Date   

Probable Least Tern Update ( Tue - 5 PM)

Htcotter@...
 

Hi All,
Ed Ely called Dan back, he went back out to find this bird and believes that
it is a Least Tern and was able to see it again ( up until 5 pm at least). Ed
reviewed it against 3 field guides and is convinced that that is what it is.


It was feeding along the beach between the two parking lots off Gt Highway
just south of sloat and north of Fort Funston.
This would be a great bird for the City if confirmed,

Hugh


Quail Chicks at Strybing!

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

This afternoon at about 4:30 I got a call from Don Mahoney at Strybing
reporting that he had just seen about six quail chicks in the South
Africa section just north of the California Garden. He said the chicks
were reported to him by two women who had also seen them a few days
before.

I was in the California Garden at noon and did not see any chicks or
females, but the males were acting oddly. Don reported that he saw males
fighting. I found some breast feathers that I hope were a result of a
cock fight and not anything more serious. I suspect that the chicks were
present over the weekend which might have explained all their alarm
calls on Sunday.

After Don called I went to the Arboretum but could not find the chicks
in more than an hour of looking. I did see one male under the cedars to
the north west of the Calif. area.

I also watched a Scrub Jay rutting around on the ground near the north
east corner of the reservoir, but could not see what it was after.

I will be looking for the chicks in the morning. It would be great I we
could get people to volunteer to watch the chicks to keep the jays and
cats away. Please let me know if you can help.

Alan

664-0983


Mt. Davidson, 06/21/00 (7:10-8:30 AM)

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

Observed a couple of vireos that are somewhat unusual for the date/location.
Observations of local interest:

Band-tailed Pigeon 10
Hutton's Vireo 1 (my 1st for Mt. D)

Warbling Vireo 1 (singing vigorously in the Bowl; last migrant observed on
5/24)
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 3
Lesser Goldfinch 12

Paul Saraceni
paul.saraceni@...


Re: More news on Quail Chicks

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

Wednesday June 21,
I visited the Arboretum today at about 11. I spent quite a bit of time
looking for the quail chicks and did not see or hear anything until the
fog lightened at about 12:30. I first spotted the family where they were
seen yesterday � on the hill that is on the north side of the California
Garden. This part of the hill is part of the Cape Province Garden. There
are a lot of blue flowers that provide a ground cover there. The birds
were in this area for about 45 minutes and then they crossed the path.
At that point I believe that I counted 5 chicks, however it was a quick
look and the number could be six.

The family briefly disappeared into the periwinkle and emerged in the
Cape Province area to the north of the reservoir. I watched them
creeping through the Weeping Love Grass, and basking under the Safari
Sunset plant. They were very aware of me, so I did my best to avoid
disturbing them. When the reservoir Jays came by I made sure not to look
at the quail, I did not want to tip their presence to the Jays.

I left at 2 and returned at 4:30, the birds were still in the same
place. In the morning I only saw the birds in the immediate family, no
other quail. Upon my return there were five other males chasing around
the area, acting like the five stooges. I watched one squabble and one
bird got a bill full of feathers from the breast of another. I am fairly
sure that was the source of feathers I found Tuesday.

I would guess that the chicks are about 4 days old. Six more days until
they can fly.

The question I have now is where are the other quail?

Alan


KATZ INTRODUCES QUAIL MEASURE

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

I thought I'd pass this on to ya' all.

Alan


NEWS FROM THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR KATZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2000
Contact: Janet Michaelson (415)554-5335;
Mark Westlund (415) 934-4814, Dept of Environment


SUPERVISOR KATZ INTRODUCES MEASURE
TO PROTECT REMAINING QUAIL IN SAN FRANCISCO

RESOLUTION WILL HELP RESTORE NATURAL QUAIL HABITAT
IN CITY PARKS, AND NAME CALIFORNIA QUAIL OFFICIAL CITY BIRD


The dwindling population of California quail in San Francisco may be one
step
closer to recovery if the City gets behind an effort to restore quail
habitat in
parks and open spaces, and names the quail San Francisco's official City
Bird.
Supervisor Leslie Katz will introduce such a resolution at the Board of
Supervisors Meeting on Monday, June 26, based on a similar resolution
adopted by
the Commission on the Environment on May 15.

There are currently only twelve California quail left in Golden Gate
Park, down
from a citywide population of more than 1,500 in the early 1900s. A
small
number of quail can also be found at Fort Funston and in the Presidio.
These
indigenous birds will die out unless measures are taken to restore
suitable
conditions, such as planting shrubs the quail need for nesting and not
letting
ivy run rampant in City parks.

"The quail is a native resident of San Francisco, and we'd be a lesser
City if
we let local coveys slide into extinction," said Supervisor Katz.
"We're not
talking about spending a lot of City money. The key to saving the quail
is
making a few small changes in the way we maintain our parks and open
spaces."

The resolution will also call for the quail, already the official state
bird of
California, to become the official bird of San Francisco. While the
City Seal
features an image of the mythological Phoenix bird � along with a miner,
a
sailor, and a steamship entering the Golden Gate � San Francisco has yet
to
adopt an official avian representative.

"If we adopt the quail as our own, we will have a greater stake in
making sure
they survive," said Supervisor Katz. "Who wants to tell future
generations that
there used to be quail here, we could have done something to save them,
but we
didn't meet the
challenge."

The resolution was drafted in consultation with community groups that
include
the Golden Gate Audubon Society and SPCA. It calls for City agencies to
support
the Audubon Society's "Save the Quail" campaign and restore
quail-friendly
habitat by controlling invasive non-native plants, while at the same
time
keeping City parks safe for urban wildlife.

"Our parks are big enough to meet all needs, human as well as animal,"
said
Supervisor Katz. "There's room for recreation, there's room for wild
and
domestic animals, there's room for habitat restoration and we must make
room for
the quail."

###


6/22 Quail Update

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

I did the media thing today with Damian Rafa and a lot of other great
folks from the Presidio Trust. We met with a reporter and photographer
from the Chron. I think the angle revolves around the new caution quail
signs the Damian had created in the Presidio.

We had a really hard time showing the Chron folks quail (although we had
great looks at the new signs). At the very last moment we spotted a male
in a yard along Washington. The photographer got out of her car and
snapped some shots off before the bird ran into a small bush next to one
of the homes. I was trying to coax the bird out of the bush when the guy
who lived in the house wondered what the heck was going on. He turned
out to be a marine, and a nice one at that. He said he liked to carve
bird out of wood and had quail in the yard all the time. As we were
about to leave, a van pulled up � it was a Presidio house painter who
wanted to give Damian his quail monitoring report. What an afternoon.

After I left the Presidio I stopped by the Arboretum to check the new
family. They were still under the Safari Sunset in the Cape Province
Garden. It appeared that there were still five chicks, although I did
not get a good count. The five stooges were still in the California
Garden. I watched one male chase the other non-stop for ten minutes. The
chasee was short of quite a few breast feathers. I decided to try a
little experiment: I played my Ca. Quail tape near the two chasing
birds. The chaser promptly left the area. The chasee with the missing
breast feathers came in to the tape, walked up a madrone and started to
call back. I expected the aggressor to be the one to challenge the tape.
Very interesting.

Alan


Save the Quail and SF Birds.

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

To avoid duplication, and boredom on some parts, I will no longer be
reporting quail notes on SF Birds.

From this point on to receive my quail notes please subscribe to the
Golden Gate Audubon Conservation Listserv:

********************
* TO JOIN THE LIST *
********************

Write to LISTSERV@... and, in the text of your message
(not
the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE CA-GGAS-CONSERVATION

************************
* FOR MORE INFORMATION *
************************

Write to LISTSERV@... and, in the text of your message
(not the subject line), write: "HELP" or "INFO" (without the
quotes). HELP will give you a short help message and INFO a list of
the documents you can order.

If a Scaled Quail should walk into the city I'll let you know. And when
our California Quail become so rare in the city they are candidates for
the RBA I'll Post those too. Otherwise, sionara.

Alan


Very Early Bird

Harry Fuller <harry_fuller@...>
 

Tomorrow "Science" will publish an article saying that birds were
contemporaneous with the earliest dinosaurs...so much for feathers from reptile
scales (if dinosaurs really were reptiles)...Dr. Nicholas Geist of Sonoma State
and other paleobiologists have studied some fossils long ingnored in the back
shelves of a museum in Moscow and "Voila" a bird 75 million years before any
previous bird recognized by science...that means triceratops could have been the
first birder


Mt. Davidson, 06/23/00 (7:00-8:15 AM)

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

Observations of local interest:

Band-tailed Pigeon 11
Warbling Vireo 1 (foraging low in bramble near summit)
Orange-crowned Warbler 3 (in bramble near summit; including 2 scruffy
looking juveniles; probable local nester)
Wilson's Warbler 2
Lazuli Bunting 1 f. (with House Finch/Lesser Goldfinch flock near summit;
last migrant observed on 5/29)
Lesser Goldfinch 16

Paul Saraceni
paul.saraceni@...


Mt. Davidson, 06/28/00 (7:00-8:15 AM)

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

Mid-summer doldrums and daily morning fog continue.
 
Observations of local interest:

Band-tailed Pigeon 1
Warbling Vireo 1 (singing in the "Bowl")
Orange-crowned Warbler 3 (including 2 juveniles)
Wilson's Warbler 3
Pine Siskin 6
Lesser Goldfinch 40 (where are they all coming from?)

Paul Saraceni
paul.saraceni@...


Increasing numbers of finches @ Mt. D

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

This morning (7:15-8:15) in the fog at Mt. Davidson, I observed 21 Pine
Siskins and at least 48 Lesser Goldfinches (many juveniles), my high counts
for the year for both species. 3 Orange-crowned Warblers (including 2
juveniles) continue in the bramble at the Summit.

Paul Saraceni
Paul.Saraceni@...


Get those June B2k updates to me...

Mark W. Eaton <mweaton@...>
 

...I can probably get the site updated this weekend if I get everyone's update
shortly.

Thanks,
Mark
--
Mark Eaton mailto:mweaton@...
SFBirds Web Page http://home.pacbell.net/mweaton
Golden Gate Audubon Web Page http://goldengate.ca.audubon.org

"Money can add nothing to what I already have. What enables me to live
better is ideals. Besides, money is like snow in winter. It
accumulates slowly, but melts away rapidly."

- Ba Jin, July 1944, from the Epilogue of "Garden of Repose"
(Foreign Language Press, Beijing, China, first edition 1988. ISBN
0-8351-1055-9)


Re: Increasing numbers of finches @ Mt. D

Mark W. Eaton <mweaton@...>
 

Paul Saraceni wrote:

This morning (7:15-8:15) in the fog at Mt. Davidson, I observed 21 Pine
Siskins and at least 48 Lesser Goldfinches (many juveniles), my high counts
for the year for both species. 3 Orange-crowned Warblers (including 2
juveniles) continue in the bramble at the Summit.
Any idea if this is simply post-breeding dispersal or possibly the beginning of
a southward movement for these birds?

Mark
--
Mark Eaton mailto:mweaton@...
SFBirds Web Page http://home.pacbell.net/mweaton
Golden Gate Audubon Web Page http://goldengate.ca.audubon.org

"Money can add nothing to what I already have. What enables me to live
better is ideals. Besides, money is like snow in winter. It
accumulates slowly, but melts away rapidly."

- Ba Jin, July 1944, from the Epilogue of "Garden of Repose"
(Foreign Language Press, Beijing, China, first edition 1988. ISBN
0-8351-1055-9)


Re: Points north (extra limital)

GASSTATION@...
 

If you have been wondering where I have been, I was camping in the Olympic
Rainforest and Vancouver Island. Of course I'd been planning to get some
birding in as well as relaxing, but I had a small playground accident and was
on crutches for the bulk of the trip. This hampered the birding but still it
was good. To cut a longish story short, Marbled Murrelets both inland and in
large numbers off shore. Harliquin ducks (1 flock of 50 100' off shore),
Rhino Auklets in vast numbers, close to shore. Many Bald Eagles seen,
including an adult that chased a 1st year gull down over the Juan de Fuca
Straits, killed it and dropped it into the water, the bird's mate then flew
out and retrieved the corpse for its exhausted partner. Not a Puffin to be
seen. plenty of the regular land birds. several Blue Grouse. and all those
Puget Sound gulls. Most interesting animal of the trip The Shrew-Mole, found
dead on a trail.

Kevin McKereghan
Gasstation@...


Re: Increasing numbers of finches @ Mt. D

Dan Murphy <murphsf@...>
 

Hi all,

Just back from my Lassen trip for GGAS. Of relevance here though is the
surprising number of Pine Siskins I had at snow level -- about 7500 ft and up. I
don't recall numbers like this in recent years. The birds I saw were almost all
feeding on fir and hemlock seeds on melting snow. There were no siskins at lower
elevations. It seems they are following the snow line upward and it may be they
are concentrated in a few areas I managed to find. They are an irruptive species
and this may be the start of an up cycle for us.

The best bird of the trip was a Great-tailed Grackle at Manzanita Lake in Lassen
National Park. I had it Thursday and Friday at the boat launch area, but missed
it Sunday morning. The bird appeared to be a sub adult male. It showed brown
marking on the wings and the central tail feather was not yet fully developed.
Yes, a truly terrible, terrible, good bird.

If you're getting this for the second or third time its because I've been having
trouble with my sfbirds "membership". I think it should be ok now. Sorry for any
inconvience.

Best, Dan



"Mark W. Eaton" wrote:

Paul Saraceni wrote:

This morning (7:15-8:15) in the fog at Mt. Davidson, I observed 21 Pine
Siskins and at least 48 Lesser Goldfinches (many juveniles), my high counts
for the year for both species. 3 Orange-crowned Warblers (including 2
juveniles) continue in the bramble at the Summit.
Any idea if this is simply post-breeding dispersal or possibly the beginning of
a southward movement for these birds?

Mark
--
Mark Eaton mailto:mweaton@...
SFBirds Web Page http://home.pacbell.net/mweaton
Golden Gate Audubon Web Page http://goldengate.ca.audubon.org

"Money can add nothing to what I already have. What enables me to live
better is ideals. Besides, money is like snow in winter. It
accumulates slowly, but melts away rapidly."

- Ba Jin, July 1944, from the Epilogue of "Garden of Repose"
(Foreign Language Press, Beijing, China, first edition 1988. ISBN
0-8351-1055-9)

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sfquail

Dan Murphy <murphsf@...>
 

Hey, didn't anyone read Farley today? Katz quail are the subject? It's
a touch of humor for the otherwise dismal problem of saving our few
quail. Note in each panel Phil Frank shows a garbage can. Nice try,
but try finding one in the park. They're as endangered as the quail.

Dan


today's ggas trip

Dan Murphy <murphsf@...>
 

Hi,

I led a ggas trip this morning. Best news is an unconfirmed report of
nesting egrets at the south end of Van Ness in what I presume is Ft.
Mason. They were reported second hand. The origin of the report is
someone who lives in a nearby apartment tower. Maybe someone from NPS
can confirm this one and get a correct species identification.

The best bird of the day I guess was an immature Cooper's Hawk at the
south end of Lake Merced. We saw the expected birds at the Cliff
House, Fort Funston and Lake Merced. The Black Oystercatchers either
fledged their young or lost it. There were oystercatchers in the area,
but only 2 near the rock. The Bank Swallow colony was quite active. I
didn't do a count, but there were a lot of burrows in use. Some kids
were playing at the base of the little group of 5 burrows nearest the
parking lots. Their parents dogs were fighting with another dog on the
beach. It was nice to see such an excellent example of voice control.
The guy yelled at the dogs and they continued to do whatever they were
doing. That's voice control for you. Oh, the parking lots have been
reopened, so count on the police to start tagging cars parked on the
street again.

The swallow colony at Lake Merced is just about gone. Only 5 nests
remain in one piece. All others have been nocked down. Could be
people, could be rats, could be they just fell apart. One nest is about
mid span on the concreted bridge. The other 4 are behind willows. That
suggests people or wind did the nests in.

There must be a hundred nesting Double-crested Cormorants. The Great
Blue Herons have fledged.

Happy Fourth!*! Dan


Mt. Davidson, 07/04/00 (8:20-10:00 AM)

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

Observations of local interest:


Band-tailed Pigeon 16
Western Wood-Pewee 1 (calling; post-breeding wanderer? -- last observed on
6/15)
Swainson's Thrush 1 (singing; post-breeding wanderer? -- last observed on
6/1)
Orange-crowned Warbler 3 juv.
Wilson's Warbler 5 (including adult feeding fledgling)
Pine Siskin 10
Lesser Goldfinch 9

Paul Saraceni
paul.saraceni@...


Finches

Josiah Clark <sunbittern@...>
 

When I was in Humboldt a week back, all the conifers were masting their cones.(mass droppings of seed every so many random years) Irruptive foods make irruptive species. The trees evolved to keep those fiches guessing, and moving around. Lots of goldfinches, Siskins and Purple Finches up there.


Out of the city, I was most impressed by the diversity and abundance of birds at a roadside stop at the water district property by Crystal Springs! Nothing rare but what numbers and great plants too. A flock of about 7 parents and 30 Quail chicks feeding by a family of brush rabbits was a nostalgic sight to say the least....

Abbotts Lagoon had no shorebirds Tues but did see 5 Grasshopper Sparrows, coyote, bobcat at dawn there. 4 sps of breeding sparrow in all with song and white crowns on thousands of territories.

Josiah


________________________________________________________________________
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Mt. Davidson, 07/07/00 (6:50-7:55 AM)

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

The July 4th grass fire (reportedly caused by fireworks) at Mt. D burned
much of the grass and ground cover in the southern half of the eastern
hillside -- all east of the main path (though the burn came within 10' of
the top of the Ravine). Mourning Doves, W. Scrub-Jays, Wh.-crowned Sparrows
et al. were feeding in the exposed burn area this morning. Perhaps other
sparrows will be attracted during the upcoming migration.

Observations of local interest:

Band-tailed Pigeon 2
Western Wood-Pewee 1 (calling incessantly from various perches around the
Summit and Ravine)
Orange-crowned Warbler 2 juv.
Wilson's Warbler 3
Pine Siskin 10
Lesser Goldfinch 3

Paul Saraceni
paul.saraceni@...