Date   

Rose-breasted Grosbeak @ Botanical Garden

Ken Moy
 

Spotted @ 9:30 on the paved zig-zag path from SE Asian Cloud Forrest to Succulent Garden while looking for the Nashville Warbler that frequents the area. Clear 20-30 seconds view of brown and gray head with dirty white bars above and below eyes, bright white breast with three bright red streaks meeting in the center, with heavy yellowish beak protruding from the bushes beneath what appears to me to be a Willow tree. It flew out before I could make out the rest of the body. Could not refund during the following hour. Did see the Nashville in the same area, along with an orange crowned warbler with the grayish hood/back.

Happy 2020!


WILSON'S Warbler @ LakeMerced/GunClub 1/5/2020

 

A Wilson's Warbler was chipping away and giving occasional brief looks in the willows along the east edge of the defunct Pacific Rod & Gun Club (520 John Muir Dr.) this afternoon.

Perhaps this is a returning bird. A Wilson's Warbler was noted at this same location 1/14-20/2019.

A Barn Swallow flew by here as well, @16:12 heading east toward the Concrete Bridge continues as well.

Did we get either of these on the Count? I don't recall.



Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Weekend Access to Outer Point, Point Reyes

auntiestrophe
 


Hi birders,

I heard from park staff that some birders were trying to drive out past Drakes Beach earlier today after the shuttles started running. Apologies for that, esp. for those trying to get out to Mendoza, or B Ranch, to see the Painted Bunting. 

The park runs shuttle buses on the weekends to alleviate the traffic nightmares of the past from visitors wanting to see whales and elephant seals.  The shuttles operate on weekends and federal holiday Mondays from late Dec thru late March to mid-April. Please check the park website at nps.gov/pore for details, logistics, hours, etc.

Good birding,
Carlo Arreglo
Park Ranger
Point Reyes National Seashore 


Canvasback

Brian Fitch
 

A drake is with the scaup flock between Yosemite slough and Candlestick.
The first I’ve seen here in years.
Brian Fitch


Re: Marbled Murrelets in near-shore waters

Rudyard Wallen
 

Hey Folks,

here's the eBird follow up on those Marbled Murrelets

https://ebird.org/checklist/S62917020

cheers

-Rudy
SF


Waterthrush

Brian Fitch
 

While I was birding the concrete bridge at South Lake Merced, a silent waterthrush flitted through the reeds and willows on the south side, mid-span, never stopping long enough for me to get my binoculars on it.  It bobbed its tail quickly and constantly, and showed no difference in color between the flanks and the rest of the body.  I couldn't discern the supercillium or throat details, but my quick impression was of a Northern, which has overwintered in the area before.

Brian Fitch


Re: 12/31- Tundra Swan over SF Zoo

birdwoman7007
 

SWEET HUGH, 
Double whammy, 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2020 will be the best yet.
Thanks for sharing.
Leslie :;)

On Dec 31, 2019, at 7:32 PM, H Cotter <chatwren@...> wrote:

Having dipped on the Scarlet Tanager and having to leave, at approx 11.30 AM I was walking on the north side of the large overgrown pond at the Zoo when a Tundra Swan flew over very low and looked like it was heading towards Lake Merced. I gather it was not relocated there later. 
A little late for the SF CBC but a nice end to the year. Hugh
_TUSW.jpeg


12/31- Tundra Swan over SF Zoo

H Cotter
 

Having dipped on the Scarlet Tanager and having to leave, at approx 11.30 AM I was walking on the north side of the large overgrown pond at the Zoo when a Tundra Swan flew over very low and looked like it was heading towards Lake Merced. I gather it was not relocated there later. 
A little late for the SF CBC but a nice end to the year. Hugh
_TUSW.jpeg


Lesser Black Backed Gull at Lake Merced

Joachim Gonzalez
 

At around 12:15 Lucas Stephenson and I found a Lesser Black Backed Gull at the Gull flock on the Wooden Bridge. 

Good Birding,
Joachim Gonzalez


Yellow Warbler

Peter & Amy
 

Didn’t get a picture but is it possible that I saw an immature female Yellow Warbler in my back yard today? Very mono-olive with a small amount of black banding on wings. Not as plump as a vireo and bill was also longer than a vireo. I’m in the St. Mary’s Park neighborhood.

Amy Kuhlmann


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher @ Presidio - Picture

Ken Moy
 

This morning Nancy Palmer and I refound the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher along the driveway into the pre-school on Battery Caufield Road. Courtesy of Nancy, a picture is attached.

Best of birds for 2020!

Ken Moy


Re: Last day of SF Count Week. Eurasian wigeon pier 94

Pat Greene
 

Roosting—rufous head with yellower ‘bald pate’ than adjacent Americans. Sides shadowed so hard to get grey

Pat Greene

All thumbs from my iPhone.

On Dec 30, 2019, at 6:52 AM, Siobhan Ruck <ms.siobhan.ruck@...> wrote:

A reminder that today, Monday 12/30, is the last day of Count Week for San Francisco. Please report any unusual species seen. We can add them to our total, even if they weren’t seen on count day itself.

Thank you,
Siobhan Ruck SF



Free admission to SF Zoo today for first to reply

Beverly Cronin <beverly.cronin@...>
 

I'm going to the San Francisco Zoo today to look for the Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole. My membership is for myself + one guest. I should be there by noon. Send a private message if interested and can make it by noon (it's not a paper ticket, so it can't be left at will call)


Orchard Oriole Too!

Joachim Gonzalez
 

A Orchard Oriole just appeared in the Euks behind the white animal posters near the Eagle Island. 

Good Birding,
Joachim Gonzalez


Scarlet Tanager continues

Joachim Gonzalez
 

Last seen at 9:13am in the berry bushes between Pecaries and Eagle Island. With a robin flock

Good Birding,
Joachim Gonzalez


Last day of SF Count Week

Siobhan Ruck
 

A reminder that today, Monday 12/30, is the last day of Count Week for San Francisco. Please report any unusual species seen. We can add them to our total, even if they weren’t seen on count day itself.

Thank you,
Siobhan Ruck SF


Re: Clark's? Western? Or both? (Some elaboration)

Richard Bradus
 

Well...

Just a smattering of responses. The consensus is that this bird is OK for Western, as the facial pattern in winter is nearly identical between the two species, with the differences coming down to bill color (most important) and the amount of white (thinner black neck stripe and more white on the body/flanks of Clark's).

Perhaps the initial photo was unclear. I still think this bird is a true intergrade or hybrid, as hopefully shown better on a second photo [below] (not quite as sharp as the first, but cropped a bit more tightly). 



(You will need to expand the photo to full size to see these features more clearly)

Even if we accept that the facial patterns are indistinguishable in winter (which, for the record, I do not concede, both by my admittedly somewhat limited experience and as that "fact" is not supported by multiple references, rather most state that they can be "difficult to distinguish"), this second photo more clearly shows the extent of white along the flanks and mottling of the back (as well as showing what I would submit is a facial pattern much more consistent with Clark's, as the black clearly does not extend down to the eye and there is a definite black stripe from the eye to the base of the beak, a typical feature of Clark's), but with the greenish yellow beak of a Western.

So, that's my take anyway. Thanks to those who responded. Maybe a bit of an arcane - and perhaps pointless - effort, but I think it is worthwhile to fully observe and occasionally really look closely at some of our more common species. 

There is a tremendous amount of variation in nature, both in appearances and behavior, and close observation (if it doesn't drive one crazy) can be very rewarding and sometimes reveal aspects that even the "experts" have not noted. Remember that we are all citizen scientists to greater or lesser degrees, and with so many more birders than expert ornithologists out in the field, one is quite likely to observe "new" findings. So, please take the time to observe and add comments and notes to your reports and eBird checklists - more data, more better!

To more discoveries,
Richard Bradus
San Francisco


On Wednesday, December 25, 2019, 10:34:05 AM PST, Richard Bradus <grizzledjay@...> wrote:


Hi all

I've been seeing a lot of "Western type" Grebes lately that have me confused, mostly the typical wintertime variants with black that goes down to the eye (or gray that covers the eyes and upper cheek), in between what we consider true Clark's or Westerns. But this one (seen Dec. 17 in the waters off the eastern end of the Golden Gate Yacht Club Lagoon) is a bit more interesting:


(Photo can be enlarged if it does not display fully on your device)

It has the facial pattern of a Clark's (mostly) and a fair amount of white mottling on the back, yet the bill is that greenish yellow color characteristic of a Western. I've been told (and have also read in a couple of sources) that bill color (and shape to some extent) is the best determinant as to species, but this one looks like a true "intergrade" to me. I think it is a hybrid. So a call out to experts or other interested parties: any thoughts?

Thanks!

And to all a wonderful holiday.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Backyard Scaly-breasted Munias

Elliot Janca
 

I just had three Scaly-breasted Munias land in my backyard. It seems that they're getting to be more common in SF.

-Elliot Janca
San Francisco


Backyard yellow warbler

Bob Hall
 

A yellow warbler landed in my neighbor's acacia for about 20 seconds then flew north toward USF.
1946 Grove St.
--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson


Marbled Murrelets in near-shore waters

Juan García
 

A South Marin finding of relevance to SF birders.
The Pacific-side boat transect that we ran for yesterday's South Marin count yielded, among other things, an astounding number of Marbled Murrelets, 81 in all; of these, 22 (all in pairs) flew into the South Marin count circle from SF county waters. And a good lot of these 22 seemed to fly in from relatively near-shore; so a murrelet or two could possibly be spotted from shore in calmer conditions. At least three of the pairs came over from within the mouth of the Gate (SF side), quite near the bridge.
Juan García