After a morning visit to the Exploratorium at Pier 15, I hiked the ~ 18000 meters home via Fort Mason and the Presidio in a leisurely 7 hours.
As mentioned recently by others, dispersal/migration is on for songbirds. Orange-crowned Warblers were at East Black Point (Fort Mason) West Bluff (Presidio) and Coastal Bluffs (2, Presidio.)
Next to building 937 at the base of West Bluff I heard several "sweet" wood warbler chip notes. To my West Coast ears it sounded like a Yellow Warbler but so do American Redstarts.
Along the Coastal Bluffs I was happy to note at least (3) WRENTITS (a San Francisco Species of Special Concern, at least to me as it is only known to nest in that location with sporadic records from Lake Merced the past couple of years and now apparently extirpated from Glen Canyon and Bayview Hill) and a hatch year Spotted Towhee. A Wandering Tattler was on Flat Rock off Marshall Beach.
Walking through West Golden Gate Park at dusk I had two groups (15-20 each) of Whimbrels flying over heading inland seen from along Chain of Lakes Drive.
I was intrigued that evening to hear a VIRGINIA Rail calling several times (unprompted by me) from tule/willow freshwater Marsh habitat along the southwest edge of South Lake Merced, near the location of the now shuttered Pacific Rod & Gun club.
Do any of the long time observers for San Francisco recall previous July records? Does anyone know of any breeding efforts this summer in nearby San Mateo and Marin counties and whether those birds have already dispersed? This would be a very early date for a migrant to the coast, earliest date I know of is August 9th (Ron Thorn)
There were also at least (4) BANK Swallows around, lingering birds from the colony, 1200 meters to the west of there.
Earlier, in the afternoon, at Yosemite Slough Restoration Area, a unit of the Candlestick Park State Recreation Area, (2) fly by Northern Rough-winged Swallows were suspected diurnal migrants flying by in the suddenly intensifying west wind that broke the heat spell. In (6) previous afternoon visits to this site I had (0) detections of Rough-winged Swallows. A hatch year Cooper's Hawk was the first one I've seen the city this summer away from known nest sites.
The morning of 7/27, a brief stop in West Golden Gate Park (Middle Lake), there was a vocal Pacific-slope Flycatcher.Pacific-slope Flycatcher has been noted summering in this part of the park for three consecutive years and this year a nest was found in the east part of GGP (first Arboretum breeding record, succulent garden R. Cullison and m.ob) but there is still only a handful of confirmed records in all for the city.
7/25 - (1340) European Starlings staging for the evening flight to roost were notable at South Lake Merced for the sheer biomass. The only other opportunity SF observers have at seeing this many land birds in one spot comes from peak migrant flights at Battery Godfrey and these are rare events that may occur only 1-2 times per year, some years not at all.
A note to eBird users, when you enter a record that is flagged as a high count, do your local reviewers a favor and add a brief note in the comments at how you arrived at the figure ("counted by 5s as they flew by/northbound birds only" OR "photographed and counted on my big screen when I got home" OR whatever the case may be)