January miscellanea 2021


 

A displaying ALLEN’S Hummingbird at Lake Merced on 1/19, was the first I’ve detected in the county this year.

This morning (1/29) two Great Blue Herons were busy building at the Lake Merced Mesa rookery. A peaceful spot to observe their activities can be accessed via paved (but steep) paths on the Northeast side of Lake Merced, at the junction of Lake Merced Blvd. and Winston Dr. (aka THE INTERSECTION)

Of great interest to me has been the presence of Western Meadowlarks wintering in West. golden Gate Park/bison paddock and along the dunes at Great Highway. This had not been the case in years past and I strongly suspect closure of great highway and “quieting” of certain streets in this part of the city may be playing a part in this.

Other good news is the continued expansion of Western Bluebird in San Francisco. Bluebirds were extirpated as a nesting species sometime in the mid 20th century development of the West side of the city. They returned to nest in the Presidio in the early 2000s as a response to restoration and subsequently have recolonized the city. In recent years bluebirds have fledged young in every corner of San Francisco: from Land’s end and the Presidio to Lake Merced, mCLaren Park, in golden Gate park and even small urban parks like Alta Plaza and similar. Of all these , the most interesting to me have been the Western Bluebirds nesting along busy Sunset Blvd for the past 3-4 years.

Get out there and find a pair in your neighborhood.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco


Alan Hopkins
 

Meadowlarks have been regular in those places on CBCs for years.

Alan S. Hopkins
San Francisco, CA



On Saturday, January 30, 2021, 12:02:55 PM PST, Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:


A displaying ALLEN’S Hummingbird at Lake Merced on 1/19, was the first I’ve detected in the county this year.

This morning (1/29) two Great Blue Herons were busy building at the Lake Merced Mesa rookery. A peaceful spot to observe their activities can be accessed via paved (but steep) paths on the Northeast side of Lake Merced, at the junction of Lake Merced Blvd. and Winston Dr. (aka THE INTERSECTION)

Of great interest to me has been the presence of Western Meadowlarks wintering in West. golden Gate Park/bison paddock and along the dunes at Great Highway. This had not been the case in years past and I strongly suspect closure of great highway and “quieting” of certain streets in this part of the city may be playing a part in this.

Other good news is the continued expansion of Western Bluebird in San Francisco. Bluebirds were extirpated as a nesting species sometime in the mid 20th century development of the West side of the city. They returned to nest in the Presidio in the early 2000s as a response to restoration and subsequently have recolonized the city. In recent years bluebirds have fledged young  in every corner of San Francisco: from Land’s end and the Presidio to Lake Merced, mCLaren Park, in golden Gate park and even small urban parks like Alta Plaza and similar. Of all these , the most interesting to me have been the Western Bluebirds nesting along busy Sunset Blvd for the past 3-4 years.

Get out there and find a pair in your neighborhood.

Dominik Mosur
San Francisco






David Armstrong
 

Hi Dom, SF Birders

Definitely great to see Western Bluebirds expand their range citywide. I remember how excited I was to get my city lifer during our 2005 Big Year, in the Presidio - and now they are all over the place. In fact I had my first ever in Glen Canyon Park this morning (2M, 2F on the ball field just adjacent to the trail at the top of the canyon).

Earlier this morning I stopped at the wooden bridge, N. Lake Merced, where I had great looks at a Sora, and calling Virginia Rail. The waterthrush was vocalizing at the fishing pier but didn't show itself.

I also briefly scoped the ocean from just south of the end of Sloat. There was a distant, odd-looking duck in the company of a raft of Black Scoters. It was overall blotchy brown with some white, riding lower in the water than the scoters, and slightly smaller in size with a more petite bill, and a short, pointed tail. First winter male Long-Tailed Duck? The face pattern wasn't really a match but I can't figure out what else it might have been. The light and the distance didn't allow a very clear look.

David