Monday, November 17, 2014

Birding South to North

This morning's bird-a-thon began at the Baywood Pier.  A great Egret was checking the Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal, two Greater Yellowleg were in attendance.  Nearby were 16 Brant Goose.  A few days ago a Brant count was taken, a total of 163, a drastic decline from the typical numbers of 2,000 - 3,000.

Sweet Springs 32 species.  Favorites were - Wigeon, Black-bellied plover, and a noisy Kingfisher.

Continued my bird quest south a mile or so to the ponds at the Sea Pines Golf Course.  At the larger pond were two female Common Goldeneye, an A+ sighting; the smaller pond held 5 species, Mallard, Shoveler, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, and Pied Billed Grebe.  On the grass were several hundred coots or more. The local eagle has a taste for Coots.

Next stop,  El Chorro Park, 5 miles south/east of Morro Bay.  The numerous pepper trees were loaded with plump red berries.  America Robin, some with very deep red/orange breasts, were indulging in a berry frenzy; counted 50 Robins in and under this one pepper tree (photo).   Among the Robins were, Golden and White-crowned Sparrow, Hermit Thrush and several pair of Western Bluebird.   
 A few days ago birded Estero Bluffs with Harry and Norma Catchpole.   Our feathered friends were abundant -   Pelican, Cormorant, Turnstone, Surf Scoter, Western Grebe, Whimbrel,  etc.  At Villa Creek, the northern end of Estero Bluffs we experienced a lengthy sighting of a Pectoral Sandpiper, a first for the Catchpoles.  It was concentrating on eating flies and was not alarmed by our presence.  The best sighting of the day, and probably of the month was a male Peregrine Falcon diving on a poor little Forster's Tern; the Tern managed to elude the Peregrine (yeah for the little guy).   Happy Birding!


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