Date   

Re: Parakeet Auklet and Black Oystercatchers

Gerry McChesney
 

I don't know when those folks climbed up Hermit Rock (steep climb!), but there was a mobile, probably week to 10-day old oystercatcher chick on Hermit Rock on June 26.  If its survived to this point (oystercatcher generally have low breeding success), it would be getting pretty big and capable of skirting off somewhere and hiding, which they're very good at.  I'd still keep an eye out for it (and the adults, of course).  

Gerry McChesney
Fremont, CA


On Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 11:43 AM Rudyard Wallen <arelist12@...> wrote:

Hey Folks,

The PAAU flew out to the deep channel at about 10:40am, just to add that to its behavior record.

On a real bummer of a note the Black Oystercatchers that were flushed from their single egg by some instagrammers climbing Hermit Rock have abandoned the nest.  I don’t have the number with me (I only just learned this) but you can report climbers on the sea stacks, especially during nesting season, to the GGNRA.  It’s considered off designated trails, as well let them know nesting birds are being disturbed. 

You can also report a seabird disturbance here- 


Cheers

-Rudy W. 
SF 


8 Guillemots at McCovey Cove

Stephen Schulz
 

There were 8 Pigeon Guillemots seen from the end of the South Beach Marina pier this morning.  3 were right next to the pier when I arrived.  After a bit they flew across to Pier 48 where there were 5 more.   This is the 5th time I've seen guillemots at this location this year.  About a month ago I was out on 3 of 4 days and saw 1, 1 and 2 birds and this Tuesday there were 2 there.  I wasn't actively birding all those times, but keeping an eye out for anything unusual on my morning walk.  In the last 5 years there are only about a dozen sightings in eBird south of the bridge in the city including one other at this site and 3 at Heron's Head in the last two months.  We seem to be having a bit of an incursion this year.

Steve Schulz
San Francisco

--
Steve Schulz
San Francisco


Re: Parakeet Auklet and Black Oystercatchers

Rudyard Wallen
 

Sorry, meant to add the PAAU flew out due west (keep in mind the coastline there runs NE/ SW.) 

R


Parakeet Auklet and Black Oystercatchers

Rudyard Wallen
 


Hey Folks,

The PAAU flew out to the deep channel at about 10:40am, just to add that to its behavior record.

On a real bummer of a note the Black Oystercatchers that were flushed from their single egg by some instagrammers climbing Hermit Rock have abandoned the nest.  I don’t have the number with me (I only just learned this) but you can report climbers on the sea stacks, especially during nesting season, to the GGNRA.  It’s considered off designated trails, as well let them know nesting birds are being disturbed. 

You can also report a seabird disturbance here- 


Cheers

-Rudy W. 
SF 


American White Pelicans at Crissy

David Assmann
 

Two AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS are preening near the bridge at the Lagoon


Re: Mtn Lake -- Red-eyed Vireo (continues?)

Joel Perlstein
 

Is the Redstart north or south of the side path that leads to the 3 benches on the northeast side of the lake?

Am I correct that it is on the west side of the road?


--
Joel Perlstein
San Francisco


Mtn Lake -- Red-eyed Vireo (continues?)

Daniel Scali
 

Hey bird fanatics,

Let me start by reminding folks to use caution when viewing in the Redstart nest area. It's a wonderful thing to have all these m.o.b.s (many observant birders) and curious passersby but if we stress the breeding pair or attract corvid attention or other predators it seems less likely that they will return to the lake in the future or tell their friends about it.

I headed to Mountain Lake early to check on the American Redstarts. I started out by the playground and was perplexed to hear the now familiar male's song coming both from across the lake to the north and from the south side. A little while later I confirmed one AMRE moving in a Monterey cypress south of the lake. Over in the Redstart territory, the male consistently sang near the nest for a good bit while Dave Webster and I enjoyed looks at the female, who left the nest once or twice. A really nice guy named Al came by walking his dog. He'd heard all the vagrant hullabaloo and lamented not having his bins. He was an old school hawk guy who said he'd been fortunate to pal around with birders like Dan Murphy and Joe Morlan back in the day. The male bird had been silent since before Al arrived; he left after 30 minutes of no luck. When the bird finally returned he passed an insect to his mate — his tendency toward lengthy sojourns could explain the earlier sighting across the water.

Bob Gunderson arrived and some other birders followed, including Pat Wong and a Michelle. The male was seen by all and photographed in good light. As Pat's group was disappearing around the bend, I heard what sounded like a purple finch coming from the willows, only the song was a "self song," the quieter kind one hears from solitary birds. I had never heard that from purple finch before, plus the notes started taking on a slightly different quality, more disjointed, vireo-like. I got on the large RED-EYED VIREO (one was had by Mark Dettling and then Rajan on June 18) for two seconds before it blended back into its surroundings. While Bob tried to get pics I was able to get a nice long recording (audio here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S71232887 ). Ken Moy rolled up next and said the recording was good for REVI. The vireo reappeared infrequently over the next hour or more but was tough to pin down with so many birds, such as Hutton's Vireo, house and purple finches, and European starlings, making somewhat similar sounds. I finally made peace with the lack of a photo, leaving the work to a pair of young birders who were tackling the Redstarts as I pried myself from the lake's grip.

Who said summer is boring!?
Dan Scali, SF


Fort Mason Local Interest - Golden Crowned Sparrow

David Assmann
 

The surprise bird today at Fort Mason was a GOLDEN CROWNED SPARROW sitting on the north fence of the garden - must be an oversummering bird that has managed to elude observation the last few months. A PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER also was in the garden - probably an early dispersing bird. A WHITE-THROATED SWIFT flew by a few times. There were three young HOODED ORIOLES in and around the garden - observed one flying south up the hill which made me wonder if they fly back and forth to Lafayette Park.  The WESTERN BLUEBIRDS have successfully fledged young - the first bluebirds to fledge at this location since I started birding at Fort Mason.


San Francisco Cumulative List Update - June 2020

H Cotter
 

All,
I was asked recently about whether I was still doing the cumulative list for San Francisco. I have some issues with the website where it is located in recent months but finally have the site back and with an updated cumulative list through June of 2020.

The list is located at sfbirds.net

The cumulative total for the City for 2020 stands at 250 species (including one species pair) - the joint highest total ever at this stage of the year.

In 2018 we also had 250 species at the end of June and ended up with a final total of 301 species- the highest number since I started the list in 1998.

2020 started off relatively quiet but it was a pretty special April and May with some exceptional highlights and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes from here.

The City species list overall stands at a tentative 427 species; the County list stands at 492 species.

I hope to keep updating on a more regular basis as the year moves along.

Hugh



July Oddities

Brian Fitch
 

After spending some days in saner parts of the state, I hit the city today, with a multi-hour seawatch and a check on North Lake.

The diffuse fog haze made distant viewing tough, and all of the interesting birds were distant.  The highlight was a splotchy tubenose that glided by just over the waves heading north, nearly leading me to make a report for the sake of anyone watching from Marin and beyond.  But luckily I held back, and the bird reappeared for a second, closer pass 15 minutes later, revealing that it was a very mottled Northern Fulmar, splatter-plumaged like a Pollock painting, white and brownish gray in equal amounts.  Just as on the first pass, it flew with a stiff-winged glide and vanished among the waves heading north.  I can't recall ever seeing a fulmar here in July, but I'm pretty certain it's not unprecedented.  Several Elegant Terns were out, and also an ambitious Pigeon Guillemot carrying a fish nearly as big as its white wing patch.

At North Lake, there was an apparent Warbling Vireo on the west side across from the northernmost island.  WAVI's aren't regular in SF in July, though I know there's been one singing in the arboretum for a while.  It was feeding frenetically enough to not allow me a good view, and after 10 minutes it vanished.  It caught my attention because even though it looked mostly like a Warbling, with olive back and no wing bars, the facial marks were strange, with the feathers puffed out such that it appeared to lack any marks around the eye, but which also made it look as if it could have had an eyering.  But what got me excited for the second time in the morning was that it pumped its tail a couple of times.  It was completely silent, not even scolding when a pair of Hutton's came near.  It may only be a Warbling that had just taken a bath, but it was intriguing.

There was no sign of the Hooded Warbler when I passed by the golf course edge.

Brian Fitch



Parakeet Auklet continues 7/5

Kevin Gin
 

The Parakeet Auklet continued today, 7/5. Seen at around 2:00pm near shore not far from Hermit Rock. I watched it there for about 10 minutes before it circled and landed on the back side of Hermit Rock.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S71170986

Kevin Gin
San Jose


Parakeet Auklet HERMIT rock

David Nelson
 

PAAU landed west of Hermit Rock at 17:45 and is still on the water at 18:13. Seen by Tan Snyder, Kris Dunlap , David W. Nelson and others.

Good Birding!

David W. Nelson


7/2 Swainson's thrush

Bob Hall
 

Had one still singing at Mountain Lake today. Seems late and interesting.

Nothing rare but lots of bird and butterfly action (and tranquility) at Sutro Rotary Meadows today. May be a good escape hatch during the crowded holiday festivities.
--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson


American White Pelicans at Crissy

David Assmann
 

Six just flew in and landed


American Redstart

Chris Vance
 

Heard singing and seen on mtn. Lake trail 50 ft. north of mulched indentation. Seen on dried up Elderberry. Still singing on west side of trail.
Chris Vance


Young Red-tail Up Close

Richard Bradus
 

Well, I'm 0 for 2 for the "rare" birds over the last couple of days. By the time I made it out to the GGP golf course late this morning it had gotten pretty quiet, with no sign of the Hooded Warbler though there were counter-singing Pacific Wrens and Wilson's Warblers and the rather vocal Red-tail family that bred here this spring.

So I decided to do my usual loop around the Bercut area - whoa! There's a whole new horse stables and enclosure adjacent to the maintenance area. Guess it's been too long since I've made the rounds. Continuing around and looping to the south I was stopped in my tracks by a (another) juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on the ground, right off the main paved path paralleling MLK Drive:
Inline image

It proceeded to scrounge through the dried grass (looking for insects?) but all I saw it come up with was a blade of grass stuck in its beak. Eventually flushed into the adjacent trees by passing joggers, it clumsily flew from branch to branch a bit before eventually flying off to a more placid perch in a tree further off the path.

Nothing earthshaking, but a nice diversion nonetheless - one of my closest hawk encounters. More photos for those interested on my eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S71002375

Happy trails!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Mountain Lake American Redstart Reverie - CORRECTION

Daniel Scali
 

Bird fans,

It turns out there's a whole lot of data out there in the world, some of which doesn't pop up with a simple Google search :)

Peter Metropulos and Chris Heyward informed me of an Am Redstart breeding record from the 1997 San Mateo Co breeding bird atlas. Fledged young were 0 AMRE and I believe multiple Brown-headed Cowbirds. I wanted further details so I searched literature Peter and Chris referenced. In the National Aubdubon Society Field Notes Vol. 51, Issue 5 (winter) from 1997, it is reported that breeding evidence of American Redstart is easily obtainable in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. It then goes on to mention that that '97 summer had the first proven records of AMRE breeding in Marin, San Mateo, and Monterey counties. These were records obtained by the likes of Ron Thorn, Rich Stallcup, and Don Roberson.

Perhaps on the GGAS Chat forum (Dominik, is that the preferred discussion place?), other California field veterans could share any other pertinent Redstart info of the last 50 years.

All that said, I am 99.9% certain the Mtn Lake record is a first for SF county.

Good birding,
Dan 


Gull "Colony" in Mission Bay District

Stephen Schulz
 

There is a large fenced in asphalt area where Mission Bay Blvd and Channel Street run into the traffic circle at Owens Street.  Three pairs of Western Gulls have set up housekeeping and at least two of them have downy chicks wandering around.  One doesn't get too many opportunities to observe this species at close range at that age, so it's a bit exciting.

There also is one pair evidently nesting on the roof of the eight story building across from where I live on Brannan St.  I've seen copulation and nesting material being brought in. There is often on bird sitting on the corner of the roof, but I can't see onto the roof to verify what is actually happening there.

Be safe,
Steve Schulz
San Francisco

--
Steve Schulz
San Francisco


Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch - eBird Hotspot

Richard Bradus
 

Fantastic!

I tried to do just that yesterday late afternoon, thinking that it would be easier with the absence of the fog and mist, but the ridiculously strong wind kept all the birds either in cover or flying by at extreme speed, though I did see and hear lots of House Finches, a Creeper, and the Barn Owls further to the west. After nearly an hour and a half of fruitless searching for the Lawrence's family, I finally heard about 45 seconds of the male doing two stanzas of his characteristic jumbled high pitched melange (from just to the east, in the restored "Western forest" area) but was unable to actually see him.

FYI - for those of you who have posted eBird checklists over the past week, especially those who used a personally marked spot or "Forest restoration area--Presidio" (and some of you who used the Julius Kahn Playground hotspot for convenience), please note that there is a newly approved particularly apt Hotspot for this area (the forest restoration area and the trails along W. Pacific Ave. and leading past Paul Goode Field to the north) called Presidio--Southeast. It can be easily found on the SF Hotspot map on eBird or see: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L7489749
As you continue to visit this area, please submit checklists using this hotspot - and those of you who have submitted checklists under a personal spot or other location should be encouraged to re-designate their checklists under this hotspot as it will very much simplify the eventual process of data aggregation.

Thanks - and continued good sightings to all

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 2:02:59 PM PDT, Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:


Hiya,

To answer Bob's question, I noticed today that the area where the LAGOs have been most frequently seen is full of fiddlenecks, plants that I had heard LAGOs like. This morning I watched the stunning adult male visit multiple plant patches, chomping away on his favored parts.

Dan


Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch

Daniel Scali
 

Hiya,

To answer Bob's question, I noticed today that the area where the LAGOs have been most frequently seen is full of fiddlenecks, plants that I had heard LAGOs like. This morning I watched the stunning adult male visit multiple plant patches, chomping away on his favored parts.

Dan