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Farallon Update

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  • Matt Brady
    Hello all! The Fall Season on Southeast Farallon Island started on August 21st, when head biologist Jim Tietz, Farallon rookie Oscar Johnson and myself
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 4, 2010
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      Hello all! The Fall Season on Southeast Farallon Island started on August 21st,
      when head biologist Jim Tietz, Farallon rookie Oscar Johnson and myself arrived
      on the Island. Since then, the weather has been fairly poor for landbird
      arrivals, but we have managed to find a few interesting species. Chief among
      them was the Island's 3rd ever (second modern) record of WHITE-FACED IBIS, a
      flock of 14 juveniles seen on August 24th! Almost as rare was the Island's 6th
      ever (and California's 13th or so) RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD. That bird was
      captured and examined in-hand. Other vagrants and unusual island birds were an
      Island high-count of four Blue Grosbeaks, three Long-eared Owls (including one
      captured and banded), a family group of eight Greater White-fronted Geese, a
      record-early Mew Gull, a record-early Blackburnian Warbler, an American
      Redstart, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a Least Flycatcher, a White-winged Dove and
      a Lark Bunting.

      More details on some of these birds, as well as photos, can be found on our
      blog, at <http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/>

      Since in the past I have had a few querries as to how "chaseable" some of the
      birds I have reported have been, I'd just like to point out that Southeast
      Farallon Island is a closed National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and
      Wildlife Service, and is unfortunately currently not open to outside visitors.
      Jim, Oscar and myself are all employees of PRBO Conservation Science, which has
      been helping to manage the refuge for USFWS since 1967. If you'd like to find
      out more about PRBO's involvement on SE Farallon, and perhaps contribute to our
      research, please see the PRBO website at <http://www.prbo.org/cms/157>

      I'll try to keep the birding community updated on what we're seeing out here, as
      well as regularly update the Farallon blog, but since our Internet connection is
      generally tenuous-at-best, I may not be able to as much as I'd like to.

      Good birding this fall,

      Matt Brady
      SE Farallon Island, SF Co.





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    • Jim Tietz
      Hey Calbirds, A summary with photos from the last two weeks on the Farallones can be viewed on our blog at http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/ Highlights from
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 8, 2010
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        Hey Calbirds,

        A summary with photos from the last two weeks on the Farallones can be viewed on our blog at http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/

        Highlights from the last two weeks include:

        1 SMITH'S LONGSPUR
        1 SCARLET TANAGER
        2 SUMMER TANAGERS
        2 EASTERN PHOEBES
        1 TENNESSEE WARBLER
        5 ANCIENT MURRELETS
        2 INDIGO BUNTINGS

        James R. Tietz
        SE Farallon Island, CA
      • Steve Abbott
        Sent from my iPhone Steve Abbott Photography www.safotos.net steve@safotos.net (530) SAFOTOS (723-6867)
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 9, 2010
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          Sent from my iPhone

          Steve Abbott Photography
          www.safotos.net
          steve@...
          (530) SAFOTOS (723-6867)


          On Nov 8, 2010, at 11:07 PM, Jim Tietz <jimtietz@...> wrote:

          > Hey Calbirds,
          >
          > A summary with photos from the last two weeks on the Farallones can be viewed on our blog at http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/
          >
          > Highlights from the last two weeks include:
          >
          > 1 SMITH'S LONGSPUR
          > 1 SCARLET TANAGER
          > 2 SUMMER TANAGERS
          > 2 EASTERN PHOEBES
          > 1 TENNESSEE WARBLER
          > 5 ANCIENT MURRELETS
          > 2 INDIGO BUNTINGS
          >
          > James R. Tietz
          > SE Farallon Island, CA
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Matt Brady
          Hello all. PRBO Conservation Science s Fall Program on Southeast Farallon Island (Farallon NWR, San Francisco County), in conjunction with US Fish and Wildlife
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 6, 2011
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            Hello all. PRBO Conservation Science's Fall Program on Southeast Farallon Island (Farallon NWR, San Francisco County), in conjunction with US Fish and Wildlife Service, has been up and running for just over two weeks now. The fall season crew is composed of Dan Maxwell, Jim Tietz and myself, as well as Seabirder Adam Fox, who is continuing to monitor the few remaining seabird nests. Although the fall has been dominated by very foggy days so far, we've still managed to have a few interesting sightings.


            Two unusual species managed to over-summer on the island. Two CACKLING GEESE first arrived in May, and have undergone a complete flight-feather molt; one of them is now capable of flight. A BROWN THRASHER, first seen by the Seabird crew in early July, has also successfully summered, and is also undergoing flight feather molt. A LONG-EARED OWL greeted us upon our arrival on the Island (it'd been present for about a week before that), and continues through today, though so far it has eluded our nets.

            On August 24th, while seawatching, Dan saw a large, dark Albatross, which appeared consistent with an immature Short-tailed Albatross.  Despite extended views, the conditions were just a bit too hazy for us to confirm the bird's identity. Short-tailed Albatross has yet to be recorded from Southeast Farallon Island.


            Especially interesting migrants seen in late August include a juvenile SORA, a TENNESSEE WARBLER, a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, adult BAIRD'S and PECTORAL SANDPIPERs, RUDDY TURNSTONE and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, but these were over-shadowed on August 31st by a color-banded SNOWY PLOVER. The bird, a juvenile, was banded on June 23rd at the Salinas River mouth by PRBO biologist Kriss Neuman, and represents just the sixth record for the Island!

            Ealry September was highlighted by a Labor Day weekend Warbler wave; among many Townsend's and a few Nashville, Yellow and Wilson's Warblers were a BLACKBURNIAN, a CHESTNUT-SIDED, an AMERICAN REDSTART, an OVENBIRD, a BLACKPOLL, a BAY-BREASTED and two more TENNESSEE WARBLERS. All of these vagrant warblers were caught and banded, so keep an eye out for vagrants with bands. Other birds during this period were a BOBOLINK, a PURPLE MARTIN, the Island's 14th or 15th COMMON TERN, and an adult NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, the Island's earliest record.

            Our blog, <http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/> , doesn't have a fall update yet, but will soon; it should be up in the next couple of days. If you'd like to keep track of what we're seeing every day, check out our eBird Patch List, at <http://ebird.org/ebird/site/patch>; just click on the date to see our list from that day. Also, be sure to check out the Farallon Webcam <http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones/>, run by Cal Academy of Sciences. We often have it pointed at the Lighthouse on wave days, so if you're lucky you might see a fun vagrant! Dan Maxwell has just started a blog, where he'll be posting two Island photos daily, at <http://toophotosaday.blogspot.com/>. Finally, PRBO Conservation Sciences seabird Biologist Annie Schmidt kept a blog over the summer, featuring some of her excellent photography. Check it out at <http://farallonphoto.blogspot.com/> to get another perspective on life on Southeast Farallon Island.

            Good birding,

            Matt Brady
            SE Farallon Island, SF Co.


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