Date   
Black Skimmer

David Nelson
 

One Black Skimmer on the beach south of the wave organ at the east end of the SF Yacht Club parking area at 11:48am.

David W. Nelson

Re: Black Skimmers

Felix Rigau
 

 

A wild and wonderful morning! On my walk to the “Wave Organ” I had good, close up views of two Black Skimmers on the beach at the end of the jetty. 

 

Dan Murphy and Russ Bright, two great birders whom I've known from my early birding years but don’t see often, were also birding there. As we were chatting a long dark line of clouds headed our way, looking quite ominous. I bid my friends adieu and started my walk back. At the parking area I observed a Surfbird walking along the base of the retaining wall. Russ and Dan were then approaching and I shared my sighting. That led to a short discussion on birds less frequently seen in the city then in years past — American Kestrel and Ruddy Turnstone. 

 

By this time the thunderous clouds were on top of us. It started to hail and blow strongly. I’m very grateful to Dan who gave me shelter from the storm in the cab of his truck.

And thanks to Jonah for a great find!

 

Good Birding.

 

 

Felix Rigau

Re: Black Skimmer update

Brian Turner
 

Both birds currently at east end of wave organ on sheltered beach to the south.

Brian T.


On Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 11:32 AM Rudyard Wallen <arelist12@... wrote:
11:28am both at Wave Organ.  Flew north for lunch. Minutes later one flying around yacht parking lot with a fish in its mouth, trying to shake a marauding gull. Flew back south. 

Rudy W
SF 

via Cher Ami


via Cher Ami

Skimmers at Wave Organ now

Siobhan Ruck
 

For any considering a stop after work, both birds are at the wave organ “beach”

Siobhan Ruck, SF

Black Skimmer left

Joachim Gonzalez
 

As of now the single Black Skimmer left flying west, possibly to Crissy. It was getting mobbed by a gull before it left so it might be skittish. Worth a look at the lagoon.
Good Birding
Joachim 

Black Skimmer GONE

Joachim Gonzalez
 

The Skimmer is not at Crissy Field. Maybe back at Wave Organ. Maybe it flew out to the ocean.

Joachim 

Black Skimmer remains

Richard Bradus
 

Hi all

As others have noted, there is one remaining Black Skimmer hanging out in the St. Francis Yacht Club harbor/Wave Organ area. Today (Feb. 16) when I arrived just after 3:30pm it was soaking up the sun at the edge of the "beach" below the rocks leading to the wave organ, maintaining its position despite multiple people nearby and a man and a dog that walked just a few meters away. It eventually went for a sortie around the area, unfortunately not skimming, but it did fly almost right past me as I stood at water's edge just off Marina Green (and apparently off to Crissy Field and back). It again settled for a time at the edge of the rocks just below the wave organ until chased away by people venturing onto the beach, but it was again resting on the sand just to the west when I left.

Also a good assortment of other fowl, including some unusual behavior: a sanderling that was foraging along the top of the cement breakwater, weaving in and out of the gulls, and a lone starling that decided to glean among the rocks below the seawall.

Thanks Jonah!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

Skimmers skimming, bittern bitterning

Eddie Bartley
 

Noreen and I took a spin around the waterfront on Friday with a Netherlander birder. He had happened upon Skimmer admirers Thursday and, upon seeing he was with binoculars, these birders pointed out the rare visitors – he was delighted not only with the birds but also how friendly and helpful these birders were . Thanks and yay for that!

 

On the way to Crissy we could see the Skimmers on the beach so we stopped and admired them as well as 4 Surfbirds and a Black Turnstone. There was an odd fourth cycle/adult hybrid Gull. Western mostly but a couple of shades lighter gray on the mantle, a smallish bright yellow-orange bill (compared to typical adult Westerns), bright yellow orbital, pale gray eyes with barely pinkish/nearly yellowish legs. Also some slight, blurry gray winter flecking in the head and neck.  I dunno, maybe the leg color was from age or diet but unusual for sure. Got a few photos to perplex over. Several Heermann’s Gulls and a couple of Iceland Gulls (on the platform to the east) rounded out the quick stop nicely.

 

Just as we walked up to Crissy Lagoon from the east two BLACK SKIMMERS swept in from the same direction and immediately began skimming. Was a bit surprised as the water had rather high ripples (1 – 2 inches) for that method of fishing but, when you are a skimmer, I guess you have few other choices for feeding and feed you must. We didn’t see them catch anything after about ten minutes and went snipe hunting (yes) but, on a return swing, ran into Rudy Wallen and Dan Harris on the lagoon bridge, Rudi had just seen one skimmer with a fish in its’ mouth being harassed by a gull so, the lagoon water was evidently not too disturbed.

 

The road down to Ft. Point was closed so we went next to Cliff House. From out of the gate came a fast moving squall replete with a loud thunder clap and bb sized hail lasting for 6 or 8 minutes as we neared Baker Beach – hail at the beach wow! At Cliff House it was a real hide and seek game on the water with high numbers of grebes and Red-throated Loons in the troughs, a few scoters around. The expected rocky shorebird species were on the rocks, in the water we found a single RED-NECKED GREBE just beyond the Seal Rocks and a likely White-winged Scoter that seemed to disappear before we could get a good enough look to document it.

 

North Lake: we circled starting with a heavy drizzle then sunshine. The AMERICAN BITTERN was stalking the eastern shore in reeds, two male Allen’s were displaying, one female ALLEN”S HUMMINGBIRD appeared to be gathering nesting material.

 

Ended the day in a blustery way with 30 mph wind, intermittent water drops and rainbows at Heron’s Head. Most of the action was at India Basin cove but after a walk to the head and back, well, there’ sonly so much exhilarating weather you can do in a day, we got on our way.

 

Happy Trails!

 

Eddie Bartley

Palm Warbler Lake Merced

Joachim Gonzalez
 

Probably the same bird seen months ago. Next to Carlos 3 King of Spain. Eddie spotted.

Black Skimmer

Dan Harris
 

One is resting on the floating dock/pier south and a bit east of the Wave Organ. 
Dan Harris
San Francisco 
--
—Dan

Sutro seawatch 2/17/19

 

Did a seawatch from the observation deck above Sutro Baths this morning from 7-10:30 a.m, joined for parts of the effort by Joachim Gonzalez, Oscar Moss, Jonah & Max Benningfield, Josiah Clark, Eddie Monson and parents.

Some highlights:

Marbled Murrelets - (2) pairs flew by around 9 a.m, then around 9:30 Jonah spotted two on the water and eventually the whole party got scope looks

Red-necked Grebes - (2) floated into view on the dropping tide, north side of the observation deck around 10:20

Red-throated Loons - 1300, carefully counted with Joachim's help, streaming north starting at sunrise

On Thursday morning (2/14), there were (2) Tricolored Blackbirds feeding on Irving and 22nd Avenue with about a dozen Brewer's Blackbirds.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco

Crissy Field: Black Skimmer

Felix Rigau
 

Late this afternoon I returned to look for the Black Skimmer by the Wave Organ but it wasn't there. So I hot-footed back over to Crissy Field Lagoon where I found it sleeping on a mudflat along with "gulls and waders". The light was dimming fast. The crimson sunset over the city skyline with a nearly full moon rising above the cumulus clouds was spectacular. I waited and waited for this now solo bird to wake up and spread its wings. At dusk it suddenly jumped up and started skimming over the water with it's lower mandible sharply cutting the surface like a knife. I watched as it flew across the lagoon several times before I lost it in the dim light. A wonderful and timely show to end a beautiful day!!

Good Birding,

Felix Rigau

Orchard Oriole

David Assmann
 

The young male ORCHARD ORIOLE continues in the garden at Fort Mason, providing great views for the participants in the monthly GGAS walk. A PEREGRINE FALCON flew over. Two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS continue in the garden. A BAND-TAILED PIGEON was in the Battery. And, on the abandoned pier, a SURFBIRD sat where the Tattler usually perches. A visit over to the Golden Gate Yacht Club Harbor to find the BLACK SKIMMER (which was still there), also yielded a RED-NECKED GREBE.

Cattle Egret

David Assmann
 

Near Carlos statue boathouse Lake Merced 

Re: Cattle Egret

Ralph McKinnon
 

Now present where David described, across road and parking area from boathouse. Also moving around west end of Harding Park GC. Hunting on wet lawns. 

Comfortable with many people nearby. 




On Monday, February 18, 2019, 9:00 AM, David Assmann via Groups.Io <david_assmann@...> wrote:

Near Carlos statue boathouse Lake Merced 

Cattle egret at Harding Park

greylag64@...
 

Seen at 11:39 flying west from golf course. Not refound.
Laurie Graham

Cattle egret just landed

greylag64@...
 

On lawn across from boat house
Laurie Graham

Black Skimmer

greylag64@...
 

Well, it’s high tide, so there’s almost no beach. One Skimmer is asleep on the barge/breakwater btw Scott St and Wave Organ. 13:06
Laurie Graham
South SF

Cattle Egret @ Harding Park Gold Course

Lee-Hong Chang
 

Foraging on 18th fairway now. 

Lee Chang 
SF 

Palm Warbler in Cole Valley, SF, 2/18/19

Paul Saraceni
 

Today around 3:30 PM while walking in Cole Valley I came across an unexpected PALM WARBLER on the S side of 17th St., about 4 houses E of Cole St. It popped up from low bushes in front of a house and then flew across the sidewalk into a small street tree, where I watched it tail-pumping while it perched just a few feet away.  It was a rather drably-plumaged individual, presumable of the "western" subspecies, except for its bright yellow undertail coverts.


Paul Saraceni

San Francisco