Possible Mtn Plovers

phil Pryde

This morning (Sun. 5th), while looking for Burrowing Owls at Ream Field (successful), at about 10 a.m. I came across a group of plovers that certainly looked like Mountain Plovers. They had medium brown backs, white bellies, the brown in the shoulder area lapped part-way around onto the breast, they had dull but widish pale eye-stripes, and short, dark, straight plover-like bills. I counted 12, but there was a ravine behind them so there might have been more. I don't recall MOPL's being reported recently, but I've been out of town so I may have missed the post.
Location: along the path from 5th St. in IB that parallels the west fence of Ream Field. The group was just before (within 100 feet) of the first side path that goes off west towards the ocean, and were about 100 feet inside the fence. They were very easily visible from the path. Let me know if they've already been posted.
Other sightings in the TJ Estuary visitor center area: Yel-Cr. Night-heron in their usual tree next to the apartments (no Hepatic Tanager), at least two Green-tail Towhees in the little garden-like area to the right (east of) the Visitor Ctr parking lot, adjacent to Caspian Way. There was also a thrush in the same area that was probably a Hermit, but didn't look 100% like a Hermit, but it stayed fairly hidden. Someone might want to check it out. An outgoing high tide made finding Clapper Rails easy along the trail south from the Vis. Ctr.
A different question that perhaps someone could help me with: Are Grasshopper Sparrows known to inhabit the short grass fields of Ream Field (near the west fence)? At one point I had a very small sparrow perched on the fence that had a very short tail and a "flat" top to its head. It was clearly a little smaller that a Butter Butt that flew by it. It had its back to me, so I was not able to see its breast. It didn't vocalize, and shortly flew fifty yards or so into the grasslands and landed in some grass that was tall enough to hide it. Any thoughts? Are GRSP's known to be there?
Phil Pryde
San Diego

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