Monday, March 28, 2011


Sunday - Montana de Oro State Park - Bluff Trail. Plan on getting your shoes wet if you go out on the Bluff Trail in the next few days, as the trail has many squishy areas. I was enchanted by the little streams that were draining in to the sea.

The day was warm and gorgeous!!

Oystercatchers were in full breeding mode, in groups of four to nine, noisily flying back and forth - most amusing. There were just a few Pigeon Guillemots diving in the breaking waves. Spotted Towhees were chasing each other, and a pair Red-shouldered Hawks were nesting in the stand of Bluff Eucalyptus.

Today - Laguna Lake - In the Willow/Reed thicket along the edge of Laguna Lake had a leisurely look at a male Wilson's Warbler. His BUTTERCUP YELLOW breast was a sight to behold. If I was a female Wilson's Warbler, I would be proud to feather his nest. The only gulls were a few Ring-billed.

In the thicket of willows and reeds along the edge of the lake were a raucous group of Red-winged Blackbirds. (click on the flickr link for a sound video) Red Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I was not going to let the rain dampen my birding spirits. I parked by the T-Pier and walked to the "Rock." In the channel were Western Grebe, Eared Grebe (one in breeding plumage), Common Loon, and one Pigeon Guillemot.

An Oystercatcher was making much noise as it flew across the channel.

A few days ago I spoke with Bob, the Peregrine watcher. He said the eggs should be hatching in a few days. Fledging occurs within 35 - 40 days. I do hope that all the wet weather has not harmed the eggs. As you can see by the two photos, the day I spoke with Bob the sun was out. I had excellent sightings of both the male and the female. The male spent time perched on the top of vertical rock formation (lower photo). The female was perched around to the left of the nest, just below the top of the "Rock," (click on top photo) where the white is spilling down. The male takes over the brooding duties when the female leaves the nest.

Rain brings out the beauty of Morro Rock. There are many blooming plants and huge areas of California Sagebrush. It is lush, fragrant, and gorgeous, and is a great contrast to the beige and brown color of the rock.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


At times last night the rain was fierce. 4.75 inches in my rain gauge this morning. After a few morning sprinkles, the rain stopped. Made hast to Montana de Oro. The sea was roiling. It was the color of chocolate mocha coffee. There was a battle going on between the out going flow of the creek and the incoming surge of the ocean.

In spite of the tough conditions there was a Great Egret, a Greater Yellowleg, a Kingfisher, and a Song Sparrow singing his delightful song. A few Pigeon Guillemots have arrived, but none were in sight.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The photo below was taken from the 3rd St. Coastal Access. In the distance is the Morro Bay Marina.

The tide was on its way out when a Tsunami surge entered the bay. The ducks and shorebirds appeared confused as the rushing surge overtook them. There was a whirlwind of noise and flight. The time difference between the two photos is 4 minutes. On a usual day tidal movement is very gradual.

I had to smile when the surge reversed itself and a small flock of Blue-winged Teal were pulled backwards. Within a moment they were speeding in reverse. The birds were in a fright mode, reacting in the same manner as they do when a Peregrine Falcon comes looking for a snack.

Even though the water was shallow, the power of the surge was most evident.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Met up with Kevin and Mike at Morro Rock this morning. They had come to photograph a surfing competition. About an hour and a half before my arrival they heard a large commotion emanating from the rock. Thousands of gulls were taking to the sky. Causing it was a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) giving chase to a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Not a sight one sees every day or ever. (Once again I missed the action) The guys had to scramble for their cameras. (photo by Mike Baird)

Bob, the Peregrine Falcon guy, was missing from the south side of the rock, so could not get an update. I do know that the eggs have been laid and the nest is located in the "mail slot" which is located under and to the left a tad, of the "diving board" which was last year's nest.
below is a flickr link that show the location of "the mailslot."

While on the south side of the rock heard White-throated Swift. Followed the sound and found they are nesting in a dark crevice (center right) a bit south west of the Peregrine nest.
Will continue on my quest to see the Bald Eagle.