Migrants & Another Drama

Brian Fitch

Sooty Shearwaters showed up this morning at the Sutro Baths in a big group for a short time.  Possibly 10-15,000 flew by southbound and way out around 8 AM, in a river of birds that lasted maybe 7-8 minutes.  Four flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes flew by, three groups were northbound.  Elegant Terns were spread out in every direction and out to the horizon; I've never seen such a diffuse yet ubiquitous pattern before.  Parasitic Jaegers were finally present in a consistent way, with one always in view, and as many as four at once, while a few Pigeon Guillemots were still carrying food to nests out of my sight.  Unusual for its altitude was a high flying Wandering Tattler, way above the horizon and heading NE into the Gate.  Several Tuna-like fish were leaping clear of the surface, and a Humpback breached near the horizon.

The drama this time involved an animal rescue truck showing up just I was leaving, so I stopped to see what was up.  I watched the officer/warden go down to the baths with a box and a big net, and he fished some type of bird out of the water of the pools.  As he transferred it to the box, I could see that it was the adult Red-tailed Hawk that I had earlier noticed sitting on one of the seawalls between pools.  The officer told me it was only waterlogged, and that it wouldn't likely need any first aid.  I have no idea how the bird ended up in the pool.

At the East Wash, migrants included Cooper's Hawk, Pac-slope Flycatchers, Red-breasted Nuthatch, a scolding invisible vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Orange-crowned, Yellow and Townsend's Warblers, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Lazuli Buntings.

At Battery Godfrey, three TV's were the only southbound raptor types, but several Barn Swallows, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Western Tanager added interest.
Brian Fitch