Hermit Warblers @ Strawberry Hill

Ken Moy

Two hermit Warblers and 1 Wilson's seen @ 9:20 on 7/30 in eucalyptus NW of the falls from the wooden steps. Refound all 3 in pine west of the picnic tables by the reservoir @ 9:45. 

Good birding!

Ken Moy

Western Tanager @ Land's End on 7/28

Ken Moy

Good morning,

Started @ 8:15 from Pacific Coast Trail @ Land's End and proceeded East to turn off for Mile Rock Beach. The entire length was fairly birdy with the usual residents. Turned back and went up the connector trail/steps to the VA Medical Center. About 2/3 of the way to the intersection with El Camino del Mar, there was a large mixed flock comprised mostly of American Robins and song sparrows in the pines on the West side of the trail. Spotted two smaller birds and got a brief glimpse of two bright yellow birds with black wings and white wingbars but then lost them. Got to the top and spotted a Wilson's Warbler in the eucalyptus that immediately disappeared in the brush underneath. Then spotted a male Western Tanager 3/4 of the way up the eucalyptus along with an assortment of robins, starlings, chickadees and song sparrows. Could not locate a second tanager. After about 5 minutes, a male Cooper's made a sally into the tree and broke up the party. Sorry for the late report.

Good birding to all.

Ken Moy

continuing Parakeet Auklet


Between 11:45 and 12:15 today I watched the Parakeet Auklet floating a bit to the west of Hermit Rock, apparently one of its favorite locations.  It was present when I first arrived, I watched it and explained to a number of passers-by that I was not looking at whales, and even showed the Auklet to a few.  Too bad I had to head home to the heat of Central contra Costa County; it was fun to see this bird and try to tell the questioners that this bird should really be in Alaska.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek

shorebirds are back; come learn about them in SF

Maureen Lahiff

Eddie Bartley is teaching a course on shorebirds for Golden Gate Audubon.

3 2-hour evening presentations on Wednesdays Aug 21 and 28, Sept 4
and 3 3hour field trips Sundays Aug 25, Sept 15 and 22 (timed with the tides)

registration here:  opens Monday, July 22 at 9 am

Re: cont. and new Semipalmated Sandpipers

Derek Lecy

This morning from ~8:30-11:30 am, we were unable to locate the HY Semipalmated Sandpiper at/around Yosemite Slough first reported by D. Mosur on Tuesday (7/23) and last seen yesterday evening (7/26) by a few individuals. We checked both the freshwater pond east of the community garden, as well as the mudflats in the slough itself to no avail. There were decent numbers of Least Sandpipers, some Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, the continuing Wandering Tattler, and a surprise appearance by a very confiding Wrentit. eBird checklist below.

Hopefully someone can refind the SESA, as at least one other birder showed up just as we were leaving. Posting here in hopes that a negative report can sometimes be helpful as well.

Derek Lecy
San Rafael

cont. and new Semipalmated Sandpipers


Yesterday evening the hatch year Semipalmated Sandpiper continued at freshwater pond near Yosemite Slough. It was seen at the same spot yesterday morning as well and doesn't appear to stray far.

Today a new hatch year Semipalmated Sandpiper was feeding with a small flock of Whimbrels, Sanderlings, Western Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers on the south end of Ocean Beach below the sewage plant. The flock was chased off by a dog around 9:30.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


David Nelson

The Parakeet Auklet was spotted at 8:20 left of Hermit Rock, Land's End, SF, and has moved toward the overlook and into the whitewater where it is diving.

Viewed by Matthew Matthiessen and me.

Good birding.

David W. Nelson

Semipalmated Sandpiper C*O*N*T*I*N*U*E*S 7/25/19


Appears to be the SAME hatch-year (not adult) bird in the same spot, edge of freshwater pond east of the barbed wire fence at the east boundary of Yosemite Slough Restoration.

It looks like it hasn't moved since Tuesday.


Re: SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER @ Candlestick SRA/Yosemite Slough Restoration 7/23/19

Brian Fitch

This morning I (re)found an adult Semipalmated Sandpiper along Yosemite Slough, south side, viewed from the concrete platform by the lone tree.  I had a good study of the alternate plumaged bird as it fed with Least SP's away from any Westerns, and it was likely the bird that Dom reported yesterday.  Except that I also had very brief looks at what I'm pretty certain was a second Semi SP as it entered my scope view accompanied by several Westerns, and then the whole group flew into the hard-to-view back section of the mudflat.  This was around 7:20 AM on the outgoing tide.  The only other unusual species here was an alternate Wandering Tattler sleeping among the rocks by the eastern tide crescent.  There were a good number of Semipalmated Plovers scattered around as well.

Over at Heron's Head, things started slow, as Kevin Liberg attested to when I met him leaving as I arrived (apologies for forgetting to mention the Yosemite shorebirds, Kevin).  I had planned to hang out for a while in hope of a Least Tern, but no terns at all were present.  Kevin mentioned a Sh-b Dowitcher was around, and that was my second target, so I stayed with my plan and parked myself halfway out on the peninsula.  Around 9, Elegant Terns began flying by well off of the point, and at 9:15, a single Least Tern flew just off the point heading north, my first in SF in many years.  On the way out an hour later, a finally spotted a Short-billed Dowitcher feeding, my first in SF since 2017.  This was previously not a species I ever thought I could miss for an entire year, but I managed to do so in 2018.  Kingfisher and Osprey were also present at Heron's Head.

Brian Fitch

On Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 9:27 PM Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:
From the gate at Thomas and Griffith walk east to the cyclone fence then north past a couple of eucalyptus trees, until you get to a small community garden.  from here scope across the fence to the freshwater pond. The Semipalmated Sandpiper was feeding with Least sandpipers on the edge of the pond and in the bare dirt beyond it.

There was a 5.2' high tide ~18:00 today and most of the tidal mud was still submerged when the Semipalmated Sandpiper was seen around the freshwater pond between 20:00-20:40. This could change at lower tide.

A hatch-year Semipalmated Sandpiper that was present here last year 7/28 - 8/2 moved from the freshwater ponds (there were two last year , one has since been filled) to the tidal mud depending on water levels.

Good luck.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER @ Candlestick SRA/Yosemite Slough Restoration 7/23/19


From the gate at Thomas and Griffith walk east to the cyclone fence then north past a couple of eucalyptus trees, until you get to a small community garden. from here scope across the fence to the freshwater pond. The Semipalmated Sandpiper was feeding with Least sandpipers on the edge of the pond and in the bare dirt beyond it.

There was a 5.2' high tide ~18:00 today and most of the tidal mud was still submerged when the Semipalmated Sandpiper was seen around the freshwater pond between 20:00-20:40. This could change at lower tide.

A hatch-year Semipalmated Sandpiper that was present here last year 7/28 - 8/2 moved from the freshwater ponds (there were two last year , one has since been filled) to the tidal mud depending on water levels.

Good luck.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco
Sent from my iPhone

Local Interest - Fort Mason GGAS Field Trip, and miscellaneous interest this past week

David Assmann

A female BELTED KINGFISHER showed up in Aquatic Park last Monday (the 15th), the first Kingfisher sighting at Fort Mason since March.  It was there again on Thursday. Shorebirds are showing up at Crissy with two SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERS and a MARBLED GODWIT joining the LONG-BILLED CURLEW, LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and WILLET that first showed up earlier. 2 COMMON LOONS have been in the Bay - one in full alternate plumage - don't know if that was an oversummering bird or an early returning bird. A COMMON TERN was in with the ELEGANT TERNS yesterday. On Thursday I counted more than 400 ELEGANT TERNS in Crissy Lagoon - today I counted 475 on the little island (and not one was a Common Tern).  This didn't include the large number of flying Elegants.  An hour later I counted 450 ELEGANT TERNS flying west at Fort Mason in just a ten-minute period - a steady stream (only about 20 flying east). When I stopped counting they were still streaming by. On Wednesday I spent some time at Fort Scott, and was on the parade grounds taking photos of eight young WESTERN BLUEBIRDS when a WRENTIT landed on the ground right in front of me. A BARN SWALLOW was working on a new nest, which seems late to me.  On yesterday's GGAS field trip we had 39 species at Fort Mason, with the highlights being an HOODED ORIOLE family with newly fledged young birds (we saw five Orioles total - mostly in the garden), two NUTTALL'S WOODPECKERS in the Battery, and a RED-THROATED LOON in Aquatic Park. I've attached pictures of a Bluebird, Barn Swallow, Wrentit, and Orioles.

Ocean Beach -- 7/20-21/19: Sooty Shearwaters, Parasitic Jaegers, Common Tern

Paul Saraceni

This morning (7/21), Hugh Cotter and I did some sea-watching from the south end of the Great Highway. Winds were brisk from the SW, skies were overcast, and visibility was excellent out to the horizon.

There was a several-minute pulse of 200+ SOOTY SHEARWATERS moving N, quite far out, the first of this species that either of us has observed from the SF shore in 2019 (other than a deceased one found on the beach).

2 PARASITIC JAEGERS flew N together.

Some other typical summer observations from the sea-watch:

Surf Scoter 20+

Common Loon 8 (basic plumage)

Pacific Loon 3 (2 basic, 1 alt.)

Black Oystercatcher 1(fly-by S)

Long-billed Curlew 1 (fly-by S)

Whimbrel 30+

Least Sandpiper 1 (fly-by S)

Common Murre 12

Pigeon Guillemot 18

(and a Bewick's Wren singing from across the Great Highway)

We then headed to the seawall @ Pacheco.  There was an excellent, noisy gathering of 6-700 ELEGANT TERNS on the wet sand at the surf line.  The flock was very flighty and repeatedly flushed (due to gull intrusions and, of course, off-leash dogs, and beachwalkers who needed phone close-ups of the terns), but came back and re-shuffled multiple times, until the repeat charges of an off-leash dog sent them flying further S.  We repeatedly scoped the flock from the seawall for the better part of 45 minutes, and located a 1st-summer COMMON TERN that was roosting with the flock before it disappeared.

Shorebirds in the vicinity included 10+ Whimbrel, 20+ Marbled Godwits, 40+ Sanderlings (in colorful summer plumage), and 5 Western Sandpipers.

Yesterday (7/20) evening I walked the beach between Judah-Noriega and observed 40+ Whimbrel, 90+ Sanderlings (including 1 in pale basic plumage), 3 Western Sandpipers, and 10 Snowy Plovers (several of which were banded).

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco

Common Tern at Crissy

David Assmann

in with Elegant Terns on Island near south west corner

Sutro Jaegers & Beach Shorebirds

Brian Fitch

During this morning's seawatch, three adult Parasitic Jaegers were pirating together, but only stayed in sight for a few minutes.  A flock of around 25 Western Sandpipers flew by heading into the Golden Gate, and a handful of Least Sandpipers and several un-ID'd shorebirds also passed by.

A short walk on Ocean Beach around Pacheco turned up two Semipalmated Plovers, a Sanderling, and five Least Sandpipers, all flushed into flight by you-know-whats, while four Willets, five Marbled Godwits, and a larger number of Whimbrels were at the edge of the low tide surf, protected from flushing by small lagoons.  I don't know why the smaller birds didn't join them.

Brian Fitch

Rescue Needs Help Caring For Chicks


Hello Group

Tragic situation with Fallen tree at an Oakland rookery. Eighty-Nine Egret and Heron Chicks have lost their home. International Bird Rescue a wonderful organization who helped me with a rescue, is calling out for Volunteers, to help care for these babies.

If you have the time, it would be a great opportunity to help and give back for all the joy Birding gives you.

Please share with other Bird Groups or people you might know.

Thank you
Kim F.
San Francisco

Be Kind. Lady Karma is Always Watching.

good Peregrine sighting this morning

Smokey Bear

I was walking across Van Ness near City Hall at 6:40 this morning. A
Peregrine gripping a dead bird flew about 30 ft above my head,
flapping hard with the load, and closely followed by a squawking
Western Gull. I stopped mid-crosswalk to gape. I'm pretty sure the
dead bird was a pigeon and not another Gull, couldn't quite be sure
with the light behind them. Glad the Peregrines are thriving.


Farallon Islands

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hello Birders.

   Last Saturday and Monday we enjoyed our first two trips to the Farallon Islands. We had weather that was unusual, in that it was a small wave without much wind, but very closely spaced so we had to go slow to get to the islands. But it was worth it, at this time of year one is not all that far off from the peak nesting out there. There were certainly hundreds of thousands of Common Murres, one entire side of Southeast Farallon Island was crammed with them – perhaps 100,000 or so? The numbers are so high, it is difficult to estimate. Many molting Cassin’s Auklets were also at the island, along with a few Rhinoceros Auklets and many Pigeon Guillemots. Southeast Farallon Island is the largest colony of Pigeon Guillemots in the state, as far as I know. The Tufted Puffins were up on Sugarloaf, and we also encountered some on the water and on the trip over to the island. They become more visible on the August trips when they are foraging more actively for the young. A female Brown Booby was on Sugarloaf on both days, and careful study of the bill color suggests it is of the Mexican population (Brewster’s Booby). On Saturday we did see a Fork-tailed Storm Petrel on the way out, and an Ashy Storm Petrel on the way back. Lots of Humpback Whales on the first 10 miles from shore, including an exciting group actively lunge feeding, they gave a good show.

    We have one more date to the Farallons with a few spots left – Aug 5. But also keep in mind that on Aug 3 we are doing our “summer pelagic” looking for albatross and offshore birds. We have had some very good birds early in the season – Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Salvin’s Albatross come to mind. So we are hopeful for a goodie, although great luck is needed to see one. Otherwise we are hoping to find storm petrel flocks and hopefully albatross densities, this is a good time of year for Laysan Albatross. You can book directly here:


   Note that water is warming to our south, but in our area we still have a well defined cold water area inside of the continental shelf. An interesting gradient towards warmer (“blue”) water is forming offshore from Half Moon Bay. Perhaps this will be more developed by August, that situation is always interesting for us. I hope it means that the offshore murrelets will be around, along with other southerners.


Good birding,



Alvaro Jaramillo




Parakeet Auklet continues

Colin Meusel

On top of Hermit Rock then down to rock on shore. Seen from 07:40 to 07:45. Will post photos to eBird. 

Colin Meusel

Petaluma, CA

PAAU @ Land;s End - Details

Ken Moy

Approached observation deck @ approximately 8:30 on 7/14. Stopped at the last tree located just west of the deck and spotted the parakeet auklet in the surbnear Hermit Rock. Got to observation deck where David Nelson and Elenora (sp?sorry if I got your name wrong) had it in sight. We were joined by James from CT. The matter of note is that it spent about 20 minutes in the surf near the shore and for most of the time was not visible from the deck. Could be seen about 5-10 yards east of the deck looking just over the planted edge of the bluff into the surf area. At one point it flew to Hermit Rock and displayed for about 5 minutes before heading to the north face.

Best of birds,

Ken Moy

PAAU at Hermit Rock

Brandy Deminna Ford

Just saw the Parakeet Auklet near hermit rock. Luckily there was a nice person birding with a telescope who let us take a look (nautical binoculars weren’t too clear). Just beautiful.

Brandy Ford