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Re: Vireos in Oak Woodlands near Horseshoe Pits (GGP)

lomb.mi@...
 

Hi Ken,

Thanks for sharing this. I was inspired to keep an eye out for the Cassin's today, and managed to snap some photos of it (or a friend) north of the pit, around 3:50PM. 

Caught it sitting, then again after it flew off and landed on the same branch, over a late lunch.

I've only been birdwatching one year, and this was a first time sighting for me. Thanks again! 

vireo_1.JPG

vireo_3.JPG

vireo_2.JPG


On Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 1:50 PM Ken Moy <ken.moy62@...> wrote:
Started Tuesday morning (4/7) @ Stow Lake/Strawberry Hill @ 8:30 with little to report by way of migrants. Made my way to the Oak Woodlands trail with the wooden box steps that leads to the hill above the horseshoe pits by 10:30 and sighted my first Cassin's vireo of the Spring: small (Hutton's sized that also moved like a Hutton's) with bright white V-shaped throat extending to breast and belly, gray wings with 2 white wingbars (1 longer than the other), sharp dark spectacles and short black beak (both upper and lower mandibles). Didn't vocalize. Had extended looks over 10 minutes. First time I sighted a Cassin's before sighting a Warbling vireo in a season. 

This anomaly was rectified 30 minutes later when I spotted a Warbling vireo: much longer vireo sans wingbars sporting a white eyebrow and a bi-colored (dark upper mandible and white lower mandible) beak. Both were briefly in the same bush for comparison.

Both birds were in a flock that included many Townsend's and Yellow-rumped (Audobon's & Myrtles) warblers, a pair of Orange-crowned Warblers and chickadees. 

Be well & safe! Good birding to all.

Ken Moy


waxwings

Esteban Martin
 

Cedar waxwings in I believe California Holly or toyon at White crane spring Garden right off of 7th Ave.  What  a joy to observe these birds working the shrub. 

P1140357.JPG


Birding in place on a Tuesday afternoon

Aaron Maizlish
 

Folks,

I finally got out of the house for the first time in three days late this afternoon for a walk up around Bernal Hill. I haven’t spent much time birding in my own neighborhood (NW Bernal) in many years, but probably this is the spring to finally do that. Last year I did the “5 Mile Radius” challenge, which focused on birding within five miles of one’s house, a circle that for me included 90% of San Francisco. This year unfortunately the circle gets a whole lot smaller. A group of similarly inclined birding nerds are doing a team birding-from-home challenge, where seven teams of nine birders each will bird from their yards or immediate surroundings in a friendly tournament-style competition, with nothing at stake other than getting a good cumulative. In spite of living in San Francisco, I don’t have very high expectations for me contributing much from neighborhood - but it is a good diversion for April and May.

Inspired by Brian Fitch’s e-mail, I started by scanning over toward Twin Peaks and was quickly rewarded with a high-flying Swainson’s Hawk heading north over Noe Valley. Appeared to be a very light-morph bird, juvenile according to Sibley app. County Bird! The other two exciting birds this afternoon were at least two Rufous Hummingbirds, very bright and all red on the back, in with the Anna’s in the Pride of Madeira at the community garden on the south side of Bernal. Also a Cassin’s Vireo was hiding in the willows at the parking area on the north side of the hill. Three good birds in a 90 minute walk is a good consolation for being told to stay home in the City.

I know these are serious times, and chasing rarities is a “non-essential” activity to the extent that it puts us in proximity to others, and therefore could put others in harm’s way. But nevertheless I would appreciate if people will keep the good reports coming. We still have to get out of the house once in a while, and we all live together after all. And either way, I like to know what’s being seen.

Stay safe everyone,

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco


Re: Swainson’s Hawk

Brian Fitch
 

This morning I drove a short distance and then hiked into and around the Presidio.  Except for a brief check of Crissey, social distancing was easy, and without all of the on and off leash dogs that crowd the parks in my immediate neighborhood.  It was also nice to walk on real earth instead of concrete.  Spring arrivals were few, as migration seems late in arriving here, but there was a single singing Lazuli Bunting, which avoided my ever seeing it as it moved from the scrub at west Crissey and up onto the western bluffs.  Other interesting occurrences included a female Hairy Woodpecker working several telephone poles at Ft Scott, my FOS Pacific-slope Flycatcher in the unmowed grass at Ft Scott, a California Scrub-Jay trying multiple times (and failing) to take an adult Bushtit at Thompson reach, and Hooded Orioles in the palms at the Farallons HQ, at Thompson Reach, and the regular pair at Kobbe & Upton.

Then home in time to rest a little before spotting a Swainson's Hawk from my kitchen window as it flew over the Mint, with another flying directly over me a half an hour later as I was up on the roof.  A third likely Swainson's went by between the others, too distant to see marks, but the flight pattern and shape, especially the long pointed wings, looked like the other two.  That one flew north over the Upper Mission district without riding any thermals as the others did.  Both of the close birds showed creamy coverts, darker flight feathers, some darkness on the body and the aforementioned long pointy wings.  I lost both when making my reports, so I didn't see which direction they cut in when leaving their thermals.

Last Friday, April 3rd, I spent the early morning hours sea-watching from the Sutro Baths terrace, another great social distancing site.  It seems that no one but me is willing to stand in the freezing wind and stare at the open ocean for several hours.  It was my first good watch in a while, with a northbound female Long-tailed Duck, a Northern Fulmar, a Wandering Tattler, several overdue FOS Marbled Godwits, and the first big push I've seen of northbound Caspian Terns.

On April 6th, there were three Coyotes at Buena Vista Park, just a short walk from my home, where I've not yet seen or heard them.  These were seen at close range while re-finding the three White-throated Sparrows reported in BV the previous day.    A long walk from home on the 2nd brought me a heard Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on the west side of Twin Peaks.  On March 31st, a Bullock's Oriole teased me with chatter while it was hiding on one of North Lake's islands.  And the gallinule briefly showed itself at the concrete bridge at S Lake Merced on the 29th.
Brian Fitch



On Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 12:09 PM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Soaring over market and Duboce heading slowly north
12:11 pm
Brian Fitch


Vireos in Oak Woodlands near Horseshoe Pits (GGP)

Ken Moy
 

Started Tuesday morning (4/7) @ Stow Lake/Strawberry Hill @ 8:30 with little to report by way of migrants. Made my way to the Oak Woodlands trail with the wooden box steps that leads to the hill above the horseshoe pits by 10:30 and sighted my first Cassin's vireo of the Spring: small (Hutton's sized that also moved like a Hutton's) with bright white V-shaped throat extending to breast and belly, gray wings with 2 white wingbars (1 longer than the other), sharp dark spectacles and short black beak (both upper and lower mandibles). Didn't vocalize. Had extended looks over 10 minutes. First time I sighted a Cassin's before sighting a Warbling vireo in a season. 

This anomaly was rectified 30 minutes later when I spotted a Warbling vireo: much longer vireo sans wingbars sporting a white eyebrow and a bi-colored (dark upper mandible and white lower mandible) beak. Both were briefly in the same bush for comparison.

Both birds were in a flock that included many Townsend's and Yellow-rumped (Audobon's & Myrtles) warblers, a pair of Orange-crowned Warblers and chickadees. 

Be well & safe! Good birding to all.

Ken Moy


Again

Brian Fitch
 

Soaring Swainsons over noe 14th 
BF


Swainson’s Hawk

Brian Fitch
 

Soaring over market and Duboce heading slowly north
12:11 pm
Brian Fitch


Buena Vista Park Cassin's vireo, white-throated swifts & sparrows

Ellen Robinson
 

Hi all,
I'm new to this group and wanted to share some spring sightings from a brief visit to Buena Vista Park on Thursday 4/5/2020 that I was excited about. All are from the northeastern section of the park, around 12:30pm.

Cassin's vireo - my first of the year, gleaning in a mixed flock
White-throated swifts - a group of five foraging fairly low
White-throated sparrows - two foraging on the ground with a fox sparrow. I've seen them several times here over the last two weeks after first spotting one on 2/18 - there seem to be at least three of them living in the northeast corner of the park.

Ellen Robinson
SF


SW SF 4/2/2020 + misc. notes

 

On Thursday April 2nd I walked from my residence in the outer Sunset District to Sunset Blvd and along that greenbelt to Lake Merced/Sunset Circle. From there I worked the edge of Lake Merced clockwise starting with riparian habitat around Sunset Circle/wooden bridge, The Mesa and Mesa Overlook, concrete bridge, gun club and marsh to the John Muir Dr. @ Skyline Jct. I then crossed over to Fort Funston walking up to Battery Davis via the Horsetrail then south through the abandoned Dunes /main parking lot to the Native plant nursery and from there down to the beach. I then walked Ocean Beach north to Lawton and back home. This walk covered 18 kilometers but I was never more than 45 minutes from my residence and following the shelter in place recommendations of only leaving for essentially exercise a shorts ways from home while maintaining proper social distance with all other citizens passed.

Bird observations of note:

Cinnamon Teal - male and female at Wooden Bridge

Horned Grebe - concrete bridge, continuing molting/mostly basic bird. Uncommon here.

Band-tailed Pigeon - single high flier with group of (11) Eurasian Collared Doves north over the lake was interesting

Sora - calling (unprompted) at Mesa and Concrete Bridge

Snowy Plovers - 13 at south seawall roost on Ocean Beach. after escaping my attention a few days previously good to see a few holding on but these will soon depart for breeding areas. Of course a designated exclusion zone would over time almost certainly result in breeding in SF county , the logistical headache this could cause for the agency managing Ocean Beach makes it understandable why this has yet to be tried.

Bonaparte's Gull - alternate plumage migrant north over gun club around noon , first I've noted this spring

Merlin - failing to capture Tree Swallows on multiple attempts near the cormorant rookery

American Kestrel - wintering bird continues at Fort Funston

Wrentit - an apparent lone male continues to sing at the Mesa going on 3-4 years (more?)

Bewick's Wren - two birds singing, one on each side of the Mesa cormorant rookery was notable for lake Merced. None detected at Fort Funston.

Spotted Towhee - singing on Mesa , good bird for lake Merced

Common Yellowthroat - minimum of 7 singing along route was a good count

Wilson's Warbler - minimum of 11 singing along route was a good count. While certainly some are migrants, at least a few of these will linger at traditional breeding sites around the lake

No Bank Swallows noted yet at either Lake Merced or at the fort Funston colony site as of the afternoon of 4/2.

Additional notes:

On 3/27/20 seawatching early a.m. (Pre work meditation) into a brisk NW wind w/Joachim Gonzalez and Logan Kahle (maintaining 3meters distance) we noted (12) first of spring migrant Red-necked Phalaropes north just beyond Seal Rocks.

On 4/1 a Barn Owl flew over my intersection in the outer Sunset about four blocks from Golden Gate Park @ 10:30pm (evening exercise)

Yesterday, 4/2, on an early morning seawatch from the Cliff House (4) Brant north at the horizon made me glad I dragged out the scope.

This morning (4/4) on my way into work I stopped to walk up a drizzly Mount Davidson for exercise. Songbirds were scarce but it was interesting to watch a pair of Common Ravens attempting to drive off an active and vocal Great Horned Owl (lots of action 8-8:15a.m.)

Good health to all,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Re: SF Breeding Bird Atlas is still online

Bob Hall
 

This is a remarkable document. I hope someone has the energy to keep it up to date. I also hope that Audubon, some day, will have a breeding bird roundup. With the rapid decline in biodiversity, it would be great to know what breeds where so we can help policymakers make informed decisions about the decline of local species. I suppose that this would be hard because different birds breed in different months.

Sorry, I’m violating the list rules, but you started it Dom!

Bob Hall
SF

--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson


SF Breeding Bird Atlas is still online

 

Stuck at home with nothing to do?


Happy studying.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco 


Re: ENDRe: [SFBirds] The most amazing birds I have ever seen

Mila Zinkova <Milazinkova@...>
 

Sorry, no more videos from me.
Best.


On Mar 31, 2020, at 5:15 PM, dominikmosur@... wrote:


Hi Mila,  

For the future, there are other sites where you can share videos of birds from outside SF.

SFBIRDS is for observations within the City and County of San Francisco ONLY.

Dominik Mosur
Listserv moderator 


On Mar 31, 2020, at 17:03, Mila Zinkova <Milazinkova@...> wrote:

Hello,
While we are spending so much time at home I thought I might share with you my old video. It was not filmed in California. I filmed it in Hawaii.
At the beginning you will see white-tailed tropicbirds flying over lava lake.
The birds are nesting in the crater, and yet I have no idea why they were circling the lava lake over and over again. 
A local volcanologist told me he believed they were doing it for fun.
For fun?
No human would have survived where these birds were.


Anyway here is the video (The birds are only at the beginning)


Mila


ENDRe: [SFBirds] The most amazing birds I have ever seen

 

Hi Mila,  

For the future, there are other sites where you can share videos of birds from outside SF.

SFBIRDS is for observations within the City and County of San Francisco ONLY.

Dominik Mosur
Listserv moderator 


On Mar 31, 2020, at 17:03, Mila Zinkova <Milazinkova@...> wrote:

Hello,
While we are spending so much time at home I thought I might share with you my old video. It was not filmed in California. I filmed it in Hawaii.
At the beginning you will see white-tailed tropicbirds flying over lava lake.
The birds are nesting in the crater, and yet I have no idea why they were circling the lava lake over and over again. 
A local volcanologist told me he believed they were doing it for fun.
For fun?
No human would have survived where these birds were.


Anyway here is the video (The birds are only at the beginning)


Mila


The most amazing birds I have ever seen

Mila Zinkova <Milazinkova@...>
 

Hello,
While we are spending so much time at home I thought I might share with you my old video. It was not filmed in California. I filmed it in Hawaii.
At the beginning you will see white-tailed tropicbirds flying over lava lake.
The birds are nesting in the crater, and yet I have no idea why they were circling the lava lake over and over again. 
A local volcanologist told me he believed they were doing it for fun.
For fun?
No human would have survived where these birds were.


Anyway here is the video (The birds are only at the beginning)


Mila


Northwest SF 3/30/20

 

Started a walking loop from my place in the outer Sunset at 7 a.m. Heading to Ocean Beach, up to and around Land's End/Fort Miley/Lincoln Park and down through west Golden Gate Park and back to my place at 15:30 covering 15.4 km while following the the shelter-in-place order (outside only for essential exercise within short distance of home.)

Birds of note:

Cackling Geese - 2 flying over beach chalet north with 3 Canadas ~8:15 am

Iceland (Kumlien's) Gull - 1st cycle with Ocean Beach  main parking lot roost for about 10 minutes.( Don't worry they lumped it you don't have to chase.)

Northern Flicker - A pair was copulating near a cavity (Battery Chester) Another vocal pair was checking out snags at the East Wash. flickers "recolonized" SF starting about 5 years ago in the Presidio and now appear to be expanding their breeding range in the city

Black Phoebe - an adult feeding (3) FLEDGLINGS at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park might be an early fledge date for the coast. I found a 3/28 fledge date in the San Mateo County Breeding Bird  Atlas from 1988 out of the Portola Valley.

Red Crossbills - flock of (15~) around East Wash/Legion,  single bird near Bercut.

Orange-crowned Warbler - singing bird on territory at West Wash seems to me the only reliable site for a breeding territory in SF most springs.

Missed on the day were Snowy Plovers. The beach has been heavily impacted recently but hopefully they found a safe place. Also , only a single house Sparrow despite walking through a number of outer sunset avenues that have had small populations in past years, and only 8 collared doves on the day.

Checklist with Kumlien's photos here:

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco



Flyover Bald Eagle

Ken Moy
 

Heading south over Middle Lake @ 10:40
 Low in sky, head and tail white


Aleutian Cackling Goose- Stow Lake 3/25

C Lou
 

Hi All,

On Mar 25, an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE was at the east end of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. It was last seen near the "duck feeding"area, north of the Great Blue Heron nesting island.
37.769421, -122.473387

Calvin Lou
SF


Gannet on the Farallon cam

Alan Hopkins
 

The Northern Gannet is currently/was on view on the Farallon Web Cam as of 10:30 am. Identified by the shape all white back and when it spread its wings it had black wing tips which separates it from the Masked Booby. 

Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA


Seawatch -- B-l. Kittiwake, Rhinoceros Auklet et al., 3/22/20

Paul Saraceni
 

Yesterday (Sunday, 3/22) morning I got out for my first seawatch in a while from the solitude of the south end of the Great Highway.  Though winds were easterly, there was a decent migration movement on the ocean, with excellent visibility.

A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE flew N over the western edge of the surf, continuing a ways up Ocean Beach.

A RHINOCEROS AUKLET flew N low over the ocean several hundred yards out. 

Other observations of local interest:

Canada Goose 2 (flying N over the beach)
Surf Scoter 106
BLACK SCOTER 4 m. & 2 f.
Com. Loon 4 (including 1 in nearly-full alt. plumage)
Pacific Loon 4
Red-thr. Loon 18
Clark's Grebe 3
W. Grebe 70
Brown Pelican 15
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Whimbrel 16
Sanderling 620
Western Sandpiper 36 (a few groups associating with Sanderling flocks)
Herring Gull 2 1st-yrs.
Glaucous-winged Gull 6 1st-yrs.
Pigeon Guillemot 1
Com. Murre 37 (all flying N)
Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from across the Great Highway)

Also:
Gray Whale 1

Paul Saraceni 
San Francisco

 


Re: Northern Mockingbird (video)

Mila Zinkova <Milazinkova@...>
 

Thank you!

On Mar 23, 2020, at 1:24 PM, melani@king2d3d.com wrote:

Other birds I hear are Black Phoebe, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Red-shouldered Hawk.

-Melani King
Pt. Richmond

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