This morning (11/29/18) I attempted a mid-morning seawatch from behind the Cliff House restaurant (9:30-10a.m.) but conditions were tough with big swells and scope rattling winds so not much was seen out on the water. Most interesting was watching a massive wave slam into the back side of Seal Rock causing a mini landslide of soil on the side facing shore. I never realized how much soil had accumulated on the rock previously. There were (24) Black Turnstones and (3) Surfbirds on the rocks below the Cliff House.
Yesterday I had two separate instances of Western Bluebirds flying over mid-town hills with (5) over the Randall Museum at noon and (3) over the Reservoir below Sutro Radio Tower off Marview Street about an hour later. These are only my 3rd and 2nd times recording bluebirds from these respective locations but I suspect these will only increase as they continue expanding their range in the City. Additionally there was an after hatch year (or older) tan-stripe White-throated Sparrow with the crowned Sparrow flock on the trail right off Marview Street, right behind the "This trail not maintained for public use" sign.
On 11/22 I stopped at 39th and Ortega across the street from the public library and adjacent to the West Sunset Ballfields to look through the blackbird/starling flock gathered on the wires above the intersection and noted (43m and 2f) TRICOLORED Blackbirds so it appears the winter flock is back and once again using this site.
On 11/26 there was a single male TRIKE along with 2 possible females (reported in eBird as Tricolored/Red-winged) in the parking lot next to the Boathouse at Lake Merced. Trikes seem to get pretty scarce away from the winter flock by this time so perhaps these individuals might be settling in to winter here and should be checked for on the CBC. "The" wintering YELLOW Warbler first reported early in November by Kevin McKereghan continued in the same two Metrosideros trees next to Harding Park Drive.
While on the topic of blackbirds I thought it worthwhile to note that locally breeding Red-winged (California Bicolored) Blackbirds took a massive hit to nesting/foraging sites in just the last few months with development taking place on the former weedy lot east of Amador/Pier 94, Hunter's Point Shipyard and tule removal at North Lake in Golden Gate Park. We'll see this upcoming spring what effect this has on their population.
Also, I am beginning work on the fall report for San Francisco sightings of note for the period August - November for North American Birds. If you have any notable sightings that were not reported to this list please let me know.
Last is a reminder that it is not too early to register for the Christmas Bird Count and if you know where you will be counting to start scouting and getting early numbers on birds in your area.
Good luck out there. Questions welcome.
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