Date   
Presdio Saturday Afternoon

Dominik Mosur
 

Covering most of the Presidio on foot from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M., managed to identify a total of 53 species.

Highlights of local interest include:

Turkey Vulture over Chrissy.

Red-Necked Grebe and Red-Throated Loon only about forty yards off shore from the Snowy Plover Protection Area. A Harbor Seal was also briefly visible.

About a dozen Greater Scaup and two Lesser Scaup on the lagoon.

Cedar Waxwings at Arguello and Moraga.

Several Winter Wrens in the Eucalyptus forest between Infantry Terrace and the Cemetary.

Downy Woodpecker and immature Red-Tailed Hawk at Fort Scott Community Garden.

The open space at Fort Scott was covered with several hundred American Robins, several dozen European Starlings, Brewer's Blackbirds and ten or so Western Meadowlarks.


Some of the lowlights (besides only getting 53 species in five hours):

Between 115 P.M. and 130 P.M. Off-leash Canines outnumbered Snowy Plovers in the Snowy Plover Protection Area seven to zero.

European Starlings outnumbering Least Sandpipers at the edge of Chrissy Lagoon 12 to three.

No Sign of Wrentit, Spotted Towhee, California Quail anywhere.


Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Local Interest Birds for Friday (GGP/CCSF)

Dominik Mosur
 

Lloyd Lake 9 A.M.:
Seven Hooded Mergansers, approximately 60 Ring-necked Ducks (noticed about a 2 to 1 male to female ratio), 14 American Wigeons, Ruddy Duck continue at Lloyd. The water level looked about a foot lower than normal, There was a pair of Steller's Jays calling back and forth in trees on the southwest end as well.

Spreckles 915 A.M.:
A pair of Lesser Scaup (male and female) continue at Spreckles, also one Horned Grebe and eight Ruddy Ducks.

City College of San Francisco 940 A.M.:
6 Aratinga sp. conures were hanging out in a Eucalyptus stand in the northeast corner of campus. Around 955 A.M. they took off to the southeast.


DM

Event Alert!! GGP and Great Highhway: Sunday 2/4/07 morning

Chris Okon
 

There will be a half marathon Sunday morning that will block off Ocean
Beach and most of Golden Gate Park Sunday morning 2/4/07. Parking and
access will be difficult if not impossible!


Here are details: http://xnet.kp.org/sanfrancisco/index.html


chris okon

Re: Red Crossbill call types

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Brian



That link in my original message has calls you can listen to of all the
types. They are so similar to each other that I don't think that I can tell
any of them apart, the sounds are so quick it is just difficult to do. But
the extreme types are more noticeable. So within the straightforward
"jip-jip" you may have 2-3 types alone! The only way to figure it out is to
record them and make sonograms I am afraid, at least with present knowledge.
But then again, maybe you are on to something.



Cheers



Al



Alvaro Jaramillo

chucao@...

Half Moon Bay, California



Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

www.fieldguides.com

_____

From: SFBirds@... [mailto:SFBirds@...] On Behalf Of
Fogeggs@...
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 9:54 PM
To: chucao@...; peninsula-birding@...;
SFBirds@...
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Red Crossbill call types



Here in SF, I've heard two distinct call types over the past years. I can't
do justice to them through written alliteration, and currently don't have
access to sonograms or recordings of the 8-9 call types from around the
continent. The majority of the birds in the city use a single call, a
relatively
straightforward "jip-jip". The other call was clearly different, and the
first
time I heard it, I wondered if I was indeed hearing a crossbill, and was
able
to confirm a single bird (female plumage) giving it. I've only heard that
call here one other time, unsighted, so it may be a singleton of a different
type
hanging with our flocks, or different birds that happened to wander through
town while I was listening. I'll have to check if all of the call types are
available on the web, and hope the odd caller returns, so I can try to match
it
up. I've rarely heard any crossbill songs in the city, only calls.
Our birds occur regularly in western GG Park, Sutro Heights, Land's End and
throughout the Presidio, and irregularly on Mount Davidson and Twin Peaks.
Both of the odd calls occurred in the Presidio. Over many years of birding
the
East Bay hills, I've never heard or seen a crossbill in any of the extensive

conifer forests there.
Brian Fitch

Nashville Warbler @ Botanical garden

Jan <janv@...>
 

There was one Nashville Warbler at the succulent garden in the very
west of Strybing Arboretum. It was working on the red blooming plants,
together with an orange-crowned Warbler.
Compared to the mysterious Nashville/Tennesse Warbler at hippie hill
this one looked very different to me. More stubby, with a bigger head
and it was streching it`s neck forward to get to the blooms. I don't
want to start this discussion again but i would support the assumption
that there might have been two different warblers. The one i saw
didn't show any gray on it's head, so that i already had some doubt if
we were talking about the same bird here, but as i met another guy
waiting for the oriole there he told me that this would be the warbler
everybody is talking about. Anyway, i don't feel capable to give a
judgement, but would be interested in the final result of this discussion.

Additionally there were 4 California Quail (3fem., 1 male). Another
orange-crowned Warbler was seen at the main entrance on wednesday.
Furthermore i observed an attck of an adult red-tailed hawk on a
red-shoulderd hawk. It didn't look like he just wanted to scare the
red-shouldered, because he missed him only by some inches and that
only because the red-shouldered jumped away in the last second. It
seemed as if their wings even touched each other. Afterwards the
red-tailed left, so that i wouldn't have made much sense if it was a
kind of protection of it's territory. Furthermore the attack was
totally quiet. Do red-tailed hawks catch other raptors? I know about
Northern Goshawks in europe that catch our most common buteo, which is
bigger than a red-shouldered hawk.

Good Birding

Red Crossbill call types

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Birders



Cc: to SFBirds since they have been seeing crossbills up there as well.



I just analyzed the sounds from the Red Crossbills I recorded at Skylawn
Cemetery (top of hwy92) between Half Moon Bay and San Mateo on Jan 11. The
calls appear to match really closely to the Type 3 Red Crossbill. This is
unusual as this form is usually found farther north in the Pacific
Northwest. These forms may or may not be good species. A summary of what is
known can be found here:



http://research.amnh.org/ornithology/crossbills/diagnosis.html



Type 3 is the smallest and smallest billed of all North American Red
Crossbills, associating closely with hemlocks and other small coned
conifers. I am not 100% sure of the identification as I extracted the calls
from songs, and perhaps I was mislead by call-like vocalizations within the
song. I will have to record some more to figure out what they are. There was
an invasion of this crossbill type to the Bay Area in the mid 80s.



Regards



Al



Alvaro Jaramillo

chucao@...

Half Moon Bay, California



Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

www.fieldguides.com

Re: Red Crossbill call types

fogeggs
 

Here in SF, I've heard two distinct call types over the past years. I can't
do justice to them through written alliteration, and currently don't have
access to sonograms or recordings of the 8-9 call types from around the
continent. The majority of the birds in the city use a single call, a relatively
straightforward "jip-jip". The other call was clearly different, and the first
time I heard it, I wondered if I was indeed hearing a crossbill, and was able
to confirm a single bird (female plumage) giving it. I've only heard that
call here one other time, unsighted, so it may be a singleton of a different type
hanging with our flocks, or different birds that happened to wander through
town while I was listening. I'll have to check if all of the call types are
available on the web, and hope the odd caller returns, so I can try to match it
up. I've rarely heard any crossbill songs in the city, only calls.
Our birds occur regularly in western GG Park, Sutro Heights, Land's End and
throughout the Presidio, and irregularly on Mount Davidson and Twin Peaks.
Both of the odd calls occurred in the Presidio. Over many years of birding the
East Bay hills, I've never heard or seen a crossbill in any of the extensive
conifer forests there.
Brian Fitch

Varied Thrush

John
 

I have had the pleasure of seeing a Varied Thrush in my Mt Davidson's
Back yard all week. It's a big beautiful bird.

Herons Head - 2.1.07

Hugh Cotter <htcotter@...>
 

A brief stop at Herons Head this afternoon produced many of the same birds as seen by Paul last week end.

Highlights:

BN Stilt - 2
Avocet - 8
Black Oystercatcher - 4
Dunlin,
Western, Least, Spotted Sands
Lb Curlew- 2
Greater Yellowlegs - 4
Long Billed Dowitcher - 1 ( Calling)
American Wigeon
Bufflehead
Mallard
Surf scoter
American Coot
Pied Billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Greater Scaup
American Kestrel
Savannah Sparrow

and one Yellow-billed Magpie at the Allemand Bros Boatyard

Hugh

B&W Warbler and Thayer's Gull near Embarcadero Plaza

Denise Wight
 

Hello S. F. Birders,

The Black-and-white Warbler and two White-throated Sparrows were at Ferry Park at 7:40 am and 1:00 pm today.

Also at lunchtime, next to the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza, an adult Thayer's Gull was among five Western Gulls that came up to me for soup crackers. It stayed to the back of the group most of the time, but made attempts to feed.

All the Best Birding,
Denise Wight
Moraga, CA

Rock Wren on The Rock

mbzlat
 

A ROCK WREN was found on the southwest cliffs of Alcatraz Island on the
27th by Alcatraz Bird Census volunteers. The bird was seen again on
the 28th and 29th, but not today when I did my survey.


Matt Zlatunich

Black-and-white Warbler near Embarcadero Center

Denise Wight
 

Hello SF Birders,

The Black-and-white Warbler was back at Ferry Plaza today at 2:00 pm. It was foraging low on the trunks of the tall, leafless trees near the pathway at the center of the park, (just east of the area where the messenger bikers hang out). This is the first time I've seen it here in 2007.

There was also an Anna's Hummingbird feeding a fledgling in the bushes nearby, which was fun to watch. There had been a nest nearby which I had kept an eye on through the really windy and cold weather. Nice to to see at least one fledgling.

All the Best,
Denise Wight
Moraga, CA

Lafayette Park

redhead94109 <redhead94109@...>
 

It was sunny this morning, as I rode the California bus. It goes
by Lafayette Park, and as we reached Laguna, I thought I saw a
Skipper near an entrance garden. But by the time I was through
with the dentist, it had turned overcast and chilly. No butterflies.
Out of force of habit, I always enter Lafayette at Clay/Gough. At
the top of the stairs sat the Park's resident Hermit Thrush. There
was a Junco flock feeding in this area. One of the Juncos seemed
gray-headed, but I've not seen our other Juncos. There were 3 other
birds: all tan, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. I believe Richard reported
a WC White-throat, but I've not seen it. EVERY White-throat I have
seen at Lafayette and elsewhere in SF has been tan. Why? I hope
I'm not the only one who's curious.
Pat McCulloch

RB Sapsucker in the Panhandle, 1/28/07

Jason D. Yakich <jdylarid@...>
 

Hi birders-

At 10:45 this morning, a Red-breasted Sapsucker was working the trees (cypress,
eucs) immediately north of the children's playground in the Panhandle, near Oak
& Ashbury. I had only naked-eye looks (and was busy with my one-year-old), so no
comments on subspecies. It was a Panhandle first for me.

I also heard what sounded very much like a Steller's Jay imitating a Red-tailed
Hawk in a nearby tree, but could not confirm it. This would also be a first if
that is indeed what it was.

-Jason Yakich

Looking for birding help in the city for a visitor from South Africa

daviddiller
 

Hello Birders,
A visiting birder from Capetown ,South Africa will be staying in the
city for a conference and has two free days to bird,Mon Feb 5 and Sat
Feb 10. I will give him a tour (free, its through birdingpal, an
organization I highly recommend)of the inland birds (putah creek, yolo
co, cosumnes res.)on Monday Feb 5. For saturday the 10th I was hoping
to find some nice local birder who can show him around all day,
concentrating more on the coastal species either in the city or perhaps
Pt Reyes or down the San Mateo coast. He will have no rental car, but
is happy to cover expenses. He would be glad to reciprocate the favor
for a day if ever you happen to be in Capetown. Pls email me if you are
interested.

David Diller
Martinez
daviddiller@...

Monday morning: Cknnamon Teal

Harry Fuller
 

Eight C Teal in North Lake around 8am, seven were
females...first I;ve seen in that lake this
season and the C Teal has been scaqrce in Golden
Gate Park this year.

Also present a piar of Song Sparrows, ngesting
material...small deal. BUT one of the two was
white on its head, throat, chest, with only small
dark streaks. Also a white rump patch and a
small sliver of white on the right wing. The
back, wings and tail feathers of this Song
Sparrow were otherwise normal. Love to see a
picture if anybody captures it. The pair were on
the west bank of north lake, just opposite the
northern most island.

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



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Sharon Meadows Sunday AM

Nathaniel Wander
 

No oriole through 9:30 (nor sapsucker), but two crossbills passed overhead.

Nathaniel

Am Bittern, etc.

fogeggs
 

Lake Merced was very generous this morning, with the first bird sighted being
an American Bittern, caught out in the open at the wooden bridge below the
Sunset Circle. I was looking for rails at dawn, and while waiting for the
light to increase, I viewed through the binos what appeared to be a piece of
trash. 42mm lenses are so much better than eyes, because through them the item
became a bittern, face on and thoroughly frozen. I spent ten minutes watching
it from different angles, while taking time out for a Virginia Rail and a
Sora, before leaving the bridge for a minute, then returning to find the bittern
had made its escape.
At the concrete bridge, a pair of Cinnamon Teal were briefly in view, and a
Green Heron was apparently upset with one of the coots, as it sat in a branch
above it, clucking and raising its crown.

In other news:
-My first of season Allens' Hummingbird, a male in aloes at Strybing.
-A House Wren in the Presidio Hills scrub.
-A western sbsp Nashville Warbler also in the aloe at Strybing. Seeing this
bird makes the Hippie Hill warbler look all the more unusual, and I think I
agree with Matt Brady that it's likely an eastern sbsp bird.
Brian Fitch

American Redstart

Mark Eaton <mark@...>
 

The adult male AMERICAN REDSTART put in an appearance at the Alice St.
Community Garden this morning. Quite a poser.

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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Sunday in the park with Harry; Northern Waterthrush still at Lily Pond

Laurie Graham <fair80@...>
 

Hi

We went on the Merrie Way walk with Harry Fuller, and later did a walk
through the east end of GGP, including Hippie Hill, the Fucshia
Garden, Conservatory of Flowers, the Lily Pond, Aids Grove, and
handball courts.

Birds of note:
Bedraggled Western Meadowlark in a tree, seen from Merrie Way parking lot.
Canvasback female in Sutro Baths.
Glaucous Gull 2nd year, as mentioned by Harry.
White-cheeked Robin still present in Sutro Heights Park.

Snowy Plover 18+ on Ocean Beach at the waterline, at Pacheco St.

Orange-crowned Warbler still active in agave at Conservatory. No
warblers of any sort seen at Hippie Hill. I hope they have sought
better quarters.

Northern Waterthrush at Lily Pond, approx. 2:50 pm, seen three times,
low along the north shore, in and out among the big limbs of the
willows that bend into the water. From the rushes at the east end to
the space under the acacia tree.
Common Yellowthroat male active in same area.

Cedar Waxwings 12+ handball court area.

Varied Thrush, the new junk bird, everywhere.

Laurie Graham
Jeff Fairclough
South San Francisco