Bar-tailed Godwit

Kevin Zimmer

Susan and I hiked the Morro Bay sand spit today, taking the trail that originates from the parking lot at the end of Sand Spit Rpad. We hiked north along the beach toward Morro Rock. At 11:58 a.m., directly opposite the KM 2 marker, I found a juvenal-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit feeding at the surf line with a large group of Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews and Willets. I got a good series of documentary photos, although the entire flock of birds was very restless and did not allow close approach. After following the godwit for perhaps 10 minutes, the entire flock got up and flew farther north along the sand spit. We briefly re-located it about 0.5 mile farther north, but then it slipped away and presumably continued toward the north end of the spit. We walked to KM 4 without seeing the bird again, but there were still plenty of birds to the north of our turn-around spot. For those that saw Jim Royer's Bar-tailed Godwit two years ago, this bird was roughly in the same area, and behaving the same way. I believe this constitutes only the 2nd SLO County record ever. I don't have an up-and-running Flickr account, so I will send photos to Tom Edell that perhaps he can post.

Nothing else of note from the spit. Zero Black-bellied Plovers (which surprised me), and very few Sanderlings and only a single Whimbrel. Two Semipalmated Plovers, 25+ Snowies, 1 Spotted Sandpiper and lots of Willets, Marbled Godwits and Long-billed Curlews.

Kevin Zimmer

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