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A Report from

San Francisco, 3rd April-10th April 2006,

Mark Graham

Just returned from San Francisco and had great holiday combined with some bird watching.

A wonderful City to easily find a great variety of birds within walking distance or by taking short inexpensive bus rides. Early April is a great time to avoid the crowds and see a huge numbers of sea birds.

We stayed at the Marriot at Fisherman's Wharf which is a nice clean quiet hotel served by all major bus routes.The holiday was booked with Expedia on hotel/flight basis at very reasonable cost of £612 for 7 nights.

The Presidio and Chrisy Fields has fenced off areas of natural dunes and plants near a newly developed fenced scrape.
Great Northern Divers,Western Grebes,Red throated Divers and Surf Scoters 100 yards from shore.
Killdeer,Willets,Great Blue Heron,Black Crowned Night Heron,Annas Hummingbird,Snowy Egret,Western Gull,Comon scoter,Red breasted Merganser,American Kestrel,American Crow,White Crowned SparrowBuflehead,American Coot Mallard all on or near the scrape.
This area is walkable from hotel or one 10 minute bus ride away.

Near Golden Gate Bridge
there were Red Tailed Hawk,Surf Scoter,Palaegic,Brandt and Double Crested Cormorant,Allens Humingbird,Willet,Dark Headed Junco,Gold Crested Sparrow,Black Bellied Magpie,Cowbird.

Golden Gate Park-Black Phoebe,Bushtit,Velvet Green Swallow,Scrub Jay,Ameerican Robin Red winged Blackbird,Pied Bill Grebe,Yellow rumped Warbler,Allen and Anna's Hummingbird.

The area not to be missed is Cliff House again a short bus ride away.Here the Pacfic meets the Bay.Loads of auks including Pigeon Guillimot,Grebes,and Divers.
Also saw Black Turnstone,Black Oysercatcher,Willet,Sanderling and the common gull species.There was a Ring Neck Duck,in Sutro Baths.Do not miss this area if you go. It is out of this world for scenery and birds.

Alcatraz doubles as a bird reserve and there were all above mentioned Cormorants as well as a Pigeon Guillimot and nesting Black Crowned Night Herons.

Saw Acorn Woodpecker,and Stellars Jay at Yosemite and Black Bellied Plover,Brown Pelican and Purple Martin in Monteray.
Highlights were the Hummingbirds which are 'ten a penny' and the close views and vast numbers of grebes and divers.


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