There is a certain quality of light in San Francisco, and I am sure it is other places as well. It's that light that cuts through the fog, or in the case at the moment, under it. I think it allows a little more time for that golden hour, because the sunlight reflects off the bottom of the stratus layer and warms things up a bit.
It's an odd city, you have the actual city itself, with the high-rises, crime, shopping centers, street people. All of that is in one section, mostly. Then you have the suburbs, or everything West of 19th ave, which is where I currently live. And then you have the nature areas, Golden Gate Park (where this cormorant was resting), the area around the Legion of Honor, and the newly reintroduced wetlands at Crissy Field. All of these areas are great for bird watching. On the way to do some photography today, I was able to watch a red-tailed hawk grab something for dinner and fly off with it.
Even in the suburbs, you can see a red-tailed hawk perched on a telephone wire. This one was a few houses down from me, I was able to get my 100-400 mm zoom and take a fair number of shots without him (or her) paying a lot of attention to me.
The crows and blackbirds were distracting him.
And yet, I dislike the bitter wind that comes in off the Pacific Ocean at an average speed of 12 miles per hour in April. That's average, and there is nothing between the water and you. The houses act like a wind-tunnel, making it seem much higher.