockingbirds. I was also very surprised by a Mew Gull that flew over heading west. No Black Phoebe (?) but an Ash-throated Flycatcher and a Western Kingbird. And a few choice raptors including a White-tailed Kite (probably over India Basin) and an Osprey scouting briefly over the area. Full list and some photos at eBird: 

Spring is great - aside from the wind causing allergy grief!

Have fun!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

six cygnets at Palace of Fine Arts

William Grant

Pictures on ebird list

Spring has sprung.


Mount D. MacGillivray's Warbler 5/11/19


There is a MACGILLIVRAY'S Warbler singing on Mount Davidson.

Happy spring birding everyone,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Ibis is back at the pond /Candlestick Rec Area 5/11/19


Posting for Jim Lomax.

Refer to yesterday's messages for specific directions.

Happy spring,

Dominik Mosur

Candlestick Ibis update 5/10/19


The Ibis continued on the small freshwater pond at the northeast corner of Candlestick State Rec. Area until about 18:30.

It appeared wary spending a lot of time looking up and only occasionally feeding. a close pass by a Red-tailed Hawk appeared to flush it and it flew off after circling the pond a few times.

I headed over to Yosemite Slough to see if by chance it had landed there, but did not see it in the marsh or on the pond inside the hazmat area.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
Sent from my iPhone

On May 10, 2019, at 15:24, Aaron Maizlish <aaron.maizlish@...> wrote:

Following up on a eBird report from earlier today by Graeme Colmer I came down to candlestick point to look for a reported Ibis. I haven’t even made it to the bay, a beautiful White-faced Ibis is feeding in the little seasonal pond at the north end of the park. Seems very comfortable here, but I would get over here quickly if you want to see it, it’s a small pond. County bird for me.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco

Re: Hooded Warbler McLaren

Cynthia Boyer

I'm in northwestern Ohio watching warbler migration on southwest shores of Lake Erie's marshes.  Hooded Warblers spend summers around here.  I feel so bad for the poor Hooded Warbler being blown so far out of territory.  The poor bird looks a bit dazed....the "I'm not in Kansas anymore" look.

Sutro Rhino & Odd Duck

Brian Fitch

I spent several early hours at the Baths this morning, mostly watching an amazing feeding group of over a thousand Brandt's Cormorants mixed with lesser numbers of murres, gulls, and pelicans, all expected species.  There were also a lot of Surf Scoters flying in various directions, and I kept checking for the less expected species. 

Sometime after 7AM, an unusual looking duck flew from the Gate southbound, paralleling a Pigeon Guillemot.  The duck was only a little bigger than the PIGU, and had a small bill compared to the many scoters I'd been seeing.  I thought Harlequin, but the bird had no white on the belly or anywhere else except several spots on the face, and the body plumage was uneven, showing some rich brownish tones near the rear flanks.  Most interesting was a pale brown panel in the scapular/tertial area of each wing, something I've never seen on any scoter, but also not on any wintering female Harley.  I don't know molt sequence in Harlequins, but wonder if it could have been a first year male, yet I could find nothing on-line which in any way matched my sighting.  So another un-ID'd bird to go along with the bizarre gull from last month.

Later on, an alternate plumaged Rhinoceros Auklet flew in, loosely associating with the PIGU's, and eventually settled on the water.  A Wandering Tattler was on the rocks by the Cliff House, and two Western Kingbirds flew over the 48th Ave parking area at Land's End.  A Humpback Whale was feeding to the NW, and what was likely a distant Gray spouted multiple times to the SW.

Yesterday, I had brief looks at the Ash-throated Flycatcher that Dom found at Corona Heights, just before I was bitten by an off-leash dog.  Luckily, it only bit into the fabric of my pant leg.

Brian Fitch

White-faced Ibis

Aaron Maizlish

Following up on a eBird report from earlier today by Graeme Colmer I came down to candlestick point to look for a reported Ibis. I haven’t even made it to the bay, a beautiful White-faced Ibis is feeding in the little seasonal pond at the north end of the park. Seems very comfortable here, but I would get over here quickly if you want to see it, it’s a small pond. County bird for me.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco

More migrant madness

Daniel Scali


Same spot as yesterday. Heard Drake’s “Hotline Bling” that Aaron Maizlisch pointed us to last year for the Stow Black-throated Green Warbler.

I’m not confident enough in what I saw. But it’s popping if you can get over there.

Good birding,
Dan Scali

McLaren Migrants (and a vagrant)

Daniel Scali


Holy cowbird! Or, as the famous birder Ice Cube once said, “Today was a good day.”

The Hooded Warbler stuck around at least till 2:30pm when it stopped singing for the last time before I left. A few SF birders got ok peeks.

Also in that afternoon visit I was chasing down more singing that was “interesting” with Lazuli Bunting a definite thought somewhere in my mind. Halfway around the upper pond I was rewarded with a boldly singing Lazuli male (I assume) and a 2nd individual, also with significant blue coloring. I want to apologize to the group for my terrible fact-checking re: my previous Lazuli Bunting post. My panic about wild radish removal and absent breeders was 3 weeks too early. The first sighting in the park in 2018 was on April 30, the second during a GGAS field trip on May 5, and the first singing, from my ebird data anyway, wasn’t until mid-May. I’m feeling optimistic.

Other spring fun at McPark: Pac-Slope and Olive-sided Flycatchers, Hermit and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Cassin’s and Warbling Vireos, Western Tanagers and a Wood-pewee, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and the recent arrival Swanson’s Thrushes.

Keep’em comin’
Dan Scali

Re: Hooded Warbler McLaren

Kevin Liberg

Here is a link to  ebird list with Hooded Warbler photos

Hooded Warbler McLaren

Daniel Scali

Ran into Kevin Liberg at McLaren Park and after some wandering we heard some warblers. One song was loud and unfamiliar and after much searching we got eyes on a Hooded Warbler as it popped out of a patch of blackberry. (This was 10 min ago) I’ll try to post a screenshot of the location. Didn’t work. I had to leave for a class but Kevin was sticking around. 

Look for it on the north side of J F Shelley by walking west a few hundred yards from the intersection of Mansell and John F Shelley. It was in the blackberry patch behind a fence. I hope it can be refound!
Good birding!
Dan Scali, sf 

Breeding and Baby Birds Too

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Some interesting natural history taking place in our midst as spring progresses. On an exploration of the southeast corner of the Presidio late this morning I was fortunate to encounter some more breeding activity by our year-round residents - and, yes, one notable migrant, a Swainson's Thrush that was foraging in dense cover below the Presidio Gate. Multiple singing Song and White-crowned Sparrows, Robins and House Finches, plus Purple Finch, Cowbird, Hutton's Vireo and Pacific Wren. Song sparrow and Lesser Goldfinch females carrying nesting material, and Pygmy Nuthatches about a nest hole. One pair of CA Towhee caught in the act. Plus a pair of Hooded Orioles likely nesting again in a palm at the edge of the residential area.

Walking back I spotted a fledgling Junco being fed by a parent, after earlier seeing a House Finch fledgling that looked to be a couple of weeks out of the nest being fed by its presumed father. Also an interesting courtship/bonding ritual as a male House Finch fed its begging mate. Notably, I've seen multiple House Finch fledglings being fed over the past ten days or so, all by the male of the pair, while the one episode of feeding of nestlings that I saw was done by the female. Seems to be an interesting division of parenting duties.

Despite the continued low overcast there were also quite a few butterflies about, mostly painted ladies, and I also spotted a bee swarm. All this despite the felling of multiple trees along Pacific Ave., presumably part of the re-invigoration of the native forest/scrub habitat. It will be interesting to see if woodpeckers, completely absent on this visit, return once the disruption is over. And more babies; just after 1pm on a quick walk through Alta Plaza Park I stopped to investigate some high pitched begging calls and was rewarded as a pair of Oregon Juncos fed two very recent fledglings. Now I'm waiting on the resident Ravens and Pygmy Nuthatches to produce their young - and I still haven't found a Robin's nest (!?).

So, lots of examples of the cycle of life out there to witness and learn from, if we just stop to look and listen.


Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Nesting Anna's Hummer at SOTA (McAteer High School)

alan lyons

My daughter discovered what we assume to be an Anna's Hummingbird nest with parent on branch within catwalks/stairways on east side of the main high school building. See photo. Apparently it is almost within arms reach and bird did not flush enabling very close observation.

Alan Lyons San Francisco

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Alan Lyons <editedge@...>
To: Alan Lyons <editedge@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 4:12:57 PM PDT
Subject: IMG_2540.JPG

Scattered migrants throughout

Josiah Clark

To add on to Brian’s report, I also had a good number of migrants yesterday morning and this morning before and during work.
“Trolling the Dawn” By bicycle I noted the following:
Lazuli bunting, Swainson thrush-ft scott
Warbling Vireos-Several locations in Golden Gate Park, and the Presidio including Mountain Lake Park.
Western Tanager-Probably the most widespread migrant with 6+ singing along jfk , ggp lakes and Ft scott
Cedar Waxwing-large flocks speedway meadows ggp and 100+ mnt lake park
While at a job site on your Buena Island, it was heartening to hear a warbling vireo singing from a lone Oak aside the very loud traffic filled freeway.

On the ocean- brown pelicans are making their way north in force from their breeding grounds.
After being nearly absent just a week ago, I have noted over 100 in the last couple of days. At least a couple Heermans gulls as well.
Off the Cliff House yesterday there was an impressive cormorant feeding frenzy with at least one humpback whale in the mix.
Whimbrel and Sanderling numbers seem notably high right for this late in the spring . 100 or more of each were still present around the beach gray whale at Ocean Beach.
Spring Vagrant season is upon us shortly. Listen for those unusual songs. The Second two weeks in May and the first two weeks of June are times to expect the unexpected.

Very Minor Fallout

Brian Fitch

I expected more birds today considering the light rain and the date, and I covered a number of sites to try and fulfill that hope.  But things were pretty quiet on my first day of birding SF after three weeks watching migration in Greece.  It was also cold and windy there, and many species were two or more weeks late in arriving.  I finally did run across a small flock at Buena Vista, which I had only a little time to work through before heading home.  The migrants there were just east of the summit.

Today's highlights included:
Olive-sided Flycatcher - Buena Vista
Hammond's Flycatcher - East Wash
Swainson's Thrush - EW
Hermit Warbler - BV
Western Tanager - BV and Battery Godfrey
Lazuli Bunting - 1 at BG, 2 at Ft Scott, 1 at BV
Black-headed Grosbeak - BV
Bullock's Oriole - BV

Also a single Humpback at the Sutro Baths.
Brian Fitch