Battery Godfrey 11/16 Bald Eagle spectacle
Today I spent from 7 until almost 1pm skywatching at the Battery Godfrey joined for whole time by Max Benningfield, Joachim Gonzalez, and Eddie “the Monsoon” Monson and for large periods by Brian Fitch, Augie Kramer and Josiah Clark. Despite steady NE winds for the duration of our stay flight remained relatively subdued, highlighted only by finch, raptor and Band-tail movement with decidedly few thrushes, raptors and shorebirds and incredibly not a single non-scoter waterfowl group.
Nonetheless, there were some highlights particularly a flabbergasting 4 (!) Bald Eagles over the course of the stay, much higher than the previous city single-day high count (which I believe was 2?). The first eagle was picked up very early in the morning near Hawk Hill then made a pass at the channel seeming to dive (for fish?) before being chased off by gulls and headed southeast over the richmond. The second came several hours later, a juv heading southeast from the Golden Gate Bridge. Then at midday two adults were circling together over Hawk Hill. I believe these birds were different than the first bird. One of the birds headed east towards Angel Island and definitely crossed into SF, we lost the second one over Slacker Ridge but it may have followed in the same direction.
Other highlights of the watch included:
Band-tailed Pigeon-1360 was a nice count including many flocks of 50-100 and one flock of over 600
Common Murre-1 was a low count indicating the low activity in the channel
Northern Harrier-1 over Hawk Hill
Sharp-shinned Hawk-1 seemed like a low count considering date and weather
Tree Swallow-21 all northbound, primarily in two groups
Varied Thrush-10 all but one in one group
Pine Siskin-113 most northbound
'Myrtle' Yellow-rumped Warbler-5
'Audubon's' Yellow-rumped Warbler-38 scattered in northbound groups
Full eBird checklist here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S76356634
Doesnt look like any great skywatch weather in the immediate future, so nice to get a little bit of battery birding in before the end of the Fall.