Sunday late at Frank's Dump
Today would have been the day of our Mt. Diablo Audubon Society field trip to Frank's Dump. Due to the current pandemic, of course, we are not doing any field trips and do not know when we will.
Still, three of us walked to Frank's Dump for the late high tide, starting from the end of Winton Avenue at 4 PM. Just as Ted Robertson, my wife, Rosita, and I arrived at Frank's Dump and were ready to clamber down below the levee to be out of the wind, we were joined by a Maryland birder who is caught here in California by the pandemic. Don Simonson joined us and then we found Pat Mahoney who had walked out earlier.
Pat told us that the number of birds today was down from yesterday, but we did not have too much trouble finding the previously reported Pacific Golden-Plover. Sometimes it was hidden behind the many Black-bellied Plovers, sometimes it was very well seen. Red Knots were mixed in with them, and Least Sandpipers were behind all of them, nearly invisible.
We had seen some distant Snowy Plovers and a couple of Semi-palmated Plovers, so we ultimately walked a bit north and turned right along Sulphur Creek. There is not much water in Frank's Dump compared to years past, and this part is always dry when we visit, but it was especially productive for Least Sandpipers, Snowy and Semi-palmated Plovers. Rosita counted 7 baby Snowy Plovers running around.
We had a few distant raptors, including White-tailed Kite and Red-tailed Hawk.
Don Simonson's eBird list is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S71859417
It has not appeared as I am writing this, but Ted Robertson's eBird list will eventually be here: https://ebird.org/region/US-CA-001/activity?yr=all&m=
On the way out, I took advantage of the drive-up window at Jack In The Box and had an order of Seasoned Curly Fries--a great way to end the evening. A cold drink helped them to go down.
Hugh B. Harvey