This morning I was back at the south end of the Great Highway for a 1-hour sea watch, with W-NW winds, rolling seas, and improving visibility as the hour went on. Several Humpback Whales were offshore and hundreds of California and Western Gulls were on the beach and over the ocean. Observations of local interest: N. SHOVELER 12 (1 flock flying S) Greater Scaup 15 m. (1 offshore flock flying S, then turned back N) Surf Scoter 4 BLACK SCOTER 1 ad. m. (flying S close to shore; early migrant/returnee) Loons: Common 1, Pacific 1, Red-thr. 1 Great Egret 2 (1 flying N, 1 flying S) Killdeer 2 (flying over Great Highway) DOWITCHER sp. 13 (1 flock flew in high over ocean and continued SE towards L. Merced) Herring Gull 1 ad. (on the beach in big gull flock) PARASITIC JAEGER 1 ad. (flying S) Say's Phoebe 1 (briefly on the beach)
Midday and this afternoon I did some occasional, brief sky-watching from my deck looking out to the E and S over Cole Valley. At 11:45 AM there was a kettle of 4 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS as I looked E towards Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights. The circling group gradually drifted S and out of view. 6 other species of raptors observed included 1 Osprey and 1 Merlin.