Date   
Mount Davidson Friday 8/10

Adam Winer
 

Spent an hour up at Mount Davidson this morning, albeit a bit later than I'd have liked. At any rate, before the fog closed in shortly after 9am, I'd seen a couple of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, my FOF Townsend's Warbler, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 2 Wilson's Warblers, a few southbound Tree Swallows, and what *looked* like a small flock of Waxwings heading north (albeit silhouettes in terrible light).

Most interestingly, I heard what sounded distinctly like the call of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet near the summit, but this would be *extremely* early - even records at the very end of August are still on the early side - so absent a visual I'm just going to back slowly away from any stronger claims...

-- Adam Winer

Warblers and other migrants, partially albino Purple Finch - Fort Mason and El Polin Spring

David Assmann
 

Migration is starting to happen. This morning there were three HERMIT WARBLERS, two WILSON'S WARBLERS and a YELLOW WARBLER in the Battery at Fort Mason. A third WILSON'S WARBLER and two HOODED ORIOLES were behind the General's House and a WESTERN TANAGER was along MacArthur. Two Selasphorus hummingbirds were seen - one in the garden and one in the Battery. At El Polin Spring, a WESTERN WOOD PEWEE, a WARBLING VIREO, and an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER were further signs of migration.  At the top of the trail, a PURPLE FINCH was feeding a partially albino youngster https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidasf/30085764498/in/dateposted-public/

Acorn Woodpeckers, Lafayette Park

William Grant
 

Greetings,

Yesterday, it appeared that the nestling was about to leave the nest (one picture)
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47729537

Today, the nest was empty and the flock of 7 Acorn Woodpeckers was busy gathering and storing acorns. (nine pictures)
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47743496

Enjoy,

Bill

Log Cabin Cassin's Vireo and other Migrants/Dispersers (turns out dispersant is for chemicals only) on the Move

Daniel Scali
 

Hellooooo,

This afternoon I spent way too much time trying to photograph Wilson's Warblers along the Log Cabin trail. There were at least 4 of them snapping up bugs and moving around with Chestnut-Backed Chickadees, Hutton's Vireos, and a Cassin's Vireo (I want it to be a Plumbeous or Blue-Headed, are there any wizards or witches on here?), the Cassin's singing sweetly to herself as she made her rounds.

Also of note spotted an Orange-Crowned Warbler, a Hermit Warbler, and an Olive-Sided Flycatcher; and heard a Pacific Wren twice start his solo and then think better of it.

A bunch of American Robins were acting suspicious -- perhaps getting a little tipsy -- getting after some blackberry and other delicacies.




Good pre-Fall birding,

Dan Scali



 

Fort Mason Olive Sided Flycatcher

David Assmann
 

On a cold, foggy morning, a few migrants were in the Battery at Fort Mason, including an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, a WESTERN TANAGER and a WILSON'S WARBLER. A BELTED KINGFISHER was on the abandoned pier.

Parakeet Auklet continues

Ralph
 

Dale Swanberg and I went to Land's End today to try for the Parakeet Auklet, which would be a lifer for Dale. We arrived at approx. 10:40 and walked east to the benches overlooking Hermit Rock. We waited for at least an hour, constantly scanning the rocks and water. Just as we were about to give up and move on, I looked down and BOOM, the PARAKEET AUKLET was there, right in front of us! It was bathing just beyond the foam SW of Hermit Rock. We watched it for 5-10 minutes. We took our eyes off of it briefly and when we looked back it was gone. We waited for another hour or so and never saw it again. Other birds of note there were an Osprey flying toward the Gate clutching a fish and a juvenile female Cooper's Hawk that passed through being mobbed by a couple of crows.

Ralph Baker, Riverbank

Bald Eagle over sunset District now

 

Subadult 2-3rd year flying northeast over south sunset playground/Sunset Blvd near ulloa right now!! 14:28 8/5/18

Dominik

Early raptor movement et al., end of SUMMER report

 

The last two days (8/4 and 8/5/18) I was fortunate to be looking up at the right time to note two uncommon to rare species of raptors for San Francisco passing over in apparent migration.

A little after noon yesterday, taking a lunch break walk on Corona Hill, a hatch year NORTHERN HARRIER was passing over heading south. The west winds were starting to increase and the heat/high pressure of the morning was starting to break down. I've found over the years that this has been the "sweet spot" for migrant raptors over the years in fall from Corona and other City hilltops.

Like every Harrier I've ever seen in the City, this bird was flying high up and on the move.

This morning, while playing basketball with Lucas at West Sunset Ballfields off Ortega and 39th Ave. we paused in our game for a new bird for this patch. A WHITE-TAILED KITE circled over a few times in the fog before continuing southwest.

Also, I am wrapping up the San Francisco Summer Season (June - July) report for
North American birds.

I've contacted many of you already. But if I haven't I'm looking for the following records :

Raptor nests - all species, exact locations will not be made public
Owls - any nests away from GGP
WT Swifts - breeding (?)
White- crowned Sparrow - any nesting east of Twin Peaks/Glen Canyon/McLaren away from Heron's Head/Pier 94
Herons nests- all species, away from Alcatraz/Lake Merced/Presidio/Marina
Pelagic Cormorant - any nesting noted
Swallow nesting - any species
Bluebird nests
Acorn Woodpecker - highest count at Lafayette park
Flicker - any breeding noted on coastal Bluffs /Fort scott?

Thank you,

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Local Interest - Fort Mason, Crissy, El Polin Spring

David Assmann
 

Two WILSON'S WARBLERS were at Fort Mason this morning - one behind the General's House and one in the garden. A HOODED ORIOLE was in the garden as well. Three NUTTALL'S WOODPECKERS were seen - this species was absent all summer until a few days ago. A BROWN CREEPER was behind the Hostel.  PIGEON GUILLEMOTS are still on an active nest on one of the piers. The WANDERING TATTLER was foraging along the side of Aquatic Park. An AMERICAN KESTREL landed on one of the buildings. At Crissy Lagoon, the most noteworthy bird was a young SAVANNAH SPARROW on the south side of the lagoon. At El Polin Springs there was a lot of raptor activity - multiple RED-TAILED HAWKS, RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS and COOPER'S HAWKS. Two hatch year HUTTON'S VIREOS were foraging around the spring.

Mount Davidson, Aug. 4

Adam Winer
 

This morning, a cold and foggy Mt. D had a couple of early surprises.

Most interesting were 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers flitting and calling around the plateau below the summit.  After 5 minutes, they flew up to the eucalyptuses, then out of sight to the west.  I could only find one other eBird record from the first week of August in SF.

Lower down, at the 4-way trail intersection, 2 House Wrens (one seen, one heard) were also a bit unexpected for the season, though less so.

Also seen were 2 Pac-slope Flycatchers (one calling), ~5 Allen's/Rufous Hummingbirds, 1 Flicker, and 2 Wilson's Warblers.

And yesterday at Sue Bierman Park, a couple of early migrants - one Yellow and one Wilson's Warbler - were hopefully getting the fall off to a decent start.

-- Adam Winer
   SF, CA


Elegant Terns

John Luther
 

Today, Aug 3, while doing a bird survey at the Alameda Reserve at Alameda Point we saw over 380 Elegant Terns roosting and flying in San Francisco County.  Most of them were at the Caspian Tern colony which still has a few young chicks.  The Elegant Terns were very restless and often flew so they could turn up any where near this area.  This is the same area where we have twice had a Black Skimmer.  

John Luther
Oakland

Phaino?

Brian Fitch
 

I was up at Corona Heights with a friend and without binoculars, and around 4PM a very dark bird with a long tail and white wing patches flew by well below the summit rocks where we were sitting.  I'm pretty sure it was a Phainopepla, but the quickness and distance of the sighting leave me a little room to doubt.  This morning, there was a single Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Ft Scott, so maybe the fires are displacing dry country birds, or maybe they're just early migrants.

The Sutro Baths had a very close Humpback lunge-feeding, but no unusual seabirds.

Brian Fitch

Good birds at Fort Mason

David Assmann
 

AMERICAN REDSTART and WILSON’S WARBLER in the Battery, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, WILSON’S WARBLER, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and three HOODED ORIOLES on hillside above Aquatic Park, WANDERING TATTLER on side of Aquatic Park.

Re: Local interest: Hawk Activity in Potrero Hill 7/31

 


I am interested in knowing when other birders in this area have noticed hawk activity increase in previous years?


Sarah and others,

Based on data from Hawk Hill regulars and mid-day watches from Corona Hill for several years, raptor movement on a seasonal scale seems to mostly occur from late March to late May, and again from late August through November, with some stragglers beyond this date range.

If you're talking on a day-to-day basis, you can expect to see Hawks/raptors aloft during changes in pressure like for example on a hot, still day when the breeze finally starts up; or on a foggy day when the skies begin to clear.

Now that I am back on the hill, I will once again be conducting regular lunch time hawk watches whenever the conditions look favorable.

If anyone is interested, message me off line and I can notify you in advance if it looks like weather will be cooperating. Or pioneer a hill of your own; there's supposed to be about 50 of them in the City I've been told.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Re: Local interest: Hawk Activity in Potrero Hill 7/31

Josiah Clark
 

That’s great Sarah! That’s a great count Sarah, but thankfully not at all unexpected in recent years. SF is lucky to have a high density of breeding raptors, comprised mostly of red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks.  Depending on the year, five or six diurnal species breed within the city limits.
 There are more species that nest commonly in the city now than when I was growing up here, 30+years ago. Though back then kestrels were common breeders and Red-shouldered much less common, Cooper’s and Osprey not at all, so things have changed a lot . 
In the last few years many observers noted local declines in breeding Red-tailed and Red-shouldered hawks. 
 Rodenticides, nest predation by ravens and crows and window strikes are the main limiting factors to raptor populations in urban areas today from what I have observed.
Tracking breeding success and using/studying  EBird are great ways to learn about, and contribute to our ongoing understanding of local bird populations. 
   Good birding!
  Josiah Clark, Consulting Ecologist 

On Jul 31, 2018, at 6:40 PM, Sarah Burton <burtosarah@...> wrote:

At this moment, a single adult (1) Peregrine Falcon is circling the top of Starr King OP and diving in full hunting stoop down the western sides of the hill. The last time this species was in the area, I watched it take a dove mid-air over the eucalyptus trees between Hwy 101 & SFGH. 

Earlier today, (3) Red-shouldered Hawks circled McKinley Park area, when a (1) Red-tailed Hawk (the resident) flew in and all dispersed shortly after.

I am interested in knowing when other birders in this area have noticed hawk activity increase in previous years?

Yours, 
Sarah Burton

Local interest: Hawk Activity in Potrero Hill 7/31

Sarah Burton
 

At this moment, a single adult (1) Peregrine Falcon is circling the top of Starr King OP and diving in full hunting stoop down the western sides of the hill. The last time this species was in the area, I watched it take a dove mid-air over the eucalyptus trees between Hwy 101 & SFGH. 

Earlier today, (3) Red-shouldered Hawks circled McKinley Park area, when a (1) Red-tailed Hawk (the resident) flew in and all dispersed shortly after.

I am interested in knowing when other birders in this area have noticed hawk activity increase in previous years?

Yours, 
Sarah Burton

Semipalmated Sandpiper continues

David Assmann
 

East of fence at Yosemite Slough with 40 or more Leasts - whole flock just flew south 

Re: Semipalmated Sandpiper still at Yosemite Slough 7/30

Adam Winer
 

Still present this evening.  Nice find, Dominik!


On Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 08:26 Bob Toleno <bob@...> wrote:
Shortly after sunrise this morning, i followed Domink's instructions and parked at Thomas and Griffith, then walked through the gate and toward the south and east. Most of the shorebird activity was concentrated around Double Rock, so i started there first, finding a handful larger shorebirds including stilts, an avocet, two Whimbrel, three Marbled Godwit, a Long-billed Curlew, plus about a dozen each of Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers. I was only able to find a single peep, a lone Least Sandpiper preening right next to Double Rock. I noticed just a few more shorebirds that were a couple hundred feet farther north, on the muddy patch due east of the cyclone fence. There i found three more peeps: two Leasts and one hatch-year SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. The bird gave great comparison looks, showing it's straight, blunt-tipped bill, black legs, and faint smudgy streaking across the breast.

Great find, Dom!

Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward

--
Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward

Semipalmated Sandpiper still at Yosemite Slough 7/30

Bob Toleno
 

Shortly after sunrise this morning, i followed Domink's instructions and parked at Thomas and Griffith, then walked through the gate and toward the south and east. Most of the shorebird activity was concentrated around Double Rock, so i started there first, finding a handful larger shorebirds including stilts, an avocet, two Whimbrel, three Marbled Godwit, a Long-billed Curlew, plus about a dozen each of Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers. I was only able to find a single peep, a lone Least Sandpiper preening right next to Double Rock. I noticed just a few more shorebirds that were a couple hundred feet farther north, on the muddy patch due east of the cyclone fence. There i found three more peeps: two Leasts and one hatch-year SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. The bird gave great comparison looks, showing it's straight, blunt-tipped bill, black legs, and faint smudgy streaking across the breast.

Great find, Dom!

Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward

--
Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward

Semipalmated Sandpiper continues at Candlestick 7/29/18

 

For anyone who goes to look for this bird.

The best way to enter the site is at Thomas and Griffith. From the entrance walk east to the cyclone fence and then south toward double rock. At the waters' edge looking across the fence shorebirds and gulls roost on the packed soil that was the smaller pond last year. 

At high tide the Semipalmated Sandpiper is likely to be roosting out of sight but as tide decreases it will start foraging out on the mud and can be picked out among the Leasts. 

The tide begins to drop enough to activate foraging 90-120 minutes after the "advertised" high tide. I use this site for the tide: 

The bird was active from about 16:30 on today, after a 14:40 high tide.

Some better images from today are here:


This site is probably the best for shorebirds in San Francisco right now. But don't tarry. I've been informed  a bridge is scheduled to be built here and this situation won't last.


Good luck, questions welcome.

Dominik



On Jul 29, 2018, at 16:00, Dominik Mosur via Groups.Io <polskatata@...> wrote:

Currently subject bird is out of sight in publicly inaccessible high tide roost but may fly out to mudflats as they uncover in next hour or two.

If anyone is in that area and interested in seeing it, contact me off list.

Dominik