East Wash - noontime Evening Grosbeak

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Finally able to get online to post.

On a generally quiet visit to the East Wash I got brief but good looks at an Evening Grosbeak as it perched for a few moments atop the central pine around 12:30pm (Mon. Oct. 28). The huge conical beak was immediately apparent, with distinctive coloration of a presumed female (or immature) showing mostly olive gray with some yellow around the neck and blotchy white wing patches. It soon flew down to the small trees just off the steep part of the trail where it gave a series of "twee" and rather harsh "cheer" calls (possibly exchanging calls with a similarly hidden Varied Thrush) before it flew off to the east.

If you venture to the area, be aware of a rather belligerent "I work for the Park Service" man that was traipsing through the dense brush supposedly searching for fallen trees or injured visitors - and be aware that there are a number of fallen trees at the edge of the golf course and (potentially) falling branches. I doubt that the Grosbeak has stuck around though - but it may be worth keeping an eye out for it further east toward Crissy Field or even Fort Mason, given the wind change.

Along with the Varied Thrush, a few other species of local interest included some Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Red-breasted Sapsucker, the now ubiquitous Red-breasted Nuthatches, and an Osprey flying over relatively low headed east. Not many warblers though, and surprisingly few finches.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco