Date   

The other seabird island - and my Big Walk.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

SF birders,

   Ok, I realize that Southeast Farallon Island is amazingly important world wide for seabirds, monitoring and conservation. However, remember that concept about putting all of your eggs in one basket? There is another local island where auklets breed, elephant seals snort and biologists work their magic to understand the world of seabirds. That is Año Nuevo Island, in southern San Mateo County. I have never landed on SE Farallon, but I have been on Año Nuevo, and it is amazing and important! With that in mind, let me tell you a bit about what is going on there and my “Big Walk for Auklets.”

 

    For 28 seasons, a project has been happening right in our neighborhood which most birders do not know about. The monitoring and restoration of the seabird colony at Año Nuevo Island, in San Mateo county. This work is being done by the amazing biologists, interns, and volunteers for Oikonos Ecosystems Knowledge a non-profit working to study and conserve seabirds throughout the world. Their major projects are in Chile, Hawaii, and here at Año Nuevo. https://oikonos.org/

    On Año Nuevo Island the biologists have deployed artificial ceramic nests for both Rhinoceros and Cassin’s auklets, and they have restored habitat with native coastal plants that hold the soil and prevent the erosion that can be so troubling for the auklets. Since habitat improvements started in 2010, the population of auklets has more than doubled on the island, the effort works! At the same time the biologists are monitoring a total of 8 seabird species, including growth rates, population numbers, and food being brought to the nest. In 2020 for example Cassin’s Auklets were a month early in their breeding due to abundance of krill offshore, and Rhinoceros Auklets brought bay only Pacific Anchovy to the nests. Usually the Rhinos bring back a diversity of fish, but anchovy was so plentiful in 2020 that they became specialists on this fish!

    How will all of this change as marine heat waves become the norm? We do not know, but we are certain that long term monitoring programs, and seabird conservation initiatives such as this one are vital to understanding the dynamics of change, and perhaps what we need to do to adapt as well.

   Recently I joined the board at Oikonos and have been amazed that all of this was happening right here in the Bay Area and that most birders are not entirely aware of the work. That is the main goal of this not, to let you know that this near shore island near the border between Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties is a hotbed for seabird conservation and research. The biologists I have met working at Oikonos are also amazing, a creative and dedicated group of people who are changing the world either here or in other parts of the world where they are working. As well, each year new biologists and conservationists are trained as part of these projects, the future of seabirds and their conservation will be in the hands of these young biologists!

     As this is a challenging year economically for so many organizations, it is not surprising perhaps that funds are needed to keep this long-term project happening. That is why tomorrow I am doing my “Big Walk for Auklets.” The idea is to walk within a 5 mile radius of my house in Half Moon Bay, see as many species of birds as I can, and hopefully survive the nearly 20 mile jaunt I will do in my quest to beat 110 species on foot power. Please have a look at this website if you want to donate to the project and to my fundraiser. https://secure.givelively.org/donate/oikonos-ecosystem-knowledge/alvaro-jaramillo-1

   Thanks so much. Good birding and wish me and the auklets luck.

 

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Green-tailed Towhee and Red Phalarope Oct 13

Dave Weber
 

Green-tailed Towhee was seen this morning around 11:15 am on west side of Vista Grande Canal about 60 yards north of black pipe with graffiti and at 12:15pm about 25 yards closer to same pipe. Both times on slope between black chain-link fence and edge of golf course scratching in leaf litter with Fox Sparrows. The Red Phalarope was on Lake Merced around noon.

Dave Weber,
Milpitas
By phone


Re: Towhee Juveniles?

Peter & Amy
 

Pretty sure that’s what I saw too.  New for my backyard.  Thanks.

Amy

On Oct 13, 2020, at 8:55 AM, dominikmosur@... wrote:

That’s a fox sparrow.


On Oct 13, 2020, at 08:49, Andrew R <reckersandrew@...> wrote:


Interesting. I also saw a bird of that description yesterday in my backyard for the first time, and thought it was a pac fox sparrow. Maybe hermit thrush is a better match. I have a mediocre photo

On Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 11:33 PM Marie McNulty via groups.io <salviavian=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hermit thrush perhaps.




On Monday, October 12, 2020, 3:26 PM, Peter & Amy <oshunoxt@...> wrote:

Forgive my not having a picture.  In my yard in the St. Mary’s Park area I have a pair of birds which I cannot identify.  They are the size and shape of CA Towhees and are acting exactly like the Towhee I am used to seeing in my backyard, staying on the ground and engaging in lots of digging and scratching.

But their plumage doesn’t match up.  One is the grey/brown I expect in a Towhee but no peachy area underneath and the breast is entirely striped. The other is lighter brown and striped top and bottom.  They are hanging closely together.

Is there anything other than a Towhee that these might be or might they be juveniles?  Or is it more likely that I’m seeing Pacific Fox Sparrows which I’ve never seen here in the past?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Amy Kuhlmann




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Re: Bald Eagle yard

Adam Winer
 

Now east of Twin Peaks.  Thanks Joachim!


On Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 12:35 PM Joachim Gonzalez <gonzalexgaming21@...> wrote:
Adult Bald Eagle going southeast from my house near East Golden Gate Park/Lone Mountain. 


Bald Eagle yard

Joachim Gonzalez
 

Adult Bald Eagle going southeast from my house near East Golden Gate Park/Lone Mountain.


Re: Towhee Juveniles?

 

That’s a fox sparrow.


On Oct 13, 2020, at 08:49, Andrew R <reckersandrew@...> wrote:


Interesting. I also saw a bird of that description yesterday in my backyard for the first time, and thought it was a pac fox sparrow. Maybe hermit thrush is a better match. I have a mediocre photo

On Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 11:33 PM Marie McNulty via groups.io <salviavian=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hermit thrush perhaps.




On Monday, October 12, 2020, 3:26 PM, Peter & Amy <oshunoxt@...> wrote:

Forgive my not having a picture.  In my yard in the St. Mary’s Park area I have a pair of birds which I cannot identify.  They are the size and shape of CA Towhees and are acting exactly like the Towhee I am used to seeing in my backyard, staying on the ground and engaging in lots of digging and scratching.

But their plumage doesn’t match up.  One is the grey/brown I expect in a Towhee but no peachy area underneath and the breast is entirely striped. The other is lighter brown and striped top and bottom.  They are hanging closely together.

Is there anything other than a Towhee that these might be or might they be juveniles?  Or is it more likely that I’m seeing Pacific Fox Sparrows which I’ve never seen here in the past?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Amy Kuhlmann




<IMG_1949.JPG>


Re: Towhee Juveniles?

Andrew R <reckersandrew@...>
 

Interesting. I also saw a bird of that description yesterday in my backyard for the first time, and thought it was a pac fox sparrow. Maybe hermit thrush is a better match. I have a mediocre photo


On Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 11:33 PM Marie McNulty via groups.io <salviavian=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hermit thrush perhaps.




On Monday, October 12, 2020, 3:26 PM, Peter & Amy <oshunoxt@...> wrote:

Forgive my not having a picture.  In my yard in the St. Mary’s Park area I have a pair of birds which I cannot identify.  They are the size and shape of CA Towhees and are acting exactly like the Towhee I am used to seeing in my backyard, staying on the ground and engaging in lots of digging and scratching.

But their plumage doesn’t match up.  One is the grey/brown I expect in a Towhee but no peachy area underneath and the breast is entirely striped. The other is lighter brown and striped top and bottom.  They are hanging closely together.

Is there anything other than a Towhee that these might be or might they be juveniles?  Or is it more likely that I’m seeing Pacific Fox Sparrows which I’ve never seen here in the past?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Amy Kuhlmann





Green Tailed Towee Continues at Lake Merced

David Assmann
 

About 100 yards south of where it was yesterday 


Re: Towhee Juveniles?

Marie McNulty
 

Hermit thrush perhaps.




On Monday, October 12, 2020, 3:26 PM, Peter & Amy <oshunoxt@...> wrote:

Forgive my not having a picture.  In my yard in the St. Mary’s Park area I have a pair of birds which I cannot identify.  They are the size and shape of CA Towhees and are acting exactly like the Towhee I am used to seeing in my backyard, staying on the ground and engaging in lots of digging and scratching.

But their plumage doesn’t match up.  One is the grey/brown I expect in a Towhee but no peachy area underneath and the breast is entirely striped. The other is lighter brown and striped top and bottom.  They are hanging closely together.

Is there anything other than a Towhee that these might be or might they be juveniles?  Or is it more likely that I’m seeing Pacific Fox Sparrows which I’ve never seen here in the past?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Amy Kuhlmann





Red-Breasted/Naped Sapsucker

David Webster
 
Edited

Between tennis courts and dog park at Mountain Lake, just west of palms and lawn looking toward tennis courts (west). Second day I've seen it, pecking away at cypress and pine trees. Crummy photo (but serviceable), because it was always in the shade...


Green-tailed Towhee

Rajan Rao <rajpie123@...>
 

Green-tailed Towhee continues by the pipe. Blackpoll warbler in the same cyprus as last reported. Red Phalarope in the main lake, opposite of the fish dock.


Re: Green-tailed Towhee

Siobhan Ruck
 

Still there at 5:20, just west of pipe, feeding on both sides of canal

Siobhan Ruck


On Oct 12, 2020, at 4:37 PM, C Lou <cdlou37@...> wrote:


The bird is feeding in the dirt across the canal. As Aaron described. Feeding for lady 20 minutes. with Logan and Cedric.

Calvin Lou
SF



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...>
Date: 10/12/20 1:54 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: SF Birds <sfbirds@groups.io>
Subject: [SFBirds] Green-tailed Towhee

A Green-Tailed Towhee was found by Dorian Anderson this morning at the NW end of Vista Grande Canal west of John Muir Drive at Lake Merced.  Several of us spent a few hours staking out the spot without success.

The Towhee has been refound a bit further south. It’s on the west side of the canal about 50 feet north of the black pipe, which is about 200 feet north of the concrete bridge. It’s scratching on the ground now m the shade about a foot below the edge of the golf course turf.  City bird for me.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco CA






Re: Green-tailed Towhee

C Lou
 

The bird is feeding in the dirt across the canal. As Aaron described. Feeding for lady 20 minutes. with Logan and Cedric.

Calvin Lou
SF



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...>
Date: 10/12/20 1:54 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: SF Birds <sfbirds@groups.io>
Subject: [SFBirds] Green-tailed Towhee

A Green-Tailed Towhee was found by Dorian Anderson this morning at the NW end of Vista Grande Canal west of John Muir Drive at Lake Merced.  Several of us spent a few hours staking out the spot without success.

The Towhee has been refound a bit further south. It’s on the west side of the canal about 50 feet north of the black pipe, which is about 200 feet north of the concrete bridge. It’s scratching on the ground now m the shade about a foot below the edge of the golf course turf.  City bird for me.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco CA






Cackling Geese at Cliff House

David Assmann
 

While taking a walk along Ocean Beach just now, a flock of 75 CACKLING GEESE flew over heading north.


Towhee Juveniles?

Peter & Amy
 

Forgive my not having a picture. In my yard in the St. Mary’s Park area I have a pair of birds which I cannot identify. They are the size and shape of CA Towhees and are acting exactly like the Towhee I am used to seeing in my backyard, staying on the ground and engaging in lots of digging and scratching.

But their plumage doesn’t match up. One is the grey/brown I expect in a Towhee but no peachy area underneath and the breast is entirely striped. The other is lighter brown and striped top and bottom. They are hanging closely together.

Is there anything other than a Towhee that these might be or might they be juveniles? Or is it more likely that I’m seeing Pacific Fox Sparrows which I’ve never seen here in the past?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Amy Kuhlmann


Hermit Thrush agonistic behavior

Adam Winer
 

Today, two Hermit Thrushes iwere facing off in my backyard.  Each remained rigidly motionless, facing the other, several inches apart.  They were hunkered down low on the ground, each with their tails fully fanned out.  They remained, motionless, in this position for a minute or so, then briefly tussled before resuming exactly the same stationary position for minutes.

I missed the moment when this finally broke up - when I looked again, only one was present, hopping around the yard, puffing up its breast feathers and repeatedly fanning its tail.  Victory?

From checking the Birds of the World site, it looks like this is a known agonistic behavior of the species, and they'll defend wintering territories, so this looks like two overwintering arrivals fighting over which one gets to set up turf in my backyard.  New behavior for me! 

A nice burst of raptor migration over Noe Valley this afternoon (roughly 1:30-2:30pm) included a single adult Broad-winged Hawk (second of the fall for me at home), as well as many Red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, and a few Red-shouldered and Cooper's Hawks.

-- Adam Winer
   SF, CA


Green-tailed Towhee

Aaron Maizlish
 

A Green-Tailed Towhee was found by Dorian Anderson this morning at the NW end of Vista Grande Canal west of John Muir Drive at Lake Merced. Several of us spent a few hours staking out the spot without success.

The Towhee has been refound a bit further south. It’s on the west side of the canal about 50 feet north of the black pipe, which is about 200 feet north of the concrete bridge. It’s scratching on the ground now m the shade about a foot below the edge of the golf course turf. City bird for me.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco CA


Re: Lake Merced, continuing Philly, also Red Phalaropes

Patricia Mahoney
 

As Eddie B. described, there were great views and repeated visits with the continuing Philadelphia Vireo yesterday, 10/11/20, afternoon (I arrived at 2:30 PM after reading Dave W’s and Brian F’s reports)! Lots of fun camaraderie as more birders arrived from near and farther away to join the stakeout along the SW John Muir Drive stretch of lakeside willows. The bright sunshine was welcome after periods of heavy drizzle on Saturday (and no encounters with the vireo). The Philadelphia Vireo flew across John Muir Drive and into Vista Grande canal foliage a few times but regularly returned to its preferred willow habitat. As Mark R. described, he, Steve S. and I watched the vireo slow down and settle in on a high willow clump after 5 PM. It was very different behavior from what we’d observed earlier and we wondered aloud why it appeared to be resting while it was still sunny and other birds actively foraged around it. It fluffed up to twice its size and nodded its head... so we mused aloud about its possible night flight- and wished it safe travels. It’ll be very interesting to hear if the vireo is seen today! Great to see you, fellow masked birders!

Pat Mahoney
Hayward


On Oct 11, 2020, at 7:58 PM, Eddie Bartley <eddie@...> wrote:

After the Vireo party, Philly style in the willows west side of south impound, Noreen and I checked out the lake from the bridge. 

We noticed a couple of distant phalarope that turned up RED PHALAROPE. Photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S74718495

Eddie Bartley


Misc. sightings - Sunday Oct. 11- Cackling Geese, Horned lark , Palm Warbler and that Owl

H Cotter
 

I hit Battery Godfrey first thing this AM. There were multiple groups of Cackling Geese moving with almost 500 birds and another large flock of approx. 200 birds that were in Marin airspace. Also had a Horned Lark flying over with Pipits.
At Crissy there was a continuing Dunlin on the lagoon.
At fort Scott there was a Palm Warbler.
With Joaquim again at Battery Godfrey we were fortunate to see the Short-eared Owl that Josiah had found flying from Lands End towards Marin,

Hugh


Lake Merced, continuing Philly, also Red Phalaropes

Eddie Bartley
 

After the Vireo party, Philly style in the willows west side of south impound, Noreen and I checked out the lake from the bridge. 

We noticed a couple of distant phalarope that turned up RED PHALAROPE. Photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S74718495

Eddie Bartley

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