Cal Poly Ornithology Trip Report: San Simeon SP (April 14/15)

Jessica Griffiths

Hi everyone. This weekend we took our annual camping trip to San Simeon SP for a weekend of immersion birding. Highlights included a singing LARK SPARROW (4/15) and a LINCOLN'S SPARROW (4/14), both seen on the road from Washburn campground.

We saw 50 species in a day and a half of birding, which was pretty good considering the winds on Saturday. Not as much activity as I'd hoped on the spring migrant front, though there were singing PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS in almost every patch of willows we passed.

On the breeding behavior front, we watched a pair of BUSHTITS busily collecting insects just a few feet away from us and carrying the food to a nest hidden in a pine by the side of the road. We also saw the active RED-SHOULDERED HAWK nest near the campground host (he is a very nice guy and was happy to tell us all about the hawks). Lastly, we found two WILD TURKEY nests. The second we only found because we went off trail to look at a HUTTON'S VIREO and accidentally flushed the female from the nest. 11 eggs!

Other interesting birds included DUNLIN (molting into breeding plumage), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, & GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE at the beach, PYGMY NUTHATCH, WHITE-TAILED KITE, and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW.


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