This morning Hugh Cotter and I did a short sea watch with Dominik from the south end of the Great Highway, then birded south L. Merced.
Relatively flat seas, but NE winds that have been around for a while are not helpful for species diversity.
Hugh and I observed a single ANCIENT MURRELET flying N.
Observations of local interest:
Surf Scoter 300+
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER 26 (most on ocean)
Black Scoter 28
MERLIN 1 (made a half-hearted dive at Sanderlings on the beach, then continued N over ocean)
Red-thr. Loon 800+
Pacific Loon 8Brown Pelican 3
Black Oystercatcher 1 (flying N, a ways out over the ocean)
Murrelet sp. 4 (2 pairs, likely Marbled)
Common Murre 220+
Heermann's Gull 2 ad., 1 imm. (flying S)
At the concrete bridge at s. L. Merced, the wintering TROPICAL KINGBIRD continues, calling and flycatching from a post in the water S of the SW corner of bridge. There were at least 8 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES (4 m., 3 f., 1 imm.) in the vicinity. We also observed the continuing NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH from the trashy trail along the E shore of the lake N of the concrete bridge. It was calling and provided a brief view along the W side of the trail, 50' or so down the trail.
Other observations of local interest in the area:
Wilson's Snipe 1 (feeding in the open near SE corner of bridge)
Thayer's Gull 2
Herring Gull 6
Nuttall's Woodpecker 1
Say's Phoebe 1
Tree Swallow 20+
Violet-green Swallow 1
Bewick's Wren 1