09/07/19: SF Zoo American Redstart

H Cotter

Birdied the SF Zoo this morning - relatively quiet with the highlight an American redstart near the cafe. A number of yellow and townsends warblers also present.
Ocean beach had 3 Western Sandpipers among the many sanderling and Snowy Plover. Offshore were 4 Parasitic Jaegar and many sooty shearwaters.


Correction - Not a Mew Gull at Golden Gate Yacht Club Harbor

David Assmann

The gull was a California Gull, not a Mew Gull.

Fort Mason Migrants and Golden Gate Yacht Club Harbor Mew Gull

David Assmann

Migrants continue to come through at Fort Mason, with a WILLOW FLYCATCHER and a YELLOW WARBLER in the shrubs next to the restrooms; a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, a HOUSE WREN and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in the garden; a HOODED ORIOLE and a WILSON'S WARBLER on the slope above Aquatic Park; and 8 YELLOW WARBLERS, a HOUSE WREN, a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER and 4 WESTERN TANAGERS in the Battery. Also had a brief look at what I was fairly sure was a LINCOLN'S SPARROW, but the bird was too skulky to get a second look. The Golden Gate Yacht Club had 17 SURFBIRDS, a BLACK TURNSTONE and a 2nd winter MEW GULL (early).

Chestnut-sided Warbler at Middle Lake

Aaron Maizlish

A juv Chestnut-sided Warbler on the small lawn on the west side of Middle Lake in Golden Gate Park at 12:45pm. Flew in and flew out to the trees about 50 yds north.

Today is the Lowell Invitational Cross Country meet, so the park is crowded.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco

Strawberry hill migrants

Max Benningfield

Hi All,
Today Joachim and I birded Strawberry Hill and had tons of activity: at least 20 Yellow Warblers, 2 Black Throated Gray Warblers, 2 Orange Crowned Warblers, 2 Wilson’s Warblers, around 10 Townsend’s Warblers, a Hermit Warbler and a MacGillivray’s Warbler. Many Pac slopes and a House Wren but the best birds were 2 Cassin’s Vireos and a SUMMER TANAGER. All seen by the reservoir. The summer tanager was on the steps leading up to the reservoir on the North side. Pale yellow orange with a thinker bill then the yellow warblers, no wing bars and lager the the other warblers. 
Good birding all,
Max and Joachim

Parasitics & More at Sutro

Brian Fitch

I have no idea how many Parasitic Jaegers were pirating off of the Baths today, but they were in every seaward direction throughout a three hour watch, and at one point a very unlucky Elegant Tern had six of them swarming it at once, with a Heermann's tagging along for good measure.  Only two dark morphs were around.

Species variety was finally higher than in recent weeks, with my first Surf Scoter in several months, an alternate plumaged Pacific Loon, a small flock of only 800 or so Sooty Shearwaters, and an early Bonaparte's Gull.  There were two Wandering Tattlers on the beach before the canines invaded, and the only cetaceans were four Bottlenosed Dolphins, with one showing off its fluke-waving ability.

North Lake in GG Park had a few common migrants, but the highlight was watching a Red-shouldered Hawk take a mouse from an alder branch and then get chased by one of the juvie Cooper's that have been screaming around the lake for some time now.

Brian Fitch

Fort Mason Local Interest

David Assmann

Migrants continued to trickle through Fort Mason this morning, with a WESTERN TANAGER and a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK behind the General's House, a YELLOW WARBLER, a HOUSE WREN and a WARBLING VIREO in the garden, and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, a HOUSE WREN, 7 YELLOW WARBLERS, a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, a WILSON'S WARBLER and a WESTERN TANAGER in the Battery. An ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER was south of the restrooms, and two HOODED ORIOLE flew over the lawn in front of the General's House.

Half Moon Bay Pelagic report - from last weekend.

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hello all.


We did two pelagics this last holiday weekend, both out of Half Moon Bay. One on Saturday and one on Monday. The weather was calmer on Saturday, a bit choppier on Monday. Saturday’s water temperature got to an incredible 65.5F, while on Monday it was 60.5 F or so. Offshore water was blue and plankton free, true offshore water. We were able to get out deeper on Saturday than Monday, and perhaps we would have found warmer water had we been farther out.

              Diversity and numbers were slightly higher on Monday. On both trips we saw 20-30 Black-footed Albatross, and Monday we lucked out with a juvenile Laysan Albatross!! This was a banded individual, and a different bird than the ones we have seen previously this season. Four of our last 5 trips have had Laysan Albatross. That included 5 different birds, as out of Bodega we had two different individuals. This is a record for us. It seems like this is a year to be out there looking for Laysan Albatross. As the breeding colony in Guadalupe Island, Mexico continues to grow I expect that we will continue to see increases here as well. On both trips we found numbers of Ashy Storm-Petrel, although on the more northerly trip on Saturday we also found Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel in SF waters. Three species of shearwater were found on both days, and most memorable are the tens of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters close to shore in Half Moon Bay which spellbound most of the folks on the boat. Perhaps 50,000? The number there is staggering, birders have been visiting Half Moon Bay to see this spectacle from the shore. It is cool, last week even the Northern Gannet was in there. Monday had the greater number of Pink-foots (225) and Buller’s (6), we expect that these two will become more common particularly as the juvenile Buller’s begin to arrive.

              All three jaegers showed up on both trips, with several Long-tailed offshore on the deeper water Saturday trip in SF waters. What a beautiful bird, most adults have shed their tail streamers, but 1-2 still had them. Gorgeous. We were happy on Monday to find a South Polar Skua, only our second this season, surely they will pick up in numbers now that the season is progressing. They tend to be more common a bit later on in the fall. Sabine’s Gulls were widespread with mostly adults found, but under 20 on each trip. I worry that they did not have a good breeding season in the Arctic given how few juveniles are being seen. They offered up some awesome photo opportunities, which was great. The Arctic Tern continues to be regular out there, with few to no Common Terns. It is interesting that this is still the case, perhaps the Commons are coming in a bit later? Phalaropes were more abundant on Saturday, perhaps due to the calmer waters, and many Red were in with the Red-necked Phalaropes.

              Common Murre and Rhinoceros Auklets are common, murres more so closer in to shore, while Rhinoceros are out in the deeper water and more distant shelf waters. Tufted Puffins made a showing on both trips, 3 on Saturday, 2 on Monday. Half Moon Bay is a particularly good port to find puffins, especially post breeding, so right now is the time! Cassin’s Auklets were few on Monday, and a fly off offshore murrelet was not seen before it could be identified – likely it was a Scripps’s. Harlequin Duck was a nice bonus on Monday. Nice numbers of Humpback Whales were out there, and we had a good show of Pacific White-sided Dolphin with Northern Right Whale Dolphin on Monday.

              I was getting worried that we were starting to see waning numbers after the Saturday trip which was diverse but not plentiful on some species. Yet numbers up ticked across the board for Monday, so I think that this is not a concern. There are lots of birds out there to see!

      Come and join us. We are having a great time out there, folks are getting great photos, and many a lifer. We have a Saturday departure from Monterey which still has openings. Our Sunday trip out of Half Moon Bay is sold out. But the following weekend we have trips on Saturday and Sunday both with a few spots open.  Note that we are now offering a reduced price for youth birders (19 or under) of $100. We have been having a super time with many young birders offshore, thanks to the California Young Birders Club. Also thanks to folks who have sponsored young birders this season. These young birders also have superb eyes, Wow!


Good birding!



Alvaro Jaramillo




Local Interest

David Assmann

YELLOW WARBLERS were the most common migrating species at Fort Mason this morning - I counted at least 14. Otherwise there were few migrants than yesterday - 4 WESTERN TANAGERS, 2 WILSON'S WARBLERS, 2 HOUSE WRENS, 1 BLUE GRAY GNATCATCHER and a HOODED ORIOLE. The RUFF continues at Crissy Lagoon.

Re: Nashville Warbler at Salesforce Park

Megan Jankowski

Oops. I'm retracting my Nashville Warbler at Salesforce Park. Upon reviewing Russ Bright's ebird list and photo from the next day, I'm sure what I saw was a HY or female Common Yellowthroat that he spotted. I should have known better but I didn't think of it at the time.


Fort Mason Local Interest

David Assmann

No unexpected species, but good numbers of migrants passed through Fort Mason early this morning, including at least 23 YELLOW WARBLERS (more than a dozen in the garden), 19 WESTERN TANAGERS (including a group of 10 moving together), 6 WILSON'S WARBLERS, 3 BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, 1 HOODED ORIOLE, 1 BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, 1 HOUSE WREN (probably a continuing bird), 1 PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, 1 WILLOW FLYCATCHER and a SAVANNAH SPARROW (over by the restrooms).

Peter Pyle talk on Farallon Islands, Thursday, 7:30 PM in SF

Eddie Bartley

Curious about the ecology of San Francisco's seldom visited Farallon Islands? Here's a chance to learn more about one of the most productive seabird islands in the north Pacific from a biologists who has spent over 2100 days there.

Details here:

Free and all are welcome.

Eddie Bartley

Fort Mason Local Interest

David Assmann

Today was not as productive as yesterday, but there were still some good migrants moving through, including a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (in the garden), 6 YELLOW WARBLERS, 3 BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, a HERMIT WARBLER, a WILSON'S WARBLER, 6 WESTERN TANAGERS, and 2 BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS. There were 2 HOUSE WRENS in the Battery, and one behind the General's House.

Ruff continues September 3

Eddie Bartley

September 3: Noreen and I had fun showing a visiting American Bird Conservation biologist some local sand and not so local birds while yakking about conservation issues and strategies. We met at the Crissy Lagoon where the juvie Ruff was active as were at least 17 Snowy Egrets (a lot!) were feeding and chasing each other around. Also Great-blue,Great Egret and Black-crowned Night Heron.

Great scope views of the Ruff and lil' later great naked eye views of it feeding on the sand bar. 

A stroll to the Wildlife Protection area was not so productive: negative on plovers but another LB Curlew and 3 Common Loons, 6 Surf Scoters on the water, Elegant Terns, many Pelies and Cormorants on the air.

Crissy Field was popping. Fairly sure I had a bunting but it was flushed before I could confirm. Anyway, lot's of blackbirds and starlings, American, Lesser Goldfinches, couple of Violet-greens mixed in with Barn Swallows.

Red-breasted Nuthatch was calling from the willows (NW corner of lagoon) on the return. Looks like the remaining two juvie American White Pelicans have probably moved on. 

Happy Trails!

Eddie Bartley

Nashville Warbler at Salesforce Park

Megan Jankowski

At lunchtime I spotted a Nashville Warbler at Salesforce Park. It was on the east side, in the native plant portion of the park behind the restrooms. There may have been two, as I heard two warblers chipping at each other.

I didn't spot the Wilson's warbler or the Western tanager that Sarah Burton's group saw this morning.

Megan Jankowski

Probable young summer tanager @glen canyon park

Lee-Hong Chang

Just saw a bird that looks like a young summer tanager in willows at (37.7382590, -122.4414220). This is the spot near where a summer tanager was seen earlier this year. It's near the south end of Islais creek about 80 yards north of recreation center.

Lee Chang 

Fort Mason Local Interest - Good day for western migrants

David Assmann


Negative on Parula

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Seeing as how no one has chimed in as yet, I wanted to pass along the fact that multiple folks had explored North Lake late this morning and early afternoon and, at least as of 1 pm, the Parula had not reappeared. All was not lost, however, as there was a good mix of other warblers - mostly Yellows but also Wilson's, Townsend's and Yellowthroat, plus a few Pac-slope/Western Flycatchers, Warbling Vireos and a Red-breasted Nuthatch (possibly two, if one includes some more distant honking heard by many). There was also some interesting vocalization by a pair of juvenile Cooper's Hawks, one of whom perched quite low a couple of times off the path along the southwestern part of the lake north of the bridge (north of where the raccoons and Ravens continue to hang out), providing iPhone photo opportunities for some surprised walkers.

Good luck to all who may be trying later today. In any case, now that Mother Nature has turned on our natural air-conditioning (fog) again, it seems that migration season is set to begin earnest.

Have fun out there!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

N. Parula n. Lake

Alan Hopkins

Middle of lake near chestnut trees

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

Ruff contiues Monday Sept.2nd.

richard s. cimino

The juvenile Ruff continues to been seen up to 7:30AM today Sept.1.
The Ruff was seen on lagoon by entering the "wildlife protected area" from the bridge on the far southeastern end of Crissy Field, Golden Gate National Recreation Park.
Crissy Field is about a 45 minute drive from San Francisco Airport.
Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle
Marin County,