Pismo Creek

marlin harms

During the cloudy morning yesterday I went to Pismo Creek mouth and DID see the Long-tailed Duck and Horned Grebe Dave Keeling mentioned.  I did NOT see the skimmer or Bonaparte's Gull.  Walking down the beach I was impressed with the number of Sanderlings, probably well over 1,000 in 1/2 mile and many of them were in alternate plumage, which we get to see only briefly.  There were ~200 Whimbrels over that distance too and NO other shorebirds.

Expecting slightly better light this morning I went back with Don Quintana.  We ran into Jack Clayton.  The Long-tailed Duck was still there, but we did not see the Horned Grebe.  There were ~15 Bonaparte's Gulls and a number of terns associated with the gull flock, including 4 ELEGANT TERNS, early arrivals according to my knowledge.  There were also 2 Forster's Terns in alternate plumage, which made some courtship gestures on the beach before part of the gull flock chased them off.  Also 1 Royal Tern and 6 Caspian Terns. In the lagoon there was a Greater White-fronted Goose and 3 Brant.  On the beach Sanderlings were not as plentiful as yesterday, only ~150, but the Whimbrels seemed to be about the same numbers as yesterday.

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay, CA

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