Geese are adaptable!

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Made a brief stop during necessary activities to check out Pier 94 - which was pretty dead - but I had to check it out after seeing this goose family making the most of this small puddle at the sand storage/construction site. 

Lousy iPhone photo obtained after the goslings had taken a bath:
Inline image

Not exactly what we would consider to be appropriate habitat but, hey, whatever works!

Hope all of you are adapting as well.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Great-horned Owl serenaded Glen Park last night

Roberta Guise

Around 11:45pm Sat 5/3 on the east side of Glen Park, behind Diamond Street up Poppy Lane a few trees beyond the back of our house, I heard the owl call. Have heard them occasionally on cold clear December nights. Never in May.

'twas a beautiful soulful sound for the COVID weary...

P.S. KTVU Ch. 2 aired a brief news segment last night without interviews on the increased interest in birding since the lockdown. One close up showed someone with a Swarovski bin. My recall is the birds featured were Western gulls and corvids by a rusted-out barrel.

~ Roberta Guise

Orchard Oriole Stow

Alan Hopkins

This morning at 7am I had a brief look at an adult Orchard Oriole that flew into the tree tops on Strawberry Island. It gave a few calls when it landed out of sight in a tree on the southeast side of the island. There wasn't much migrant activity Warbling Vireos, and Cedar Waxwings. Near Elk Glen Lake there was a Black-headed Grosbeak and the House Wren appears to be on territory.

Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA

Re: Bald eagle flyover

Dario Taraborelli

Spotted by Ella

On May 3, 2020, at 11:49, Dario Taraborelli via <> wrote:

Going SE from the Presidio golf course towards Sutro at 11:46

Bald eagle flyover

Dario Taraborelli

Going SE from the Presidio golf course towards Sutro at 11:46

Re: Pier 94 Salt March Access

Adam Winer

Yes, it's open to the public:

Pier 94 Wetlands
San Francisco, CA 94124

On Sat, May 2, 2020, 19:06 j3m4f5 <john.facchini@...> wrote:

I often see this location mentioned and have birder Heron's Head a number of time but am still uncertain how to (or if it's even public) to bird the Pier 94.  If it's public where should I park to access the location?

Pier 94 Salt March Access



I often see this location mentioned and have birder Heron's Head a number of time but am still uncertain how to (or if it's even public) to bird the Pier 94.  If it's public where should I park to access the location?

Seawatch -- Solitary Sandpiper et al. + Bank Swallows, 5/1/20

Paul Saraceni

This morning I did a seawatch (7:30-10:30 AM) from the south end of the Great Highway.  There were light SW winds. The fog bank moved in from and out to the horizon several times during my watch, but never covered the beach and surf. Skies were overcast.

There was a nice movement of migrants including loons and various shorebirds, plus Brant and some other interesting species.
Best was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER.  During a period when the fog bank was encroaching, I picked up on this bird while scoping as it flew low over the ocean heading S over the surf. I am guessing that it was disoriented a bit by the fog -- it was flying on the clear (near) side of the fog bank. A mid-sized Tringa with uniformly dark upperparts and wings, dark rump through center of tail, dark underwings, white belly. Slightly buoyant flight. This is the second time that I have observed this rare species from this sea-watch. 
BRANT were on the move -- I observed 102 including flocks of 32 and 28 flying offshore, plus a close flock of 41 and a single bird flying over the surf in from the fog bank, all flying N.

A flock of 5 female RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS flew N over the surf near shore, in from the fog bank -- perhaps moved closer to shore by the fog. 

A sharp-looking RED-NECKED GREBE in alternate plumage flew N over the ocean. 

RHINOCEROS AUKLETS flew N together low over the ocean several hundred yards out. 

Other observations of local interest:

Surf Scoter 34
W. Grebe 11
Semipalmated Plover 1 (flying N high over the surf)
Killdeer 1 (flying and calling across the Great Highway)
Whimbrel 56
Long-billed Curlew 10 (1 calling flock flying N high over the bluff)
Marbled Godwit 1
Black Turnstone 7 (1 tight flock flying N over the surf -- uncommon at this location)
Sanderling 66
Least Sandpiper 2 (flying N over the surf)
Western Sandpiper 22 (groups of 18 & 4 flying N over the surf)
Willet 1
Pigeon Guillemot 2
Caspian Tern 1
Red-thr. Loon 16 
Pacific Loon 55 (most flying N)
Com. Loon 8
Brandt's Cormorant 60
Pelagic Cormorant 1 (alt. plumage)
Double-cr. Cormorant 30
Brown Pelican 82
Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from across the Great Highway)

On the walk back to my car parked near Sloat, I heard the distinctive calls of BANK SWALLOWS and looked up to see 4 flying N together over the Great Highway. I was looking and listening for this species during my seawatch but did not observe any near the traditional bluff location at the N end of Ft. Funston. Not sure whether these were migrants or from the nesting colony -- assuming that the colony still exists.

Paul Saraceni 
San Francisco

Western Tanager + Hooded Oriole + a question (photos)

Michael Lombardo <lomb.mi@...>

Hi all,

When: Today, 6:30PM
Where: The paths to the east of the Conservatory of Flowers, just above the terraced planters

Was walking underneath some eucalyptus when I heard a familiar CHAIP.

Lifted my binocs, fully prepared for a Hooded Oriole party, only to lay eyes on a Western Tanager ...AND a Hooded Oriole (photos below).

Does this scene sound familiar? If you follow SF Birds it might: I had an almost identical experience — Western Tanager + Hooded Oriole — at Lafayette Park a few weeks ago.

Which brings me to my question: Is there something to this pairing? Some kind of symbiosis or parasitism? Is it just a dumb coincidence? If I don't hear anything from you very knowledgable folks, my working theory, that I'm engaged in some kind of unknowable cosmic trinity with these two birds, stands.


I watched them move from branch to branch for about twenty minutes before deciding to leave them alone. The Oriole seemed to be pestering the Tanager a bit, but not enough to shoo him away. 

Swainson's Hawk

David Assmann

Flew north over the eastern end of Golden Gate Park before noon today.

House Wrens nesting in Bayview Park

Kevin Liberg

Two House Wrens in Bayview Park This morning.  Singing and nest building.

Kevin Liberg
San Francisco

Tricolored Blackbird

Lee-Hong Chang

Today (April 30) at around 12 pm, one male Tricolored Blackbird with a flock of Brewer's blackbirds and European Starlings was found by Rachel Lawrence in parade field at Fort Scott. 

Good birding, 
Lee Chang 

No Yellow-throated this morning

Richard Bradus

Foiled again.

Despite multiple observers scouring the area this morning (4/30), none was able to see the Yellow-throated Warbler that David found at Fort Mason yesterday. There were a couple of Audubon's Yellow-rumps hanging on, however, including a breeding plumaged male with a bright yellow throat that sometimes visited the bluish spruce (?) where the Yellow-throated was most often seen yesterday, so beware.

Otherwise, continuing the theme of this spring, not many migrants - though I did have my FOS Western Wood Pewee above the Battery. Russ Bright saw a Vaux's Swift, and reported 6 Pigeon Guillemots on the bay, looking frisky and possibly ready to mate. The Orchard Oriole again tantalizingly chattered briefly from the Community Garden area but remained hidden to me. But the Mockingbird with a penchant for Robin song variations was actively singing and displaying - a treat if you have not yet had the chance to hear this virtuoso.

Good luck wherever you may wander. Stay safe, and enjoy!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Spotted Sandpiper @ Heron's Head

Ken Moy

Hi birders,

Very sharp looking bird foraging at eater's edge on the left side of the trail (going out): dark spots on white breast, grayish head with white eyebrow, reddish brown bill with dark tip (slightly decurved), pale yellow legs, faint spots on a grayish back with russet hints. Still present, sighted at 10:10.

Re: Yellow Throated Warbler at Fort Mason

Brian Fitch

Just to update that David's Yellow-throated Warbler was present and singing after 10 AM, with many observers also present, still by the General's House.

Brian Fitch

On Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 8:43 AM David Assmann via <> wrote:
Behind General’s House

Yellow Throated Warbler at Fort Mason

David Assmann

Behind General’s House

Re: Golden Eagle


Awesome was headed from locked down @ Pacific heights ,
to Fillmore, mask on …looked up LOL Golden Eagle.
ditto confirmation . Lucky me Lucky You, Happy Birding!

FYI-over the weekend I birder the Presidio foe a breath of fresh air and visit the peeps.
Highlights include Creeper -Lovers Lane, Allens hummer, annas too, red-tailed hawk family one juv.
Mockingbird pair, red-masked parakeets flock in my face feeding frenzy, fun ,loud.
Thanks for the reports, Be safe, Happy birding look up or out the window and get to know your hood.

On Apr 28, 2020, at 1:15 PM, Oscar Moss <> wrote:

Beautiful Golden Eagle just passed directly over my house heading north toward Fillmore/Pac Heights


Olive-Sided Flycatchers

David Assmann

Had my third OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER in San Francisco in four days today at El Polin Springs.  Yesterday there was one behind McLaren Lodge and Saturday I had one at Fort Mason. On Sunday there was an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER at Fort Mason. It's becoming difficult to bird at Fort Mason with the closures.  There's no longer any parking allowed at Fort Mason, and the garden is closed (and patrolled), as of last week.

Buena Vista Park (photos)

Michael Lombardo <lomb.mi@...>

Was walking home along the southeast side of Buena Vista Park today, around 1:30PM, when some Chickadees and Bushtits started noisily doing their thing. 

I wouldn't always stop to look closely at those species, but I'm glad I did: among them was this handsome fellow (my first Hermit Warbler):



Moments later this Cassin's Vireo got in on the action. Same tree:



The Cassin's was also there, a little higher on the southeast side, near the boardwalk, this morning around 10AM. I hope/expect to see more of him.

Also happy to report that a Hooded Oriole seems to be taking up in the palms where Duboce Street meets Buena Vista East. He was CHAIP-ing madly this morning, and a bit this afternoon. On both occasions he flew away before I could snap a photo.

They're popping out

Richard Bradus

Well, I know quite a few of you are not too happy about sheltering, prohibited from traveling to promising areas, and the relative dearth of migrants in SF lately (and - dang - I missed Oscar's Golden Eagle as I was preparing lunch). But our year-round residents are quietly bringing a new generation into this world, and our new arrivals will soon be following suit.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been happy to see that at least two of our resident pairs of White-crowned Sparrows at Alta Plaza Park have fledged young - and the House Sparrows (yeah, whatever) and House Finches are nesting under eaves or in trees, along with Juncos and, hopefully, the Brewer's Blackbirds that seem to have declined drastically in number. The swallows will be starting soon, if not already.

Today I wandered around the Golden Gate Park Golf Course, an area I have circled around in the past but never had the chance to explore - it was a revelation (way better than the heavily visited Presidio Golf Course, also now open for walkers). Not only a good species diversity, but lots of breeding activity to observe. By far the best experience (even better than sighting a Rufous hummer breaking off from skirmishing Allen's) was an entire family (!) of Pacific Wrens. Both parents were working frantically to feed two recent fledglings, with mom wisely ducking into cover whenever possible and dad flying up every once in a while to perch and sing a bit. The youngsters, of course, didn't know when (or how) to be quiet, but the parents were doing their best to keep them happy. Other nesters or soon-to-be parents included Juncos, Robins, Pygmy Nuthatches, Finches, a pair of Red-tails, Tree Swallows and maybe Siskins and others.

Take a look - and listen - around your areas or stretch your legs (at the proper spacing) in our local parks. Note, and marvel at the breadth of breeding activity even in this densely populated city. The birds are carrying on (maybe even better now that human activity is curtailed), showing the resilience of nature and giving us all hope.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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