Sunday, October 30, 2011


Morro Strand State Beach - North Point - Sanderlings (Calidris alba ), visitors from the high Arctic tundra, are constantly on the move. Their feeding strategy is to feed in the shallow water left by receding waves; the waves never stop and neither do the Sanderlings; following the movement of the waves, they race back and forth.

Today was warm and magnificent with few people on the beach. From North Point I walked south to the Strand Lagoon, which amazingly, due to high tides and a slight amount of water in the creek, continues to exist. Along the western edge of the lagoon was a flock of 60 Black-bellied Plovers (unusual), a mixed flock of Elegant and Royal Tern, and scads of Long-billed Curlew and Whimbrel.

Next stop, The Cloisters - Maybe one or two birds. Intense growth of reed and willows make it impossible to see into the pond; does bother me a tad, for in mid January I will be leading in the Cloisters an "Easy Birding" walk for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival - California Bird Watching at its Best

After a perker upper at Starbuck's I headed out on Turri Road. About 2 miles east is an old windmill. Attracted to the water were American and Lesser Goldfinch (photo - click for larger image), Western Bluebird, Black and Say's Phoebe. Moving around in the dry grass a flock of Meadowlark, and perched upon an old fence post sat a colorful Kestrel.

Final stop - Audubon Overlook. Tide was perfect for viewing a few of our winter guests - No. Shoveler, No. Pintail, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Green, Blue and Cinnamon Teal - a never ending treat for me to see 3 species of Teal feeding together. Bird count for the day was 58. My next quest - an Eurasian Wigeon.

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