I conducted an extended sea watch this morning (Sept. 4, 7:15-10:15 AM) from the southmost parking area of the Great Highway. The morning started out with light SW winds, glass-like seas, and visibility limited to about 2/3 of the way to the horizon. During the course of the watch the SW winds strengthened, the ocean surface roughed-up a bit, and visibility cleared out all the way to the horizon. Yesterday morning (Sept. 3), I conducted a 1-hr sea watch first thing in the morning from the same location, in very light WSW winds, joined for most of the hour by Hugh Cotter.
Observations of local interest for both days -- 3rd/4th:
Surf Scoter: 3/6 Pacific Loon: 3/8 Red-thr. Loon: 1/12 (all in beautiful alt. plumage, most flying S) Common Loon: 6/10 (all but 1 in basic plumage) W. Grebe: 2/3 SOOTY SHEARWATER: 30+/350+ (The shearwater movement was pretty close to shore, mostly N, and after the winds picked-up, they were flying in high arcs.) Pelagic Cormorant: 0/1 Turkey Vulture: 0/1 Osprey: 1/0 Black-bellied Plover: 1/3 Long-billed Curlew: 2/3 BAIRD'S SANDPIPER: 1 both days with 8-12 Sanderlings on and flying up the beach; perhaps the same individual. Least Sandpiper: 0/1 POMARINE JAEGER: 1 dark sub-ad. flying N on 9/3. PARASITIC JAEGER: 3/5 (ads. and imms.; on the water and in flight, chasing Elegant Terns) LONG-TAILED JAEGER: 1 imm. with a very whitish head on 9/4. Briefly pursued a few Elegant Terns then circled-up and continued flying S. Common Murre: 13/40+ (mostly juvs. on the ocean) Pigeon Guillemot 3/6 (most flying N in their interesting juv. plumage) RHINOCEROS AUKLET: 1 flying N on 9/3. Elegant Tern: 60+/100+ Also: Humpback Whale: 2/1 Harbor Porpoise: 0/1
A few other local notes of interest: This may have already been included by others in an eBird checklist, but on the morning of 9/2, during the early flight @ Battery Godfrey were 6 N. PINTAIL (1 flock flying E over the Bay; perhaps the same birds reported by William Legge @ Rodeo Lagoon/Marin), 16 N. Rough-winged Swallows (2 groups), and 2 Cliff Swallows. Yesterday (9/3) morning, there was a Willow Flycatcher at the GGP maintenance yard between the Beach Chalet athletic fields and the windmill. Tonight (9/4) a calling BARN OWL flew over my home in Cole Valley.