FALL 2012

Coyote Hills Regional Park 09-15-12 POSTED
Outer Point Reyes (Team 1) 09-22-12 POSTED
Outer Point Reyes (Team 2) 09-29-21 POSTED
Pescadero Environs 10-06-12 POSTED
Neary Lagoon / Antonelli Pond 10-13-12 POSTED
SFBBO Fall Challenge with Team DeDUCKtions 10-14-12 POSTED
Moon Glow Dairy / Moss Landing 10-20-12 POSTED
Merced NWR / O'Neill Forebay 10-27-12 POSTED

Note
: Trip reports for each of the above outings will be posted on this site before the next class meeting.




Merced NWR / O'Neill Forebay 10-27-12

My Palo Alto Adult School birding class visited Merced NWR and O'Neill Forebay yesterday for a great fall day of birding. We were joined Sal Salerno and his friend Daniel who assisted with spotting and identification.

Merced NWR:
We found the Waterfowl and Crane activity high. Two WESTERN KINGBIRDS were foraging near the maintenance buildings. SAY'S PHOEBE was also present here. LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was seen several times throughout the day including two in this area.

SNOW and ROSS'S GEESE were easily seen in large numbers passing overhead all day, as well as GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Three CACKLING GEESE were found among the flocks on the southern edge of the loop. Ducks species were dominated by NORTHERN PINTAIL, with GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CINNAMON TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, MALLARD, GADWALL in lesser numbers, RUDDY DUCK and one BUFFLEHEAD. 

WHITE-FACED IBIS gathered in large numbers on the eastern edge of the loop, and several hundred SANDHILL CRANES were both in the dry fields to the south of the loop, and in the last stretch. A BURROWING OWL was found shortly after the Meadowlark Trail along the wide bend in gravel road. 

Raptors were numerous, but with limited diversity. We found RED-TAILED, and RED-SHOULDRED HAWKS, AMERICAN KESTREL, WHITE-TAILED KITE and NORTHERN HARRIER. GREAT HORNED OWL was seen in the expected areas, and a single BARN OWL flushed from the Meadowlark Trail trees.

Generally, the south edge of the loop was very dry, with no Shorebird habitat, and very few opportunities for Rails or Bittern. We briefly heard a VIRGINIA RAIL and a couple of SORAS though. On the bright side, AMERICAN PIPIT and HORNED LARK were relatively easy to locate. In one small puddle we found several GREATER YELLOWLEGS and two LESSER YELLOWLEGS, and several LEAST SANDPIPERS.

Before we left the preserve we explored the creek where the water situation was thee reverse--very high levels, and no mud. COMMON YELLOWTROAT, YELLOW-RUMPED, ORANGE-CROWNED and a probable YELLOW WARBLER were found in the cottonwoods, as well as BEWICK'S and HOUSE WREN. A BELTED KINGFISHER cruised past us for the length of the creek through just above the water. Many SONG, WHITE-CROWNED, small numbers of GOLDEN-CROWNED, FOX and LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were found, as well as MARSH, HOUSE and BEWICK'S WRENS.

O'Neill Forebay:
As expected, there were tens-of-thousands of AMERICAN COOTS. If ANYONE hasn't seen this species yet... we know a good place... The attendant at the kiosk waived the fee for our group "20 minutes" because we were birders, and that was just enough time for our group to scan the rafts in search of a few new day birds. We added EARED and WESTERN GREBE, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP (a few of each and side by side comparison), CANVASBACK and CALIFORNIA GULL. If we had stayed longer, we might have added some more species, but we were satisfied with our quick visit.

Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Ross's Goose
Cackling Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Surf Scoter
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Swainson's Hawk (Hwy 152)
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Ring-necked Pheasant
California Quail (heard)
Virginia Rail
Sora
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Least Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Barn Owl
Great Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
Western Scrub Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Bushtit
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler (very late)
Yellow-rumped 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
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow




Moon Glow Dairy / Moss Landing / Struve Slough 10-20-12

My Palo Alto Adult School birding class visited Moss Landing, Moon Glow Dairy and Struve Slough today. There were two FRANKLIN'S GULLS behind West Marine this morning around 7:00AM seen by three of us, and one FRANKLIN'S GULL was refound in the afternoon with the entire group. Both birds were seen swimming together in the morning just below the parking area, and in flight between the two bridges. They appeared to be similarly plumaged, first winter birds with extensive black on crown and nape. AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, GREEN HERON and AMERICAN BITTER were also found in between glimpses of the Gull. 





Moss Landing was good for Shorebirds today, with two RUDDY TURNSTONES being found--one on the flats by the entrance and the other on the rock jetty. One SURFBIRD was also seen at the harbor mouth. Many WILLET, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, MARBLED GODWITS, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, WHIMBREL, both DOWITCHER species, SANDERLING, WESTERN, LEAST, DUNLIN...

Moon Glow produced 5 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS for us in the main pond below the eucalyptus grove, many DUNLIN, LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, a PALM WARBLER and a Spizella species which one member saw well and identified as a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW.

Watsonville Slough was the last stop for my car and we found a WHITE-FACED IBIS, several GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES and two GREEN HERON.

Canada Goose
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Surf Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Dunlin
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Franklin's Gull
Heermann's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Bushtit
Bewick's Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
Clay-colored Sparrow (seen by Brooke)
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow



SFBBO Fall Challenge with Team DeDUCKtions 10-14-12

Sunnyvale Baylands was a little slow for us this morning. We had truckloads of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and a few TOWNSEND'S. In light of the Nuthatch invasion, a lone RED-BREASTED wasn't too surprising. WHITE-CROWNED and FOX SPARROWS were easily heard, and in the case of White-crowneds—also seen. A male and female AMERICAN KESTREL was in the seasonal wetlands. AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN were visible in the distance flying into a  pond, and a flock of CANADA GEES which contained 6 CACKLING GEESE also flew in. The garden area produced little for us, however HERMIT THRUSH was heard chupping beneath the shrubbery.

The RUFF was present for us at the State and Spreckles puddles  this morning from about 9:15 to almost 9:16... not long in other words! But it was visible to us between the picklewEed islands on the far left of the puddles where the Northern Shovelers hang out just long enough for about two folks in my group to see it. It then disappeared, probably with three Long-billed Dowitchers that flew to the other side of the railroad tracks where we lost track of them. LINCOLN'S SPARROW buzzed several times along the road as we continued searching. A return visit to the area two hours later was not rewarded. My guess is late in the day, or first thing in the morning might get the bird. Both LESSER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS were seen, as well as LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. An adult PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted along the entrance road to EEC and a RING-NECKED PHEASANT by the railroad tracks. 

Our tour of the Coyote Creek Field Station today was incredible! We watched as Josh, Erika and Tom processed NINE different birds during our visit, a small but impressive portion of the more than 60 they had seen earlier in the day! Among them were: Black Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Bewick's Wren, Fox Sparrow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, White-crowned Sparrow... It was fascinating and informative. We listened with interest as Josh outlined the long-term banding project operated by SFBBO and the light it sheds on habitat restoration projects in similar areas. We learned about molt limit and cranial ossification, and other curious techniques banders use to identify and age the birds they capture. We even saw a Bewick's Wren inserted head first  into a film cannister! I know I speak for everyone in this year's team when I say THANK YOU to Josh, Erika, Tom, and the rest of SFBBO for the great work you do, and your eagerness to explain the benefits of your expert work! We had a great visit and learned so much! Thanks also to all our participants and sponsors this year. Your contributions are definitely being being put to good work!!

Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Ponds gave us several fly-over AMERICAN PIPITS, two GREEN HERON and two COMMON GALLINULE, as well as a collection of Ducks we had not seen earlier. Among them were rafts of hundreds of AMERICAN WIGEON and a few CANVASBACK. Also seen were Green-winged Teal and Cinnamon Teal. Both SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL were heard along the channel along with MARSH WREN.

Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Spotted Sandpiper
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Ruff
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
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




Neary Lagoon / Antonelli Pond 10-13-12

My Palo Alto Adult School birding class visited Neary Lagoon this morning. We found a western PALM WARBLER about half way between the Chestnut and Blackburn entrances. The bird was foraging in a backyard garden with planter boxes, eyed also by a house cat. We watched nervously as the Warbler very nearly met its end, but it flew away just in time to avoid attack. It relocated near the Chestnut entrance where we lost track of it. In the willow cover near the Blackburn entrance we found two BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS and later found two more near Chestnut. WOOD DUCKS were abundant and easy to see, however we could not located many of the birds reported the day before.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Black Oystercatcher
Willet
Whimbrel
Black Turnstone
Sanderling
Heermann's Gull
California Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Common Murre
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
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
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow







Pescadero Environs 10-06-12

My Palo Alto Adult School birding class began today's coastal trip with a seawatch at Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Among the small numbers of Shearwaters we were able to see flying in both directions near the fog bank were 10+ SOOTY and 4-5 BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS. The Black-vented Shearwaters were fairly easy to pick out even at a distance with their pale bellies and underwings as well as their quick, snappy wingbeats—quite unlike Pin-footed which we did not observe today. Another highlight was a PARASITIC JAEGER flying south relatively close to shore. COMMON MURRE were abundant as were WESTERN GREBE and RED-THROATED LOONS. We also saw a small number of COMMON LOONS and PACIFIC LOONS.

We found three RED-BREASTED MERGANSER in Pescadero Creek, as well as a WANDERING TATTLER.

Landbirding was quite slow, with nothing unexpected crossing our path, unless you want to count a hunting BOBCAT along Cloverdale Road, but it isn't technically a landbird.

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Surf Scoter
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
California Quail
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Sooty Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Black Oystercatcher
Willet
Wandering Tattler
Surfbird
Black Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Heermann's Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Common Murre
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Pacific Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Wrentit
Northern Mockingbird
European tarling
American Pipit
Orange-crowned 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
Tricolored Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow






Outer Point Reyes 09-29-12 (Team 2)

A day to remember! The list of highlights speaks for itself, but the exploration of a new portion of Mendoza Ranch provided a real sense of newness to this familiar itinerary. This inner-grove provided us with fantastic looks at both Ovenbird and Connecticut Warbler—lifers for several people, and the Connecticut was a species that eluded me for more than 35 years! We also had Broad-winged Hawk at this loction later in the day. The lighthouse was unproductive for the most part.. there was that 6-foot look at a young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak however... Chimney Rock made up for it for any slowness at the lighthouse. We found Harlequin Duck, and Orchard Oriole here, as well as a female Magnolia Warbler.
Toward the end of our tour we visted the Spaletta Slop ponds as we did last week and found two Pectoral Sandpipers remaining.


Photo: Brooke Miller


Gadwall
American Widgeon

Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Surf Scoter
Harlequin Duck
California Quail
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Looon
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Western Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Gallinule
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Heermann's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gulll
Western Gull
Elegant Tern
Pigeon Guillemot
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurssian Collared Dove
Great Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
"Western" Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Western Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Ovenbird
Connecticut Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow




Outer Point Reyes 09-22-12 (Team 1)

Despite a slow beginning at the lighthouse, our day ended with a great sampling of both landbird and shorebird migratants. We ened more than 90 species, several of which were vagrants.

The lighthouse was windier than ideal, with a stiff northern breeze, preventing us from seeing or hearing much in the famous cypress trees. Perfect conditions of high overcast with a light southwestern breeze are obviously different. Still, we managed to find the first of many Red-breasted Nuthatches, the first of only two or three Townsend's Warblers, a family of Pacific Wrens and our fist of season Golden-crowned Sparrow. From the observation platform we also admired the Peregrine Falcon, and small numbers of Sooty Shearwaters. Big excitement was had when two Humpback Whales appeared only yards from the rocks below us, surfacing several times before disappearing.

The Chimney Rock area provided us with several leads of birds in the area. With effort we tracked down the Tropical Kingbird in the windy Elephant Seal overlook. We had found a number of birds on our own, like female Western Tanager, scores of Red-breasted Nuthatches, Townsend's Warbler, Western Wood Pewee and several Loons and Grebes.

The most exciting discovery at Chimney Rock was made with the help of Jeff Miller, who identified a female Orchard Oriole. I could see him and a few others gathered excitedly across the field during our lunch. I broke from the group to go investigate what was causing all the looking and pointing. When I was told they had an a bright yellow Oriole I waited with them for it to reappear. As soon as it popped into view, Jeff exclaimed, "yup, looks like an Orchard!". I rushed back to our group to hand off the news. Everyone marched over to where Jeff and the others were holding down the bird and I remained guarding the unfishished lunches, scopes and open car doors. I was so sorry not to see the bird with the group, but I knew if we'd waited until everyone was packed up the bird would have disappeared... Oh well. In the end, everyone (incluing me) got to see this remarkable bird!


We finished our lunches and moved onto Nunes Ranch where another small birding group was already observing the reported female American Redstart. Within a few minutes of arriving, we were all looking at this stunning bird as it displayed its tail and impressed us all. Other birds here included a "Western" Flycatcher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Hutton's Vireo and our first-of-season Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Mendoza Ranch did not produce much for us beyond our first-of-season Say's Phoebe and Mallards. There was a very cooperative Great Horned Owl above the road, which delighted the growng group of birders.

We moved next to Spaletta Ranch, where three small "slop ponds" tempted us to unlatch the gate and explore a whole new area for our group. Geri, Rebecca, Cricket and I had already scouted this are on our way to the Lighthouse, so we knew what was ahead. As hoped, there were four Pectoral Sandpipers working the edges of the tiny pond. As well, there were several Least Sandpipers and Red-necked Phalaropes. Tricolored Blackbirds "sang" from the barnyard behind us. A short walk futher in, we found a Baird's Sandpiper! Big excitment for all!!



Photo: Matthew Dodder (using my new iPhone adapter for Swarovski spotting scope)

Next was Drakes Beach and the small pond behind the picnic area. Several species were added including Common Yellowthroat, Common Galllinule, American Coot, Sora, Virginia Rail and Marsh Wren. The beach provided us with good view of Semipalmated Plovers and Marbled Godwits. Only one new Gull, Ring-billed" was added for the day.

Finally, the RCA Tower Grove added a few Chestnut-backed Chickadees to our list, a Yellow Warbler and at least one more "Western" Flycatcher. Nothing rare here, and we were rapidly growing tired. We ended the day with our first Great Blue Heron in the marsh across from Point Reyes Oyster Company and continued home.


Gadwall
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Surf Scoter
Harlequin Duck
California Quail
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Looon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Western Grebe
Sooty Shearwater
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Northern Harrier
White-tailed Kite
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Gallinule
Killdeer
Semipalmatd Plover
Whimbrel (heard only)
Marbled Godwit
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope
Heermann's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gulll
Western Gull
Common Murre
Rock Pigeon
Eurssian Collared Dove
Great Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker (heard only)
Western Wood Pewee
"Western" Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Tropical Kingbird
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper (heard only)
Bewick's Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Western Tanager
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow







Coyote Point Marina / Radio Road 09-15-12

For our first trip of fall term we visited Coyote Point marina. Early excitement was a first fall BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK near the harbor parking lot, and s SPOTTED SANDPIPER in the channel. There was very little Warbler activity, however we did find at least two YELLOW WARBLERS in the trees lining the edge of the golf course. One member flushed a GREEN HERON between the lone pine on the corner and the freshwater marsh. The freshwater marsh produced our first-of-season WILSONS'S SNIPE and two more SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. We later found two more near the harbor mouth, but we could not be certain that one or both of them were different from what we had counted earlier. We found what appeared to be a dead female BLUE-WINGED TEAL on the lawn near the power tower.

We continued along the levy toward the harbor mouth where we found both LESSER and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, several SAVANNAH SPARROWS, and many Shorebirds including BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, KILLDEER, MARBLED GODWIT, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, WHIMBREL, BLACK TURNSTONE, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SURFBIRD. The male HARLEQUIN DUCK was very cooperative first hauled out on the concrete slabs and swimming between the slabs and the sand bar closer to us. FORSTER'S TERNS were uncommon today, and only one ELEGANT TERN showed up. We were long able to relocated the Long-tailed Duck, or any Tattlers.

The cypress trees(?) near the museum entrance produced not only the expected PYGMY NUTHATCHES, but also a small number (3-4) RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. A single NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER appeared in the eucalyptus grove just before lunch.

Radio Road was productive in that it gave us ample opportunity to compare LONG-BILLED and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. We also found many GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a single juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER among the huge collection of WILLETS, MARBLED GODWIT and both DOWITCHERS on the employee parking end of the pond just past the dog run. Finally, 5 juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were on the left pond.

It was a great start to fall term, and many first-of-season birds!



Photo: Sonny Mencher

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal (deceased)
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned NIght Heron
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Spotted Sandpiper
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Black Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Red-necked Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Forster' sTern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Black Phoebe
American Crow
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
California Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

How could we NOT get Brown-headed Cowbird??