Sunday, April 7, 2013


9:30 am - Weather perfect.  Met Harry and Norma at San Simeon State Park Lagoon.  Passing over San Simeon Creek is Hwy 1.  The bridge is ideal for Swallows to paste their mud nests.  Some swallows were actually nesting inside the bridge, entering thru small round openings.  Nest building was in progress by Northern Rough-winged (photo below) and Cliff Swallow.
As we approached the Lagoon we were met by a Song Sparrow who let us know, with his splendid song, that we were infringing upon his territory.   Great-tailed Grackle entertained us from the Willows (so much for peace and quiet).  A pair of Brant Goose, a pair of Mallard (photo below) plus a Double-creasted Cormorant, one Curlew, and a handful of Least Sandpiper were along the edge of the Lagoon.
We were hoping to see Snowy Plover (photo by Mike Baird).  When they are not moving they are nearly impossible to see, as they blend in perfectly with their environment. Fortunately we saw several fly; once they land they are invisible.
Nesting season has begun for the Snow Plover, "a species of special concern." Usually, nests are built on flat, open beaches or dunes.  Nests consist of a shallow scrape or depression lined with beach debris   (small pebbles, shell fragments, plant debris).  Driftwood, kelp, and dune plants provide cover for chicks that crouch near objects to hide from predators.  State Parks protects the Plover by fencing off the nesting area with a single cord and signs, and placing wire protection over the nests.

One of our best sightings of the morning was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  First we heard it, then saw it flitting about in Willows by the creek.  I have often heard the bird, but this was the first time in years that I have actually seen the little darling.   Our next and last stop was Lynn's patio in Cambria. Lunch and, of course desert, was Yummie!!

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