Sunday, February 08, 2009

San Francisco Bay Area

We started last Sunday with a mid-morning visit to Arrowhead Marsh, near Oakland Airport.
Surprisingly, there were very few non-water birds around. In fact, the only ones we saw were White-crowned Sparrows, a Northern Flicker, a Western Meadowlark and a Turkey Vulture.

It was a different story near the water though. The edges of the bay had Great and Snowy Egrets, Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets, as well as Ring-billed, Western and Herring Gulls.

American Avocet

The shallows had flocks of Long-billed Dowitchers, together with a few Least Sandpipers, Willets, Lesser Yellowlegs and Marbled Godwits.

Long-billed Dowitchers

Marbled Godwit

This ground squirrel clearly wanted to join in all the fun going on in the water.

Further out there were Double-crested Cormorants, American Coots, American Wigeon, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Ruddy Ducks and three types of Grebe: Clark's, Western and Horned.

Ruddy Duck

It was good to see the rather clownish-looking Surf Scoters again.

Greater Scaups and Common Goldeneyes were abundant, as were Buffleheads.

Female Common Goldeneye

Male Bufflehead

Female Greater Scaup

Male Greater Scaup

We headed over to Cliff House, where we added Golden-crowned Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird and Brown Pelican to our day list.

The old Sutro Baths at Cliff House

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Brewer's Blackbird

We had an excellent lunch at the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park, where we saw our last birds of the day, House Sparrows.

Male House Sparrow

Note: I had to work in downtown SF the following day but a coffee break in Yerba Buena Gardens turned up Mourning Doves, European Starlings, American Robin and Orange-crowned Warbler.

No comments: