Date   

Flying mystery

Brian Fitch
 

A very strange flight profile just headed sw from ft scottt
Anhinga like soaring
Look up
Brian Fitch


Re: El Polin Strange Call (Swainson's)

Linda Swanson
 

xeno-canto has this call of the Swainson’s Thrush recorded. Cat.nr.# XC355191 by Thomas Magarian, 6-16-2016 from Bowman Lake GNP, Flathead County, Montana, 25 seconds. Thomas Magarian has multiple Swainson’s Thrush calls and songs, and note this Cat.nr. XC355191

On May 17, 2020, at 9:07 PM, Richard Bradus via groups.io <grizzledjay@...> wrote:

Yup - it's a Swainson's Thrush, making its "Whit-burrr" (or Churr) call.

Thanks to Alvaro Jaramillo, John Sterling, Ralph and Josiah for their insights.

There was an interesting mix of opinions, ranging from Song Sparrow (which, after all, is also heard singing on the recording), to Bewick's Wren to a squirrel - but lest anyone scoff, Josiah wrote that he sometimes calls it the "squirrel call", which is an easy way to remember it.

While a bit embarrassed, as John noted that he pointed it out to me on Thursday at the same spot (I guess I missed it, intent on the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and trying to duck the rain), I shouldn't feel so bad as even a few more experienced birders were also unfamiliar with this call. Alvaro kindly sent some notes of the range of Swainson's calls with descriptions from the "Birds of the World" series, consisting of the "Whit-burrr that I heard, the "Peep", the familiar "Bink" or "plink" (what I refer to as the "water droplet" call), and the "Peeeeeer". Also noted that the "Churr" call may be more frequent late in the day, which certainly fits in this instance.

Still, the coarseness of this call amazes me, given the softness of the much more common "plink" calls and the upward spiraling, almost ethereal song of this species. I just have not had enough experience with all the variations - at least until this spring - it seems like there have been an unusual number of Swainson's arriving or migrating through our area. Maybe I just haven't gone in the past to the right areas at the right times, but certainly I've heard more Swainson's songs and calls in the past few days than in the past few years here in SF.

In any case, this particular bird's call is an interesting variation. I searched for some time through a couple of sources (still haven't checked Xenocanto though), and found very few examples. In particular, in the Macaulay Library there are plenty of recordings of Swainson's songs and the plink calls, a few of the peep and even the peeeer calls, but only a couple of this Whit-burrr - and those were somewhat different from the call I recorded. Therefore, I have submitted an eBird checklist (https://ebird.org/checklist/S69225813) and added the recording, so hopefully once the backlog of audio processing at eBird is resolved it will be available to all and preserved in the Macaulay archive.

Thanks again to all who responded. I learned something valuable. And, as there has certainly been an influx of interesting migrants in the past couple of weeks, it bears emphasis that all of us would be wise to follow any unusual songs and calls that we may encounter - it may turn out to be something special.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco
On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 09:27:31 PM PDT, Ralph McKinnon <mckinnon_ralph@...> wrote: 


I’m guessing it’s the churr call of a Swainson’s Thrush but am looking forward to seeing other opinions. 

Ralph McKinnon
SF




On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 8:40 PM, kim <leo811sf@...> wrote:

Will be interested in knowing what this is.  Sounds very similar to what I heard in my yard today.  

Kim
SF

Be Kind. Lady Karma is Always Watching.



On May 16, 2020, at 8:05 PM, "Richard Bradus via groups.io" <grizzledjay@...> wrote:


Hi all

Earlier this evening I made it down to El Polin and, in the company of Connor Cochrane, whiffed on grosbeaks though there were multiple Swainson's Thrush, Scrub Jays, Song Sparrows and a bunch of smaller birds. While listening to both calls and songs of Swainson's Thrushes there was a period of silence, then we heard this short, rather harsh call repeated from dense cover in the shrubs behind the famous elderberry. (Hopefully the .wav file will go with this message, either below or as an attachment).

We were stumped. Could this be a Swainson's??? Connor suggested maybe a Catbird, which is intriguing, but it doesn't sound like the catbird a few years ago in the Botanical Garden. Maybe a mad, feral catbird?

Anyway, any thoughts or, hopefully, a definitive ID would be very much appreciated.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco 




Re: El Polin Strange Call (Swainson's)

Richard Bradus
 

Yup - it's a Swainson's Thrush, making its "Whit-burrr" (or Churr) call.

Thanks to Alvaro Jaramillo, John Sterling, Ralph and Josiah for their insights.

There was an interesting mix of opinions, ranging from Song Sparrow (which, after all, is also heard singing on the recording), to Bewick's Wren to a squirrel - but lest anyone scoff, Josiah wrote that he sometimes calls it the "squirrel call", which is an easy way to remember it.

While a bit embarrassed, as John noted that he pointed it out to me on Thursday at the same spot (I guess I missed it, intent on the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and trying to duck the rain), I shouldn't feel so bad as even a few more experienced birders were also unfamiliar with this call. Alvaro kindly sent some notes of the range of Swainson's calls with descriptions from the "Birds of the World" series, consisting of the "Whit-burrr that I heard, the "Peep", the familiar "Bink" or "plink" (what I refer to as the "water droplet" call), and the "Peeeeeer". Also noted that the "Churr" call may be more frequent late in the day, which certainly fits in this instance.

Still, the coarseness of this call amazes me, given the softness of the much more common "plink" calls and the upward spiraling, almost ethereal song of this species. I just have not had enough experience with all the variations - at least until this spring - it seems like there have been an unusual number of Swainson's arriving or migrating through our area. Maybe I just haven't gone in the past to the right areas at the right times, but certainly I've heard more Swainson's songs and calls in the past few days than in the past few years here in SF.

In any case, this particular bird's call is an interesting variation. I searched for some time through a couple of sources (still haven't checked Xenocanto though), and found very few examples. In particular, in the Macaulay Library there are plenty of recordings of Swainson's songs and the plink calls, a few of the peep and even the peeeer calls, but only a couple of this Whit-burrr - and those were somewhat different from the call I recorded. Therefore, I have submitted an eBird checklist (https://ebird.org/checklist/S69225813) and added the recording, so hopefully once the backlog of audio processing at eBird is resolved it will be available to all and preserved in the Macaulay archive.

Thanks again to all who responded. I learned something valuable. And, as there has certainly been an influx of interesting migrants in the past couple of weeks, it bears emphasis that all of us would be wise to follow any unusual songs and calls that we may encounter - it may turn out to be something special.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 09:27:31 PM PDT, Ralph McKinnon <mckinnon_ralph@...> wrote:


I’m guessing it’s the churr call of a Swainson’s Thrush but am looking forward to seeing other opinions. 

Ralph McKinnon
SF




On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 8:40 PM, kim <leo811sf@...> wrote:

Will be interested in knowing what this is.  Sounds very similar to what I heard in my yard today. 

Kim
SF

Be Kind. Lady Karma is Always Watching.



On May 16, 2020, at 8:05 PM, "Richard Bradus via groups.io" <grizzledjay@...> wrote:


Hi all

Earlier this evening I made it down to El Polin and, in the company of Connor Cochrane, whiffed on grosbeaks though there were multiple Swainson's Thrush, Scrub Jays, Song Sparrows and a bunch of smaller birds. While listening to both calls and songs of Swainson's Thrushes there was a period of silence, then we heard this short, rather harsh call repeated from dense cover in the shrubs behind the famous elderberry. (Hopefully the .wav file will go with this message, either below or as an attachment).

We were stumped. Could this be a Swainson's??? Connor suggested maybe a Catbird, which is intriguing, but it doesn't sound like the catbird a few years ago in the Botanical Garden. Maybe a mad, feral catbird?

Anyway, any thoughts or, hopefully, a definitive ID would be very much appreciated.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco 



Pier 94, cont. Eurasian Wigeon, RN Phalarope

Eddie Bartley
 

Gorgeous morning for a brief visit to Pier 94. Lot's of butterfly and bee activity in the uplands. Surprised to see the continuing male EURASIAN WIGEON loafing in the Hanson "pond" which is quickly evaporating. A single RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, truly resplendent in fresh and bright plumage, feeding in the north pond. Only other shorebirds were Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper, no Avocet (which have not successfully fledged young in recent years).

The usual suspects are attempting to nest plus a less usual California Towhee pair, non-stop singing for a couple of weeks now. At least 2 NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS have been around for a couple of weeks now, they may be making a go of it, seem to be orienting in the aggregate area west of the reserve and hunting over the marsh. 

Eddie Bartley


Buena & Corona Migrants

Brian Fitch
 

Nothing to match the magnitude of yesterday's six (6!) rare species newly found in SF, but on our neighborhood walk this morning my wife and I saw or heard singles of Olive-sided Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Tanager, and Lazuli Bunting at Corona Heights, and Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Cassin's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, and a singing grosbeak species at Buena Vista.  There were a lot of resident species feeding newly fledged young in both parks.

Brian Fitch


Townsend’s Solitaire at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Landed in northeast corner of garden just as rain stopped- then flew East.


Re: El Polin Strange Call

nagra.ivs
 

Richard,
I believe Ralph has it correct that it is Swainson's Thrush.
Greg Budney


Re: El Polin Strange Call

Ralph McKinnon
 

I’m guessing it’s the churr call of a Swainson’s Thrush but am looking forward to seeing other opinions. 

Ralph McKinnon
SF




On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 8:40 PM, kim <leo811sf@...> wrote:

Will be interested in knowing what this is.  Sounds very similar to what I heard in my yard today. 

Kim
SF

Be Kind. Lady Karma is Always Watching.



On May 16, 2020, at 8:05 PM, "Richard Bradus via groups.io" <grizzledjay@...> wrote:


Hi all

Earlier this evening I made it down to El Polin and, in the company of Connor Cochrane, whiffed on grosbeaks though there were multiple Swainson's Thrush, Scrub Jays, Song Sparrows and a bunch of smaller birds. While listening to both calls and songs of Swainson's Thrushes there was a period of silence, then we heard this short, rather harsh call repeated from dense cover in the shrubs behind the famous elderberry. (Hopefully the .wav file will go with this message, either below or as an attachment).

We were stumped. Could this be a Swainson's??? Connor suggested maybe a Catbird, which is intriguing, but it doesn't sound like the catbird a few years ago in the Botanical Garden. Maybe a mad, feral catbird?

Anyway, any thoughts or, hopefully, a definitive ID would be very much appreciated.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco 



Re: El Polin Strange Call

kim
 

Will be interested in knowing what this is.  Sounds very similar to what I heard in my yard today. 

Kim
SF

Be Kind. Lady Karma is Always Watching.



On May 16, 2020, at 8:05 PM, "Richard Bradus via groups.io" <grizzledjay@...> wrote:


Hi all

Earlier this evening I made it down to El Polin and, in the company of Connor Cochrane, whiffed on grosbeaks though there were multiple Swainson's Thrush, Scrub Jays, Song Sparrows and a bunch of smaller birds. While listening to both calls and songs of Swainson's Thrushes there was a period of silence, then we heard this short, rather harsh call repeated from dense cover in the shrubs behind the famous elderberry. (Hopefully the .wav file will go with this message, either below or as an attachment).

We were stumped. Could this be a Swainson's??? Connor suggested maybe a Catbird, which is intriguing, but it doesn't sound like the catbird a few years ago in the Botanical Garden. Maybe a mad, feral catbird?

Anyway, any thoughts or, hopefully, a definitive ID would be very much appreciated.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco 



El Polin Strange Call

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all

Earlier this evening I made it down to El Polin and, in the company of Connor Cochrane, whiffed on grosbeaks though there were multiple Swainson's Thrush, Scrub Jays, Song Sparrows and a bunch of smaller birds. While listening to both calls and songs of Swainson's Thrushes there was a period of silence, then we heard this short, rather harsh call repeated from dense cover in the shrubs behind the famous elderberry. (Hopefully the .wav file will go with this message, either below or as an attachment).

We were stumped. Could this be a Swainson's??? Connor suggested maybe a Catbird, which is intriguing, but it doesn't sound like the catbird a few years ago in the Botanical Garden. Maybe a mad, feral catbird?

Anyway, any thoughts or, hopefully, a definitive ID would be very much appreciated.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco 



Lawrence’s Goldfinch - Jojoland Station

Joachim Gonzalez
 

A pair of Lawrence’s Goldfinches were seen 50 meters below the trees where the Yellow-throated Warbler was seen, in Phecalia plant. They soon left and circled north and where not refound. 

Good Birding,
Joachim Gonzalez


Re: [pen-bird] [SFBirds] Mississippi Kite

Aaron Maizlish
 

Wow, that has to be the best yard-bird sighting anywhere of the current Shelter-in-Place era yet! Way to go Max and Marc! I’ll be looking out my window (two miles north) now.

For the Peninsula birders, as Peter mentioned this is just a hundred feet or so from the county line. Could have been in San Mateo air space at the time for all we know. San Bruno Mtn could be a lucky place to look this afternoon.

Aaron Maizlish

On May 16, 2020, at 1:15 PM, Peter Pyle <ppyle@birdpop.org> wrote:

The Lara's saw it at San Jose Avenue and Goeth Street, right on the SF-San Mateo border. It was first spotted by Max's son, Marc.

Good skywatching!

Peter

At 12:31 PM 5/16/2020, Jennifer Rycenga wrote:
Get outside folks, if you can! Look up! WOW!

Jennifer Rycenga
San Mateo, CA
visit <http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/>;http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/
The San Mateo County Birding Guide







Begin forwarded message:

From: "Peter Pyle" <<mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org>ppyle@birdpop.org>
Subject: [SFBirds] Mississippi Kite
Date: May 16, 2020 at 12:17:36 PM PDT
To: SFBirds <<mailto:sfbirds@groups.io>sfbirds@groups.io>

Just got a photo of a MIKI by Max Lara, taken at about 11:30 while looking for the ibis. Not sure where yet but near Lake Merced, I believe. Peter





Re: Mississippi Kite

Peter Pyle
 

The Lara's saw it at San Jose Avenue and Goeth Street, right on the SF-San Mateo border. It was first spotted by Max's son, Marc.

Good skywatching!

Peter

At 12:31 PM 5/16/2020, Jennifer Rycenga wrote:
Get outside folks, if you can! Look up! WOW!

Jennifer Rycenga
San Mateo, CA
visit <http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/>;http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/
The San Mateo County Birding Guide







Begin forwarded message:

From: "Peter Pyle" <<mailto:ppyle@birdpop.org>ppyle@birdpop.org>
Subject: [SFBirds] Mississippi Kite
Date: May 16, 2020 at 12:17:36 PM PDT
To: SFBirds <<mailto:sfbirds@groups.io>sfbirds@groups.io>

Just got a photo of a MIKI by Max Lara, taken at about 11:30 while looking for the ibis. Not sure where yet but near Lake Merced, I believe. Peter



Yellow-throated Warbler Jojoland Station

Jonah Benningfield
 

Heads up, this morning I had a Yellow-throated Warbler singing a few houses away from my own. A nice song to hear from bed for sure! I was able to see it after a bit, but sadly I only have recordings (no photos) so if anyone could document it that’d be great. Coords (37.7921, -122.4761). Was in the pine trees right around that pin.

all the best,
Jonah B.


Mississippi Kite

Peter Pyle
 

Just got a photo of a MIKI by Max Lara, taken at about 11:30 while looking for the ibis. Not sure where yet but near Lake Merced, I believe. Peter


Re: Ibis circling over Concrete Bridge

Brian Fitch
 

A northeast vector will take them diagonally across the entire city.
So if you can, look up and track these beauties and let the rest of us know about it pronto.
This is the best possible use of cell phones in my opinion.
Brian Fitch

On Sat, May 16, 2020 at 10:28 AM Peter Pyle <ppyle@...> wrote:
Lake Merced. about 31, but just flew NE


Ibis circling over Concrete Bridge

Peter Pyle
 

Lake Merced. about 31, but just flew NE


Ibis flock, 5/16/20 — typo — White-faced Ibis

Paul Saraceni
 

Typo — White-faced Ibis of course.

Apologies.




From: Paul Saraceni <paulsaraceni@...>
Date: May 16, 2020 at 8:06:37 AM PDT
To: Lazuli Bunting Dr <bunting1440@...>
Subject: Re:  [SFBirds] Glossy Ibis flock, 5/
On Sat, May 16, 2020 at 8:03 AM Paul Saraceni <paulsaraceni@...> wrote:
At 7:50 am a flock of ~30 Glossy Ibis flew south past seawatch over the ocean then turned inland and flew east just north of Ft Funston towards Lake Merced. Keep your eyes open for these. Will get accurate count later from my photos.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco




Glossy Ibis flock, 5/16/20

Paul Saraceni
 

At 7:50 am a flock of ~30 Glossy Ibis flew south past seawatch over the ocean then turned inland and flew east just north of Ft Funston towards Lake Merced. Keep your eyes open for these. Will get accurate count later from my photos.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco


Check the beaches Sunday and Monday

David Assmann
 

From Birdcast:

17-19 May 2020 may provide opportunities to experience an interesting, and rare, shorebird event to the Pacific Coast of North America. An approaching strong storm system well timed to coincide with movements of oceanic spring shorebird migrants in the eastern Pacific could entrain and displace an array of unusual (i.e. Asian and Alaskan) shorebirds to unintended stopover locations. Although the predicted condition is perhaps not the epic and anomalous scenario of 1998 (see Mlodinow et al. 1999), in which the Southern Oscillation Index and the Western Pacific Oscillation Index were in anomalously high positions and spawned arrivals of some rare vagrant species, Team BirdCast wants to highlight the possibility for those that can observe shorebirds and their habitats safely in the coming days. Entrained and displaced birds may begin to appear in appropriate habitat, especially along immediate coast on beaches, on Sunday and Monday, 17-18 May 2020.

More information at https://birdcast.info/scientific-discussion/migration-alert-pacific-weather-17-18-may-and-shorebirds-comes-a-time-when-youre-drifting/

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