Seawatch + Ocean Beach shorebirds, 8/25/19

Paul Saraceni

Early this morning I checked the shorebird roost in the mid-dunes on Ocean Beach between Noriega and Moraga.  In addition to 650+ Sanderlings, there were a few small groups of Western Sandpipers (11 total, mostly juvs.) and Semipalmated Plovers (4), in addition to 43 Snowy Plovers in the vicinity, as well as a calling, fly-over Killdeer.  2 Long-billed Curlews briefly landed on the beach then picked-up and flew N calling loudly.  3 Elegant and 1 Caspian Terns were loafing near the gull flock (Western, Heermann's, California) at that time.

I then headed to the south-end of the Great Highway for a seawatch (8:45-10:30 AM), joined by Hugh Cotter and Rob Cullison for portions of the watch.  The fog bank moved in and out, with visibility ranging from half-way to nearly out to the horizon.  Winds were light from the S and seas were flat.

Sooty Shearwaters were missing from this morning's watch, but there was nice variety overall. 

Observations of local interest:

NORTHERN PINTAIL 13 (1 flock flying N over the ocean)

Surf Scoter 45+ (on the ocean)

BLACK SCOTER 1 m. & 1 f. (with the Surf Scoter flock; very early date; presumably summered locally, though I have not observed them with the summering scoter flock until this morning) 

W. Grebe 3

Com. Loon 4 (on the ocean; basic plumage)

Red-thr. Loon 1 (flying S)

Pelagic Cormorant 3

Brown Pelican 80+ 

Semipalmated Plover 3 (flying S over the beach)

Whimbrel 5

DOWITCHER sp. 11 (1 flock flying S over the ocean)

Red-necked Phalarope 3 (singles flying over the ocean)

W. Sandpiper 2 (flying S over the beach w/Semi. Plovers)

Elegant Tern 30+ (flying S)

Parasitic Jaeger 5 (2 & 3)

POMARINE JAEGER 2 sub-ads. (singles)

Pigeon Guillemot 2 juvs.

Com. Murre 1

Barn Swallow 2


Bottlenose Dolphin 2

Harbor Porpoise 1

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco