Date   
Summer Tanager Fort Mason 7/14

Jonah Benningfield
 

At Fort Mason yesterday morning, the continuing young male SUMMER TANAGER made three appearances throughout my time at the battery from 6:00 to 7:15.  It id definitely a "morning bird", so go early to see it.  It hangs out high up in the large Cypress at the West Battery, and also in the two Euks on either side of it.

good luck,

-Jonah

Rhinoceros Auklet

Alan Hopkins
 

A single bird seen flying south off the Sutro Baths overlook at 7:40. No Parakeet Auklet. I left many observers at the overlook before heading to Sutro. There were small numbers of Sooty Shearwaters and Common Murres. There were Common and Red-throated Loons near Seal Rocks. There were about five Humpback Whales offshore and Bottlenose Dolphins near Seal Rocks.

Alan Hopkins

PARAKEET AUKLET in San Francisco fide Marty DeAngelo 7/13/2016AM

Logan Kahle
 

Hi All,

Marty Angelo found and photographed a PARAKEET AUKLET at Land's End in San Francisco this morning, viewed from the Fort Miley overlook at the Northern terminus of 48th Avenue in San Francisco. I looked for over an hour this afternoon without success. Given the date, this could mean there are more to come...

Photos and details here:http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30672370

Good birding,
Logan Kahle for Marty Angelo
San Francisco

Fort Mason Oriole and Tanager Bonanza

David Assmann
 

It was more like fall migration than a mid-July day at Fort Mason this morning. The SUMMER TANAGER was in the Battery early in the morning, along with a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE and at least four HOODED ORIOLES. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was in with the Pygmy Nuthatches (two of whom are raising a 2nd brood in a nest hole).  Later there was intense Hooded Oriole behavior around the garden, with 8 or more HOODED ORIOLES flying around. At one point I had six birds in one binocular view.  It appeared there were two family groups of four each, and young were being fed on a regular basis outside the garden. While watching the Orioles, a young male WESTERN TANAGER flew in.  There were two or three WESTERN BLUEBIRDS (one male, and at least one young bird), along with all the other expected species.


Summer Tanager

David Assmann
 

The SUMMER TANAGER is still (back) in the Battery at Fort Mason.

Local Interest yesterday and today

David Assmann
 

Started the morning yesterday at Crissy Field Lagoon, which had 17 CASPIAN TERNS, including 6 young. A few shorebirds were present, including one SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, several KILLDEER, 2 LEAST SANDPIPERS and two WILLETS. There was a WESTERN TANAGER above El Polin Springs. In the Battery at Fort Mason, I spotted a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE on the antenna, and later at least four HOODED ORIOLES flew around the Battery.  This morning I spent an hour plus at Heron's Head, where I found a nice assortment of shorebirds, including my first of the season SPOTTED SANDPIPER, as well as WILLETS, BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, WHIMBREL, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BLACK-NECKED STILTS, a MARBLED GODWIT, and a LONG-BILLED CURLEW. Before leaving I walked to India Basin to check out a few ducks (which turned out to be MALLARDS), but when I got there a TRI-COLORED BLACKBIRD landed on a rock next to shore.


Parasitic jaeger baker beach

Josiah Clark
 

Flying several hundreds yards offshore going west into the wind, a light morph bird. Not unexpected but a first of the year for me as the bait concentrations continue around the SF gate. Thought I might have seen elegant terns back in their favorite spots on the Marin side from Kirby cove to Tennessee beach.
Also bottle nosed dolphins and humpbacks are regular sites from the beach of late.
Good birding
- Josiah

Yellow-headed Blackbird over Cole Valley + Sea watch, 7/11/16

Paul Saraceni
 

Monday (7/11) afternoon during casual skywatching from my deck in Cole Valley I observed a completely-unexpected, post-breeding wanderer around 1 PM: an immature male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD that flew N relatively low over my house, giving its hard flight call repeatedly while flying over. I believe it was an imm. male rather than an adult female based on the extent of the ochre-yellow coloring on its underparts which went a bit below its upper breast. 

Monday morning I joined Hugh Cotter for a sea watch (7-8:30) from the south end of the Great Highway. It was nice to have no fog for a change, with good visibility and brisk SW winds.  The large numbers of SOOTY SHEARWATERS from the past week or so were not present -- just 5 solo birds flying N, relatively close to shore. Nice numbers of Common Murres were moving in both directions and on the water (400+), and there were small numbers of Pigeon Guillemots (6), Common Loons (2 -- basic), W. Grebes (2), and Pelagic Cormorants (4). Most interesting but unidentified was what appeared to be a murrelet flying low over the wave tops and fast northbound, showing bright white underwings and underparts.

There were a few migrant shorebirds including Marbled Godwit (4 on the beach), W. Sandpiper (2 on the beach), and Least Sandpiper (18 fly-bys). The bleached, summering Glaucous-winged Gull continued on the beach, and a single Bank Swallow was flying over the colony area. 

Paul Saraceni 
San Francisco

Register now for WFO's annual conference, 28 Sep through 2 Oct

David Quady and Nancy Boas
 

Hi, Birders:

Registration is open for Western Field Ornithologists’ 41st annual conference, 28 Sept - 2 Oct in Fortuna, Humboldt County CA. We’ll meet at the beautiful River Lodge Conference Center along the Eel River; four motels and an RV park are just a short walk away.

There’ll be full-day field trips on Thursday and Sunday, and half-day field trips and workshops on Friday and Saturday mornings. Our always enlightening Science Sessions will fill the early afternoons, followed by Nathan Pieplow’s popular bird sound identification team challenge (Friday) and Ed Harper’s illuminating expert panel bird photo identification session. WFO’s no-cost reception and cash bar will close out Friday evening while our annual meeting, banquet and keynote address, and a silent auction (benefits our youth scholarship program) will conclude Saturday’s program.

Openings currently exist in workshops that will be led by Jon Dunn (warblers), Steve Shunk (woodpeckers), Peter Pyle (molt), Phil Unitt (specimen prep), Kimball Garrett (non-native bird ID), and Christine Elder (field sketching). Two dozen different field trips will be presented, each at least twice; many are full or nearly so, but several fascinating trips still have openings. The Science Session agenda is nearly filled with presentations, but there’ll be plenty of room in the audience for you there, and for the ID panels.

To learn more, and to register, visit < http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/conference.php> now. See you in Fortuna!

Please excuse duplicate postings.

Dave Quady
President, Western Field Ornithologists
Berkeley, California
davequady@...

Re: San Francisco City Cumulative List - Mid Year Report

h cotter
 

All,
A number of people have asked why a San Francisco City cumulative list and not a County cumulative list ; what constitutes the City versus County; what is included on the City list etc.

The response is a very "only in San Francisco" one.

As we all know the San Francisco is a City and County.

In general the county boundaries extend past the Farallones to the west, to the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, in around the water harbor at Fort Baker on the north, cuts across a portion of Angel Island, up the delta to Red Rock I believe, includes Treasure Island and includes a portion of the Alameda National Wildlife Refuge to the east and then to Candlestick Point and the end of Lake Merced to the south.

When a species list was initially drawn up it was felt that having a combined City and County list with the Farallones included would distort the species distribution of a number a species that are regular on the Farallones but very difficult if not impossible outside of the islands - for example there are many records of Connecticut Warbler from the Farallones and only one seen on the mainland; one at Mount Davidson.
In addition, at the time information or a list of records from outside of the City were not as accessible then as they are now through media such as sfbirds or ebird.

Many San Francisco birders started keeping both a City and County list because we could not access the Farallones or the Alameda NWR with the City list having as much if not more importance than the county list. We have maintained this list for the last 16 years or so.
The San Francisco City list has been adjusted over the years but it basically encompasses only the peninsular part of the City/County and everything seen from there or close to there. We have used 3 miles offshore as the arbitrary line to the west. Treasure Island and Alameda NWR are not included as part of the City list.
The county list then encompasses everything within San Francisco City and County. I do update this list as well.

This is all pretty arbitrary and likely only of relevance or interest to SF City birders and since we don't seem to get out of SF much we gotta get our kicks somehow.

Comments appreciated.

Hugh


From: "htcotter@... [SFBirds]"
To: "sfbirds"
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2016 2:13:41 PM
Subject: [SFBirds] San Francisco City Cumulative List - Mid Year Report

 


All,
The San Francisco City cumulative species list stands at 245 at the end of the June 2016.
In spite of the poor spring vagrant season, this is three ahead of last year's total and two ahead of our previous highest total through June from 2014.

The breakdown by month is as follows:
Jan 189
Feb 199
Mar 214
Apr 231
May 243
June 245

There have been a number of highlights so far this year but the three new additions to the San Francisco City list must be at the top; Royal Tern and Leach's-storm Petrel in January and California Thrasher in June.
Other highlights so far this year include Yellow-billed Loon, Long-eared Owl, Gray Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, (first in five years) and Phainopepla,( first since 2007) to name a few.
Main misses so far include Ross's Goose and  Blue-winged Teal.
July usually adds one to two species to the annual list and to date one has been added so far this month.

The current San Francisco list stands at 414 species with the county list at 486 per my calculations.

Hugh



Farallon Islands - trip report

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Hello all,

   It was a foggy day yesterday, but low winds and waves so it was a pleasant ride to get out and back from the islands. Minutes after leaving the slip, we had our first surprise a female Black Scoter! Generally uncommon in the county, and very rare in summer, this individual had been found here several weeks ago by Steve Hampton. As we headed out, right in Half Moon Bay we had a nice show of Humpback Whales, close to the boat and actively feeding with a lot of gulls and the first Elegant Tern of the season for us. Three species of loons, and the first mass of Common Murres were here. The adults males with young we saw later on in the day, but they have not yet reached the coast. The young can’t fly yet, so when they arrive on the coast you can be sure that they swam from the nearest colonies! The first Red-necked Phalaropes are in, all adults as expected, numbers should build up soon. Arriving at Southeast Farallon Island we were treated to a spectacle. There are thousands and thousands of Common Murres still attending the colony, including many birds flying in with fish in the bills to feed the young. Perhaps 300 or so Pigeon Guillemots are about as many as you can see anywhere in the state at one time, and many great views of adult Tufted Puffins in all their glory. The islands were foggy, but Bob Power eventually spotted a Brown Booby on Sugarloaf where they have been present for several seasons now. Lots of Northern Fur Seals where there, as well as a Grey Whale. Off we went to the deep water, where for a few minutes the wind blew and the fog disappeared and then out of nowhere – Two Blue Whales!! It had been a while since we had seen them, but it seems to be a good year for them, so I am hopeful we can find more this season. What luck! Many, many Cassin’s Auklets were out there, with a smattering of Rhinoceros Auklets, but due to the fog and low wind there were very few tubenoses. Sooty Shearwater picked up as we arrived closer to shore, and another surprise as we began to see the coast – the Northern Gannet made a distant fly by heading south along the Half Moon Bay coast. Ironic, as we thought if we see the gannet it will be at the islands. A few photos of the birds here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/with/27965465140/

   All in all it was a great trip to the Farallons, lots of birds, although we could have done with less fog. The next trip out is this Saturday, to the continental shelf where I am hoping for more Blue Whales, as well as albatross. This is a very good time of year for albatross, a nice time to find a Laysan in with the Black-footed. And recall that the Salvin’s Albatross that we found was in July a couple of years ago. Warm water has been out there, it came in, retreated and I hope it comes in soon. In Oregon tuna rich warm waters are creating a boom in the albacore fishing, so this water may show up here even as early as this weekend. We shall see, the last time that happened was a few years ago and we had some great sightings, including Hawaiian Petrel, Leach’s Storm Petrel, lots of jaegers etc. We shall see. Contact me if you are interested in Saturday’s trip.  http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/

 

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Local Interest

David Assmann
 

By the time I left the Cliff House at 7:45 am this morning, at least 3,000 COMMON MURRES had passed by, flying south, and they were still streaming by at a rate of several hundred a minute. Some even flew in between the rocks and shoreline.  The total number could easily have been triple what I estimated, since I only counted/estimated for about half the time I was there.  There were a handful of SOOTY SHEARWATERS in with them, and two WHIMBRELS flew by close to shore. I also saw a small, all dark bird with pointed wingtips and a fluttery flight in with some of the Murres.  It was smaller than a Common Murre, but I have no idea what it may have been.

I spent most of the morning at the Chain Lakes, where the highlights included the continuing AMERICAN REDSTART at North Lake, singing on the west side of the lake, and three GREAT HORNED OWLS sitting in the same tree over the path at Middle Lake. Conspicuous by their absence were ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS - I only saw two (and none yesterday at El Polin) - they may already be heading south.

I had fifteen minutes for a brief stop at Fort Mason, to see if the Summer Tanager was still around (it was seen yesterday).  There was a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER in the Battery (the first since May), and a bird that was the right size and shape for the Summer Tanager flew out of the Battery heading south, but I wasn't able to get on it well enough to confirm.


San Francisco City Cumulative List - Mid Year Report

h cotter
 

All,
The San Francisco City cumulative species list stands at 245 at the end of the June 2016.
In spite of the poor spring vagrant season, this is three ahead of last year's total and two ahead of our previous highest total through June from 2014.

The breakdown by month is as follows:
Jan 189
Feb 199
Mar 214
Apr 231
May 243
June 245

There have been a number of highlights so far this year but the three new additions to the San Francisco City list must be at the top; Royal Tern and Leach's-storm Petrel in January and California Thrasher in June.
Other highlights so far this year include Yellow-billed Loon, Long-eared Owl, Gray Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, (first in five years) and Phainopepla,( first since 2007) to name a few.
Main misses so far include Ross's Goose and  Blue-winged Teal.
July usually adds one to two species to the annual list and to date one has been added so far this month.

The current San Francisco list stands at 414 species with the county list at 486 per my calculations.

Hugh

Rose-breasted Grosbeak continuing at Mount Sutro Forest - Open Space Reserve

Linda Swanson
 


This morning at about 10:45 there was a singing male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the Mount Sutro Forest along Johnstone Drive. The location on Johnstone Drive is up from the intersection with Medical Center Way, and at the summit, highest point of Johnstone across from a wooden sign indicating the address numbers 165 and 175. This is just across the street and up a short distance from the Rose-breasted Grosbeak that Daniel Scali reported on June 11, so assume this is the same individual. I returned about forty-five minutes later but could not refind the bird.


Linda Swanson

last minute openings Farallon Islands tomorrow. Predicted calm weather.

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

Folks,

   A last minute cancellation opened up two spots on tomorrow’s birding-whale watching trip to the Farallon Islands. The weather looks quite calm as far as wind and waves go, unusually calm really, so it should be a good day for those who have been waiting for a relatively calm day to head out to the islands (knock on wood). It will be cold, and earlier in the day it could be foggy though, just to be realistic about weather J. The show of murres should be ongoing, as well as the good whale densities, Tufted Puffin, and Brown Booby. We will try to find the Northern Gannet, but it has been tougher to see recently from boats. And of course, it is just a neat place to get to see, no doubt about it. It is last minute, but if you are interested please e-mail me or 650-504-7779. Farallon trips are often very popular and sell out, as this was until the cancellations.

   Our trip next week, July 16 looking for offshore birds still has spots left, but the one later on in the month on the 23d has sold out.

 I will be back with a full report of what we see tomorrow.

Good birding to you all.

Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

Fort Mason this morning

David Assmann
 

The SUMMER TANAGER was still in the Battery at Fort Mason when I left at 10 am this morning (picture at Summer Tanager) Despite the fog and overcast, birds were active, with lots of young birds foraging and/or being fed.  A very upset WESTERN GULL was repeatedly dive-bombing a young RED-TAILED HAWK in the garden. One of the GREAT HORNED OWLS was preening in the Palm tree behind the General's House.  Two PIGEON GUILLEMOTS swam in Aquatic Park, and the surviving Western Gull chick on the raft is getting quite large.

 



Re: Summer Tanager at Fort Mason

Adam Winer
 

Still present in euc above battery.


On Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 8:05 AM david_assmann@... [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Young male - in Battery

Summer Tanager at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

Young male - in Battery

Local Interest - Northern Flicker, etc.

David Assmann
 

Did a loop through the Presidio, after a stop at the Palace of Fine Arts, where the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS are so habituated to being fed that two young birds followed people around, begging for handouts (walking to within three feet). At Crissy Lagoon, a few new shorebirds have shown up.  I watched one WILLET, six LEAST SANDPIPERS and three WESTERN SANDPIPERS foraging. On the field, there were a number of young WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS that have recently fledged, along with two very young AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. One WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was carrying new nesting material.

At Battery Godfrey, there was a vocal NORTHERN FLICKER, and I heard a second one calling from above the Battery to Bluffs trail. There was a minor feeding frenzy offshore, consisting of BRANDT'S CORMORANTS, HEERMAN'S GULLS, BROWN PELICANS and WESTERN GULLS. One WRENTIT was calling from the hillside.

At Kobbe and Upton, I observed a male HOODED ORIOLE carrying food to a nest, and also a female (some ways away), gathering nesting material and flying into a palm multiple times.  It seems very late for nest building.  Judging by the numbers of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS in the air, they have had a very successful nesting season.  I also observed a lot of young DARK-EYED JUNCO, and one recently fledged BROWN CREEPER.


Presidio Crossbills, Cowbird/bushtit, baitfish, breeding etc...

Josiah Clark
 

   During a brief walk with Radar the dog I noted a Bushtit pair feeding a Brown-headed Cowbird chick. A first for me, its hard to imagine a cowbird even getting into a bushtit nest.
   A few local-type Red Crossbills flew over calling as well at the edge of the golf course. I heard what sounded like a begging young American Goldfinch just above 15th ave, which has been a rare breeder in the city this year. 
    It appears the big nesting rush is mostly over (70%?-curious what others are noting), with most birds flying around in family groups tending and feeding young. Bird song is way down, though a Wilson's Warbler still at it at Mt. Lake park, with apparent fledged young about. Decent numbers of young of many native species in the western sector. Young Downy and Nutall's Woodpeckers seem to be dispersing and especially notable all over the city, including my yard. 
     Meanwhile out on the coast I noted my first dead Murre of the season, an adult. Apparently a very bad nesting year for them on SE Farrallon but the first chicks just fledged last week. Hopefully they can get at the baitfish that are building up at the mouth of the SF gate. July 4th there was an impressive and persistent feeding frenzy happening off North Baker Beach. Sardines chased by Green-backed Mackeral, Mackeral chased by Striped Bass. Its been one of the windiest, roughest June's on the ocean in my memory. I have to think when it does calm down there will be some massive feeding flocks forming on schooling baitfish.
   Good birding,
 Josiah Clark




--
Josiah Clark | Consulting Ecologist | 415.317.3978