Saturday, October 9, 2010


This mornings 6.4 high tide caused the shore birds in the estuary to head for dryer ground. There were many hundreds of Least Sandpiper in the furthest pond on Turri Road (see photo). There was only a sheen of water on the pond. Many of the little peeps were settled into the clumps of pickleweed. None were feeding. When the tide goes out they will return to their feeding along the bay.

The weather was clear, windless and hot. We occasionally get 2 or 3 days of summer in October. At the Morro Bay Marina I walked east along the edge of the brush. The tidal water, moving swiftly into the estuary, cause the larger shore birds to move closer and closer to the edge of the estuary which makes them easy to observe. The Savannah Sparrow, who spends most of it time out in the Estuary Pickleweed, comes into the brush; they were numerous. Shorebirds were in the thousands: Willet, Long-billed Curlew, Wimbrel, Godwit, and Elegant and Forster's Tern. Ah, birding paradise!

On my return trip I stopped at a pullout on South Bay Blvd. to see what ducks had arrived. I was delighted at seeing, for the first time this season, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, and Northern Shoveler. May have seen Green-winged Teal, but uncertain due to the distance. It makes my heart glad to know that, once again, these marvelous travelers have graced us with their presence.

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