Monday, March 31, 2014


Montaña de Oro was spectactular yesterday morning; powerful waves pounded the rocky cliffs.  Along the Bluff Trail the abundant coyote bush sparkled from last night's brief rain.  I was traveling light, only a camera and my trusty iPod Touch.

The Pigeon Guillemots were calling to each other; they have a very high pitched whistle.  The water was so rough it was difficult to see them.  Soon they will be nesting in the cliffs.  Heard and saw several Calif. Quail.  Wrentit were singing about every quarter mile. 
 A flock of Pelagic Cormorant with a few of the larger Brandt's Cormorant were doing their morning preening.  I do believe I have never seen this rock without a flock of Pelagic Cormorants on it.  Not in the photo, lower down the rock, was a pair of Black Oystercatcher.  Both the Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorant nest on Morro Rock.  The Pelagic also nests on narrow ledges of Montaña de Oro's cliffs.  Counting the gulls and Cormorants, only observed 10 species of birds. 

From my observations along the trail, land birds were scarce; the on-going drought is taking its toil on our bird population.  Birds that were missing, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow (always singing this time of year), Bewick's Wren (no males singing from atop a bush), Say's and Black Phoebe (no insects for them to eat), Anna's Hummer (nothing blooming), and no Hawks.  Along the Bluff Trail spring was silent.

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