EA 105 – Field Ornithology, Class IV + Bonus birding @ Sutro Baths

Tonight was the 4th class in the second 7-class series of Introductory Field Ornithology I’ve been taking this year from CCSF. Before class I swung by Sutro Baths to see what was a-wing.As I scoped from the terrace of the baths’ ruins, two women climbed over a barrier, intended to prevent access to the less stable parts of the ruins, descended some stairs to the shore, and one of them proceeded to disrobe while the other took photographs! Birds of a different color, eh? 🙂

Avian-wise there wasn’t a whole lot afoot, although I quite enjoyed using my new Pentax XW14 eyepiece – it has an incredibly wide angle of view, and superb optics, despite the buffeting wind and spraying waves. Still new to my scope, I was amazed at how many Clark’s & Western Grebes were in the choppy waters by the Golden Gate – there were at least a couple of hundred!

In the 40 minutes I was there, I saw:
– American Coot
– Anna’s Hummingbird
– Barn Swallow
– Black Oystercatcher
– Black Phoebe
– Brandt’s Cormorant
– Brown Pelican
– Clark’s Grebe
– Cliff Swallow
– Common Raven
– Double-crested Cormorant
– Red-tailed Hawk
– Song Sparrow
– Violet-green Swallow
– Western Grebe
– Western Gull

My notes from class follow:

Birding at Lake Merced (SF)

Today was another great bird outing with my Field Ornithology class. There were about 25 of us all told (many from the two more advanced classes our instructor Joe teaches), with plenty of scopes to share. It was an overcast day, but stayed dry, and I saw a ton of new birds. We started at…

Chrissy Field birding

Since the days are light longer, I swung by the Palace of Fine Arts and Chrissy Field before my birding class tonight. I haven’t birded either place with any frequency, but a recent report of Red-shouldered Hawks preying on Pigeons and Coots at the PFA piqued my interest. No raptors were seen at the PFA,…