Saturday, September 25, 2010

CUESTA INLET CLEANUP

Cuesta Inlet is an excellent area to find migratory water fowl and shorebirds. Over the years the inlet had become an eyesore with numerous derelict water craft and trailers. Notice went out that on Sept. 25, the inlet would be cleaned up. Many Los Osos residents, and young men from the Grizzly Academy in S.L.O. participated in the event. Below is a video on the cleanup - please pardon the bloopers.

video

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TURRI ROAD PONDS

Turri Road Ponds - Yesterday morning went to the ponds to see the Black-necked Stilt and Wilson's Phalarope. Saw both of them plus about 100 resting Semipalmated Plover. They rest in and on the edges of clumps of pickleweed and are very had to see.

Stilts are a real treat to observe as they seldom visit our area. They have very long red legs. In fact they have the second-longest legs in proportion to their bodies of any bird, exceeded only by the flamingo. Wilson's Phalarope is the largest of the Phalaropes. It does not have fully lobed toes and rarely swims. Its habitat is shallow, muddy or grassy pools and mudflats.

I had not taken any photos yesterday, so this morning was out at 7:00 (before the sun was fully up) to get a couple of pond photos . Could not find the Stilt but the Phalarope was in the same pond and it was feeding in close proximity to three Mallards, our largest dabbling duck (top photo - Phalarope in center). This was the first time I had observed this feeding strategy. My theory was, the dabbling behavior of the Mallards and the constant movement of their feet churned up the water thereby bringing to the surface the minute food items the Phalarope fed upon, which made easy pickings for the Phalarope.

Before going home for breakfast stopped at the Baywood Pier. My first sighting, this season, of Blue-winged Teal (lower photo), about 30, feeding non-stop in the shallow water by the pier. This seems to be a favorite feeding area for the Blue-winged Teal. Again saw the light-colored Godwit. I have never observed this bird with other of his species.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BAYWOOD BIRDING and BEYOND

Audubon Overlook at 4th St. Long-billed Curlew (photo), 2 Spotted Sandpiper. Always a treat to watch their bobbing. Godwit, large flocks of Western Sandpiper, 6 Greater Yellowleg, one Kingfisher. Forster's Tern and Elegant Tern diving for fish. Close to the Overlook are flowering Mallow bushes. Had a great look at a Rufus Hummingbird.

Around 4:00 walked out the Morro Bay Marina Sandspit with Linda. Fog was coming in. Saw a Spotted Sandpiper, 3 Pied-billed Grebe, and a seldom seen Common Murre preening itself in the marina. I have never had such a great view of a Common Murre. Even though it was foggy, fortune shined.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

OCEANO LAGOON

Oceano Lagoon is located a tad west of Hwy 1 and Pier Ave. in Oceano. A beautiful trail meanders around the lagoon. After about an hour of searching I came upon the mixed flock. In the flock were female Western Tanager, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow and Townsend Warbler, a Wrentit and a female Common Yellowthroat. Earlier I had seen the Warbling Vireo and a Downy Woodpecker. Thanks to the constant chatter of the accompanying Bushtits and Chickadees one's eye gets a hint as to the whereabouts of the little flock. (photos - lagoon trail warbler habitat - Oceano lagoon with mist rising)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WHALE ROCK RESERVOIR

Whale Rock Reservoir is located a few miles up Old Creek Road in Cayucos. My wish was to see a Bald Eagle. Luck was with me; I saw two adults. (Today's photo did not turn out. This one was taken 2 years ago and is the same tree the Eagle was sitting in this morning.) The second Eagle was on the north side of the lake near the shore. Other sightings, an American Kestrel, 2 deer and 4 plump wild pigs (see photo). On the way home stopped at Pecho Marsh hoping to see the Blackpoll Warbler. No luck. Will try again tomorrow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

PECHO MARSH

The Pecho Marsh area is located across the road from the corner of Pecho Road and Henrietta in Los Osos. It is a tangle of willow, poison oak, various grasses, vines and reeds, and a few Monterey Cypress. The area is a habitat for migrating fall warblers. Was hoping to see the Chestnut-sided Warbler. Spent about 2 hours. No Chestnut-sided Warbler appeared, but I did see Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Hutton's Vireo and numerous Chickadees. (photo is of a Spotted Towhee in Coyote Brush) Will try again to find the little warbler.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

BAYWOOD

Baywood Pier 6:30am to 7:00am - Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to birding. For a change I was out bright and early. Adding to the Baywood mix of birds were 3 mature and one adolescent Black-crowned Night-Heron (photo by Mike Baird). As often is their demeanor, they looked rather grumpy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BIRDING BAYWOOD

Beautiful, sunny morning in Baywood. First stop Sweet Springs - 17 species. Most memorable, a female Kingfisher. Local Kingfishers breed outside of the area and return in late summer/fall. Other birds of note Oak Titmouse, many Chickadees, Nuttall's and Downey Woodpecker.

Like us, birds are creatures of habit. I believe it was part of the same small mixed flock I had seen a few days ago. 6 Greater Yellowleg, 4 Killdeer, one Willet, and one light colored Godwit. At the Audubon Overlook, 8 Greater Yellowleg, two of the three Brant Goose I had seen On August 26th., and a large flock of Western Sandpiper.