Local Interest - Fort Mason GGAS Field Trip, and miscellaneous interest this past week

David Assmann

A female BELTED KINGFISHER showed up in Aquatic Park last Monday (the 15th), the first Kingfisher sighting at Fort Mason since March.  It was there again on Thursday. Shorebirds are showing up at Crissy with two SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERS and a MARBLED GODWIT joining the LONG-BILLED CURLEW, LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and WILLET that first showed up earlier. 2 COMMON LOONS have been in the Bay - one in full alternate plumage - don't know if that was an oversummering bird or an early returning bird. A COMMON TERN was in with the ELEGANT TERNS yesterday. On Thursday I counted more than 400 ELEGANT TERNS in Crissy Lagoon - today I counted 475 on the little island (and not one was a Common Tern).  This didn't include the large number of flying Elegants.  An hour later I counted 450 ELEGANT TERNS flying west at Fort Mason in just a ten-minute period - a steady stream (only about 20 flying east). When I stopped counting they were still streaming by. On Wednesday I spent some time at Fort Scott, and was on the parade grounds taking photos of eight young WESTERN BLUEBIRDS when a WRENTIT landed on the ground right in front of me. A BARN SWALLOW was working on a new nest, which seems late to me.  On yesterday's GGAS field trip we had 39 species at Fort Mason, with the highlights being an HOODED ORIOLE family with newly fledged young birds (we saw five Orioles total - mostly in the garden), two NUTTALL'S WOODPECKERS in the Battery, and a RED-THROATED LOON in Aquatic Park. I've attached pictures of a Bluebird, Barn Swallow, Wrentit, and Orioles.