Richmond 1/14-16 Snowy Plovers, Brandt's Cormorants etc
Hit up a few spots in Richmond in the past few days.
I birded this day with Max Laubstein and Oscar Moss. We started at Point San Pablo to see if any wintering goodies were around. We were not able to find the Winter Wren this year, and no real Herring Run seemed to be present just off the tip as sometimes is the case (though there was a large flocks of ducks far to the north). We also ran into John Toldi at the tip and birded together for a bit. Highlights at this spot included:
Cackling Goose-42 in one flock heading SW were late (early?) migrants
Band-tailed Pigeon-90 represented a high total for here in winter. The species has been noted moving in flocks through the winter at other concentration points, but often associated with east winds of some kind.
Sanderling-40 around West Brothers was a good winter count for this far into the Bay
BRANDT'S CORMORANT-2 on West Brother. This is the farthest up in the bay that the species regularly occurs, and is normally associated with Herring Runs
'Myrtle' Yellow-rumped Warbler-30 in a homogenious flock by the Marina was the highest number of this taxa I have noted on the peninsula
Full eBird list here:https://ebird.org/checklist/S63345970 <https://ebird.org/checklist/S63345970>
We continued onto to Canal Boulevard to see if anything was pushed onto Brook's with the high tide. It was quite active for this spot, with large numbers of shorebirds roosting both on the island proper and on the jetty. Highlights included:
Brant-7 was part of the wintering/sometimes resident group
SNOWY PLOVER-9 represents I believe an all-time high count for the county. Birds were on the island and associated loosely with Sanderlings. These birds have been located here several times since. This species is rarely very chasable in the county, often appearing as only one- or two-day wonders
Double-crested Cormorant-2050 was a nice count and likely corresponding to a Herring Run nearby
Full eBird list here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S63346004
Our next (brief) stop was the Richmond Marina, mostly hoping the recently-reported Red-necked Grebe would be there. No such luck, but we did have nice looks at the two continuing male Black Scoters and a Greater White-fronted Goose in with the big goose flock.
Full eBird list here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S63345976
Our final stop of the morning was Meeker Slough, with the hope that the extreme tides would push up a Nelson's or Swamp Sparrow or something. No luck on that front, but we did have a
Black-necked Stilt-1 a species which has only recently colonized this particular stretch of bay in response to the addition of mitigation ponds where the large willow patch/marsh used to be
American Avocet-280 was a nice count
Long-billed Dowitcher-40 in impounded ponds. This could be a good place to look for Stilt Sandpiper or other goodies
Full eBird list here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S63345974
I braved the storm hoping that something would be blown in but unfortunately had little to show for it.
I spent the majority of my time at Canal Boulevard baywatching. As with most baywatches, there wasn't much. However, gulls were flying by at eye level giving a great opportunity to sort through them as they streamed south. Viewing conditions were far less than optimal so I wasn't even able to give a thorough check of what was on the island, but I gave it a shot. Highlights in my 40-minute watch here were:
BRANDT'S CORMORANT-60 was a good count for CoCo, and strongly indicates a Herring Run nearby.
American Pipit-1 flying over Brook's gave me a start for a second
A brief check of Richmond Marina was unproductive.
San Francisco, CA