Date: 5/10/19 5:17 pm
From: Brian Fitch <fogeggs...>
Subject: [SFBirds] Sutro Rhino & Odd Duck
I spent several early hours at the Baths this morning, mostly watching an
amazing feeding group of over a thousand Brandt's Cormorants mixed with
lesser numbers of murres, gulls, and pelicans, all expected species. There
were also a lot of Surf Scoters flying in various directions, and I kept
checking for the less expected species.

Sometime after 7AM, an unusual looking duck flew from the Gate southbound,
paralleling a Pigeon Guillemot. The duck was only a little bigger than the
PIGU, and had a small bill compared to the many scoters I'd been seeing. I
thought Harlequin, but the bird had no white on the belly or anywhere else
except several spots on the face, and the body plumage was uneven, showing
some rich brownish tones near the rear flanks. Most interesting was a pale
brown panel in the scapular/tertial area of each wing, something I've never
seen on any scoter, but also not on any wintering female Harley. I don't
know molt sequence in Harlequins, but wonder if it could have been a first
year male, yet I could find nothing on-line which in any way matched my
sighting. So another un-ID'd bird to go along with the bizarre gull from
last month.

Later on, an alternate plumaged Rhinoceros Auklet flew in, loosely
associating with the PIGU's, and eventually settled on the water. A
Wandering Tattler was on the rocks by the Cliff House, and two Western
Kingbirds flew over the 48th Ave parking area at Land's End. A Humpback
Whale was feeding to the NW, and what was likely a distant Gray spouted
multiple times to the SW.

Yesterday, I had brief looks at the Ash-throated Flycatcher that Dom found
at Corona Heights, just before I was bitten by an off-leash dog. Luckily,
it only bit into the fabric of my pant leg.

Brian Fitch

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