FALL 2010


Coyote Point / Redwood Shores 09-18-10 POSTED
Half Moon Bay Stops 09-25-10 POSTED
Point Reyes NS (Team 1) 10-02-10 POSTED
SFBBO Fall Challenge 10-03-10 POSTED
Point Reyes NS (Team 2) 10-09-10 POSTED
Monterey Bay Seabirds Pelagic 10-10-10 POSTED
Natural Bridges / Antonelli Pond 10-16-10 POSTED
Moon Glow Dairy / Moss Landing 10-23-10 POSTED
Ed Levin County Park 10-30-10 POSTED
Andrew Molera SP 11-06-10 POSTED

Note: The trip reports below are organized in reverse chronological order (more recent report first).



Andrew Molera State Park 11-06-10

We knew in advance this would be a big day, but I doubt anyone expect it to be quite this big. The drive down was overcast and cool, expecially along Hwy 1 south of Carmel. Cricket and I stopped for a moment at Point Sur to to admire the Point Sur lighthouse in the mist. The scene was silent except for the muffled sound of surf, and the distant cry of Gulls.



When we arrived at the park, several folks were already there. Among the birds that made early apperances were Northern Flicker, Dark-eyed Junco, Townsend's Warbler and Belted Kingfisher. A little more exploration around the periphery revealed Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Bewick's and House Wren, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. The day was already off to a good start, and would only get better.

As we made our way toward the campground on the creekside trail, we heard Pacific Wren calling, and with difficulty, got fleeting glimpses of the bird as it darted through the underbrush. Still further we encountered a small flock of birds foraging in the trees over us. Orange-crowned Warbler, Hutton's Vireo and Ruby-crowned Kinglet were added to our list. In the tall redwoods by the river, we found Brown Creeper.

The campground was strangely devoid of Zonotrichias. In years past, trips scheduled during this time have had an abundance of Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows. Today we found very few. But ahead of us we spotted a female Merlin perched in a tall eucalyptus, and beyond the willows lining the river a Red-shouldered Hawk called loudly.

As hoped, the coyote bush basin beyond the log cabin provided good looks at a Bobcat that seemed was essentially oblivious to our presence. The willow stand and fennel patch at the base of the hill beside the utility shack was active with Yellow-rumped Warblers, at least two Hermit Thrushes, Lincoln's Sparrow.

We followed the spur trail back to the main path and passed through an area of low willows and other deciduous trees. Many birds were found here feeding actively, including two more Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. We continued to find small feeding flocks like this one throughout our walk.

The ocean overlook was stunningly beautiful, but windy and a bit drizzly. We stayed long enough to find Heermann's, Mew, California, Herring, Thayer's, Western and Glaucous-winged Gulls, all three Cormorants, Surf Scoter, as well as Eared, Western and Clark's Grebes. Brown Pelican was numerous, but not Loons or Alcids were seen. One Scaup species slipped past us without a firm ID.

We made our way slowly back to the parking area for lunch with no addtional birds, save a pair of cooperative Wrentits. Lunch however could hardly have been more exciting
as three California Condors soared over the ridge along with several Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, Common Ravens and two Golden Eagles! The tree Condors all appeared to be adults with gleaming white underwing coverts.

Then the real adventure began. News had come that the Ivory Gull reported Friday in Pismo Beach was still being seen TODAY. A quick show of hands revealed that there was sufficient interest to consider a major change in plans and make an urgent drive to Southern California. Our full caravan drove north along Hwy 1 to Monterey, at which point three cars split off to meet Hwy 101 and speed south to San Louis Obispo.

About 4 hours after saying goodbye to the first rare species of scavenger of the day, nine of us were saying hello to the second: an immaculate adult Ivory Gull! The bird could be seen from a half-mile away as it flew toward us with long pointed wings and shallow wingbeats, an absolute wraith of a bird! It came to land about 30 feet away from us beside the decaying carcass of a seal, and proceeded to take stabbing bites at it. We moved back, but it harrdly seemed necessary—the bird was unbothered by the many obvservers.

The image of this perfectly spottless, unspeakably beautiful bird stabbing at the putrid carcass is hard to reconcile. The whole situation seems bely the bird's pure and clean appearence. This ultra rare sighting represents only the second occurance of the species in California, and the first ever adult. How it came to be here, thousands of miles from its home in the Arctic Circle is pure speculation, but it was a wonderful opportunity to see a bird I thought I'd live my enire life without finding. It was a dream come true, and this is how we saw it, pure white, dove-like and stabbing at carrion on cars-ok southern California beach... Go figure.




Scaup species
Surf Scoter
California Quail
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
California Condor
White-tailed Kite
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Killdeer
Black Turnstone
Heermann's Gull
Mew Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer's Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Hermit Thrush
Wrentit
European Starling
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Species added by San Luis Obispo Team:
Sanderling
Ivory Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Royal Tern
Eurasian Collared Dove

Species added by Carmel River Mouth Team:
Bufflehead
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Osprey
Dunlin
Surfbird
Black Oysstercatcher
Common Murre
Common Yellowthroat
Lesser Goldfinch







Ed Levin County Park 10-30-10

This local hotspot seemed like a good destination on a the third day of the World Series. The weather was misty in the morning, cool, but essentially rainless. We met at the Spring Valley pond area where our targets included newly arrived Red-breasted Sapsuckers, hopefully one with a red nape, or a yellow belly. The tamarask trees and pepper trees near the school were very productive. We ended up seeing perhaps 4-5 or possibly more individuals but all were the expected Red-breasted variety. We also searched the brush piles and shrubby margins for Sparrows finding all of the expected species. We had nice views of both Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks as well as a Red-shouldered Hawk that pounced on the ground and captured a small mammal. Belted Kingfisher was perched along the edge of the pond. We then moved to the Elm Wood area where species were somewhat different. Our Hairy Woodpeckers were found here, along with White-breasted Nuthatch and Hutton's Vireo. Wild Turkeys were found at each location. We wrapped the trip up around noon, and headed home.

Cricket and I later visited the Allied Arts trees in Menlo Park. We later learned that Ed Ehmke had also done this and saw the same confusing Sapsucker we found. Details are posted in the news section .

Gadwall
Mallard
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Killdeer
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
White-throated Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow (h)
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch





Moon Glow Dairy / Moss Landing 10-23-10

Despite the "70% chance of precipitation" forecast, today was quite rainless during our field trip. We began at Moss Landing State Beach where scanned the large groups of Shorebirds on the north side of the entrance road. There was a large variety to sort through, including Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin, Sanderling and our two common Peeps. We had opportunities to compare Long-billed Curlew and Whimbrel side-by-side and Marbled Godwit, noting their different patterns, postures and structure. Season first for this area were both Lesser and Greater Scaup, Bufflehead and Ruddy Turnstone. We had several Semipalmated Plovers fly over the road, but did not see them on the mudflats. Strangely, there were very few Gulls to consider, mostly Western and a few scattered Californias. We did not examine the beach or visit the jetty until after lunch.

We relocated to Moon Glow while the tide was still rising, which meant the shallow ponds were receiving incoming Shorebrds. We added Killdeer, but no hoped for Spotted or Pectoral Sandpipers. The eucalyptus grove was loud with chip notes making it easy to detect Yellow-rumped and Townsedn's even before seeing them. We chose to work the shrubs above the pond in hopes of finding Sparrows, and were rewarded with several Lincoln's Sparrows, as well as Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler.

The levy seemed lighlty dangerous because of nearby hunters, but we managed to escape any major injuries. A season first was seen in the form of an American Pipit which apparently did NOT have the same good fortune we had... It had a broken leg and showed some blood on its flank, but retained its ability to fly. A single Wilson's Snipe appeared overhead and landed somewhere ahead of us, quickly disappearing. The marsh contained a variety of new birds like Sora and Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren and Green-winged Teal. The slough contained all three Cormorants, Common Loon and Red-breasted Merganser, as well as both Aechmophorus Grebes.

After returning to the cars, we made a brief tour of the eucalyptus grove where everyone had their "lifer" Pacific Wren! Downy Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Pygmy Nuthatch were also found in the grove.

Then it was off to Phil's for lunch. The usual clam chowder, grilled salmon, shrimp salad selection. And after that a quick visit to the south end of the harbor mouth for some final birds. Several Pigeon Guillemots addd themselves to the list along with some off shore Surf Scoters. And then came the rain, just in time for the drive home.

Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Brant
Gadwall
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter
Bufflehead
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
California Quail
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clarks's Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Heermann's Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Western Gull
Pigeon Guillemot
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bustht
Pygmy Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Orange-crowend Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow








Natural Bridges / Antonelli Pond 10-16-10

Weather was overcast in the morning, gradually lightening by lunch, but still cool during our visit. It was a slow day as far as birds. A few highlights include our group's first-of-season Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Sapsucker, as well as a bizarrely out-of-place White-faced Ibis flying past our picnic a the Marine Lab. Some of us saw our first-of-season Glaucous-winged Gull as well as Red-throated Loon. Way out from the bluff at the Marine Lab were two Elegant Terns, but they won't remain in our area much longer. The usual Pygmy Nuthatches delighted us with their tooting calls, and while we saw several species of Warblers, none were unexpected... unless you count that mysterious one. Some members of our group observed a curious bird with a grayish head and flanks, greenish back, broken eyering AND a yellow throat. Post-review suggests it may well have been a first winter Northern Parula, but no photos were taken and the left before everyone could see it. Oh, well. The species is a rare breeder in nearby Monterey County, and uncommon migrant in the Bay Area.

After our trip concluded, Cricket and I stopped at Cascade Ranch with Petersen. The brussells sprout field is "ripening" and with the addion of a little rain, might just turn out attracting some interesting birds in a few weeks. In the mean time, we spotted a very fresh Warbling Vireo and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. After that, we stopped at Bean Hollow to take a look at the recently beached Blue Whale mother and calf. That was pretty interesting!s

Greater White-fronted Goose
Mallard
Surf Scoter
California Quail
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe

Western Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Cascade Ranch)
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Whimbrel
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Surfbird

Sanderling
Dunlin
Heerman's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Califoria Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Warbling Vireo (Cascade Ranch)
Western Scrub Jay
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Bushtit
Pygmy Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Wrentit
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow




Monterey Bay Seabirds Pelagic 10-10-10

Another great day on the bay with Roger Wolfe's Monterey Bay Seabirds. Petersen and Mary Ann joined me on a very foggy day for an 8-hour search for Shearwaters, Albatross and other pelagic birds. We had very high numbers of Buller's Shearwaters, as well as great numbers of the expected Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters. Brief and challenging views of Ashy Storm Petrel and Short-tailed Shearwaters added to the excitement. Displaying its usual behavior of circling our boat, a Tufted Puffin appeared, made a quick pass around and then disappeared. At the end of our trip, as we approached the harbor, we suddenly turned our boat around to investigate a possible Brown Booby that was seen in the distance diving from the air. We didn't succeed in relocating the bird, but it was exciting nonetheless. Afterwords, Petersen, Mary Ann and I stoppd briefly at Struve Slough where we watched a Pectoral Sandpiper foraging on the edges.

Black-footed Albatross
Pink-footed Shearwater
Buller's Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Ashy Storm-Petrel
Brown Pelican
Brandt's Cormorant
Red-necked Phalarope
Pectoral Sandpiper (Struve Slough)
Red Phalarope
Sabine's Gull
Heermann's Gull
Western Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Arctic Tern
Common/Arctic Tern
Parasitic Jaeger
jaeger sp.
Common Murre
Cassin's Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Tufted Puffin






Point Reyes NS (Team 2) 10-09-10

Our second pass at fall on the outer point was highly successful, yet our species count was slightly lower than the previous week. The opion on the web is that this is turning out to be a rather slow fall migration with few rarities being discovered... No matter, the weather was gorgeous, beautiful, perfect... but perhaps not ideal for birders. The clear calm evenings the days before seems to mean few vagrants were found by our group (or anyone else). Some of the unusual birds we have found in the past may have breezed right through the area without stopping. We did have a very exciting encounter however with the recently reported Black-poll Warbler at the Fish Docks (spotted today by Curtis), but the Blackburnian reported from the same location seemed to have moved on. We found a light-morph Ferruginous Hawk near Mendoza Ranch as well as Merllin earlier along the road. Probably the most exciting episode was when our group marched out on the Spalletta Plateau to see if we could relocate the 6 Lapland Longspurs that Cricket and I had found the day before on our scouting mission. We all got looks at the flock, today numbering 10+ but they were mostly flying and hard to fully appreciate. Still, this small flock bodes well for future trips this winter to that area.

Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Canada Goose
Mallard
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Surf Scoter
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
American Coot
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Willlet
Marbled Godwit
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glacuous-winged Gull
Common Murre
Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
Barn Owl
Great Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Violet-green Swallow
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Wrentit
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Lapland Longspur
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow






SFBBO Fall Challenge with Team DeDUCKtions 10-03-10

Our small team (Mary Ann Allen, Susie Hons Susan Kritzik, Patty McGann, Pati Rouzer, Sonny Mencher, myself and East Bay reporter Adelaide Chen documenting for an online story at http://www.patch.com/) did a half-day in the south bay this morning for the SFBBO Fall Fundraiser. Beginning at Sunnyvale Baylands Park we then visted Alviso EEC, State and Spreckles and finally the Alviso Marina. Total count in for 4-hours (unless I've forgotten something): 83

Highlights of our day were:
Sunnyvale Baylands Park:
Willow Flycatcher
Western Tanager
Vaux's Swift
Townsend's Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Warbling Vireo

Disc Drive:

2 Wilson's Snipe in flight and calling over field (FOS for everyone)
Say's Phoebe
Western Meadowlark
Burrowing Owl
Loggerhead Shrike

Alviso EEC:

Lincoln's Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Sora
Virginia Rail
Common Moorhen
Herring Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
American Wigeon
Peregrine Falcon
2 more Loggerhead Shrikes!

State and Spreckles:

Eurasian Collared Dove

Alviso Marina:

Eared Grebe

Great thanks are due to thank Roland Kenner, Dave Weber and Rich Jeffers for pointing us toward some birds we might have otherwise. Big misses for the day include... well, let's not talk about those. We had a BLAST anyway! And the reporter documenting our adventure now has a better understanding about birds, birders and what SFBBO and the various Audubon chapters are about. Thank you to our MANY generous sponsors. SFBBO and Team DeDUCKtions greatly appreciates your help!

Complete list of species:
Canada Goose
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Burrowing Owl
Vaux's Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Willow Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Warbling Vireo
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Western Tanager
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow





Point Reyes NS (Team 1) 10-02-10

Conditions were extremely foggy until noon and migrants were very hard to find. Highlights of the day included a Black-and-white Warbler at the RCA towers spotted first by Linda Johnson. Despite the near white-out conditions, we had a very high count of species, mostly expected birds, but several highlights:

Drake's Beach:
Fox Sparrows
Red-necked Grebes
Glacuous-winged Gull
Elegant Terns

Chimney Rock Road
Lincoln's Sparrows

Lighthouse trees

Golden-crowned Sparrows
Cedar Waxwing

Fish Docks:
Harlequin Ducks
Red-throated Loons
Red-breasted Nuthatch

RCA towers:
Black-and-white Warbler

Mallard
Scaup (pres. Greater Scaup)
Surf Scoter
Harlequin Duck
Ruddy Duck
California Quai
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Aechmophorus species
Brown Pelican
Pelagic Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Cooper's Hawk
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Snowy Plover
Black Oystercatcher
Willet
Greater Yellowlegs
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Heermann's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Common Murre (h)
Pigeon Gulllemot
Band-tailed Pigeon
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
Mourning Dove
Barn Owl
Great Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Wrentit (h)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
Western Bluebird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warblerz
Townsend's Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Savannah Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow






Half Moon Bay Stops 09-25-10

We made a few stops in Half Moon Bay today, hopefully to find a sampling of migrant Warblers. The weather was awesomely beautiful, warm and sunny, and it seems everyone in California decided to visit the coast... Beginning at the footbridge over Pilarcitos Creek behind Burger King, we saw the first of many Yellow Warbler of the day, as well as 1 or 2 Orange-crowned Warblers (dressed with its new-this-fall genus, Oreothlypis). We also found White-crowned, and Song Sparrows, Ameican Goldfinch, and Downy Woodpecker. Otherwise, the creek was quiet when we were there.

The overflow parking area at Pillar Point provided us good looks at several more Yellow Warbler and our FOS Lincoln's Sparrow. Townsend's Warbler was seen in the pine trees at the base of the radio tower, a Cooper's Hawk and a very brave Northern Flicker that seemed to be in a stand-off with the Hawk. Over the salt marsh we spotted a female Merlin, again a first-of-season for everyone, as she made her way toward the harbor. From over the ridge a Say's Phoebe flew into the marsh and perched on a small coyote bush. Elegant, a few Forster's Terns, an abundance of Heerman's Gulls, Brown Pelicans and Brandt's Cormorants made for a lot of activity on the water. Also spotted were Surf Scoters, Ruddy Duck and a Common Loon. The rock jetty and the kelp beds on the beach contained Black Turnstones, Sanderling, Willets, Black-bellied Plovers, and at least two Wandering Tattlers, including one juvenile. As we walked back from the point, we spotted several Barn Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows overhead.

The mouth of Pilarcitos Creek had a large assembly of mostly Western and California Gulls, while the wet sand areas had two Western Sandpiper, and a lone DUNLIN. Far off to the left along the creek was a female Northern Pintail, and 5 Brant were almost missed among the Gulls. Back by the cars, a single Northern Mockingbird and Spotted Towhee were in the coyote bush.

Brant
Northern Pintail
Surf Scoter
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Eared Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Willet
Wandering Tattler
Black Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpipeer
Dunlin
Heermann's Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Western Gull
Elegant Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Ann's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Bewick's Wren
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow






Coyte Point / Redwood Shores 09-18-10

It was overcast this morning, but mild temperatures, and high humidity. We arrived at the marina at 8, more than an hour before the hight tide. Shorebirds were beginning to on the sand bar, but many were still foraging on the nearby mudflats. All the usual suspects, including Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Willet, Elegant and Forster's Terns were in large numbers. We found only one Semipalmated Plover, but scores of Black-bellie Plover and a few Killdeer. The most unusual bird we found was a female Blue-winged Teal that was foraging on the mudflats along side Least and a few Western Sandpipers. She had all the recognizable features, including strong facial pattern, medium length bill and pale white dusting on the front of her face. We enjoyed the many Short-billed Dowitchers in their colorful juvenile plumage. We got brief looks at a male Belted Kingfisher as it flew over the marsh and back toward the marina.



Photo: Brooke Miller


Photo: Brooke Miller

After some time we did find the male Harlequin Duck. I had almost given up looking... He was quite far from the concrete slabs. in the open water east of the freshwater marsh. Also present in this area were many Clark's Grebes (no Westerns??) and a female Surf Scoter.

The freshwater marsh was mostly quiet, save for the Black-necked Stilts, Snowy Egrets and Spotted Sandpiper. Common Yellowthroat and Marsh Wren were seen and heard in the channel leading into the marsh. We found two more Spotted Sandpipers, one in the harbor and the third on the north shore rocks, visible from the overlook beside the museum. A Wandering Tattler was also in this area and a small group of Turkey Vultures feeding on a beached ray. Pygmy Nuthatches were finally seen in eucalyptus trees in the central lawn area beside the museum. One Band-tailed Pigeon was seen flying quickly through the trees here. We ended up seeing several Eurasian Collared Doves as well, but they preferred the more open areas, much like the Mourning Doves.

Radio Road contained many more species of Ducks, including Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal and Cinnamon Teal, Ruddy Duck. We also found Long-billed Dowitcher and Greater Yellowlegs on the small islands. I had hoped we might find some lingering Phalaropes, but they were not present, nor were the Black Skimmers. We've got the whole season ahead of us with losts of possible surprises!

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Surf Scoter
Ruddy Duck
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Wandering Tattler
Spotted Sandpiper
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid xWestern)
Elegant Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Pygmy Nuthatch
Marsh Wren
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow