Date   

Swainson's & Vultures

Brian Fitch
 

This morning, after continuing to experience the pitiful migration that has been dribbling through the city, I finally hit some activity at Ft Scott from mid-morning to noon.  The air movement was barely easterly for most of the time, and around 12, the wind went west and its speed and chill picked up a lot.

Prior to that change, I saw 53 Turkey Vultures, most in groups, of which the largest was 19, an Osprey, 2 Sharpies, 5 Cooper's, 4 migrant Red-taileds, an adult darker morph Swainson's Hawk, and an apparently migrating young Peregrine.  Band-tailed Pigeons were moving in small numbers and a few White-throated Swifts came and went among the swallow flock.  My early morning watch at Battery Godfrey totaled 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 2 Lazuli Buntings, a previously unimaginable poor result for the first week of May under clear and calm skies.

My only other recent bird species of interest was a northbound chaetura swift on Sunday, the 3rd.  It swept past my roof at eye level, flying strong and direct, looking large and long winged compared to the few Vaux's I've seen fluttering by this year.  There were no other birds traveling with it, but it flew by my resident Lesser Goldfinch, and the swift's body was larger than the goldie.  The plumage was standard chaetura brown-gray, with a slightly paler rump.  The only Chimneys I've confidently identified in California were darker individuals, and only after they spent time soaring and allowing decent study, so I am not identifying this bird as a Chimney, just a big fast chaetura.

The highlight of the week though was the return of Humpback Whales.  For the past three days, there have been at least 3 in the GG Channel or off of Sutro Baths, including a youngster that was lob-tailing and flippering yesterday.
Brian Fitch


Olive-sided flycatcher

Pat Greene
 

My Sutro summit— Singing its heart out.

Pat greene


Re: Geese are adaptable!

Janet Carpinelli
 

Hi
Yes, Yesterday I saw them all walking down Cargo Way just in front of Pier 94.
Janet Carpinelli


On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 4:19 PM Richard Bradus via groups.io <grizzledjay=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all

Made a brief stop during necessary activities to check out Pier 94 - which was pretty dead - but I had to check it out after seeing this goose family making the most of this small puddle at the sand storage/construction site. 

Lousy iPhone photo obtained after the goslings had taken a bath:
Inline image

Not exactly what we would consider to be appropriate habitat but, hey, whatever works!

Hope all of you are adapting as well.

Cheers!
Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Geese are adaptable!

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all

Made a brief stop during necessary activities to check out Pier 94 - which was pretty dead - but I had to check it out after seeing this goose family making the most of this small puddle at the sand storage/construction site. 

Lousy iPhone photo obtained after the goslings had taken a bath:
Inline image

Not exactly what we would consider to be appropriate habitat but, hey, whatever works!

Hope all of you are adapting as well.

Cheers!
Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Great-horned Owl serenaded Glen Park last night

Roberta Guise
 

Around 11:45pm Sat 5/3 on the east side of Glen Park, behind Diamond Street up Poppy Lane a few trees beyond the back of our house, I heard the owl call. Have heard them occasionally on cold clear December nights. Never in May.

'twas a beautiful soulful sound for the COVID weary...

P.S. KTVU Ch. 2 aired a brief news segment last night without interviews on the increased interest in birding since the lockdown. One close up showed someone with a Swarovski bin. My recall is the birds featured were Western gulls and corvids by a rusted-out barrel.

Onward!
~ Roberta Guise


Orchard Oriole Stow

Alan Hopkins
 

This morning at 7am I had a brief look at an adult Orchard Oriole that flew into the tree tops on Strawberry Island. It gave a few calls when it landed out of sight in a tree on the southeast side of the island. There wasn't much migrant activity Warbling Vireos, and Cedar Waxwings. Near Elk Glen Lake there was a Black-headed Grosbeak and the House Wren appears to be on territory.

Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA


Re: Bald eagle flyover

Dario Taraborelli
 

Spotted by Ella

On May 3, 2020, at 11:49, Dario Taraborelli via groups.io <dario.taraborelli=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Going SE from the Presidio golf course towards Sutro at 11:46



Bald eagle flyover

Dario Taraborelli
 

Going SE from the Presidio golf course towards Sutro at 11:46


Re: Pier 94 Salt March Access

Adam Winer
 

Yes, it's open to the public:

Pier 94 Wetlands
San Francisco, CA 94124

On Sat, May 2, 2020, 19:06 j3m4f5 <john.facchini@...> wrote:
Hello, 

I often see this location mentioned and have birder Heron's Head a number of time but am still uncertain how to (or if it's even public) to bird the Pier 94.  If it's public where should I park to access the location?


Pier 94 Salt March Access

j3m4f5
 

Hello, 

I often see this location mentioned and have birder Heron's Head a number of time but am still uncertain how to (or if it's even public) to bird the Pier 94.  If it's public where should I park to access the location?


Seawatch -- Solitary Sandpiper et al. + Bank Swallows, 5/1/20

Paul Saraceni
 

This morning I did a seawatch (7:30-10:30 AM) from the south end of the Great Highway.  There were light SW winds. The fog bank moved in from and out to the horizon several times during my watch, but never covered the beach and surf. Skies were overcast.

There was a nice movement of migrants including loons and various shorebirds, plus Brant and some other interesting species.
 
Best was a SOLITARY SANDPIPER.  During a period when the fog bank was encroaching, I picked up on this bird while scoping as it flew low over the ocean heading S over the surf. I am guessing that it was disoriented a bit by the fog -- it was flying on the clear (near) side of the fog bank. A mid-sized Tringa with uniformly dark upperparts and wings, dark rump through center of tail, dark underwings, white belly. Slightly buoyant flight. This is the second time that I have observed this rare species from this sea-watch. 
 
BRANT were on the move -- I observed 102 including flocks of 32 and 28 flying offshore, plus a close flock of 41 and a single bird flying over the surf in from the fog bank, all flying N.

A flock of 5 female RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS flew N over the surf near shore, in from the fog bank -- perhaps moved closer to shore by the fog. 

A sharp-looking RED-NECKED GREBE in alternate plumage flew N over the ocean. 

RHINOCEROS AUKLETS flew N together low over the ocean several hundred yards out. 

Other observations of local interest:

Surf Scoter 34
W. Grebe 11
Semipalmated Plover 1 (flying N high over the surf)
Killdeer 1 (flying and calling across the Great Highway)
Whimbrel 56
Long-billed Curlew 10 (1 calling flock flying N high over the bluff)
Marbled Godwit 1
Black Turnstone 7 (1 tight flock flying N over the surf -- uncommon at this location)
Sanderling 66
Least Sandpiper 2 (flying N over the surf)
Western Sandpiper 22 (groups of 18 & 4 flying N over the surf)
Willet 1
Pigeon Guillemot 2
Caspian Tern 1
Red-thr. Loon 16 
Pacific Loon 55 (most flying N)
Com. Loon 8
Brandt's Cormorant 60
Pelagic Cormorant 1 (alt. plumage)
Double-cr. Cormorant 30
Brown Pelican 82
Bewick's Wren 1 (singing from across the Great Highway)

On the walk back to my car parked near Sloat, I heard the distinctive calls of BANK SWALLOWS and looked up to see 4 flying N together over the Great Highway. I was looking and listening for this species during my seawatch but did not observe any near the traditional bluff location at the N end of Ft. Funston. Not sure whether these were migrants or from the nesting colony -- assuming that the colony still exists.

Paul Saraceni 
San Francisco


Western Tanager + Hooded Oriole + a question (photos)

Michael Lombardo
 

Hi all,

When: Today, 6:30PM
Where: The paths to the east of the Conservatory of Flowers, just above the terraced planters

Was walking underneath some eucalyptus when I heard a familiar CHAIP.

Lifted my binocs, fully prepared for a Hooded Oriole party, only to lay eyes on a Western Tanager ...AND a Hooded Oriole (photos below).

Does this scene sound familiar? If you follow SF Birds it might: I had an almost identical experience — Western Tanager + Hooded Oriole — at Lafayette Park a few weeks ago.

Which brings me to my question: Is there something to this pairing? Some kind of symbiosis or parasitism? Is it just a dumb coincidence? If I don't hear anything from you very knowledgable folks, my working theory, that I'm engaged in some kind of unknowable cosmic trinity with these two birds, stands.

6E7D0F2D-C928-4653-BCD5-E59E2789F5A3_1_105_c.jpeg
803A447C-635E-45B4-BA42-9CE52A18A4E7_1_105_c.jpeg

I watched them move from branch to branch for about twenty minutes before deciding to leave them alone. The Oriole seemed to be pestering the Tanager a bit, but not enough to shoo him away. 



Swainson's Hawk

David Assmann
 

Flew north over the eastern end of Golden Gate Park before noon today.


House Wrens nesting in Bayview Park

Kevin Liberg
 

Two House Wrens in Bayview Park This morning.  Singing and nest building.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S68120718

Kevin Liberg
San Francisco


Tricolored Blackbird

Lee-Hong Chang
 

Today (April 30) at around 12 pm, one male Tricolored Blackbird with a flock of Brewer's blackbirds and European Starlings was found by Rachel Lawrence in parade field at Fort Scott. 

Good birding, 
Lee Chang 
SF 




No Yellow-throated this morning

Richard Bradus
 

Foiled again.

Despite multiple observers scouring the area this morning (4/30), none was able to see the Yellow-throated Warbler that David found at Fort Mason yesterday. There were a couple of Audubon's Yellow-rumps hanging on, however, including a breeding plumaged male with a bright yellow throat that sometimes visited the bluish spruce (?) where the Yellow-throated was most often seen yesterday, so beware.

Otherwise, continuing the theme of this spring, not many migrants - though I did have my FOS Western Wood Pewee above the Battery. Russ Bright saw a Vaux's Swift, and reported 6 Pigeon Guillemots on the bay, looking frisky and possibly ready to mate. The Orchard Oriole again tantalizingly chattered briefly from the Community Garden area but remained hidden to me. But the Mockingbird with a penchant for Robin song variations was actively singing and displaying - a treat if you have not yet had the chance to hear this virtuoso.

Good luck wherever you may wander. Stay safe, and enjoy!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco


Spotted Sandpiper @ Heron's Head

Ken Moy
 

Hi birders,

Very sharp looking bird foraging at eater's edge on the left side of the trail (going out): dark spots on white breast, grayish head with white eyebrow, reddish brown bill with dark tip (slightly decurved), pale yellow legs, faint spots on a grayish back with russet hints. Still present, sighted at 10:10.


Re: Yellow Throated Warbler at Fort Mason

Brian Fitch
 

Just to update that David's Yellow-throated Warbler was present and singing after 10 AM, with many observers also present, still by the General's House.

Brian Fitch


On Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 8:43 AM David Assmann via groups.io <david_assmann=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Behind General’s House


Yellow Throated Warbler at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Behind General’s House


Re: Golden Eagle

birdwoman7007
 

Awesome was headed from locked down @ Pacific heights ,
to Fillmore, mask on …looked up LOL Golden Eagle.
ditto confirmation . Lucky me Lucky You, Happy Birding!

FYI-over the weekend I birder the Presidio foe a breath of fresh air and visit the peeps.
Highlights include Creeper -Lovers Lane, Allens hummer, annas too, red-tailed hawk family one juv.
Mockingbird pair, red-masked parakeets flock in my face feeding frenzy, fun ,loud.
Thanks for the reports, Be safe, Happy birding look up or out the window and get to know your hood.
.

On Apr 28, 2020, at 1:15 PM, Oscar Moss <oscartmoss@...> wrote:

Beautiful Golden Eagle just passed directly over my house heading north toward Fillmore/Pac Heights

Oscar