We made four stops on our morning birding adventure. The first stop was along Estero Bluffs (photo). The fog was lifting and the sea was beautiful. Harry and Norma Catchpole knew where to find a young Black Oystercatcher. They have been following its development since it was one of three eggs. The nest was a slight depression in the rocks.
We followed the trail along the cliff a short distance. We saw both adult Oystercatcher, but it took Harry a bit of time to locate the youngster which was tucked into a slight depression, not moving a feather. Both Norma and I looked but could not see it. Juveniles are gray with brown eyes and a dark bill, and as we can testify, they can be difficult to locate.
Old Creek Lagoon - Cayucos State Beach - Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Western Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Long-billed Curlew, and after much pondering and comparing, 3 Semipalmated Sandpiper.
Morro Strand Lagooon - Morro Strand State Beach. The lagoon is extensive, but due to the Snowy Plover (an endangered species) fencing, a portion of the lagoon is inaccessible. Norma spotted the first treat - a mother mallard with 4 ducklings. Four American Avocet in breeding plumage were feeding. They thrust their bill under water and swing it from side to side along the bottom to stir up aquatic insects. Fascinating to observe.
Morro Creek Lagoon - Morro Strand State Beach. Three Red-necked Phalarope feeding. They spin quickly to create a vortex that churns up tiny invertebrates. Most entertaining to watch.
Successful morning of birding. We ended the day with a yummie lunch at the Blue Sky Cafe on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay.