Breeding Ruddy Ducks and migration

Josiah Clark

Greetings Birders,
I was very pleased to discover six week old or so young Ruddy Ducks at Mountain Lake Park the other evening. This is only the second breeding effort there in perhaps 10 years, before that they were expected breeders.
Last year they attempted here but all of the young were quickly predated by Ravens, as is the new pattern with all precocial ducks, shorebirds and quail. The only other location in sf where this tule-reed obligate species nests is at Lake Merced.Not sure how their success is there. In general duck reproduction has plummeted with all species throughout the city over the last decade.
I’ve been checking the area for migrants now and then over the fall and last evening with Cedric we had the best flock I have seen of fall. We had seven species of warbler including hermit and Black-throated gray. Also 6 or so warbling vireos, a Western tanager, Western flycatcher and 2 osprey fly over. Presidio Hills had some decent numbers of returning sparrows including a lone savannah sparrow.
Definitely some sobering news stories about birds recently and a notably depleted migration for my memory. It motivates me to double down on my Habitat Potential efforts. Looking to make new headway this winter. The Young Birders in San Francisco and beyond are certainly bright spots in my Birding of late. I’m definitely grateful for their positive energy and help in the field, planting the seeds of change and tending the habitat of tomorrow.