One of my favorite aspects of bird watching is the changing of behaviors and species seen throughout the seasons. August is a quiet month in terms of diversity of birds, many of the summer migrants have left, and the fall travelers have yet to arrive, but August has its own charms. Many of the local breeders are still feeding fledged young and we can spend more time focusing on those familiar species we share our world with. On the August 4th Golden Gate Audubon Society field trip on Mt. Sutro we had some of these visits with our regular bird neighbors.
We had a group of nine birders, many of whom were beginners and heard about the walk from the Sutro Stewards. Heading off down the Historic Trail from the Woods Lot we saw many American Robins, including speckled juveniles, chattering, whistling and feasting on plums. The Fairy Gates Trail was a little quiet but we made our way over to the Aldea apartments, and then up the East Ridge Trail to the Mystery Trail and up to the summit. We were greeted at the summit by some boisterous Steller’s Jays, hopping around in the underbrush and crying out with their distinct call. The bird of the day, however, had to be the Western Tanager, spotted near the intersection of the Historic and Edgewood Trails on our way back down to the Woods Lot. He was a beautiful male with a rosy red face, bold black wings, and an almost neon yellow body.
Overall, it was a nice walk, with a great group of people and some memorable bird sightings. See the full bird list on eBird. Join us on our next walk on Mt. Sutro on September 1st!