Date   
Re: [pen-bird] Mystery Gulls heads up!

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Folks

I just wanted to say that I looked on a couple of occasions for the
possible Red-legged Kittiwake and came up empty handed. Consolation was a
Parasitic Jaeger, Red-necked Phalaropes and Bottlenose Dolphins here in Half
Moon Bay.

...probably should have never mentioned it, but I think that was what it
was.

Al

Alvaro Jaramillo
chucao@...
Half Moon Bay, CA

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide
http://www.fieldguides.com/home.htm

-----Original Message-----
From: peninsula-birding@... [mailto:peninsula-
birding@...] On Behalf Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2006 1:28 PM
To: peninsula-birding@...; SFBirds@...
Subject: [pen-bird] Mystery Gulls heads up!

Folks

This is one of those extremely tantalizing birds, but unfortunately not
fully identified to my satisfaction. I am writing this note just in case I
may be correct, and just in case this bird is found again.

In any case at about 0800 this morning in Half Moon Bay, I saw a strange
gull flying around with the Elegant Terns, Heermann's Gulls, Brown
Pelicans
and so forth that were fishing just offshore immediately south of the end
of
Kelly Ave.

My first looks were the best, but I only had binoculars and the bird then
flew off to the north and eventually disappeared as it headed to the
beach.
It was a few hundred yards out, and I was on top of the bluff. It may have
in fact landed on the beach (somewhere south of the Pilarcitos creek
mouth)
as it disappeared behind the bluff, but I tried to get closer to look to
no
avail, before I had to run off to do some family stuff. In any case this
was
a smallish gull with a dark grey mantle and wings. To give you an idea
about
what was going through my mind at first I though Oooh, this could be a
Laughing Gull (as it was smaller than Californias, and quite dark grey
above
in direct comparison to an adult California it was darker grey on the
upperparts!)...but it was all wrong for that. Then about a second into the
observation it shifted course and I could see a bold white "V" (triangle
shape) on the trailing edge of the wings. This make Sabine's go through my
head momentarily, but it clearly was not a Sabine's Gull as the white "V"
was not nearly as well developed, and only reached to 1/3 of the way up
towards the bend of the wing. It showed black outer primaries, and likely
primary coverts, so it was black exactly where a Bonaparte's Gull should
be
white. It did not show a black wing tip like most other gulls (including
Laughing), but showed a black "stripe" on the outer wing. The bird had an
odd shape, particularly troubling to me was that it looked rather short
tailed, but the tail was full and squarish...from the distance I saw it
from
it did not look to be molting tail. The tail was normal, just short,
giving
the bird a bat-like essence. The head was largely white but I could see
that
it was darker on the nape, I could not see any dark cap, dark ear spot or
anything like that. I did not see the bill, but it at least appeared not
to
be bright colored. The flight style of the bird was somewhat tern-like,
but
it was an obviously larger bird (heavier) than Elegant Terns, and smaller
than Heermann's Gull.

I could only come up with one thing for this - RED-LEGGED KITTIWAKE! A
first
summer bird. I just which I had my scope with me, if I had, I know I would
be certain, but with the bino looks it was just a bit too far away to know
for sure. But my looks were good enough to very soon realize that I was
looking at a real weird gull, this was no regular occurring species that I
could think of. I had Laughing Gull on my mind to begin with because that
is
the gull I have sort of been looking for around here for a while (and
still
haven't found). But it was not a Laughing, or anything else reasonably
sane
to report. I may be able to go look a bit later on today, and tomorrow
morning. But otherwise take this as a heads up on this gull.

Keep in mind that early in the mornings, there is a lot of bird activity
on
the beaches. Hundreds can roost on the sand, but on the weekends very
quickly the beachgoers disturb them so by mid-day there are very few gulls
on the beach. Early in the morning may be the best chance to re-find it.

Cheers

Al

Alvaro Jaramillo
chucao@...
Half Moon Bay, CA

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide
http://www.fieldguides.com/home.htm



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Yahoo! Groups Links







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Western edge of San Francisco

Mark Eaton <mark@...>
 

Today, I birded a few spots in the fog in extreme western SF. The Cliff
House was quiet other than a flock of about 8 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES very
close to shore. On Ocean Beach near Lincoln, there was a small mixed flock
in the area of a small pool including what I identified as a juvenile
RING-BILLED GULL. The bird was quite a bit smaller than both the Western
and California Gulls with a delicate bicolored bill and long primary
projection. The mantle pattern showed dark centers with broad white edges.
The underparts were fairly clean white and some streaking on the upper
breast. Assuming the id is correct, one wonders if this is an early
arrival. Also, there were hundreds of ELEGANT TERNS at the tide line.

At the south end of Ocean Beach, there was a feeding frenzy with large
numbers of expected species including lots more Elegant Terns. I was amazed
not to find a jaeger chasing the terns with this amount of activity. The
only other birds of note were another flock of 5 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and
another single also flying by.

At the south end of Lake Merced, I found a distant bird north of the
concrete bridge that appeared to be entirely white. It had me going for a
while until an _Aechmophorous_ grebe swam up and started to feed its
leucistic juvenile. I was running late so I didn't have time to grab my
scope and identify the parent to species.

Mark
---
Mark W. Eaton
NEW email address: mailto:mark@...
Personal Web Site: http://www.markeaton.org
SFFO Web Site: http://www.sffo.org
SFBirds mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBirds

Singing is hard.
RENATA SCOTTO
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P/S Flycacther at Sutro &

Harry Fuller
 

another at North Lake...
the one at Sutro this morning was west of the
stag statue, in the brush just west of the US
Geological survey cement marker, "1873" that
being the date, I presume, and not the altitude
in centimeters...

also at North Lake a juvenile Black-crowned
Night-heron plus all the usual birds

Snowy Egret at South Lake

Kingfisher rattling about between lakes in the
Chain o'

Harry Fuller
www.towhee.net
for birding the Bay Area

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Sunday in the Park with Eddie and Noreen

Laurie Graham <fair80@...>
 

Hi

This morning there was an SFBBO walk at Crissy Field with Eddie
Bartley and Noreen Weeden. The weather was cold and occasionally
drizzly. Good old SF summer, at last. We got 25 species, nothing
terribly exciting, but Eddie was a fount of knowledge about the birds,
the restoration of Crissy Field, and the plant life. Bird of the Day
had to be the Great Blue Heron seen in the lagoon from several angles,
once from about 10 feet away. Runner-up: a pair of Caspian Terns, a
juvenile with an adult, on a sandbar, made for a very satisfying study
of plumage. A first year Western Gull, two Long-billed Curlews, 5 or 6
Killdeer, displayed beautiful plumage. A male American Goldfinch was
tatty in molt. Several Song Sparrows were fresh out of the paint shop.
Many Brown Pelicans flew low over the water.

Laurie Graham
Jeff Fairclough

Re: "Patch" Website is now online

Laurie Graham <fair80@...>
 

Walter

The pictures are amazing! What a beautiful bird, and how lucky you
were to be able to spend all that time with her. I loved the ones with
the hummer.

Anyone who hasn't checked out this website is really missing something!

Laurie Graham

Heron's Head/Pier 94/India Basin OSP, SF, 08/12/06

Paul Saraceni <psaraceni1@...>
 

I made a late afternoon visit to India Basin OSP, Heron's Head (HH)), and the Pier 94 restoration area today, during a high tide. Nice variety of terns and shorebirds roosting in the marsh @ Heron's Head.

Observations of local interest:

Great Egret 1 (HH)
Snowy Egret 3 (HH)
Surf Scoter 1 m. (has been sumering @ Pier 94)
Am. Kestrel 1 m. (Cargo St.)
Bl.-bel. Plover 4 (incl. 1 @ Pier 94)
Semipalmated Plover 1 (HH)
Am. Avocet 3 (HH)
Willet 20+
Gr. Yellowlegs 1 (HH)
Long-billed Curlew 3 (incl. 1 @ Pier 94)
Whimbrel 6 (incl. 2 @ Pier 94)
Marbled Godwit 1 (HH -- 1st I've observed there in quite a while)
Spotted Sandpiper 1 (OSP)
Least Sandpiper 20+ (HH)
Western Sandpiper 1 (HH)
Forster's Tern 60+
Elegant Tern 30+ (mixed in with the Forster's Terns)
Caspian Tern 2
N. Rough-winged Swallow 2 (HH)

Site notes: India Basin OSP produced nothing except for 1 Spotted Sandpiper, as a lot of people were gathering for a rave with event tent set up on the south side, techno music pumping, and several vehicles parked on the walking path -- is this a new source of revenue for SF Parks or can we assume an unsanctioned event? At Pier 94, looks like someone intentionally knocked down the sign identifying the restoration area and attempted to block the entrance with logs and other refuse.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

Re: Late Summer Ralley

Martha Wessitsh
 

About 3 weeks to a month ago (?) I saw a male quail on a rock under
the Buckeye tree at the Arboretum, CA Garden, guarding. Didn't seem
to be any chicks around so I thought there might be a new clutch.
That makes 3 broods that we have had at the Arboretum so far this
year, the first with about 12 chicks (unfortunately I didn't see that
brood), the second with about 6 chicks and now this one.
Unfortunately I have not seen any more sign of the first two broods.
Martha Wessitsh

late summer rally

Harry Fuller
 

Happy quail news...about 930am Saturday I had
time for a short walk through the arboretum in
Golden Gate Park. Near the north edge of the
California section, where a large Bocconia
arborea bush is next to a paved walkway, I found
a female California Quail with a gaggle of little
chicks...these guys were thumb-sized, couldn't be
more than a couple days old...there were at least
eight I counted and I suspect several had
previously scooted under the nearest bush before
I could see them.

A Starker Leopold (aldo's son) writes in his
classic CALIFORNIA QUAIL:
"A pair of Cal. Quail normally establishes a
single nest and produces one clutch of eggs. If
these are brought successfully to hstching, the
two parents devote their energies to reasring the
brood. If, on the other hand, the nest is
destroyed before hatching, the pair may re-next
and make a second or even a third attempt to
bring off a brood. In this event, young chicks
may be produced late in the season, when the
early hatched birds of other pairs are well
grown."
---------
There was a Black Phoebe who'd entered the main
hall of the Hall of Flowers, and couldn't
relocate the open doors. I was assured the
maintenance man who capture and free the
bird...hmmm. Will check on Sunday.
--------
Usual birds at Land's End though I saw a Pigeon
Guillemot fly up from the water on perch on Seal
Rock #1 where they rarely go.

Harry Fuller
www.towhee.net
for birding the Bay Area

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Mystery Gulls heads up!

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Folks

This is one of those extremely tantalizing birds, but unfortunately not
fully identified to my satisfaction. I am writing this note just in case I
may be correct, and just in case this bird is found again.

In any case at about 0800 this morning in Half Moon Bay, I saw a strange
gull flying around with the Elegant Terns, Heermann's Gulls, Brown Pelicans
and so forth that were fishing just offshore immediately south of the end of
Kelly Ave.

My first looks were the best, but I only had binoculars and the bird then
flew off to the north and eventually disappeared as it headed to the beach.
It was a few hundred yards out, and I was on top of the bluff. It may have
in fact landed on the beach (somewhere south of the Pilarcitos creek mouth)
as it disappeared behind the bluff, but I tried to get closer to look to no
avail, before I had to run off to do some family stuff. In any case this was
a smallish gull with a dark grey mantle and wings. To give you an idea about
what was going through my mind at first I though Oooh, this could be a
Laughing Gull (as it was smaller than Californias, and quite dark grey above
in direct comparison to an adult California it was darker grey on the
upperparts!)...but it was all wrong for that. Then about a second into the
observation it shifted course and I could see a bold white "V" (triangle
shape) on the trailing edge of the wings. This make Sabine's go through my
head momentarily, but it clearly was not a Sabine's Gull as the white "V"
was not nearly as well developed, and only reached to 1/3 of the way up
towards the bend of the wing. It showed black outer primaries, and likely
primary coverts, so it was black exactly where a Bonaparte's Gull should be
white. It did not show a black wing tip like most other gulls (including
Laughing), but showed a black "stripe" on the outer wing. The bird had an
odd shape, particularly troubling to me was that it looked rather short
tailed, but the tail was full and squarish...from the distance I saw it from
it did not look to be molting tail. The tail was normal, just short, giving
the bird a bat-like essence. The head was largely white but I could see that
it was darker on the nape, I could not see any dark cap, dark ear spot or
anything like that. I did not see the bill, but it at least appeared not to
be bright colored. The flight style of the bird was somewhat tern-like, but
it was an obviously larger bird (heavier) than Elegant Terns, and smaller
than Heermann's Gull.

I could only come up with one thing for this - RED-LEGGED KITTIWAKE! A first
summer bird. I just which I had my scope with me, if I had, I know I would
be certain, but with the bino looks it was just a bit too far away to know
for sure. But my looks were good enough to very soon realize that I was
looking at a real weird gull, this was no regular occurring species that I
could think of. I had Laughing Gull on my mind to begin with because that is
the gull I have sort of been looking for around here for a while (and still
haven't found). But it was not a Laughing, or anything else reasonably sane
to report. I may be able to go look a bit later on today, and tomorrow
morning. But otherwise take this as a heads up on this gull.

Keep in mind that early in the mornings, there is a lot of bird activity on
the beaches. Hundreds can roost on the sand, but on the weekends very
quickly the beachgoers disturb them so by mid-day there are very few gulls
on the beach. Early in the morning may be the best chance to re-find it.

Cheers

Al

Alvaro Jaramillo
chucao@...
Half Moon Bay, CA

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide
http://www.fieldguides.com/home.htm



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Lafayette Cooper's Hawks

Walter Kitundu
 

Adding to Richard's ongoing observations... some pictures.

Little activity in the park on Thursday afternoon between 1 and 3pm. However, one of the young Cooper's was mobbed by the cherry heads... I expected the parrots to stay as far away from those hawks as possible but at least 6 of them came to the tree and surrounded the young raptor.

Images:

http://kitundu.com/sfbirds/coop.html

Best,
Kitundu

quail reporting?

Siobhan Ruck <siobhanruck@...>
 

I know there was a place to make official reports of the banded quail in the Presidio, but I never managed to see any so lost track. Tonight, I managed to dip (yet again) on the goldfinches at Quail Commons, but was rewarded with a nice long visit with the quail. There were at least five (possibly six) young in a nice messy molting stage; one unbanded adult male and one adult male banded dark green over bright red on the right and single black on the left. They stayed in and around the brush pile by the swings for at least 25 minutes while I was there; the banded male stood sentinel the whole time.

Siobhan Ruck, SF

Heron's Head, August 10th

Alex Merritt
 

There was good shorebird diversity (10 species) at Heron's Head Park
today, but the wind and tide made viewing the birds somewhat
difficult. Highlights included:

American Kestrel - 1
Black-bellied Plover - 12
Semipalmated Plover - 3
Killdeer - 4
American Avocet - 2
Greater Yellowlegs - 2
Willet - 8
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Whimbrel - 10
Long-billed Curlew - 2
Least Sandpiper - 50
Caspian Tern - 2
Elegant Tern - 1
Forster's Tern - 25

Good Birding,
Alex

Osprey

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hey Folks

I was at the SF Zoo today and an Osprey flew over, it seemed to go to Lake
Merced after checking out some of the zoo ponds. Also around a Cooper's Hawk
as well as rosellas, currasows, hornbills.....

Good birding

Al

Alvaro Jaramillo
chucao@...
Half Moon Bay, CA

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide
http://www.fieldguides.com/home.htm



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Presidio Afternoon

mbzlat
 

This afternoon there were two Western Kingbirds resting on a lupine
skeleton in the field at Ft. Scott.

Four Lawrence's Goldfinches continue at Quail Commons.


Matt Zlatunich

birds from the Bayside

David Armstrong
 

I spent an hour or so looking for shorebirds this afternoon. Highlights:

India Basin OSP
- Western Kingbird 1 (flycatching from the trees at the end of Aurelious Walker
St.)
- Canada Goose 12

Heron's Head
Am. Kestrel 1
Elegant Tern 20 (almost as numerous as the Forster's)
BB Plover 4
Semipalmated Plover 7 (alas, none of them was a Piping)
Least Sandpiper 20
LB Curlew 1
Spotted Sandpiper 1

David

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lower Mt. Davidson

dorothy_reinhardt
 

I had an adult male Black headed grosbeak in my yard this morning. This is
located on the SW slope of Mt. Davidson.

Dorothy Reinhardt

Dorothy Reinhardt Illustration
466 Melrose Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127
ph. & fx. 415 584-9369
reinhardt2@...
www.dorothyreinhardt.com
online store www.cafepress.com/reinhardt

Raptor migration

bauersteven1 <bauersteven@hotmail.com>
 

The first trickle of raptors has started to come into San Francisco from the north. Today crossing the bay from the Headlands were 4 Northern Harriers (2 juvs, 1 adult male, 1adult female), 1 juv Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Osprey, 1 adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and one juv Cooper's Hawk.

On Sunday four American Kestrels (2 female, 2 male) and a juv. Harrier crossed and yesterday 2 juv Red-tails crossed.

Also about 10 Blue Gray Gnatcatchers per day and one Purple Martin Saturday and one on Sunday although I don't know if they crossed the Bay.

Steve

Arboretum First Sunday & Cole Valley Conures

Allan Ridley <aridley@...>
 

Some highlights of Sunday's bird trip in the SF Botanical Gardens:

Pacific-slope flycatcher
Wilson's warblers ( at least two)
Downy woodpeckers (4)
Belted kingfisher is back
CA quail - 2 seemingly isolated adult males
a pale headed, adult red-shouldered hawk eating a crayfish (that it fished out of the small pond surrounded by bamboo near SE corner of gardens)
.....and NINE Canada geese on the main pond... an Arboretum first sighting for me (Some years back we had a single white-fronted goose that regularly hung out at the pond)

The cherry-headed conures have flown over Cole Valley periodically for years but now we have seem to have a large flock (about 40 birds) that fly out of the SW west side of the valley (eucalyptus forest?) every morning ... and quite noisily, I might add!

Allan Ridley

"Patch" Website is now online

Walter Kitundu
 

Hello Everyone,

As some of you know, I have been spending time with a Red-tailed Hawk in Alta Plaza Park for the last 7 months.
I have sorted through the images and created a website for the bird I have come to know as "Patch."
(Federal bird band ID 1177-46637)

This must the night of SF bird photo galleries. Thanks to Eddie Bartley for the links to all those wonderful images.

Patch's website can be seen at the following address:

http://www.kitundu.com/patch

THE IMAGES ARE LARGE so DSL or BROADBAND is highly recommended.

I just saw the bird today and she is looking very grown up, having made the transition to adult plumage. By September there should be no trace left of her juvenile colors.
Hopefully she will stick around and continue making her amazing contribution to the neighborhood and to the visitors of Alta Plaza Park.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.
All the best,

Walter Kitundu

Nests and chicks of 2006 - photo journals

Eddie Bartley
 

Howdy SF Birders,

For those that enjoy bird photography: We've been been focusing our cameras
on the juvies, nests and chicks of 2006 any chance we get this year and have
put together three web page photo journals of some of our favorites.

Since these pages are mostly photography they are not dial up connection
friendly and require a few seconds to load even with broadband connections.

We're locals here in SF so the first page is all about nesting birds in SF
featuring the Bernal Heights Kestrels, Red-tails at Sutro Heights and Bank
Swallows at Ft. Funston: http://www.naturetrip.com/NestsChicks2006.html

The second page is of the Greater Bay Area including a few from our friend
Alex Godbe at the Hungry Owl Project:
http://www.naturetrip.com/NestsChicks2006SFBay.html

The last page is from our trips to the Southwestern Deserts featuring a
Least Tern nest and Snowy Plover juveniles from San Diego County:
http://www.naturetrip.com/NestsChicks2006SoCal.html

Happy Trails!

Eddie Bartley
www.naturetrip.com <http://www.naturetrip.com/>