Thursday, February 18, 2016

Birding the Morro Bay Marina

 The morning was perfect.  The tide, having been quite high at 6:00 am was on the way out.  The pickleweed was very wet, not only from the tide but from the 1/2 in. of rain we received last night.  The mud was very wet, reflecting the sun light - ideal conditions for a variety of birds to feed. 

From the boardwalk one could see thousands of birds.  Feeding in the pickleweed were Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, and 300 or so Brant Goose.  The Brant chat continually as they feed - a soft and pleasing sound.    Can you find the Snow Goose?
 Of course, here and there is a Great-blue Heron, an Egret, a few Canada Goose, Avocet, flocks of Sandpiper, and scads of shorebirds; on a distant sandbar 18 Harbor seals sunned themselves and I had not yet walked 20 feet. 

Much fun watching two Long-billed Curlew engaged in a heated discussion.  A Merlin was perched atop of one of the two scraggly pine trees located on the bay side of the boardwalk. Twice it flew off, returning within a few minutes to the same twig - quite a treat as Merlin sightings are not frequent.  
While focused on the Merlin, deep in the brush came a flutter of activity and the alarm call of a male ( photo) Quail - a Cooper's Hawk had swooped down on a covey of Quail.   The Cooper's Hawk captures a bird with its feet and will squeeze it repeatedly to kill it.  Fortunately for the little covey, the Hawk was not successful.  The flurry of excitement happened in just a few seconds.   
In the Marina (above) were Bufflehead, Scaup, Surf Scoter, Eared Grebe, Kingfisher, an Osprey calling, and my very special, always feeding in the mud along the edge of the favorite,.....a......Spotted Sandpiper.  Birding the Morro Bay Marina this morning was a premium experience. 

1 comment:

  1. such beautiful views and a very amazing looking bird !