Date   

4 Ospreys at Hillpoint Park.

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders,
      This spring I’ve been distantly following the life and adventures of an Osprey pair at Hunter’s Point with weekly visits to Hillpoint Park. Today, for the first time, I noted 2 nestlings as an adult was apparently feeding one or both of them. The adventure came early when the Ospreys had to ward off persistent mass Raven harassment for at least a week. I have no idea how they succeeded, as they are camped in one of city’s main Raven havens. The often swarming ravens seem to be leaving the Ospreys alone for now. Also visible from Hillpoint, with strong optics, is the likely abandoned Osprey nest near Pier 94, the “pile of sticks” (as an SF port barker unforgettably called it in a tv news interview) that SF purposely destroyed several years ago, whenever the America’s Cup took place. Nest destruction may no longer be an enforceable federal crime if it is incidental to business or whatever other activity that the federal government randomly decides is OK. Just birds...forget and quit moaning.
    I was attending SFSU in the early 1980’s when there was a well-established Cliff Swallow colony that nested on the library, which itself has a lot of windows. The librarians hated seeing the huge ongoing mess, and somehow the university was eventually able to eventually “discourage” the swallows and help transition them into a rare breeding species in SF. This, despite a well-publicized student protest in favor of the swallows, however the swallows had seemingly turned the librarians into maddened vipers.
    It seems the Botanical Garden in GGP may be reopening on Monday. It’s been missed!

Russ Bright

SF







2nd cycle Slaty-backed Gull

Aaron Maizlish
 

SF Birders,

I want to pass on a message that Todd Easterla just had a second-cycle Slaty-Backed Gull flying at the Parakeet Auklet spot at Land’s End in San Francisco.  He passed the word on to John Sterling who just called me.  It was last seen heading southward in the direction of the Cliff House, so keep a look out!   Todd will do a write-up for eBird, but we wanted to get the word out.

In unrelated news, I saw Todd Easterla this morning when I drove up to look at a 1st Yolo record of Kentucky Warbler - man was that bird uncooperative.  

Take care,

Aaron Maizlish


Land’s End Black Swifts Today.

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders,
      Pair seen at 11:53AM flying NE just above the coastal cliffs below Fort Miley. 
Russ Bright
SF


Re: Parakeet Auklet @ Mile Rock, SF, 5/24

Paul Saraceni
 

(Bad cell service at the location so apologies if multiple or broken msgs come through)

To clarify location, the Parakeet Auklet was best viewed about 25 meters to the right of the viewing area below the wooden stairs that lead down from the now-closed big parking lot with the naval memorial.

The rock (old shipwreck?) is west of the favored Hermit Rock location of past years.

Rudy W. reminded me that this likely/returned individual was first observed in July 2016, and then each July (late June last year) since then.

There was also a 2d-cycle Heerman’s Gull and 1st-cycle Glaucous-winged Gull flying in the area.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

On May 24, 2020, at 10:10 AM, Paul Saraceni <paulsaraceni@...> wrote:

The PARAKEET AUKLET is back this morning at the Mile Rock overlook.

First observed it flying around 9:30. Hugh Cotter and I then observed it on or near a flat rectangular rock nearshore in line with Mile Rock. At 10:07 it flew west into the channel and out of view.

This is year 4? of this returning individual in SF.

Note that the parking lot is closed so you need to walk in from Ft Miley or Lands End or wherever you can find street parking.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco



Northern Parula at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Singing in Battery 


Parakeet Auklet @ Mile Rock, SF, 5/24

Paul Saraceni
 

The PARAKEET AUKLET is back this morning at the Mile Rock overlook.

First observed it flying around 9:30. Hugh Cotter and I are presently (10:00) observing it on or near a flat rectangular rock nearshore in line with Mile Rock.

This is year 4? of this returning individual in SF.

Note that the parking lot is closed so you need to walk in from Ft Miley or Lands End or wherever you can find street parking.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco


Parakeet Auklet @ Mile Rock, SF, 5/24

Paul Saraceni
 

The PARAKEET AUKLET is back this morning at the Mile Rock overlook.

First observed it flying around 9:30. Hugh Cotter and I then observed it on or near a flat rectangular rock nearshore in line with Mile Rock. At 10:07 it flew west into the channel and out of view.

This is year 4? of this returning individual in SF.

Note that the parking lot is closed so you need to walk in from Ft Miley or Lands End or wherever you can find street parking.

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco


Re: [northbaybirds] Snowy Plover

Ben Pearl
 

Hi Candace,

Actually, it's the other way around.  There is a breeding population of approximately 50 Snowy Plovers across a number of sites in Point Reyes, while there is little to no breeding activity annually on the Sonoma Coast.  During the non-breeding season, Snowy Plover flocks can be found at several locations on the Sonoma Coast, as you noted.  In addition to the coast, a small population of Snowy Plovers also breed bayside in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties.

Good luck to those looking for the Bristle-thighed Curlew!

Good birding,
Ben Pearl
Plover and Tern Program Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 11:52 AM Candace Krout <candacek@...> wrote:
Are Snowy Plovers just unusual in Marin? Because they are seen on the Sonoma Coast.
I saw some once on a busy day on the beach, and no one else noticed them. They really blend into the sand!

Candace Krout

On May 20, 2020, at 11:13 AM, jim lomax <sdrib@...> wrote:

 FYI

So that everyone has a notice and chance to look for one of these birds:

Be advised that yesterday a Snowy Plover researcher found this bird on a beach in Marin County. Due to the fact that the area is closed to the public it was not posted. I saw two in 1998, one in Marin and one in Del Norte both within a day of each other, thus, they can be here in multiples. So if you are out on the coast of California you may want to take a closer look at those Whimbrels. 1998 was the last time they were here.
Jim


<image0.jpeg>






--
Ben Pearl
Plover and Tern Program Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
524 Valley Way
Milpitas CA 95035
Office: 408.946.6548 ext 206


Two crows mobbing people

Emily Furnival
 

Yesterday, I saw a dead crow in the road on the corner of Cervantes and Prado and two crows attacking a man who was jogging by. This morning, they were still mobbing single people running (possibly because they were wearing grey?) and standing sentinel on a post. It is very cool but somewhat freaky and I am a little nervous to try to film it alone. If anyone does, I would love to see it!

Emily Furnival
Cervantes Boulevard and Prado Street


Fort Mason Bluebirds

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all

While I whiffed on the White-breasted Nuthatch that David reported this morning, there was some interesting breeding activity at Ft. Mason, with a number of species either courting/displaying, carrying food, feeding young or with recent fledglings. The most interesting was group of Western Bluebirds that I believe were exhibiting cooperative breeding behavior, with immature "helpers" foraging and at the nest. I included commentary and some photos with my eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S69386176

Cooperative breeding is quite common (probably the rule) with Acorn Woodpeckers, as I have seen at Lafayette Park and other places around the Bay Area, but is also described in up to 14% of Bluebird nesting, something of which I was not aware. Another reason to stop and really observe our local nesters, as there is still a lot to be discovered and enjoyed.

And there are the failures too - the poor Mockingbird in the Community Garden is still singing away with a repertoire heavy on robin variations, but no mate as far as I can tell. Any way to get him some counseling on learning some new tunes?

Cheers!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Tanager Summer not Scarlet

Alan Hopkins
 

Hi all, The bird I reported on ebird is a Summer Tanager and not a Scarlet Tanager. After getting home and checking other references and looking at my photos I se I was wrong! The calls threw me! 

So sorry if I caused any inconvenience. 

Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA


Nuthatch No-show

Richard Bradus
 

Multiple observers combing the Ft. Mason area from about 10:45 am to ~ 12:30 pm were unable to locate the White-breasted Nuthatch reported by David earlier.

Lots of breeding activity though (Crows, Nuttall's WP, Juncos, Bluebirds at a nest hole, Starlings, House and White-crowned Sparrows, Phoebes), a singing Yellow Warbler, and there was a fly-over Forster's Tern.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Bernal Heights Black Swifts.

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders,
       A pair was visible near the summit just before 11 today, and again about 11:25AM. I think that Aaron Maizlish was also able to record them.

Russ Bright
SF


Re: Bristle-thighed Curlew

Mark Stephenson
 

Greetings Fellow Birders!
Since Pt Reyes is closed to vehicles at L Ranch, Lucas and I biked into Abbott’s Lagoon yesterday and searched for several hours for the BT Curlew, 1 or more miles North and South of the location where Matt photographed it without success. We did view 2 flocks of Whimbrels but it did not appear to be with them. The wind picked up in the late afternoon to make it tough work. We did see many Red-necked Phalaropes and a Purple Martin, along with a family of 5 River Otters to lift our spirits! The distance from L ranch to the Abbott’s Lagoon parking lot is approximately 2 miles with another mile to the beach. Good Luck if you have the chance to look again.
Happy Birding!
Mark & Lucas Stephenson 




On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 10:27 AM, jim lomax <sdrib@...> wrote:

FYI

So that everyone has a notice and chance to look for one of these birds:

Be advised that yesterday a Snowy Plover researcher found this bird on a beach in Marin County. Due to the fact that the area is closed to the public it was not posted. I saw two in 1998, one in Marin and one in Del Norte both within a day of each other, thus, they can be here in multiples. So if you are out on the coast of California you may want to take a closer look at those Whimbrels. 1998 was the last time they were here.
Jim







Bristle-thighed Curlew

jim lomax
 

FYI

So that everyone has a notice and chance to look for one of these birds:

Be advised that yesterday a Snowy Plover researcher found this bird on a beach in Marin County. Due to the fact that the area is closed to the public it was not posted. I saw two in 1998, one in Marin and one in Del Norte both within a day of each other, thus, they can be here in multiples. So if you are out on the coast of California you may want to take a closer look at those Whimbrels. 1998 was the last time they were here.
Jim







White Breasted Nuthatch at a Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

In eucalyptus trees west of garden 


Swainson’s Hawk McLaren

Daniel Scali
 

Flew over the June Jordan school directly N bound at 9:16am

Good Hawking!
Dan


Re: Flying mystery - Anhinga

Brian Fitch
 

Here are a few findings from some simple on-line research over the past few hours.

Anhinga species (4 world wide), do not seem to be kept regularly in zoos, though there was one in recent years at San Diego's; it may still be there right now.  SF's zoo didn't have one the last time I was there a year ago.  The only SF record for Anhinga was from June 2nd until July 16th, 1939, at Lake Merced.  The CBRC has only one record of Darter, but I also found that the last accepted Anhinga record for the state was the bird that I and many others saw near the Salton Sea in the spring of 2004.  That surprises me, so perhaps I didn't find an updated list, not having spent much time in their database.  Regardless of species, this is an extremely unusual sighting.  No darters on eBird...

It seems to me that the biggest factor suggesting wild provenance, circumstantial though it is, is that we're having so many visitors from the southeastern quadrant of the continent, with the weekend's Mississippi Kite being the other mega, in addition to multiple warblers.  And today's bird showed up in the aftermath of a warm and unusually late storm.

However I end up treating this bird on my personal list, I want to thank Aaron for spotting it and sticking with it until I paid attention.  It's still out there somewhere, so watch the sky, and the surface of any murky non-salt water for a Snakebird's neck and beak.  Adjacent snags too.
Brian Fitch



On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 3:30 PM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:
Just received word that escaped African Darters have been seen in the south state in the past.  I'll leave it to others to consider the likelihood of one making its way up here, or to discover whether it or some other darter species has escaped from a local zoo.  Today's bird was too far away to differentiate between the members of the darter family.
BF

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 3:13 PM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Around 10:30 this morning, Aaron Maizlish and I were standing at the north end of the Fort Scott ball field discussing how to judge the odd weather in regards to where to search for birds.  The wind was sporadic in both speed and direction, and the clouds and humidity were abnormal.  Aaron then picked up on what he thought was a cormorant heading over, and I ignored it, as D-c Cormorants are regular flybys here.  But then he said it was soaring, and that maybe it was an ibis, so I tracked his sight line and spotted the bird.  It was very high, only a speck to the naked eye, it was well south of us, and backlit, but I immediately noted why he was thinking ibis, as the proportions were odd, too long in front and back for any cormorant species.

As it circled into full ventral outline, I fell into shocked silence as I saw that the aft portion of the body did not consist of the gangly legs of an ibis, but was a long fan-shaped tail with tight corners, like a Sharp-shinned, only much bigger.  I could pick up no color at that point, and I asked Aaron if he could try to get a photo on the next circle.  But that was a mistake, as while he was pulling his camera up, he lost sight of the bird, and it broke its kettling and took a line west-southwest toward Baker Beach and maybe Land's End.  I was able to track it as it continued in a long, slowly descending soar, and as it became less backlit, I finally saw some buffy coloring on the front portions.  I can't recall even a single flap of the wings, and did not give adequate attention to their proportions.  In profile it was very clear that the bird was elongated on both ends relative to cormorants, but again, it was distant enough to leave me room for doubt.  But I posted the sighting anyway in case anyone else was watching along its path.

When the bird did not reappear, I pulled out my Sibley and did a little research before writing the second message.  Aaron soon left, and I went over to the Sutro Baths, where only a single cormorant was swimming, and then headed down to the cormorant rookery at Lake Merced.  Only after seeing multiple D-c's fly over me did I feel ready to face the negative energy from the sceptosphere and head for home to write this up.  I also checked other cormorant hangouts around the lake with no further luck. 

Just for background, I have seen many Anhingas in their normal range, two at the Salton Sea years ago, and just this past January, when life was still normal, saw several Oriental Darters in India.  There is one previous record of Anhinga that I know of here in the city, but from very long ago (1930's?).  As always, I am open to respectfully put questions about anything I may have failed to include above.  And Aaron, if you have anything to add or a differing memory, let me know.

I had already been out for hours prior to this sighting, with no shorebirds at all on Ocean Beach (so much for Birdcast!), a single Brant during an early Sutro seawatch, and a few tanagers singing at Dragonfly Creek.  A mother and calf Gray Whale were also highlights on the first Sutro visit.
Brian Fitch


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:59 AM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:

I may be ruining what reputation I have , but I believe we just had an Anhinga soaring south of Ft Scott, quite distant, but showing the classic shape from beneath and then in profile as it broke its circle and flew in the general direction of Land’s End.
It was backlit but appeared to have the Buffy neck of a female.
First spotted by Aaron, but he’s not ready yet to confirm.
Lake Merced may be a good place to look, but the sky might be best.
Brian Fitch

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:35 AM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A very strange flight profile just headed sw from ft scottt
Anhinga like soaring
Look up
Brian Fitch


Re: Flying mystery - Anhinga

Aaron Maizlish
 

I don’t have that much to add.

While we were chatting I saw a high dark bird gliding and thought I might have an Ibis.  When I got my bins on it, saw the cormorant-like yellow bill and mentioned to Brian that I had a cormorant soaring like a raptor.  The proportions seemed wrong and I definitely wanted him to get a good look.  For one thing it was soaring quite high and not flapping its wings, and making lazy circles. For another thing it seemed to have long-planked wings and a large fanned tail.   Brian said “I’m going to regret saying this, but it’s shaped like an Anhinga.”   Suddenly all of the proportions made sense to me, and since he was on the bird I reached for my camera.  I was never able to get it focused on the speck of black in the sky, and I never got another look.  If I had my better lens on the camera I would have gotten it.

I’m going to let it go.  Brian got a better read on the features than I did.  That’s may be the end of the story unless someone sees an Anhinga around here in the next couple of days.  All sorts of weird and wonderful things are passing over head right now, and you just need to look up at the right time, preferably with the right lens on your camera.

Aaron Maizlish
 

On May 18, 2020, at 3:13 PM, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:


Around 10:30 this morning, Aaron Maizlish and I were standing at the north end of the Fort Scott ball field discussing how to judge the odd weather in regards to where to search for birds.  The wind was sporadic in both speed and direction, and the clouds and humidity were abnormal.  Aaron then picked up on what he thought was a cormorant heading over, and I ignored it, as D-c Cormorants are regular flybys here.  But then he said it was soaring, and that maybe it was an ibis, so I tracked his sight line and spotted the bird.  It was very high, only a speck to the naked eye, it was well south of us, and backlit, but I immediately noted why he was thinking ibis, as the proportions were odd, too long in front and back for any cormorant species.

As it circled into full ventral outline, I fell into shocked silence as I saw that the aft portion of the body did not consist of the gangly legs of an ibis, but was a long fan-shaped tail with tight corners, like a Sharp-shinned, only much bigger.  I could pick up no color at that point, and I asked Aaron if he could try to get a photo on the next circle.  But that was a mistake, as while he was pulling his camera up, he lost sight of the bird, and it broke its kettling and took a line west-southwest toward Baker Beach and maybe Land's End.  I was able to track it as it continued in a long, slowly descending soar, and as it became less backlit, I finally saw some buffy coloring on the front portions.  I can't recall even a single flap of the wings, and did not give adequate attention to their proportions.  In profile it was very clear that the bird was elongated on both ends relative to cormorants, but again, it was distant enough to leave me room for doubt.  But I posted the sighting anyway in case anyone else was watching along its path.

When the bird did not reappear, I pulled out my Sibley and did a little research before writing the second message.  Aaron soon left, and I went over to the Sutro Baths, where only a single cormorant was swimming, and then headed down to the cormorant rookery at Lake Merced.  Only after seeing multiple D-c's fly over me did I feel ready to face the negative energy from the sceptosphere and head for home to write this up.  I also checked other cormorant hangouts around the lake with no further luck. 

Just for background, I have seen many Anhingas in their normal range, two at the Salton Sea years ago, and just this past January, when life was still normal, saw several Oriental Darters in India.  There is one previous record of Anhinga that I know of here in the city, but from very long ago (1930's?).  As always, I am open to respectfully put questions about anything I may have failed to include above.  And Aaron, if you have anything to add or a differing memory, let me know.

I had already been out for hours prior to this sighting, with no shorebirds at all on Ocean Beach (so much for Birdcast!), a single Brant during an early Sutro seawatch, and a few tanagers singing at Dragonfly Creek.  A mother and calf Gray Whale were also highlights on the first Sutro visit.
Brian Fitch


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:59 AM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:

I may be ruining what reputation I have , but I believe we just had an Anhinga soaring south of Ft Scott, quite distant, but showing the classic shape from beneath and then in profile as it broke its circle and flew in the general direction of Land’s End.
It was backlit but appeared to have the Buffy neck of a female.
First spotted by Aaron, but he’s not ready yet to confirm.
Lake Merced may be a good place to look, but the sky might be best.
Brian Fitch

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:35 AM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A very strange flight profile just headed sw from ft scottt
Anhinga like soaring
Look up
Brian Fitch




Re: Flying mystery - Anhinga

Brian Fitch
 

Just received word that escaped African Darters have been seen in the south state in the past.  I'll leave it to others to consider the likelihood of one making its way up here, or to discover whether it or some other darter species has escaped from a local zoo.  Today's bird was too far away to differentiate between the members of the darter family.
BF


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 3:13 PM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Around 10:30 this morning, Aaron Maizlish and I were standing at the north end of the Fort Scott ball field discussing how to judge the odd weather in regards to where to search for birds.  The wind was sporadic in both speed and direction, and the clouds and humidity were abnormal.  Aaron then picked up on what he thought was a cormorant heading over, and I ignored it, as D-c Cormorants are regular flybys here.  But then he said it was soaring, and that maybe it was an ibis, so I tracked his sight line and spotted the bird.  It was very high, only a speck to the naked eye, it was well south of us, and backlit, but I immediately noted why he was thinking ibis, as the proportions were odd, too long in front and back for any cormorant species.

As it circled into full ventral outline, I fell into shocked silence as I saw that the aft portion of the body did not consist of the gangly legs of an ibis, but was a long fan-shaped tail with tight corners, like a Sharp-shinned, only much bigger.  I could pick up no color at that point, and I asked Aaron if he could try to get a photo on the next circle.  But that was a mistake, as while he was pulling his camera up, he lost sight of the bird, and it broke its kettling and took a line west-southwest toward Baker Beach and maybe Land's End.  I was able to track it as it continued in a long, slowly descending soar, and as it became less backlit, I finally saw some buffy coloring on the front portions.  I can't recall even a single flap of the wings, and did not give adequate attention to their proportions.  In profile it was very clear that the bird was elongated on both ends relative to cormorants, but again, it was distant enough to leave me room for doubt.  But I posted the sighting anyway in case anyone else was watching along its path.

When the bird did not reappear, I pulled out my Sibley and did a little research before writing the second message.  Aaron soon left, and I went over to the Sutro Baths, where only a single cormorant was swimming, and then headed down to the cormorant rookery at Lake Merced.  Only after seeing multiple D-c's fly over me did I feel ready to face the negative energy from the sceptosphere and head for home to write this up.  I also checked other cormorant hangouts around the lake with no further luck. 

Just for background, I have seen many Anhingas in their normal range, two at the Salton Sea years ago, and just this past January, when life was still normal, saw several Oriental Darters in India.  There is one previous record of Anhinga that I know of here in the city, but from very long ago (1930's?).  As always, I am open to respectfully put questions about anything I may have failed to include above.  And Aaron, if you have anything to add or a differing memory, let me know.

I had already been out for hours prior to this sighting, with no shorebirds at all on Ocean Beach (so much for Birdcast!), a single Brant during an early Sutro seawatch, and a few tanagers singing at Dragonfly Creek.  A mother and calf Gray Whale were also highlights on the first Sutro visit.
Brian Fitch


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:59 AM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:

I may be ruining what reputation I have , but I believe we just had an Anhinga soaring south of Ft Scott, quite distant, but showing the classic shape from beneath and then in profile as it broke its circle and flew in the general direction of Land’s End.
It was backlit but appeared to have the Buffy neck of a female.
First spotted by Aaron, but he’s not ready yet to confirm.
Lake Merced may be a good place to look, but the sky might be best.
Brian Fitch

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 10:35 AM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A very strange flight profile just headed sw from ft scottt
Anhinga like soaring
Look up
Brian Fitch