This afternoon/evening there was a hatch year BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at the Yosemite Slough Restoration Area. It was associating with two HY Westerns, and after flushing, returned to the smaller/southern of two freshwater ponds fed by groundwater on the east side of the cyclone fence separating the publicly accessible (sort of, read on for more details on that) site from the clean up site to the east. It was still there when I left around 20:15.
Due to construction taking place here during daylight hours (or perhaps other reasons) the gate to the Slough Restoration at the junction of Hawes/Griffith has been locked. However parking at the end of Van Dyke one can walk through big gaps in the fencing to access the site. Low tide is typically most productive. Other birds of note were a Red-necked Phalarope that flew in and later took off and (6) first arrival Western Sandpipers. A full list from this afternoon's effort is here:
Yesterday, before and while conducting beginning Field Ornithology lessons with the TREE FROG TREKS summer camp in Golden Gate Park I had a couple of interesting sightings for Stow Lake: a migrant Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was in the scrub/oak hillside above the reservoir on Strawberry Hill in the morning, and around 12:30 a NORTHERN HARRIER flew over heading west. The now apparently resident Hooded Merganser was hanging around on the west side of the lake between the pavilion and historic footbridge. As many as (4) juvenile Great Blue Herons as well as fledged but still beginning Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned owl provided added excitement for budding birders ages 5-12.
Sunset District birdwatchers looking for an after school/work project are encouraged to keep tabs on the Black-bellied Plover roost atop Sunset Reservoir, most easily viewed from 24th Avenue between Pacheco and Ortega, unless it's sunny in the afternoon in which case approaching from 28th will provide a less glaring experience. Yesterday I noted the first (39) Black-bellied Plovers had returned.
If you or your kids, or your grandmother or anyone else you know is looking for pointers on how to sharpen their field skills, message me off list.