The endless succession of storms broke today, and there was actually a fair bit of sun, so I returned to yesterday’s birding locations to see if I could get better-lit photographs
Golden Gate Park again didn’t have too much, but I did see a VARIED THRUSH(*), along with the usual BUFFLEHEAD, AMERICAN COOT, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE. A male TOWNSEND’S WARBLER(+) in full breeding plumage was a great, if brief, sight, and the crowd of COMMON RAVENS was visible and noisy. There was a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Myrtle race) in the middle of North Lake – much too faraway for photos, though. A single STELLAR’S JAY(+) distracted me as I photographed the Varied Thrush, and a couple of BLACK PHOEBE were flitting about. I heard numerous hummingbirds, and saw a couple of SELASPHORUS SP. HUMMINGBIRDS, but didn’t get a good look at ’em. A pair of CALIFORNIA TOWHEE were digging holes in the ground – are they ground nesters? It seems like it’s about that time of year….
Onward to Sutro Heights Park, I didn’t see or hear very much as I walked in, but did see the resident RED-TAILED HAWK and a few MOURNING DOVE could be heard and occasionally seen flying from tree to tree. Again several dozen AMERICAN ROBINS, mostly female, were foraging in the wet grass, and lo and behold, yesterday’s male RED CROSSBILL made an appearance, positively confirming it’s ID, as I got a good look at its bill. It didn’t hang around long for pictures, though, and disappeared into the treetops. No sign of yesterday’s goldfinch or the woodpecker.
Once again, Sutro Baths was something of a bust. The female COMMON GOLDENEYE was still there, with a female BUFFLEHEAD, and the male RING-NECKED DUCK had a few lady friends to keep him company. Lots of WESTERN GULLS today, and a few CORMORANT SP. on seal rock. Heard many, and saw one RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD in the shrubs on the path leading down from Louie’s. Some COMMON RAVENS and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD were giving the RTH a terrible time, chasing it all over the place – fun to watch their antics. Again, no shorebirds of any sort were to be seen.
The Varied Thrush has to be the quickest bird ID I’ve ever made in the field. I pulled out my Sibley’s Field Guide to Western Birds and … oh, there it is right on the front and back covers! 🙂
(*) – Life bird
(+) – Year bird