Sand Spit at Montaña de Oro

Kevin Zimmer

Yesterday (Friday, September 4), my wife and I hiked the sand spit, starting from the trail at the Sand Spit Road parking lot, and north almost to the end (opposite Morro Rock) and back.  Shorebird numbers, particularly of Sanderlings (750+), Western Sandpipers (200+), Long-billed Curlews (100+) and Marbled Godwits (60+) were good, as were numbers of Elegant Terns (120+) and Heermann’s Gulls (300+, maybe 5–10% of which were juveniles), but we did not see anything particularly rare.  

Highlights were 5 juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper (2 Lone Rangers plus a group of 3 that were sticking very closely together) and a lone Red Knot.  Other shorebirds seen were Willet (15), Least Sandpiper (20+), Black-bellied Plover (6), Semipalmated Plover (4), Snowy Plover (6), Black Turnstone (5), Ruddy Turnstone (3), Whimbrel (20+),  and Killdeer (2).  Two Osprey were patrolling the water just offshore for most of the time we were hiking.

Kevin Zimmer

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